Socialist Worker

'Kill team' shows the horror of Afghan war

by Siân Ruddick
Issue No. 2244

Some 4,000 photographs and video clips have been discovered in the possession of US soldiers, depicting the murder, torture and humiliation of Afghan citizens.

The photos show US soldiers posing with people they have brutally killed.

The US army statement said this stands, “in stark contrast to the discipline, professionalism and respect that have characterised our soldiers’ performance during nearly ten years of sustained operations.”

But this is far from the truth. The US war in Afghanistan has created thousands of civilian casualties, dawn raids and secret prisons.

The photos have led to the court martial of 12 US soldiers, who dubbed themselves “the kill team”.

Five of the soldiers will stand trial on charges of premeditated killing. Others will be forced to answer questions about killing innocent civilians for sport and mutilating their bodies by cutting off fingers and ripping out teeth to keep as trophies.

One of the accused, Corporal Jeremy Morlock, confessed to the murders three months ago and faces a court-martial on Thursday of this week.

Sergeant Calvin Gibbs has been accused of being the ringleader, who would pick out possible victims.

The group would elaborately plan the attacks, throwing grenades to make it look like they fired in self-defence.

The Afghanistan war logs leaked last year exposed the brutality of the US-led occupation. “Kill or capture” squads were responsible for the deaths of 390 men, women and children. Demonstrators were killed, as were people trying to flee the fighting.

Afghanistan was sold as a “hearts and minds” operation. It is anything but—and remains as reminder of the reality of war and why we should oppose military “interventions”.

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Article information

Tue 22 Mar 2011, 17:18 GMT
Issue No. 2244
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