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US Army ‘kill team’ in Afghanistan Posed for Photos of Murdered Civilians

Oh no but I thought they attacked us for our freedoms?

(hat tip: Saladin)

US Army ‘kill team’ in Afghanistan posed for photos of murdered civilians

by Joe Boone (Guardian)

Commanders in Afghanistan are bracing themselves for possible riots and public fury triggered by the publication of “trophy” photographs of US soldiers posing with the dead bodies of defenceless Afghan civilians they killed.

Senior officials at Nato‘s International Security Assistance Force in Kabul 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.

They fear that the pictures could be even more damaging as they show the aftermath of the deliberate murders of Afghan civilians by a rogue US Stryker tank unit that operated in the southern province of Kandahar last year.

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, the possession of images of human casualties and drug abuse.

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

The case has already created shock around the world, particularly with the revelations that the men cut “trophies” from the bodies of the people they killed.

An investigation by Der Spiegel has unearthed approximately 4,000 photos and videos taken by the men.

The magazine, which is planning to publish only three images, said that in addition to the crimes the men were on trial for there are “also entire collections of pictures of other victims that some of the defendants were keeping”.

The US military has strived to keep the pictures out of the public domain fearing it could inflame feelings at a time when anti-Americanism in Afghanistan is already running high.

In a statement, the army said it apologised for the distress caused by photographs “depicting actions repugnant to us as human beings and contrary to the standards and values of the United States“.

The lengthy Spiegel article that accompanies the photographs contains new details about the sadistic behaviour of the men.

In one incident in May last year, the article says, during a patrol, the team apprehended a mullah who was standing by the road and took him into a ditch where they made him kneel down.

The group’s leader, Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs, then allegedly threw a grenade at the man while an order was given for him to be shot.

Afterwards, Gibbs is described cutting off one of the man’s little fingers and removing a tooth.

The patrol team later claimed to their superiors that the mullah had tried to threaten them with a grenade and that they had no choice but to shoot.

On Sunday night many organisations employing foreign staff, including the United Nations, ordered their staff into a “lockdown”, banning all movements around Kabul and requiring people to remain in their compounds.

In addition to the threat from the publication of the photographs, security has been heightened amid fears the Taliban may try to attack Persian new year celebrations.

There could also be attacks because Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, is due to make a speech declaring which areas of the country should be transferred from international to Afghan control in the coming months.

One security manager for the US company DynCorp sent an email to clients warning that publication of the photos was likely “to incite the local population” as the “severity of the incidents to be revealed are graphic and extreme”.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/ Chynna

    Wait, I cannot fathom it being so straigthforrawd.

  • Pingback: Havey, Jack » Blog Archive » Civilians pictures

  • jacque

    Dan states: Stop trying to imply that Muslims are blameless and do no wrong.

    Did you not read my response to you a few days ago?

    All those examples you gave have happened, in one form or another, in the United States as well. You have a problem. You seem to hate yourself. I urge you to get some psychiatric treatment.

  • Khushboo

    LOL I do agree with AJ. Dan, please stay on topic PLEASE! Bus bohat ho gaya! Tum ne paglo ko bohat zada hamari buri khabar di hai.

  • http://aayjay.wordpress.com/ AJ

    “When Pakistani army does the same thing in Baluchistan, you won’t utter a single word.”

    Yes I will condemn it WHEN IT GETS PUBLISHED HERE. For the NTH time, this FORUM IS NOT ABOUT WHAT PAKISTANI GOERNMENT DOES TO NON-MUSLIMS. It is about ISLAMOPHOBIA.

    What you do here would be equivalent to going to a Holocaust survivor board DAY AND NIGHT and asking the people not to grieve over their family members ANY TIME ANYBODY WRITES ANYTHING because they have not criticized what Israeli settlers have done to Palestinians. Yes, the Holocaust survivors have a right to grieve on a Holocaust survivor forum without having criticized what their coreligionists did on some other part of the planet.

  • Dan

    AJ: When Pakistani army does the same thing in Baluchistan, you won’t utter a single word.

    And you dare call me the degraded individual you conspiracy theorist wackjob?

    Pakistanis have no problem killing Bahraini protesters at the behest of the fat Gulf sheikhs and yet they complain about oppression and persecution at the hands of the kuffar?

    Excuse me if I call out on their hypocrisy.

  • IbnAbuTalib

    Dan: And besides, for all the hatred Pakistanis have against the U.S., it doesn’t stop any of them from begging for a green card to settle here, does it?

    I think that is true of most desis, rather than just Pakistanis.

  • http://aayjay.wordpress.com/ AJ

    Dan,

    This is an article about how American army kill teams are hunting and murdering civilians, cutting off their body parts as trophies and posing with their dead corpses and you managed to twist that around to grunt about how Muslims always present themselves as victims.

    What a degraded individual you are!

    AJ

  • Khushboo

    ^Yeah, I totally understand. Everytime we go to parties, that’s all they talk about. Pakistan this..Pakistan that..So boring!

  • Mosizzle

    I was joking. I’ve seen many uncles (and often aunties) get angry and stressed whenever the news is on. Seriously guys, can’t we watch something else? Even Glee would be better.

    :D

  • Khushboo

    Dan, I appreciate your explanation but I feel you’re only adding fuel to the fire. You’re giving Islamophobes more info. to hate us with. They’re not going to call it a Pakistani problem, but instead, will use your info. to call it a “Muslim problem”.

  • Khushboo

    “Let’s all act like typical overseas Pakistanis and throw stuff at the TV whenever the News is on but never do anything about the issue when given the chance”.

    Mosizzle, what do you suggest we do besides complain?

  • Dan

    @muhammad ‘abd-al haqq: I definitely see your point. I guess I felt it would be better if a Muslim were to point out the wrongdoings of these extremists and to call out the keyboard jihadis within out midst, than allowing the Islamophobes that job because they don’t care about the well being of Muslims. I just get frustrated with the victimization mentality and the culture of denial that permeates Muslims these days.

    I just think a little more perspective is needed on here. People think the West is somehow worse for Muslims than it is for Muslims in Muslim countries. At least those who commit hate crimes against Muslims are often punished, while those who kill Christians and other minority groups often get a slap on the wrist in a lot of cases. Even at the West at its worst, I’d rather live here than to live in those Muslim countries.

  • http://abdalhaqq.wordpress.com/ muhammad ‘abd-al haqq

    Dan,

    I understand where you are coming from, and even agree with many of the things you have said on this site. However, don’t you think constantly mentioning Muslim wrongdoings on a site dedicated to exposing Islamophobia comes across as Muslim vilification? Think about it.

    Every time LW, or a similar site that allows comments, posts an article discussing Islamophobia or Islamophobic loons, the comments sections are literally bombarded with tu quouque, police blotter propaganda designed to distract away from the issue at hand, while attempting to demonize, vilify, villainize, and dehumanize Muslims further. Can’t you see that what you are doing is counterproductive? Especially since Loonwatch in no way supports Muslim extremism of any kind. Why don’t you and I work together to expose Muslim extremists for what they are instead?

    I am working on a project to refute Extremist ideology, using Islamic theological, jurisprudential, and traditional grounds. It is so obvious what the Extremists and terrorists do is not legitimately Islamic, but the education and the scholarship, academic or otherwise, that supports it is just not out there enough. And Muslim hypocrisy when it comes to certain issues is self-evident, but constantly bringing it up here serves no purpose, as it is often wildly off-topic.

    Allahu A’lam
    —————–

    Allahu A’lam
    ———————————

    “This sacred knowledge shall be borne by reliable authorities from each generation, who will preserve it from the distortions of extremists, the plans of the corrupt and the false explanations of the ignorant.” (Narrated mursal by Al-Bayhaqi in Kitab al-Madkhal on the authority of Ibrahim bin ‘Abd al-Rahman al-’Udhri.)

  • Mosizzle

    To be honest, there’s no point arguing about this. If you ever watch the videos of the terrorist commanders on the Internet, or read their statements, they are dead serious about what they are doing. They genuinely think that the government has no legitimacy because they collaborating with non-Muslims and the people are legal to kill because they voted them in.

    The terrorists have all the reasons they need, and all the weapons they need and a dangerous takfiri ideology to top it all off. The CIA, even if it wanted to for some reason to destabilise it’s main ally in it’s War on Terror, doesn’t need to get involved. We’re all shootin’ ourselves anyways.

    Again, no point arguing about this. We all have our opinions and none of us can do anything about it. Let’s all act like typical overseas Pakistanis and throw stuff at the TV whenever the News is on but never do anything about the issue when given the chance. :D

  • Dan

    I just think it’s hilarious how a lot of Muslims keep bringing up Hiroshima and Nagasaki as proof of the evil of Americans yet ignore how the Japanese brutally occupied most of Asia, including Muslim Indonesia and Malaysia.

    Doesn’t seem to bother anyone, does it?

    @AJ: “Right across the border you have American troops but Al-Qaeda like blowing up only Muslims and not the ones in discotheques or wife swapping parties (NOT that I want that – just want to make sure that Dan doesn’t jump out and starts accusing me of that) but the ones praying in mosques. Something is VERY wrong with the picture. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the “cause and effect” don’t agree here.”

    Yeah because they didn’t blow up the Sheraton Hotel in Islamabad 3 years ago, right?

    And stop acting as if blowing up mosques is unique to Pakistan. Al-Qaeda in Iraq had no shame in blowing up Shi’a mosques (and let’s be honest, hatred of Shi’as is WIDESPREAD in Pakistan) and even blew up a Shi’a shrine in Samarra and I saw people on Islamic message boards celebrating the destruction of the shrine as well. Some of the most vile hatred of Shi’as come from Pakistani Sunnis, whether it’s over there or over here. I remember on 4 July 2003, a Shi’a mosque in Quetta was bombed by a suicide bomber which was mostly full of Hazaras (after all, they are treacherous since they only fought against the Afghan Taliban), to which they proudly took responsibility for.

    Do you forget the fact that the London bombers’ funeral had thousands of people in Pakistan? How do you expect the British people to trust Pakistanis there when they won’t man up and condemn the extremists on their own end?

    @Jacque: Stop trying to imply that Muslims are blameless and do no wrong.

    @Mosizzle: “I can understand why people blame the CIA — it has done crap like this many, many times before.”

    Suicidal operations are not the hallmarks of the CIA. Only Islamic extremists are more obsessed with suicide attacks. No one is dumb enough to blow themselves up for the CIA though. I do agree with you on why some can see it, but again, this isn’t just another covert operation.

    And besides, for all the hatred Pakistanis have against the U.S., it doesn’t stop any of them from begging for a green card to settle here, does it?

    @Khushboo: I am sorry you feel that way but the more I visit extremist Islamic message boards like IslamicAwakening where some Pakistani posters are supportive of extremists and wish the West would fall under Taliban-style Islamic law in addition to supporting the brutal subjugation of Shi’as and other minority groups, the more disgust I hold against other Pakistanis for allowing extremism to flourish even in the West. By the way, this year will be 40 years since the Pakistani military committed the most horrific atrocities against fellow Muslims in Bangladesh, and now history has repeat itself in Baluchistan. So for Pakistanis to complain about the US military while ignoring how their own extremists that they help raise, in addition to the campaign in Baluchistan, it’s hypocritical.

  • Mosizzle

    “But time will tell”

    Yes. I hope.

    I can understand why people blame the CIA — it has done crap like this many, many times before.

  • http://aayjay.wordpress.com/ AJ

    jacque, agreed.

  • http://aayjay.wordpress.com/ AJ

    Mosizzle,

    “I guess it’s easier to just blame it on the CIA.”

    If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it is perhaps a duck. Plus if there are rogue units involved in kill teams in Afghanistan and Army tries to suppress that info why is it such a stretch of imagination to question if there are rogue units of CIA/Blackwater involved in civilian deaths in Pakistan?

    Anyway, if CIA is involved, it’s not that it will be the first time.

    But time will tell. My kids read about the atrocities in the American Civil War and Hiroshima and Vietnam and the African-American Civil Rights Movement…so I am hoping not in a distant future they would about the darkest period of time in USA’s history for Muslims.

  • jacque

    Mosizzle states: It’s a complex issue. I guess it’s easier to just blame it on the CIA.

    During the Cold War the biggest arms dealers were the USSR and the United States. The Cold War was only cold between the two states. In the third world, where most of their arms went, millions of people lost their lives.

    That is why when terrorists use weapons, their arms are either made in the USA or USSR. I would argue that it is a fact that the KGB and CIA are to blame for current events. They sold so many arms around the world, they couldn’t keep track of where they ultimately winded up.

    Another thing, the United States claims they are very anti-drugs, locking up millions of its own citizens in prisons throughout the country. However, the CIA helped Hamid Karzai’s brother become the top drug dealer in the country.

  • Mosizzle

    I was a bit embarrassed when I laughed off the idea that Raymond Davis was with the CIA. ‘Damn conspiracy theorists!’ I said…

    :(

    But I still believe that Muslim extremists are conducting the terrorist attacks. They are angry at the “Kaffir” government for aiding the US in killing Muslims and will attack civilians because Pakistan is a democracy (Ha!) and hence they are responsible because they voted for them. The problem is that they can get plenty of support as long as they claim to be fighting under the banner of Islam.

    It’s a complex issue. I guess it’s easier to just blame it on the CIA. :D

    “BTW Pakistan batted really badly!”

    Lol. It was painful to watch.

  • http://aayjay.wordpress.com/ AJ

    Mosizzle, call me a conspiracy theorist but I think outside the box, an exceptional quality :)

    But don’t think for a moment that I think Pakistanis are great and are not capable of evil. Pakistanis are capable of much evil hence the corruption and all the others ills that exist here but there is something wrong with the picture where supposedly an Islamic terror group is targeting mainly Muslims for “Muslim supremacy” as Geller would claim. Right across the border you have American troops but Al-Qaeda like blowing up only Muslims and not the ones in discotheques or wife swapping parties (NOT that I want that – just want to make sure that Dan doesn’t jump out and starts accusing me of that) but the ones praying in mosques. Something is VERY wrong with the picture. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the “cause and effect” don’t agree here.

    It’s sad that the face of Americans that Pakistanis see are the faces of Bush and Cheney and Blackwater and American kill teams and not our neighbors in Cville, my colleagues, TJ’s teachers, etc. The war has to stop.

    BTW Pakistan batted really badly!

  • Khushboo

    Dan, I’m beginning to believe you’re neither Pakistani nor Muslim. Just come out and be honest!

  • Mosizzle

    To be honest, some of the extreme views that Dan is talking about are held by many Pakistanis. Many still refuse to believe that Muslim extremists are conducting terrorist attacks in the country. They recognise that the attacks are wrong but just cannot understand why fellow Pakistanis are killing their own people. The only problem would be if they actively support them, as many do.

    But AJ doesn’t seem to support the terrorists in Pakistan.

    Conspiracy theories are a national sport in Pakistan, you can’t be too shocked if a Pakistani believes some of them :D

    Speaking of national sport, our team lost to India by 29 runs :(

  • jacque

    Dan, stop taking drugs before you post on this site. You are making yourself look bad.

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