• ARRSE have partnered with Armadillo Merino to bring you an ARRSE exclusive, generous discount offer on their full price range.
    To keep you warm with the best of Merino gear, visit www.armadillomerino.co.uk and use the code: NEWARRSE40 at the checkout to get 40% off!
    This superb deal has been generously offered to us by Armadillo Merino and is valid until midnight on the the 28th of February.

Kill Team Photos

#1
Bloody kids these days; no appreciation for what 'deniability' means now that they all take millions of photos and post everything to Facebook....


During the first five months of last year, a platoon of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan went on a shooting spree, killing at least four unarmed civilians and mutilating several of the corpses. The “kill team” – members of the 5th Stryker Brigade stationed near Kandahar – took scores of photos chronicling their kills and their time in Afghanistan. Even before the war crimes became public, the Pentagon went to extraordinary measures to suppress the photos, launching a massive effort to find every file and pull the pictures out of circulation before they could touch off a scandal on the scale of Abu Ghraib.

The images – more than 150 of which have been obtained by Rolling Stone – portray a front-line culture among U.S. troops in which killing innocent civilians is seen as a cause for celebration. “Most people within the unit disliked the Afghan people,” one of the soldiers told Army investigators. “Everyone would say they’re savages.”

Many of the photos depict explicit images of violent deaths that have yet to be identified by the Pentagon. Among the soldiers, the collection was treated like a war memento. It was passed from man to man on thumb drives and hard drives, the gruesome images of corpses and war atrocities filed alongside clips of TV shows, UFC fights and films such as Iron Man 2. One soldier kept a complete set, which he made available to anyone who asked.


The Kill Team Photos: | Rolling Stone Politics | Photos
 
#3
Haven't people been taking pictures of corpses on the battlefield since at least the American Civil War? And don't our noble enemies like to have themselves filmed as they cut our heads off? The only thing I would say is that if the soldiers next to the corpses in the photos are grinning then it may be because of post-action nerves, and the relief at winning, rather than some kinky psychological problem.
 
#4
Haven't people been taking pictures of corpses on the battlefield since at least the American Civil War? And don't our noble enemies like to have themselves filmed as they cut our heads off?
We are supposed to be portraying ourselves as the more civilised side...

The only thing I would say is that if the soldiers next to the corpses in the photos are grinning then it may be because of post-action nerves, and the relief at winning, rather than some kinky psychological problem.
Because psychopaths/sociopaths have never been employed in the Armed Forces...
 
#7
Haven't people been taking pictures of corpses on the battlefield since at least the American Civil War? And don't our noble enemies like to have themselves filmed as they cut our heads off? The only thing I would say is that if the soldiers next to the corpses in the photos are grinning then it may be because of post-action nerves, and the relief at winning, rather than some kinky psychological problem.
the problem is they murdered innocent (or at least, unarmed) civilians for sport.

do you condone that?
 
#10
No I don't. If that is what they are doing there, then they will come back here and cause problems. My point is that if a soldier is photographed beside corpses, grinning or not, it does not mean that he has a long term psychological problem.

On the lighter side, if you must be photographed beside your dead enemies, perhaps it would look more stylish if you looked into the distance, Victorian fashion.
 
#11
No I don't. If that is what they are doing there, then they will come back here and cause problems. My point is that if a soldier is photographed beside corpses, grinning or not, it does not mean that he has a long term psychological problem.

On the lighter side, if you must be photographed beside your dead enemies, perhaps it would look more stylish if you looked into the distance, Victorian fashion.
With a pipe between your teeth and your rifle nonchalantly cradled in one arm.
 
#12
"Morlock posing with an Afghan child. The photos collected by soldiers included many shots of local children, often filed alongside images of bloody casualties. At one point, soldiers in 3rd Platoon talked about throwing candy out of a Stryker vehicle as they drove through a village and shooting the children who came running to pick up the sweets."

I'm sory but there is no excuse for that. Therefore, yes, this man does have a long term psychological problem and should not be allowed anywhere near a gun, nevermind representing his country in a war against terror . . .
 
#16
"Morlock posing with an Afghan child. The photos collected by soldiers included many shots of local children, often filed alongside images of bloody casualties. At one point, soldiers in 3rd Platoon talked about throwing candy out of a Stryker vehicle as they drove through a village and shooting the children who came running to pick up the sweets."

I'm sory but there is no excuse for that. Therefore, yes, this man does have a long term psychological problem and should not be allowed anywhere near a gun, nevermind representing his country in a war against terror . . .
When you grow up and study human nature a little you may understand this is merely an extreme end of normality.
 
#17
"Morlock posing with an Afghan child. The photos collected by soldiers included many shots of local children, often filed alongside images of bloody casualties. At one point, soldiers in 3rd Platoon talked about throwing candy out of a Stryker vehicle as they drove through a village and shooting the children who came running to pick up the sweets."

I'm sory but there is no excuse for that. Therefore, yes, this man does have a long term psychological problem and should not be allowed anywhere near a gun, nevermind representing his country in a war against terror . . .
Think Fang Farrier will be enraged by that, he'll be only too aware of plaque acid build up caused by all that sugar.
 
#19
Its a pity the story is shite

"Seldom do I waste time with rebutting articles, and especially not from publications like Rolling Stone. Today, numerous people sent links to the latest Rolling Stone tripe. The story is titled “THE KILL TEAM, THE FULL STORY.” It should be titled: “BULLSHIT, from Rolling Stone.”

The story—not really an “article”—covers Soldiers from 5/2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT) in Afghanistan. A handful of Soldiers were accused of murder. It does in fact appear that a tiny group of rogues committed premeditated murder. I was embedded with the 5/2 SBCT and was afforded incredible access to the brigade by the Commander, Colonel Harry Tunnell, and the brigade Command Sergeant Major, Robb Prosser. I know Robb from Iraq. Colonel Tunnell had been shot in Iraq.

The brigade gave me open access. I could go anywhere, anytime, so long as I could find a ride, which never was a problem beyond normal combat problems. If they had something to hide, it was limited and I didn’t find it. I was not with the Soldiers accused of murder and had no knowledge of this. It is important to note that the murder allegations were not discovered by media vigilance, but by, for instance, at least one Soldier in that tiny unit who was appalled by the behavior. A brigade is a big place with thousands of Soldiers, and in Afghanistan they were spread thinly across several provinces because we decided to wage war with too few troops. Those Soldiers accused of being involved in (or who should have been knowledgeable of) the murders could fit into a minivan. You would need ten 747s for the rest of the Brigade who did their duty. I was with many other Soldiers from 5/2 SBCT. My overall impression was very positive. After scratching my memory for negative impressions from 5/2 Soldiers, I can’t think of any, actually, other than the tiny Kill Team who, to my knowledge, I never set eyes upon.

The online edition of the Rolling Stone story contains a section with a video called “Motorcycle Kill,” which includes our Soldiers gunning down Taliban who were speeding on a motorcycle toward our guys. These Soldiers were also with 5/2 SBCT, far away from the “Kill Team” later accused of the murders. Rolling Stone commits a literary “crime” by deceptively entwining this normal combat video with the Kill Team story. The Taliban on the motorcycle were killed during an intense operation in the Arghandab near Kandahar City. People who have been to the Arghandab realize the extreme danger there. The Soviets got beaten horribly in the Arghandab, despite throwing everything including the Soviet kitchen sink into the battle that lasted over a month. Others fared little better. To my knowledge, 5/2 and supporting units were the first ever to take Arghandab, and these two dead Taliban were part of that process.

The killing of the armed Taliban on the motorcycle was legal and within the rules of engagement. Law and ROE are related but separate matters. In any case, the killing was well within both the law and ROE. The Taliban on the back of the motorcycle raised his rifle to fire at our Soldiers but the rifle did not fire. I talked at length with several of the Soldiers who were there and they gave me the video. There was nothing to hide. I didn’t even know about the story until they told me. It can be good for Soldiers to shoot and share videos because it provides instant replay and lessons learned. When they gave me the video and further explained what happened, I found the combat so normal that I didn’t even bother publishing it, though I should have because that little shooting of the two Taliban was the least of the accomplishments of these Soldiers, and it rid the Arghandab of two Taliban.

Some people commented that our Soldiers used excessive force by firing too many bullets. Hogwash. And besides, they were trying to kill each other. Anyone who has seen much combat with our weak M-4 rifles realizes that one shot is generally not enough, and the Taliban were speeding at them on a motorbike, which very often are prepared as suicide bombs. If that motorcycle had been a bomb, as they often are, and got inside the group of Soldiers and exploded, they could all have been killed. Just yesterday, in Paktika, three suicide attackers came in, guns blazing, and detonated a huge truck bomb. Depending on which reports you read, about twenty workers were killed and about another fifty wounded.

In the video, our guys would have been justified in firing twice that many bullets, but at some point you are wasting ammo and that is a combat sin. The Soldiers involved in that shooting told me that the Taliban on the back may have pulled the AK trigger, but the loaded AK did not fire because the Taliban didn’t have a round in the chamber. Attention to detail. At least one also had an ammunition rack strapped across his chest.

This could go on for pages, but Rolling Stone is not worth it, and thrashing them might only build their readership. I’ve found in the past that boycotts work. I led a boycott against one magazine and it went bankrupt. It’s doubtful that Rolling Stone will go bankrupt for its sins, but you can cost them money not by boycotting their magazine, but by boycotting their advertisers. That hurts. Just pick an advertiser whose products you already buy, boycott it, and tell the advertiser why you are not buying their product.


Your Writer,

Michael Yon
 

Latest Threads