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Prisoner Abuse

By: KKTV- Nora Seibert
By: KKTV- Nora Seibert

Is Private Lynndie England taking the fall for the military's shortcomings?
That's what her Colorado defense team says.

England's Army unit is at the center of the prison abuse scandal. Now five months pregnant and stationed at Fort Bragg, England was charged on Friday with mistreating detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad.

Now, there's talk of England being tried at Fort Carson. Her attorneys say she can't get a fair trial at Fort Bragg because it's such a small, close-knit town. One even says she had tried to call several lawyers in North Carolina, and didn't even get a call back.

England is one of the soldiers seen in many of the photographs that recently surfaced, showing U.S. troops forcing Iraqi prisoners to pose nude. In one picture, PFC England is seen holding a prisoner on a leash. And in another, she's standing, smiling in front of naked Iraqi prisoners.

Attorneys Giorgio Ra'Shadd and Rose Mary Zapor along with two other Denver based lawyers agreed to represent England, for free. They say the behavior shown in the very publicized pictures was encouraged by England's bosses.

"if we find out more information here, then we can prevent another 9-11," says Zapor, "and to do that, you need to do these kind of things that were in these photographs. So we can show this to other prisoners that way they'll be softened up for further interrogation."

The pictures continue to spark world-wide outrage. On Monday, President Bush met at the Penagon with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other lawmakers to discuss newly obtained pictures of abuses.

England's attorneys say it is her superiors who should take the responsibility because says Ra'Shadd, they didn't run a tight enough ship at the Abu Ghraib prison, "they failed those troops, and now they don't want to take the responsibility for failing those troops, they want to make our client the poster for their failure, we won't let that happen."

Ra'Shadd plans to meet Tuesday with PFC England in North Carolina.

Six other soldiers have also been charged in connection with the scandal.


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