Der Spiegel Publishes Photos of US Soldiers Posing With Dead Afghan Civilians
Posted by David Ozanich — 21 Mar 2011
Andrew Holmes and Jeremy Morlock via AP
In particularly sickening news, the US Army is bracing for a furious reaction to "trophy" photos obtained and published by German newspaper Der Spiegel showing the members of a notorious rogue US Stryker tank unit in Afghanistan posing with dead civilians they had killed. While many of these soldiers have already been charged with crimes, including 5 for premeditated murder, the publication of these photos is expected to inflame anti-American passions even further. From the Guardian:
An investigation by Der Spiegel has unearthed approximately 4,000 photos and videos taken by the men.
The magazine, which is planning to publish only three images, said that in addition to the crimes the men were on trial for there are "also entire collections of pictures of other victims that some of the defendants were keeping".
The US military has strived to keep the pictures out of the public domain fearing it could inflame feelings at a time when anti-Americanism in Afghanistan is already running high.
In a statement, the army said it apologised for the distress caused by photographs "depicting actions repugnant to us as human beings and contrary to the standards and values of the United States".
Two images show the soldiers kneeling by a bloody body sprawled over a patch of sand and grass. A third shows what appears to be two bodies propped up, back to back, against a post in front of a military vehicle.
Der Spiegel identifies the soldiers as Spc. Jeremy Morlock and Pfc. Andrew Holmes, who are both facing charges relating to the wrongful deaths of Afghan civilians.
The photos are not currently being published by any U.S. news outlet and they are behind Der Spiegel's paywall. However, Gawker has pulled them off of the newspaper's iPad edition and, if you are interested, has posted them here.