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Wed Apr 18, 2012, 07:49 AM

U.S. troops posed with body parts of Afghan bombers(warning graphic photos at the link)

Source: LATIMES

The paratroopers had their assignment: Check out reports that Afghan police had recovered the mangled remains of an insurgent suicide bomber. Try to get iris scans and fingerprints for identification.

The 82nd Airborne Division soldiers arrived at the police station in Afghanistan's Zabol province in February 2010. They inspected the body parts. Then the mission turned macabre: The paratroopers posed for photos next to Afghan police, grinning while some held — and others squatted beside — the corpse's severed legs.

A few months later, the same platoon was dispatched to investigate the remains of three insurgents who Afghan police said had accidentally blown themselves up. After obtaining a few fingerprints, they posed next to the remains, again grinning and mugging for photographs.

Two soldiers posed holding a dead man's hand with the middle finger raised. A soldier leaned over the bearded corpse while clutching the man's hand. Someone placed an unofficial platoon patch reading "Zombie Hunter" next to other remains and took a picture.


Read more: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-afghan-photos-20120418,0,5032601.story

27 replies, 7231 views

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Reply U.S. troops posed with body parts of Afghan bombers(warning graphic photos at the link) (Original post)
maddezmom Apr 2012 OP
HereSince1628 Apr 2012 #1
Towlie Apr 2012 #3
pasto76 Apr 2012 #7
marshall gaines Apr 2012 #13
Voice for Peace Apr 2012 #14
marshall gaines Apr 2012 #8
Voice for Peace Apr 2012 #16
HereSince1628 Apr 2012 #18
obxhead Apr 2012 #2
marshall gaines Apr 2012 #10
obxhead Apr 2012 #11
lunasun Apr 2012 #4
deacon_sephiroth Apr 2012 #5
lonestarnot Apr 2012 #6
PassingFair Apr 2012 #9
Voice for Peace Apr 2012 #15
lunasun Apr 2012 #19
n2doc Apr 2012 #12
jwirr Apr 2012 #17
MrSlayer Apr 2012 #20
Leopolds Ghost Apr 2012 #21
Tax Man Apr 2012 #22
hedgehog Apr 2012 #23
alp227 Apr 2012 #24
KansDem Apr 2012 #25
Nihil Apr 2012 #26
B2G Apr 2012 #27

Response to maddezmom (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 08:37 AM

1. War is brutalizing.

This appears to be an embracing of that brutality as champions. Perhaps as a way to mark success in a war with no progress but perhaps alternatively to keep from being emotionally crushed by their experience.

Psychologists have and probably will continue to ponder the spectrum of behavioral change and the dynamics of the cognitive curve a person must traverse to get to where they want to play with the dead rather than vomit at its dismembered vista.

It's fairly clear that war has changed these guys public demeanor.

As a matter of embracing the dissonance such stories bring onto us, we can hope that the change is only in demeanor. That it is fewer rather than more of our soldiers, and that the pyschological change it illustrates is shallower rather than deeper, and is temporary or at least treatable.

My experience says that for some it will not be so.







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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #1)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 09:20 AM

3. Oskar Schindler says something very similar about the Nazi officer Amon Goeth in Schindler's List.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #1)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 10:02 AM

7. thank you for a very intelligent reply this topic. Very refreshing to not get demonized to push

ending the war. Which happens on DU a lot. Post article about troops doing something very bad, complain this is why the war should end. period. Im not disagreeing that it is long past time when any of my soldiers should die for this war, but this also could have happened in the first months. Typing that now, I would bet that it probably did.

Your reply is really appreciated. I can totally tell you from my experience, "getting some" during the iraq war was in fact, vindication of my/our being there. Because there were very few things to grasp to maintain some mental stability. It's the same mechanism by which people say (and say to me often), "look man we went over there to depose saddamn for reasons x,y and z. Are you really saying SSG XXXX died over there for NOTHING?!" They've marked their belief that something, anything was good about Iraq by equating superior soldiers and superior citizens of this country having been killed in that armpit.

Your reply also demonstrates a LACK of STIGMA that we are all enduring right now. As a veteran, every time I get mad, people think "omg PTSD case." Never mind that my stupid boss at work generated such an unsafe condition that me and my partner could have been killed....never mind that. Clearly Im PTSD.

LEFT and RIGHT perpetrate this stigma. If nothing else, when you see stories like this, you know someone is a veteran of this or any war and they are yelling about something - try and put yourself in our shoes. YOu DONT KNOW what war is like. YOU dont know how it changes every one of us. As an educated (biology degree) person, when we were mobilizing to deploy, I was "pretty sure" I was intellectualizing and projecting accurately what the experience was going to be like. I was 100000% wrong on each and every count.

anyway, thanks again. Im going to post your reply to my FB page.

Be Cool
SGT PASTO

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Response to pasto76 (Reply #7)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 10:50 AM

13. hey!

 

I feel you. Been there, done that, 44 years ago. Vet against the wars.

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Response to pasto76 (Reply #7)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 11:29 AM

14. thanks for sharing your perspectives here

A human life ultimately is defined by the thoughts we think
(my belief) even more than deeds, and the measure of conscience
and compassion we live by. Nobody ever knows what another
person's experience has been. To stay on the safe side, I assume
it has already been hard enough for them and I don't need to
make it any harder.

In war, or other severely intensive life-threatening situations,
the human organism shuts down something fundamental inside.
The feeling self, and conscience, in those moments, are suspended.
The immediate need is survival: sharp action & quick choices.

You don't have the luxury to consider the other people who are
trying to kill you, to wonder if they have children, or if they ever get
sad, or if they believe in the war, or even if YOU believe in the war.
You don't get to know or even consider those things, because the
urge to survive is so powerful.

But back on land, that connection must be restored. It is our built-in
best friend, inside of us. If the connection isn't restored, the
repressed stuff has great power. People tend to become very
unhappy and it can manifest in many ways. Total shutdown
leads people to suicide and murder, madness, illness, megalomania.

And I personally believe that whatever we have tried to shut
away, hide from ourselves, it must be looked at in the light,
and the associated emotions must be felt. If there is grief or
regret, or anger -- these feelings must be released, or we
will always be haunted by them. This is kindness; our own
conscience is a friend, and a tool of healing, even when it's painful.

Somehow in life we are continually asked to look at ourselves,
examine our own errors, correct our path. And keep on going.
When it's too painful, I've found, a torrent of tears has a
way of soothing. Another built-in friend.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #1)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 10:11 AM

8. hell

 

War is hell. It can dehumanize the most loving, caring human. I'm not surprised.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #1)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 11:39 AM

16. For many, probably -- not some.

I don't think there is a good enough understanding of mental
health in the whole medical profession to help all the soldiers
come home.

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Response to Voice for Peace (Reply #16)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 12:20 PM

18. Yes, no doubt individual response varies

Such variation doesn't break or deny a general pattern wherein behavioral response is shifted by exposure to brutality.

It only helps to locate the center and define the kurtosis of the response curve.




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Response to maddezmom (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 08:58 AM

2. Winning hearts and minds.

Actions such as these breed more "terrorists" than our soldiers and drones will ever be able to kill.

I hope Obama is looking at what our soldiers are doing in our name under his orders. I hope he is very proud.

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Response to obxhead (Reply #2)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 10:21 AM

10. No! NO!!!!

 

I hope when he gets reelected he will be able to get our troops out. If he tried now, the repugs would OBSTRUCT it somehow. Lay the blame for these wars at the proper doorstep of the shrub, repug party and darth vadar , who with his new heart, literally, can keep inspiring wing nuts all over this country. Those two and their party are the evil rat snakes that are to blame for our current situation AND NO ONE ELSE!!!

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Response to marshall gaines (Reply #10)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 10:26 AM

11. They started it.

Obama continues it. He has accepted the conditions and has done nothing but escalate the situation with more bombs, bullets, and soldiers.

It's time to get out. It was time years before Obama even took office.

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Response to maddezmom (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 09:36 AM

4. Our tax $$ @ work!

if you pay taxes you are part of the financial support for these actions

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Response to maddezmom (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 09:49 AM

5. stay classy fellas. n/t

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Response to maddezmom (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 10:00 AM

6. Bounty of the warmonger.

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Response to maddezmom (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 10:13 AM

9. Afghanistan at war has long been noted for brutality and desecration.

From Rudyard Kipling:


When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!

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Response to PassingFair (Reply #9)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 11:35 AM

15. wow

thank you -- I've never read those lines.

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Response to PassingFair (Reply #9)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 03:21 PM

19. so it is OK to act barbaric then??? I see...makes sense then- not!

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Response to maddezmom (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 10:27 AM

12. And again, why are we there?

And why do we call these people "heroes"? And why do we think they are "protecting" us?

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Response to maddezmom (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 12:11 PM

17. My uncle sent photos back from the Korean War but nothing like this. Pics of their camps, pics of

a little boy who followed them and they took care of, pics of his buddies, etc. Something is very wrong when these photos show what amount to trophy pics.

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Response to maddezmom (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 03:28 PM

20. War is hell.

 

And this is nothing new. When I was in grade school a friend of mine used to bring in his dad's photos from Vietnam. Very similar stuff.

Expecting barbarians not to be barbaric is kind of crazy. This is war.

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Response to maddezmom (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 04:55 PM

21. Sadly, this behavior is a common part of war. Now the Facebook generation is once again

Breaking through the propaganda and censorship to bring such common features of war to a mass audience, like TV did in the late sixties.

Are these the same photos that Der Spiegel published last year which the Pentagon apologized for?

-- Breaking News -- (was going to post this if maddezmom hadn't)



The armys new photo scandal (Salon) By Tim Fitzsimons, GlobalPost
Photos released by the LA Times show American troops posing with the corpses of Afghan suicide bombers

The Los Angeles Times released photos on Wednesday showing American troops posing with the mangled corpses of Afghan suicide bombers, leading the Pentagon to issue a strongly worded statement condemning the actions in the pictures, which were taken in 2010.

The photos were provided to the newspaper by a soldier distressed about the actions of his division. (semi-on topic link -- courtesy LG) He sent 18 photos saying they pointed “to a breakdown in leadership and discipline that he believed compromised the safety of the troops,” the newspaper wrote. The Army requested the newspaper withhold the images.

In a statement, the Pentagon said, “The secretary is also disappointed that despite our request not to publish these photographs, the Los Angeles Times went ahead. The danger is that this material could be used by the enemy to incite violence against U.S. and Afghan service members in Afghanistan.” The Pentagon promised to take all measures necessary to protect troops from a public backlash.

“These images by no means represent the values or professionalism of the vast majority of U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan today,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said.

The LA Times quoted its editor, Davan Maharaj, as saying, “After careful consideration, we decided that publishing a small but representative selection of the photos would fulfill our obligation to readers to report vigorously and impartially on all aspects of the American mission in Afghanistan, including the allegation that the images reflect a breakdown in unit discipline that was endangering U.S. troops.”

The U.S. military is still reeling from the January release of a video showing Marines urinating on Afghan corpses, and riots in February following the news that troops burned copies of the Quran, Islam’s holy book. Those riots killed 30 Afghans and six Americans. In March, Army sergeant Robert Bales went on a shooting rampage and killed 17 Afghan civilians, including 9 children. Bales has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder, according to the Associated Press.

CNN reported that the paper told the Pentagon about the pictures in March, which resulted in a criminal investigation.

George Wright, an Army spokesman, said, “such actions fall short of what we expect of our uniformed service members in deployed areas,” according to the LA Times.

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Response to maddezmom (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 05:45 PM

22. the 'stan is now the 'nam

 

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Response to maddezmom (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 05:49 PM

23. I think this type of black humor occurs whenever

people are in situations this horrible. For example, i suspect that sometimes emergency service personnel engage in this kind of activity simply as a way of processing events.

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Response to maddezmom (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 06:07 PM

24. It's OK for soldiers to do these poses as long as they keep cameras away.

First of all, publishing these photos is absolutely immature and makes the poster look sick (but conservatives will say it's "patriotic"). In fact Michael Savage even wrote a whole USA Today column defending the Marines who peed on the corpses of Taliban fighters. (And you thought USA Today was part of the "liberal media"????)

These soldiers KNOW the code of military justice. Why would they photograph themselves like that? Save that activity for military reunion storytime. But still, there is a whole Church of Patriotism whose idea of loving America comes with treating the flag like Muslims treat the image of Muhammad or "America always is right".

Oh yeah, no one would defend Afghan soldiers who killed American soldiers and then posed for cameras with the severed body parts of the American soldiers.

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Response to alp227 (Reply #24)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 09:31 PM

25. "...no one would defend Afghan soldiers who killed American soldiers...

...and then posed for cameras with the severed body parts of the American soldiers."

Especially if the Afghan soldiers invaded the U.S. and occupied its cities and towns.

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Response to KansDem (Reply #25)

Thu Apr 19, 2012, 08:54 AM

26. And not forgetting ...

> "...no one would defend Afghan soldiers who killed American soldiers...
> ...and then posed for cameras with the severed body parts of the American soldiers."
> Especially if the Afghan soldiers invaded the U.S. and occupied its cities and towns.

... that the victims (pre "severed body parts" photo) might have just been simple
American males of military age who were only termed "insurgents" after their death.

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Response to maddezmom (Original post)

Thu Apr 19, 2012, 11:44 AM

27. That first pic is seriously photoshopped

The top soldier's hand is missing and the outline around the 2nd looks weird.

Why isn't anyone discussing this?

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