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That BBC Abu Ghraib video is fucked up. Not even so much the nigh incomprehensible atrocities being paraded about (or the greater Iraq War nightmare it is a part of) but the woman being interviewed... she seems so... empty. It is hard to feel any sort of human connection at all. Is there even anything in that vessel that can be rebuked or pitied for what it has become?

If I had to describe what I see in that interview, perhaps I would say: everything that is wrong with the world in a nutshell, up close and personal, and branded indelibly with a robotic recitation of "I was just following orders". I imagine all such wretched creatures bear this phrase in some form or another.

I found it difficult to to feel either pity of disdain for Lyndie England. You take a person who appears to be anything but a pillar of integrity and justifies her actions as anyone might be tempted to: "I was just following orders". How many of the officers who knew what was going on did much to stop it? As vacuous Ms. England is in this clip, she's closer to repentent than Dick Cheney, George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and every other prick involved in Bush's proud era of a "war presnint".

I have seen small-scale England/Graner behavior in school & in most of my jobs. It's commonplace. The meatheads band together & strive to get away with as much as possible, and anyone who speaks out is a pussy or a fag or a "libtard." Bosses & school administrators facilitate the behavior either because they do not want to create a fuss or they themselves were promoted from the among ranks of the meatheads. Enron, Blackwater, KBR, Jack Abramoff, etc. etc. are examples. The healthcare town hall meetings are another example. Sibel Edmonds is another. This phenomenon is why I am more likely than the average progressive to give consideration to so-called "conspiracy theories." We are a nation of conspirators; conspiracy is our main form of interaction. It is so commonplace -- like breathing or blinking -- that we no longer even notice it, and when someone mentions it, we naturally deny it. "You blinked." "Did not." "Yes you did...hey, you did it again." "Did not."

Crooked cops caught on camera Posted: Jul 29, 2009 2:04 PM CDT Updated: Jul 29, 2009 2:33 PM CDT A cop's dashboard camera is supposed to catch criminals in the act.

For four Hollywood, Florida cops, the dash cam may have foiled their plans to frame a motorist.

The four police officers -- three of them longtime veterans of the force -- were caught on one of the cop's dash cameras plotting to place the blame for a February traffic accident on a woman one of them had hit with their patrol car.

Here's the video. Here's another example in Tennesee. Attorney: "If they can tell each other to plant drugs with just a hand signal, you gotta wonder how many other people have gone through this."

The Chris Jordan photography video is excellent. He is truly an artist who inspires and provokes thought—not many of those around these days. For all that he was revered I never thought that John Updike had anything to say.

I thought the BBC Abu Graib video was a joke. Are we still trying to demonize an at-that-time 20 year old, undereducated recruit for all of the horrors of that war? She didn’t even kill anyone and she’s too stupid to be evil. Why not demonize the architects of the whole farce, people who should have known better?

Are we still trying to demonize an at-that-time 20 year old, undereducated recruit for all of the horrors of that war? She didn’t even kill anyone and she’s too stupid to be evil. Why not demonize the architects of the whole farce, people who should have known better?

I feel for Lindy England in some way, yet she holds some responsibility for stupid actions. On the other hand, Graner was much more culpable in the humiliation and torture of prisoners and treating people - including England - with disregard, contempt, and worse. The top brass who've gotten away with torture orders, torture, and murder are nearly absent from the discussion.

Back to England's role - after seeing the movie version of "The Reader" with my parents, they were discussing different causes for the woman's actions, and going over "how can this have happened?" I couldn't resist saying "Now fast forward to Lindy England." Now we have to figure whom to forgive and whom to prosecute, even as though there is some overlap.

She didn’t even kill anyone and she’s too stupid to be evil.

That you are using murder as a comparison is telling in itself. And, "too stupid to be evil"? Nonsense. For starters, who said she was "evil"? What she did was commit a crime. And "too stupid to be responsible for her actions" won't hold up in court.

Why not demonize the architects of the whole farce, people who should have known better?

Ms. England spent some time in jail for taking part in the torture of human beings, which seems fair enough to me. What is indeed grossly unfair is that yes, the architects of these atrocities have gotten off scot free when they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law themselves. Having the power to start wars and order torture without responsibility and accountability makes them little better than the tyrant they started the war with.

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In "Standard Operating Procedure," England makes a convincing case that she's received a disproportionate share of anger about Abu Ghraib. I don't feel too much sympathy for her, but I do think that targeting anger at her is a way to avoid the bigger issue. Anyway, what's with the headline, "woman soldier?" I thought the days of "lady cop" and "male nurse" were behind us.

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