The Publick Scolde

Pointing out what on the political and personal scene needs changing, rearranging and raging about with humor and passion!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004


Let’s throw a intervention baby shower for Private First Class Lynndie England! Until her current Army hearing on charges that could send her to prison for 38 years, we had not seen her since those coed shots at the Abu Gareib prison. She’s due to give birth this month. There’s not much time left to intervene. And that is definitely what that baby needs. Now.

What kind of parents England and Specialist Charles A. Graner, Jr. are going to be? Especially when their cranky baby won’t shut up.

We haven’t seen pictures of Lynndie screaming, hitting, throwing or shaking anyone by the shoulders. We have observed her smoking (I wonder if she was pregnant at the time?!), grinning and pointing at a hooded, naked prisoner’s genitals. We’ve also witnessed her dragging a collared and leashed nude prisoner across a concrete floor.

We do tend to judge people by the company they keep and the baby’s father not only was part of the Abu Gareib torture battalion, but also had an order of protection taken out by his first wife to keep him from beating her and repeatedly bashing her head against the floor. Lynndie and Chuck must know that babies are easier to bash into the floor than grown women. And babies can’t file for orders of protection.

Because this is a special needs couple, I want the England baby shower invitees to shop outside the box as well as in. Lynndie and Chuck will need the standard baby gear such as a supply of disposable diapers. With adhesive tapes to secure the disposables there won’t be diaper pins handy for use as instruments of tor………………persuasion or ……… fun if the baby won’t hold still on the changing table.

They probably also need a new camera. Their old ones must have been confiscated by agents of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and are somewhere in federal custody. Even though the pastel, cooing variety of picture doesn’t jump to mind when I think of Ma Lynndie and Papa Chuck, a camera should be in that nursery to make a record of whatever….… and blue or black and blue.

The very best present for Lynndie and Chuck’s baby is an account at a local branch of the National Institutes of Mental Health and some carrot-and-stick conditions to make them go to parenting and therapy sessions. After she gives birth and all that mood elevating progesterone is out of Lynndie’s system, watch out, colicky baby! If you believe, as Lynndie asserts, that she was only following orders in that Baghdad prison, give her healthy orders to follow. For example, if the baby nips your nipple as it nurses, Lynndie, don’t slap it upside the head! Instead take the baby off the breast and take a deep breath.

These two expectant parents need lessons in the care of their baby and backup, reserves, as it were, a mental and physical health support team to call on in times of stress. There should be a crisis drop-off place where Lynndie can take her baby for a few hours or over night when she’s at the end of her rope. A social worker should drop in frequently, unannounced. Or maybe a NIMH social worker should live in the England-Graner home. That would be very expensive. I’ll invite George Soros to the shower!

England and Graner are not a poster-couple for potential parenthood, but we can prevent them from showing up on a different kind of poster at the post office. So either we find a way to prepare Lynndie and Chuck and mandate parent oversight or declare the baby a domestic-violence-combatant-potential-victim and put that baby in protective custody directly from the delivery room.

Amend the national Leave No Child Behind Act to get in front of this one. Create a rider for prophylactic child protection. Then the England-Graner kid’ll have a better chance of making it to school age unscarred. The child will have a better chance of making it to school age. Period.

When P.F.C. Lynndie England isn't in court, she spends her time on a US Army base stateside, pretty much isolated from other soldiers. Chuck Graner is still in Iraq. They are unwed and haven’t made any matrimonial plans known. Marriage doesn’t protect children from abuse anyway and this is not a couple to push into a shotgun wedding.

Copyright 2004 - Carrie Carmichael


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jack seemed like a wonder person that enjoyed a challenge and had a quest for finding facts- NO MATTER WHAT. I wish I could have met him. I, too, am faced with ( what feels like an impossible)quest, and he would have been a God Send in helping me expose the Arizona corruption that everyone knows about but I have, yet, to find anyone willing to stand up with me to fight for some of the Az. prisoners that are locked up, no matter how much PROOF of their innocents are documented but egnored.

August 19, 2005 at 11:34 AM  
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