A violent video acquired by Rolling Stone journalist Matthieu Aikins and posted to the magazine's website on Thursday appears to show U.S. soldiers standing by as an unidentified Afghan prisoner is whipped and beaten by members of an Afghan military or interrogation unit.
According to Aikins—who obtained the video while investigating alleged war crimes by the U.S. military in Afghanistan—the two U.S. soldiers, citing their facial hair and uniforms are "probably from a U.S. Army Special Forces team," and the brutal incident likely took place sometime after 2010.
As Aikins reports for Rolling Stone:
Not much is said in the video. The Afghans discuss how to hold down the prisoner in Pashto-accented Dari; the man screams, in Kandahari-accented Pashto, "oh my father" as he is whipped, and pleads with his captors that he will tell them whatever they want to know. Afterward, the uniformed Afghan leans over and asks him if he has any weapons, which the prisoner denies. (A spokeswoman says that ISAF is aware of the video, and has referred it to the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command, which also confirmed an ongoing investigation.)
The scene depicted in the video, and similar allegations of torture that were made to Rolling Stone in the investigation, fit with a general pattern of recurring abuse in U.S. and Afghan custody that has been documented by the UN, Congress, and human rights groups in Afghanistan since 2001.
In the video, the two suspected U.S. soldiers can best be seen around the one-minute mark:
Aikins appeared on Democracy Now! on Thursday, where he spoke with Amy Goodman about his just published investigative piece, 'The A-Team Killings: Are U.S. Special Forces guilty of war crimes?,' as well as the shocking contents of the video he obtained during his reporting.