Lynndie England, the woman smiling in a number of the horrible photos showing the torture and abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, can't find a job, can't sleep and certainly can't get a date. In an interview Monday with The Daily, England explained that she's haunted by the fact that the photos from Abu Gharib cost American lives but not necessarily apologetic to the victims she was torturing in those photographs.
"Their lives are better," she told the iPad newspaper. "They got the better end of the deal. They weren't innocent. They're trying to kill us, and you want me to apologize to them? It's like saying sorry to the enemy." Apologetic or not, England is certainly struggling to recover. She works for an old family friend during tax season doing basic accounting but otherwise can't find anyone to hire her. This makes it difficult to raise her seven-year-old son, especially since the boy's father Charles Graner, whom The Daily calls "ringleader of the Abu Ghraib abuses," refuses to acknowledge his existence. In an attempt to explain her post-traumatic stress disorder, England recounted, "Somebody dropped something off the [store] shelf and I freaked out. It was two aisles down. They dropped something on the floor and made a big bang and I was like, 'Ah!' "
This isn't the first time England's been interviewed, and it probably won't be the last. But it does reveal that even as her situation has changed, her tone remains largely the same as it was a few years ago. In 2009, she made fun of one of the female prisoners in an interview with The Guardian:
Did she see any women prisoners? "At one point we had four. Oh my God, this one, she was crazy. They had to take her to the loony bin. We called her the wolf lady coz she had all this hair." She starts laughing. "She was screaming and whatever."
Did she see any photos with women prisoners in them?
[Her attorney] says, "The only thing I know is that someone got in trouble because he had had some contact with one of them."
England snorts and says, "His dick had some contact."
For the rest of her life, England will be a felon, but she'll also be living reminder of one of the more shameful moments in recent American history. She's not enjoying this status, that's clear. What's unclear, though, is if she feels more remorseful about what she did to the victims in those or what the photos of her actions have done to her.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.