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

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.

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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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