Insight Into Abu Ghraib

By: Justin Ware
By: Justin Ware

Bobbi Cullen's three-year-old son is adjusting very well to life with mom back home in Nekoosa.

Cullen is also happy to be back, although she says she avoids the news in part because it makes her feel guilty for leaving Iraq before the job was done, but when she does watch the news, Cullen is reminded of places she'd been while in Iraq.

About a month and a half ago Bobbi Jo Cullen returned to her friends and family here in central Wisconsin. She Brought with her plenty of stories from her time in Iraq, one of those stories was news of an investigation of abuse at a prison near Baghdad.

Cullen was working at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq last December, the same prison where the alleged abuse took place.

"We heard that there was some kind of investigation going on, but they never gave us any details," said Cullen.

That was more than five months before CBS News first discovered the photos of prisoners being abused.

Since then, several lawmakers have questioned Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld as to why they and the public were kept in the dark for so long.

Rumsfeld claims both he and President Bush were aware of the abuse, but not of its severity.

"Let there be no doubt about that he was just as blindsided as the Congress and me and anyone else," said Rumsfeld.

Cullen says she was also surprised, as well as angered by the disgrace it causes the military.

For the year she spent in Iraq, Cullen says she never witnessed anything like what's shown in these pictures.

"I mean, we were over there and we didn't see it. Obviously, it's not everybody over there. It's just a couple of people that ruined it for everybody," said Cullen.

Now she worries that the pictures being spread across the Arab world will further damage the United States' image, an image that appears to be more and more fragile with each passing day.