2010年9月24日金曜日

米陸軍 戦利品は頭蓋骨

米陸軍兵士が、アフガンで殺人ゲームをしたようだ。
 アフガニスタンに駐留する米陸軍戦闘旅団の隊員5人が、今年1月から
アフガン市民を気晴らしに殺害していた疑いで米軍から訴追されている
と報じた。

兵士の父親が、残虐行為を子供に打ち明けられ、米軍に何回か警告したが、
無視したため、告発したようだ。

殺害事件
Michael S. Wagnon IIは、1月か2月にアフガン人の死体から頭蓋骨を切取り、
 持ち帰る。

1月15日
 南部カンダハル州 La Mohammed Kalay村。
 殺人チームを5名で編成し、計画を実行。
 兵士が手投げ弾を爆発させて米軍が攻撃を受けたように装い、近くに
 いた他の兵士がアフガン男性1人を射殺。
 遺体を収集することを目的に頭とその他の部分に切断し、写真撮影。
 Calvin R. Gibbs(首謀者、ライフル、手榴弾の武器収集。
         遺体から指骨、足骨と歯を収集)
 Andrew H. Holmes(射殺)
 Jeremy N. Morlock(手榴弾投下)
 Adam C. Winfield(内部告発者)
 Michael Wagnon II(証拠のHDDのデータを消去し捜査妨害。
          遺体から頭蓋骨を切取り、持ち帰る)
2月22日
 南部カンダハル州 Forward Operating Base Ramrod近郊。
 殺人チームの配属先。
 一般人がライフルによって射殺。
3月
 Robert G. Stevens、Darren N. Jones、Ashton A. Mooreは、
 3人のアフガン人に発砲。
5月
 殺人チームとは別な7人の兵士が、乾燥大麻使用捜査への妨害
 乾燥大麻使用を内部告発した二等兵へ報復リンチ
5月2日
 殺人チームが、手投げ弾を爆発させて、アフガン聖職者1人を射殺。

戦利品として、色々なものを持ち帰る兵士が大昔からいたが、未だに
継続されているようだ。
日華事変、大東亜戦争、ベトナム戦争、朝鮮戦争と収集癖が報道され、
精神疾患と言われ、米軍の教育では、戦利品収集はしないことになって
いると報道を見た記憶があるが、実際には、米軍を見て見ぬふりをして
いるようだ。

最近でも、在留米軍基地周辺の少女暴行、女性殺害や海兵隊の動物虐待が
報道されたが、アフガンでは現在でも進行中のようだ。

イラクで、米海兵隊が14才の少女を強姦し、その家族を殺害。
タリバンも7才児を処刑と言う報道もあった。

パキスタンでも知られていないだけかもしれない。

元韓国大統領が「軍隊に行けば人間が腐る」と言ったことがあったが、
どこの国も同様なのだろうか。

オバマの逆襲 米海兵隊の異常さ
タリバン 見せしめに7才児処刑か
政権交代与党苦境

Soldier Ordered to Murder Afghan Civilians


---アフガン:米軍兵士5人「気晴らし」に市民殺害し訴追---
毎日新聞 2010年9月21日 19時15分
http://mainichi.jp/select/world/asia/news/20100922k0000m030042000c.html

 【ニューデリー栗田慎一、北米総局】19日付の米紙ワシントン・ポストは、アフガニスタン駐留米軍の兵士5人が、「気晴らし」にアフガン市民を殺害した疑いで米軍から訴追されたと報じた。遺体の撮影や頭蓋骨(ずがいこつ)を収集した疑いも浮上している。同紙は01年のアフガン戦争開始後、「最も身の毛がよだつ事件」と批判している。
 同紙が入手した米陸軍の訴追資料によると、殺害事件は今年1~5月、アフガン南部カンダハル州で3件発生。1月の事件では、兵士らが手投げ弾を爆発させて米軍が攻撃を受けたように装い、近くにいたアフガン男性1人を射殺した。また、遺体を切断して写真撮影することもあったという。
 動機については、兵士らが酒や麻薬を常習し、ふざけて罪のない市民を殺害した疑いがあるとしている。内部告発した別の兵士がリンチを受けた事件も起きたという。

◇検証◇
 一方、アフガン駐留米軍の「非道」ぶりについて、アフガン国内では、「何をいまさら」との受け止め方が強い。「気晴らし」感覚があるかどうかはともかく、アフガン市民は、米軍が極めて安易に市民を殺害していると考えているのだ。
 アフガン各地に展開する米軍や国際治安支援部隊(ISAF)の装甲車の車体の前後には、現地の言葉で「近づくな」と書かれたプレートが張りつけられている。不用意に近づけば銃撃するとの意思表示だ。
 内務省によると、低速で走る米軍車列を追い越そうとしたり、クラクションを鳴らした一般車両が銃撃され、乗っていた市民が死傷する事件が相次いだことを受けての措置で、数年前に始まった。
 米国の後ろ盾を受けるアフガン政府はこうした銃撃事件について、「テロリストと誤解された不幸な事件」と鎮静を図ったが、地元テレビのカンダーリ記者(45)は「過失とは思えない銃撃も数多い」と憤る。
 同記者は「検問所で英語が分からない老人や女性が制止を無視したとして銃殺されたり、家宅捜索として深夜に米兵に押し入られた民家の男たちが抵抗し、その場で殺されるなど、常軌を逸した事件があまりにも多い」と指摘する。
 米軍による市民殺害は、タリバンが勢力を回復し始めた07年ごろから急増していった。地上戦での消耗を避けるため、米軍が空爆を多用した結果、市民の犠牲は拡大して反米感情が高まり、タリバンを勢いづかせ、空爆や戦闘がさらに激化していったのだ。これが、市民や米兵の犠牲が毎月のように最悪を記録している背景となっている。
 一方、イラクでもアフガンと同様の状況があった可能性が高い。イラクに派兵されていた元米兵が帰国後に書いた著書で、イラク駐留米兵が殺害したイラク人の頭部でサッカーに興じていたと報告している。


---アフガンの米兵が市民を気晴らし殺人 追訴と米紙が報道---
2010.9.20 10:24
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/world/asia/100920/asi1009201027001-n1.htm

 19日付の米紙ワシントン・ポストは、アフガニスタンに駐留する米陸軍戦闘旅団の隊員5人が、今年1月からアフガン市民を気晴らしに殺害していた疑いで米軍から訴追されていると報じた。
 頭蓋骨の収集や、遺体を撮影した疑いも報告されており、同紙は事件を「2001年にアフガンでの戦争が始まって以来、最も身の毛がよだつものの一つ」とした。告発を受けた陸軍が早急な対応を怠った疑惑も取り上げている。アフガン市民の反米感情をかき立てるのは必至だ。
 訴追資料や関係者証言に基づく報道によると、殺害事件は1、2、5月にいずれもアフガンでの戦闘の焦点となっている南部カンダハル州で発生。1月の事件ではアフガン人による攻撃をでっち上げて反撃の形で市民を殺害した。3件の詳細な被害状況などは不明という。動機は、麻薬や酒におぼれた兵士による気晴らしの疑いが強いという。(共同)


---5 U.S. Soldiers Accused of Killing Afghan Civilians---
By WILLIAM YARDLEY and ERIC SCHMITT
Published: September 19, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/20/us/20soldiers.html

The cases, which accuse five members of an Army Stryker brigade from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, near Tacoma, of deliberately ambushing three Afghan men with grenades and rifle fire this year, have also raised questions about how the Army has handled them.

The father of one of the soldiers said in an interview that he had repeatedly tried to alert military officials that his son had told him through Facebook in February that one murder had already been committed by members of his unit and that others could happen in the future.

The son had been threatened by members of his unit and feared for his life, said the father, Christopher Winfield, of Cape Coral, Fla. Two more people were killed after Mr. Winfield first reached out to the Army.

“Nobody listened,” he said.

Mr. Winfield, whose claims were first reported by The Associated Press, said in an interview that he called an Army hot line, an Army criminal investigations unit and members of his son’s command unit based at Fort Lewis on Feb. 14.

The only time he reached a person by phone, he said, a Fort Lewis sergeant told him his son should report the activities upon his return to the United States.

But he said that when his son, Specialist Adam C. Winfield, returned from his deployment in June, “They arrested him for murder as soon as he stepped off the plane.”

Specialist Winfield is one of three soldiers accused in the killing of Mullah Adahdad near Forward Operating Base Ramrod, in early May, “by means of throwing a fragmentary grenade at him and shooting him with a rifle,” according to an Army charging document.

Staff Sgt. Calvin R. Gibbs is also accused in that killing, as is Specialist Jeremy N. Morlock. Sergeant Gibbs and Specialist Morlock are also accused in the January killing of Gul Mudin and in the February killing of Marach Agha.

Specialist Michael S. Wagnon II is also accused in the death of Mr. Agha and of later trying to impede the criminal investigation “by obtaining a hard drive which contained evidence of murders and asking another soldier to erase said hard drive,” according to a charging document.

Pfc. Andrew H. Holmes is also accused in the death of Mr. Mudin.

Army officials say the Army’s senior leadership in Washington is watching the cases closely, fearing that the negative publicity any hearings will generate as well as photos and other evidence might anger Afghan civilians while the United States is trying to win support for a counterinsurgency campaign against the Taliban. They worry the cases could be a propaganda boon for the Taliban.

The charges echo several high-profile criminal episodes at the peak of the fighting in Iraq, when American Marines and other servicemen were accused of killing Iraqi civilians in unprovoked attacks.

In one case that outraged Iraqis, American soldiers were convicted of raping a 14-year-old girl and killing her and her family. In Afghanistan, air strikes and botched American commando raids that killed civilians have already caused political problems.

In addition to the murder charges against the Stryker soldiers, Army investigators are likely to investigate the claims made by Christopher Winfield, Army officials said. The Army would not comment directly on the murder cases beyond the information in its charging documents.

“We’re just waiting to see where the facts of the investigation will lead,” said Gary Tallman, an Army spokesman.

The defendants have denied the accusations. An Army spokeswoman said dates for the defendants to appear in court this fall have yet to be determined. But lawyers said they expected Article 32 hearings, which will determine formal charges against the soldiers, to begin at Fort Lewis in the coming weeks.

Maj. Kathleen Turner, a spokeswoman for I Corps, based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, said she expected that the hearings would be public and that each soldier’s case would be handled independently.

The charges against Sergeant Gibbs appear to be the most extensive and the most gruesome. A lawyer for Specialist Winfield said several defendants had claimed that Sergeant Gibbs, their unit leader, had planned the killings as a kind of morbid entertainment and that he had intimidated subordinates into either participating in or covering up the crimes.

A lawyer for Sergeant Gibbs has said in the past that the killings resulted from legitimate battlefield engagements. An automated e-mail response from the lawyer, Phillip Stackhouse, said he was out of the office, in Afghanistan. He did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

“There are two versions of the story you will hear come out,” said Eric Montalvo, the lawyer for Specialist Winfield. “These are legitimate kills, some people will say. The second tier is going to be that ‘Gibbs made me do it.’ ”

Charging documents and statements made to investigators by the soldiers say that Sergeant Gibbs collected “finger bones, leg bones and a tooth taken from Afghan corpses.”

Documents and people interviewed also said Sergeant Gibbs illegally collected AK-47 rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons used by the Afghan National Police and other non-United States forces to place near victims to suggest that American soldiers were simply returning fire.

Although Mr. Winfield, the soldier’s father, said he first made efforts to report trouble in the unit in February - including leaving what he said was an unanswered message with the office of Senator Bill Nelson, Democrat of Florida, the murder investigation did not get under way until the spring.

The investigation initially focused on reports that soldiers in the unit were using hashish. One soldier then informed superiors of the killings, Mr. Montalvo said. Seven other people in the unit have been charged with crimes, in some cases accused of firing on Afghan civilians and in others accused of hashish use.

It was unclear whether senior Army leaders had made any assessment about the platoon’s parent unit, which was renamed the 2nd Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division after it returned from Afghanistan. Mr. Tallman, the Army spokesman, said the brigade had faced heavy combat.

“This brigade had a very challenging tour and suffered a significant number of casualties while in Afghanistan,” he said.


---Members of U.S. platoon in Afghanistan accused of killing civilians for sport---
The Washington Post, September 18, 2010
By Craig Whitlock
http://www.rawa.org/temp/runews/2010/09/18/members-of-u-s-platoon-in-afghanistan-accused-of-killing-civilians-for-sport.html

But a review of military court documents and interviews with people familiar with the investigation suggest the killings were committed essentially for sport by soldiers who had a fondness for hashish and alcohol

AT JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, WASH. The U.S. soldiers hatched a plan as simple as it was savage: to randomly target and kill an Afghan civilian, and to get away with it.

For weeks, according to Army charging documents, rogue members of a platoon from the 5th Stryker Combat Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, floated the idea. Then, one day last winter, a solitary Afghan man approached them in the village of La Mohammed Kalay. The "kill team" activated the plan.

One soldier created a ruse that they were under attack, tossing a fragmentary grenade on the ground. Then others opened fire.

According to charging documents, the unprovoked, fatal attack on Jan. 15 was the start of a months-long shooting spree against Afghan civilians that resulted in some of the grisliest allegations against American soldiers since the U.S. invasion in 2001. Members of the platoon have been charged with dismembering and photographing corpses, as well as hoarding a skull and other human bones.

The subsequent investigation has raised accusations about whether the military ignored warnings that the out-of-control soldiers were committing atrocities. The father of one soldier said he repeatedly tried to alert the Army after his son told him about the first killing, only to be rebuffed.

Two more slayings would follow. Military documents allege that five members of the unit staged a total of three murders in Kandahar province between January and May. Seven other soldiers have been charged with crimes related to the case, including hashish use, attempts to impede the investigation and a retaliatory gang assault on a private who blew the whistle.

Army officials have not disclosed a motive for the killings and macabre behavior. Nor have they explained how the attacks could have persisted without attracting scrutiny. They declined to comment on the case beyond the charges that have been filed, citing the ongoing investigation.

But a review of military court documents and interviews with people familiar with the investigation suggest the killings were committed essentially for sport by soldiers who had a fondness for hashish and alcohol.

The accused soldiers, through attorneys and family members, deny wrongdoing. But the case has already been marked by a cycle of accusations and counter-accusations among the defendants as they seek to pin the blame on each other, according to documents and interviews.

The Army has scheduled pre-trial hearings in the case this fall at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, home of the Stryker brigade. (The unit was renamed the 2nd Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, when it returned from Afghanistan in July.) Military officials say privately that they worry the hearings will draw further attention to the case, with photos and other evidence prompting anger among the Afghan civilians whose support is critical to the fight against the Taliban.

The 'kill team'

According to statements given to investigators, members of the unit - 3rd Platoon, Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment - began talking about forming a "kill team" in December, shortly after the arrival of a new member, Staff Sgt. Calvin R. Gibbs, 25, of Billings, Mont.

Gibbs, whom some defendants have described as the ringleader, confided to his new mates that it had been easy for him to get away with "stuff" when he served in Iraq in 2004, according to the statements. It was his second tour in Afghanistan, having served there from January 2006 until May 2007.

The first opportunity presented itself Jan. 15 in the Maiwand district of Kandahar province. Members of the 3rd Platoon were providing perimeter security for a meeting between Army officers and tribal elders in the village of La Mohammed Kalay.

According to charging documents, an Afghan named Gul Mudin began walking toward the soldiers. As he approached, Cpl. Jeremy N. Morlock, 22, of Wasilla, Alaska, threw the grenade on the ground, records show, to create the illusion that the soldiers were under attack.

Pfc. Andrew H. Holmes, a 19-year-old from Boise, Idaho, saw the grenade and fired his weapon at Mudin, according to charging documents. The grenade exploded, prompting other soldiers to open fire on the villager as well, killing him.

In statements to investigators, the soldiers involved have given conflicting details. In one statement that his attorney has subsequently tried to suppress, Morlock said that Gibbs had given him the grenade and that others were also aware of the ruse beforehand. But Holmes and his attorney said he was in the dark and opened fire only because Morlock ordered him to do so.

"He was unwittingly used as the cover story," said Daniel Conway, a civilian defense attorney for Holmes. "He was in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Morlock, Holmes and Gibbs have each been charged with murder in the shooting. Attorneys for Morlock and Gibbs did not return phone calls seeking comment.

A father's warning

On Feb. 14, Christopher Winfield, a former Marine from Cape Coral, Fla., logged onto his Facebook account to chat with his son, Adam, a 3rd Platoon soldier who was up late in Afghanistan. Spec. Adam C. Winfield confided that he'd had a run-in with Gibbs, his squad leader. He also typed a mysterious note saying that some people get away with murder.

When his father pressed him to explain, Adam replied, "did you not understand what i just told you." He then referred to the slaying of the Afghan villager the month before, adding that other platoon members had threatened him because he did not approve. In addition, he said, they were bragging about how they wanted to find another victim.

"I was just shocked," Christopher Winfield said in a phone interview. "He was scared for his life at that point."

The father told his son that he would contact the Army to intervene and investigate. It was a Sunday, but he didn't wait. He called the Army inspector general's 24-hour hotline and left a voice mail. He called the office of Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), and left another message. He called a sergeant at Lewis-McChord who told him to call the Army's criminal investigations division. He left another message there.

Finally, he said, he called the Fort Lewis command center and spoke for 12 minutes to a sergeant on duty. He said the sergeant agreed that it sounded as if Adam was in potential danger but that, unless he was willing to report it to his superiors in Afghanistan, there was little the Army could do.

"He just kind of blew it off," Christopher Winfield said. "I was sitting there with my jaw on the ground."

Winfield said he doesn't recall the name of the sergeant he spoke with. Billing records that he kept confirm that he called Army officials; he also kept copies of transcripts of Facebook chats with this son. He said he specifically told the sergeant of his son's warning that more murders were in the works.

Army investigators have since taken a sworn statement from Christopher Winfield, as well as copies of his phone and Internet records.

Other killings

Eight days after Winfield tried to warn the Army, according to charging documents, members of the 3rd Platoon murdered someone else.

On Feb. 22, Marach Agha, an Afghan civilian, was killed by rifle fire near Forward Operating Base Ramrod in Kandahar province, where the 3rd Platoon was stationed. The Army has released few details about the slaying but has charged Gibbs, Morlock and Spec. Michael S. Wagnon II of Las Vegas with murder.

Wagnon has also been charged with possessing "a skull taken from an Afghan person's corpse." He allegedly took the head sometime during January or February 2010, but court documents do not specify whether it belonged to the Afghan he is charged with killing.

An attorney for Wagnon, who was on his second tour in Afghanistan and also served in Iraq, did not return a call seeking comment.

More mayhem followed in March, when Gibbs, Wagnon and three other soldiers - Staff Sgt. Robert G. Stevens, Sgt. Darren N. Jones and Pfc. Ashton A. Moore - opened fire on three Afghan men, according to charging documents. The documents do not provide basic details, such as the precise date of the shooting, the identities of the victims or whether they were wounded.

Members of the 3rd Platoon found their next victim on May 2, documents show. Gibbs, Morlock and Adam Winfield - the son of the former Marine who said he tried to alert the Army three months earlier - are accused of tossing a grenade and fatally shooting an Afghan cleric, Mullah Adahdad, near Forward Operating Base Ramrod.

Winfield's attorney, Eric S. Montalvo, said his client was ordered to shoot but fired high and missed. He and Winfield's parents say they can't understand why the Army has charged their son, given that his father tried to warn officials about the platoon.

Military police caught wind of the final killing a few days later, but only by happenstance. Records show they were coincidentally investigating reports of hashish use by members of the 3rd Platoon.

After word leaked that one soldier had spoken to military police, several platoon members retaliated, records show. They confronted the informant and beat him severely - punching, kicking and choking the soldier, then dragging him across the ground. As a last warning, the documents state, Gibbs menacingly waved finger bones he had collected from Afghan corpses.

However, the informant talked to the MPs again and told them what he had heard about the slayings, according to court documents.

Some members of his unit, he said in a statement, "when they are out at a village, wander off and kill someone and every time they say the same thing, about a guy throwing a grenade, but there is never proof."

This time, the Army acted quickly and made arrests.


---US soldiers 'killed Afghan civilians for sport and collected fingers as trophies'---
Chris McGreal in Washington
The Guardian, Thursday 9 September 2010
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/sep/09/us-soldiers-afghan-civilians-fingers

Soldiers face charges over secret 'kill team' which allegedly murdered at random and collected fingers as trophies of war

Twelve American soldiers face charges over a secret "kill team" that allegedly blew up and shot Afghan civilians at random and collected their fingers as trophies.

Five of the soldiers are charged with murdering three Afghan men who were allegedly killed for sport in separate attacks this year. Seven others are accused of covering up the killings and assaulting a recruit who exposed the murders when he reported other abuses, including members of the unit smoking hashish stolen from civilians.

In one of the most serious accusations of war crimes to emerge from the Afghan conflict, the killings are alleged to have been carried out by members of a Stryker infantry brigade based in Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan.

According to investigators and legal documents, discussion of killing Afghan civilians began after the arrival of Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs at forward operating base Ramrod last November. Other soldiers told the army's criminal investigation command that Gibbs boasted of the things he got away with while serving in Iraq and said how easy it would be to "toss a grenade at someone and kill them".

One soldier said he believed Gibbs was "feeling out the platoon".

Investigators said Gibbs, 25, hatched a plan with another soldier, Jeremy Morlock, 22, and other members of the unit to form a "kill team". While on patrol over the following months they allegedly killed at least three Afghan civilians. According to the charge sheet, the first target was Gul Mudin, who was killed "by means of throwing a fragmentary grenade at him and shooting him with a rifle", when the patrol entered the village of La Mohammed Kalay in January.

Morlock and another soldier, Andrew Holmes, were on guard at the edge of a poppy field when Mudin emerged and stopped on the other side of a wall from the soldiers. Gibbs allegedly handed Morlock a grenade who armed it and dropped it over the wall next to the Afghan and dived for cover. Holmes, 19, then allegedly fired over the wall.

Later in the day, Morlock is alleged to have told Holmes that the killing was for fun and threatened him if he told anyone.

The second victim, Marach Agha, was shot and killed the following month. Gibbs is alleged to have shot him and placed a Kalashnikov next to the body to justify the killing. In May Mullah Adadhdad was killed after being shot and attacked with a grenade.

The Army Times reported that a least one of the soldiers collected the fingers of the victims as souvenirs and that some of them posed for photographs with the bodies.

Five soldiers - Gibbs, Morlock, Holmes, Michael Wagnon and Adam Winfield - are accused of murder and aggravated assault among other charges. All of the soldiers have denied the charges. They face the death penalty or life in prison if convicted.

The killings came to light in May after the army began investigating a brutal assault on a soldier who told superiors that members of his unit were smoking hashish. The Army Times reported that members of the unit regularly smoked the drug on duty and sometimes stole it from civilians.

The soldier, who was straight out of basic training and has not been named, said he witnessed the smoking of hashish and drinking of smuggled alcohol but initially did not report it out of loyalty to his comrades. But when he returned from an assignment at an army headquarters and discovered soldiers using the shipping container in which he was billeted to smoke hashish he reported it.

Two days later members of his platoon, including Gibbs and Morlock, accused him of "snitching", gave him a beating and told him to keep his mouth shut. The soldier reported the beating and threats to his officers and then told investigators what he knew of the "kill team".

Following the arrest of the original five accused in June, seven other soldiers were charged last month with attempting to cover up the killings and violent assault on the soldier who reported the smoking of hashish. The charges will be considered by a military grand jury later this month which will decide if there is enough evidence for a court martial. Army investigators say Morlock has admitted his involvement in the killings and given details about the role of others including Gibbs. But his lawyer, Michael Waddington, is seeking to have that confession suppressed because he says his client was interviewed while under the influence of prescription drugs taken for battlefield injuries and that he was also suffering from traumatic brain injury.

"Our position is that his statements were incoherent, and taken while he was under a cocktail of drugs that shouldn't have been mixed," Waddington told the Seattle Times.

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