March 22, 2011

More on the Afghanistan Murder Photos

Via the Washington Post:

Der Spiegel publishes photos of U.S. soldiers posing with dead Afghan civilian
Newsmagazine Der Spiegel has published two photographs depicting U.S. Army soldiers posing next to the corpse of an Afghan civilian moments after he was killed in an incident the Army has classified as a murder.

The photos are among several hundred the Army has sought to keep under wraps as it prosecutes five members of the 5th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, for the alleged murders of three unarmed Afghan civilians last year. The photographs published by Der Spiegel were among those covered by a judicial protective order issued by a military judge, prohibiting their public release.

The photos were published in the print edition of the magazine scheduled for distribution Monday. An advance copy was made available to subscribers in an e-mail over the weekend.

According to the magazine, the photos show soldiers from the 5th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, posing separately next to the corpse of Gul Mudin, an unarmed Afghan civilian killed by their unit on Jan. 15 2010. (READ MORE)
Via the Guardian:

Army 'kill team' in Afghanistan posed for photos of murdered civilians
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.
(READ MORE)
Via Spiegel:

US Army Apologizes for Horrific Photos from Afghanistan
The United States and NATO are concerned that reactions could be intense to the publication of images documenting killings committed by US soldiers in Afghanistan. The images appeared in the most recent edition of SPIEGEL, which hit the newsstands on Monday.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has already telephoned with her Afghan counterpart to discuss the situation. National Security Advisor Tom Donilon has likewise made contact with officials in Kabul. The case threatens to strain already fragile US-Afghan relations at a time when the two countries are negotiating over the establishment of permanent US military bases in Afghanistan.

In a statement released by Colonel Thomas Collins, the US Army, which is currently preparing a court martial to try a total of 12 suspects in connection with the killings, apologized for the suffering the photos have caused. The actions depicted in the photos, the statement read, are "repugnant to us as human beings and contrary to the standards and values of the United States." (READ MORE)

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