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Ear to the Ground

Photos of U.S. Soldiers Posing With Afghan Bombers’ Body Parts Draw Condemnation

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Posted on Apr 18, 2012
Department of Defense

President Obama has called for those responsible to be held accountable.

Here we go again. Just months after U.S. Marines were videotaped urinating on Afghan corpses comes the latest scandal involving the dead in Afghanistan: photographs of American soldiers posing with the remains of Afghan insurgents. The Los Angeles Times on Wednesday printed two of the 18 photos provided to the paper by a soldier from the Army division involved. 

Los Angeles Times:

The soldier who provided The Times with a series of 18 photos of soldiers posing with corpses did so on condition of anonymity. He served in Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne’s 4th Brigade Combat Team from Ft. Bragg, N.C. He said the photos point to a breakdown in leadership and discipline that he believed compromised the safety of the troops.

He expressed the hope that publication would help ensure that alleged security shortcomings at two U.S. bases in Afghanistan in 2010 were not repeated. The brigade, under new command but with some of the same paratroopers who served in 2010, began another tour in Afghanistan in February.

U.S. military officials asked The Times not to publish any of the pictures.

Read more

An investigation is under way. The conduct has already been condemned by President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

“This is not who we are, and it’s certainly not who we represent when it comes to the great majority of men and women in uniform who are serving there,” Panetta said.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said, “[T]he conduct depicted in those photographs is reprehensible. It does not in any way represent the standards, the high standards of the U.S. military. And the president certainly shares in the Defense secretary’s opinion that this needs to be investigated, and it will be investigated, and that those responsible will be held accountable.” —TEB

 

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By heterochromatic, April 21, 2012 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

vec—it’s not really much fun, but it is easier if you just say.. “sorry, I was slightly
in error”.


but if you enjoy the fur, you could try telling us that many of the suicide bombers
from the war with the Soviets gained valuable experience that they’re using now
against NATO troops.

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vector56's avatar

By vector56, April 21, 2012 at 10:05 am Link to this comment

“show me references to suicide bombers during the Soviet-Afghan War,
if you will.”

heterochromatic; even you can’t assume that they were saving the suicide bombers just for us?

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, April 21, 2012 at 6:35 am Link to this comment

Local Hero is correct, I saw the same damn thing in Vietnam, some troops where posing with their rifle, over stacked up enemy dead like great game hunters, then asked me if I wanted to buy a photo of him and his game to send home? Sort of a capitalistic endeavor on a capitalistic endeavor.

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LocalHero's avatar

By LocalHero, April 19, 2012 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment

I’m reminded of the Latin phrase “Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.”

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LocalHero's avatar

By LocalHero, April 19, 2012 at 12:23 pm Link to this comment

Really? Is anyone surprised by this? This is normal conduct for, and let me be clear about this, EVERY. SINGLE. MILITARY. THAT. HAS. GONE. TO. WAR.

This is what war does to anyone who has any shred of humanity left in him or her. It turns them into soul-less degenerates.

Why do you think a soldier commits suicide every 80 minutes? It’s because they’re already dead inside.

Report this

By Roger Lafontaine, April 19, 2012 at 11:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

They just can’t help themselves can they ? How do you prepare soldiers for war ? You condition them to hate and you train them to kill. The first thing to be obliterated is a person’s conscience. My generation said no to war. This one hesitated because they were told that to say no to war was to say no to the soldiers who fight the war and that would cause them ‘psychological harm’ and they would be responsible for it, the ‘Vietnam syndrome’. Well, surprise, surprise: it isn’t saying no to war that cause ‘psychological damage’, it’s war itself.

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By berniem, April 19, 2012 at 10:00 am Link to this comment

I wonder how many such incidents occur for every one that gets reported? Oh, and Panetta’s pathetic scolding of the LA Times for releasing the pix demonstrates the height of inhumanity! I guess Leon got mad ‘cause the paper let the news out right before he was about to tell “WE THE PEOPLE”. If you believe that tou’re a bigger asshole than our inane fellow poster “hetero…” Oh, and this is for you my neo-fascist “friend” ...chromatic… “FREE BRADLEY MANNING & TIM DeCHRISTOPHER!!!!

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By heterochromatic, April 19, 2012 at 7:19 am Link to this comment

vec—- show me references to suicide bombers during the Soviet-Afghan War,
if you will.


——

———” Although there was no record of Afghan suicide attacks during the
Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the pursuant civil war, suicide attacks in the
country have steadily increased since the fall of the Taliban.”—-

——  Waliullah Rahmani

Jamestown Foundation Global terrorism Analysis

http://tinyurl.com/6u6kx5n

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vector56's avatar

By vector56, April 19, 2012 at 3:42 am Link to this comment

“did you simply decide to invent that shit about the US encouraging suicide
bombing during the Soviet-Afghan War?  “

As usual you are either flat-out lying or have no idea of what you are talking about. There were countless suicide attacks against the Russians both on the battle field, in their camps, while they were “in country” but off duty and even back home in the former good old USSR.

Even you can’t be silly enough to believe the mushahadeen only use this “tactic” to fight America?

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, April 19, 2012 at 3:23 am Link to this comment

tic,

if our young people can’t respect sneak attackers, how can they be seen as sensitive nurturing sorts?

I think you have outdone yourself by this pearl of a stupid comment.

They are insurgents not “smeak attackers” and they are willing to give up their lives to accomplish that goal.

Next time you see a taliban insurgent wearing Private Smucatelli body parts while texting their friends you let me know.

We may occupy their country for the short term but they have won the moral war.

Report this

By MeHere, April 18, 2012 at 8:09 pm Link to this comment

However repulsive, this is a minor episode compared to the injustice and suffering perpetrated against the Afghan people for over a decade (not counting the US involvement at the time of the Soviet war there.) We must try to keep our focus on the central issue and not be distracted by the scandalous incidents the mass media loves to exploit in isolation from the big picture.

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By John Poole, April 18, 2012 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Panetta seems to be doing the work of the ONION staff (Grizzly war photos might
incite violence). Still all you Obama dead enders will vote for Panetta’s boss (and
you know you will). I maintain that if you still support Obama you lose your right
to ever again post on TRUTHDIG.

Report this

By heterochromatic, April 18, 2012 at 7:38 pm Link to this comment

vec—- did you simply decide to invent that shit about the US encouraging suicide
bombing during the Soviet-Afghan War? 

Considering that there wasn’t any history of it back then, you come off kinda
stupid and dishonest yer own self.

Report this

By gerard, April 18, 2012 at 6:42 pm Link to this comment

No one is surprised anymore—just disgusted, nauseated, torn to pieces with regret and sorrow.

Question is:  Have we had enough yet?

Report this
vector56's avatar

By vector56, April 18, 2012 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment

“it’s hard to believe that soldiers would evince such disrespect for a suicide bomber “

heterochromatic, again your intellectual dishonesty reveals itself.

When those same suicide bombers were killing Russian soldiers in “Charlie Wilson’s War” we encouraged them, armed them and Sylvester Stallone made a movie portraying the mushahadeen as freedom fighters.

Their cousins (MEK) in Iran have Israel’s and our full support doing the same thing to the Iranians our old puppets did to the Russians.

It would seem that the war on Terror is as phoney as you are my “two dimensional” friend.

Report this

By Arbitrageur, April 18, 2012 at 5:34 pm Link to this comment

Not to worry, this will just help to enrage and goad the natives a bit faster and will fit in nicely with the bigger plan and the real reason we’re there.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJj5msdQ4vQ

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mrfreeze's avatar

By mrfreeze, April 18, 2012 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment

Richard Raznikov - Great comment and observation which REALLY hits home with me. Whenever I’m in Italy visiting my family there, I’m gently reminded that even though we Americans are loved as individuals, there is a growing disgust and disrespect for America. It’s obvious to anyone looking from the outside that our moral compass was stomped-on and brushed aside in recent years. We have lost our way…..

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By heterochromatic, April 18, 2012 at 5:22 pm Link to this comment

freeze——a most excellent comment.

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By Richard Raznikov, April 18, 2012 at 5:18 pm Link to this comment

This news is not surprising.  And the comments by Obama and Panetta are at
best disingenuous.  This DOES represent the U.S. Armed Forces.  This IS what
America has become.  And it’s amazing that while the military (and presumably
the government) asks the media not to publish the photographs we hear these
claims about how wonderful the troops are. 

If we really cared, if Obama and Panetta really wanted to change things, they
would NOT suppress the photos.  The behavior described won’t change so long
as our leaders wink at it, and that’s what they’re doing with their phony claims. 

We are training kids to be brutal because that’s what we want them to be in the
occupation of other countries –– and then we pretend to be surprised when they
go over some ‘line’.  We pretend to be surprised when they come home crazy,
when they exhibit signs of mental disorder, when they can’t easily ‘readjust’ to
domestic life. 

We are hypocrites and regardless of the lofty proclamations of our leaders, the
rest of the world knows the real story.  We are creating enemies for our country
and when Americans figure out what’s going on here these politicians are going
to be in real trouble.

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mrfreeze's avatar

By mrfreeze, April 18, 2012 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment

I’m reminded of the ancient Greek epigram:

Stranger, announce to the Lacedaemonians that we lie
here, obedient to their words. (480 B.C.)

And Edgar Lee Masters’ brilliant remix:

Stranger, tell the people of Spoon River two things:
First that we lie here, obeying their words;
And next that had we know what was back of their words
We should not be lying here!

(ELM, New Spoon River Anthology)

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By heterochromatic, April 18, 2012 at 4:41 pm Link to this comment

“All of man’s trouble stem from his inability to sit quietly in a room alone” -BP


yeah, freeze, primates are like sorta activist.

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By Arbitrageur, April 18, 2012 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment

“In War, There Are No Unwounded Soldiers.”
When you send your armies to subjugate a people, you
must ‘Dehumanize Both Sides’, racism is encouraged.
‘Ragheads’, ‘Hajji’, ‘Camel Jockeys’, ‘Sand niggers’,
these people are merely animals to us.

“We marched into all these countries for no good
reason, We just went in,
WE CAN JUST COME HOME.” ~ Dr.Ron Paul

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mrfreeze's avatar

By mrfreeze, April 18, 2012 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment

None of this would have happened had we simply stayed at home. Simple really.

Report this

By heterochromatic, April 18, 2012 at 4:21 pm Link to this comment

it’s hard to believe that soldiers would evince such disrespect for a suicide bomber
murderer of some of their cohort.


if our young people can’t respect sneak attackers, how can they be seen as
sensitive nurturing sorts?

Report this
 
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