I received quite a bit of criticism for publishing a post in September 2010 entitled: 12 American Soldiers Accused of Killing Afghan Civilians for Sport. Even though I made it clear in the article that it was only accusations at this point I was told by commenters that it was just allegations and I shouldn’t even discuss it until after trial and the truth is known. It turns out that for at least one soldier, the allegations panned out, and he plead guilty to killing civilians for no reason. He was sentenced to 24 years in prison, pretty light for taking 3 lives, but in a plea deal he is set to testify against 4 others who could face the death penalty. From the news report:
Morlock told the judge that he and the other soldiers began plotting to murder unarmed Afghans in late 2009. To make the killings appear justified, the soldiers planned to plant weapons near the victims’ bodies, he said.
Asked by the judge what his intent was, Morlock replied, “The plan was to kill people.”
“Did everybody know, ‘We’re killing people who are completely innocent’?” the judge asked.
“Generally, yes, sir, everyone knew,” Morlock replied
As I stated in my original article, we are often told that we are hated for our freedom. Surely we are not hated for killing civilians for sport, for sending unmanned drones into sovereign countries, killing yet more civilians, for interfering with the internal politics of sovereign nations, for starting a third undeclared war against a Muslim nation, for having troops on their holy lands, for propping up western friendly dictators who commit oppression and human rights abuses against their own people.
If there is any doubt why we are hated by some in the Middle East, here are pictures published by German news Der Spiegel of the “kill team” posing with several of the civilians they murdered. Warning, the photos are graphic, which is why I linked to them rather than place them on this page.