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.

• 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. Sven

    We can't have a Koran burning because it may endanger our troops overseas, say Mr. Obama and a 4-star general, and countless unknown "experts" CNN could find. Fine. Along comes CNN with the most devastating video ever. This will not harm our troops? Why can't CNN keep it's mouth shut until the trial is over, and the facts are known??? And don't give this "the public has a right to know" stuff. Not if it endangers our troops!!!

    September 27, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Kay

    Come on, CT Mike,

    Did I say the whole Army was awful? That such sick animal behavior is common? That I didn't support our troops?

    Nope. Not even close.

    I said that the Army's standards have been lowered. And they have...and, if you truly are a recruiter, you should know it.

    Now...I *WILL* acknowledge that you were originally talking about ASVAB scores. But your claim that "ASVAB score requirements are the same across the board (31% AFQT) for all the services" is simply not true. While the Army requires a minimum of 31 points (with more and more waivers for scores as low as 26), Air Force recruits have to achieve 36 points. Marines = 32. Navy = 35. Coast Guard = 40.

    Yes. Height and weight standards for Army recruits changed in 2006...4 years ago, not 3 years ago...allowing more and more significantly overweight recruits.

    Unfortunately we've been fighting in Afghanistan for 9 years.

    So how about acknowledging the OTHER standards that have been lowered?

    Such as...

    ** IQ standards were lowered in 2005.

    ** Graduating from high school is no longer pretty much required. (Almost 1 in 4 soldiers is a high school dropout. This compared to the other branches which rarely allow recruits without high school diplomas...and they have to score much higher AFTQ scores to compensate.)

    ** The percentage of conduct waivers for Army recruits convicted of felonies, serious misdemeanors or 3 or more minor misdeanors increased from 4.6% of its recruits in 2004 to 13% in 2008...the last year for which waiver data is available. (Note: felony waivers were suspended in 2008 as the recession made it easier to recruit.)

    ** Recruits can receive waivers even after failing drug and alcohol testing

    ** 1 in 4 recruits have had to receive a waiver of some sort to qualify to serve

    ** The maximum Army enlistment age limit has been increased several times.

    In 2002, it was 34. In early 2006 it was increased to 40, and then, 5 months later, increased again to 42. (This is compared to a constant maximum age of 27 for the Air Force, 34 for the Navy, 28 for the Marines and 27 for the Coast Guard. )

    And you seriously want us to believe that the ONLY thing that has changed is height and weight standards???? And that it is *we* who have a problem with facts????

    Like it or not, we owe it to our country and to our troops to be informed, CT Mike. inform you? My recruiter friend (formerly in tanks) volunteered to become a recruiter because he was a saleman in civilian life and loved it. And me? A liberal?'s 3 strikes. You're out.

    September 27, 2010 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Banger909

    So very long ago. Good Morning Vietnam

    September 27, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jack B

    To those of you that think fighting for freedom is a waste of time. Stop and think what our country would be like if a dictator like Hitler, Stalin, Castro were allowed to come in and take over our country. Seriously do you think you would be able to comment on how bad the country is. Would you be able to speak out in a forum like this. I can tell you you wouldn't be able to do much of anything without permission. You know how you got that freedom. It was from the Soldiers past, and present. They have fought and some have died to give you what you have now. Yes even the right to call the soldiers names, spit or burn our Grand Flag. I'm sorry if you feel like this is all a waste of time then all I can say to you is

    September 27, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jack B

    Navy Mom I agree with you 100%. How the hell did they get CID Tapes. Those are military property. That would be like getting tapes from the CIA or FBI. Running this story is detremental to our soldiers. They are under enough pressure without having this plastered all over the headlines. I know they are in the business of reporting the news but come on CNN have a little compassion for the soldiers. Now for those of you that think it is corporate america that is runnning this war. Wake up you idiots. How the hell can corporate america run the war. Yes they make all of the military equipment but what's new about that. They have been doing that since the beginning of the USA. I'm not saying what these soldiers did isn't wrong but let them have their day in court. After all isn't a person presumed innocent until proved guilty. Or don't our soldiers deserve the same treatment. To any soldiers reading this. Please excuse the idiots that don't know what is going on. Keep on doing your good work and make sure you come home safe. This is one proud veteran to call you Brothers and Sisters.

    September 27, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. w l prine

    first the government of this usa must be abolished. the us government is the biggest organized crime there is. this country should be run like a business. with people appointed to posts with rules. break the rule and youre out just like that immediately headed to prison for life. i could say a lot more. but im sick of these idiots and this is all the time i will spend. south carolina ready to suceed from this terrifying bunch of idiots.

    September 27, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Clayton

    I have been to Iraq and Afghanistan, this is not a common theme. This was a unique situation. The Afghanis and Iraqis trust the U.S. ground forces over their local security. Our mission is to train the local security forces in security operations and nation building. The way this article was written made it seem like a common theme in theater. The Army beats well treatment and cultural awareness through multiple courses prior to our deployment. This was a unique situation with disturbed individuals and a break down in leadership. Do you believe the FT Hood shooter is a common theme in the military?

    September 27, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Prescription Monsters

    Good grief!! The headline speaks of "illegal drugs" but makes no mention of the PRESCRIPTION DRUGS that are causing so much violence and mayhem in our society. HOLD THE DRUG COMPANIES AND DOCTORS RESPONSIBLE!

    "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."

    September 27, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mike

    I dont see anything wrong with what our soldiers did over there. The only problem is that they should have killed and brutalized thousands. These things are roaches, they are not people. If given the
    chance, they will behead any soldier they can. The only crime occurred when they got caught. Whenever I read a story like this it brings me a sense of warmth. If they can hide behind people and dress in womans garb, we can play the nasty games too. Its all in the name of war. Good job boys.... You make many people proud. Forget the lollipops they give out to the little rat kids, hand em grenades.

    September 27, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      You remind me of someone, oh ya I remember "osama" . . . he would be proud of you, so am I.

      September 27, 2010 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. David

    I served my country and I have never been utterly disappointed in the outcome or may be it is a survival guilt . . . I don't mind serving a cause and even dying for it but if the American people where asked for once to put their ego, division, reality show down and united for a cause and peace would they do it? did they do it? Oh ya I forgot, "don't ask what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country" . . . means be silent and serve . . . so I did and I came back home to place I could not recognize . . . to a place where my family lost there home and jobs . . . who is there to help whom? I know and have seen good people but as a whole, as a country, as a people it does not seem we have it anymore . . . no humanity, no personal sacrifice, no ethics . . . . it is true we should point to the evils around the world but evil has a funny way of saying welcome to my world. . . we are not who we claim to be . . .

    September 27, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Herb

    to conservative: Look at the quarterly reports from Haliburton, Xe, Hummer, Remington, smith and Wesson. The military industrial complex has made billions from Bush's folly. Regardless of Rush's misinformation and what you hear when you watch FOX news, this is the truth, It is there for anyone to see in the published quarterly reports. These corporations and others who produce arms, ammo, and support equipment and services for combat activities are the most profitable in the world. Cheney knew, Bush knew, a high percentage of the American gross national production takes place in these corporations. That is really good and profitable for those producers, not so much for those duped into using their products in the name of patriotism.

    September 27, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Observation

    When ~ 3K unarmed Americans were murdered nine years ago, there were celebrations in places like Nablus, Lebanon, and East Jerusalem (I realize that not all Muslims celebrated). When US Soldiers are found to have committed murder, they are tried and sentenced as criminals. The “why are we there” crowd fails to see the difference and instead speculates on mercenary motives for the conflict – just read this blog. Bottom line is this: post Cold War western civilization is in conflict with the east, motives for Jihad are political masked by religious wrappers – fighting the evil empire builds support of the masses. Motives for the west are strategic – oil is a strategic resource until we can replace it. We will only arrive at a conclusion after we understand what is at stake from each side and can flush away the stifling rhetoric. This is not about democracy or the will of God. Let’s stop blaming political rivals, call this conflict for what it is and come up with a solution that does not involve a 100 year commitment to occupation. If that takes backing a dictator, so be it.

    September 27, 2010 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. rhino

    killing for sport? Is that not what THEY are doing to US?? Pay a bounty to our people for every SOB they kill !

    September 27, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Stanley Thompson

    Zinn is a Socialist. Simple. He doesn't believe in American exceptionalism. The US might as well be Mexico to him. A forerunner to an America-hating hippy. Conquer or be conquered.

    September 27, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Wariskilling

    I am saying this not to offend anyone more so looking for an honest answer. Can somebody who please explain to me 2 things: With what has happened (lots of death and no bin laden/WMD found), how is the war justified looking back? And also please logically explain the whole "fighting for our freedom" thing. Because to the best of my knowledge I would still be "free" if we weren't over there fighting these people. So what freedom is this really giving me that I wouldn't already have? Freedom to write this question? Honestly I could do that "freely" from anywhere else in the world. Again not looking for the old "you stupid hippie go back to your bong" answer. I'm looking for real answers from people on the other end of the belief spectrum. Thanks

    September 27, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Eva

    My parents told me stories like this about WWII. I knew that this must be going on.
    Sorry, but don't expect me to celebrate the soldiers on Veteran's Day. I don't celebrate killers.

    September 27, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Harry

    The U.S., hopefully, and thankfully (naive) should be and continue to be a democracy. The murders in Afghanistan, My Lai, and other wars cannot be condoned, it is not acceptable by any human standard. The problem is that the military brass does not get it. The soldier on the field suffers and as a result takes it out on the civilian population. I saw that during my Vietnam era duty. Helicopter gunners mowing down helpless civilians as the helicopter passed the village.
    I cannot condone atrocities, yet the brass never gets tried. Abhu Grey (sic) in Iraq was a perfect example of soldiers claiming, I obeyed orders; however, the Military Manual allows soldiers to question orders that seem to be out of the realm of battle; such as murdering civilians for sport.
    I wholeheartedly agree that both the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions were the result of Oil and military contracts; something we, civilians, have lost economically as more and more of our tax money fuels those military contracts.
    The role of us civilians, is to constantly monitor what our government does, and, to elect those that share our views for the future of the U.S.

    September 27, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  18. ed2310 long as none of them threw puppies over a cliff.

    September 27, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Dick

    " I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class thug for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents. "

    Major General Smedley Butler – USMC

    September 27, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Eva

    This is what war is like, I knew it. My parents told me stories like this about WWII. War makes animals out of people. Sorry, but don't expect me to pay my respect on Veteran's Day. You never know how many people a veteran killed and how.

    September 27, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  21. jollyme

    My reply was to something else above, but the reply got inserted at the end. I was responding to someone saying hateful things about Islam and misquoting things out of context.

    September 27, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Patrick A.

    yet we keep wondering why do these people Hate us so much.
    Same kind story 1 of mu uncle use to tell me when we were in Vietnam.GI,s used to drop captured Vietcong soldiers on Helicopters blades with one copter flying above another.

    Shame on us.

    September 27, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  23. PARROT


    September 27, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Buck

    Shootem up!!!

    September 27, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Curtis

    To some it's called murder to others a sport, a causality of or being proactive in not allow any other terrorist to breed more terrorists. Personally I say bring them home and let the animals feed off of themselves until no one is left.

    September 27, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  26. usnavy1992

    Ok do you know that when you make a headline like this, It puts out troops in more danger then they already are. YOU JACK ASSES!

    September 27, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  27. nola

    By all means, keep these guys in the service who may be doing these types of things & kick the gays out of the military for doing their jobs...

    September 27, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Papa Kilo 15er

    Please STOP calling these criminals 'soldiers' . They are NOT US Soldiers. They are nothing more than street thugs, and disgrace ALL of us that risk our lives to protect those that can't protect themselves. If my unit would've witnessed what they did, I can't say that we wouldnt' have either taken them into custody, or just beat the living sheet out of them, for putting the rest of us in jeopardy. They not only have dishonored all before them, but have also given ammo to the enemy. They deserve a firing squad, after they're forced to walk through Arlington and see all those who gave so their sorry @sses could exist. Semper Fi......

    September 27, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Lisa

    So, we are over there fighting terrorism. People dying on both sides and these guys go an make those that hate us, hate us even more. I hope they are punished to the fullest extent of the law. I hope the people of Afghanistan realize that these monsters do not represent America. I also hope that retaliation is not sought on our other service men and women.

    September 27, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Daniel

    So U.S. servicemen killing for sport in Afghanistan...and people wonder why Americans are not liked around the world

    September 27, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Dogtags

    Again, I see all these references to 9/11. Lest we forget... before 9/11 there was October 23, 1983 – Beirut, Lebanon – Killing 220 Marines, 18 Sailors and three Soldiers as they slept with a sucide truck bomb – the explosion was the biggest non-nuclear explosion since WWII.

    September 27, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lesann

      Indeed! Seems everyone forgot whilst spouting out their mouths. I have no sympathy for any of these casualties. Far as i can tell a good 900 opinions on this page are from cowards and clearly very almighty people. Well they can sit and judge all about how they would never, or how this is just to terrible to fathom. Really?? Doesn't seem that bad, could have tortured every single afghany until they died from agony. Now that would be fun and sporting.

      September 28, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Buck

    Good for them!

    September 27, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  33. jr

    When traumatized, trained-to-kill vets come home and kill and maim in your town, remember how 80 percent of you supported the irriational wars that produced them. The empty rallying cry of "support our troops" was enough to brush off tens of thousands of foreign civilian deaths. I don't think it will be enough to make you feel ok when the killing comes home to roost.

    September 27, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  34. MDGagnon

    Turn them over to the Afghan legal system. Good night and good luck.

    September 27, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  35. K12

    I am an ROTC cadet that will be commissioning in the United States Army in December. This kind of story deeply upsets me. Deployments are stressful, yes. But this is just utterly ridiculous. Killing innocent people that you KNOW are not even remotely a threat to you or your men. This is deeply concerning, and the military MUST address this. As far as I am concerned, these men are a disgrace to our mission, the uniform, and the United States. I hope that these individuals receive the highest punishment possible under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

    September 27, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  36. DaveM

    To those individuals that note that "sport killing" has gone on in other wars, are you trying to justify these utterly horrendous actions against innocent civilians? Plenty of soldiers go to wars and do not allow themselves to descend to sheer animal barbarism. There is no excuse for these crimes, none whatsoever...

    September 27, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  37. The Dude

    They are Muslim. Their lives are not worth the same. Our soldiers should be allowed to determine who lives and dies according to their discretion.

    September 27, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  38. poopsocle

    US's interests are always more important than foreigners lives

    September 27, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  39. C'mon

    Stephen P.....'US has freed more people in the last 110 years than any other country'.?
    not sure where you checked your history....but I will give you a pass on that statement and count it as true to save an argument. HOWEVER....intellectually and historically I'm not sure America is up to the moral pedestal....the country was founded on the backs (and deaths) of millions of African Americans....tens of millions of slaughtered American Indians...the practical enslavement of millions of Chinese....on and on. Then there's Viet Nam, Cambodia, Iraq, and now Afghanistan....even when we were on the moral high ground, our total disregard for human suffering goes unmatched....check the bombing of Dresden in WWII (I was over there by the way). And I apologize....I know I'm missing a few misdeeds here and there. Bottom line is....that unless America (and Americans) get what we want, we are no better than anyone else.

    September 27, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  40. John

    I don't know these guys but I doubt these illegal killings had an ideological or cultural motive, human nature takes a wrong turn when we ask too much of our military men and women for too long a time in combat zones. Just my opinion, but these killings don't represent a common theme in American culture, that's why the story gets compassionate attention.

    September 27, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Papa Kilo 15er

    My question to CNN is WHY? Why should this be news? We knew it happened way back when it actually did, what is the point of making this mainstream? So idiots can say we're murderers, so they can lump all the military into one bucket and blame them all for the mistakes of a few? So our enemies can use this for recruiting fodder? This isn't something that is essential to our daily lives to know. It just boggles my mind at the stories THEY think we all need to know about. Good job CNN, I GUARANTEE you the Taliban is posting this story all over their recruiting sites.

    September 27, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ann

      So, what is essential in your lives for you?

      September 28, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  42. BlameLBJ

    UNREAL, TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE – Dock those boys pay for using ammo on personal time. Then back on the clock – GIVE THEM A NICE CEREMONY AND SOME MEDALS.

    September 27, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Jim in Georgia

    All war IS atrocity. The rest is semantics for brain-washing the public to support going to war in the first place. To kill another human being takes either complete madness, or an intense rationalization that somehow this person is less-than-human...they are "the enemy;" they are somehow inhuman, and to kill them is like killing an animal…even less so. It sounds like these young soldiers took that rationalization so far that it became madness...and second nature.

    September 27, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Disastrous & Disgusting

    I can't even fully express how disgusting this story is. All I can say is that superiors or ranks up higher in the chain of command must have known this.

    These soldiers are cowards, have no humanity, criminals and should be charged with war crimes. And also those that knew.

    I feel very bad for those innocent Afghan victims. We need to send a message to Afghanistan that we will hold these criminals responsible and deal with them as they should be and that is NOT the way the USA wants to help while it creates and maintains a perpetual base in Afghanistan.

    Makes you question, at least for me, whom I think I am a critical thinker, that this requires one to RE-THINK when we go around saying or displaying how much we "Support The Troops". Or when we're so gun-ho about any wars.

    I feel sick right now over this.
    Do we also support this? Careful what you "support".

    September 27, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Jim in Georgia

    All war IS atrocity. The rest is semantics for brain-washing the public to support going to war in the first place. To kill another human being takes either complete madness, or an intense rationalization that somehow this person is less-than-human...they are "the enemy;" they are somehow inhuman, and to kill them is like killing an animal…even less so. It sounds like these young soldiers took that rationalization so far that it became madness...and second nature.

    You want war, then be prepared to have some of your young men and women lose their minds and slaughter civilians, effectively ending their own lives as they end those of their victims.

    September 27, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Braden

    My god that Jeremy soldier is freaking HOT, and so was the next dude interviewed....

    September 27, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Pat

    These soldiers should be handed over to Al Qaeda for punishment.

    September 27, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |

    It is sad that our men and women die for what we think is a war. The truth is it is a business and at times bad business is done and consiquences must be paid. We as a nation are paying for our repeated mistakes

    September 27, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  49. jellylee20202

    They'll probably get a slap on the wrist, put in jail for a year and then dishonorably discharged. Life of Afghanis are worth nothing compare to American lives in the eyes of the American officials or the American people. No wonder the rest of the world hates us.

    September 27, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  50. BeyondWords

    Who is in charge of their company?
    What is the punishment for a WAR CRIME? HANGING?
    NOw you why people around the HATE us!!!CAN YOU BLAME THEM?

    September 27, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Doctor J

    Is it just a coincidence that Morlock is from Wasilla, AK? Or are the people there just "different"?

    September 27, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Dave

    It's hard reading this and not feeling very sad. Imagine placing another human being against a wall and killing him in cold blood. The truth is it takes a certain mindset to do something as atricious as that, ordinary people don't behave that way. So let's ask ourself this question, what are we bringing home when these soldiers return home, wouldn't you agreed that we are bring home maniacs to live among us? Yes they are your kids, dads/moms, brothers/sisters, cousins etc. but don't forget that these soldiers had mind altering experiences and are scared for life.
    Remember nothing good can be achieve in a war that cannot be achieve in a good old fashion, hard core discussion.
    I feel for both sides because both are victims in their own way..hence the cliche, all is fair in love and war, but what a price to pay!

    September 27, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Loretta Nall

    Oh please...does any rational person really think this had anything to do with marijuana? How about it had to do with the fact that marines are trained to kill, war is all about killing and drives people crazy, brain injuries from IED's and chemical lobotomy drugs...PATHETIC!

    September 27, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  54. BeyondWords

    I never thought we as in the United States of America would be guilty of WAR CRIMES...These GUYS make me SICK and ASHAMED to be an AMERICAN.How can they be so calm....Hunting PEOPLE? HUNTING CIVILIANS?

    September 27, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  55. scrollphaser

    Trained to kill people.
    Forced to take over someone's country for no good reason.
    Sent to the blistering desert with no AC.
    Wife is cheating back home.
    Lost my job when deployed.
    Just found out the stay is indefinite.
    Stressed out about daily bombings.
    Have to sleep on a cot and live in a tent.

    But, yeah, the hashish made him do it. Good work Johnson.

    September 27, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kassi

      bottom line...ppl kill ppl. cant help it. they kill us..we kill them. i believe the war should go on.talaban are stupid. i dont even spell their name right. I HATE the talaban. but killing an inocent man is bad. just take them out of the service

      September 28, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  56. Gary

    I see nothing wrong with this. There should be more of it. War is war

    September 27, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  57. rhfl55

    It was this type of thing in Vietnam that turned the average American citizen against the soldiers. For now, nearly all Americans support the soldiers, even if they don't believe we should be in the war. That will change if too many things like this continue to occur.

    September 27, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Alex Chen

    World hates America? How do you guys got the numnber? I was not born in the US and use mainly non-enlighs in my daily life. Others coutries liked US when they needed aid and cursed the US when they didn't. It is just completely dumb to say world hates US becasue of what it has done. Even if America did not do anything would still be cursed as a ruthless bystanders. For those narrow mind lefty, just go to learn second language, and do more news comparions! In addition, aren't all the American media be censored secretly by CIA? Why did I see this news here?

    September 27, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  59. LMD

    First off I do say,this is reprehensible.!!!!.This puts a black eye on ALL those still serving,which includes also includes my Son. This act,should be punished by the full force of military justice,which includes death. These soldiers,and they should not even be called that,have put our soldiers who are risk to begin with,at more risk. The military should also be looked at very carefully for allowing the behaviors that have been taking place,including drug use,drinking etc.

    September 27, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Rock14says

    Unprovoked Killings? Hmmmm Wasnt that what was done to us on 9-11. Sucks to taste your own medicine.....

    September 27, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ann

      The men who were killed had nothing to do with 9/11. It's sad to see how the educational system in this country has not helped to educate some people, so they can read properly, think properly.

      September 28, 2010 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  61. matt

    all of these men should be executed. They've wasted enough tax money killing innocent people. I dont want to support them anymore.

    September 27, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  62. H. S. Thompson

    Man, when we smoked dope back during 'Nam the only thing we did was listen to CSNY. Times sure have changed...

    September 27, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Todd

    I wonder if the "exec" who decided to publish this has any kids in Afghanistan? I'm going to go ahead and guess that he does not.

    September 27, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Gerry

    President Obama – get us out of this war now! Bring the troops home and lets put this mess behind us. From the bad days of Vietnam in the 60's & 70's came the good days of the 80's & 90's. I look forward to that time again.

    September 27, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  65. 4pool

    My great-aunt told me of WWII when one of her uncles was told by some soldiers to leave his hut for a few minutes. He never came back. They found him decapitated the next morning under some trees. He had absolutely nothing to do with the war; the soldiers were just passing through the village. So these men that were killed for sport... they aren't just some numbers. Their families just lost their father, husband, or uncle.

    September 27, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  66. I

    Wow, very sad that things do happen like this. The power of the press, just think if CNN was around during Vietnam. Young men being placed in a foreign land trying to uphold diplomacy with rules of engagement. I dislike our troops going through this, I also feel the press should be careful of what they report to the world too, once again this type of behavior makes us look so very bad to the eyes of the world. I'm sure justice can be done without telling the world but there again we as people thrive on the negativity in nature so sad so true.

    September 27, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ann

      So, you think we should lie and/or hide facts? That the press should be used a propaganda tool for the government? That the public should not be allowed to know the truth?

      September 28, 2010 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  67. terry

    These soldiers are a disgrace to the armed services and this country. Using drugs is absolutely no excuse for their actions. We are trying to win a war that no other civilization has ever been able to win in the past "ask the russians". I am not a proponent of the death penalty but if it true then I see no recourse. How can you win the minds and hearts of the civilian population when we have soldiers who act more like animals than the group we are fighting. If I hear one more person state that this is war then we are not a civilized nation because this is not war but the lowest form of life that we as americans are portraying.

    September 27, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  68. John

    Like someone said earlier, there is no "clean" and "lawful" war. I would expect something like this to happen in every war. In the pass couple of years people have killed their entire families due to financial and job dificulties. Why would
    you not expect some soldiers under the pressure of war not jump off the deep end. Also the only difference with our military and other countiers like Pakistan, Iran ect. is our soldiers do go on trial when committing crimes.

    Retired w/21 years Veteran.

    September 27, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      I wanted to make sure it is understood that I do not condone murder, there are innocent people killed all over the world.
      There have been murders commited by police, priest, teachers, nurses. Why would you not expect this other segment of society not to be capable. All this tells me is people are using the opportunity to preach politics of which ever side they may be on.

      September 27, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Fiona

    There are stories of atrocities like this in every war. You place people in an arena where the normal rules of society do not apply, where it is their job to kill, where it is okay to blow up homes and vehicles, where they regularly see friends killed or mutilated, and you are going to have some psychosis. The drugs impair judgement even further. The alleged brain damage (and why was he still on active duty if he was brain damaged?) may have done so as well. But this is a common, horrible side effect of war. And these men come home to wives, girlfriends, children, whom they all too often abuse.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Nodack

    This is another sad day for the US and another black eye for us and our military. The Muslim world will see this as yet more proof that we are evil and this story just recruited another 1000 terrorists.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Derrick

    The US military seems to have done a good job cracking down on this. Those soldiers suspected of the crimes should be tried in a military tribunal and if found guilty of either sport killings or use of illegal narcotics should be convicted of treason as well and executed. Killing for sport is disgusting and an insult to the uniform they wear. Use of illegal drugs is a good way to make sure Al Qaeda's bank account doesn't run out. Doing both, well, that is totally unacceptable.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Ohio Person

    These soldiers are good Americans!! I only wish they had taken care of more of the enemy.

    Get rid of all the raghead'ed mozlims (or whatever the losers are). Oh yeah, and you un-American, socialist lib-tards!

    September 27, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nodack


      If it was up to you 90% of the planet would be killed because they are different from you.

      You are the reason I vote every time because the world if we allow people like you to gain power lots of people die.

      September 27, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ohio Person

        Nodack you are an uneducated, peace-nik, libtard. You have undoubtably never served our great country. And it is great. It is losers like you that wish to destroy it. Crawl back under your rock.

        September 27, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ohio Person

        Nodack – I also vote in every election and have since I turned 18. Just FYI – my vote probably offsets yours in every election.

        September 27, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • Nodack

        Actually I'm a musician and I have been on seven tours for the DOD playing for our troops abroad over the years. I've played in Alaska, Germany, Greece, Spain, Iceland, Italy, Bosnia, Hungary, Kazigstan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Macedonia, Afghanistan, Qatar and Africa and a few others entertaining our troops abroad. I support our military 100%. The military is just a big dog we let loose when there are no other options I take exception to people like you and the GOP who think we should just kill everybody we don't like. In the GOPs case they hate just about everybody including their own lately with the tea bag party.

        September 27, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ohio Person

        Ah, a musician... I should have figured...

        And no, I most certainly do not hate everyone. Just the people that are trying to ruin this great country. They have no place in it.

        September 27, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leah (TXanimal)

      So "mozlem" = enemy? Is that how it works?

      September 27, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ohio Person

        You're from TX – tell me you agree!! Towelhead = Enemy. Yes.

        September 27, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • Leah (TXanimal)

        No, I'm actually FROM Ohio, I just live in Texas.

        And no, I absolutely do not agree. Simply belonging to one ethnic group, religion, etc does not make one a terrorist or an "enemy". That's like saying all Christians are the enemy because some of them bomb abortion clinics or belong to the KKK.

        September 27, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nodack

      You already said you hate Muslims or Muzlims as you call them and that's half the planet right there that you want to "get rid of". You hate Libtards as you say too and that's half of America. Just that alone means you want to kill half the planet and half the US population because they have no place in the world you invision. You hate and want to kill a lot of people that you don't even know anything about.

      September 27, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ann

        I totally agree with you. Ohio Person seems full of hatred to me. Such hatred is destructive to this country and to everyone that comes into contact with it.

        September 28, 2010 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  73. DW

    I have a couple of questions for some of the highly intelligent individuals that continue to blame the previous administration for going to war with IRAQ and now Afghan. After 9-11 if Bush had done nothing, sent no troops into Afghan or IRAQ and we just sat back and waited then how bad would the media and the public talked about him and his lack of assertion? I do not think that we made all of the right moves as a country in the Middle East but we did move and that was a neccessary evil in light of the 9-11 attacks. Also, why has Obama not pulled the troops out of the Middle East as he so eloquently promised so many times on the campaign trail? For those that say he has now pulled them out of IRAQ, yes but then he deployed more troops to Afghan and for what? Maybe Bush is still making the calls about war. I'm so sick of hearing the media and the White House continue to shelter Obama and push everything off on the previous administration.

    This story is horrible to read but it is understandable that our troops would act in this manner especially if they've encountered a high amount of loss within their company. If I saw many of my brothers and sisters in arms being killed by various methods I may in fact act in the same manner. None of us truly know how we would react. War is a horrible but neccessary evil. I somewhat blame the Army's superiors for allowing this company to still be active considering the fact that there was murmurrings that they were having some leadership issues.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Gork Boneman

    It's amazing how Wasilla's small population has caused as much discredit for this country...

    September 27, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Ariel

    Just hang these dogs and move on with life.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  76. GBS

    To anyone here who condones killing unarmed people who pose 'no threat' are sick people. Who cares if you are a vet or active military or have had a family member die in war, killing unarmed civilians who by the admission of one of the killers 'posed no threat' is murder. Murder – Killing. Is this Christian behavior? There is no excuse for murder, oh yeah you might hate your neighbor, an excuse for killing him, but will you actually murder someone?

    September 27, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  77. Thor

    How soon we forget the lives lost on our home soil. REMEMBER 9/11...This is war, I say, do massive background checks on everyone in Afganistan/Pakistan, if they pass, take them out of the country then drop a bomb like hiroshima/nagasaki to wipe out/kill all the trash, rebuild and put all the nice arabs back...What say that???

    September 27, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • DenverGrl

      Thor, that is the dumbest thing I have ever heard! It can take 100 years or longer for land to recover from a nuclear bomb. We don't own that country. They are their own country. They need to work this problem out for themselves.

      September 27, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  78. GrumpyBearDC


    September 27, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  79. GettingAlong

    You write very well. Your comments appear to be very well thought through. Don't worry about the goyim (cattle) who criticize you on the net. You're the beacon of light and the pride of world Jewry. Keep your head up, stand tall and keep educating the gentile world with your gems of wisdom. Maybe the "filthy" Hindus and other gentiles will learn from your messages and become civilized like you and learn how to write in an educated way like you do! May the god of jerusalem keep blessing you.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Jesse

    These guys aren't too swift at all. They go through training to not behave like this, but do it anyway. Lock these guys up forever or give the the death penalty. Anyone that kills for sport is messed up in the head, and they are taking advantage of it because they are in a war zone. The worst part is the backlash that our country and our soldiers have to suffer because of these morons! We're supposed to be killing the enemy; not the people we're protecting and liberating. These guys should be punished under the Afgan judicial system!!

    September 27, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nodack

      Thank you.

      September 27, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Art

    If guilty, there is no excuse. Bring you country and service shame is not what the military is about.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  82. DenverGrl

    This is unacceptable. Yes, it happened in Vietnam, and it was unacceptable then. Why would the Afghans ever trust us if we do this kind of crap? I am disgraced by these men right now. I will be ashamed to call myself an American if those that committed these war atrocities are not brought to justice. In my opinion, four things need to happen as a result of this: 1.) A full review of every unit that patrols in Afghanistan to make sure drug use, intimidation and murder for sport are not more wide spread. 2.) Discipline for the higher-ups that were not well enough involved with their own men to know that this was happening. 3.) Better regular mental health reviews or each soldier in each unit, and better support to prevent a need from arising for dependence on drugs. 4.) The death penalty for anyone that committed these murders or ordered their soldiers to commit these murders (after being tried and found guilty, of course), and prison sentences for anyone else remotely involved, or even trying to interfere with the investigation. This sort of thing cannot be tolerated. I am proud of our soldiers, and have two family members that are soldiers, one in Iraq, one in Afghanistan. Their jobs are unbelievably difficult. But, if I ever found out that they had done something like this, I don't know if I could ever forgive them, or look at them the same way.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Joe

    To hell with these guys, some of you complete idiots support them, to hell with these paid mercenary's!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 27, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Shrig

    In a war, "momentos" are not uncommon. When my dad was part of the overthrow of the island Guam in WWII, he and some of his comrades shrunk a head over a period of a month from one of the enimy they killed. Saw it as a kid, but it has since been lost over the years.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  85. Concerned American

    "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
    There's no excuse for their actions. Our job is to set an example in that country. Instead, we lose face of reality and join in on the very chaos we are supposedly against. They may not be a good example for our troops in that country, but they are the example most people are likely referencing. Just like Americans who have a bad view of Islam and Arab nations without understanding the differences from extreme sects. Ignorance is truly a dangerous thing, and something we can start fixing on our own end as well. But there is no excuse for disregarding the American values we are trying to showcase on an individual level there.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  86. The Man

    This is your true America. Violent as Apple Pie. And we complain about Muslims building a Community Center in NYC.
    Yep, this is what this country is all about.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nodack

      If you judge all of America by the acts of a few then you are just as guilty as those in America that have judged all of the Muslim world by the acts of a few.

      Surely there must have been one or two kind things done by a few Americans and Muslims at some point in time. I guess nobody wants to read about good things, only death, destruction and evil acts of men.

      September 28, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bob Griffin

        Read Big Tex's remarks just above here to understand more

        September 28, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  87. honda


    September 27, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  88. BIG TEX

    War is not a gentleman's game! A good taliban is a dead taliban!!! Pull the trigger and kill them all! Remember 911!!!

    September 27, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  89. MPotts

    It's so very sad. Our troops are damaged as a result of their time spent fighting in these wars and now they're being held responsible because they've reached their limit. They've been setup to fail. They need HELP.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  90. TC

    So if we're supposed to believe burning the Koran in Florida will endanger troops so bad, everyone all the way up to the President has to address the issue, Why on Earth are they giving a story like hunting people for sport attention ? Won't that outrage people in the region much more than some nobody in Florida burning a book ?

    September 27, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Matt

    This is not surprising. The conditions under which these guys operate is indescribable. It does however, highlight the need for the US government to proactively attack issues like this. The article mentioned that this unit had warranted concern for some time. Thanks to their talking about it, but apparently doing nothing, innocents are now dead and the military has yet another black eye...A real shame!

    September 27, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  92. honda


    September 27, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carl Sullivan

      isnt hoping these guys die just as bad as them killing? judge yourself too! what they did is terrible yes but hoping they die is terrible too. You all make me sick

      September 27, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  93. Joe

    All these troops should be executed. To hell with these piece of grab, waste of life

    September 27, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Red45

    They are being charged with first degree murder, right? If not, this is a travesty. Those soldiers are murderers and need to pay for their crimes just as any other first degree murderer. Otherwise, they will be released into society to repeat their crimes. Because of these murders and the takeover of the country by uber rich neocons, I am ashamed to be an American.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  95. Nate

    Yes, keep out the gays but keep these cold killers in...... Lets see if they get punished or not! I have no faith in our military leadership... all the way to to top!

    September 27, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  96. SW

    All 4 should be executed. End of story.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  97. scott nicholas moen

    This makes me f***ing sick to my stomach. You got a bunch of dbag lawyer activists who think it should be up to them to determine how our boys should conduct themselves. Do the taliban hold tribunals to punish their fighters for mistreating our soldiers. This isn't the nfl you don't have "unnecessary roughness" in war. Its war for a reason its hell. And I support these soldiers. If u went through what they did you probably would have done something worse. I'm tired of all of these liberals who run their mouth but if this country came under attack they'd be the ones hiding with the women and children. I salute these soldiers because they are still heroes

    September 27, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • 2nd lt. D

      Now now, i understand your anger towards some of these writers but if we do go off on them then we show them how they see us, uneducated, you have to beat an idiot with logic, not stoop down to their level because they will overwhelm you with experience (as an idiot) We have to just read and digest some of this. If they have a problem then they should talk to legislation instead of posting on CNN so they seem as educated and worthwhile as they intend. You cannot fight dumb-logic, you can only observe and counteract.

      September 27, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  98. Colin

    This kind of stuff happened in Vietnam too. War does weird things to people who may not be quite right in the first place. Sad.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  99. c.i.a.

    america is at war since the ww2 is the evil empire. they crush the freedom and every country on earth ask fbi or cia. not only 911 was a inside job but you peoples have been brainwashed for so long that you think a soldier is a hero. he a machine made to kill to listen to order a robot. fighthing for freedom my ass.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  100. usn vet

    we have got to get our men and women home. enough america.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
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