U.S. Army Soldiers Indulge in Killing Spree of Afghan Civilians

Monday, March 21, 2011

A rogue group of U.S. Army soldiers indulged in the slaughter of Afghani civilians posing with the dead bodies as if they were treasured trophies.

Senior NATO officials in Kabul even have compared the pictures published by the German news weekly Der Spiegel to the images of US soldiers abusing prisoners in Abu Ghraib in Iraq which sparked waves of anti-US protests around the world.

Some of the activities of the self-styled “kill team” are already public, with 12 men currently on trial in Seattle for their role in the killing of three civilians. Five of the soldiers are on trial for pre-meditated murder, after they staged killings to make it look like they were defending themselves from Taliban attacks.

Other charges include the mutilation of corpses. All of the soldiers have denied the charges. They face the death penalty or life in prison if convicted.

In a statement released by Colonel Thomas Collins, the US Army apologized for the suffering the photos have caused. The actions depicted in the photos, the statement read, are “repugnant to us as human beings and contrary to the standards and values of the United States.”

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton telephoned her Afghan counterpart to discuss the situation and try to engage in damage control. National Security Adviser Tom Donilon has contacted officials in Kabul. The case threatens to strain already fragile U.S.-Afghan relations at a time when the two countries are negotiating over the establishment of permanent U.S. military bases in Afghanistan.

The pictures were published by German news organization Der Spiegel and were among 4,000 they have obtained of the atrocities. Commanders in Afghanistan are bracing themselves for a public backlash and possible riots over the horrific ‘trophy’ photographs, especially since it has been alleged that the Afghan civilians were unarmed and innocent.

The U.S. Army suspects are accused of having killed civilians for no reason and then tried to make it look as though the killings had been acts of self-defense. Some of the accused have said the acts had been tightly scripted.

In one incident which was reconstructed based on court documents said the soldiers themselves detonated a hand grenade in order to make it look like they were the subjects of an attack before killing a man. One of those who allegedly participated, Adam Winfield, 21, described the incident to his father in a chat on the social networking site Facebook. “They made it look like the guy threw a grenade at them and mowed him down,” SPIEGEL quotes Winfield as having written in the chat.

In a second incident on Feb. 22, 2010, one of the members of the “kill team” who had been carrying an old Russian Kalashnikov, fired it before pulling out another gun and shooting 22-year-old Afghan Marach Agha. In a third incident on May 2, 2010, it appears that a hand grenade attack was again staged before the shooting and killing of Mullah Allah Dad.

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18 Responses to U.S. Army Soldiers Indulge in Killing Spree of Afghan Civilians

  1. Harry says:

    Abu Obama? Well, Obama had every chance to end the insanity called the Afghanistan war but instead, he chose to triple the number of US troops on the ground.

  2. Harry,

    Mr. Obama is worse than Bush because he knows better but instead, he’s embraced as his own the neocon template of his predecessor for Iraq, Afghanistan and now, Libya.

    I hope he’s impeached. The sooner the better.

  3. Woodcliffe says:

    I blame mission fatigue. When you’re redeployed four, five and even six times, with no end in sight, and without concern for your physical and psychological health, behavior life this is bound to be seen. There are no reasonable grounds for the U.S. military to still be in Afghanistan recycling the same troops over 10 years. It’s pure insanity.

  4. Rachel says:

    Sickening. Disgusting. Appalling. Our cultural addiction to war will ultimately lead to the destruction of this nation. I truly believe we’re at a cross-roads. We can no longer play policeman to the world. The USA is broke and if we don’t begin to fix all that’s damaged and neglected here, just hand the keys to the government in Beijing. We can’t survive much longer.

  5. DMason says:

    These are the times I wish I was Canadian.

  6. fran says:

    Repugnant indeed.

    “repugnant to us as human beings and contrary to the standards and values of the United States.”

    But yet, this kind of thing keeps happening. They never did fully release Abu Ghraib photos, they say these may be even worse, i.e. more offensive.
    The military will always play the “bad apple” card, just these few rogue soldiers… but someone was in command, and these atrocities happened over a period of time.
    No one had any moral compass left to indicate this was wrong or illegal?
    Of course the military is apologetic. Mostly they are sorry they got caught.
    Know that the military will conduct its own kangaroo court.
    Watch now they will play the PTSD card…. they were under duress. When a soldier goes for help w PTSD they are asked to prove it…. what & when exactly made them go over the edge???
    Maybe they will have on sacrificial lamb who gets the max penalty, but I bet most (especially the higher ranking & those in charge) will get a legal hand slap & discipline. Just like Abu Ghraib… most walked away scott free.

    Best case scenario– Afghanistan kicks the whole US military operation out.
    The pending deal for a permanent US military base- scrapped.
    Obama… well he’s on to the next war in Libya…. but not to worry, he’s off visiting Brazil & Chile. Besides, he’s declared nuclear power plants safe as well.

    Will he be sitting down to a meal of radioactive spinach & milk from Japan?
    Not bloody likely.

  7. CriticalEyes says:

    We should behead these animals ourselves………… On live TV for the Afghan people to witness! This is what happens when you try to fight a War with a volunteer army, and there aren’t enough volunteers…… You have to start signing up people from the bottom scrapings of the barrel of society. Either re-institute the draft…. or stop fighting stupid wars!!! Ghod-damn-it!

  8. CriticalEyes says:

    My Country has made me ashamed to call myself an American. It actually started with George Without a Brain BUSHIT!

  9. Estacada says:

    “In a statement released by Colonel Thomas Collins, the US Army apologized for the suffering the photos have caused.”

    The apology from Collins is for the photos?

    What about the murders. These men were sons, presumably fathers, boyfriends, uncles and cousins, of someone in Afghanistan. But no apology for the murders?

    Isn’t Yankee hubris great??? 😦

  10. Thank goodness for Der Spiegel.

    Call me paranoid but it makes me wonder if President Pootie Tang’s bizarre and wholly unconstitutional decision to begin bombing Libya has something to do with redirecting the braindead American, corporate media away from covering this story and onto our third war?

  11. Jolly Roger says:

    People wonder why I’m in favor of a draft with few or no exemptions.

    Right here, is why. Maybe if Chip and Buffy had to serve in the wars they all cheer on so much, they’d come to understand how horrible war is. And maybe Chip and Buffy’s ra-ra Rushpubliscum parents would actually want these wars to end.

  12. Abbey Peripatetic says:

    Have any of you fine people read the novel “Clan of the Cave Bear?”

    In it, the five-year old Cro-Magnon girl “Ayla” is orphaned and left homeless to die by an earthquake that destroys her family’s camp. She wanders naked and unable to feed herself, for several days, having been attacked and nearly killed by a cave lion and suffering from starvation, exhaustion, and infection of her wounds, she collapses, on the verge of death.

    She is discovered and taken in by group of Neanderthal people.

    Ayla eventually grows and realizes that the Neanderthal people who she considers to be her family can’t change — they’re unable to adapt and evolve. Ayla sees how her “clan” will not survive the evolutionary process underway and they will soon die off.

    I’m beginning to think we homo sapiens, we Americans, have much in common with the Neanderthal people. We make the same mistakes over and over and we don’t learn from our errors.

    For Americans, past is truly prologue and I am frightened by this.

  13. Randy Arroyo says:

    I’ll bet you $100 Barry Obama will pardon any soldier convicted of these human rights atrocities. He has no military record of his own, so this will be his way of currying favor with the Pentagon brass. After all, he doesn’t want to wind up like JFK, who dared to oppose the Hawks.

  14. Pechanga says:

    Check out the New York Times. There’s a virtual and deliberate news blackout about Abu Afghanistan. This story is way too hot for the boys and girls on 53rd Street.

    Curious, huh???

  15. lea-lea says:

    I had a shitty day at work today. But at least I have a job to complain about. I’m about to watch Dancing with the Stars and try to relax and forget that I live in a country with a military who behaves like this, and a president who lied to the voters in 2008 about ending not only the war in Iraq but also, the war in Afghanistan.

    Tonight I make no apologies for my shallowness but there are moments when I read a piece like this I just want to puke. Good night everyone.

  16. Nan Yun says:

    President Obama needs to address the people about the invasion of Libya, the purpose and goals of the mission, and speak to this appalling carnage carried out in Afghanistan by the US military. For someone known for his oratory skills, the time is overdue for him to put his skills to some good use or he is going to lose the support of the nation.

  17. Joe in Colorado says:

    And to think, these are the men who would one day become our nation’s police and be responsible to enforcing the laws of our cities and towns? See why I’m so opposed to recruiting former military to be police?

  18. Vivzzz says:

    I agree with Mr. Arroyo. O-bomba will pardon the soldiers convicted of these killings.

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