FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – An Army reservist who was photographed smiling and pointing at naked Iraqi prisoners was unhappy about following orders to humiliate the inmates, her civilian lawyer said Tuesday.
In the photographs, Army Pfc. Lynndie England (search) is seen smiling, cigarette in her mouth, as she leans forward and points at the genitals of a naked, hooded Iraqi. Another photo shows her holding a leash that encircles the neck of a naked Iraqi man lying on his side, his face contorted.
"You don't see my client doing anything abusive at all," one of England's attorneys, Giorgio Ra'Shadd, said after meeting with England at Fort Bragg. "I think she was ordered to smile."
England told KCNC-TV in Denver her superiors gave her specific instructions on how to pose for the photos. Asked who gave the orders, she would say only, "Persons in my chain of command."
Describing a photo in which she points at the prisoner's genitals, she said, "I was told to stand there, point thumbs up, look at the camera, take the picture."
England said her superiors praised the photos.
"They just told us, 'Hey, you're doing great, keep it up,'" she said.
The interview, taped Tuesday at Fort Bragg, was to be broadcast Tuesday night. England's quotes were given to The Associated Press by the station before the broadcast.
Ra'Shadd said England was not pulling on the leash. In other photos, he said, she was pulled into the photographs by CIA and other intelligence agents who subverted the military chain of command.
"The spooks took over the jail," said Ra'Shadd, a former Army lawyer who once worked in psychological operations. "Everything about that command was wacky."
Military officials have acknowledged that intelligence officers visited the Abu Ghraib prison (search) and spoke with inmates, but it's unclear how much authority they had.
England faces a military court-martial that includes conspiracy to maltreat prisoners and assault consummated by battery. She could face punishments ranging from a reprimand to more than 15 years in prison. No date has been set for a hearing.
Ra'Shadd said intelligence agents used England to humiliate prisoners so agents could show the photographs to more important prisoners and threaten them with the same treatment.
He said England and other soldiers at the prison were told they were helping save American lives by finding prisoners who carried out roadside bomb attacks.
Six other soldiers from the 372nd Military Police Company (search) are also charged. One, Spc. Jeremy C. Sivits of Hyndman, Pa., will face a court-martial in Baghdad next week.
Ra'Shadd said he is trying to get permission for England to use accumulated leave to visit her family in West Virginia and to meet with her volunteer legal team in Colorado.
He has said his client joined the Army Reserves out of patriotism and to prevent another terrorist attack like Sept. 11.
Ra'Shadd, part of a group of attorneys in the Denver area with experience in military cases, agreed to take England's case for free.