Explicit Photographs Released of American Soldiers Murdering Afghan Civilians
Shocking photographs were released this week of American soldiers murdering Afghan civilians. Three photographs, published by the German magazine Der Spiegel in its March 20th print edition, show members of the self-designated “Kill Team” comprised of United States Army soldiers who are accused of making a sport of killing innocent Afghans, as they show off one of their victims in a kind of trophy photo; another photograph shows two Afghan civilians who appear to be dead. The Army had tried to keep the photos from going public, especially since anti-American sentiment in Afghanistan is already high.
Five of the soldiers involved in the killings are now facing court martial proceedings for the deaths of three, unarmed Afghan civilians. Seven other members of their unit are accused of lesser crimes. The men are accused of faking combat situations to justify killing randomly chosen Afghans with grenades and guns. The case came to light after one of the soldiers informed military investigators about the killings; he was then beaten so severely by other members of the unit for betraying them that he had to be hospitalized.
The photographs are reminiscent of the torture and humiliation suffered by Iraqis at the hands of American troops in the Abu Ghraib prison, which came to light in the spring of 2004. However, there were dozens of those pictures and they clearly showed the victims’ faces, making their pain all the more apparent. That case reverberated across the Muslim world in ways that this case has yet to do, in part because of the absence of photographs. The release of these images threatens to change that.
Read more about these atrocities in the New York Times here.
Rolling Stone has just released a special report on the U.S. Army’s self-proclaimed “kill team,” whose members are currently on trial for murdering Afghan civilians. The report includes new photographs and videos from the cache that was partially leaked to Der Spiegel last week.
“Kill Team” Soldiers Tell of Civilian Murders and Cover-Ups
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