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Headlines Abu Ghraib guard England to be sentenced this week


FORT HOOD, Texas (Reuters) - U.S. Army reservist Lynndie England, who was shown holding a naked Iraqi on a leash at Abu Ghraib prison, will hear her sentence this week after she pleaded guilty to most of the abuse charges against her.

Pfc. England, 22, became the face of the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal by posing in some of the most inflammatory photos from the prison, which embarrassed the military and touched off an international furor.

She was photographed holding a naked detainee on a leash and pointing at the genitals of a naked male prisoner while smiling and smoking a cigarette. She also posed beside naked prisoners in a human pyramid.

The Pentagon has cleared all but one of the top five commanders at Abu Ghraib of any wrongdoing, despite concern that a drive to squeeze information out of detainees initiated at a high level created the atmosphere in which the abuses could occur.

One commander, Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, was relieved of her command and given a written reprimand.

Faced with overwhelming evidence because of the photos, England will plead guilty to seven of nine charges on Monday before a Fort Hood, Texas, military court, her lawyer Capt. Jonathan Crisp told Reuters.

England could face a maximum sentence of 11 years, down from 16 1/2 years but Crisp said he hoped she would receive a lesser punishment after the court hears evidence about her mental deficiencies.

"Justice is being done based on the evidence that has been brought forward at this point," he said. "The government has certainly been more amenable as of late than they were initially. I think they recognize her ultimate role in this is not what it was initially thought to be. She was a pawn."


The abuse photos were a major blow to America's reputation worldwide at a time when many nations already distrusted U.S. intentions in Iraq.

he most serious remaining charge against England is one count of indecent acts, which carries a maximum of five years in prison. A second indecency charge, of committing an indecent act with her boyfriend Charles Graner, has been dropped, Crisp said.

In January, a military tribunal sentenced Graner to 10 years for his role in the scandal. Graner, the father of England's baby born in October, contended he had been following orders to soften up prisoners for military intelligence.

England made similar arguments, including one in describing the leash incident, in which she said shed was tethered to a mentally ill prisoner who had smeared his body with feces.

"I was instructed by persons in higher rank to stand there and hold this leash and look at the camera," she told KCNC television in Denver last year.

Such arguments failed to convince the jury in Graner's trial. Witnesses testified that the naked Iraqi prisoners stacked naked into a pyramid and later forced to masturbate had no military intelligence value.

Members of England's military police unit say she was not authorized to be in the "hard site" area where the abuses took place but was a frequent visitor to see her lover Graner.

"There was absolutely no reason why she was there for any kind of mission or administrative duties," said one member of her unit who did not want to be named.

"Before he got mobilized, at the unit, she was really a very favorable soldier," he said. "After this relationship began with him, you know, things deteriorated rapidly."

Crisp said Graner would testify during the penalty phase of England's trial. "You're going to learn about the power differentials, the manipulations and things along those lines and how her mental history plays into that," he said.
Good. I hope this sends a clear message for all the jackass cowboys to follow rules of engagement, and not act like complete morons just because they have a rifle. This is a war, not a fucking sadomasochism party...