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. The Prophet Mohammed

    It's no different than shooting dogs in my book.

    October 4, 2010 at 3:25 am | Report abuse |
  2. FatLazyIgnorantSUVDrivingPigAmericanIdiot

    Oh, the Horror. The Horror.

    October 3, 2010 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Lisa

    This is just wrong and a innocent person lost their life. How are these men and women being trained, But what concerns me is the post these soldiers came from and what that post will cover up. You see i have a daughter at Fort Lewis post and she has been in a abusive marriage and that same post is letting their soldier get by with it. It seems to me all the military is worried about is protecting their own soldiers . And if anyone gets hurt or killed it don't matter. There are so many good women and men serving our country but there are also some bad apples as the saying goes. And this crime was a few bad apples.

    October 3, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. miras

    wheres MY comment

    October 3, 2010 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  5. miras

    wheres MY comment?

    October 3, 2010 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  6. miras

    if we want peace in the middle east and everywhere else, we need to MIND OUR OWN BUSINESS!! the only thg worse than leaving NOW, and, as so many like to say, more than 4000 have lost their lives for nothg, is when 5000 lose their lives for nothg. didn't we learn anythg from viet nam??? we cannot win. they don'twant us there. they are taking ourmoney and acting like they're using it as they're supposed to but they are relly stashing it, moving to dubai, or prob. moving over here like everybody else. every darn time we invade someone, we have to take 100,000 of the refugees we created. lets help so many right here at home who need it. Obama PLEASE I BEG U, GET OUT OF THESE WARS. theres only one reason we're there, so contractors like bushes friends/family Halibuton can profit from it. war is very profitable for a few.

    October 3, 2010 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  7. Vic

    I am a Major in the United States Army. While I certainly agree that the Commanding Officer should also be held accountable, I am wondering what about the Platoon Sergeant, the 1SG and the CSM who trained these Soldiers? Time and time again I have seen how Non-Commisioned Officers have campaigned that they are not getting paid enough and that their pay should be similar to their Officer counterparts. Yet, when things like this happen, they are no-where to be seen. Examples, where were the Platoon Sergeants, 1SGs and CSMs during the Abu Ghraib incidents, during the Walter Reid Hospital incidents, and countless other incidents. I am seeing these “time-honored-traditions” of Change of Responsibility Ceremonies for 1SGs and CSMs. Yet, more often than not, it is a case of wanting their cake and eating too. (Notice how I said more often than not) A 1SG tried to tell me that I as a Major needed to stand at the position of parade rest when she entered a room because she was representing the Division CSM. When I told her that she needed to re-read AR 600-20, she asked me what was AR 600-20. Even more hilarious a couple of days after this incident the Division CSM had the audacity to have me to “report” to his office. That didn’t happen. BTW, that happened last year in 2ID in Korea.

    October 2, 2010 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. harry

    And we call Islam bad....American Christians have the Philadelphia experiment, the Guatemalan experiment and now this Afganistan Game... not to mention what they did to the Indians and the blacks...

    Let the mayhem begin

    October 2, 2010 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. Afghan Voices

    The truth will come to surface after a decade or so with the facts what US is really doing in Afghanistan and what it has accomplishment. At end this country Afghanistan will be free from the Tyranny imposed in the name of liberation. Don't blame the Afghans what they will to do liberate themselves from the current misery and unhappiness. The US fate will also be known just like what happened to the British in 1800's and 1900’s, the Soviet Union in 1900's. Each century a superpower suffered defeat from the hands of Afghans.

    It won’t be the Taliban or current Terrorist elements that will have an uprise against the US, but the ordinary Afghans who were murdered in the name of sports killing!!!! The family of the victims will never forget what happened to their innocent loved ones.

    The Anger is boiling in the hearts and minds of each Afghan, the resentment against the US occupation and its behaviour growing daily. Don’t get me wrong I am not against America but the reality is such, the feeling exists in the hearts and minds of each Afghan. The US needs to check its wrong policy and come to terms that this war in Afghanistan is not winnable. The US has lost it credibility to the Afghan population. They are not welcomed anymore and be prepared how to defend its self for the worst yet to come The Afghan Uprising!!!!

    October 2, 2010 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jangocat

    This isn't shocking in the least. Stuff like this has happened in every war in history. And making solders do deployment after deployment for 9 years straight increases the odds. Being in that situation for years makes some people go nuts. You see enough of your friends get blown up and you might go nuts too. I'm not saying it's excusable, but I'm not surprised.

    October 1, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. rich

    These young men are a disgrace to the uniform and the flag that may grandfather and Uncle fought to protect. They should be ashamed of the disgrace they have brought against the armed forces and all decent, loyal, and Patriotic Service people.

    October 1, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. SubedarMajor

    Rogue officers and soldiers cannot be discounted, every army has them. But the US must get its props for bringing these incidents to light rather than doing what much of the rest of the world does: Hide it from the public under the guise of national security and impose a summary court martial judgment. The horrors of war are gifted upon all who bear arms.

    October 1, 2010 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  13. Hope Caper

    Well this story is not true. It is part of a conspiracy theory. How do I know? It was broken on the Alex Jones show 2 weeks ago.

    October 1, 2010 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  14. fdjsakl;jdsag

    wow. people think we're good people but really, we're as worst as them. these u.s soldiers should be charged and killed

    October 1, 2010 at 2:02 am | Report abuse |
  15. Alejandro L

    What do tou expect them to do. If that is what they are train to do. Those are the faces of war. The weaker their minds are. Killers will become.. They are kids with the power over life and dead.

    October 1, 2010 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
  16. Ozmo

    With some of the comments here (Anything goes in war, they kill your buddy, so kill anyone whom looks like the person whom killed your buddy etc.......) why don't we just blow the whole country up? It seems kinder somehow. Oops, forgot about those precious natural resources! And I AIN'T talking about the Afghan people!

    Oh FYI? What makes you think that the majority of people in Afghanistan either supported the Taliban's attack on us, or even knew about it? Do you think it's a democracy over there? Do you think that they even elected these bums?

    September 30, 2010 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Chaz

    So Cheney was so desperate to fill slots for his little hobby war that they lowered the standards and let all kinds of nutcases into the military, hence we have atrocities. Thanks Dick

    September 30, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Ranger

    CNN is garbage! Maybe they would like to fight this illegal war for us. See how you like it! Change is on the way!

    September 30, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Military

    Obama is a Hindu and a Muslim.

    September 30, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Military

    privatize military. Government is not fit to run it.

    September 30, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Mr. Hero

    This situation should not be looked at as a surprise. The soldiers were clear about the "Bad Days", "Stressful Days". People do not understand how your mind and soul turns in the middle of combat. You are forced to numb your real emotions and forget that your a human being. To take someone’s life… this eats at you like a parasite. Except the damage is 100% permanent; you never become the loving individual that you used to be. You will never return as a normal human being. I am grateful for those that volunteer to go out to fight and protect this country. These soldiers should be freed and a slap on the hand needs to be given. It will be hard enough for them to live a "NORMAL LIFE".

    September 30, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Tom

    Of course this war is about money, look at every war since the begging of time. Do you truly believe that we or anyone goes to war to fight what the believe is to kick ass, by shooting guns etc. There is a point,. today, oil. as bad as it is... so what?.... we made an accord ( With Kuwait) 3 decades ago,so that stuff or oil is important, so don't mess with it or anyone, we will kick your ass. period. so if that is the reason and no one likes it! remember this. Until they release or obtain the info to replace the oil we all need. we will keep protecting our assets. Remember this if we don't one else will.

    September 30, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  23. RSAT4

    USA your hands are getting bloody and bloody every day. Tell me how are you gonna wash this blood because your rivers are bloody as well.

    September 30, 2010 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  24. RSAT4

    Only natural desaster will bring USA down and its matter of time before it happens. We were looking at Russia to free the world from USA but Russia has lost. I cant belief people's life its more like of flies in USA's eyes but one day this will come to an end.

    September 30, 2010 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  25. april

    I don't buy this spin at all. It's war. You're supposed to kill people. And we've seen how muslim extremists appear to be "innocent civilians" but are not. I'm betting it's pretty tough to find an innocent civilian in an afghan war zone. Same thing in Palestine where even the 12 year old kid is trying to kill you. I don't know whether these guys had a good reason to kill those people. Perhaps they did. Perhaps they just had trouble turning off their conditioning to kill. I'm going to wait for the trial before I come to any conclusions.

    September 30, 2010 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
  26. GhaddaffiAhmadinejad


    September 30, 2010 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
  27. Allocer

    Home of the brave...

    September 30, 2010 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
  28. peace peace~.

    Is it the real US?Volence and greedy...No war,the world will be better...

    September 30, 2010 at 5:40 am | Report abuse |
  29. Abdul Rahim Hashami

    Such unjustified killing of innocent Afghans will further add to the miserable security situation in Afghanistan. Afghans Civilians have been on the receiving hands both by insurgents and international troops which has created a big gap between the masses and the Afghan government backed by international forces. I cant imagine a success in Afghanistan without a broader support from the people and such incidents are counter productive to to win their support. I am sure a lot of incidents of this kind have taken place unreported. I have been in areas in Afghanistan where I have been told of similar stories and civilian bombardment on wedding parties and local gatherings in the Afghan villages. The international forces should do everything to avoid such incidents and make the Afghans believe that they are meant to be in Afghanistan to provide them security rather then killing them for no reasons. I congratulate CNN on investigating the incident.

    September 30, 2010 at 3:20 am | Report abuse |
  30. Stan

    Who cares? 10's of millions of Americans kill for sport. There are extremely few decent humans. Bring our troops home to kill the American Taliban and all the religious extremists here instead. We'd be a lot better off and lot safer.

    September 29, 2010 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  31. ceecee

    It's timefor an anti-wart protest at the White House.

    September 29, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  32. ceecee

    It's time for an anti war protest at the white House.

    September 29, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Gerry

    These soldiers should represent our country with honor. I am a member of our Armed Forces and I feel that no one is above the law and law's of war. These troops should be punished under the UCMJ and either found guilty or not guilty in a military court!

    September 29, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Pete

    I always feel odd when I hear people saying 'Support our Troops". Well, I don't support our troops. I think what they are doing in Afghanistan and Iraq and a lot of other places is just wrong! Now this brings a whole other side to "Support our Troops". Most enlisters are enlisting for the benefits of education and employment. Very few are there becasue of their patriotism.

    September 29, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Gerry

      Hello Pete, I just wanted to say that I love this country and I love having the freedom of speech. I would like to say that if you ask most enlisted soldiers or officers, if they enjoy going to Iraq or Afg they would say "no"!. I couldn't stand it when I went , but I represented my country with pride and honor. I love serving my country and uphold its traditions and orders that are given to me. I am glad that you can speak your mind on our benefit, because if it wasnt for us sorry troops then maybe you and your family would be blown up or out of the sky by bad guys!It is nice to know that you do not support the troops, just remember not every troop is bad! There ar plenty of good ones out there and love sacrificing their time so you can dog them out! Good luck in all that you do Pete, just wanted my freedom of speech!

      September 29, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  35. brent

    How many degrees of nutso did these young people get pounded into them to think of something like this.
    How many times were they shot at, bombed and knocked around to devalue everything that their parents raised them to hold dear. Bring them home and get them the help that they need. They shouldn't have been there in the first place. We should be holding their governments responsible to keep their citizens at bay instead of using our armed forces as a global police department. If the governments of these p. ant countries had a fire lit under their butts they'd be straightening out their own act and forking over the terrorists.

    September 29, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  36. Alan

    ONLY IN AMERICA-Do we release information out to the general public, which is fine. Here is the problem when we allow our press to report what they want It stirs up hate. Big Time. All over the world. You think Iran, Russia, or any one else, would allow their "Press" to release such a story? But I am still happy to say that is one thing we can do here in other places you are not allowed to....Speak your mind.

    September 29, 2010 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  37. arthurb3

    This sounds kinda fishy. It doesn't make sense.

    September 29, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  38. smarty pants

    And people say Americans are civilized!!! Avoid the army. GET AN EDUCATION!!!!!

    September 29, 2010 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Gerry

      Easy smarty pants, not everyone feels that way!
      Not everyone failed their Military Placement Test like you or was a washout! That is what I'm getting from your post, "Mr. I could take it and is mad"! I have a higher education and still serving our military!

      September 29, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  39. A True And Proud Pakistani Muslim

    I have tears in my eyes after reading this story and watching this video. These tears are for American people who are naive and fighting every day of their life for making life better for their kids. Future looks bleak for these kids because American people have no control over their fate. Their fate is written and sealed by greedy politicians and corporations. I do beleive however that one day there will be a true democracy in the United States that will work for its people. And that is the day when there will be no more unjust war and no soldier would need to smoke Hashish to get away from realities of an ugly war.

    September 29, 2010 at 6:45 am | Report abuse |
  40. Rich

    Penetta, our piece of human garbage, send them some of your domestic snuff videos so they have something to erk off to.

    September 29, 2010 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
  41. Albert fisk

    Yeah because the government didn't lie to go to war. Or use depleted uranium that kills civilians. Yep, seems to me the government has thee moral high ground here.

    September 28, 2010 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  42. alice

    People should really look at the practices of COL Harry Tunnell's leadership. This is a dangerous man, yet the Army has rewarded him for his performance by giving him a significant job as a military advisor to a senior general officer Next thing that you know, he will be on the 1 star list. He will scoot out of this one, too.

    September 28, 2010 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  43. J.N. Fulford

    @ Debbie

    Weed and opium does not make a non-violent person violent. It also would have a calming effect on someone who was showing psychopathic behavior. Please do some research and critical thinking before posting ignorant statements. If anything both of those drugs would make someone so relaxed as to be non-functioning. I.E.; plastered to a couch.

    Millions of Americans smoke marijuana every day which has the same psychoactive chemical as hashish; THC. Some legally in the form of medical marijuana and most illegally. It would be safe to say that a good percentage of those Americans take opiate's in the form of legal (or illegal) pharmaceuticals. How often to we hear of our own citizens killing each other for sport? I have not read one article, ever. It's a common myth that "the scary illegal drugs" turn people into violent frenzied killers. If you want to really open your eyes and find a drug that turns people violent you probably need to look no farther than your refrigerator. Discussing illegal drugs with a couple of sheriff deputy acquaintances the #1 cause of domestic and other violence is alcohol, not weed, cocaine or even heroin. They have NEVER seen someone smoke a joint or take a hit of something and beat their wives and children. It's always alcohol.

    Trying to say the hashish made these soldiers lose all their values is a poor excuse that could only be passed on the millions of ignorant Americans regarding illicit drugs. Obviously these soldiers and/or the commander has deep seeded psychopathic tendencies.

    September 28, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Najmah

    I am American.
    I love Afghans more then Americans.

    The soldiers involved in these killings need to be destroyed.

    September 28, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  45. roscoe

    The way war works is that a soldier is asked to kill people on a routine basis. But of course if it's a US war you get thrown in jail for doing that. So why would anyone want to join the US army and place themselves in perpetual legal jeopardy?

    September 28, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Chandler

    Doesn't anyone see that the issue is that our media is disgusting by reporting s..t such as this? That it does an injustice to the other 99 percent of oiur military, including myself and my husband, who work hard and are prepared to give the ultimate sacrifice so we can protect the freedom we are privaleged to have?

    September 28, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Chandler

    To those of you that think this is an example of "but a free press is essential for a democracy and informed citizens"....Again, I ask you how you would feel if your father, husband, mother, daughter, sister or brother were killed in a retaliation attack claimed by the Taliban or foreighn fighters. I suspect, and KNOW you would feel quite differently. The truth is that those who performed this disgrace should be punished very harshly. But it has no business getting smeared by our own media across the worlds' stage for others to use as ammunition for their own causes of recruiting suicide bombers, fighters, etc....Those people see those who performed this and the other 99 percent of honorable US military troops willing to give the ultimate sacrifice for OUr freedom.- as one in the same. Which we know is not the case. But it is disgusting that our own fellow Americans would promote that propaganda by reporting this. simply disgusting....

    September 28, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  48. SP

    What a surprise another group of low ranking soldiers bening brought to trial. Does anyone else find it strange that with all the miss management of both wars and missing billions and lost lives that the only ones doing time are enlisted soldiers?

    September 28, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  49. TheBlameGame

    Let's blame those who voted to send our children to war. Remember violence begets violence! It is a vicious cycle

    September 28, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Chandler

    I am infuriated that this story is being reported by CNN. They are doing a MAJOR injustice to the Marines, Seamen, and soldiers that are fighting every day, an uphill battle to defend our freedom. The freedom that people like those reporting this, enjoy every single day. It is understood by everyone and goes without saying that there will be retaliation against the US military, against those who are prepared to give the ultimate sacrifice and are the world's bravest and most selfless people. This gives the enemy "fuel" for their cause. We are doing their work for them in recruiting suicide bombers, extremists and foreign fighters. What better tool for them to use than Americans putting their own soldiers on the world's stage as an (as they view it) ultimate representation of US ideals, US standards for humanity.....CNN...i WANT TO ASK YOU A QUESTION. ...AS YOU READ THIS, HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF YOUR HUSBAND, SON, DAUGHTER, BROTHER, SISTER, MOTHER OR FATHER WERE KILLED IN RETALIATION TO THE REPORT YOU SO PROUDLY "REPORT" TO THE WORLD? ...IF THE TALIBAN SPOKE OUT AND TOOK RESPONSIBILITY FOR AN ATTACK THEY INFLICTED ON U.S. TROOPS IN RETALIATION FOR THE DISGRACE TO THEIR OWN PEOPLE? I ask that you honestly ask yourself that question. I hope when you answer you realize the disgrace reporting such as this serves our military, civilians and the struggling reputation of our country to the Arab world. To you, I say,- shameful is not the word.

    September 28, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Aphrodite

    To the dude who wrote this:

    Turned cynical by naive lunatics.

    Paul- no your views are lazy liberal hippy views. Why would we be fighting to get natural gas resources to... Europe? We can't ship it over here after all. Economically and resource wise its always cheaper and easier to buy then to take from others. So explain how it is more economic to start a war than it is to buy from them?
    Wars aren't driven purely by economics anymore than the free market is driven purely be economics (cough speculators cough)

    Well, that doesn't change that i'm of the opinion that we should pull out, but only because I can see we don't have the will to continue, not cause I think corporations are telling the army what to do (addressed at other posters who need to see phychiatrists to find out why they have such an aversion to success).

    We should pull out, pull it all out unilaterally and with the minimum amount of consultation. Let them cry, we dont have the will to save them, let them cheer, we have not the will to stop them, let them control, we have not the desire to free them. Pull them out, shape them up. If another terrorist attack happens, who cares? A couple thousand American civilian deaths means nothing, thousands die every month, if not every day. Send in the fighters, bomb a couple villages, places of power (why not, its not like we aren't accused of doing it now) and thats that. No need to fight in a 'correct' way, there is no correct way, fight to win, or don't fight at all.

    If the terrorists want to kill thousands of our countrymen, let them, It honestly doesn't really matter in anything but an emotional sense. Thousands of Americans die each month, if not each day.

    Wars are won by money, technology, training, numbers, and most importantly, will. If you don't have the will to follow through, then you have nothing. Will means accepting that the horrors of war will happen, and believing your cause is just enough to tolerate them.

    In an free society, its hard to believe in anything so strongly, thus another reason why ignorance and propaganda are so effective and vital to the survival of countries. To keep support for a war, people must remain ignorant to it, or have it smack them in the face with such force as to preclude hiding from it. Either we need a 9/11 to kill peoples family, or we need propaganda to keep people ignorant of the horrors of war. We currently have neither.

    I don't have to comment because you did it for me. Just ETS'd from 8 years in the Army, served a tour in Iraq. Your opinion shows an educated mind and an evenhanded– despite cynical, and totally realistic view of not just terrorism, but the American People, and the American Peoples failures.

    September 28, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  52. beatnikswede

    Afghanistan is the Vietnam of our era. The US military paradigm has in the past proven inviable where guerrilla tactics are being employed. The attempt to switch to a more appropriate strategy (“counter-insurgency”) came too little, too late and in truth, was doomed to failure no matter how much time or effort such an attempt was given. Our troops couldn’t search behind every tree in the jungle of Vietnam for Viet Cong nor can they search every cave in Afghanistan for insurgents, which is essentially what they’d have to do to route them. Even if that were possible, afterward they’d have to move on to Iran or Oman or Pakistan. So we’ve sent our troops on another fool’s errand, setting them to work on an impossible task without a definitive time frame for withdrawl operating with training insufficient or inappropriate for the for the situation.

    As expected, national sentiment is mixed on Afghanistan as operations have resulted in little success (big surprise). These events bode badly, not for the operation itself as it was always a wash, and not for those behind the operation as they sit safely out of range back in Washington, but for the troops. That is, all soldiers serving in Afghanistan who will be vilified inadvertently by association. Although it’s always important that the truth be made known and justice be spoken to, I feel we’re shooting our daggers in the wrong direction. In order to remedy the situation i.e. end US involvement in Afghanistan, we have to fix our sights on those who are truly responsible for everything that goes on there.

    September 28, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Medic in Afghanistan

    First of all, I know these guys. I treated them in the Aid Station in Afghanistan after this incident with the grenade. I know Morlock, I know Gibbs. Second of all, Morlock's attorney is saying he is brain damaged and was using prescription drugs. The incident with the grenade was his 5th blast exposure in under 6 months. Which means he should not have been outside the wire. However he manipulated the PA who's care he is under. Playing 2 PA's and a Dr. against each other. The two male medical officers that treated him both concluded not to allow him to return to missions but he pulled the female PA aside and said "he had to go on those missions!" After the exposure with the grenade, Morlock came in to the aid station and was immediately given a MACE exam. Where he CONTINUOUSLY turned down any type of medication.He was taking meds, but not any that had been issued. He was taking meds that were stolen from another sick soldier. He was not given any medication in the aid station. Once the drug bust was discovered a urinary analysis was given to the suspected people in this situation was when he decided he wanted to go to further treatment at Kandahar Airfield at the ROLE3 Hospital. A routine 9line was dropped. Morlock himself pushed it through and got the bird to spin up faster than it normally would have which caused problems with the Medevac crew and the aid station. The bird spun up and took off. Receiving an order mid air before completely clearing the FOB to return and shut down. The BN LTC wanted Morlock to talk to and for him to do a UA. These guys are incredibly sick and twisted and I hope they are punished to the full extent of the law. But please I beg of you all. Don't let what these sadistic men did twist your view of 5th Stryker Brigade. We did amazing work this last year. What these guys did not only disrespected what we did but the men that died for their country. These men disrespected the very memory of the men that died. I wish I could explain the anger the people in the Brigade have towards these men but it couldn't be understood unless you were with us. But know, do NOT BELIEVE anything that comes out of any of those mens mouths. And to the person that said "Morlock is not as dumb as he looks" Believe me, he is. He is an ignorant man and I hope he and the rest of the guys rot in jail for the rest of their lives. But what astonished me most of all is that all the reports left out the 13 yr old Mentally Handicapped child that they tortured and killed. Never once has that been mentioned in the news. Hmmm... strange coincidence? I think not.

    September 28, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gerry


      September 29, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Dick

    You wanna know what war is? This is what war is.

    " 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 28, 2010 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  55. Dhanuw

    All of these disgraceful punks involved in this barbaric act must be tried and punished in Afghanistan. That is the only way our great American soldiers can gain back the respect they deserve from the civilians in Afghanistan and from rest of the world.
    It will also teach a lesson to others with same mentality (if there are any).

    September 28, 2010 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  56. dindy Sri lanka

    Those creeps have proven beyond any resonable doubt that they're a bunch nihilistic thugs who love to kill for the sake of killing and should be brought before an international war crimes tribunal and be judged accordingly and have their punishment fit their crime.

    September 28, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  57. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    There's no reason for people to be shocked at this horrific deed its been going on as long as war it self it just has been going on unnoticed if it were not for the media no one would know there's no telling how many of these cold blooded killers are holding public office that didnt get caught .

    September 28, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  58. mitch

    Anyone who wants to know how this happens can read up on the history of Meth...The drug scruge of small town America and more.Read how it was prescribed to our troops during World War II and it's contnued use during peace time as well as other conflicts. Then ask your self What are they prescribing to them now. If what you find does not scare you nothing will................Our government at work for the people.

    September 28, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  59. Dirk

    Before you all hang these soldiers, just remember that they are being put in extreme situations, deadly environment, high casualty rate of their peers, and poorly trained and prepared for those conditions. We are in our little bubbles living our lives not realizing the mind altering conditions these young men/women are in. Our govt should be better prepared in protecting our servicemen/women from these things happening.

    September 28, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Dhanuw

      Dirk... you may be living your life in a bubble. But, not rest of the world. These solders are adults and were aware of the consequences of their actions. Unfortunately, they chose to do drugs and kill innocent civilians for fun. Please don’t blame the government for actions of these disgraceful punks. It is a shame they chose to join the army in the first place.

      September 28, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  60. bailoutsos

    If there is a God, why doesn't he call upon the Angel of Death to pass over all terrorists and destroy them like the nonbelievers? Just like Passover in the bible.

    September 28, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  61. tcaros

    The Valerie Plame situation was created on purpose by the intelligence community higher ups to provide cover. It created the illusion that Bush and Cheney were not in cahoots with the intelligence agencies. They looked like they were "at odds" when they really collaborated on 9/11, Iraq war, drug trafficking etc...

    September 28, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  62. adam s

    America sucks.

    September 28, 2010 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  63. tcaros

    Intelligence agencies favor Republican administrations because they allow them to run drugs and commit crimes without penalty or prosecution.

    The idea is "keep Republicans in power if you want to continue criminal conduct under protections of State Secrets."

    The 9/11 attacks were coordinated by these same folks.

    September 28, 2010 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  64. Dan

    Christians kills Muslims for sports so is it a Christians Terrorist sports.

    September 28, 2010 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  65. penn state

    My Lai in 1968 was far worse and the LT. got 3 months house arrest; why are these guys even being charged or brought to court??

    September 28, 2010 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  66. Johnny Roxx

    Hypothetical situation: a foreign army invades your neighborhood. You would (A). run out and welcome them with open arms as liberators. (B) cower in your home and hope they go away before killing you and/or your loved ones. (C) kill as many as possible by any means available, no matter how barbaric, to protect yourself, your family and your big screen TV. Hmmm. I choose (C) and I wouldn't lose a minutes sleep over my decision. Your turn.

    September 28, 2010 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  67. Brandon

    It'd be amazing if this could stopped being blamed on drugs. Every headline has to have that angle pushed into it like it's the sole reason this happened. Oh yeah it was the drugs! None of our boys' could possibly have been deranged murderers without them!

    September 28, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  68. Johnny Roxx

    Hypothetical situation: a foreign army invades your neighborhood. You would (A). run out and welcome them with open arms as liberators. (B) cower in your home and hope they go away before killing you and/or your loved ones. (C) kill as many as possible by any means available, no matter how barbaric, to protect yourself, your family and your big screen TV. Hmmm. I choose (C) and I wouldn't lose a minutes sleep over my decision. Your turn.

    September 28, 2010 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  69. timd

    Just keep lobbing those grenades son. It helps my stock portfolio that's heavy with government contractors. These wars are a terrific bonanza for me! I hope we invade Iran and and North Korea.

    September 28, 2010 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  70. j

    What's the big deal about hash? It's not like crack, meth or LSD. I doubt it contributed to their serial killer mentality. Why does the media latch on to such a detail and dramatize it. If anything the smoking of hash kept them from killing more civilians.

    September 28, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  71. Don't_Care

    Ha, i think it's funny.

    September 28, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Bledsoe

      That wouldn't be you by any chance Phunnie boy,would it? Still trying to make an obscene joke out of this obnoxious war?

      September 28, 2010 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  72. tcaros

    The intelligence agencies always try and cover their tracks. The problem is that we do not have a President with enough guts to prosecute intelligence officals who are breaking our laws.

    The intelligence agencies are running a global organized crime network with US assets and personnel. This needs to be stopped.

    September 28, 2010 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  73. Brian James

    Damn sad story, for this kid. Glad to hear these people are being brought to justice. I hope the Afghans understand and appreciate that not only don't we approve of this, but these people will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

    September 28, 2010 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  74. mttrailboss

    Disturbing and sad story for all Americans.., especially the military. Should have never happened.., but it did according to the stories. There should me a military court-martial of these soldiers and harsh punishment. We're sending the wrong message to Afghanistan and the world. 'Do the crime, to the time.' Mike in Montana

    September 28, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  75. JimW

    These murderous soldiers should be punished to the fullest extent of the law and the victim's family should be kept informed and involved every step of the way. For things to get this out of control in a miltary organization reflects poorly on the leadership due to their negligence, indifference, or condoning.

    It doesn't matter that the victim was an Afghani, it could just as well have been a fellow soldier who fell out of favor.

    September 28, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  76. Common Sense

    To those who ignorantly believe the media shouldn't report on this, it is precisely the JOB of journalism, even quasi-journalism, to expose injustice – otherwise it would be even more common than it is.

    September 28, 2010 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  77. beowulf2

    Opium will be Muslims extremists chemical Jihad.

    September 28, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  78. DJ

    This kinda of media coverage makes me sick. To expose & portray the entire US military & coalition forces as animals
    is a low blow from CNN. This fuels radicals recruiting tactics that will be devastating for years to come. Any US media outlet should not be allowed to cover such a thing. This type of media behavior is unacceptable. This is no different to the Terry Jones incident. I do recall that CNN boldly expressed the burning of the Quran & how it would provoke more
    violence on our troops and put them in harms way. Now, they in return report to the world this event. How hypocritical the media truly is. I don't care if it is Fox News, CNN, or Sesame Street. This is TOTALLY contrary to what news reporting is truly about. CNN, you are no different than Terry Jones when it comes to putting our troops in harms way amd endangering their lives.

    September 28, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • AMidnightsoul

      What you're essentially saying is that this should be swept under the rug so that it doesn't hurt our troops "image". That's exactly what the Catholic church has historically done with their child molesting priests. Bringing this story out to the public and prosecuitng these monsters is actually good for our troops image because it shows we aren't going to stand for the kind of abhorrent behaviour we are finghting against. Sweeping it under the rug is to say we don't care if we do it, as long as its not done to us. I CERTAINLY don't want these deranged individuals coming home and moving in next to me because it was hid from the public. I applaud the soldiers who stood up against this and tried to stop it and I would be scared if I found out 10 years from now that this sort of thing went on and it was hid from the public. I would wondered what else went on that was hid from us.

      September 29, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Nostradamus

    This is awful. Horrid. I have no words to qualify such behavior. How can a human being hits so low showing they don't care at all the human life, without remorse? But the worst is this. Those killers are the future police officers, troopers and Fed Agents that Civilians will find in the US roads........ 80% of the actual Police force are Irak and Afghnistan vets. Not even in Viet Nam, despite of the violence and irregular operatives and wide drug use, you can find such abnormal behavior. You could kill the enemy, but not the friends.....After that, don't ask why Afghans don't want to collaborate with us.

    September 28, 2010 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  80. MurderIsMurder

    Murder is murder, no matter where it happens. These men are responsible for their actions and it is dishonorable of them to blame their commander saying "he made me do it". Please, what are they five? They dishonor all the soldiers who have been through the same horrors, yet maintained their humanity. Lock them up for life – send a mesage that this type of barbarism will not be tolerated.

    September 28, 2010 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  81. Jezzmn

    Bottom line is, show this video to all your Teen kids, and tell them that next time they're in the subway, or Bus stop or just on the corner ready to cross the road, and they see Friendly Smiling Decorated marines walking up to them to sell them joining us military, to Run and never look back. Because THIS is not service to USA. This is invasion of other countries and then messing with your own soldiers heads. You want your kids being charged like that? This is a tip of the iceberg. My kids will NEVER serve in the military.

    September 28, 2010 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  82. bailoutsos

    JustCameBackFromTheWar There's plenty of "grassy knolls" around Herat.. @@@ Did you just reveal classified info on where an American snipers could be? Pentagon will be knocking on your door soon.

    September 28, 2010 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  83. Jennifer

    Disgusting story and that is why I do not support the war. If we can can go and kill in cold blood and use ,oh, he was on drugs as an excuse. The people who kill for sport should not be there. We should not be there. We have shed enough blood, and, a soliders who kills for sport should be put in front of a firing squad an killed. No excuse, you Americans who support the war can make all teh excuses an all the comments you want to, you are the ones who are wrong.

    September 28, 2010 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  84. Common Sense

    Dear CNN, please don't behave as if this were unusual or the result of hash & opiate abuse. This kind of inhumanity is older than time and always the result when very young men are convinced to kill people they've never met by dehumanizing the enemy. It is an ugly but natural byproduct of war.

    September 28, 2010 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  85. james

    While I do not condone the actions of these soldiers, the people claiming they shouldn't be allowed back in the country, or executed are way out of line. They have been in the middle of a desert under constant pressure and threat of death so that the rest of us can sit back here in the States and live out lives.

    Their actions were wrong, but as some have pointed out these things happen in war when 20 and 21 year old men are under unbelievable pressure. Military justice will give them their punishment, everyone else lay off.

    And for those who compared the US to the Evil Empire and nobody likes us. This is false, also. I have had conversations about this subject with a former Pakistani boss, and also several students I have met going to school over here from India, Napal, Spain, Brazil, China, etc.... and what they have all pointed out to me is that if the world hated us why would so many still take advantage of opportunities to come over here?

    September 28, 2010 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  86. Lougy

    Just finished the book, The Fort Soldier written about WW!! Infantry, read that book if you want to understand the mind of infantry, eating rations, watered down, sleeping in holes, walking 100 miles inland into France, carrying 60 bags, rifles, and they didn't take any enemies, or Germans along their way. War is Hell. The soldiers are trained to kill. We can sit back here and evaluate what these young soldiers are suppose to do, but never want to be in their shoes. Blame the training of the Army, blame the top brass that leave them in the field too long, blame the Bush administration for getting us into this war.

    September 28, 2010 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  87. BoBoHaHa

    America trains men and mommies to be killing machines. Don't you think that when they go out into combat they're going to be selective and rational about who they kill, especially when the enemy doesn't wear a uniform? After that these soldiers are expected to be wholesome, upright citizens off the battle field? Is this brand of thinking flawed?

    September 28, 2010 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  88. Jeff James

    We're charging people for taking pics of corpses??

    September 28, 2010 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  89. William

    So if it is safe to assume that all muslims are terrorists, is safe to assume that all soldiers are sport murders?

    September 28, 2010 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  90. sj6x

    the real criminals here are American Voters, for voting Bush into office. these young boys are victims. They're under enormous stress and abuse every day.

    September 28, 2010 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  91. robert saint amour

    these comments are so stupid it's boggling...when you send children off to war, they play children's games.. the usa should be ashamed

    September 28, 2010 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  92. Mikey

    We all know this. Why pretend it is shocking? This information has been coming out forever. THE U.S GOVERNMENT ISN"T EVEN CLOSE TO WHAT OR WHO YOU THINK IT IS! The Puppets of the British..Every week there is another article on this same subject. And this subject is NOTHING compared to the bigger truths that are being exposed. Start researching while you still can!

    September 28, 2010 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  93. Kassi

    if a person killed your brother,sister,father,mother or anyone you care about, and you couldn't get justice, what would you do?? Just sit there and do nothing. I believe they should just bomb the whole place. that would get rid of terrorist in that place.

    September 28, 2010 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  94. Robert Smith

    SSG Gibbs is NOT a commander. CNN on-air broadcasters keep repeating this, but ONLY commissioned officers can be commanders. SSG Gibbs would normally be a squad leader or, in the absence of a qualified senior NCO, a platoon sergeant. This would mean he's in a leadership position, but by regulation he cannot be a commander. Stop calling him that.
    Robert S. Smith, SFC, US Army (retired)

    September 28, 2010 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  95. US Navy Veteran

    THIS IS HORRIBLE AND DISTURBING!!!!! AS WHEN I TOOK THE OATH..." PROTECT AND SERVE "!!!!.... KILLING FOR SPORT ???? THIS IS ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE !!!! This whole " War on Terror " pipe- dream conjured up by some peoples beloved " Bush Administration " is the reason why some of America's bravest men and women are on the brink of insanity. War is a SERIOUS ACT and should be treated as such. As we all have seen the horrific fall out in our service men in women... so many of them killed ,maimed, severe nerve damage, mental illness ..etc.... all for what???? If in the beginning (9-11).. truthful investigating and planning had occurred, maybe just maybe some of the mothers,fathers,brothers,sisters,uncles,aunts,cousins..ect ...would be here at home with their now grieving families... Every American is a precious part of our wonderful country...but when these same precious gems are used as pawns of ill will... and these pawns start to rot from the inside out and become is then time neutralize the cancer before it spreads....these individuals should be prosecuted to the highest extent!!!. We already have greedy crooked politicians and businessmen/women willfully contributing to the detriment of our country as well as our brave men and women both near and abroad.... we don't need anyone else in or out of uniform assisting with America's demise. We are Great..we are Strong...we won't Fail...WE ARE AMERICA!!! a few misfits...

    September 28, 2010 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  96. FREEZ


    September 28, 2010 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
  97. James

    This is disgusting! Our military is here for protection and defense, not the sport of killing. I am truly concerned and worried about our government...What are they doing?

    September 28, 2010 at 2:57 am | Report abuse |
    • US Navy Veteran's not the is improper supervision and control within the ranks of our military. Ever heard of cover-ups, power trips, ego" Guantanamo Bay "... bottom line it is time to leave that region all together and protect the homeland.

      September 28, 2010 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  98. dindy Sri lanka

    One civilian died and it is truly sad. I say it as i felt. The problem is where were all these weeping hearts when more than 3000 died in wtc? most of the Muslim were deaf and blind that day.Some people in Iraq danced and laughed when wtc was attacked. If they were really worry about innocent civilians death ..they should have given maximum support to arrest the Bin laden (the biggest coward in this whole earth) Then no body would go to desserts and plains to find this coward.

    September 28, 2010 at 2:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Dhanuw

      Hello dindy... your comments are disgraceful. While we all agree that 9/11 was wrong, we also must agree what these soldirs did was wrong too. Very wrong!!! So... please do not disgrace my motherland by using Sri Lanka as a part of your user name. Please don't. Dindy sounds good.

      September 28, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |


    September 28, 2010 at 1:54 am | Report abuse |
  100. Stop and Think

    These guys, if they in fact did these killings, have wronged the individuals they killed, the families, their fellow US servicemen, Afghan citizens hoping for the establishment of a stable democratic government, just to start off. We need to remember that the overwhelming majority of servicemen and women are performing their duties honorably and to the best of their abilities. If you are old enough, think back about Lt. William Calley, if you're not old enough look it up. There were guys in Viet Nam who conducted themselves shamefully, but it was a tiny fraction of those who served. The important thing is that the overwhelming majority of servicemen in Viet Nam served honorably, and the same will be true of those serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. When the dust has long settled, that's what will be the lasting impact.

    September 27, 2010 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
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