For Immediate Release
Afghans Discover Graphic Photos of US Soldiers & Civilian Corpses
WASHINGTON - Yesterday Afghans for Peace learned that a German news organization, Der Spiegel, released 3 of some 4,000 photographs and video footage showing gruesome images of US soldiers and corpses of innocent Afghans they murdered in Kandahar last year. The photographic evidence exposes the crimes committed by a “Kill Team”, where U.S. soldiers randomly targeted and murdered Afghan civilians for sport, followed by an attempt to cover them up. These appalling and inhumane acts are condemned by AFP.
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The first photograph shows U.S. soldier, Spc. Jeremy N. Morlock, posing with the bloodied and partially naked corpse of Gul Mudin, grabbing the victim by his hair, and grinning proudly at the camera with his trophy kill. From close observation, the victim’s body appears slim and hair-less, suggesting he was very young and had not yet reached puberty.
The second photograph shows U.S. soldier, Pfc. Andrew Holmes, posing with the same bloodied and partially naked corpse of Gul Mudin,casually holding a cigarette in one hand and grabbing the victim by the hair with the other.
The third photograph shows two unidentified Afghan male civilians murdered by the “Kill Team”. The dirty clothing worn by the victims, unnatural positioning of a foot, blood stains on the back, and bound legs and hands suggest they were possibly dragged by a vehicle and/or tortured.
January 15, 2010 was the beginning of periodic murders of Afghan civilians by the “Kill Team” that resulted in some of the most shocking allegations against American soldiers since the U.S. invasion in 2001.
A subsequent investigation shows the military clearly had ignored warnings of soldiers committing atrocities against civilians. Spc. Adam Winfield had informed his father, Christopher, about the killing and those planned for the future. Winfield Sr., persistently tried to inform the military of his son’s warnings, only to be turned away.
“The guys in my group have murdered an innocent Afghan,” Adam Winfield wrote. “They planned everything out. I knew about it … I want to do something about it, but I don’t have the courage.”
This is a repeated incident of US soldiers from all ranks taking photos and video footage of civilians they tortured and killed and then attempting to cover up their crimes. Many critics are comparing these recent events to what took place in Abu Ghraib in 2004. Afghans for Peace wants to distinguish between the two incidents. The Afghans were civilians chosen at random and not inside a prison. The extreme acts, including murder, occurred publicly in broad daylight.
These crimes illustrate the means by which the military industrial complex functions through dehumanization, forced inferiority, and occupation both historically and at present. This was the case with Native Americans, Africans, Iraqis, and now Afghans. When the military force is led by a US superpower, with almost 1,000 military bases worldwide, and aided by NATO forces, the murders in Kandahar go unnoticed.
Afghans for Peace is reminded that it was the Abu Ghraib photographs that turned the public’s eye toward the realities on the ground in Iraq. Thus, we hope these photographs further encourage the public to seek the truth on the ground realities in Afghanistan.
AFP denounces these horrid, repulsive targeted attacks against the civilian population of Afghanistan and urges Der Spiegel to release all 4,000 photographs and video footage in order to pressure the international community to put an end to this illegal war and occupation.
Afghans for Peace (AFP) is an alliance of Afghans from various ethnic, religious, socio-economic, cultural, and political backgrounds with a united vision for a democratic, all inclusive, just and peaceful Afghanistan. In order to actualize this vision, we demand an end to U.S. and NATO military operations within Afghanistan.