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Soldier In Iraqi Abuse Photos Claims She Was Following Orders

Posted May 12, 2004

— The female Army private who is also facing court-martial for her part in the scandal said she was simply following orders.

No matter which picture you look at, Pvt. Lynndie England gives the same explanation. She said higher-ranking officers ordered her to pose in the pictures.

"I was told stand there, give thumbs up, smile, stand behind all the naked Iraqis in the pyramid, take the picture," England said.

At the time, England said she was praised for helping with psychological operations to get vital information out of the prisoners. Now, she said that has all changed.

"It's unbelievable. It's like a nightmare," England said. "At least in Iraq, you knew different uniforms, who was on your side and it's like, I don't know who's for me and who's against me."

England's lawyers blame her superiors, even implicating officials as high as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

"Don't reach down and do heavy smacks of punishment on privates and specialists who rely on leaders to lead, go up the chain of command and remove those leaders," said Giorgio Ra-Shadd III, England's attorney.

"To us, we were doing our jobs, which meant we were doing what we were told and the outcome was what they wanted," England said.

The Army appointed a military attorney to help England with her defense. Five civilian attorneys have already joined her defense team.

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