Video: A thrill-killing in Afghanistan?

posted at 8:36 pm on September 29, 2010 by Allahpundit

I want you to see the clip because this will be a very big story very soon, but I don’t know what to say about it that isn’t completely obvious. No one’s been convicted of anything yet, a lesson worth bearing in mind after the early rush to judgment about the guilt of Marines charged in the Haditha incident. No one’s claiming that this is anything but an extreme outlier in terms of how troops behave in the field, although of course the allegations about fatigue, brain injuries, and drug use will prompt some soul-searching about whether active-duty soldiers are getting the help they need to cope with stress. No one’s denying that war crimes do happen, or that they should be punished appropriately. There are no grand conclusions to be drawn. The clip simply is what it is, and what it is is horrifying.

On the tape, Winfield describes the fatal encounter with the Afghan civilian for which he is charged. “He seemed friendly, he didn’t seem to have any animosity towards us,” Winfield says. “Brought him out, sitting in the ditch. Me and Morlock were behind the berm … Sergeant Gibbs said, ‘This is how it’s going to go down. You’re going to shoot your weapons, yell “grenade,” I’m going to throw this grenade. After it goes off, I’m going to drop this grenade next to him. That’s it.’ So he had two grenades on him.”

Investigator: “OK.”

Winfield: “So, we’re laying there and Morlock told me to shoot, so started shooting. Yelled ‘grenade,’ grenade blew up and that was that.”

Investigator: “Who gave you the order to shoot?”

Winfield: “Morlock … and we fired once he said ‘Shoot.’ Grenade blew up. Sergeant Gibbs threw the grenade; it blew up and then he came over, shot the man probably two more times in the head.”

Winfield said that Gibbs told him after the killing that he was part of the group.

Investigator: “Did he ever hold against you that you killed a man?”

Winfield: “No, he told me I was a made man after that.”

Five men have been charged with the premeditated murder of three Afghan civilians (seven other soldiers are up on lesser charges), so there’s at least a possibility that the finger-pointing at Gibbs, the staff sergeant alleged to be the ringleader, in their confessions is driven by a desire to reduce their own potential sentences by finding a scapegoat. I hope that’s what’s happening, actually, because the idea of a guy like the one they describe wandering around, killing for fun and taking body parts from his victims as souvenirs, is straight out of the Ted Bundy playbook. One of his men said of him, “He likes to kill things. He is pretty much evil incarnate.” If they’re telling the truth, he’s right.

ABC has a few other short videos from the confessions. Brace yourself, seriously.

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Comment pages: 1 2

Taking body parts as souvenirs is straight out of every war ever fought, including wars the U.S. has been involved in.

Bishop on September 29, 2010 at 8:41 PM

Disgusting.

Scrappy on September 29, 2010 at 8:42 PM

Yikes.

DaveS on September 29, 2010 at 8:43 PM

Allah there are several of these stories out there. Wiki leaks is starting to flood over

William Amos on September 29, 2010 at 8:45 PM

Taking body parts as souvenirs is straight out of every war ever fought, including wars the U.S. has been involved in.

Bishop on September 29, 2010 at 8:41 PM

But not the killing civilians for fun part, eh?

Allahpundit on September 29, 2010 at 8:45 PM

Taking body parts as souvenirs is straight out of every war ever fought, including wars the U.S. has been involved in.

Bishop on September 29, 2010 at 8:41 PM

Yes, but it’s stile vile and inexcusable. We are not every nation, and the fact that there have been psychos in our military who did this in the past is no reason to be less outraged now. The only question is whether most of it should be directed at Gibbs, his men, or both.

RINO in Name Only on September 29, 2010 at 8:47 PM

I am really hoping this is not what it seems to be!

bluemarlin on September 29, 2010 at 8:47 PM

Gulp, Aw, hmmmmmm, hey, very insightful.

WoosterOh on September 29, 2010 at 8:47 PM

this will be a very big story very soon

hmmm… lefty blogs were covering this and they seemed to have moved on.

The question you have to ask yourself is, how does this hurt the Republican Tea Partiers? If it doesn’t… it’s not a huge story.

MeatHeadinCA on September 29, 2010 at 8:48 PM

WoosterOh on September 29, 2010 at 8:47 PM

Great comment as always, Wooster. Very insightful yourself.

Allahpundit on September 29, 2010 at 8:48 PM

AP News

Monday’s hearing focuses on Specialist Jeremy Morlock, 22, of Wasila, Alaska, who faces charges of premeditated murder in the deaths of three Afghans killed between January and May this year.

And

UK

Files from the military published by the website Wikileaks document over 20 occasions on which British troops are said to have shot or bombed Afghan civilians, killing at least 26 people and wounding 20.

William Amos on September 29, 2010 at 8:49 PM

A sorry piece of filth if I’ve ever seen it. I’m bracing for the S-Storm coming that will envelop us all

Defector01 on September 29, 2010 at 8:50 PM

But not the killing civilians for fun part, eh?

The US Army hanged 140 of its own soldiers during World War II for murder and/or rape, plus one for desertion. I don’t have data on how many of those crimes were committed “for fun.”

Fabozz on September 29, 2010 at 8:50 PM

There are bound to be some soldiers that are crazy- like the rest of the population. If this is true- I hope they all go down.

kareyk on September 29, 2010 at 8:50 PM

But not the killing civilians for fun part, eh?
Allahpundit on September 29, 2010 at 8:45 PM

That’s happened too, sadly. Ghastly, yes, but its happened before and will happen in our future wars.

Bishop on September 29, 2010 at 8:51 PM

I have a loved one serving in Afghanistan. I say let the soldiers whose lives are now endangered have the first shots at these pigs.

Terrie on September 29, 2010 at 8:51 PM

I’m always amazed that people are amazed that with almost a hundred thousand Americans in Afghanistan there are some small number of criminals.

How many murders are there per year in an average American city with 100,000 young men? Washington DC, for example, has 24 murders per 100,000 people. One would expect if you only looked at the young males population you’d be nearing 100 per hundred thousand people.

Arguably, the US military is the most successful anti-youth crime organization in America…

But will the State Media spin this like they tried to spin Haditha? Obama is the CinC now after all…

18-1 on September 29, 2010 at 8:51 PM

Very well done post by AllahP.
Said it all and said it right.

Stephen M on September 29, 2010 at 8:52 PM

Makes me sick to my stomach.

El_Terrible on September 29, 2010 at 8:52 PM

Taking body parts as souvenirs is straight out of every war ever fought, including wars the U.S. has been involved in.

Bishop on September 29, 2010 at 8:41 PM

But not the killing civilians for fun part, eh?

Allahpundit on September 29, 2010 at 8:45 PM

My guess is, yes, sadly. Bishop was not just talking about wars we have been in. War crimes occur in every war and psychos are a statisitic that armies probably cannot avoid, no matter how hard they try. I am in now way excusing these actions if they are true.

bluemarlin on September 29, 2010 at 8:52 PM

I am in no way excusing these actions if they are true.

preview is my friend……….

bluemarlin on September 29, 2010 at 8:53 PM

Good think Murtha’s gone.

kurtzz3 on September 29, 2010 at 8:54 PM

Civilization is a thin veneer, easily ruptured. US soldiers are the finest in the world, but not perfect.

A sad day.

GnuBreed on September 29, 2010 at 8:54 PM

But not the killing civilians for fun part, eh?

Allahpundit on September 29, 2010 at 8:45 PM

Actually this has happened in most any war ever fought. While the US military does a damn good job of minimizing this traditional part of war, it isn’t, and can’t be, perfect.

18-1 on September 29, 2010 at 8:54 PM

and the fact that there have been psychos in our military who did this in the past is no reason to be less outraged now. The only question is whether most of it should be directed at Gibbs, his men, or both.
RINO in Name Only on September 29, 2010 at 8:47 PM

Never said there wasn’t justified outrage, but war obviously does terrible things to people. There are combat vets we are brushing elbows with at the grocery store or the mall who have killed without justification and taken body parts as souvenirs, they aren’t collecting dead hookers in their basement.

Bishop on September 29, 2010 at 8:56 PM

Upon completion of an Article 32 investigation under the UCMJ, if there is evidence and corroboration of the events as related in this video I would hope and expect that a full courts martial be convened. Article 118 should suffice. Capital punishment is authorized.

This sort of stuff should never ever be tolerated.

Disgusting. Not as big as My Lai, but equally disgusting.

coldwarrior on September 29, 2010 at 8:56 PM

I have a loved one serving in Afghanistan. I say let the soldiers whose lives are now endangered have the first shots at these pigs.

Terrie on September 29, 2010 at 8:51 PM

The problem with this kind of sentiment is that your loved one is part of the 99.999% of soliders who conduct themselves honorably and professionally.
This type of conduct makes the odds of a loved one who is captured coming back alive.
Think about what you are saying.

Bradky on September 29, 2010 at 8:58 PM

What ever happened to Maj. Nidal Hasan…?

Seven Percent Solution on September 29, 2010 at 8:58 PM

Is this a repeat of the Haditha incident? Or the Scott Thomas Beauchamp/TNR incident? Or Navy SEAL abuse incident? Or any other of the incidents that have been alleged against our troops that turned out to be fabricated tales?

amerpundit on September 29, 2010 at 8:58 PM

But will the State Media spin this like they tried to spin Haditha? Obama is the CinC now after all…

18-1 on September 29, 2010 at 8:51 PM

Good points and add to the fact that these guys are trained to kill. You cannot say that about people in these high crime cities.

It is a recipe for trouble when just by the sheer numbers you will have a few loose screws.

CWforFreedom on September 29, 2010 at 8:58 PM

should have said “makes the odd very low”

Bradky on September 29, 2010 at 8:59 PM

are combat vets we are brushing elbows with at the grocery store or the mall who have killed without justification and taken body parts as souvenirs, they aren’t collecting dead hookers in their basement.

Bishop on September 29, 2010 at 8:56 PM

Sorry bishop I challenge your claim as BS. Almost every vet out there conducts themselves with nothing less than honor and courage. Don’t stereotype.

Bradky on September 29, 2010 at 9:00 PM

WoosterOh on September 29, 2010 at 8:47 PM

Great comment as always, Wooster. Very insightful yourself.

Allahpundit on September 29, 2010 at 8:48 PM

I love the fact that when I see a comment like this, without having seen the original quote, I already know with 100% certainty that it is said with withering sarcasm.

/sucking up to the host.

RINO in Name Only on September 29, 2010 at 9:00 PM

Criminals exist.

faraway on September 29, 2010 at 9:01 PM

But will the State Media spin this like they tried to spin Haditha? Obama is the CinC now after all…

18-1 on September 29, 2010 at 8:51 PM

No. The MSM has cooled over its war critique. I’m not sure the war has become more popular among Americans as much as now the media is too busy blaming Bush for the economy instead of calling him a war monger.

MeatHeadinCA on September 29, 2010 at 9:01 PM

amerpundit on September 29, 2010 at 8:58 PM

Not all were fabricated; see my link in the post about Green and the Mahmuhdiyah killing. And not all of the other incidents involved confessions from alleged participants.

Bradky on September 29, 2010 at 8:58 PM

Not sure what you’re objecting to in what Terrie said. I think she means the troops who allegedly did this should be executed if convicted.

Allahpundit on September 29, 2010 at 9:02 PM

A “friend” of my family, who was also a soldier, told me that while he was in Iraq, he would kill anything that turned around the corner. Shoot first, ask questions later.

Narutoboy on September 29, 2010 at 9:03 PM

Allahpundit on September 29, 2010 at 9:02 PM

I stand corrected – totally misread her post.

Terrie – apologies for the knee jerk reaction.

Bradky on September 29, 2010 at 9:04 PM

WoosterOh on September 29, 2010 at 8:47 PM

You forgot “oh my”

The Notorious G.O.P on September 29, 2010 at 9:04 PM

It’s the number that gets me. 12 people were involved in this? Jesus. I could understand 2 or 3 thugs in cahoots could pull off and cover up something like this. But to think there were 12 people in on it to some degree or another? *shivers*

Aquateen Hungerforce on September 29, 2010 at 9:05 PM

Never said there wasn’t justified outrage, but war obviously does terrible things to people. There are combat vets we are brushing elbows with at the grocery store or the mall who have killed without justification and taken body parts as souvenirs, they aren’t collecting dead hookers in their basement.

Bishop on September 29, 2010 at 8:56 PM

Sorry bishop I challenge your claim as BS. Almost every vet out there conducts themselves with nothing less than honor and courage. Don’t stereotype.

Bradky on September 29, 2010 at 9:00 PM

Curious as to what each of you think the percentages are. I myself like to hope that it is something infinitesimally small, like 5 out of a million, though sometimes I get the sinking feeling it could be closer to 100 in a million. I doubt it is higher than that, but I have no experience or basis for either number, so I could be being horribly naive – just vague guesses.

RINO in Name Only on September 29, 2010 at 9:05 PM

Taking body parts as souvenirs is straight out of every war ever fought, including wars the U.S. has been involved in.

Bishop on September 29, 2010 at 8:41 PM

Body parts of innocent civs? Come on, dude.

This is just one dude, but it’s bad juju nonetheless. I’ll take 50 flaming music theater majors in our armed forces over this psycho.

Good Solid B-Plus on September 29, 2010 at 9:06 PM

Not all were fabricated; see my link in the post about Green and the Mahmuhdiyah killing. And not all of the other incidents involved confessions from alleged participants.

Allahpundit on September 29, 2010 at 9:02 PM

Understood. I’m not trying to say that ALL accusations have been proven fabricated, only that a great many have.

Basically, yes, let’s try these guys. But let’s not sentence them before they’re actually convicted as John Murtha did to the Haditha Marines.

For all we know, this guy is a repeat of Scott Thomas Beauchamp, someone looking for fame so he can write a book later. Maybe he isn’t. Maybe he’s an honest, straight-up guy. But let’s wait and see before the public schedules an execution date.

amerpundit on September 29, 2010 at 9:06 PM

Disgusting. Not as big as My Lai, but equally disgusting.

coldwarrior on September 29, 2010 at 8:56 PM

Colin Powell was one of those who tried to cover up My Lai as was promoted in spite of that or maybe because of it.

Luka on September 29, 2010 at 9:07 PM

And yet, while this event is getting some press, guess what? Nowhere near the outrage of Haditha or Abu Ghraib. No week upon week of front page news, sending reporters all over the globe for updates, “Special Reports”, instant 60 Minutes fodder, etc.

Why?

Simple.

It’s the war the press is gung ho over. The one that now is being reported as “the good fight”, “the right war”. With rah, rah stories like the Taliban girl with her nose gone on the front page of Time to “boost” the effort to kill the scumbag Taliban and win one for the good ol’ USA!


It’s OBAMA’s war
and this is being reported as an aberration.

In fact, “drug use” is being used to mitigate what these clearly troubled murdering scumbags did.

Every 60 minutes story on this new and improved Obama war are stories of courage and perseverance of our troops. You can smell the hot dogs and fireworks in these pro-war stories. Me? I don’t mind them. I agree with the framing of this new “coverage”. Our soldiers are brave and committed and our cause there noble.

But the complete opposite way they framed and reported the very same noble cause and the very same soldiers in the arena of Iraq was disgusting and this was not made as clear as to how totally opposite it was until the press did a flip and “Obama’s war” became “good”.

These guys deserve any justice that should befall them if found guilty. But the press should be taken to the woodshed and flogged for their hypocrisy.

Opposite Day on September 29, 2010 at 9:07 PM

This is why open-ended wars of occupation aren’t something a free nation should engage in. We’ve been fighting over there longer than in Vietnam, and the strain and fear and hatred of all those years would warp even a good man somewhat. And we can’t expect every soldier to be a good man – these conditions can turn a bad man into a monster.

Wars of occupation and nation building have massive material costs, but the human costs are greater. These aren’t the sorts of wars a Republic that respects human rights can win. Even a brutal dictatorship like the Soviet Union, which was willing to kill tens of thousands to stabilize Afghanistan, was unable to build a nation there. It’s time to bring our troops home, do what we can to fix the psychological damage, and let the tribesmen over there fight over their dirt mounds as they have since long before the US existed, and will no doubt continue to do until Judgment Day.

Inkblots on September 29, 2010 at 9:07 PM

Sorry bishop I challenge your claim as BS. Almost every vet out there conducts themselves with nothing less than honor and courage. Don’t stereotype.
Bradky on September 29, 2010 at 9:00 PM

You realized you used the word “almost”, yes? I’m a vet from a long line of vets on both my parent’s sides, and I’ve not only heard the stories but seen the photographic evidence from the Vietnam War.

Try opening a photo book on WWII and you will find pics of melted Japanese heads mounted on tank fenders. I could point you to an exact book which has a pic of a woman holding a cleaned skull that her soldier-husband sent her from the Pacific.

The point is that quailing about a bunch of Ted Bundys walking around is to be naive to what has happened time and again in war. You have probably talked to men who have done something terrible, you just don’t realize it.

Again, not condoning, just facing reality.

Bishop on September 29, 2010 at 9:08 PM

RINO in Name Only on September 29, 2010 at 9:05 PM

I don’t think it is 100 in a million. 5 as you said – who knows? But very small. They train officer and enlisted to be professionals throughout their careers to try to prevent this type of behavior.
I have seen for the past few years that the rates of suicides, depression and problems have increased dramatically with our troops. PTSD is a real problem.
But it is a big step to go from depression to psychotic like this.

Bradky on September 29, 2010 at 9:09 PM

Firing squad. I think that’s all I need to say about this.

Gatsu on September 29, 2010 at 9:10 PM

No one’s been convicted of anything yet, a lesson worth bearing in mind after the early rush to judgment about the guilt of Marines charged in the Haditha incident.

Not to sidetrack this thread, although I know it will. I say this as an OIF vet x2 and an ardent OIF supporter, including more importantly, a deployment in beautiful (sarc) downtown, Haditha (Sep 06 to Mar 07), hence the moniker. That’s not during the incident (19 Nov 05). However, I became intimately familiar with it. I knew the surroundings and saw parts of the investigation.

And you know what, some Marines in 3/1 got away with stuff that deserved punishment. Delaying an investigation will do wonders for consolidating conflicting stories. Every officer and SNCO on the Haditha FOB during my particular deployment thought so, too. The ones I still communicate with haven’t changed their opinions. Our 7 months in Haditha saw more deaths, more causalities than 3/1, but none of our Marines went crazy.

I know what popular perception is right now about the Haditha incident. But even in the military, bad guys can beat the system. And I won’t let even off-hand comments go. Not when you’re close to a situation like that.

Not when you know that what happened was truly an isolated incident involving a bad unit with an inattentive Battalion Commander. Other Marines don’t deserve to be tarnished with the idea that the 19 Nov 05 incident was somehow normal in combat. Believe me, it wasn’t.

HDFOB on September 29, 2010 at 9:10 PM

Oh, and looking back at the Beauchamp story, guess what he alleged? Being a participant in vile behavior such as playing around with body parts.

One private…found the top part of a human skull… As he marched around with the skull on his head, people dropped shovels and sandbags, folding in half with laughter … No one was disgusted. Me included.

He also alleged that troops used their Bradley Fighting Vehicles to destroy property and kill dogs.

All of those accusations were later proven false.

Like I said, maybe this guy’s straight-up. But let’s not convict these guys without trial. We’ve gone through this circus before.

amerpundit on September 29, 2010 at 9:10 PM

I’m wondering if fighting terrorists in civilian clothes, hiding among civilians, using civilians as human shields, the Rules of Engagement that tie our military’s hands, and no concept for victory by the Imam Obowma has anything to do with this…

… Probably not.

Seven Percent Solution on September 29, 2010 at 9:10 PM

Again, not condoning, just facing reality.

Bishop on September 29, 2010 at 9:08 PM

I’m not getting into a back and forth over this. 30 years living and working with the military tells me things have changed greatly since WW2.

Bradky on September 29, 2010 at 9:13 PM

Body parts of innocent civs? Come on, dude.

Would you feel better if the body parts came from Taliban terrorists? Would you shudder less about Bundy’s proclivities if they had been focused on petty criminals rather than young women?

This isn’t new ground here.

Bishop on September 29, 2010 at 9:14 PM

Not sure what part of the UCMJ these guys didn’t understand.

I’m sure the other units they deployed with are thrilled by all this.

As for the drugs…. I realize they’re on the front lines but have they completely done away with regular urinalysis testing?

Had they been popped earlier… I think they’d much rather be facing drug charges than murder charges.

The Ugly American on September 29, 2010 at 9:16 PM

This is disturbing.

and Evil.

ted c on September 29, 2010 at 9:17 PM

Bradky on September 29, 2010 at 9:13 PM

Ah, ok.

Bishop on September 29, 2010 at 9:18 PM

Bishop on September 29, 2010 at 8:41 PM

Bishop on September 29, 2010 at 8:56 PM

Exactly how much crazy is required, Allah, before you feel obligated to send IP address to law enforcement? I’m not saying we’re there yet, but there’s something a little unsettling about a person who talks about collecting body parts and dead hookers as though everybody does it.

Infidoll on September 29, 2010 at 9:18 PM

Exactly how much crazy is required, Allah, before you feel obligated to send IP address to law enforcement? I’m not saying we’re there yet, but there’s something a little unsettling about a person who talks about collecting body parts and dead hookers as though everybody does it.

Infidoll on September 29, 2010 at 9:18 PM

What are you on about?

sharrukin on September 29, 2010 at 9:20 PM

The question you have to ask yourself is, how does this hurt the Republican Tea Partiers? If it doesn’t… it’s not a huge story.

MeatHeadinCA on September 29, 2010 at 8:48 PM

Shoots Meat in the head. Not a huge story. Moves on…

DarkCurrent on September 29, 2010 at 9:20 PM

Exactly how much crazy is required, Allah, before you feel obligated to send IP address to law enforcement? I’m not saying we’re there yet, but there’s something a little unsettling about a person who talks about collecting body parts and dead hookers as though everybody does it.

Infidoll on September 29, 2010 at 9:18 PM

As long as Bishop doesn’t start bringing up those darned rLOVEutions…

MeatHeadinCA on September 29, 2010 at 9:20 PM

Disgusting. Not as big as My Lai, but equally disgusting.

coldwarrior on September 29, 2010 at 8:56 PM

There were a few heroes at My Lai. Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson and his helicopter crew arrived while the massacre was still going on and managed to rescue some of the Vietnamese. At one point Thompson told his crew to be ready to open fire at the U.S. Soldiers. For some time, until the cover up conducted by Colin Powell and others came undone, the U.S. Army described My Lai as a military victory that had resulted in the deaths of 128 enemy combatants. In 1998, thirty years later, Thompson and his crew were finally awarded the Soldier’s Medal.

Luka on September 29, 2010 at 9:21 PM

Brace yourself, seriously.

Sorry, Allahpundit. That’s Obama’s problem, and we do him no favors when we start getting into “Politics stops at the water’s edge” rhetoric, when the CinC has no real need to reciprocate in kind.

BradSchwartze on September 29, 2010 at 9:21 PM

Right after I watched the clip, I choked back the vomit and wondered one thing: why in God’s name didn’t their officers stop this? Either they weren’t around, they were criminally incompetent, they looked the other way, or … what? Am I missing a possible explanation that doesn’t reflect badly on those who are allegedly bearers of special trust and confidence?

OhioCoastie on September 29, 2010 at 9:23 PM

This more credibility than the fantasies Scott Thomas Beauchamp pushed through The New Republic, but I’ll still wait for the investigation and court martials to finish.

irishspy on September 29, 2010 at 9:24 PM

It is not out of the realm of possibility that you have an NCO in war zone who is a serial killer, who is in charge of subordinates that he uses as henchmen.

paulsur on September 29, 2010 at 9:24 PM

hmmm… lefty blogs were covering this and they seemed to have moved on.

The question you have to ask yourself is, how does this hurt the Republican Tea Partiers? If it doesn’t… it’s not a huge story.

MeatHeadinCA on September 29, 2010 at 8:48 PM

With good reason. Think they want to be in a position where they have to take ownership of Afghanistan? Especially when they can’t derive any real benefit from it?

BradSchwartze on September 29, 2010 at 9:25 PM

And BTW, no GOP or Tea Partier will be affected in the least. We know this, because the blame game would’ve already been attempted at the first sight of the carnage.

BradSchwartze on September 29, 2010 at 9:25 PM

Gotta’ love a handful of soldiers making it even harder now for the rest of the military to do their job.

blatantblue on September 29, 2010 at 9:26 PM

Infidoll on September 29, 2010 at 9:18 PM

You need to take a few aspirins and lie down. ROFL

Bishop on September 29, 2010 at 9:27 PM

Wars of occupation and nation building have massive material costs, but the human costs are greater. These aren’t the sorts of wars a Republic that respects human rights can win.

Inkblots on September 29, 2010 at 9:07 PM

There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited. (Sun Tzu)

No protracted war can fail to endanger the freedom of a democratic country. (Alexis de Tocqueville)

Luka on September 29, 2010 at 9:28 PM

With good reason. Think they want to be in a position where they have to take ownership of Afghanistan? Especially when they can’t derive any real benefit from it?

BradSchwartze on September 29, 2010 at 9:25 PM

Yeah. I think it was 18-1 or some others that point this out. Look, I’m not saying this should be played over and over on CNN … it’s just not going to be surprising when most media outlets starts wringing their hands over witchcraft in the GOP instead of war crimes under Obama’s nose…

Hey, where is Cindy Sheehan these days, anyway?

MeatHeadinCA on September 29, 2010 at 9:29 PM

Narutoboy on September 29, 2010 at 9:03 PM

That’s just good sense and situational awareness.

BradSchwartze on September 29, 2010 at 9:29 PM

From a political reaction standpoint, it will be interesting over the next few days to compare this incident and how both political parties and the big media will cover it in the run-up to November’s election with how Abu Ghirab was covered six years ago, in the run-up to the 2004 presidential election. Should make for some interesting “contrast and compare” situations.

jon1979 on September 29, 2010 at 9:29 PM

A “friend” of my family, who was also a soldier, told me that while he was in Iraq, he would kill anything that turned around the corner. Shoot first, ask questions later.

Narutoboy on September 29, 2010 at 9:03 PM

1) I’m going to take anything you say with a dose of skepticism.
2) Let’s say it is true, OH BOY IT MUST MEAN ALL SOLDIERS ARE LIKE THAT

blatantblue on September 29, 2010 at 9:31 PM

Infidoll on September 29, 2010 at 9:18 PM

Dude…

… I bet you look through your neighbor’s windows.

Seven Percent Solution on September 29, 2010 at 9:32 PM

(and they must all be KKK members too, right?)

damn enter button.

blatantblue on September 29, 2010 at 9:32 PM

there are some things that I merely cannot stomach to comment about. I’ve seen abuse of the enemy and it is immoral and wretched.

ted c on September 29, 2010 at 9:33 PM

What ever happened to Maj. Nidal Hasan…?

Seven Percent Solution on September 29, 2010 at 8:58 PM

I dunno, but I predict that someday one of the floors of the Grand Victory Mega Mosque at Ground Zero will be named after him, at least informally.

Luka on September 29, 2010 at 9:33 PM

Luka on September 29, 2010 at 9:21 PM

Quite familiar with the My Lai incident and the aftermath from the first reports of the events around Son My in early 1968 just two months after Tet, up through the convoluted findings of the Peers Commission, and the later “exhoneration” of Lt. Calley, which was disgusting itself.

The only “good” finding of the Peers Commission was that of the conduct of then WO1 Thompson and his crew.

The major difference between these two incidents, some 40+ years apart is that in 1968 the Americal Divison was told by its leaders and its intel folks that everybody in the Son My area was 100% VC. Doesn’t excuse the wanton murders, either. But they came loaded for bear.

Here…seems like this was done on a lark…for no other reason than the sickening thrill of it, based on what we know at this point.

I await the findings of the investigation of this disgusting incident.

coldwarrior on September 29, 2010 at 9:33 PM

“friend” of my family, who was also a soldier, told me that while he was in Iraq, he would kill anything that turned around the corner. Shoot first, ask questions later.

Narutoboy on September 29, 2010 at 9:03 PM

I don’t think anything that comes from your keyboard deserves credence and I think you are a bigot and moron.

darwin-t on September 29, 2010 at 9:35 PM

Here…seems like this was done on a lark…for no other reason than the sickening thrill of it, based on what we know at this point.

coldwarrior on September 29, 2010 at 9:33 PM

That does seem likely the case which, in a sense, would make it even more depraved.

Luka on September 29, 2010 at 9:37 PM

Exactly how much crazy is required, Allah, before you feel obligated to send IP address to law enforcement? I’m not saying we’re there yet, but there’s something a little unsettling about a person who talks about collecting body parts and dead hookers as though everybody does it.

Infidoll on September 29, 2010 at 9:18 PM

What are you talking about? Read it all and take it for what it is. You may disagree with his point of view but he has done nothing to warrant your statement. He is talking historical statistics mostly not condoning them!

bluemarlin on September 29, 2010 at 9:38 PM

Narutoboy on September 29, 2010 at 9:03 PM

Based on your previous posts to this site…

… I firmly believe that your fingers still stink from pulling that quote from out of your a%s!

Seven Percent Solution on September 29, 2010 at 9:38 PM

If it is what it suggests I have to admit I’m not all that suprised. We train these men to kill, then they have the mental trauma of having to actually do it plus the stress of their own lives being threated. Who is the enemy who isn’t type of situations. A certain but, hopefully small percentage of them are going to snap like this. I’m guessing it will be a comparable percentage of the civillian population.

boomer on September 29, 2010 at 9:38 PM

Many philosophers have said in different ways that war brings out the best and the worst of man. They are almost certainly right and I believe that the longer a war goes on the more it gravitates to the later.

Luka on September 29, 2010 at 9:40 PM

I’m guessing it will be a comparable percentage of the civillian population.

boomer on September 29, 2010 at 9:38 PM

No. Usually it is much less than that. The loose screws tend to get weeded out.

sharrukin on September 29, 2010 at 9:40 PM

Luka on September 29, 2010 at 9:37 PM

would make it even more depraved.

Exactly.

And, if proven, is worthy of the harshest punishments authorized under the UCMJ for the participants and sanctions as well directed toward their commanders and senior NCO’s up to at least Brigade level.

(If this sort of thing would have happened on my watch…I wasn’t performing my watch very well, i.e., derelict in my duties, nor would I have been functioning as a proper NCO, either. Thus also worthy of punishment.)

coldwarrior on September 29, 2010 at 9:42 PM

It is not out of the realm of possibility that you have an NCO in war zone who is a serial killer, who is in charge of subordinates that he uses as henchmen.

paulsur on September 29, 2010 at 9:24 PM

And I can further believe that the officers above him may not have had a clue. Psychotic killers like this can be very adept as hiding what they are doing from people who have the power to stop them. They use fear to compel their minions to do their dirty work and charm and guile to avoid detection from everyone else.

Lily on September 29, 2010 at 9:43 PM

Would you feel better if the body parts came from Taliban terrorists? Would you shudder less about Bundy’s proclivities if they had been focused on petty criminals rather than young women?

Bishop on September 29, 2010 at 9:14 PM

Don’t know about anyone else, but I’d say, “Yes, and Yes.”

Or rather, “yes and very slightly”. Innocence of the victim does make the crime a lot worse. The petty criminals aren’t totally innocent, but if they haven’t done anything close to murder, then it is almost as bad.

I mean, I don’t condone collecting the body parts even of Terrorists. But that is light-years away from doing it to an innocent.

I guess strictly speaking, that’s because most of the outrage comes from the killing itself, which is of course completely justified for the terrorists. The collecting of body parts is just one added horror to top it off.

RINO in Name Only on September 29, 2010 at 9:45 PM

Obama’s war.

Ronnie on September 29, 2010 at 9:48 PM

Did Audie Murphy ever collect body parts? I very much doubt it even though he could have collected an awful lot.

Luka on September 29, 2010 at 9:48 PM

2) Let’s say it is true, OH BOY IT MUST MEAN ALL SOLDIERS ARE LIKE THAT

blatantblue on September 29, 2010 at 9:31 PM

Nah, he was probably just a backwards white southern Christian. We all know those racist, regionally and religiously intolerant scum aren’t representative of the rest of the military.

RINO in Name Only on September 29, 2010 at 9:48 PM

It will be interesting to see if there is an attempt in the old media to tie Bammie directly to this, as they tried to tie President George W. Bush to Abu Ghraib. Will they be asking -’what did Obama know and when did he know it?’

slickwillie2001 on September 29, 2010 at 9:48 PM

And I can further believe that the officers above him may not have had a clue. Psychotic killers like this can be very adept as hiding what they are doing from people who have the power to stop them. They use fear to compel their minions to do their dirty work and charm and guile to avoid detection from everyone else.

Lily on September 29, 2010 at 9:43 PM

Gotta disagree with you here.

OhioCoastie on September 29, 2010 at 9:51 PM

the mark of a man’s character is how he conducts himself when in power over another human being. Stress, and particularly combat stress, does not build character, it reveals it.

this is not a matter of having psych resources available, it’s the matter of a dysfunctional moral compass.

ted c on September 29, 2010 at 9:51 PM

Wars of occupation and nation building have massive material costs, but the human costs are greater. These aren’t the sorts of wars a Republic that respects human rights can win. Even a brutal dictatorship like the Soviet Union, which was willing to kill tens of thousands to stabilize Afghanistan, was unable to build a nation there. It’s time to bring our troops home, do what we can to fix the psychological damage, and let the tribesmen over there fight over their dirt mounds as they have since long before the US existed, and will no doubt continue to do until Judgment Day.

Inkblots on September 29, 2010 at 9:07 PM

Oh please…do you have any idea how many millions of civilians were killed in WW2? In Okinawa alone something like a third of the population was killed. To say that this is happening because of some drawn out war of occupation and nation building ignores the past. How long have we had troops in South Korea and when was the last time you heard about something like this happening there? The problem is not the socalled occupation..it is the brutality of the region together with the fact that from time to time there will be a break down in discipline.

Terrye on September 29, 2010 at 9:52 PM

I spoke to my son before he headed off to a place called Fallujah a few years back. Told him to act like the entire Nation was looking at him. Told him to also act among the Iraqis as being the sole American they might ever encounter.

To the bad guys…yeah, protect yourself and your own. Told him that he was a Marine, and to do what he was trained to do as he was trained to do it.

To the innocents…never give them a reason to believe for a minute that Americans are evil wanton killers. Compassion with the innocent in a foreign field is a sure fire way to save lives, ours and theirs, in the long run.

I have to wonder how many more Afghans have decided that it is us, not the Taliban nor al-Qaeda, who is now the enemy after the slaughter of their own by our own. There is no way to undo the damage that brings.

coldwarrior on September 29, 2010 at 9:53 PM

2 inches away from these men is a 1LT…and a CPT.

ted c on September 29, 2010 at 9:53 PM

slickwillie2001 on September 29, 2010 at 9:48 PM

You must have missed the early comment about one of the charged soldiers being from Wasilla, Alaska.

You don’t think there are leftist media types doing cartwheels about that connection to a certain female conservative firebrand?

Bishop on September 29, 2010 at 9:55 PM

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