It’s now official. Army Pfc. Lynndie England has been sentenced to three years in jail for her sleazy role in the infamous, Iraqi prisoner-abuse scandal of 2003.
But she got off easy. For playing the pervert. For disgracing her country. For jeopardizing lives beyond Abu Ghraib.
Consider that England – out of fealty to a prison-guard boyfriend — further fueled the fury of the insurgency by helping to hand al-Qaeda and the rest of the Muslim world a PR coup that did American credibility untold harm. To this day, Abu Ghraib remains a rallying cry, an anti-American call to arms and an emotionally effective recruiting tool.
In response to prodding by her counsel, England eventually apologized to the detainees and their families, as well as to American soldiers who might have suffered in Iraq for her twisted antics.
But she couldn’t apologize to all the G.I.’s who were impacted by her sadistic actions. Some undoubtedly paid the ultimate price for her appalling behavior.
For that – and the ongoing ripple effects — she got three years. Sleazy off easy.
At the very least she should spend them in Abu Ghraib. Leashes, masks and cameras to be provided.