A bit of a postscript to the myth of moral superiority. The New York Times carries a predictable piece on the reaction of Pvt. England’s hometown of Fort Ashby, West Virginia. Lynndie England is, as the NYT explains, ‘perhaps the most prominently displayed person in a series of photographs taken in the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad that show members of the 372nd Military Police Company abusing prisoners.’ It’s predicable because they all say she’s not like that at home… well of course she isn’t.
Nevertheless, Fort Ashby’s reaction is normal. Other reactions are equally predictable; there’ll be no shortage of weirdoes who’d like to know her better. But perhaps the worst reaction is right at the end of the piece, where it’s revealed that the US army has refused her a lawyer. If our morals really are superior to Private Lynndie R. England’s, we’ll ensure her court martial is fair.