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In an interview Monday, the soldier who became infamous for giving a thumbs-up in photos of soldiers abusing detainees at Abu Ghraib said that the prisoners "got the better end of the deal."
Lynndie England, one of the soldiers infamous for her portrayal in the horrifying photos of Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, said Monday that she still isn't sorry about how she treated detainees, The Daily reported.
“Their lives are better. They got the better end of the deal,” England said in an exclusive interview with The Daily. “They weren’t innocent. They’re trying to kill us, and you want me to apologize to them? It’s like saying sorry to the enemy."
England is still struggling to recover from her tour of duty in Iraq and the fallout from the photographs, according to the Atlantic Wire. She works for a family friend during tax season but cannot find full-time employment, the Atlantic reported, and is raising her seven-year-old son by herself; the boy's father and alleged ringleader of the Abu Ghraib abuses, Charles Graner, is absent from their lives.
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Despite her lack of remorse for the victims, England said she does regret that the photos, which sparked anti-American backlash around the world, may have caused more US casualties, Slate reported.
"That's something that falls on my head," she told the Daily. "I think about it all the time.... Losing people on our side because of me coming out on a picture."
England and 10 of her fellow soldiers who were stationed at Abu Ghraib were dishonorably discharged from the army after the 2004 release of explosive photographs which showed physical, sexual and psychological abuse of Iraqi detainees at the prison near Baghdad, the Daily reported.
Lynndie is prominently featured in the photos: in one, she is smoking a cigarette and giving a thumbs-up with her right hand and gesture with her left like a gun pointed towards a row of naked detainees with hoods covering their heads, the Daily reported.
She was convicted of conspiracy, maltreating detainees, and committing an indecent act in 2005, and served 521 days in a military prison, the Daily reported.
This is not the first interview England has given in which she was unapologetic about her actions; in 2009, she mocked some of the female prisoners she abused in an interview with The Guardian.
"At one point we had four [women]," England said of the detainees. "Oh my God, this one, she was crazy. They had to take her to the loony bin. We called her the wolf lady 'cause she had all this hair. She was screaming and whatever."
England's latest interview comes in the shadow of Sgt. Robert Bales' alleged massacre of 16 Afghan civilians last weekend, the latest stain on the US military's history. Bales is currently being held in Kansas as he awaits sentencing.
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