Tuesday 22 March 2011



My $.02 worth of Snippits and Snappits on this matter:
As horrendous as these images are, as with those charged in Abu Ghraib's exposure, these men serve as patsies to take the heat off the real culprits, their superiors who assuredly knew what their men were up to. 
It is also hypocritical when you consider that the crimes of the Blackwater thugs go by unpunished. And if the people do take punishment into their own hands, you end up with a Falujah. 

I warrant the real sorrow in this, on behalf of the U.S. army is that some of the "good ole' "merican" boys got caught ~ because they were dumb enough to be photographed in the act.   

The arrests and trials of American soldiers caught for crimes that we may never know the full extent of, the accusations, killing for sport, taking gruesome photographs, collecting fingers as trophies, is “meat” for the media.  It will sell papers, it will bring TV viewers. 

Are these young men serial killers, criminal psychopaths, or “boys out for a good time and things got a bit out of hand?”  Do we blame them or the America’s failed attempt to build a permanent wartime standing army, replacing traditions with cheap politics and “revival tent” religion?

Some argue that it wasn’t them but their environment that was responsible but we all know that is just claptrap. We also know that this isn’t the first time this has happened.  The stories, all verified, of kidnapping and rape as with Dr. Aafia or dragging detainees behind vehicles, torturing them with power tools or flying them to the ends of the earth, Egypt, Bulgaria, Poland, “one way trips” that no “detainee” has ever returned from or has ever survived, are no different than the crimes these men are standing trial for.

We can not ignore the fact that over 75% of our “terrorist detainees” are the wrong people, simply “mistaken identity.”  The remaining 25% are waiting for court dates for release.  Estimates that as low as 5% of those captured, detained, really kidnapped, during the Bush administration were ever involved in anything. These facts, not published but real, are the results of court records open to every American.

How many are we killing each day in Afghanistan?   Are Predator unmanned aircraft randomly wiping out Afghanistan and sections of Pakistan, village by village?  Much of the world thinks so and nobody has been able to prove them wrong.

Five or ten years from now, 
how many countries will be exhuming mass graves,
sites of victims of America’s psychopaths?

There is no difference between Morlock and Holmes and the Special Forces squads doing exactly the same thing.  The only difference is using known unreliable intelligence, let me correct that, known “gossip” as a basis for executing civilians or doing it for entertainment. These men were doing what they were taught.  Murder and hate became “policy” for the military when Donald Rumsfeld, an ignorant extremist bigot, was chosen by President Bush to head our armed forces.

Who do we blame?  We blame the Commander in Chief.  He knew what he had inherited, a sick and dysfunctional institution of bottom-feeders, fanatics and fools, morally bankrupt cowards and bullies hiding behind a uniform and a bible.

We all knew it, every one of us. Meanwhile, the lower ranks pay so that the American military can show the world that it indeed punishes the "bad seed" of the troops.

March 22, 2011 

U.S. army forced to issue an apology over 'trophy' photos of soldiers grinning over bloodied Afghan corpses 

Commanders in Afghanistan bracing themselves for public fury and possible riots 

German newspaper Der Spiegel, which obtained the photographs, said there are thousands more showing other victims

American soldiers have appeared in leaked photographs posing with the bloodied and partially naked bodies of Afghan civilians they allegedly killed in cold blood.

Last night, the U.S. army was forced to apologize for the ‘repugnant’ pictures.

And Nato commanders in Afghanistan were said to be bracing themselves for a public backlash and possible riots over the 'trophy' photographs, especially since it has been alleged that the Afghan civilians were unarmed and innocent.

Courts martial: U.S. Army photos of Jeremy Morlock (left) and Andrew Holmes who have been accused of murdering innocent Afghan civilians

The photographs were published yesterday by Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine and were among 4,000 they have obtained.
Some of the images allegedly taken by a rogue U.S. army unit in Afghanistan last year show two soldiers kneeling over a bloodied, half-naked body. 

They each hold the face of the dead man up to the camera by grabbing his hair and turning his head. One of the soldiers is grinning.

Senior military officials fear they could lead to the kind of worldwide protests caused by the 2004 Abu Ghraib scandal, in which U.S. soldiers were pictured abusing prisoners in Iraq.

It is feared that these pictures ~ which show the aftermath of the murders at the hands of a rogue U.S. Stryker 'kill team' ~ could be even more damaging as the trials of the 12 accused men are currently under way in Seattle.

On Sunday 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. 

Police arrest 35 protesters outside U.S. military base where 'WikiLeaks whistleblower' Bradley Manning is held
    Army officials attempted to keep the photographs under wraps as part of the war crimes probe fearing it could inflame feelings at a time when anti-Americanism in Afghanistan is already running high.

    In their statement, the U.S. army said the photographs depicted 'actions repugnant to us as human beings and contrary to the standards and values of the United States Army

    The actions portrayed in these photographs remain under investigation and are now the subject of ongoing U.S. court-martial proceedings, in which the accused are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.'

    Der Spiegel magazine says it has identified one of the soldiers in the photographs as Cpl Jeremy Morlock of Alaska.

    He is one of five soldiers accused of the premeditated murder of three Afghan civilians earlier this year.

    Morlock agreed to plead guilty in late February and get a shorter prison term if he testified against the other accused soldiers.

    Four other soldiers based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord have been charged with murder and conspiracy in the case ~ they deny the charges.

    Seven others have been charged with conspiracy to cover up the alleged murders.

    Other charges include the mutilation of corpses, the possession of images of human casualties and drug abuse.

    In one of the photos, Morlock is seen grinning as he lifts up the head of a corpse by the hair, turning it towards the camera.

    Accused: In this courtroom sketch, U.S. Army Cpl Jeremy Morlock, of Alaska, centre, is shown at his trial for the murder of three innocent Afghans

    Der Spiegel identified the body as that of Gul Mudin, whom Morlock was charged with killing on January15, 2010, in Kandahar Province.

    Another photo shows Private 1st Class Andrew Holmes, of Boise, Idaho, holding the head of the same corpse.

    His lawyer, Daniel Conway, said on  Sunday that Holmes was ordered 'to be in the photo, so he got in the photo. That doesn't make him a murderer'.

    The five accused of murder allegedly threw grenades and opened fire on civilians in unprovoked assaults, while the other seven are accused of dismembering the victims and collecting body parts.

    They are accused of staging the killings to make it look like they were defending themselves from Taliban attacks.

    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'.

    Outrage: Images of U.S. soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners inside Abu Ghraib prison sparked waves of anti-U.S. protests around the world when they were published and it is feared the new pictures published in Der Spiegel will do the same. The photo was taken while the platoon leader, Lieutenant Roman Ligsay, was present, Mr Conway said.

    Ligsay has asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in refusing to testify in the legal proceedings against his troops.

    Mr Conway sought copies of the photographs so that he could present them to a ballistics expert, who he argued might be able to tell whether the victim had been struck by the weapon Holmes was carrying. His request was rejected.

    He said: 'I'm very disappointed that, in an American judicial proceeding, I have to get potentially exculpatory evidence from a German newspaper.'

    A record number of civilians were killed in Afghanistan last year. More than 2,700 civilians were killed in 2010 ~ up 15 per cent on the year before.

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