Obviously posing with the blown-up remains of a suicide bombers is worse than the actual suicide bombing.
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.
I guess the Times will enjoy the outrageously outrageous outrage sure to follow by more suicide bombers. The blood is on their hands, but they simply don’t care.
The soldiers felt a sense of triumph and satisfaction, especially after learning that the insurgents had been killed by their own explosives, he said.
“They were frustrated, just pissed off — their buddies had been blown up by IEDs” — improvised explosive devices — the soldier said. “So they sort of just celebrated.”
Next time they should wear hoodies. Then they’ll be celebrated.
Leon Panetta isn’t exactly thrilled.
US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who is currently in Brussels for NATO talks on Afghanistan, “strongly rejects” the conduct of the soldiers in the pictures, but is disappointed that the LA Times decided to publish them, his spokesman said via Twitter.
The US ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker also strongly condemned the soldiers’ actions.
“Such actions are morally repugnant, dishonor the sacrifices of hundreds of thousands of US soldiers and civilians who have served with distinction in Afghanistan, and do not represent the core values of the United States or our military,” he said in a statement.