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Convicted US soldier says ''worse things'' have happened at Abu Ghraib - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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WASHINGTON (AFP) – A US soldier convicted of humiliating and abusing Iraqi prisoners said in an interview she knew of &#34worse things&#34 happening at Abu Ghraib and insisted military commanders were fully aware of what was going on in Iraq”s infamous jail.

The comments, made by Private First Class Lynndie England in her first post-court marshal interview, contradicted assertions by top Pentagon officials that a small group of out-of-control soldiers were responsible for abuse at Abu Ghraib, and that however repulsive that mistreatment was, it did not amount to torture.

England, who became the face of the scandal because of a photograph of her holding a naked prisoner by a leash, was sentenced last Tuesday to three years in prison and dishonorably discharged from the Army after a military jury found her guilty of maltreating prisoners and committing an indecent act.

The trial capped a damaging scandal that erupted in 2004, following publication of pictures that showed Abu Ghraib inmates piled up naked on the floor in front of US soldiers, cowering in front of snarling military dogs, chained to beds in stress positions and forced to stand naked in front of female guards.

But England, appearing on NBC”s &#34Dateline&#34 program, said the pictures did not convey the full extent of the abuse that took place in the cell block.

&#34I know worse things were happening over there,&#34 admitted the 22-year-old convict.

She said one night she heard blood-curdling screams coming from the block”s shower room, where non-military interrogators had taken an Arab detainee.

&#34They had the shower on to muffle it, but it wasn”t helping,&#34 she recalled. &#34They never screamed like that when we were humiliating. But this guy was like screaming bloody murder. I mean it still haunts me I can still hear it just like it happened yesterday.&#34

The interrogators were not identified, but several investigations into the abuse have disclosed that Central Intelligence Agency operatives worked at Abu Ghraib alongside US military intelligence, trying to glean useful information.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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