US Soldiers Killing Afghan Civilians for Sport
JNN 23 Mar 2011 : German Magazine Der Spiegel has released hideous photographs of US soldiers posing with dead Afghan men.
In one of the pictures, a US soldier holds a bleeding man’s head up, and then in another photo a soldier is smiling, a Press TV correspondent in Washington reported on Monday.
In a third photograph, two men are tied together, appearing to have been shot — slumped up against a post.
Der Spiegel published the photos over the weekend but they should reach the United States by Tuesday.
The US army officials have apologized for the pictures, calling them repugnant and contrary to army values but have not released further comments.
Two of the soldiers in the photographs — Specialist Jeremy Morlock and Private First Class Andrew Holmes — are part a group of US soldiers that already face murder charges for allegedly blowing up and randomly shooting at Afghan civilians before collecting their fingers as trophies.
Trial for the two soldiers is being held in Washington State. Morlock’s court martial is scheduled for Wednesday. Holmes’ court martial has not been publicly announced.
In November 2010, a group of US soldiers, accused of killing and allegedly mutilating Afghan civilians for sport, appeared before court but received only light prison sentences.
They were accused of changing the crime scenes to make them look like defensive combat.
Prosecutors say they also mutilated the bodies of their victims.
The images disclosed and published by Der Spiegel have prompted the US Army to issue an apology “for the distress these photos cause”.
It has also condemned the actions depicted in the photos as “repugnant”.
According to Morlock’s lawyers he has agreed to plead guilty later this week to three counts of murder and other offences and to testify against his co-defendants.
Under the plea deal, which is subject to approval by a military judge, he would receive a 24-year prison sentence instead of a life term if convicted of all charges.