Sunday, September 13, 2009

Lynndie England Sues Man Who Wrote Her Biography

"Tortured: Lynndie England, Abu Ghraib and the Photographs That Shocked the World"has sold somewhere between 20 and a few hundred copies according to Gary S. Winkler, the man who wrote it. To add to Winkler's problems, he is now being sued by England who claims that Winkler has stolen her story (and its profits) from her.

A quick check of shows the book at number 371,361 - with one copy in stock. From those numbers, I have to suspect that the profits are minimal, at the very best. According to the Charleston (West Virginia) Daily Mail:
Winkler denies any wrongdoing and said he welcomes a Sept. 23 hearing in Hampshire County Circuit Court.

"The book is not selling well,'' said Winkler, of Fincastle, Va. "I think there's this impression I've been sitting on this cash. I wish it were true. ... Nobody's getting rich here. I'm in the hole.''
The Huff & Bluff blog (some still insist on calling it the Huffington Post) quotes Winkler as saying:
Winkler said his relationship with England, Hardy (England's attorney) and Hardy's wife, Christy, has been difficult from the start, when he signed on to what he believed would be an autobiography. But he said he took on a bigger role when England had trouble communicating.

"She's not a deep person unless you make her reflect on what was going on," Winkler said. "The only way to get anything out of her was to go up there and get into her home and sit down at her kitchen table. I had to hammer her. I sat with her for countless hours. I wanted people to see a human being."
What a mess. Why don't I feel sorry for any of these folks? Torture is what I would have to experience before I would even consider reading this.


  1. Yeah, ditto. I'm not interested in her story.

  2. Maybe the torture is in the reading.

    But that would be wrong. Torture, that is.

    PS My word verification? "sucksm" How appropriate.

  3. I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Winkler for my military blog about this book. I was able to get a review copy of the book since I first trashed it when it came out ignorantly thinking England was responsible for writing it.

    After being contacted by Gary Winkler, I agreed to give it a chance. Despite what is being written about it, it's not a glowing excuse for Lynndie's behavior. She's still the scum of the earth and while she tries to present excuses for her behavior, Winkler gives her no quarter or slack.

    It's actually a very compelling story. While not excusing any behavior, it does provide a background for how she got to where she was in 2003-2004.

    I think the main thing the book will show is that the actions of Lynndie England and her band of miscreant morons were a stain on the rest of the unit that performed admirable elsewhere on the camp.

    Believe me, I'm not Lynndie apologist. I think she got off easy and should have been charged with the murder of every Soldier killed for the next twelve months after those photos came out. But, this book shouldn't be the scapegoat.

    Just my $.02.

  4. You are not interested in reading this book. Are you interested in reading the books by those (Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and George W. Bush) who authorized, encouraged, and ordered her and others to torture Iraqi prisoners?

  5. BookFool, I suspect that most people will be so turned off by the cover of the book that they won't even open it if they spot it on display.

  6. Factotum, it's amazing how many times that the verification word seems to be designed just for the comment being made. You're right - it would be torture to read the story. I just don't want to be reminded of this despicable group of soldiers and what they did to disgrace their country and add to the death count in Iraq.

  7. CJ, your points are very well taken and I appreciate them. Like you, I first assumed that England actually had the capacity to write something herself, even if only via a tape that would be transcribed and cleaned up by an editor. Apparently, I was being way too kind to the woman.

    I think that Mr. Winkler has an uphill battle to get much exposure for his efforts. From what you say, the book might be worth a read. I don't know that I have the stomach for it, though. I just can't get past what this trash did to get fellow soldiers killed - and the way that the press was so happy to oblige these morons by posting the pictures. The New York Times and others are equally despicable, IMO, to the criminals who got off way too lightly.

    Thanks for taking the time to respond with your thoughts.

  8. No, Tony, not in the least - not that I agree with your version of what any of those men did. I simply find political memoirs to be self-serving, boring, ass-covering exercises and have no interest in them no matter who the "author" might be.

  9. Tony, you are so wrong, I can't even find a good enough adjective to describe it. I'm an interrogator. I've been an Army interrogator for almost ten years, in the Army 15. Nothing that Lynndie England and the other morons at Abu Ghraib or anywhere else was "authorized, encouraged, or ordered" by Rumsfeld, Cheney, or Bush. NOTHING! Those war criminals in the Graner/England clan broke the law and our own values with their actions.

    I was at Abu Ghraib - though not the same section as that platoon of the 372nd Military Police Company - as well as Fallujah and we NEVER treated prisoners like that. We knew the rules because they were well-discussed in training as well as during the briefings prior to going in. A Captain was relieved in Fallujah because he wanted to use a cattle prod to get the prisoners to move when they failed to obey.

    You can blame Bush, Cheney, Rumseld and make all the scapegoats you want, but the fact is that you're wrong. The people responsible are England, Graner, the other troops involved and the leaders that failed to do anything about it at the hard site. It makes for great Bush-bashing, but it's not based on fact and denigrates all the rest of us who did the right thing and obeyed the laws and conventions.

  10. CJ, first, thank you very much for your service to this country. We appreciate it.

    Second, thanks for such a spirited response to Tony. I find it sad that so many people suffer from "Bush derangement," but they really do. For them, it is all about a man they hate, a man they continue to blame for everything that goes wrong almost a year after he has left office. I suppose it is the easiest approach to life - it certainly seems to appeal to the current residents of the White House.

    As you say, people like England and her pathetic lover are the exception to the rule. They are responsible for their own sick actions and we shame ourselves by letting them off so lightly. They should all be locked up for a couple of decades, IMO.

  11. Thank you, Kaye. Frankly, I am so fed up with our two political parties that I will not likely vote for either of their presidential candidates in 2012. They are just different gredations (started to use the word "shade" but didn't want to be called a racist by those who love to play that trump card)of the larger group known as progressives.