US Army Kill Team

Discussion in 'Afghanistan' started by jonwilly, Mar 21, 2011.

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  1. US Army 'kill team' in Afghanistan posed with photos of murdered civilians

    Commanders brace for backlash of anti-US sentiment that could be more damaging than after the Abu Ghraib scandal

    Abu Ghraib prison The Afghanistan 'kill team' photos of murdered civilians could be more damaging than those from Abu Ghraib, say NATO commanders. Photograph: AP

    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.

    Last 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.

    Tomorrow could also attract 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".
  2. A bit rich Der Speigel pointing fingers about 'Kill Teams' after the efficacy of their own sides during WWII

    Einsatzgruppen R Us mein Herr.
  3. I don't know if you know any Modern Germans.
    The ones I know are all Pacifists, 'We' did a good job of Brainwashing them post 45.

  4. Grumblegrunt

    Grumblegrunt LE Book Reviewer

    just read this on one of the new sites, memories of nam trophy collecting. I'm sure I read that they are all awaiting trial for murder etc..
  5. The Stryker is now a tank?
  6. To a civvy, Yes.

  7. You must drink coffee in trendy cafes with saxophone playing bearded blokes and wimmin with ethnic t shirts and hairy legs and armpits. It's only a year or so ago that Paderborn turned out to cheer the incumbent British regiment being given freedom of the city on its return from sand maggotsville.
  8. It's always nice to see a balanced and bang up to date opinion surfacing in the current affairs forum! I hope may I be the first to welcome you to the 21st century.
  9. The problem is if you take dumb white trash out of the trailer parks, bomb them up to ****, train them to kill more efficiently than they did at home, then ship them to a war zone, you still have white trash.

    These guys are simply murderers picking innocent civilians out at random. Murderers tend to lose wars.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. I think you are right Mr C.
    Additionally, some may be amazed to learn that this particular story is not getting too much coverage in the US at all. Mind you, I suppose no country wants to do its dirty laundry in public, so that is not particularly amazing.
  11. what a load of shite, jonwilly is right.

    hence germanys reservations towards any armed conflict since WW2.
  12. "You must drink coffee in trendy cafes with saxophone playing bearded blokes and wimmin with ethnic t shirts and hairy legs and armpits"

    Er No sorry wrong, amazing what image one projects on arrse.
    My German friends where all born shortly before WW II, now in their late 70s early 80s former Professional men, a Docterate or two among them.
    Most can remember Adolph's Radio broadcasts and some still have nightmares of those times.
    One of the quietest said one day after listening to us assorted Brits, Commonwealth types and Yanks discussing the loses in Iraq and Afghanistan,
    Ah you know nothing. We lost more one night in a raid on Berlin then you have lost in the last ten years.
    Pacifists to a man.

  13. When I was in BAOR I remember some very strange parades and marches in the rural areas, these were watched by old men but most of the marchers were young men with very short hair, wearing black with some striking insignia. Yes Germany has changed but not so much as many would believe.
    As to a group of American soldiers going maverick! If it's true then no real surprise. War brutalises people who then do things society does not like or expect from their heroes. If they don't like it they shouldn't send them, acts like this (if true) are almost inevitable and if it wasn't the Yanks it would be us or the Aussies or the ANA or whoever. I remember my Battalion being kept in base after a shooting in Belfast because they did not trust us to patrol among the population, to be fair feelings were high and they were right not to trust us.
  14. jim24

    jim24 Book Reviewer

    Dehumanize your youth at your peril,
  15. They wouldn't listen...
    ... in a UniSol fashion.

    Troops getting out of hand is one thing. But this sounds more like pre-meditated murders, with a spot of tampering with the scene to make it look legit. That isn't troops getting hot headed in battle.