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View Full Version : Int'l Issues Rolling Stone March 28, 2011: The Kill Team


SNR
03-28-2011, 09:33 PM
Before some of you bite off my head for posting this article, I'm not doing this because America is evil and the US military is a pack of soulless robots who kill innocent people. I'm posting it because it's being talked about. The content is revealing, and there are a number of ways a discussion can go regarding the information being presented.

This article is new. It was published today and has already been talked about on daily news programs like The Morning Joe. It's in the realm of public discussion, and that's why I'm posting it.

So discuss the article. If you think it's disgusting, please object with the author of the article, not me. I didn't do anything. I will bring up my reflections in a different post, but not the OP.

These are the first two pages. The actual article is much longer (8 pages). I think once you get through these two, you get pretty much the idea.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-kill-team-20110327?page=1

The Kill Team
How U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan murdered innocent civilians and mutilated their corpses – and how their officers failed to stop them. Plus: An exclusive look at the war crime photos censored by the Pentagon

By Mark Boal
MARCH 27, 2011 10:00 PM ET

Early last year, after six hard months soldiering in Afghanistan, a group of American infantrymen reached a momentous decision: It was finally time to kill a haji.

Among the men of Bravo Company, the notion of killing an Afghan civilian had been the subject of countless conversations, during lunchtime chats and late-night bull sessions. For weeks, they had weighed the ethics of bagging "savages" and debated the probability of getting caught. Some of them agonized over the idea; others were gung-ho from the start. But not long after the New Year, as winter descended on the arid plains of Kandahar Province, they agreed to stop talking and actually pull the trigger.

Bravo Company had been stationed in the area since summer, struggling, with little success, to root out the Taliban and establish an American presence in one of the most violent and lawless regions of the country. On the morning of January 15th, the company's 3rd Platoon – part of the 5th Stryker Brigade, based out of Tacoma, Washington – left the mini-metropolis of tents and trailers at Forward Operating Base Ramrod in a convoy of armored Stryker troop carriers. The massive, eight-wheeled trucks surged across wide, vacant stretches of desert, until they came to La Mohammad Kalay, an isolated farming village tucked away behind a few poppy fields.


To provide perimeter security, the soldiers parked the Strykers at the outskirts of the settlement, which was nothing more than a warren of mud-and-straw compounds. Then they set out on foot. Local villagers were suspected of supporting the Taliban, providing a safe haven for strikes against U.S. troops. But as the soldiers of 3rd Platoon walked through the alleys of La Mohammad Kalay, they saw no armed fighters, no evidence of enemy positions. Instead, they were greeted by a frustratingly familiar sight: destitute Afghan farmers living without electricity or running water; bearded men with poor teeth in tattered traditional clothes; young kids eager for candy and money. It was impossible to tell which, if any, of the villagers were sympathetic to the Taliban. The insurgents, for their part, preferred to stay hidden from American troops, striking from a distance with IEDs.

While the officers of 3rd Platoon peeled off to talk to a village elder inside a compound, two soldiers walked away from the unit until they reached the far edge of the village. There, in a nearby poppy field, they began looking for someone to kill. "The general consensus was, if we are going to do something that fucking crazy, no one wanted anybody around to witness it," one of the men later told Army investigators.

The poppy plants were still low to the ground at that time of year. The two soldiers, Cpl. Jeremy Morlock and Pfc. Andrew Holmes, saw a young farmer who was working by himself among the spiky shoots. Off in the distance, a few other soldiers stood sentry. But the farmer was the only Afghan in sight. With no one around to witness, the timing was right. And just like that, they picked him for execution.

He was a smooth-faced kid, about 15 years old. Not much younger than they were: Morlock was 21, Holmes was 19. His name, they would later learn, was Gul Mudin, a common name in Afghanistan. He was wearing a little cap and a Western-style green jacket. He held nothing in his hand that could be interpreted as a weapon, not even a shovel. The expression on his face was welcoming. "He was not a threat," Morlock later confessed.

Morlock and Holmes called to him in Pashto as he walked toward them, ordering him to stop. The boy did as he was told. He stood still.

The soldiers knelt down behind a mud-brick wall. Then Morlock tossed a grenade toward Mudin, using the wall as cover. As the grenade exploded, he and Holmes opened fire, shooting the boy repeatedly at close range with an M4 carbine and a machine gun.

Mudin buckled, went down face first onto the ground. His cap toppled off. A pool of blood congealed by his head.

The loud report of the guns echoed all around the sleepy farming village. The sound of such unexpected gunfire typically triggers an emergency response in other soldiers, sending them into full battle mode. Yet when the shots rang out, some soldiers didn't seem especially alarmed, even when the radio began to squawk. It was Morlock, agitated, screaming that he had come under attack. On a nearby hill, Spc. Adam Winfield turned to his friend, Pfc. Ashton Moore, and explained that it probably wasn't a real combat situation. It was more likely a staged killing, he said – a plan the guys had hatched to take out an unarmed Afghan without getting caught.

Back at the wall, soldiers arriving on the scene found the body and the bloodstains on the ground. Morlock and Holmes were crouched by the wall, looking excited. When a staff sergeant asked them what had happened, Morlock said the boy had been about to attack them with a grenade. "We had to shoot the guy," he said.

It was an unlikely story: a lone Taliban fighter, armed with only a grenade, attempting to ambush a platoon in broad daylight, let alone in an area that offered no cover or concealment. Even the top officer on the scene, Capt. Patrick Mitchell, thought there was something strange about Morlock's story. "I just thought it was weird that someone would come up and throw a grenade at us," Mitchell later told investigators.

But Mitchell did not order his men to render aid to Mudin, whom he believed might still be alive, and possibly a threat. Instead, he ordered Staff Sgt. Kris Sprague to "make sure" the boy was dead. Sprague raised his rifle and fired twice.

As the soldiers milled around the body, a local elder who had been working in the poppy field came forward and accused Morlock and Holmes of murder. Pointing to Morlock, he said that the soldier, not the boy, had thrown the grenade. Morlock and the other soldiers ignored him.

To identify the body, the soldiers fetched the village elder who had been speaking to the officers that morning. But by tragic coincidence, the elder turned out to be the father of the slain boy. His moment of grief-stricken recognition, when he saw his son lying in a pool of blood, was later recounted in the flat prose of an official Army report. "The father was very upset," the report noted.

The father's grief did nothing to interrupt the pumped-up mood that had broken out among the soldiers. Following the routine Army procedure required after every battlefield death, they cut off the dead boy's clothes and stripped him naked to check for identifying tattoos. Next they scanned his iris and fingerprints, using a portable biometric scanner.

Then, in a break with protocol, the soldiers began taking photographs of themselves celebrating their kill. Holding a cigarette rakishly in one hand, Holmes posed for the camera with Mudin's bloody and half-naked corpse, grabbing the boy's head by the hair as if it were a trophy deer. Morlock made sure to get a similar memento.

No one seemed more pleased by the kill than Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs, the platoon's popular and hard-charging squad leader. "It was like another day at the office for him," one soldier recalls. Gibbs started "messing around with the kid," moving his arms and mouth and "acting like the kid was talking." Then, using a pair of razor-sharp medic's shears, he reportedly sliced off the dead boy's pinky finger and gave it to Holmes, as a trophy for killing his first Afghan.

According to his fellow soldiers, Holmes took to carrying the finger with him in a zip-lock bag. "He wanted to keep the finger forever and wanted to dry it out," one of his friends would later report. "He was proud of his finger.

Direckshun
03-28-2011, 09:37 PM
I think it's actually kind of sad you have to preface the posting of this story with a five-sentence disclaimer as to why you're doing it.

It's patriotic to post the hard truth about wars that you and I are paying for with our tax dollars. When Afghanis and Iraqis are killed, maimed, and tortured by Americans, we are the ones paying for it to happen. We are directly funding their nightmares.

Of course, we can't lose sight of the good. But information like this is necessary. Get it out in the open. Make it public knowledge. And do what you can, even if it's futile, to make sure it never, ever happens again.

BucEyedPea
03-28-2011, 09:40 PM
This article may be new but I've read about this earlier....like in the past month or so.

SNR
03-28-2011, 09:42 PM
I think it's actually kind of sad you have to preface the posting of this story with a five-sentence disclaimer as to why you're doing it.

It's patriotic to post the hard truth about wars that you and I are paying for with our tax dollars. When Afghanis and Iraqis are killed, maimed, and tortured by Americans, we are the ones paying for it to happen. We are directly funding their nightmares.

Of course, we can't lose sight of the good. But information like this is necessary. Get it out in the open. Make it public knowledge. And do what you can, even if it's futile, to make sure it never, ever happens again.I've been chewed out on this forum for posting this kind of stuff before. I've seen others get ripped apart for doing it, too. Usually it's because it's someone like jAz or Frankie. But it doesn't have to be. It's something that doesn't reflect well on the US military (or at least these few soldiers in this team) and it deserves to be brought to light.

This is an important story, you're right. The main point to take away from it is not a war debate itself, but to isolate these particular soldiers and why the hell they are this sadistic. They're definitely not receiving this kind of encouragement from their superior officers (at least I hope not) so where does it come from?

The culture at home is my best guess. You hear about this kind of propaganda in WWI posters and killing the baby-eating Huns. This is the 21st century and some people still suffer from that kind of indoctrination.

SNR
03-28-2011, 09:43 PM
This article may be new but I've read about this earlier....like in the past month or so.First time I saw it. I definitely didn't read about it on here, either.

Bwana
03-28-2011, 09:44 PM
Yeah, these clowns need to be lined up and shot. "Gibbs" grew up here in Billings and I haven't talked to anyone who doesn't want him to face a firing squad.

BucEyedPea
03-28-2011, 09:47 PM
First time I saw it. I definitely didn't read about it on here, either.
That's cause I read antiwar.com and you know who else. Lol!
It's mainly been the right here so I doubt you'd find it put up by any of them.

Direckshun
03-28-2011, 09:47 PM
I've been chewed out on this forum for posting this kind of stuff before. I've seen others get ripped apart for doing it. Usually it's because it's someone like jAz or Frankie.

This is an important story, you're right. The main point to take away from it is not a war debate itself, but to isolate these particular soldiers and why the hell they are this sadistic. They're definitely not receiving this kind of encouragement from their superior officers (at least I hope not) so where does it come from?

The culture at home is my best guess. You hear about this kind of propaganda in WWI posters and killing the baby-eating Huns. This is the 21st century and some people still suffer from that kind of indoctrination.

I've defended folks who post these stories on the forum. Orange is the most recent example, and I think orange even served in the military.

Anybody can post a rah-rah story. You're doing a service when you bring American atrocities to attention, because it alerts folks to it, and hopefully that will have positive blowback on it being less likely to occur in the future. That's the goal, anyway.

Responding to your thoughts on the subject, it's not just the "culture at home," although that can set you up for failure.

It's war. War does this to people. You get out on the opposite side of the earth, firing at people who fire back at you, some of them kill people you've known and even loved as brothers/sisters, and it fucks you up. You want to fucking destroy everything they love dearly. You blame it on the host country. You blame it on the earth you stand on. You just get fucked up and angry inside, and it can simmer until it blasts out. Sometimes, like this.

It doesn't just happen to privates. It happens to superior officers as well, everybody's just as susceptible to it. Abu Ghraib is the perfect example of how war can turn us, from the top policymaker to the bottom private, into living, breathing nightmare factories.

SNR
03-28-2011, 09:52 PM
Video interview in this link:

http://www.businessinsider.com/rolling-stone-kill-team-photos-2011-3

LiveSteam
03-28-2011, 10:10 PM
No room in our military for SS style death head squads. If convicted they need shot by firing squad & made an example of.
My father,a solder of 42 years. If he was still alive ,would agree with what was said at the 11 minute mark of the vido posted

orange
03-29-2011, 03:41 AM
First time I saw it. I definitely didn't read about it on here, either.

I've defended folks who post these stories on the forum. Orange is the most recent example, and I think orange even served in the military.

You both saw this here when they were first charged six months ago. In fact, it's the reaction to that thread that was probably on your mind when you wrote the disclaimer, SNR.

http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=233199&highlight=morlock

I remember that because Morlock is any easy name to remember.

p.s. Direckshun, no I've never been in the military.

orange
03-29-2011, 03:59 AM
Yeah, these clowns need to be lined up and shot. "Gibbs" grew up here in Billings and I haven't talked to anyone who doesn't want him to face a firing squad.

You all becoming anti-American libtard commies now?

The Mad Crapper
03-29-2011, 06:17 AM
It's been said by psychiatrists that 1 out of 25 people are sociopaths. A platoon or detachment is about 25 people. What if that one person is a platoon SGT? Or the OIC?

In adverse or abnormal, perhaps even surreal circumstances--- the orders of a sociopath might make sense. And once you compromise ethics or morals, the multiplier effect kicks in.

Bwana
03-29-2011, 08:42 AM
You all becoming anti-American libtard commies now?

LMAO

Not even close.

The guys that did this, are a disgrace to the uniform. Details of this story have been on the local news at least twice a week, for a long time, because as I stated in another post, the POS Gibbs is a local.

These guys are broken arrows and caused a lot of damage pertaining to relationships and trust with the local people. When that happens, it puts a lot of GOOD, honest, hard working service people, in harms way. This group has NOTHING to do with your average soldier.

They were in no danger and got their kicks by killing innocent people. If they were doing that crap in the US, they would pay for it, big time. This case should be no different. The military needs to make examples out of then, in order to curtail behavior like this in the future.

Brock
03-29-2011, 08:50 AM
I've defended folks who post these stories on the forum. Orange is the most recent example, and I think orange even served in the military.

Anybody can post a rah-rah story. You're doing a service when you bring American atrocities to attention, because it alerts folks to it, and hopefully that will have positive blowback on it being less likely to occur in the future. That's the goal, anyway.

Responding to your thoughts on the subject, it's not just the "culture at home," although that can set you up for failure.

It's war. War does this to people. You get out on the opposite side of the earth, firing at people who fire back at you, some of them kill people you've known and even loved as brothers/sisters, and it fucks you up. You want to fucking destroy everything they love dearly. You blame it on the host country. You blame it on the earth you stand on. You just get fucked up and angry inside, and it can simmer until it blasts out. Sometimes, like this.

It doesn't just happen to privates. It happens to superior officers as well, everybody's just as susceptible to it. Abu Ghraib is the perfect example of how war can turn us, from the top policymaker to the bottom private, into living, breathing nightmare factories.

Thanks for that insight into the mind of a soldier. I didn't know you could learn all of that by playing Halo.

The Mad Crapper
03-29-2011, 08:53 AM
You all becoming anti-American libtard commies now?

I must have missed where the NYT had this story on the front page for 2 months straight, blaming the war criminal Obama.

SNR
03-29-2011, 11:15 AM
You both saw this here when they were first charged six months ago. In fact, it's the reaction to that thread that was probably on your mind when you wrote the disclaimer, SNR.

http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=233199&highlight=morlock

I remember that because Morlock is any easy name to remember.

p.s. Direckshun, no I've never been in the military.I must be getting old. I didn't recall that thread when I posted the disclaimer (I've seen other threads like yours), but now that you posted it I DO remember that thread. I didn't realize this was the same case.

In that time span, I believe more pictures have been brought to light from those murders. It's either that or Mark Boal simply didn't want this story to fall through the cracks

patteeu
03-29-2011, 11:54 AM
I've been chewed out on this forum for posting this kind of stuff before. I've seen others get ripped apart for doing it, too. Usually it's because it's someone like jAz or Frankie. But it doesn't have to be. It's something that doesn't reflect well on the US military (or at least these few soldiers in this team) and it deserves to be brought to light.

This is an important story, you're right. The main point to take away from it is not a war debate itself, but to isolate these particular soldiers and why the hell they are this sadistic. They're definitely not receiving this kind of encouragement from their superior officers (at least I hope not) so where does it come from?

The culture at home is my best guess. You hear about this kind of propaganda in WWI posters and killing the baby-eating Huns. This is the 21st century and some people still suffer from that kind of indoctrination.

How many articles do you post or threads do you create to celebrate the successes and best-in-world humanitarian considerations of our military?* The reason some of these posts that cast our military in a negative light get criticized is because they come from people who are clearly interested in exaggerating the negative side of the story without the balance of the overwhelmingly good side of the story.

---------------
* I don't know the answer to this and while you've been critical of our foreign policy, I don't associate you with some of the more aggressive anti-US propagandists in this forum.

SNR
03-29-2011, 12:10 PM
How many articles do you post or threads do you create to celebrate the successes and best-in-world humanitarian considerations of our military?* The reason some of these posts that cast our military in a negative light get criticized is because they come from people who are clearly interested in exaggerating the negative side of the story without the balance of the overwhelmingly good side of the story.

---------------
* I don't know the answer to this and while you've been critical of our foreign policy, I don't associate you with some of the more aggressive anti-US propagandists in this forum.I'll be honest here: the humanitarian causes and actions of the military are not something I genuinely care about.

That sounds harsh, but it's just not part of my makeup. None of my immediate family members are in the military or serving duty. A friend of mine joined the marines after high school, but he has since left and now operates a restaurant. My grandpa fought in Normandy and other than that, I have no real war stories to relate to. And that was in the 1940s.

And from what I see, most conservatives don't post positive military stories, either. I think I saw one or two stories about our aid during the Indonesia tsunamis and the Haiti earthquake, but other than those I haven't seen that much on this forum. Again, my eyes don't immediately look for that kind of stuff.

That's not to say I don't appreciate those jobs the military perform, even though I might disagree with their purpose over there in the first place. I'm just not the kind of guy who really digs positive backstories in anything, really. Human interest shit on American Idol, professional sports, all that. I don't really care. Those "NBA cares" ads? The NFL and the United Way? Get out of me.

When I start seeing more positive military stories being posted here, maybe I'll follow suit and come up with my own.

Saul Good
03-29-2011, 12:11 PM
So, what's to discuss regarding the story itself?

blaise
03-29-2011, 12:29 PM
I don't think anyone is going to mind that SNR posted this. I think people reacted negatively toward orange because it seemed like he was gloating about it. That's how it seemed to me anyway.

orange
03-29-2011, 12:45 PM
So, what's to discuss regarding the story itself?

When something like this comes around, there is always the timeworn "war does things to people" thesis. I don't buy that, though. Hundreds of thousands have served in Iraq and Afghanistan under the same circumstances as this unit and not gone this route. I think when the book is written about "The Kill Team," it will be about how a single charismatic psychopath arrived and put his imprint on this group. A group that went along with it perhaps because they were brutalized by combat, but even so, it's a warning.

You could also ask "does this mean all Americans are bad? The actions of some Muslims mean that all of them are." That was the context when the story first broke in the middle of the No More Mosques debate.

Bwana
03-29-2011, 12:50 PM
When something like this comes around, there is always the timeworn "war does things to people" thesis. I don't buy that, though. Hundreds of thousands have served in Iraq and Afghanistan under the same circumstances as this unit and not gone this route. I think when the book is written about "The Kill Team," it will be about how a single charismatic psychopath arrived and put his imprint on this group. A group that went along with it perhaps because they were brutalized by combat, but even so, it's a warning.

You could also ask "does this mean all Americans are bad? The actions of some Muslims means all of them are." That was the context when the story first broke in the middle of the No More Mosques debate.

Heh

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BucEyedPea
03-29-2011, 12:55 PM
Heh

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O.M.G. THAT is hilarious! His pig farm should be put on an expansion program.

Garcia Bronco
03-29-2011, 12:59 PM
Rolling Stones article is bullshit

Calling BULL**** on Rolling Stone "The Kill Team" Article
By Michael Yon
"Seldom do I waste time with rebutting articles, and especially not from publications like Rolling Stone. Today, numerous people sent links to the latest Rolling Stone tripe. The story is titled “THE KILL TEAM, THE FULL STORY.” It should be titled: “BULL****, from Rolling Stone.”

The story—not really an “article”—covers Soldiers from 5/2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT) in Afghanistan. A handful of Soldiers were accused of murder. It does in fact appear that a tiny group of rogues committed premeditated murder. I was embedded with the 5/2 SBCT and was afforded incredible access to the brigade by the Commander, Colonel Harry Tunnell, and the brigade Command Sergeant Major, Robb Prosser. I know Robb from Iraq. Colonel Tunnell had been shot in Iraq.
The brigade gave me open access. I could go anywhere, anytime, so long as I could find a ride, which never was a problem beyond normal combat problems. If they had something to hide, it was limited and I didn’t find it. I was not with the Soldiers accused of murder and had no knowledge of this. It is important to note that the murder allegations were not discovered by media vigilance, but by, for instance, at least one Soldier in that tiny unit who was appalled by the behavior. A brigade is a big place with thousands of Soldiers, and in Afghanistan they were spread thinly across several provinces because we decided to wage war with too few troops. Those Soldiers accused of being involved in (or who should have been knowledgeable of) the murders could fit into a minivan. You would need ten 747s for the rest of the Brigade who did their duty. I was with many other Soldiers from 5/2 SBCT. My overall impression was very positive. After scratching my memory for negative impressions from 5/2 Soldiers, I can’t think of any, actually, other than the tiny Kill Team who, to my knowledge, I never set eyes upon.

The online edition of the Rolling Stone story contains a section with a video called “Motorcycle Kill,” which includes our Soldiers gunning down Taliban who were speeding on a motorcycle toward our guys. These Soldiers were also with 5/2 SBCT, far away from the “Kill Team” later accused of the murders. Rolling Stone commits a literary “crime” by deceptively entwining this normal combat video with the Kill Team story. The Taliban on the motorcycle were killed during an intense operation in the Arghandab near Kandahar City. People who have been to the Arghandab realize the extreme danger there. The Soviets got beaten horribly in the Arghandab, despite throwing everything including the Soviet kitchen sink into the battle that lasted over a month. Others fared little better. To my knowledge, 5/2 and supporting units were the first ever to take Arghandab, and these two dead Taliban were part of that process.

The killing of the armed Taliban on the motorcycle was legal and within the rules of engagement. Law and ROE are related but separate matters. In any case, the killing was well within both the law and ROE. The Taliban on the back of the motorcycle raised his rifle to fire at our Soldiers but the rifle did not fire. I talked at length with several of the Soldiers who were there and they gave me the video. There was nothing to hide. I didn’t even know about the story until they told me. It can be good for Soldiers to shoot and share videos because it provides instant replay and lessons learned. When they gave me the video and further explained what happened, I found the combat so normal that I didn’t even bother publishing it, though I should have because that little shooting of the two Taliban was the least of the accomplishments of these Soldiers, and it rid the Arghandab of two Taliban.
Some people commented that our Soldiers used excessive force by firing too many bullets. Hogwash. And besides, they were trying to kill each other. Anyone who has seen much combat with our weak M-4 rifles realizes that one shot is generally not enough, and the Taliban were speeding at them on a motorbike, which very often are prepared as suicide bombs. If that motorcycle had been a bomb, as they often are, and got inside the group of Soldiers and exploded, they could all have been killed. Just yesterday, in Paktika, three suicide attackers came in, guns blazing, and detonated a huge truck bomb. Depending on which reports you read, about twenty workers were killed and about another fifty wounded.

In the video, our guys would have been justified in firing twice that many bullets, but at some point you are wasting ammo and that is a combat sin. The Soldiers involved in that shooting told me that the Taliban on the back may have pulled the AK trigger, but the loaded AK did not fire because the Taliban didn’t have a round in the chamber. Attention to detail. At least one also had an ammunition rack strapped across his chest.

This could go on for pages, but Rolling Stone is not worth it, and thrashing them might only build their readership. I’ve found in the past that boycotts work. I led a boycott against one magazine and it went bankrupt. It’s doubtful that Rolling Stone will go bankrupt for its sins, but you can cost them money not by boycotting their magazine, but by boycotting their advertisers. That hurts. Just pick an advertiser whose products you already buy, boycott it, and tell the advertiser why you are not buying their product.

Now I’ve got to get back to work."

BucEyedPea
03-29-2011, 12:59 PM
When something like this comes around, there is always the timeworn "war does things to people" thesis. I don't buy that, though. Hundreds of thousands have served in Iraq and Afghanistan under the same circumstances as this unit and not gone this route.

Well, I do think war does this to people because it affects certain people differently. I see truth in your point as well. Perhaps, it brings something out of some people that was there that otherwise would have never come out. So saying it does this to people....to me....just means it affects some people that way. The other point, that needs mentioning, is that some guys were recruited from gangs.

fan4ever
03-29-2011, 01:04 PM
O.M.G. THAT is hilarious! His pig farm should be put on an expansion program.

Man, that makes me want to rent "Secretariat" all over again...

fan4ever
03-29-2011, 01:06 PM
You all becoming anti-American libtard commies now?

Naw, conservatives only hate the military when they do something atrocious like this...not intrinsically like liberals.

fan4ever
03-29-2011, 01:06 PM
Thanks for that insight into the mind of a soldier. I didn't know you could learn all of that by playing Halo.

ROFL

Bump
03-29-2011, 01:06 PM
how about we complain about the Afghanistan's who brutally killed our soldiers during Black Hawk Down instead?

orange
03-29-2011, 01:09 PM
Naw, conservatives only hate the military when they do something atrocious like this...not intrinsically like liberals.

Really?

how about we complain about the Afghanistan's who brutally killed our soldiers during Black Hawk Down instead?

It seems to me they tend to offer excuses, instead.

BucEyedPea
03-29-2011, 01:11 PM
Man, that makes me want to rent "Secretariat" all over again...

:LOL: LMAO

Garcia Bronco
03-29-2011, 01:18 PM
Rolling Stones article is bullshit

Calling BULL**** on Rolling Stone "The Kill Team" Article
By Michael Yon
"Seldom do I waste time with rebutting articles, and especially not from publications like Rolling Stone. Today, numerous people sent links to the latest Rolling Stone tripe. The story is titled “THE KILL TEAM, THE FULL STORY.” It should be titled: “BULL****, from Rolling Stone.”

The story—not really an “article”—covers Soldiers from 5/2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT) in Afghanistan. A handful of Soldiers were accused of murder. It does in fact appear that a tiny group of rogues committed premeditated murder. I was embedded with the 5/2 SBCT and was afforded incredible access to the brigade by the Commander, Colonel Harry Tunnell, and the brigade Command Sergeant Major, Robb Prosser. I know Robb from Iraq. Colonel Tunnell had been shot in Iraq.
The brigade gave me open access. I could go anywhere, anytime, so long as I could find a ride, which never was a problem beyond normal combat problems. If they had something to hide, it was limited and I didn’t find it. I was not with the Soldiers accused of murder and had no knowledge of this. It is important to note that the murder allegations were not discovered by media vigilance, but by, for instance, at least one Soldier in that tiny unit who was appalled by the behavior. A brigade is a big place with thousands of Soldiers, and in Afghanistan they were spread thinly across several provinces because we decided to wage war with too few troops. Those Soldiers accused of being involved in (or who should have been knowledgeable of) the murders could fit into a minivan. You would need ten 747s for the rest of the Brigade who did their duty. I was with many other Soldiers from 5/2 SBCT. My overall impression was very positive. After scratching my memory for negative impressions from 5/2 Soldiers, I can’t think of any, actually, other than the tiny Kill Team who, to my knowledge, I never set eyes upon.

The online edition of the Rolling Stone story contains a section with a video called “Motorcycle Kill,” which includes our Soldiers gunning down Taliban who were speeding on a motorcycle toward our guys. These Soldiers were also with 5/2 SBCT, far away from the “Kill Team” later accused of the murders. Rolling Stone commits a literary “crime” by deceptively entwining this normal combat video with the Kill Team story. The Taliban on the motorcycle were killed during an intense operation in the Arghandab near Kandahar City. People who have been to the Arghandab realize the extreme danger there. The Soviets got beaten horribly in the Arghandab, despite throwing everything including the Soviet kitchen sink into the battle that lasted over a month. Others fared little better. To my knowledge, 5/2 and supporting units were the first ever to take Arghandab, and these two dead Taliban were part of that process.

The killing of the armed Taliban on the motorcycle was legal and within the rules of engagement. Law and ROE are related but separate matters. In any case, the killing was well within both the law and ROE. The Taliban on the back of the motorcycle raised his rifle to fire at our Soldiers but the rifle did not fire. I talked at length with several of the Soldiers who were there and they gave me the video. There was nothing to hide. I didn’t even know about the story until they told me. It can be good for Soldiers to shoot and share videos because it provides instant replay and lessons learned. When they gave me the video and further explained what happened, I found the combat so normal that I didn’t even bother publishing it, though I should have because that little shooting of the two Taliban was the least of the accomplishments of these Soldiers, and it rid the Arghandab of two Taliban.
Some people commented that our Soldiers used excessive force by firing too many bullets. Hogwash. And besides, they were trying to kill each other. Anyone who has seen much combat with our weak M-4 rifles realizes that one shot is generally not enough, and the Taliban were speeding at them on a motorbike, which very often are prepared as suicide bombs. If that motorcycle had been a bomb, as they often are, and got inside the group of Soldiers and exploded, they could all have been killed. Just yesterday, in Paktika, three suicide attackers came in, guns blazing, and detonated a huge truck bomb. Depending on which reports you read, about twenty workers were killed and about another fifty wounded.

In the video, our guys would have been justified in firing twice that many bullets, but at some point you are wasting ammo and that is a combat sin. The Soldiers involved in that shooting told me that the Taliban on the back may have pulled the AK trigger, but the loaded AK did not fire because the Taliban didn’t have a round in the chamber. Attention to detail. At least one also had an ammunition rack strapped across his chest.

This could go on for pages, but Rolling Stone is not worth it, and thrashing them might only build their readership. I’ve found in the past that boycotts work. I led a boycott against one magazine and it went bankrupt. It’s doubtful that Rolling Stone will go bankrupt for its sins, but you can cost them money not by boycotting their magazine, but by boycotting their advertisers. That hurts. Just pick an advertiser whose products you already buy, boycott it, and tell the advertiser why you are not buying their product.

Now I’ve got to get back to work."

.

Bwana
03-29-2011, 02:01 PM
how about we complain about the Afghanistan's who brutally killed our soldiers during Black Hawk Down instead?

:spock:

That happened in Somalia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Hawk_Down_(film)

Bump
03-29-2011, 02:12 PM
:spock:

That happened in Somalia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Hawk_Down_(film)

oh ya

chiefsnorth
03-29-2011, 02:54 PM
Thanks for that insight into the mind of a soldier. I didn't know you could learn all of that by playing Halo.

ROFL

Easy 6
03-29-2011, 02:56 PM
What about all of the Jordanians that massacred our guys during the Bataan Death March?

chiefsnorth
03-29-2011, 02:58 PM
.

Thanks for that. I have read one of Yon's books and would believe him long before Rolling Stone.

If what he says is true about this motorcycle video, the publication should issue a retraction immediately.


As for the rest of this kill team nonsense, what is the need to publicize this? All the evidence is in possession of the people who need it to hand out justice. The media making theatre and sport of it only serve to help the enemy's cause.

vailpass
03-29-2011, 04:31 PM
Thanks for that insight into the mind of a soldier. I didn't know you could learn all of that by playing Halo.

LMAO She doesn't need to have been there, she read about it instead.

dirk digler
03-29-2011, 05:47 PM
Thanks for posting this SNR. This is a story that needed to be told contrary to other people's opinions.

patteeu
03-29-2011, 06:12 PM
Thanks for posting this SNR. This is a story that needed to be told contrary to other people's opinions.

Even if it's not true?

dirk digler
03-29-2011, 06:19 PM
Even if it's not true?

It is true though. Morlock confessed as did others.

orange
03-29-2011, 06:21 PM
Even if it's not true?

But it IS true. There's already been at least one Guilty verdict, and there will be more. Maybe even some executions.

Even the guy who "called bullshit" admitted it.


A handful of Soldiers were accused of murder. It does in fact appear that a tiny group of rogues committed premeditated murder.

I'm not sure what 99% of his beef is. Because 99% of the story posted above is about TRUE events. I'm not even sure what the context is for that clip he objects to. Was it profferred as showing the actual murders? I'm going to have to go to the link and find out - oops, there's another hit for RollingStone.com.

patteeu
03-29-2011, 06:21 PM
It is true though. Morlock confessed as did others.

Parts of it are true, but what if that kernel of truth is wrapped in a misleading and untrue story. Michael Yon seems to think there's enough there to call it bullshit.

patteeu
03-29-2011, 06:22 PM
But it IS true. There's already been at least one Guilty verdict, and there will be more. Maybe even some executions.

Even the guy who "called bullshit" admitted it.



I'm not sure what 99% of his beef is. Because 99% of the story posted above is about TRUE events. I'm not even sure what the context is for that clip he objects to. Was it proferred as showing the actual murders? I'm going to have to go to the link and find out - oops, there's another hit for RollingStone.com.

There's a reason he called the story bullshit and it's not because it's a recounting of well documented facts and only well documented facts.

patteeu
03-29-2011, 06:27 PM
Among the men of Bravo Company, the notion of killing an Afghan civilian had been the subject of countless conversations, during lunchtime chats and late-night bull sessions. For weeks, they had weighed the ethics of bagging "savages" and debated the probability of getting caught. Some of them agonized over the idea; others were gung-ho from the start. But not long after the New Year, as winter descended on the arid plains of Kandahar Province, they agreed to stop talking and actually pull the trigger.

Does this not disparage the entire Bravo Company? Was the entire company in on these murders? Could the parts of the story that are true have been told in a more accurate, albeit perhaps less scandalous way?

orange
03-29-2011, 06:31 PM
I'm not sure what 99% of his beef is. Because 99% of the story posted above is about TRUE events. I'm not even sure what the context is for that clip he objects to. Was it profferred as showing the actual murders? I'm going to have to go to the link and find out - oops, there's another hit for RollingStone.com.

Ah, I see.

What do they always say? "It's not the crime, it's the coverup..."

The story from right after SNR's clip takes on a whole different meaning, doesn't it.

dirk digler
03-29-2011, 06:32 PM
Parts of it are true, but what if that kernel of truth is wrapped in a misleading and untrue story. Michael Yon seems to think there's enough there to call it bullshit.

IMVHO Yon, whom I like very much and respect, is upset because he views the story as painting the whole 5/2 SBCT as murderers. He doesn't deny that certain soldiers actually committed these crimes.

And the video he referenced it clearly states in the article that it wasn't from the Killing Team but it was passed around the whole Army. Rolling Stones even say that the actions on the video could be legal.

orange
03-29-2011, 06:39 PM
And the video he referenced it clearly states in the article that it wasn't from the Killing Team but it was passed around the whole Army. Rolling Stones even say that the actions on the video could be legal.

"The clip presented here is excerpted from 'Motorcycle Kill,' a video collected and shared by members of the “kill team” of U.S. soldiers who murdered civilians in Afghanistan and mutilated the corpses. The jumpy, 30-minute video – shot by soldiers believed to be with another battalion in the 5th Stryker Brigade – shows American troops gunning down two Afghans on a motorcycle who may have been armed. Even if the killings were part of a legitimate combat engagement, however, it is a clear violation of Army standards to share such footage. The video was taken on patrol with a helmet-mounted camera; at one point, the soldier shooting the images can be heard boasting, “I got it all on camera."

dirk digler
03-29-2011, 06:41 PM
.
Indeed, it would have been hard not to know about the murders, given that the soldiers of 3rd Platoon took scores of photographs chronicling their kills and their time in Afghanistan. The photos, obtained by Rolling Stone, portray a front-line culture among U.S. troops in which killing Afghan civilians is less a reason for concern than a cause for celebration.

"Most people within the unit disliked the Afghan people, whether it was the Afghan National Police, the Afghan National Army or locals," one soldier explained to investigators. "Everyone would say they're savages." One photo shows a hand missing a finger. Another depicts a severed head being maneuvered with a stick, and still more show bloody body parts, blown-apart legs, mutilated torsos. Several show dead Afghans, lying on the ground or on Stryker vehicles, with no weapons in view.

In many of the photos it is unclear whether the bodies are civilians or Taliban, and it is possible that the unidentified deaths involved no illegal acts by U.S. soldiers. But it is a violation of Army standards to take such photos of the dead, let alone share them with others. Among the soldiers, the collection was treated like a war memento. It was passed from man to man on thumb drives and hard drives, the gruesome images of corpses and war atrocities filed alongside clips of TV shows, UFC fights and films such as Iron Man 2. One soldier kept a complete set, which he made available to anyone who asked.

The collection also includes several videos shot by U.S. troops. In a jumpy, 30-minute clip titled "Motorcycle Kill," soldiers believed to be with another battalion in the Stryker Brigade gun down two Afghans on a motorcycle who may have been armed.

patteeu
03-29-2011, 07:18 PM
IMVHO Yon, whom I like very much and respect, is upset because he views the story as painting the whole 5/2 SBCT as murderers. He doesn't deny that certain soldiers actually committed these crimes.

And the video he referenced it clearly states in the article that it wasn't from the Killing Team but it was passed around the whole Army. Rolling Stones even say that the actions on the video could be legal.

I guess it's just a difference of opinion that we'll have to agree to disagree on then. You think it's OK to embellish a story about a small group of murderers in a way that casts a shadow on an entire Company and I think the author of a story like this should bend over backward to make sure such misconceptions don't have a chance of entering the minds of his readers.

dirk digler
03-29-2011, 08:11 PM
I guess it's just a difference of opinion that we'll have to agree to disagree on then. You think it's OK to embellish a story about a small group of murderers in a way that casts a shadow on an entire Company and I think the author of a story like this should bend over backward to make sure such misconceptions don't have a chance of entering the minds of his readers.

Now now pat. I never said it was ok to embellish a story. This story was true and while I understand Yon's point I just don't see it totally the way he does.

wazu
03-29-2011, 08:37 PM
Honestly this story couldn't hold my attention past a few pages. It's written with a sensational style from somebody clearly trying to paint a picture of corruption "that goes all the way up the chain", rather than simply reporting the story which is sad enough without embellishment.

The part about the 15 year old kid who was murdered in cold blood is truly heartbreaking and horrifying, though. How absolutely awful.

petegz28
03-29-2011, 08:44 PM
I guess it's just a difference of opinion that we'll have to agree to disagree on then. You think it's OK to embellish a story about a small group of murderers in a way that casts a shadow on an entire Company and I think the author of a story like this should bend over backward to make sure such misconceptions don't have a chance of entering the minds of his readers.

If they were muslim we would hear nothing but "all muslims are not like this"

|Zach|
03-29-2011, 10:37 PM
If they were muslim we would hear nothing but "all muslims are not like this"

As usual you are not within 100 miles of the point.

Nobody is saying the whole Army or a giant group of people is like this. And anybody who was trying to make that point would be silly. At the same time the "not all muslims are like this" would be dead on. That has probably been posted in some thread you made bringing up the issue of the month that scares the shit out of you.

On another note. What happened to you being outraged about the TSA machines? That must be an issue from a past month. They were damn efficient when I sailed through security a week ago.

petegz28
03-29-2011, 10:39 PM
As usual you are not within 100 miles of the point.

Nobody is saying the whole Army or a giant group of people is like this. And anybody who was trying to make that point would be silly. At the same time the "not all muslims are like this" would be dead on. That has probably been posted in some thread you made bringing up the issue of the month that scares the shit out of you.

On another note. What happened to you being outraged about the TSA machines? That must be an issue from a past month. They were damn efficient when I sailed through security a week ago.

Actually I just got first hand knowledge that the TSA machines are bunk. Flying out of Phoenix the machine was broken so everyone went right on through "old style". Go figure. No worries about security at all.

Face it, those machines were nothing more than a kick-back to someone who had friends in high places.

|Zach|
03-30-2011, 01:46 AM
Actually I just got first hand knowledge that the TSA machines are bunk. Flying out of Phoenix the machine was broken so everyone went right on through "old style". Go figure. No worries about security at all.

Face it, those machines were nothing more than a kick-back to someone who had friends in high places.

Hahahahaha

patteeu
03-30-2011, 08:05 AM
Now now pat. I never said it was ok to embellish a story. This story was true and while I understand Yon's point I just don't see it totally the way he does.

No, I'm afraid you did. If you find the story OK, you find the sensationalistic and misleading nature of the story OK.