Dark Bilious Vapors

But how could I deny that I possess these hands and this body, and withal escape being classed with persons in a state of insanity, whose brains are so disordered and clouded by dark bilious vapors....
--Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditation I

Home » Archives » May 2005 » I’ve been wondering…

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05/06/2005: I’ve been wondering…

….and especially after reading this one:

I came across this piece about his ex-wife speaking candidly on Charles Graner in this article Ex-wife: Charles Graner a 'monster' reported at CNN.com.:

"He's like my Hannibal Lecter, he really is. He's the monster in my life," said Morris, who has two teenage children from her 10-year marriage with Graner, the central figure in the Abu Ghraib abuse of Iraqi prisoners.

Morris, 34, a nurse who has remarried and lives outside Pittsburgh, said the former U.S. prison guard now serving a 10-year sentence would proudly e-mail his children photos showing tough treatment of Iraqi prisoners.

He would send photos of "these beat up prisoners and blood and talk about how cool it was -- look what daddy gets to do," she said, adding that she did not show them the correspondence
Graner transmitted pictures of the mentally ill prisoner who was the man at the end of England's leash. In one photo the man was covered in his feces.

"The whup ass (beatings) ran like a river," Morris quoted Graner as saying about the frequent beatings of prisoners. "He had complete contempt for prisoners; as far as he was concerned they had no rights," she added in summing up his attitude as a U.S. corrections officer in Pennsylvania.

Some of the e-mails Graner sent to family and friends were cited in his January court-martial.
Asked how Graner might have thought to stack seven naked Iraqi prisoners into a human pyramid, Morris said: "He's obsessed with this kind of stuff."

"He is a sexual deviant," she said. "He was very sexually strange, into very strange things."

As their relationship was faltering, Graner twice set up covert video surveillance of Morris's bedroom -- and then told her about it. On other occasions Graner recounted to guests invented tales about their sexual exploits, Morris said.”

So…what EXACTLY could Lynndie England have seen in this guy???

And maybe she is as “incapable mentally” as the judge who overturned her conviction has suspected….and not merely deficit about telling right from wrong either.

But luckily Richard Cohen has hit the nail on the head, perhaps, in the this analysis of the situation: Victim and Victimizer
"....There is no end to the sadness of Lynndie England. There is no excusing what she did, but explaining is a different matter. She is that rare genuine article, the cliche, the stereotype that turns out upon investigation to be true. She lived with her family in a trailer in West Virginia. She's only a high school graduate. She married when she was 19 -- on a lark, she told her friends, and then for only two years.

She joined the Army Reserve not, as the flag-wavers would like it, for patriotic reasons but for college money (she wanted to be a meteorologist and chase storms). She had an affair or something with Graner in Iraq and has a baby by him. He apparently encouraged her to abuse prisoners. He also married another woman.

A psychologist from her home area testified that England had been a blue baby, born also with a malformation of the tongue that gave her a speech impediment. Apparently, she often chose not to talk at all. She had a learning disability as well. And you can see -- can't you? -- what no one will testify to: She's homely -- and that matters for a woman in America. She posed for pornographic pictures with Graner. The discipline of the Army apparently meant she no longer had to have any herself. This is why fascism can be so (sexually) exciting.
It is the same with Lynndie England. She is the sort of woman who gets used by others, most often men. Powerless everywhere in life except on her end of the leash, she just had to come night after night to the section of Abu Ghraib where Graner held sway. She was admonished for this -- her real work was suffering -- but Graner drew her. She knew that what she was doing was wrong -- "I could have said no,'' she told the military court. "I knew it was wrong.'' But in all likelihood, only theoretically could she have said no. Some women always say yes.

How sad, how ironic, that this wee woman should have become the personification of supposed American arrogance. Like all those convicted for the abuses of Abu Ghraib, she is one of America's little people -- not an officer, not even regular Army, but one of a collection of nobodies just trying to get somewhere better. Lynndie England was one of them, and she is suffering for that -- officially for abusing prisoners, actually for being a loser. Whatever the outcome of her trial, the sentence will be life.”

A very sad commentary on Ms. England, but maybe as true as any other “explanation” for her entire behavior can be…

Karen on 05.06.05 @ 05:41 PM CST

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