Before reading this article, we ask you to read our Intent and Disclaimer document to clarify and deepen the understanding of our words.
The focus in our work on The Sociopathic Style™ is on the victim, not the perpetrator. Much is written and will be written on the psychopathic personality. Much is to be discovered. The victim, however, is often overlooked, forgotten or not seen. Sometimes the victim is seen as the perpetrator. The process whereby that happens is the true skill of the psychopath [I am using the term “psychopath to indicate the individual who is 100% committed to the Sociopathic Relationship Style]. When that happens at the societal level it is a clear example of a phantom psychopath at work.
Pfc. Lynndie England was photographed at Abu Ghraib Prison participating in the torture of prisoners. She was quickly seen as a villain, a sadomasochistic perpetrator, evil itself and the poster child for the sick abuser the American military was cast into by those who chose to polarize the activities of the United States in the middle-east.
As a result of her military court process much is coming to light. Of particular interest from The Sociopathic Style™ perspective is the real human accounts of her life and her relationship with Cpl. [now Pvt.] Charles Graner.
KATE ZERNIKE in a recent article the New York Times; 5/10/05:
“Private Graner, 36, a Pennsylvania prison guard and a former marine, had rejoined the military in a burst of patriotism after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He was fresh from an ugly divorce in 2000. His ex-wife, Staci Morris, had taken out three protective orders against him, and after he was arrested for harassing her in 2001, Private Graner admitted that he had dragged her around by her hair… He introduced (Staci Morris and Lynndie England) the two women, and Ms. Morris said she felt “selfish relief” that with someone new, her ex-husband would stop being obsessed with her. And she liked Private England, finding her quiet and adoring…”If he was as charming with her as he is with most women at the beginning, I can understand it,” Ms. Morris said. “Charming, compliments, you name it. The things you would love to hear as a young woman.”
It would be hard to find a better description of a person committed to The Sociopathic Style™ than the above description of Charles Graner by his ex-wife, Ms. Morris.
- He was in an occupation that is a position of power over other people on a daily basis.
- He rallies to the fight when an attack occurs.
- He is physically abusive to the point of having three protective orders taken out against him.
- His ex-wife feels relief when he has another woman in his life so he will give up his obsession with her.
- He was charming with women giving them all the words they would love to hear.
And now let us look at how he involved himself with Lynndie England. Kate Zernike continues writing:
“In Iraq, Private England was disciplined several times for sleeping with Private Graner, against military rules. She flouted warnings to stay on the wing where she worked as a clerk and spent most of her nights in the cellblock where he worked the night shift.
One night in October, he told her to pose for photographs holding a leash tied around the neck of a naked and crawling detainee. He e-mailed one home: “Look what I made Lynndie do.” The now infamous pictures of detainees masturbating, he said, were a birthday gift for her.”
And how he involves himself with another woman: [Again, as an aside, the psychopath will almost always have another woman waiting in the wings as he is unconsciously terrified of abandonment.]
“Specialist Ambuhl, who has been discharged from the Army, was Private Graner’s partner on the night shift…She had been involved with another soldier in the unit. But by late December, she had ended that relationship and started one with Private Graner…She reassured him that she would not get back together with her ex-boyfriend…But Private Graner had not completely cut off relations with Private England. On Jan. 2, 2004, he was caught sleeping in Private England’s quarters and demoted…A few days later, Ms. Ambuhl e-mailed him again, “I really do care about you,” she wrote. “It’s just that part of me says I just got hurt from a relationship so don’t put myself in the position to get hurt again.”
After Graner developed a relationship with Ms. Ambuhl, Lynndie England discovered she was pregnant with his child:
“Private Graner, quickly identified as the ringleader in the abuse, e-mailed his father in early March to discuss the accusations against him, then popped “more good news:” Private England was two months pregnant – he spelled her name Lynndie – and the pregnancy would most likely get them sent home from Iraq. They found out she was pregnant two days after breaking up. “I stopped seeing her back in January but when all this garbage came out i started seeing her again,” he wrote, “chances are very good that it is my child….o well….daddy what did you bring home from the war????”
Lynndie England leaves the scene: [Parenthetically: By Graner having another woman at his side or he would not be faced with his inner emptiness, the core of the abandonment anxiety].
“Private England – but not Private Graner – was sent back to the United States because of the pregnancy. The Army moved Private Graner and Ms. Ambuhl, along with four other soldiers under investigation, to a tent apart from the rest of their unit. And they resumed their relationship… Privates England and Graner were no longer speaking when their son was born in October. She named him Carter Allan England.”
Graner then proposes marriage to Ms. Ambuhl:
“The two spent evenings together during the trial, and it was there that Private Graner proposed. He was convicted, sentenced to 10 years in a military prison and demoted from specialist to private. He had earlier been demoted from corporal.”
“Ms. Ambuhl had gone back to work at the laboratory and was living with her parents. They accompanied her to Fort Hood for the wedding in April. Another man stood in for Private Graner because he had begun serving his sentence and Ms. Ambuhl, as an admitted co-conspirator, is not allowed to see him.”
And finally let’s come back to Lynndie England by again referring to the article by Kate Zernike.
“Private England heard about the wedding from her lawyers, who heard about it from a reporter the Friday before her trial was to begin. She had worked out a plea agreement that limited her time in prison to 30 months, and the jury could have given her less time. She planned to have her son live with her mother while she was in prison.”
“Ms. Morris, Private Graner’s ex-wife, had been subpoenaed to tell the jury that Private Graner was a bad influence, and over pizza in a hotel room, she befriended Private England. She told Private England that she regretted not warning her away from him at the beginning. “She said, ‘I guess I should be grateful for Megan (Ambuhl)?’ ” Ms. Morris recalled, “And I said, ‘Yeah, honey, you should be.’ ”
“The day before his testimony, Private Graner sent a note to reporters saying he regretted that “Lynn” had pleaded guilty and hoped her plea would get her a light sentence. Private England did not return any such affection. She leaned down to a courtroom artist sketching Mr. Graner: “Don’t forget the horns and goatee.”
“Prosecutors advised defense lawyers against putting Private Graner on the stand, but they did it anyway. He testified that he had ordered Private England to remove a prisoner from a cell by a leash and that it had been a legitimate military exercise. This presented what seemed to be a contradiction – a defendant pleading guilty but presenting a witness who testified that she was innocent. The military judge threw out her plea agreement and ordered that the court-martial process start over. “It’s nothing you did,” the judge, Col. James L. Pohl, told her, “It’s what he did.”
Private England turned to Ms. Morris. “Well, he screws everything up, doesn’t he?” Ms. Morris recalled Private England saying.
“I have to agree with you,” Ms. Morris replied.
All italicized sections above are from an article by KATE ZERNIKE, in The New York Times, May 10, 2005
[I need to insert a brief note. I believe that, in the best execution of a judge’s duty, this judge recognized her victimization and used the law to pull her out of the victimization and help her.]
I have quoted from this article by Kate Zernike at length because it so eloquently illustrates the wreckage left in the trail of the psychopath. We are not only witnessing the debris left of the lives of three young women [I count Ms. Ambuhl as one of the three, as the story of her future with Pvt. Graner has yet to unfold and I will all but guarantee it will be tragic and, she will not be the last].
We are witnessing also the life of a new child brought onto this Earth in the midst of such rubble, the prisoners at Abu Ghraib, the thousands of hours of time spent by highly qualified professionals to untangle the mess and the millions of dollars spent by our military and our government, the besmirching of the reputation of the United States and all its citizens in the eyes of the world and I am sure the debris will pile higher and higher.
I am certain many women can identify with this story. This story is very familiar to many of the people we have worked with. The story is the same. You just plug in different names, different places, and different events. The story is a classical example of Sociopathic Style Archetypes.
Lynndie England is not the only victim of this one person, we all are!
This illustrates one of the most important points we are making in our work on The Sociopathic Style™: The cost to the individuals involved is tragic; the cost to society of this relationship style is huge beyond comprehension!
Remember, this is the story of the web woven by just one psychopath. There are hundreds of thousands of these stories unfolding throughout the world as you read this article. We pay the price.
Oh, and by the way, what is the price paid by Charles Graner Jr.? He was convicted, sentenced to 10 years in a military prison and demoted to private.
As a final note, I would like to quote from another article written in the Dallas Morning News on May 13, 2005.
This comes from columnist Richard Cohen:
“There is no end to the sadness of Lynndie England. There is no excusing what she did, but explaining is a different matter. She is that rare genuine article, the cliché, and the stereotype that turns out upon investigation to be true. She lived with her family in a trailer in West Virginia. She’s only a high school graduate. She married when she was 19 — on a lark, she told her friends, and then for only two years.”
“She joined the Army Reserve…for college money (she wanted to be a meteorologist and chase storms). She had an affair or something with Graner in Iraq and has a baby by him. He apparently encouraged her to abuse prisoners. He also married another woman.”
“A psychologist from her home area testified that England had been a blue baby, born also with a malformation of the tongue that gave her a speech impediment. Apparently, she often chose not to talk at all. She had a learning disability as well. And you can see — can’t you? — what no one will testify to, she’s homely — and that matters for a woman in America…”
“She is the sort of woman who gets used by others, most often men. Powerless everywhere in life except on her end of the leash, she just had to come night after night to the section of Abu Ghraib where Graner held sway…I could have said no,” she told the military court. “I knew it was wrong.” But in all likelihood, only theoretically could she have said no. Some women always say yes.”
“How sad, how ironic, that this wee woman should become the personification of supposed American arrogance. Like all those convicted for the abuses of Abu Ghraib, she is one of America’s little people — not an officer, not even regular Army, but one of a collection of nobodies just trying to get somewhere better. Lynndie England was one of them, and she is suffering for that — officially for abusing prisoners, actually for being a loser. Whatever the outcome of her trial, the sentence will be life.”
Dr. John L. McCormick; May 15, 2005