'I Simply Stood With The Strap in My Hand'
Saturday, May 22, 2004; Page A16
Judging from the photo itself, it is unclear whether England is dragging the grimacing, naked prisoner across the floor, or if she is just standing there holding the leash around his neck.
According to the statement she gave investigators, it is the latter -- and it was not her idea.
England, whose family said she processed inmates but did not work inside the cellblock, said she visited a wing where many prisoners were held. Only two soldiers were on duty, Graner and Spec. Megan Ambuhl.
They had mentioned that there was a detainee named Gus in solitary confinement, England said. He had been arrested for "attacks on coalition forces," she said, and had told other soldiers that he "hated Americans and wanted to kill us."
Graner had suggested taking a picture of the detainee, and he wanted England to pose, "pretending to drag him on a leash-type thing," she said.
Graner got out the leash, and they went down to a solitary confinement cell where the detainee was being held, she said. The detainee emerged naked but not handcuffed. And after Graner made him lie down on the floor, she said, he loosely looped the strap around his neck and handed it to her.
Then he got out his camera, she posed and he snapped a photo.
"I did not drag or pull on the leash," she said. "I simply stood with the strap in my hand. Gus started to crawl on the floor and . . . Graner took another picture. We then took the strap off of him and placed him back in his cell."
All this time, she said, Ambuhl stood and watched.
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