September 9th, 2010
09:58 AM ET

Army: 12 soldiers killed Afghans, mutiliated corpses

WASHINGTON - Twelve U.S. soldiers face a variety of charges 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.

Staff Sgt. Robert Stevens is charged with lying to investigators about the deaths, saying the civilians posed a threat.

Other soldiers are charged with assaulting Afghan civilians by shooting at them, and several soldiers face charges of failing to properly account for and dispose of weapons.

Eight of the soldiers also are charged with using hashish and beating a junior soldier in an attempt to stop him from reporting them for misconduct, including hashish use.

Gibbs is also charged with telling another soldier to lie about the incidents including the platoon's involvement in illegal drug use. He is alleged to have told Spc. Adam Winfield, "I'm going to send you home by dropping a tow bar on you," if Winfield revealed information to investigators.

Winfield is also charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder in this case.

Five soldiers were originally arrested in June and seven others were charged last month. The documents released by the Army this week are the most detailed disclosure of what the men are alleged to have done.

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.

Holmes is accused of killing Afghan civilian Gul Mudin in January with a grenade and rifle. Winfield is accused of killing civilian Mullah Adahdad in May in a similar manner, and Wagnon is accused of shooting to death Marach Agha in February. Morlock and Gibbs each were charged with three counts of murder and one count of assault involving the same victims as in the cases against Holmes, Wagnon and Winfield.

Stevens and Pfc. Ashton Moore are charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon, and Sgt. Darren Jones is charged with conspiracy to commit assault and battery and conspiracy to commit aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon.

Cpl. Emmitt R. Quintal, Staff Sgt. David Bram, Spc. Adam Kelly and Spc. Corey Moore are charged with conspiracy to commit assault and battery.

Stevens is charged with wrongfully and wantonly engaging in conduct likely to cause death or bodily harm to other soldiers, and Jones, Quintal, Bram, Kelley and Corey Moore are charged with unlawfully striking another

soundoff (706 Responses)
  1. Gayle

    It's very frightening to learn that American soldiers (or any soldiers for that matter) can be so depraved as to do what these men have done. I believe that this depravity is partly caused by the us vs. them mentality that America has developed with the Middle East. We view them as subhuman, barbaric, and cruel but we condone when OUR men commit such acts. At 19 years old, I am afraid of the America that I will be in.

    September 9, 2010 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Coach Lew

    This is totally unacceptable. I can understand how the fighting that is going on in Afghanistan can get to some of the military and destroy just about everything that is good in their thinking. This crap we are involved with over there is not pretty. It's not like the Civil War, WW I, WW II, Korean Conflict, Vietnam, Desert Storm or any of those. These Afghan terrorists have no rules to go by and no hold are barred. They have human bombs, car bombs, street bombs and the like that makes a person pretty stressed out just walking around in that country. There are no front lines at all. Anyone can be the enemy if they look like a muslim. So I can see why at times some civilians may be killed but not like this article states.

    September 9, 2010 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Average American

    oBAMA and the democRATS are killing & mutiliating afghan civilians. In war, you treat the enemy as they treat you. The geneve convention is BS. There is no such thing as being a better society in war. The objective in war is to WIN, at all cost. oBAMA has turned afghanistan into a meat grinder, which hurts & costs the US more than the enemy. Unless the enemy & their supporters are destroyed, we will continue to loose BIG!

    September 9, 2010 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Me

    Who cares? What happens over there isn't my problem. Let 'em tear apart whoever they want.

    September 9, 2010 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. danno

    Are we fighting a war or playing chess. You cry for the enemy and help kill americans. You fight wars to win not make friends.

    September 9, 2010 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. JF

    If muslims did this, we would say they are thugs and killers and would blame Islam for it!! but when our soldiers do it some will try to make execuses or say not to jump to conclusion. Hypocrisy on some people's part!

    September 9, 2010 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. wylie

    It's WAR people. If you send 18 year olds over there to fight in deplorable conditions. This is what you get. Get over it. Your grandfather's did it in WWII. It's WAR. How convenient that we all sit at our comfortable computer screens with our mugs of hot coffee or cold drinks and condemn these people sleeping in the mud or 120 deg heat doing our dirty work. Get real. PLEASE!

    September 9, 2010 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. A soldier years ago

    If these troops are found guilty by a courtsmartial, I would hope that they will be punished to the fullest extent of ther UCMJ (military law). The actions they have allegedly done will add fuel to taliban proganda and hurts us dealing with the civilians. this puts the troops more in harms way.

    to the post that had the comment "...Afghani civilians don't kill and mutilate."

    here's an excerpt from a Rudyard Kipling poem ("The Young British soldier" – written in 1890) when Britian was in Afghanistan:

    "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
    An' go to your Gawd like a soldier."

    and, no, am in no way condoning what the US soldiers did – only showin that, yes, Afghani civilians have had their turn at the corpses of soldiers.

    September 9, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • dindy Sri lanka


      September 10, 2010 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
  9. JB

    I love it when someone can try and justify stuff like this by comparing it to what the Russians might have done when they were there. Thats a great yardstick to measure with. Then again, the US is going right down the same path, so why not? Whats next, using poison gas and passing out booby trapped children's toys? One of the famous lines from US military history ends with "nits make lice", so hey, kill "possible insurgents" before they even get the chance, right? If the US is doing it, it must somehow be OK, whereas when other countries did or does it, its a war crime. "Enhanced interrogation" and "just following orders" have been terms used to describe and justify US actions. In the past it was called torture and not a legitimate defense. Many Nazi's tried using "just following orders" as their defense and it was not allowed.Freedom fighters of 30 years ago are now Insurgents or terrorists because now, instead of killing Soviets, they are killing Americans.Get out now before the body count reaches 14,000 with another 50k wounded. Its going to end the same regardless.

    September 9, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Amy

    This is disgusting!!!!! I am ashamed that those soldiers are Americans, they deserve a long prison time for that! Horrible!

    September 9, 2010 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Toastie

    Why is this not the bigger headline than the idiot threatening to burn korans? I believe Americans do need to know what's done in their names...when it's murder and mutilation. I don't seem the point in giving attention to nuts burning books.

    September 9, 2010 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tyhouston

    I wonder what the afgan forces did to scar the Americans first heh

    September 9, 2010 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. dindy Sri lanka

    Oh !!! God!!! Poor civilians, Poor soldiers !!.....Both are in a terrible situation. I dont know what else to say!!! Both parties are just humans in a wrong place with lots of bad happening

    September 9, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sam

    I support our boys and girls who put their lives on the line. But I cannot accept civilian deaths and mutilation of enemy combatants. Sure, it's a warzone. Sure, it's tough work. Sure, the enemy will never show us compassion if we're caught. It's all the more reason why we must be "superior" to the enemy in more ways than one: morally, philosophically, training, intelligence, tactics, equipment, rule of law etc. The 21st century NATO soldier must be a COMPLETE WARRIOR not just a dude with some kneepads, sunglasses, and a rifle. So, punish those men to the full extent of the law for perverting this noble profession and bringing our mission there to disrepute. They have no place in a modern day battlefield. I would never serve with these "trash soldiers".

    September 9, 2010 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dave

    What better way to engage in a humanitarian mission than with a bunch of soldiers who were trained to hate and kill the very people they're supposed to help?

    September 9, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |

    Spc. Jeremy Morlock of Wasilla, Alaska, any relation to Sarah Palin?

    September 9, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Gary

    How much crazier is crazier

    September 9, 2010 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  18. AD

    I know it has been said before, but where were the senior NCOs and officers? This is a total breakdown of leadership.

    September 9, 2010 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Johnny Shades

    May the next generation(s) learn from the death and destruction we bequeath them. You better have a gold-spike reason to go to war as it is full of such atrocities on all sides. Maybe a dozen generations of evolution will teach us that long term memory should be used to avoid past mistakes. A coin flip says we can make it that far without liquidating the species.

    September 9, 2010 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Juan

    This is just sad. I hope eventually Christians, Muslims, and Jews are all sons and daughters of Abraham and have no need to fight each other over land that is holy to the God that we all believe in.

    September 9, 2010 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  21. WillieG51

    While if proven guilty these men should indeed be punished. . However I'm sure not one officer will be as much as reprimanded for this happening under their watch. . This is how the military works these days.

    September 9, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Capt. Ahab

    Don't train a dog to bite if you are going to get mad when it performs well.

    September 9, 2010 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Emre

    These guys are/were probably just as dangerous to their society at home. Army recruitment is a joke now, they will take pretty much anyone, would not be surprised if these animals are gang members. Damn shame REAL soldiers will suffer for the actions of these psychos. I expect their punishment to be a dishonorable discharge most likely and they will get away with these crimes.

    September 9, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  24. John Terry

    This disgusts me!!
    And they keep the body part! Unhumane.
    And then we askour selfs why muslims hate us.

    September 9, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Imperial

    Do you wonder that by burning Qurans, banning Mosques, killing and mutilating Afghan Muslim Civilians, and other will get fear, loathing, hate, and violence in return? Do you understand that if the Muslims in the world 1.8-2.2 billion and growing...if they ever really wanted to harm you, they could and not only that, but they would win? Do you know how much 99.999% of Muslims worldwide are holding back to respond to these baby killers, quran burners, mosque banners, etc.? Have you ever seen the movie 'Kingdom of Heaven"? At least learn from history...

    September 9, 2010 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
  26. John

    lol the religion of love (xtianity) strike again. The people of freedom.

    September 9, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Guest

    Soldiers in Vietnam did the same thing on a daily basis. There is an entire group of veterans who are trying to rewrite the history books saying those things did not happen. Drugs were common is Vietnam as were killing innocent people. War is hell soldiers do what they can to survive, and payback is part of that survival.

    September 9, 2010 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  28. .

    Haha! are you kiding me? if you believe god isn't against an invasion? because that is what it is, not a war. People need to splash some water on their face and realize what's going on. This invasion isn't against "terrorism", it's just an excuse to take middle eastern resources and force them to let US companies into their soil.. you need to stop just listening to orders and think. It's all about money which makes soldiers mercenaries. Im not saying they are bad people, because they are in denial too *I hope thats what it is*. It's patriotic narcissim to think what the High and Mighty US does its for the good of the people. Wake. Up.

    September 9, 2010 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Lance

    I hope they rot in hell.

    September 9, 2010 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Allegedly

    Typical liberal hate speech. I see a lot of that, from the self-proclamed tolerance folks. What this is, is alleged incidents. Remember when those two foul and disgusting humans John Kerry and John Murtha ripped and shredded the soldiers in Haditha?????? They had press conferences calling our soldiers terrorists, murderers, etc.... and then what happened? Over the course of the next couple of years, all of those men were cleared of wrong doing. There's a reason they call it 'the fog of war'.... because along with the intense stress, there is confusion, misinformation campaigns, false enemy witnesses and worst of all, politicians looking for an advantage against another politician. Until this goes through the entire process, not only do I withhold judgement, but I spit on all the propagandists, slanderers and libelists who paint such believable worded imagery, without any factual proven information for a paint brush.

    September 9, 2010 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • AD

      Allegedly – By your logic 9/11 allegedy happened and we should have just sat on our hands while the Taliban investigated. That BS cuts both ways. Think about it.

      September 9, 2010 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Jim Fawcett

    I don't care what the army brass says, this army is not the best ever on the ground. We need to get back to the draft!! Do you think we could have won WWII with an all volunteer army? To reach their recruiting goals, the army has lowered its standards to mediocrity!!

    September 9, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  32. zipppy

    I am horrified at the killings of innocent people Afghanistan. U.S trying hard to regain respect from the world and now these killings are going to recreate anger.

    How long is the training of the soldiers for such deployment? Are they taught how to treat humans? Do they know why they are fighting this war? There is something seriously wrong in the training of these soldiers. May be the training of soldiers in not correct – it makes them inhuman and murderers. Or may be there is no personality test done before recruitment and anti-social personalities end up becoming soldiers as they love to harm society and of course war is the place where can kill officially! Soldiers should be tested mentally before being sent to wars and need ongoing psychotherapy and retesting....

    September 9, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Allegedly

      You are simply disgusting and the kind of person who would hang a man without any fact finding from a court. And that is just what you did in your comment. You asserted and intimated that it was factual truth. That is not only pathetic, but it makes you worse that the enemies who have fabricated so many of these claims, which later turned out to be totally false.

      September 9, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  33. John Kaufman, Oceanside, CA

    Easy to condem these solidiers who killed the civilians, but long ago they were called assasins, they smoked hashish and killed, read your history, no excuses for them, they are frustrated and did this for revenge and satisfaction. Afganistan is a hell hole and we did not pay attention to the Russians and the English who where there long before us and lost their asses. Get the hell out of this place, it is costing a lot of US lives and a lot of money for nothing, its a dump full corruption. I would spend the time looking to kill Osaba Bin Ladin. Get the US economy back by saving money and reducing debt. Wars cost a hell of a lot of money!

    September 9, 2010 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • General Dr Bad

      Correct Sir< I see You are Man enough ot put who and where you are.
      The First assins were of the order of "Abbadon", from cains tribe.
      and yes, it is ALL about the money, isnt it,
      "In Gold We Trust"

      September 9, 2010 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • Mariah

        Easy now Doc, dont wanna make them upset, they might attack your house with a drone while your children are asleep....lmao.....(In Gold we Trust hahaha you tell em Doc)

        September 9, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  34. marianna68

    The "soldiers" who mutilated these corpses dishonor the uniform. I am proud to wear mine and for these men to do something like this dishonors the memories of all soldiers who died wearing their's.

    September 9, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Allegedly

      You are equally pathetic because you claim to wear the uniform but gladly trash and destroy other soldiers before they have even had their day in court. The fact that you are so ignorant to story after story of false accusations against our soldiers, who ultimately are found innocent, makes you a disgrace to the uniform.

      September 9, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Jason

    The question is how many tours have these Twelve U.S. soldiers been on. In Vietnam War the most that soldiers did was one and some two tours and alot of them came back basket cases. After four tours(8 years) these troops are probaly totally gone mentally. A lot come back to be law enforcement officers and you wonder why police snap on U.S. civilians, but cause thats's how they acted over seas after more than one tour. Then you wonder why the government wants to forbid ex millitary from owning guns. Thats the plan, put them on multiple tours and claim they are too nuts to own a weapon and most probably are after seeing people blown appart and fellow soldiers shot and seeing civilians being abused. They come back to the states and have Flashbacks and Snap. Need to end the War against an enemy who has no country, The war like that can last Forever! Must stop the Blow Back as soon as posible and come home or more troops will surly die.

    September 9, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Lawrence

    A huge percentage of human beings are secret monsters. A war situation frees them to be what they really are.
    People do not want to hear the truth and will deny it or sugar coat it. Until the reality of human nature is taught and forced upon people nothing will change.

    September 9, 2010 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  37. m1sterlurk

    Shameful, shameful.

    I do take issue with them being charged for mutilating the bodies after they are already dead. Why is this an issue? THEY'RE DEAD! It just seems like a pointless "afterthought" charge when there is a far more serious crime to be prosecuted.

    September 9, 2010 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Doc Mike

    To comment on how someone acts in war would take a genius. First to know My Lai in Vietnam, was to know booby trap alley. Most of the wounded and killed were by traps.
    During the current wars we had a President,Vice President and Sec Def that were war mongers from the start. They entered into Afghanastan honorabily to rid Al Qaida that attack us, we were doing well till Mr Bush decided to revenge his fathers failures in Iraq. There slogan was to kill an arab for america. Anyone who question his job were labelled unamerican. Former Senator Mac Clellan can vouch for that.He is a Multiple wounded veteran and labelled by the Bush draft dodge crowd. These kids are being rushed to war, given no follow up and fed Glenn Beck bull crap. Bush and his cronies should be the ones Court Martialed.

    September 9, 2010 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • General Dr Bad

      Doc Mike, Taliban Offered to give Bin laden to bush is they promised no death penalty. bush said no, and attacked anyway.

      September 9, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Kevin C

    Why do we continue to hear about the "horrendous" acts committed by our troops but we never see or hear of the brave acts and success stories? Who is in charge of deciding what is published?

    September 9, 2010 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • dindy Sri lanka


      September 10, 2010 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
  40. billybobthornton

    Its storys like this that the media continues to bring up making it worse for all of us from these islamic country terrorists, not the Pasor that wants to burn the Quran junk bibles, this is whats killing us, good job media garbage

    September 9, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Mariah

    Another clear proof why more and more afghan civilians joined the Taliban....When they see their innocent child killed cuz of a grenade, what do you expect them to do? Pray for the Soilders? or think of them as Terrorists that just killed an innocent child...I hope they punish these men severly....this is discusting.....So much for making PEACE in Afghanistan. This war and Iraq war caused nothing more than hatred against America...This is not the America I grew up in....Sad but true....

    September 9, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • General Dr Bad

      are You, MY "Mariah"?

      September 9, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • Mariah

        your mariah?

        September 9, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Allegedly

      Mariah you make me vomit. Have you any brains at all? Did you bother to notice that this classic journalist libel piece is all about ALLEGATIONS????? NOT PROVEN FACTS!!!!!! Why don't you pull your liberal brain out of the sand, and not be sol hypocrtiical as to crucify someone before they have even had a day in court. We have seen far far too many of the enemy create fabricated stories that have proven to be totally false, long after our American soldiers reputations and lives are destroyed by people like you.

      September 9, 2010 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • Mariah

        Ok Republican....fools like you approved of the Iraq and Afghanistan invasion....tell me what did we accomplish? WMD? or Natural Resources...think about it fool....Get out of your small town and take a trip to Iraq and Afghanistan, you'll see exactly what we accomplished....I took a trip to Afghanistan I saw with my own eyes whats going on...We bombarded a country, took away innocent lives of civilians (and our troops), we created more enemies then before...Do you have any idea how the rest of the world views American Citizens and of our Country? They think we are Terrorists, in Europe I was asked to please leave because they dont welcome Americans... Maybe if you got out of your hole sometime you'll know whats up....DAMN IDIOT.......

        September 9, 2010 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  42. U.S.Army-OverLord

    I knew that the fools who be so quick to act like this is what all U.S. Soldiers are doing on the battlefield. If these soldiers committed this crimes they will be punished. and No will will not turn them over to the Afgans. Now how many "Freedom Fighters" have been court-marshalled for killing innocent people world wide. Right the answer is zero!!! You praise them as heroes. In fact your targeted innocent people on 9/11 so we will continue to pursue terrorist worldwide.

    September 9, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  43. rum man

    I don't think this is a small example. As a marine we r indoctrinated to kill and end up screaming kill babies etc. The problem is some ppl can't seperate talk and action. Where was the leasership when this went on? Where where the staff ncos, and officers? But no point in crying over spilled milk what's done is done and charging a crazy 18 year old won't fix this. How bout we just push everyone in again and make realistic ROEs ?

    September 9, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  44. JesusNeedsABreak

    Ignorant American children at their worst! It must have been hard for the whistle blower, may the universe protect him and welcome the dead and soon to be dead. If America didn't ask for 911....they sure are making up for it now.

    September 9, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Trotortos

    In every war there are "civilians" that communicate with the enemy, hide the enemy, hide weapons for the enemy, work directly for the enemy in capacity or another, and/or are the enemy themselves posing as civilians. We put our kids in a war zone and expect them to be level headed and immune to their environment. It is absurd! I hope these soldiers are freed and given honorable discharges whether they murdered, mutilated, did drugs, or any other actions that may be discovered.

    September 9, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      I hope when these wonderful kids come home they live in your neighborhood, not mine.

      September 9, 2010 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
  46. steve

    Our commanders goal is ' to win the hearts and minds of the Afghan People'. Some of our soldiers looking for souvenirs seem to take this a little to literally.

    September 9, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Ricky

    If Muslims did this, everyone would be saying it's because the religion of Islam called for it. Nobody looks at political or social factors. But when American soldiers do it, their religious affiliation is never brought into question. Instead, their actions are explained through other factors like the environment. A little hypocritical if you ask me.

    September 9, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Allegedly

      What's hypocritical is your worthless assumptions. These men are innocent until proven guilty and after all is said and done, and they have had their full day in court, THEN WE WILL KNOW what happened. Not because of a bunch of hate slinging leftist bandwagon jumpers who are more than happy to abandon due process and a day in court if it will help them win more lefty friends. Pathetic.

      September 9, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Akad

    Abu Gharib Part II. Good Job America

    September 9, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  49. RepubCongressman

    Will Obama be blamed the same way Bush was blamed for military misconduct?? Yeah, right. You Libs amuse/disgust me.

    September 9, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  50. 2nd Infanty Division Veteran

    First, let me preface my comments by stating that I in no way condone these egregious acts and that as an old 2 I.D. veteran, this situation brings dishonor to the whole Army . Now, let's get "real"... The collection of "war souvenirs" is normally kept to personal items from those who have been engaged in a battle. This act (collecting souvenirs) has been perpetrated for centuries upon centuries. The possession of body parts by warriors is nothing new, either. Every culture that I am aware of has had an element who would keep this or that body part as a "trophy". This grisly act was often used as a means of intimidatiing the enemy and reinforcing "bravado" within the warrior clan. The soldiers should be punished, no doubt, and on a variety of charges, but to think that this may be something "new" or because of those "Godless Americans" is off the mark. Respects

    September 9, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Human

    I cannot believe this is going on. I hope the world hears of this, this is not the first news of US soldiers committing terrorism in Iraq or Afghanistan

    September 9, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Looking for Reality

    Reading through all the posts her has presented a lively discussion between people, but unfortunately both sides of the discussion here seems to be missing one of the most important sides of this story.

    Before condemning these men for these action at least give them the benefit of the Fact they are ALL INNOCENT at this point. Not a single one of them have plead guilty or been convicted of anything, and until they are please quit calling for their beheading or their deaths or for them to receive their "Just punishments". Let the system deal with them. If the system breaks down then you can scream for the punishment to fit the crimes.

    And yes IF they did commit these crimes then I am all for them receiving the appropriate justice. But until then at least i can still consider myself an American. Unlike all of you who feel you are the judges, juries and executioners.

    September 9, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  53. kwreader

    Reason number4,097,809 to get out of Afghanistan and, while we're at it, Iraq. The US has to stop pretending it can be, and has the right to be, the world's policeman. It's killing our economy (except the coffers of the military complex and the politicians they've bought), it's killing our reputation, and most importantly it's killing our young men and women, literally and morally.

    Time to stop throwing good money after bad, Republicans and hawkish Dems. And until military spending is halved, just STFU about having to cut social security to reduce the deficit. You should have thought about that before you gave Bush all the tax cuts on the superrich and the wars that he wanted.

    September 9, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Hypocrisy

    My favorite part about the propaganda in this country is how when an Iraqi soldier kills an American soldier no one cares. If an American does the same to an Iraqi, everyone in the country comes down on him.

    Cool "Story" bro.

    September 9, 2010 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Rich

    One from Wasilla, Alaska.

    September 9, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Anonymouse

    Coming to a US street near you very shortly, no not the terrorists, the heroes with the guns'n'skulls under their mattresses and the visions of murder, death and destruction rattling around their heads. Need some help with the PTSD, better not admit to having a problem to all the innocent folks you've killed, the Army mental health authorities might think your a conscientious objector.

    September 9, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Anon

    Coming to a US street near you very shortly, no not the terrorists, the heroes with the guns'n'skulls under their mattresses and the visions of murder, death and destruction rattling around their heads. Need some help with the PTSD, better not admit to having a problem to all the innocent folks you've killed, the Army mental health authorities might think your a conscientious objector.

    September 9, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  58. cajr

    um sunni muslims killed plenty of us soldiers and civilian journalists and contractors for no reason so who cares? i personally feel they would kill you first if given the chance so strike first in my book.

    September 9, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  59. SurRy

    Must be part of the "winning hearts and minds" strategy.

    September 9, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Tanja

    This is just sick! Sick!

    September 9, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Jim

    Bush should go to jail for masterminding the whole thing. Manson did right?

    September 9, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Jim

    It's ironic how we teach our young people to kill, send them overseas with cheers to do so and then were shocked to find out they did exactly what they were ordered to do. War is hell people, if you think this is isolated it's not, it's WAR, people get killed, thats exactly what they're supposed to be doing. With the blessing of most Americans i might add.

    September 9, 2010 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Robert Neslage, (Ltc Ret)

    Our soldiers are primarily not volunteers, they have no other way to acquire a college degree other than serve and have the military pay their tuition. Our autrocities are always on the front page of the liberal news media and never any mention of the enemy's beheadins and bombings of weddings and killing women and chilodren. Our soldiers are fighting with one hand tied behind their backs due to our political corrrect society. War is hell and you win by killing more of the enemy than they kill of you. We need to get down on their level and in stead of taking the moralistic high road. We wone world war II without concern for collateral damage. We would have wone years ago if our rules of engagement had of allowed us to. The terrorists will make us pay dearly in the future due to our failure to fight a war which would strike fear in the hearts of our enemy. Robert Neslage

    September 9, 2010 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  64. cajr

    we as americans are never ging to win the hearts and minds of any arab or muslim for that matter.

    September 9, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  65. govwatch

    SOOO...if burning the Quran is enough to get Obama squealing with anger, what does he have to say about this??? NOTHING???

    September 9, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  66. LibshateUSA

    This was wrong, but funny how they lament our soldiers, yet the Muslim extremists do this sort of thing all the time. What about our soldiers who were killed and hanged from bridges, had their heads cut off and sent back to thier units? The civilians like Daniel Pearl, the three hitchhikers in Iran and so on. Funny, I did not see any Muslims decrying those acts. What do you think would happen to an American female if she dared to walk in Saudi Arabia with a dress to her knees and her head uncovered? She would be apprehended and stoned to death. So, where is the outcry over this sort of thing that happens on a daily basis in Muslim countries. Women are stoned for having males over to visit at their house who are not male relatives or married to them. If a foreigner offends Muhammed in one of these countries, he is apprehended and lashed or killed.

    September 9, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Mike

    The Army, as in the Army, not the Marines, Navy, AF. etc... needs to take a good look at itself and ask itself if its doing the best job they could be doing right now. In all the other branches you just dont see these types of things happening, and if they happen, they surely dont make it to the media.

    September 9, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Chris

    We got problems.

    September 9, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  69. George Patton

    Had those filthy creeps did the same thing under my command,I'd turn them over to the Taliban in a heartbeat!These guys are a disgace to the United States and I feel quite repulsed over this!!!

    September 9, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel-2

      Excellent posting,George.Thank you.

      September 9, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Active Enlisted

    I guess an intelligent and poingant post isn't allowed on here, guess I'll give fox a try.

    September 9, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Wade

    What;s the big deal? These guys are warriors and this is what warriors do. It's no different than any other war the U.S. fought in. I know Vietnam vets that used to cut off the ears of the vietcong and wear them on a necklace. So what. It's war and these guys are bad-ass warriors. Leave them alone and let them do what they are trained to do so wimps like you all don't have to.

    September 9, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fred

      I agree this is what happens in war. Both sides have been doing it since the begining of time. But, now evryone gets to know about it.

      It is good propoganda for certian groups.

      September 9, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Fred

    War is War. This kind of stuff happens in every war. I was in the military for 6 years. Their were times me and my buddies were just not in our right minds. And I was not even in combat.

    You would really have to experience it to understand. It is too easy to sit at Starbuck and be critical.

    September 9, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Michael

    Just a few points from a veteran.

    1) Every American (military or civilian) is innocent until proven guilty. I am not saying I believe these soldiers are innocent, but don't condemn them yet.

    2) The US Military has a Status of Forces Agreement to help protect service members accused of a crime. The US retains jurisdiction when a crime is committed as part of a service member's duty. Once these crimes are determined to not meet that criteria, the host country gets jurisdiction. And if these men are guilty of the crimes reported in the story above, I truly hope they meet that fate.

    3) Killing non-combatants is wrong. No question. Everyone knows that. It doesn't matter if the President himself tells a soldier to shoot someone, that soldier is LEGALLY and MORALLY obligated to refuse the order. I appreciate the soldier(s) who risked their well-being to bring this story into the light. It takes a lot of Personal Courage, Integrity and Honor to make the choice to risk your own life to report the crimes and injustices performed by those a person serves with. So don't say, "Soldiers are thugs/goons/murderers," because of the actions of a few cowards and deviants and ignore the virtues and values possessed by so many of our service members around the world.

    4) CNN did not find this story. There was no great investigative reporting done. This story isn't so different from so many stories that we don't hear about. It is the crimes that nobody reports, the un-witnessed wrongs of the world that make it impossible for people to live without fear.

    5) American civilians have been guilty of many heinous, disgusting and reprehensible crimes. Do the actions of the every man, woman and child in the custody of the Justice Department make every American a criminal? Should the value of a man be measured by the criminals of his homeland?

    These men have disgraced themselves, and brought shame on the US Military and the country.

    September 9, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      "PRESUMED INNOCENT BY THE COURT". Not "innocent until proven guilty". Courts have nothing to do with whether a person is guilty or innocent. They did it or not, regardless of what the court finds.

      September 27, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Chut Pata

    Tells you what a barbaric religion Christianity is

    September 9, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  75. MG

    War, what a mess. Our boys get what 2 months of training and off they go. I really have mixed feelings about this, are they trained enough to be called disaplined soldiers? What is the mental status of these boys? How would we react?
    I'm not sure, I'd like to think we would be honorable but war is ugly. It's easy to point fingers but I'd like to hear more from men and women who served God Bless our military.

    September 9, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Gilbert

    Stabbing a corpse, really ? Who cares, you only die once, did the corpse cringe with pain?

    September 9, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • AZ Jakball

      Gilbert, would you be comfortable knowing a soldier capable of beheading an innocent civilian, sitting down with the head, skinning it, and digging out the eyes and mouth and thought it was cool to keep the skull, was coming back to the states to live next door to you? We don't really need people with zero conscience capable of this brutality in the U.S. I mean,...really.

      September 20, 2010 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
  77. dwighthuth

    Sounds like a conspiracy to make everyone hate Teresa Heinz and the Heinz Ketchup corporation. I am certain you will figure it out.

    September 9, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  78. General Dr Bad

    this just gets better all the time, now the spamming,arguing,childish name calling,excuses,
    YOU are Filth.

    September 9, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  79. CitizenCollins

    so the miltary leadership and state department would rather spend time complaining about some kook that wants to burn books than deal with their own broken system. If they want to know why the other countries despise Americans they need to look at the damage they are doing.
    This is not defending the Country, this is just spending money playing GI Joe (sorry Joe).
    Patreaus and Clinton are nothing but a joke. no leaadership from those two.

    when was the last war the US won that the US started?

    September 9, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  80. AndytheLawyer

    No, no, no, you stupid troops......You're supposed to win over the Afghans' hearts and minds....NOT cut them out of their bodies and take them home as souvenirs!!

    September 9, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • LarryKegel(US Army)

      Why don't You tell the Taliban to fight fairly and maybe then We would have to drop to Their level to survive???

      September 9, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3