Convicted in Abu Ghraib Prison Abuse Scandal
September 26th 2005
Lynndie England has been
convicted on six of the seven criminal counts in the Abu Ghraib
prison abuse case. Monday 22 year old Army pfc England was found
guilt of one count of conspiracy, four counts of maltreating
detainees and one count of committing an indecent act. She was
acquitted on one of the conspiracy counts.
The jury of five male Army
officers took about two hours to reach its verdict according to the
Associated Press news service. She will begin the sentencing phase
The prison abuse scandal damaged
the United States’ image in the Muslim world. The scandal was
caught on film. One of the photos showed England holding one of the
detainees by a leash. Other photos showed England pointing at the
prisoners while they were in humiliating poses.
In a U.S. Department of Justice
Memo to Alberto R. Gonzales, Counsel to the President,
interrogation methods that did not inflict pain were lawful. The
memo can be seen on the antiwar.com website. In it, torture is
defined as an act that “must inflict pain that is difficult to
The document also interpreted
torture to be extreme acts only, and these extreme acts were banned
under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman and
Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
In another declassified
Wall Street Journal reported that the President was advised that
prohibitions against torture do not apply to the war on terrorism.
According to testimony given to
Congress in 2004, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said the
“real issue” was that the photographs had been leaked to the media
and had generated a firestorm that has threatened to undermine U.S.
efforts in Iraq.
Rumsfeld told Congress the
guards were instructed to follow the Geneva Conventions in their
treatment of the prisoners. The Secretary also told Congress that
"anyone who recommended the kind of behavior" depicted in the
photographs "needs to be brought to justice." But he disputed any
suggestion that there was a policy that encouraged abuse.
England’s trial is the last in a
series of nine trials in conjunction with the scandal. Two other
prison guards were convicted and the other six made plea bargains.
Several of those soldiers testified at this trial. Prosecutors also
used the photos to prove she was the key figure in the abuse
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