Information, observations, and analysis from the James River valley on the Northern Plains-----
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We cite her as person of the year because she best represents what America has become. Disadvantaged from a lack of oxygen to her brain iat birth, she struggled through school, joined the U.S. Army, and was assigned to duty in Iraq at the Abu Ghraib prison. The photo (top) of her holding an Iraqi prisoner on a dog leash gave her woldwide fame.
Pvt. England was a file clerk at the prison. How she ended up in the prison holding area to be photographed abusing prisoners has never been explained. Sgt. Silas and Lt. Col. Mac, who frequently comment on this web log, say the primary responsibility falls on the shoulders of officers and non-commissioned officers who were not doing their jobs. Pvt. England was performing at the behest of a boyfriend, now serving stockade time, who also got her pregnant and left her with a child. This is all seamy and salacious, but the main questions are: Where was the leadership? Where were the people in the command structure who are responsible for seeing that military operations are properly done?
Lynndie England was court-martialed, dishonorably discharged, and sentenced to a military prison for her role in the Abu Ghraib humiliations of prisoners.
Lynndie England is person of the year because she reflects the deadly malaise that has stricken America. She has become the icon of those whose lives have been labeled expendable in Iraq and Louisiana and whose freedoms and rights were wiped away by presidential order.
We went into Iraq on false information. The president and like thinkers insist that Congress which authorized the invasion of Iraq saw the same intelligence as he did. A memo during the past week requested by a U..S. Senator from intelligence officials states that the president and his inner circle saw intelligence much more detailed and dubious than any members of Congress were shown.
The president begs us not to be defeatists about Iraq. America was defeated when the president went into Iraq on false pretexts and when he ordered that American citizens could be spied upon in violation of their Constitutional rights at his command. It was not the terrorists who destroyed America.
America was defeated when Lynndie England was made the scapegoat and was sacrificed to cover up the dishonesty, incompetence, and repressions of a totalitarian regime.
We have given more than 2,000 lives of soldiers to "democratize" Iraq. Who will restore freedom, equality, and equal justice for them and the Lynndie Englands?
Lynndie England is shown in shackles (bottom right photo). That is the freedom, equality, and equal justice of America. She stands for what is happening to us all.