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Abu Ghraib abuse 'just for fun'
August 04, 2004 15:04 IST
England, 21, is among seven soldiers charged with the abuse. One of them was discharged from service and sentenced to a year in prison after pleading guilty.
Photographs of England dragging a naked Iraqi on a dog leash and grinning while pointing to the genitals of other prisoners outraged the international community and forced an apology from US President George Bush, who blamed a small group of soldiers.
Chief Warrant Officer Paul Arthur, the lead investigator into the Abu Ghraib abuse, said England, who is at least six months pregnant, had said in a sworn statement in January that one of her superiors, Spc. Charles Graner, put the leash on the naked Iraqi prisoner and told her to pose for the infamous photograph.
"They didn't think it was that serious," said Arthur, who headed the initial investigation at Abu Ghraib. "They were just joking around, having some fun, on the night shift. Basically it was just for fun ... and to vent their frustration." However, he said, Private England did not express any frustration. "She said it was more for fun."
But Richard Hernandez, one of England's attorneys, insisted that "the government is doing whatever it can to make her a scapegoat."