Army “Kill Team” Targeted Civilians in Afghanistan, Business as Usual for Imperialists
Recently it was revealed that a secret Amerikan “kill team” murdered Afghan civilians at random, and collected cut-off body parts as trophies, of “finger bones, leg bones, and a tooth taken from the corpses”. Twelve Amerikkkan soldiers are being court martialed, under trial in military court, and 5 of them are charged with murder. The others are charged in aiding a cover-up. There are 76 crimes total pinned on the twelve, including the murder of 3 Afghan civilians, and the beating of a soldier accused of blowing the whistle on their crimes. Whatever the results of the trial these atrocities are nothing new in Amerikan history, and will likely not generate any action on the part of the Amerikan people.
The “kill team” was formed by a group of soldiers from the Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State. They were part of the 5th Stryker Infantry Brigade in Southern Afghanistan located at the Forward Operating Base Ramrod, west of Kandahar. The founder of this kill team was Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs, who served previously in the occupation forces in Iraq and boasted about the war crimes he committed there and how easy it was to get away with them. Talk of forming this team began in December 2009 after he arrived in Afghanistan for his 2nd tour of duty there. Gibbs emphasized throwing fragmentation grenades at civilians. This kill team performed that method of murder in its attacks on civilians, with 3 deaths being charged on this group.
The first attack happened the following January. A civilian, Gul Mudin, was killed when Cpl. Jeremy Morlock threw a grenade at him, giving other soldiers a reason to open fire. The carnage of this team went on until May of 2010. Another victim was Afghan cleric Mullah Adahada. They also murdered civilian Marach Agha and afterward placed a drop gun, a Kalashnikov rifle, by his dead body to justify the killing.
Six of these soldiers are accused of taking body parts as trophies. One soldier collected fingers for souveniers, and others posed for photos with the dead bodies. One, Michael Wagon, carried a skull of one of his victims.
This team came to light after a soldier was beaten after attempting to blow the whistle on this team. Spec. Adam Winfield, a member of the platoon the team was from, reported to his superiors about members of his unit smoking hashish stolen from Afghan civilians. Gibbs reportedly showed sliced fingers they collected to the informant soldier to force his silence. Gibbs also first solicited soldiers to cut off the fingers of the corpses. Winfield also purportedly discussed the actions of the kill team to his father over Facebook, stating that people there were getting away with murder. His father attempted to warn military authorities, and was repeatedly rebuffed. Eight days after he tried to warn the military the team killed Agha.
The troops are going through the trial process, all of them securing attorneys, and some of the families of the accused have set up websites for their defense.(1)
The military is attempting to sweep this away. This year has been the deadliest year for the occupation forces since 2001 when the invasion began. They have expressed concerns about how this case will effect the already declining support the Amerikan-led occupation has with the Afghan people. The military is painting this kill team as a rogue operation. In truth, this is likely just one of many war atrocities committed by the occupation forces.
With the release of the Afghan War Diary on Wikileaks, this kill team is shown as not news, but part of the official policies of the U.S. imperialists. As Wikileaks states in the introduction on the leaked documents:
“The material shows that cover-ups start on the ground. When reporting their own activities US Units are inclined to classify civilian kills as insurgent kills, downplay the number of people killed or otherwise make excuses for themselves.”
“The reports, when made about other US Military units are more likely to be truthful, but still down play criticism.”
“Conversely, when reporting on the actions of non-US ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) forces the reports tend to be frank or critical and when reporting on the Taliban or other rebel groups, bad behavior is described in comprehensive detail. The behavior of the Afghan Army and Afghan authorities are also frequently described.”(http://wardiary.wikileaks.org/)
The soldier who allegedly linked the documents, Bradley Manning, is currently in jail. He is also suspected of leaking the video of a helicopter attack, unprovoked, on civilians in Iraq. For bringing to light the secret atrocities of these two wars, he is subjected to court martial, attacked for being gay, had his facebook musings publicized, and had his psychology attacked. (2)
After taking over the imperial reigns of the presidency, Barack Obama has escalated the war in Afghanistan. He has increased the number of ground troops, expanded Predator drone attacks in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, and even authorized targeted assassinations including on U.S. citizens. With opposition to the Afghanistan occupation not only from the Afghan people but from the U.S. public itself, in spite of the lack of an antiwar movement, Obama seems to want to have a “peace with honor” before the withdrawal of Amerikan forces. But as seen in this latest case of Amerikan atrocities, the honor of imperialist war is and never was there.
The humanity of the troops reflects the humanity of Amerikans as a whole. Amerikans barely blink an eye when the troops they support commit murder, rape, and torture. In fact, a sizable fraction of Amerika cheers on these atrocities. War is nothing desired by the masses of the world, but in order to end war they must engage in war. The crimes of the imperialists will end when they are defeated through global peoples war waged to create a new world. The people of the world united against a common enemy will defeat the main oppressor.
1. This story was reported in the following news sites:
Bradley Manning Support Network: http://www.bradleymanning.org