As Harman saw more and more disturbing incidents, she said she began to document her concerns in letters home to her partner, Kelly Bryant. Bryant said she was worried about Harman. "I just wanted to bring her back to the States, and just wanted to get her away from the awful situation she was in. But I knew there wasn't much she could do."
Bryant and Harman provided letters to "20/20," which they say Harman wrote while working at Abu Ghraib. "20/20" has no way of verifying the letters, but they seem to support her claim that she was horrified by what she saw there. In one letter to Bryant she wrote, "I don't know if I can take it mentally. I thought I could handle anything. I was wrong."
Another way she says she documented her concern was by taking photos. "Whatever I saw I took a picture of," she said. Harman said she planned to give her photos to the media. But she never offered any photos to the press until now.
She also failed to bring them to the attention of high-ranking officers. "I don't think I had the authority to stop it. I didn't know who I could turn to," she told "20/20."
She said she didn't feel she was able to complain to someone higher up in the chain of command. Pressed by Vargas as to why she didn't speak up, she said, "Who are you going to tell? It seemed, like, impossible at the time, like, to tell. Who did not know? We thought everybody knew." She says the photographs were so well known among U.S. personnel at the prison that some people even used the photographs as screen savers on their computers.
Harman said she doesn't know what led her to pose behind the pyramid of naked prisoners. "I can't answer. I really don't know. Everything just happened so fast," she told "20/20." " ... I wish I never had taken it. Like I wish I wasn't even there that night, but some things you can't change."
One of the most disturbing aspects of the photo is the happy expression on Harman's face. She looks as though she's having fun. But, she said, "I was never having fun. You can only be there for so long without having -- you go numb. That's all I can say, is that you completely detach your reality from everything that's going on."
Harman's defense attorney Frank Spinner said it was Harman's desire to document the abuse that led her to pose in that photo. "You have to put it in context," he said, "She's taking pictures and then all of a sudden, somebody says something to her and she just joins in the picture. I think it was just a human reaction, a human response."
Harman went home to Virginia and her partner, Bryant, for a two-week Thanksgiving leave the day after the photo was taken. Bryant said Harman was having anxiety attacks. "She'd break down and cry. She was very clingy to me and to those that she loved most," Bryant said. She said Harman told her she was thinking of turning over her photographs to the media. Instead, she gave them to Bryant to hold for safekeeping.
"Sabrina gave me a CD of all of the pictures she had taken while she was over at the prison. She didn't give me specific instructions to go to the media, just to hold onto those pictures until she returned," Bryant said.
Harman said she didn't want to turn over the photos at that time because, "I didn't want to be in the military when I gave them out." She said she didn't trust anyone in the military and was afraid she'd get in trouble.