guardian: u.s. soldiers killed afghan civilians for sport, collected fingers as trophies

This is why we must offer sancturary to every soldier strong enough to resist the madness of war.

This is why Canada must get out of Afghanistan now.

From The Guardian:
US soldiers 'killed Afghan civilians for sport and collected fingers as trophies'

Soldiers face charges over secret 'kill team' which allegedly murdered at random and collected fingers as trophies of war

Twelve American soldiers face charges over a secret "kill team" that allegedly blew up and shot Afghan civilians at random and collected their fingers as trophies.

Five of the soldiers are charged with murdering three Afghan men who were allegedly killed for sport in separate attacks this year. Seven others are accused of covering up the killings and assaulting a recruit who exposed the murders when he reported other abuses, including members of the unit smoking hashish stolen from civilians.

In one of the most serious accusations of war crimes to emerge from the Afghan conflict, the killings are alleged to have been carried out by members of a Stryker infantry brigade based in Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan.

According to investigators and legal documents, discussion of killing Afghan civilians began after the arrival of Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs at forward operating base Ramrod last November. Other soldiers told the army's criminal investigation command that Gibbs boasted of the things he got away with while serving in Iraq and said how easy it would be to "toss a grenade at someone and kill them".

More here.

1 comment:

allan said...

Tiger Force was a task force of the United States Army, 1st Battalion (Airborne), 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade (Separate), 101st Airborne Division, which fought in the Vietnam War.

The platoon-sized unit, approximately 45 paratroopers was founded by Colonel David Hackworth in November 1965 to "outguerrilla the guerrillas." Tiger Force was a highly decorated unit ... In October 1968, Tiger Force's parent battalion was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation by President Lyndon B. Johnson ...

In October 2003, the Toledo Blade reported on members of the Tiger Force unit who had committed numerous war crimes — killing, raping, and mutilating large numbers of noncombatant women and children. ...

* the routine practice of cutting off and collecting the ears of victims

* the practice of wearing necklaces composed of human ears

* the practice of cutting off and collecting the scalps of victims ...

Since the Toledo Blade story, the United States Army has opened a review of the former Tiger Force investigation, but has not yet provided much additional information.

On May 11, 2004, Lt. Col. Pamela Hart informed Toledo Blade reporters that she had been too busy responding to prisoner abuse by U.S. soldiers in Iraq to check on the status of the Tiger Force case. ...