American Forces Accused of Mistreating Taliban Corpses
As reported in the NY Times, Australian journalists revealed that American soldiers in Afghanistan “burned the bodies of two dead Taliban fighters and then used the charred and smoking corpses in a propaganda campaign against the insurgents.” According to the Australian report, a “psychological operations team” used a loudspeaker to broadcast taunts while driving through a village suspected of harboring Taliban fighters.
According to the program's translation of the taunts, which were delivered in the local language by American forces on the scene, a soldier identified as Sgt. Jim Baker, said: "You allowed your fighters to be laid down facing west and burned. You are too scared to come down and retrieve the bodies. This just proves you are the lady boys we always believed you to be." … The reference to the bodies "facing west" appeared to be a deliberate mocking of the Islamic requirement to face Mecca during prayers.
The Pentagon acknowledged that a video of the incident appeared to be accurate and announced that it would undertake a criminal investigation of those responsible. According to the Times, “senior officials” admitted the obvious: “that the incident posed the potential to do further harm in the Islamic world to the image of the United States, already badly tarnished by the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal.”
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