Lynndie England has had to plead guilty.  Her crime was being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people,  with no sense of the moral implications. If you’ve been told all your life that the people you are now fighting are dogs, then what are you going to do?

The real criminal here is the culture that she was brought up in, and the grossly inadequate training given to her for the job she had to do.
But the real England story is that, unwittingly, she became the talent in one of the most powerful ad campaigns in recent history, and it hardly cost a dime to produce.

May 12 2004: KCNC-TV Reporter: “There is a photograph of you holding an Iraqi prisoner on a leash. How did that come about?”

Lynndie England: “I was instructed by persons in higher rank stand there — hold this leash, look at the camera. They took a picture for SI-OP and that’s all I know.”

One of the pictures shows her in camouflage gear looking disinterestedly at a naked Iraqi prisoner lying on the floor at Abu Ghraib prison. You’ve all seen it. The world has seen it. He’s on a leash. He’s like a pet dog. She doesn’t care that he’s naked

In that symbolic pose, the true attitude of America to the rest of the world became evident. Mr bin Laden couldn’t have created a more hard-hitting poster for his Jihad if he’d spent his entire fortune on top Madison Avenue persuaders.

The true cost of that picture is not the revulsion felt all over the world, but the consequences of it. That picture was the beginning of the end of Brand America. That picture can be tasted now in every Coke sold East of the Atlantic seaboard. It can be tasted in every Royale. It’s the hood ornament on every gas guzzling SUV exported. It’s everywhere in every American product sold globally.

No wonder Brand America is a tough sell these days. I’m glad. Life was never about what you physically possess, it’s about what you mentally and morally possess.

Ms England is guilty of only one thing – being born into the wrong culture; a culture that cares only about itself, and gives not a sod for what happens to the other 6 billion inhabitants of this planet.

That’s why places like Booman’s, DKos and all the rest are so important. Because you DO care…

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