News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
SUNDAY, MAY 8, 2005


Infant of Abu Ghraib duo gets divine, fresh start

How miraculous that our children are created in God's image, even the infant child of the Abu Ghraib duo, no matter how far we stray from the pattern.

Mistrial or not, we know Pvt. Lynndie England from the Abu Ghraib pictures. Maybe the judge was right in suggesting that Ms. England thought she was following orders.

But orders do not explain the glee, the grinning, or the cigarette hanging from her lip as she pointed at hooded Iraqis' exposed genitals. Hovering over a stack of naked prisoners, her guffaws were almost audible from the photographs.

Nor is there justification for the father, Pvt. Charles Graner, leering at naked prisoners, hooking electrodes to their bodies and forcing them to smear feces over their faces.

Pvt. Graner's ex-wife, Staci Morris, said Pvt. Graner did not just do these things, he was proud of them.

Ms. Morris said her former husband sent photos from Iraq to his teenage children, in her custody. He would send photos of "these beat up prisoners and blood and talk about how cool it was — look what daddy gets to do," she told CNN.

Enter the infant, child of Pvts. England and Graner. Were there to be a custody battle between the two, it would be macabre.

What an amazing gift, though, that infants start with a blank slate. They do not start with their parents' flaws, but with their own virtues.

When ugliness abounds, we can still hope that the next generation will do better.

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