September 27th, 2010
10:57 AM ET

Tapes describe U.S. servicemen killing for sport in Afghanistan

From Drew Griffin, CNN Correspondent

Tapes obtained by CNN of interrogations of a group of U.S. servicemen charged with the unprovoked killings of Afghan civilians describe gruesome scenes of cold-blooded murder carried out under the influence of illegal drugs.

The following is a partial transcript of those tapes, between a military investigator and Cpl. Jeremy Morlock, one of the five U.S. soldier charged with the premeditated murder of three Afghan civilians.

"So we met this guy by his compound, so Gibbs walked him out, set him in place, was like standing here," said Morlock, detailing how, on patrol earlier this year and under the command of his sergeant, Calvin R. Gibbs, he and others took an Afghan man from his home, stood him up and killed him.

"So, he was fully cooperating?" the military investigator asks on the tapes.

"Yeah," Morlock responds.

Investigator: "Was he armed?"

Morlock: "No, not that we were aware of."

Investigator: "So, you pulled him out of his place?"

Morlock: "I don't think he was inside. He was by his little hut area ... and Gibbs sent in a couple of people. He sent Rodriguez off a little ways, far side security. As I said, I'm not even sure Rodriguez knew what was going on and them."

Investigator: "Where did they stand him, next to a wall?"

Morlock: "Yeah, he was kinda next to a wall, so where Gibbs could get behind a wall when the grenade went off and then he kind of placed me and Winfield off over here so we had a clean line of sight for this guy and, you know, he pulled out one of his grenades, an American grenade, popped it, throws the grenade and tells me and Winfield, 'Alright, wax this guy. Kill this guy, kill this guy.' "

Investigator: "Did you see him present any weapons? Was he aggressive toward you at all?"

Morlock: "No, not at all. Nothing, he wasn't a threat."

The Army alleges that three Afghan civilians were killed between January and May of this year.

Morlock's civilian attorney, Michael Waddington, did not deny that his client killed for sport. "That's what it sounds like," he told CNN.

Waddington said his 22-year-old client was brain-damaged from prior IED attacks, was using prescription drugs and smoking hashish and was under the influence of and in fear of his commanding officer, who is also charged.

A hearing is set for Monday for Morlock, the first of five soldiers charged with the premeditated murder of three Afghan civilians.  The hearing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington will determine whether the military has enough evidence against him to proceed with a court-martial.

Some background on the case:
Over this summer, 12 U.S. soldiers were charged for a variety of crimes in what military authorities believe was a conspiracy to murder Afghan civilians and cover it up, along with charges they used hashish, mutilated corpses and kept grisly souvenirs.

Five soldiers face murder charges, while seven others are charged with participating in a coverup. All of the men were members of a 2nd Infantry Division brigade operating near Kandahar in southern Afghanistan in 2009 and 2010.

According to the military documents, Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs and four other soldiers were involved in throwing grenades at civilians and then shooting them in separate incidents. Three Afghan men died.

Authorities allege Gibbs kept finger bones, leg bones and a tooth from Afghan corpses. Another soldier, Spc. Michael Gagnon II, allegedly kept a skull from a corpse, according to charging documents. Several soldiers are charged with taking pictures of the corpses, and one – Spc. Corey Moore – with stabbing a corpse.

Five soldiers were originally arrested in June and seven others were charged last month.

The five facing murder charges are Gibbs, of Billings, Montana; Pfc. Andrew Holmes of Boise, Idaho; Winfield, of Cape Coral, Florida; Spc. Michael Wagnon, of Las Vegas, Nevada; and Spc. Jeremy Morlock of Wasilla, Alaska.

The five are from the 5th Stryker Brigade of the 2ID, based out of Fort Lewis, Washington.

In May, CNN reported that the Fort Lewis Stryker Brigade, known as the "5-2," had been the subject of controversy for months inside Army circles. The unit has suffered some of the highest casualty rates of the war. Several senior U.S. Army officials had told CNN there has been a growing belief inside Army circles the brigade was not embracing McChrystal's counter-insurgency strategy and was too heavily focused instead on combat operations.

In one of the most comprehensive analyses of the 5-2's troubled tour in southern Afghanistan, the Army Times reported in January that the brigade commander Col. Harry Tunnell replaced one of his company commanders whose group had suffered high casualties.

But the Army Times, a privately-published newspaper, quoted several soldiers who said that company commander was very popular with the troops, and that the unit's deep-set troubles and casualties resulted from a lack of training for the type of counter-insurgency warfare now being called for.

"What we're doing is not working, and we need to go on a different tack," the Army Times quoted one soldier as saying.

A senior U.S. Army official directly familiar with Stryker operations said the command of the 5-2 has been a concern to the Army for months.

MORE
• May 24, 2010: Sources: U.S. soldiers focus of criminal investigation
• June 16, 2010: Army charges 3 more in Afghan civilian killings
• August 26, 2010: U.S. soldiers charged with conspiracy in killings
• September 9, 2010: Army: 12 soldiers killed Afghans, mutiliated corpses

soundoff (1,099 Responses)
  1. Ex-officer

    As an ex-Air Force officer this is an easy one. Death penalty for the lot of them.

    September 27, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mike

    This is disgusting. Seriously, I feel ill.

    September 27, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mudROOM

    LOCK THESE POS UP.

    September 27, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. paul

    Is their a government or corporation that undermines America more than CNN? Are we safer b/c of CNN's reporting? Thank god this monstrosity of a news organization was not around in World War I or 2. They wouldn't have let us win.

    September 27, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mark

    "This is what happens when we get an 'all volunteer' army. The overall morality and quality of troops goes down." – Frank
    To Frank, other than the fact you're a moron think about that statement (probably hard for you to do that). A conscript Army draws in "everyone" including those that are normally screened out by the service. Secondly, while there are those that come in for the wrong reasons, they end up not properly trained or conditioned for certain combat operations. I for one, retired from Special Operations was trained from day 1 for unconventioanl warfare and dealing with indigenious personnel. You use the best "tools" that you have and unfortunately, the military has not done that in the past primarily by taking infantry units to do SOF type tasks. But I digress, since I'm sure YOU haven't served one day, and all of us that have fought to allow you your "right of free speech" please, feel free to spout off. You just continue to show your stupidity to all the other posters.
    De Oppresso Liber

    September 27, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Haas

    If the shoe were on the other foot and your father, grandfather, son or brother was killed in the manner that the soldier described, what would you do? The Afghan people are being attacked and killed by both sides, Taliban and American. Watching the video of the soldier describe the murder and imagining the fear the people live in makes me want to cry.

    September 27, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. David K

    These "soldiers" should be brought back to Afghanistan and left to their equivalent of court and charged with murder. I hope they are stoned to the brink of death and the burned alive.

    September 27, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. JM

    It's so funny watching the left and right debate. Any time a prejudicial remark is made about either side there is always some self-righteous moron who says "Well I'M a [republican, democrat, teapartier, indie] and I certainly don't believe in THAT". When are you going to learn that every individual is really wishing for the same thing: a safe, well-educated, healthy, self-sustaining, financially successful country with a transparent government which works to improve the quality of life for all its citizens.

    But noooo, you all have to whine and point fingers at each other so you can feel part of a clique. It's high school mentality for supposed adults, and all it creates is frenzied disorganization, counterproductive to the statement above. Stop hindering the main goals of every country with your petty squabbling and work together for once on the most fundamental issues.

    Isn't America supposed to be the idol of the western world? True, you're not burning effigies on the street and decapitating innocent people, but you are drawing Hitler mustaches on Obama photos and threatening to burn copies of the Qur'an. And for what? What would doing those activities solve?

    The enemies of the U.S. WANT you to be divided. You know that old Aesop phrase, "united we stand, divided we fall"?
    Well, it's true. The crazier you get and the more divisive you get, the closer you'll become to acting like the countries who violate human rights (ie. your enemies!).

    Example of silliness:

    Democrats want children to be educated and healthy, sometimes at a higher cost than what Republicans consider financially possible. Republicans want children educated and healthy, but worry that the money simply won't be there to effectively supply those services to everyone.

    What is the common denominator? Both sides want children to be educated and healthy. So figure out a way to do that instead of having rallies and expensive, pointless campaign speeches filled with empty promises, and shouting matches, and other desperate attempts to gain power over each other. Because while you're all clawing your way to the top, do you know who falls to the bottom? Unhealthy, uneducated children. And what a great future your country will have when these kids grow up feeling neglected because their boorish parents were too busy flinging poop at each other to give a care about their future.

    September 27, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • johnnyhouse

      I don't feel we are the idol of the world but I do have an idea, after living as long as I have, what the world would have been like now if we had not taken the lead.Name one country you would like to see take over the lead right now.

      September 27, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. two wrongs don't make it right

    Whatever the soldiers have done is wrong, but publishing it online and giving it publicity worldwide, endangers the troops deployed in AFPAK region. CNN painted pastor Jones to be a demon when he was going to burn the Quran but now they are doing a similar act. No wonder your ratings are down. Hope you file bakruptcy.

    September 27, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob Griffin

      Unfortunately the Florida pastor caught the attention of the Muslim press before he caught the attention of the American press. In this case, the probability that Afghanis were talking about this BEFORE we read about it in the American news is fairly high.

      September 28, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Khara

    Can't take the pressure, quit the forces. When one is in the forces, there is a certain responsibility put on that persons shoulder. Understand those responsibilities, follow them. Also, revenge is not an end to any war, it is one step forward on the road to destruction. Hate creates hate, love creates love. We have choices, let's choose wisely.

    September 27, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kelly67432

    It is no wonder the world hates US. All the kind acts that are done by US around the world are flushed down the toilet when things like this take place.

    September 27, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • johnnyhouse

      List all of these bad things the US has done. It would be interesting to know.Who is the first to rebuild what we tear up and who is first on scene when a natural disaster happens? Give us a list of countries who would take up the slack if we just ignored everything?We are now taking in half of the trouble makers in the world and letting them bring their crazy religions with them and practice here.

      September 27, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bob Griffin

        Rather than allowing Iraqi civil engineers and builders to rebuild what we bombed, we gave the contracts to KBR and Halliburton.

        September 28, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. A Soldier

    Always 2nd Infantry Division guys, That division is a disgrace, giving a bad outlook on the rest of us... im sick to my stomach, i really am. God damn legs, thats why i became a Paratrooper, you have top notch guys serving with you not some pot head high school drop outs

    September 27, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. delphin

    and you wonder why we are not liked by the mideast...shameful

    September 27, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • johnnyhouse

      I wish they hated us enough to stay away from our country.Might sound mean but they started this mess.

      September 27, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bob Griffin

        Actually our government started it under Bush 1. Afghanistan CERTAINLY didn't start this. Neither did Iraq.

        September 28, 2010 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Toni

    These soldiers are murderers and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent. And it should be understood that they are only a small fraction of our military. These criminals acts should not speak for our entire military and to those good soldiers who know and uphold what is RIGHT and what is WRONG. This is not something that should be swept under the rug. This is not where we should say war is war, it's going to happen, forget it and move on. CNN reports on the good and the bad of what is going on over there. Show the world we will deal with these criminals.

    September 27, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • AA81

      well most are kids fresh out of bootcamp, probably for many their first job. I'm sure there comes a point where they no longer see battles as reality and break. don't judge too harshly there, many of them get pushed to the brink of breaking. we give them a gun and send them off to fight, but when they kill we bring them back and prosecute them for what we sent them there in the first place. You say they are murderers and we are hippocrites...

      September 27, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jeff

    And were the thousand or so people killed on 9/11 armed??? I don't think so. What comes around, goes around!

    September 27, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob Griffin

      And because European-Americans killed unarmed natve men, women, and children of North America you also should be killed?

      September 28, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  16. BidDaddyLiscious

    Drop the BOMB baby...turn it into glass. War is war people die...this has happeded in every single war that has been fought through out time. Remember kill them before they kill you.....or if not you get to go to heaven or hell first. You pick.

    September 27, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Mark Frizzell

    We don't let Gays serve openly, but if you are openly crazy, we welcome.

    September 27, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Apathy

    Hunting Afghans for sport...sounds a little unnecessary, but its definitely cheaper than MWR.

    September 27, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  19. conservative

    As a Marine we fight and defend relentlessly, but are guided by a strict code that does not include taking innocent lives. This story saddens me.

    Our commanding general reminds us of the words of John Winthrop. "We will be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us, so that if we deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword throughout the world"

    God speed brothers in the 2nd, 3rd, 8th. I'm healed and returning next week. Hua

    September 27, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Leah (TXanimal)

    It happens...and it probably happens more often than we'd like to think about. We want to see all military members as heroes simply because they wear the uniform, but the reality is, there are more than a few bad apples in the ranks. Plus, we must remember that the majority of our ground troops are under the age of 24...young adults working in rough conditions entrusted with split-second life-or-death decisions.

    I was involved in a similar situation in Iraq about 3 years ago...an individual in my unit was accused of killing an unarmed civilian. The individual in question was eventually cleared of any charges, but upon his return home, he murdered his roommate. Hard to say in hindsight if he was messed up by things he had to see and do on the job or if he was simply a dirtbag. Sometimes you just don't know...

    Not every servicemember is an angel...and not every Afghani is an insurgent. Just keep that in mind.

    September 27, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Bob

    what do you expect when you give a 17 year old a gun and send him to one of the largest dope producing nations in the world. Some of these kid are on their second tour. They were not screened properly and may of ended up in jail here.
    It should not deter from the tens of thousands of soldiers and marines who do good service and who we are very proud of.
    We have the best fighting force in the world and we need them sharp and on top of their game for the safety of them and us.
    Marine Vet

    September 27, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Julie

    Pathetic. Some of our men are no better than the enemy...

    September 27, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  23. logan

    watching this young solider speak about these awful crimes is heartbreaking. he's so young. what a waste of such a young man. whatever lies ahead for him, i hope he finds peace in somewhere.

    September 27, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  24. oHbammaHussien

    Give me a break – before "war" became a political cesspool of liberal misguidence – war was fought for a reason. That reason included damaging the "enemy" by ANY means possible and bringing them to brink of instinction. IF we would return to what war was meant to be – we would have FAR less American casualties. And as for the "other side" well the point proven would then make the next schmuck of a country think twice about not doing what it is instructed to do. War is hell AND was meant to be that way – you want a libtard "teaching moment" go back to what war was meant to achieve.

    September 27, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob Griffin

      Sounds like you're advocating One World Government run by the United States of America.
      With regards to the mastermind of the 911 plot, it is normal for a government to require legal evidence before extraditing someone for crimes (including mass murder).
      We hadn't told Afghanistan not to allow Al Qaeda in; in fact we had helped fund Al Qaeda when it was helping the Mujihadin kick the Soviets out of Afghanistan.

      September 28, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Ray

    What a disgrace to the military. These poor excuses for soldier should be court marshaled and put away for life if not executed for cold blooded murder. There's a line you don't cross, there are rules of engagement that separate us from the barbaric and the insane militaries of the world. These pieces of trash should pay dearly for their crime.

    September 27, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Greg

    Why is this so offensive? I mean we all know that ALL Muslims = terrorists, that's why Americans oppose the community center in NY correct? Seems like your military is just taking your line of thought and running with it.

    September 27, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  27. yesitsme

    uhh.. American Government caused 911..!

    September 27, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Rock God

    I hope you understand why some Afghanis might think a jihad against America is a noble thing.

    September 27, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      Because they are all evil terrorists that want to hurt the peaceful Israelis and freedom loving Americans, of course!

      September 27, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  29. GuerillaGorilla

    I say take away everything they have, strip them down to their underwear, and drop them in the middle of the communities they did this in. Also broadcast that we are doing this to those communities.

    September 27, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  30. ib42

    Anyone who has seen those videos of American teenage boys smashing peoples homes, mailboxes and shooting paint balls an bb guns at homeless people while driving by, will connect the dots. Same types of kids, but a bit older, sent off to a hellhole of a place where drugs are plentiful and practically free,, armed with real weapons and a general hatred seething inside, and this is the expected result. Surprisingly, no one believes this is possible, when it is not only possible but predictable.
    No sane 'war' (oxymoron) should go on this long, unless it's a world war like the last one. This is an ugly sign of huge egos refusing to admit the truth based on facts, and vowing to defeat an enemy who has already won.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Gannon_1

    I hope all this BS is refleted in the file(s) of these young Troops commanding officer(s) also. Probabley not though, the "ring knockers" are very good at protecting themselves while sacrificing the young ones.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  32. mom of soldier

    Before any of you go off on these solidiers...and to the one who said this is why they hate Americans.....We have NO business sending young men right out of high school to fight wars to begin with! As far as this is why they hate Americans....ANY AND EVERYONE who has ever fought in a war no matter what side has had this happen so don't go off on just AMERICA! I am not defending what they did but when you see your comrades and friends get blown up day after day and see the horrible things that a bomb can do to a human body; I am sure it gets to them and maybe blur what is right and wrong. These young men are human and revenge is a strong emotion sometime. So don't go off on how horrible we Americans are....they ALL DO IT!

    September 27, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • johnnyhouse

      To mom of a soldier.We have to remember that there is no draftees in the service now. I have a son who also volunteered but I had faith that he would do the right thing.He made the decision to go in the military. Something happened here but we can not blame youth for it.There are thousands in history that did the right thing and were drafted in wars with no training and did the right thing. I got faith in them.Governments start wars young men and women fight them.

      September 27, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  33. ernie

    if we would change the rules of engagement then we wouldnt have this problem of figuring out who is safe and whos trying to kill our troops...the taliban and al queda use it against our troops..who is to say these guys werent going to blow their cover??

    September 27, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Dan

    You've got that completely backward Frank!

    "Frank

    This is what happens when we get an 'all volunteer' army. The overall morality and quality of troops goes down. We have soldier wannabes and pseudo warriors who have a thirst for violence and blood... and who couldnt be cops. The military is a breeding ground for murderers. Yeah, I know, they keep us free... blah blah blah. You remove the selective service variable and we lose the self policing aspect of morality. These F-n little order-takers are mindless drones hiding behind the 'Following Orders' alibi. Point is, we'd have less a need for a department of defense if our present one was not so 'offensive'.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:33 pm"

    September 27, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  35. johnnyhouse

    It is bad,what happened in this case.It is so close to the televised execution of an innocent reporter that the two should be used as an example of what happens in war. No one has a monopoly on just plain meanness, especially in war. Sometimes we lose the right to be called human or is that a curse in itself.Animals don't do what humans do.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  36. obama'sbiggestfan

    Why did Obama let this happen? MORE blood on his hands.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob Griffin

      Like Nixon, Obama inherited a war he didn't start

      September 28, 2010 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Al Gustafson

    The same things happened when we were in Vietnam. Mai Lai wasn't the only insident. It's what happens when you dehumanize the enemy. First you're a liberator, then an invader, eventually an occupier.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  38. spillai

    Is it ok to kill innocent civilian?
    How can USA defend these brutal acts?
    Some of these soldiers are embarassing their families and the nation.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Paul

    I'm sorry but even though I disagree about the whole invasion/war, I as a medical professional have SERIOUS doubts this sickening behavior had ANYTHING to do with hashish or opium, It's just not medically probable.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  40. martin1429

    How can you kill iccocent women and children?....Its easy! you just dont lead them as much.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Alex

    And his last name is Morlock as well, wow...

    September 27, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Frank

    When an U.S. soldier dies it's a tragedy, when and Afgan or Iraqi dies, it's just a statistic. Dogs get better treament than the civilians in the Iraq and Afgan war. Shame on you George W. Bush for unleashing these trained murders on the poor and uneducated people that cannot defend themselves.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • johnnyhouse

      they did a pretty good job of defending , those defenceless people , they killed over 5000 and still counting in Iraq and I feel sure none of it was pretty. I do get your point though especially when women and children are killed if they are not wearing a bomb strapped to them. Looking at it now we should have stayed out of both countries and let them kill themselves if that is what they really want.We misunderstood.It is a plus on the other hand that we do not understand their thinking.

      September 27, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bob Griffin

        Both Iraqis and Afghans want SELF-determination.

        September 28, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  43. George

    I am a veteran and although this is a sad story, its not a new one. The same things happened in Vietnam and will continue to happen because men are not equipped mentally to keep killing and engaging in the neccessities of combat. Continued exposure to some of the worst environments will make any person lose almost all of their moral convictions. Before you put on your judge robes and pound your gavels, try putting on a uniform and giving these guys a break. Their over worked, under paid, and hardly ever appreciated for what they do. Although there are these bad apples in the bunch, let's not forget the majority of servicemen and women who are excellent role models.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Clear

    Tazman, Why you are not putting youe white ass there (EYE for EYE) you are a real animal!

    September 27, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  45. ZAR

    Christian terrorists?? based on logic followed in today's media i guess that would be the right conclusion.
    Next step how to remedy this problem?

    September 27, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roberto Applesauce

      Fixing Christian extremeism has the same solution to fixing Muslim extremism...education.

      September 27, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  46. William

    If this story is true – these soldiers should be court marshelled at once, striped of any kind of benefits and be sent to the brig post haste! – It makes our honorable fighting men and women look bad!

    September 27, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  47. EGH129

    Until you realize your time could be up everystep you take, or a limb could be blown up you have nothing to say. These times life hasn't much meaning and the enemys sure doesn't. Its kill or be killed. So they were civilians big deal. Your over in hell because of these backward people, suppliers of 90% of the heroin in the world, home of the talibon and we should tip toe and only kill the right people. You people have no idea.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roberto Applesauce

      You should be ashamed of yourself.

      There is a difference in killing to defend yourself and killing for sport. These actions were disgusting...and your defense of them is nearly as so.

      September 27, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Robert Johnson

    Does anyone with half a brain at CNN realize what danger this puts current troops in Afghanistan to report this?

    How would you like to have a son or daughter over there when this story breaks in Afghanistan?

    By the way – I can not find ONE person anywhere that thinks we should be over there.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roberto Applesauce

      True. There is no benefit in reporting this story. Too much gets put in the news (and too much opinionated nonsense is in the "news" too). This story does imperil our goods troops over there.

      September 27, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bob Griffin

        Wow! I had no idea that CNN was that popular in Afghanistan! I would have suspected that most Afghanis would read news in Pushtu...

        September 28, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  49. MuDdLe

    This is deeply disturbing and shameful to our nation. A guilty verdict must be accompanied by the most severe penalty allowable. War is sometimes a necessary evil. The slaughter of non-combatants is a gratuitous evil–an atrocity.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Tom Jones Jr

    Well, I believe the Armed Forces policy of "Lowering the Entrance Standards" for our All Volunteer force just bit them big time in the backside.

    Criminals will be criminals, nut jobs are nut jobs, by why in God's name did we, American Citizens, allow our quote "Military Leaders" unquote – to do what they have done!

    Disgusting and puts a blemish on the rest of the honest and honorable personnel in the Armed Forces. By the way – they (the honest and honarable personnel in our Armed Forces) do not like what the "Leaders" did as well. When are we going to start leading again instead of simply following the goof balls we call "leaders"? MSgt/USAF/Ret

    September 27, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Roberto Applesauce

    This is what happens when the military preys on kids in gun totin' redneck high schools. That's why I don't support these rotc programs and recruiting in HSs. Poor and failing students are convinced they have no choice but to go into the military...I see it all the time. Plus we are spread thin all over the world in everyone else's business the military has to take all the kids they can get. Time to bring our troops home and play isolationist for a bit, sticking only to the major humanitarian mission like in Pakistan and Haiti.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Scott

    Frank, you have no idea what you're talking about.
    Sunny, I whole heartedly agree with you.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  53. the_dude

    we wont be pulling out anytime soon. pelosi and feinstein are still making way too much money to quit now.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  54. ROCKWOOD

    This really saddens me, although I'm sure it's nothing new. I don't quite know what to think about what's going to become of the young men who did this. Part of me wants to be very compassionate, yet the other part of me wants them punished. Such war time atrocities have happened since the beginning of wars themselves. Although I'd like to hold 'U.S.' to a higher standard, these men are simply that.....men, and no matter what extent of training received, can fall victim to drug abuse and even more undesirable behaviours.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  55. yessie

    You can all say what you want, but in the end IT IS WAR!!!! i was over there last year and you can't tell who is your friend or foe...and unless you have been there and experienced the stuff that these guys are going through you really don't know what is going on.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cedar Rapids

      That may be true but there is a difference between accidently killing a civilan, and taking them out of their home, standing them there, and killing them for fun.

      September 27, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  56. MHA

    this is only the tip of the iceberg - this has been going on for the past 20 years or so (including during the first gulf war). So why do they hate us .. perhaps not (as the rightwing crazies and rep. tea party would like us to believe)for our freedoms and life - but maybe bc these people and the hundred thousands other civilians who have been murdered by us.. just maybe they are actually human being with families, kin and loved ones that take such barbaric acts personally.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Tod

    The reason we are there can be summed up in 3 words.......PROFIT AND CONTROL

    This is obvious.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • George Patton

      Tod,you just said it all.Thank you.

      September 28, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  58. the_dude

    This is all for show. 3 dead ragheads??? Man more people die of hunger or gunshots in the ghetto every day in america. Life is cheap in the moslem worlds. They have been killing each other since the dawn of time. Oh my god 3 dead afghans holy smokes stop the presses. I would bet more than 3 afghans a day die from their own self-inflicted gunshots.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob Griffin

      Please go back to Europe or wherever your ancestors came from. You do us in the US a grave disservice.

      September 28, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Frank

    Reminds me of the scene in Oliver Stone's movie Platoon, where U.S. soldiers are keeling civilians. The only time a country should go to war is if they are attacked by another country, not to chase down some terrorist nuts. Who does the U.S. think it is anyway?

    September 27, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  60. JUST Jabber

    Details of war suck. Individuals in the thick of the war, the front ground troops pay the biggest price mentally. Our serviceman have been in the thick of this for too long, with no quality down time. Troops are starting to snap, and today we read about what the Brass does not want to address.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  61. scrollphaser

    WT does Hash have anything to do with this soldier? I guess the propaganda is alive and well. CNN, you are no better than this soldier for trying to demonize marijuana. America, ya'll some real suckas if you buy into that. This world makes me sick.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • garc

      So let me see if I have the argument straight: "Other people kill for sport, so we should too!"

      September 27, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Wait Wait Wait

    I am confused. Can someone tell me again who terrorist? USA, Taliban or Al Qaeda. America never been invaded by other country, and never has military foreigners occupied in the country before, so USA never know how that feel, therefore, USA never wins a war just like Vietnam

    September 27, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • dindy Sri lanka

      WAIT WAIT WAIT THEY WON IRAQ

      September 28, 2010 at 1:51 am | Report abuse |
  63. Jason h

    Its horrible what they did but to put things into perspective, It was a bigger failure of their commanding officer and the armed forces.
    1. They showed strong signs of mental complications earlier
    2. They were allowed free range without supervision after they complained and showed signs of mental complications.
    3. (most people dont like to hear this) But they are not fully mature. The human brain doesn't reach maturity until 25. You leave a young person with full authority, with next no supervision that already has be shot at and has killed before you're asking for trouble.

    I know people like to get on their high horse and say "when I was young I never ....", Good for you, but that fact is that we do the most amoral and stupid things when we are young (under 25).

    By no means do I think they should be off the hook for what they did, but if anything positive comes from this it should be understanding the bigger picture, and stopping it from happening again.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  64. MartinSA

    Here's an irony of ironies for those people that like bringing up the Vietnam analogy...that was started by Democrats (Kennedy and LBJ) as a "police action". It was ended by a Republican (Richard Nixon). While Bush II started this conflict, it's becoming a "police action" under Obama. interesting, isn't it?

    September 27, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  65. bob seger

    WE ARE AT WAR! All is fair game when you go to war. What's the big deal? The biggest issue in this story is the fact our soldiers were getting high on hashish. I mean what the hell people, when you dedicate an armed force to a mission, send it across the world, and tell them to destroy the enemy how can you place any restrictions on them? How can you do that? These civilians were citizens of a country we are at WAR with, too bad for them. Nothing is fair, life is not fair, war is not fair. Not my problem, nor yours. We should just bomb the entire country to ash, end of story, we can go home.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • MartinSA

      We are at War...not Total War. We are also at War to protect these innocent people that were executed. The only thing separating right from wrong in any armed conflict is the restraints one puts on themselves. Civility if you will.

      September 27, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cedar Rapids

      The war was against the Taliban, not Afghanistan.
      If you want to go ahead and advocate the killing of civilians then maybe you aren't worth protecting.

      September 27, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bob Griffin

        Agreed

        September 28, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Boston

      When they attacked us on 9/11, we called Islam and Muslims terrorists. When our boys killed innocent people for sport, we called them few bad Apples and justified it by being at war. Talk about double standards.

      September 27, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • JJ

      are you kidding me?
      Hey Bob Seger go write another bad song that'll kill a few people.

      September 27, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  66. George

    Spiritual Emptiness is what causes people to seek drugs in stressful situations. Bring back faith and God.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  67. cain

    so that mean they won't get the medal of honor? Awww

    September 27, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  68. james brown

    let's start the sharade of "how shocking!" shall we?

    September 27, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Boston

      I'm not shocked at all.

      September 27, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Tommy

    Bad Army...bad, bad bad

    September 27, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  70. V Saxena

    Ugh. These guys are a disgrace to all the good soldiers out there fighting. PTSD or not.... what they did is just plain unacceptable.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  71. John

    If I were the Col Tunnell mentioned in the story, I would change my first name.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Goerge

    Spiritual emptiness is what causes this, the soldiers look for drugs to replace the spiritual emptiness. Religion is important.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  73. autumnwind3

    It should come as no surprise that the profession of soldier, which sometimes requires killing other human beings, should occasionally attract people who simply enjoy killing. Today's armed services are stretched so thin that they can't be as choosy as they used to be. Cold-blooded killers are slipping through the screening process and causing a great deal of damage to US operations and US reputation. My Dad says that during his training for Vietnam (with draftees), the COs tried to weed out the 10% or so of guys who were sure trouble-makers. Now the military needs those boots on the ground too badly to weed them out. The result is murder hidden in the fog of war.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Turok

    and I suppose killing civilians from a air-conditioned bomber, while sipping tea is so much more humane? America and NATO creates new Taliban members every hour.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Rob

    These guys are trained as killers by the US government, they're exposed to the traumas of war and we act surprised this happens?!?!?

    Come on people, give your heads a shake!

    September 27, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Todd Lewis

    "Military men are dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy." – Dr. Henry Kissinger

    September 27, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  77. George

    This is the reason, and the only reason needed, to pull all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan. As an American I am irreparably ashamed.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Tod

    Wake up people, soldiers have problems just like us. These non-prescription drugs are grown there. This is why we are there after all. Our government and the pharmaceutical companies want to control these drugs. Besides, prescription drugs cause all sorts of problems, when will people realize this. We are not over there for what we are told, the real reason is that corporations and the super wealthy want to get all the resources cornered so they can make more billions for themselves...DISGUSTING, GREEDY pieces of crap who sacrifice life for profit and control.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Kevin Collins

    Sadly, there will be those obtuse, immoral Americans who'll say we're still supposed to back these soldiers regardless of the fact that they've commited cold-blooded murder.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  80. REd Yankee

    One more reason why countries shouldn't mess with the US. We will send over our drug crazed troops to hunt your people for sport.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Arsio

    America has done more harm than good in those regions. Lets be honest we all know why military are in Iraq and Afghanistan and it certainly isn't becuase of terrorism.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  82. Guest

    This is war guys .. so all kinds of things happen. While I am not condoning all this, these kinds of articles do not do anything but fan the flames. If we shut down 90% of the press, the world would be a better place. These talking heads and sensational journalists add no value at all

    September 27, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Greg

    there is no free press! Its filtered by Coporapoliticals. BBC News is the only reliable news source. Amerians are such tools when it comes to determining whats news and whats someones opinion.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  84. thedevil

    Great job everyone! Great job!

    September 27, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  85. Mike D

    Sadly the armed forces enlist all walks of life. A small handful out of the thousands on duty turn out to be murderers. The military are prosecuting these crimes. I don't think the U.S. should allow blow by blow accounts of these misdeeds to be published by the likes of CNN or any other media. Atrocities happen in every army. It's a sad commentary of humanity, but it should not be aired to the public only to incite the enemy! What happened to common sense?

    the

    September 27, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob Griffin

      So we should kill Afghanis lest they talk about this in Pushtu (which we don't understand)? An American news story in English is not necessarily going to make things worse for Americans in Afghanistan, while local word of mouth definitely can make things much worse.
      If on the other hand we develop a repution in Afghanistan for fair and just dealing (CAN we?) ...

      September 28, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  86. ROFLMAO

    The hashish must have played a major role in this. I mean it had to be brought up with other potential reasons right?

    How about this:
    The military are hired killers, nothing more
    They protect us from the people we are afraid of but refuse to talk to by killing them first
    When we wan them to do blow some of them up we'll tell them, until then we are just fine bickering over social issues that have no impact on our actual lives. Gay marriage, abortion, etc...
    Don't be suprised if they kill non-combatants, and damn sure don't act like this is the first occurence. We're pretty good at it actually.

    WAKE UP AMERICA. YOUR BLINDNESS AND IGNORANCE ARE FAR MORE INJURIUS THAN ANY TERRORIST PLOT.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  87. BANGASH

    There is nothing strange in what these Americans cow boys have been doing in Afghanistan and Pakistan for the last three decades. This is American way of ruling the world and every where wheather it is Iraq, Sudan, Somalia. Panama, Nicaragua, Cuba, venezuela, even Mexico, these test their guns on innocent human beings. These killings, is their business as they are greatest producers of deadly weapons in the world and they have record of killing innocent civilians in thousands in their greed for world empire. This America of today has been built on the blood of such innocents. These vampires will continue to suck the blood of such innocents in the world till this Empire meet the fate of their predecessors.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  88. Mavv

    There are no innocent civilians over there. By feeding daddy raghead after hard day killing US troops and then sleeping with him and making terror babies this war can go on rest of our lives people. Get over it......kill them all and let OUR God sort them out.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cedar Rapids

      Idiot

      September 27, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob Griffin

      Please go back to your ancestral lands. I'm ashamed to share my nationality with you.

      September 28, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  89. Jonathan

    Welcome to war crimes trials folks.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  90. Fernando1958

    so the so called Mosque at Ground Zero (is not a Mosque, is a Community Center) is not putting the American people at risk... is the crazy soldiers. So the Imam is not the bad guy in the picture after all.... mmm

    September 27, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Kevin

    Lets see:
    We have a renegade commander who is using brutal methods because he doesnt think that the official strategy is working... and He's popular with his troops....
    All we need is the sound of helicopters and Jim Morrison singing "This is the end..." and it it would be life imitating "Apocalypse Now"!

    September 27, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  92. Mary

    We are not privelage to all of the evidence. However, I do recall wondering when the Obama administration chaged the mission to a police action...requiring soldiers to not only arrest the enemy on the battlefield but to read him his rights...I told my brother then we were going have a lot more of the enemy ending up dead rather than in custody. These soldiers already have admitted to drug use...their perceptions obviously affected. I have a diffucult time believing our service men would kill anyone for sport as we are being led to believe through the reporting today. We have one sided drug induced testimony and have not heard from the so called "guilty" party. There are too many holes in this story for me to jump on the wagon of killing for sport. I would more likely believe killing to avoid making an arrest, reading the enemy his rights and shipping him off. Since when did prisoners of war become prisoners of a police action with miranda rights? I know I don't have all of the facts...but I am at least willing to entertain this outcome rather than the killing for sport. I just can't graps that idea at all.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  93. Vet

    Everyone has different ways of dealing with what they see and what they are required to do. Some get tattoos and other go off the deep end. It's your right to judge someone for their actions but until you have done this yourself your comments are meaningless.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  94. mystikal

    There are no rules in War. Bad things happen to people in war. Im not excusing them of what they did, but on the other hand some people can't handle what they have to do and see in war and snap its a part of war.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  95. Jim

    Who supervises these kids while deployed? Smoking hashish laced with opium? I believe that court marshall's need to start at the top of the hierarchy of the unit responsible for the deaths of afghan civilians. What kind of role models are we deploying during the time of war? Why has the quality of the american soldier degraded over the course of military history? Did we not learn anything from our past experiences? Downtime needs to be utilized for efficiently. this is ridiculous, and a embarrassment to the administration of domestic United States of America...

    September 27, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  96. girl

    It is just sad and distrubing to read the news, and not only that, people now fighting over the religion. And I am thinking about the victims and their family. They just took him out of their "hut" where probably he was with his family, and killed him in the name of "sport" ? This is inhumane.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  97. Tod

    We need to get out of there, we are just making things worse. If these people really want us there, show me some footage where they are asking for our help, the majority, not just a few people.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  98. rand

    People who opposed these wars in the run-up, stated that this sort of thing would happen. Asymetrical warfare in tribal areas of the workd are all, but impossible to win. We knew this sort of thing would happen, and it will continue as long as we occupy these dark corners of the world.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  99. Hull7498

    My Lai massacre.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  100. jon doeringer

    This is what happens with EVERY war. Soldiers come in, they have a clear goal and are focused. Those back home that are for the war cheer and support. But soon, your friends have been killed. The action slows down, and the focus becomes boredom. Maybe rage. You do terrible things – they are just the enemy, or maybe the enemy's mother. Or neither – they just can't understand what you are saying. This is the legacy of all wars. Those back home won't understand – or care. The insanity grows on you, and is infectious.
    And what happens when you can't leave it behind, when you come back???

    September 27, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
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