New York Times
September 27, 2010
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. — Members of an American Army unit consumed with drug use randomly chose Afghan civilians to kill and then failed to report the abuses out of fear they would suffer retaliation from their commander, according to testimony in military court here on Monday.
The testimony, in a hearing to determine whether one of those soldiers, Specialist Jeremy N. Morlock, would face a court-martial and a possible death sentence, came the same day that a videotape in the case was leaked showing Specialist Morlock talking to investigators about the killings in gruesome detail with no apparent emotion.
|Specialist Jeremy N. Morlock|
The soldiers are accused of possessing dismembered body parts, including fingers and a skull, and collecting photographs of dead Afghans. Some images show soldiers posing with the dead. As many as 70 images are believed to be in evidence.
Some of the soldiers have said in court documents that they were forced to participate in the killings by a supervisor, Sgt. Calvin Gibbs, who is also accused in the killings. All five defendants have said they are not guilty.
In one incident, Specialist Morlock recounted in the video, he described Sergeant Gibbs identifying for no apparent reason an Afghan civilian in a village, then directing Specialist Morlock and another soldier to fire on the man after Sergeant Gibbs lobbed a grenade in his direction.
“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: ‘All right, wax this guy. Kill this guy, kill this guy,’ ” Specialist Morlock said in the video.
Referring to the Afghan, the investigator asked: “Did you see him present any weapons? Was he aggressive toward you at all?”
Specialist Morlock replied: “No, not at all. Nothing. He wasn’t a threat.”
As Monday’s hearing was getting under way, CNN and ABC News broadcast the video. In the CNN clip and the ABC clip, Specialist Morlock, speaking in a near monotone, looks like a teenager recounting a story to his parents.
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Comment: Imperialism is a terminal mental disease.