"Thrill Kill" in Afghanistan

CNN has obtained interrogation tapes of the soldiers charged with murdering Afghan civilians. It was done for sport. Not only that:

The charging papers from the U.S. military paint a picture of a band of rogue soldiers, smoking hash, bored and plotting and carrying out murders of Afghan civilians for sport.

Authorities allege Gibbs kept finger bones, leg bones and a tooth from Afghan corpses. Another soldier allegedly kept a skull from a corpse, according to charging documents.... A soldier who tried to blow the whistle was beaten and threatened, some soldiers said....

One soldier is charged with stabbing a corpse. [More...]

Jeremy Morlock, who is from Wasilla, Alaska, is charged with three counts of murder, committed at different times.

He is accused of killing Afghan civilian Gul Mudin in January with a grenade and rifle; killing civilian Mullah Adahdad in May in a similar manner; and shooting to death Marach Agha in February.

Five soldiers are charged in the murders. All were members of a 2nd Infantry Division brigade operating near Kandahar in 2009 and 2010. They are:

Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs, of Billings, Montana; Pfc. Andrew Holmes of Boise, Idaho; Spc. Adam Winfield, of Cape Coral, Florida; and Spc. Michael Wagnon, of Las Vegas, Nevada. They are all from the 5th Stryker Brigade.

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    Man (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by denise k on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 02:40:20 AM EST
    This is the kind of thing that happened in Vietnam.  It is a part of the "fog of war" that people too often gloss over.  There are bad people in the army just as there are bad people in all walks of life.  And when you give them guns and encourage them to kill, this is what can happen.  What is worse is that a career military will naturally attract nut cases like this (e.g., Tim McVeigh).  I worry about what will happen when these guys are back home after all of the wars are over.  It would be a dangerous bunch of people just from the number of soldiers returning with PTSD.  But then put the kooks on top of that...  It could be a bad situation down the road.  

    I agree with you but let's remember (none / 0) (#2)
    by Buckeye on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 07:51:42 AM EST
    these soldiers have only been "charged" with crimes.  They have not been convicted.

    True and thanks (none / 0) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 08:34:35 AM EST
    This will certainly be the only thing anyone is going to be talking about for a long while.  

    That is not a true statement. (none / 0) (#4)
    by BTAL on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 08:39:56 AM EST
    What is worse is that a career military will naturally attract nut cases like this

    These individuals, if guilty need to held accountable just like anyone else, even in the civilian world.  However, to broad brush the military as a magnet for homicidal whack jobs is blatantly incorrect.


    It is inevitable that the military (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 08:53:15 AM EST
    will acquire a certain number of "nutcases", but it always makes me laugh when people attempt to say that the military is a nutcase magnet.  You have to lead such a constantly and consistently responsible life 24/7, I find far fewer nutcases around me on post than off post.  Those who are certifiable aren't going to be able to cut it at all in today's military.  But what someone can do with being young, incredible stress and having PTSD, along with daily drug use.....that would be how these kids devolved into this IMO.

    Speaking as a Liberal though, it is sad that in Liberal World every nutcase deserves empathy except the military nutcase (that nutcase deserves the very worst of all available treatment).  I wonder also how many tours these kids have had, or at least the most dominant personality among them?


    That General whose God is bigger than their God (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 10:56:30 AM EST
    seems to have done just fine in today's military.

    I agree with your statement that military nutjobs need the same level of compassion and understanding as non-military ones.  I am always troubled, however, by the level of adoration and worshipping we as a nation bestow on our military (except, of course, veteran's benefits).  It's dangerous and unhealthy.


    unhealthy is right.. (none / 0) (#14)
    by jondee on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 12:19:24 PM EST
    it resembles a fetish of some sort. The only way to really "serve your country"..

    And if it isn't military figures who are often framed as next to sacred bulls from the Temple of Shiva, it's the police and the district attorney's office: "The Thin Blue Line" protecting US ALL from the forces of chaos and destruction..


    I think our worship is dangerous and (none / 0) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 01:03:26 PM EST
    unhealthy too, and oddly enough it is sort of dehumanizing as well.  I remember protesting the Iraq War and having what I would term troop worshippers counter protesting.  I even talked to a few of them and they had no actual military members in their family but they equated questioning the President about invading Iraq as being mean to the troops.  What American soldier really wants to die defending Halliburton's future market share?  I was stunned at how many rightwingers have in a way dehumanized their own troops by placing them on a freaky sort of pedestal.  It is also a pedestal on which a soldier can die for anything and the need of that death cannot be placed in question, just bring in the next soldier to be sacrificed to the God of War please.

    Sometimes I wonder if, (none / 0) (#21)
    by jondee on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 01:36:33 PM EST
    on some unconscious level, they think all those soldiers dying takes away their sin..

    There does seem to be a not-uncommon fundamentalist tie-in with the off-the-hook Support the Troops folks; it's almost as if some of them think there's something verging on sacramental about war in general..


    It's weird (none / 0) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 01:47:51 PM EST
    I can understand... (none / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 09:08:01 AM EST
    how it happens...well not really, but I can imagine how seeing unspeakable horrors will shake a screw loose...like your best friend being blown to bits right in front of ya. Especially in a prolonged occupation like this, where it is difficult to tell the goat herder from the enemy.  I'd like to think I could preserve my humanity but who knows unless it's happening to you...I can empathize.

    This sh*t is beyond the pale, but it should be no surprise...and it's another on the long list of reasons not to get bogged down in a prolonged occupation, you lose your humanity.

    As for the military drawing it's share of violent loons, that is to be expected too...if killin' gets your rocks off there is really no other occupation for ya.  But who knows if the screw was loose before these guys went over or the conditions there did it to them, or both.  


    As a Veteran I Can Say... (none / 0) (#13)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 11:56:21 AM EST
    ... that your experience in the military is a 180 of mine.  Nutcases defined the military, seriously, how many people do you know who were discharged for mental issues.

    Not many I bet, only because we are at war.  When I was in, before the Gulf, I bet one in 10 was discharged for being unstable.  I was on a ship and let me tell you, there were a lot of psychos, a lot. 90 days without seeing land sucks for most, but for some it drove their already delicate mental status over the edge.

    I know probably 10 people who were in the military and they all tell me how much fun it was and how they missed the comrodery and all that Jazz.  They were clerks or in the medical field, or other fairly mundane areas.

    Not me, I worked on a flight deck which was too much for a lot of people.  I got beat up, intimated, betrayed by superiors, and treated like a dog for the most part by people who worked their way up the command because they had nothing else.  I saw the worse in people, not all, but enough that I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
    Sorry, but back to this article.  
    I get that you want to defend your family, your comrades, your profession.  I understand, but with these psychos ?  Sure there are more in civilian life, but that isn't some random statistic, the military is suppose to filter these guys out, they should not exist in the military, plain and simple.  And I am sorry, but if they can't figure out how to keep what us civilians would call serial killers, out, then there is a problem from top to bottom.  And as much as you don't want to hear this, some light needs to be shined on this and how these idiots slipped through and were given guns and the acess to mount human hunting expeditions.  

    Of course that won't happen, it was some random thing, like Abu Ghraib.  Sure they are to blame, but what in hell kind of military do we have that no one notices a group of soldiers hunting people ?

    I been in, this isn't something they kept under wraps, people knew, and I have a hard time believing there was only one and he got beat down.  Rumors in the military spread like wild fire and I am sure the people who could have stopped this didn't because of honor or manpower or whatever, but they guys should have been pulled off the front lines long ago.  I don't believe this was something no one could have predicted.

    And again no offense to you and your service to us, but these guys aren't you, they are disgracing everything you and people like you and me worked so hard to protect people from.

    No excuses, if these kids are being pushed beyond what they can handle why don't we have a mechanism to identify them ?  I suspect it's because they all are and they know it's either pull a bunch out or wait for a couple to meltdown.  

    And Tracy, the certifiable do make it in the today's military, see this post as exhibits A-E.    


    I think this is bull (none / 0) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 01:14:02 PM EST
    You can't make it through flight school stress if you are a nutcase.  My God, the infantry is so high tech and requires so much schooling I can't see how a nutcase makes it into that either these days.  Everything within the military that I know requires so much time in instruction there isn't any way you can be out of your mind upon showing up and make it.  Promotion is very tough this year too, we don't have a shortage of warm bodies anymore.  We experienced that for a few years under Bush when soldiers did not want to die for his invasion of Iraq, but that is over.  You could get a waiver for a criminal record then too, but I think that is over now as well.  The military that my husband was first accepted into, you could not get into it with any sort of criminal record that was larger than a misdemeanor of traffic violation sort.  I know a few soldiers who have been let out or reassigned due to things that are showing up from experiencing combat.  Some soldiers have been kicked out for being insubordinate and they are actually suffering from PTSD.  They are kicking people to the curb all the time.

    Exactly (none / 0) (#19)
    by squeaky on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 01:17:00 PM EST
    These are not nutcases. Status quo.

    Time to get ALL our troops home and treat them for the trauma that has made them haters and killers.

    A therapy dog for each vet with PTSD.


    The troops are not haters (none / 0) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 01:38:43 PM EST
    More Americans are against the Mosque at ground zero than I bet a percentage of the military is. Our soldiers have been living among and working in Muslim countries now for some time.  My husband just came from a new class a few days ago with a handout talking about the rate of illiteracy and guess what?  We actually understand enough now that we understand that the horrible literacy rate is feeding Jihadism.  Most people recruited by the Jihadists can't read.  They couldn't read the Qu'ran even if they wanted to and they take the word of crazy radicals as to what it says and what it means.  A situation very similar to the power that the Catholic church once used to enjoy and worked very hard to encourage.  Troops are not haters though, they want to understand even more than you do and have incentive to understand much more than you because their lives hang directly in the balance.

    Other than that, I agree that we still have a problem with returning troops not getting the care they need. And apparently we sent a man into combat who is horribly brain damaged and couldn't even sleep and we expected him to stay sane and lead young soldiers to sanity.  This story makes me really really sad and mad.  As to drug use in Afghanistan and the use of hash and opium, I hear about it all the time that a lot of troops are partaking because it is all over the place where they are at.  I didn't really think you could chalk what happened up to smoking hash though, most people I know who smoke hash are pretty docile and hungry...not good killers :)


    Flight School ?? (none / 0) (#25)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 01:58:34 PM EST
    Unless I missed something, these were grunts and they are definitely unstable at best.  

    You have said twice that you don't know how a nutcase could make it through, I don't know, but they are there, loads of them.  Abu Ghraib, this story, and the countless others we are never privy to, proves that there a socio & psychopaths, rapist, and sadists are in our military.

    My experience is totally different than most, because I was treated like a dog by a bunch of idiots when I was in.  But unlike most, when I got out, the VA took care me.  I got my GI Bill, but on top of that the Wisconsin VA paid my entire tuition and books.  I got preferential enrollment at UofW, and a couple of medical issues I had, a bad knee and a bad eye (pink eye from a stupid camel) they took me in and treated me with respect and gave me world class care.  I have nothing but kudos to say about my treatment once my active duty was done.

    I'm not dissing the military, but this non-sense of their infallibility is tiresome.  They are an organization like any other, faults and all, but since a part of their mission is to kill, it would be nice to know that they aren't unleashing serial killers on a people's we are suppose to be protecting.

    Would it really be that bad to have people who are armed take a borderline personality test ?  I'm sure in flight school there is some sort of testing they do for stress and other things, why not the same for grunts.  The thought right now is if you can pass the ASVAB you can kill.

    What I don't get is why these guys went after civilians, ya know, there aren't enough bad guys for them, they needed more, it doesn't make sense.  If the crimes they committed were against legitimate enemies, they might have gotten a slap on the wrist, maybe kicked out, but definitely no prison time.  


    Stryker Brigade (none / 0) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 02:13:19 PM EST
    I'm sorry, I don't know what kind of "grunts" you remember but the military does not have anyone in who spends the day sweeping and painting rocks on the side of the road desert tan anymore.

    Being in the military is school and school and more school now....even for enlisted.  There always was a lot of constant instruction but it is off the charts now when compared to what the general population experiences in constant and continuing education.


    And the Staff Sargent and his (none / 0) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 02:17:44 PM EST
    "right hand" are both brain damaged.  I don't know what Morlock's is due to but Gibbs survived two IEDs and is taking serious serious drugs due to the brain injury and had no business being deployed.  They are both on serious prescription drugs.  Someone was determined that Gibbs was going to be deployed though, and so he was....and so was Morlock.  Do you care about the truth or do you just want to make stuff up?

    What ? (none / 0) (#37)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 04:11:27 PM EST
    It's been a while, but on our ship the 2000 grunts, eat, slept, worked out, and cleaned their guns.

    So things have changed, now medicated and possibly brain damaged men are given guns... and apparently a lot of training.  

    And your are defending this, I don't understand what your point is ?  So they aren't letting crazies in, but the brain damaged and heavily medicated are just fine ?

    I don't know what serious prescriptions means, but I would imagine at the very least, no heavy machinery.  One would assume that warning is so they don't hurt themselves or others, yet someone put guns in their hands, which IMO is treading on criminal.

    This story proves it's pretty fricken dumb to give a brain damaged and/or seriously medicated people guns.

    You are telling me we have plenty of soldiers, so why are people with brain injuries and/or seriously medicated operating machines designed to kill people ?

    I forget the legal term,  but this seems like a reasonably foreseeable consequence, at the very least there has to be negligence on the part of someone.  I mean jesus you just can't do something like this and act like it wasn't foreseeable.

    I wonder where most would stand if they had killed an Americans.


    Nutcase definition (none / 0) (#52)
    by waldenpond on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 06:47:48 PM EST
    I have no idea how he made it, took two tries at basic, and deployed with another unit, but a son of a friend made it.  This is a kid that we would not leave our own kids alone with.  He was scary.  They offered him bonus pay to go back to combat but he went back in as a ministers assistant and was let go.  

    For some reason this guy ended up with military medical benefits for PTSD.  I'm guessing his parents hid his medical history.  (He was forced into medical treatment when he was caught by a neighbor putting birds in the microwave)


    Sure it is a true statement (none / 0) (#8)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 11:02:30 AM EST
    the overwhelming majority, vast vast majority of volunteers are not nutjobs like this. But nutjobs like this, who think killing and combat is, I don;t know what or how they think, fun maybe?  Of course the military is an attractive option.

    It's not a pleasant thing to think about but we as a society worship military, marshall parades & stuff, war in general.  We are, like it or not, a violent society.  Anyone who revels in that sort of stuff will look to the military, and/or law enforcement.

    Does that mean all who serve think like that, or all police?  Of course not, not even close.  


    What about attraction to gangs? (none / 0) (#9)
    by BTAL on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 11:12:12 AM EST
    I submit that there are more homicidal nut jobs attracted to and who join gangs than do the military.  The structure and system does have ways to identify the majority of individuals who may be so predisposed.  

    why make that comparison? (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by CST on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 11:26:33 AM EST
    That's like the Mosque/Church comparison with Saudi Arabia.  So the Saudis won't build a church in Mecca.  Last I checked, this isn't Saudi Arabia, and I would not really like it if it were.

    Likewise, I don't want the military to act like a gang.

    I don't think anyone is making the case that most homicidal nut jobs are in the military.  It does however provide a certain outlet for people who have those tendencies.  And the experience of war can break down walls for people who might not have previously gone that route.

    I imagine that's precisely why they have a system in place to isolate and identify those individuals in advance.  Obviously they won't catch everyone.


    The comparison is more appropriate than (none / 0) (#32)
    by BTAL on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 02:39:06 PM EST
    a Mosque/Church strawman.

    Gangs recruit and focus on the type of actions being condemned here (rightly so if proven) - murder and criminal activities.  It is their sole mission where as it is not so for the military.  Individuals predisposed to weapons based criminal activity would be more drawn to the "glam and glitter" peer recognition than to being an E-2 grunt in the deserts of Afghanistan.

    As my first comment stated, if they are guilty they need to be suitably punished.


    so you're saying (none / 0) (#36)
    by CST on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 03:29:31 PM EST
    people who are predisposed to violence would be more inclined toward gangs than the military?

    Perhaps.  Although some might prefer the legality of the military and the opportunity for legitimacy it provides.  Besides, it's not like gangs are pervasive throughout every neighborhood in the country, where it is even an option for most people.

    I think the reason the military is vigilant on keeping people like this out, is precisely because there is an inherent appeal.  

    Plus, a number of these men have experienced significant brain damage in action, which could have had any number of effects on personality.  And the position these men had in the military certainly amplified their capacity for inflicting damage, whether this was a pre-existing issue, or something that developed under duress.

    I don't think these men represent the standard in the military by any means.  But I think we should be realistic about what role the military and war play in all of this.


    Two very valid statements (none / 0) (#40)
    by BTAL on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 04:39:38 PM EST
    Plus, a number of these men have experienced significant brain damage in action,
     Looks to be the core basis of the issue here.


    I don't think these men represent the standard in the military by any means.

    The original posted statement was that the military is effectively a magnet for whack jobs is the one I reject.  Are there some who perceive "glory" in serving in combat - yes, but I wouldn't lump them into the psychotic murders category.  If there was a reliable way to screen and/or identify those that may be a brick short of a load, I know the military would not accept them and I believe that those found on active duty would be in the range of less than 1/2 a percent.


    trueor not that does not mean (none / 0) (#10)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 11:20:57 AM EST
    the military is not also an attractive option for such people.  

    I knew one total flipping nutcase (none / 0) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 01:52:43 PM EST
    who went with the 3rd Cav to Iraq.  He was sent home at around the six month mark and put out.  I've heard rumors as to why but I have nothing concrete. Many who knew him always thought he wasn't a good candidate for a soldier, and it seems that we called that correct.  He was not condoned or tolerated though.  He was put out in mid tour of the first year in Iraq.

    Another difference between gangs (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by jondee on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 11:35:41 AM EST
    and the military is that street gangs don't spend millions paying pr and advertising firms to, among other things,  gloss over aberrant events in order to maintain an attractive public image for the purposes of continuing public funding and meeting recruitment quotas.

    The Pat Tillman debacle and on-going controversy being a prime, high profile example of the above, if there ever was one.

    A similarity... (none / 0) (#15)
    by kdog on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 12:52:07 PM EST
    is the aggresive nature of military/gang recruiters, with a focus on troubled youth who might not see another option.

    kdog (none / 0) (#38)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 04:12:15 PM EST
    popping your balloon, the military does not want troubled youth.  They want nothing to do with any youth who has been in trouble.  They don't mind bored youth or youth who don't have better options, but no troubled youth.

    I'm not talking trouble with the law... (none / 0) (#42)
    by kdog on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 05:03:02 PM EST
    troubled...no options, maybe a sh*tty homelife, broke, no decent jobs around...a recruiter's dream scenario.

    I don't see the hard sell in the rich 'burbs...by military or gang recruiters.

    Not at all talking about those of a different mind than I who believe in the work, I can respect that...I mean the susceptible ones with problems who get sweet-talked into it.


    Yes, that is what they like (none / 0) (#45)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 05:18:13 PM EST
    And you can't have gang tattoos (none / 0) (#47)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 05:19:47 PM EST
    But they have allowed some people to join who have gang tattoos if they agree to remove them and have them removed.

    Really? (none / 0) (#43)
    by squeaky on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 05:13:59 PM EST
    With [Steven] Green in jail awaiting trial, the Houston Chronicle reported in August that Army recruiters were trolling around the outskirts of a Dallas-area job fair for ex-convicts.

    "We're looking for high school graduates with no more than one felony on their record," one recruiter said.



    That SFGate article is from 2006 (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by BTAL on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 05:18:09 PM EST
    As MT pointed out that was a different situation regarding manpower/recruitment needs.

    OK (none / 0) (#48)
    by squeaky on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 05:25:08 PM EST
    Mar 18 2010
    According to a recently released FBI report, Gang-related activity in the US military is increasing and poses a threat to law enforcement officials and national security.



    July 2010 (none / 0) (#49)
    by squeaky on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 05:39:11 PM EST
    Chicago cop who served in Afghanistan and Iraq has seen a rise in US gang graffiti in the Middle East

    By Frank Main
    The Chicago Sun-Times

    CHICAGO -- Being in a street gang is now forbidden for members of the U.S. armed forces. But you might not guess that if you were to visit U.S. military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to soldiers who have recently served there.

    Jeffrey Stoleson, a Wisconsin corrections official, returned from Iraq in January with photos of gang graffiti on armored vehicles, latrines and buildings. Stoleson, a sergeant with a National Guard unit, was there for nine months to help the Army set up a prison facility outside Baghdad.

    "I saw Maniac Latin Disciples graffiti out of Chicago," Stoleson said, adding that there was a lot of graffiti for Texas and California gangs, as well as Mexican drug cartels.

    A Chicago Police officer -- who retired from the regular Army and was recently on a tour of Afghanistan in the Army Reserve -- said Bagram Air Base was covered with Chicago gang graffiti, everything from the Gangster Disciples' pitchfork to the Latin Kings' crown.

    "It seems bigger now," said the officer, who previously served a tour in Iraq, where he also saw gang graffiti.



    Neo Nazis (none / 0) (#46)
    by squeaky on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 05:18:16 PM EST
    Army regulations prohibit soldiers from participating in racist groups, and recruiters are instructed to keep an eye out for suspicious tattoos. Before signing on the dotted line, enlistees are required to explain any tattoos. At a Tampa recruitment office, though, Fogarty sailed right through the signup process. "They just told me to write an explanation of each tattoo, and I made up some stuff, and that was that," he says. Soon he was posted to Fort Stewart in Georgia, where he became part of the 3rd Infantry Division.

    Fogarty's ex-girlfriend, intent on destroying his new military career, sent a dossier of photographs to Fort Stewart. The photos showed Fogarty attending white supremacist rallies and performing with his band, Attack. "They hauled me before some sort of committee and showed me the pictures," Fogarty says. "I just denied them and said my girlfriend was a spiteful bitch." He adds: "They knew what I was about. But they let it go because I'm a great soldier."...

    A 2005 Department of Defense report states, "Effectively, the military has a 'don't ask, don't tell' policy pertaining to extremism. If individuals can perform satisfactorily, without making their extremist opinions overt ... they are likely to be able to complete their contracts."



    Quelle Surprise (none / 0) (#16)
    by squeaky on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 12:54:20 PM EST
    Considering the Muslim hatred out of control in the United States, it should come as no surprise that the Muslim hatred is rife among the troops.

    No surprise that those men and women facing death in a foreign country foreign culture, foreign language, where everyone looks the same, and most of the population hates you, would defensively and reflexively have contempt for all muslims.

    What are we fighting for?  Please remind me.  

    Time to bring our troops home, NOW.


    Also, please remind me (none / 0) (#27)
    by KeysDan on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 02:09:04 PM EST
    as to who the "enemy" is, other than that catch-all, "the insurgents".  In Iraq we have those bad guys, al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, Sunni and Shia insurgents depending on the time of day, and Bathist malcontents.  In Pakistan, it is the Pakistani Taliban, the Haqqani network, and, of course, al Qaeda, Pakistani branch. In Afghanistan we have, once again, al Qaeda, but not very many left, drug warlords, assorted tribal villagers against occupation and Hamid Karzai depending on how aggressive we are in rooting out corruption.  In our newest war, Yemen, we have insurgents in the north, the Houthi, and Yemeni al Qaeda.  Then again, maybe it is easier, if not more precise, to identify our enemy as "insurgents".    It is all so confusing to me, let alone to a boot on the ground and, maybe, even to a computer-driven drone.

    Upon investigating this story (none / 0) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 01:24:44 PM EST
    The Staff Sargent is sadly a traumatic brain injury sufferer.  He walked away from two IEDs, but he is documented as suffering from TBI.  One the persons interviewed so far went so far as to say the man is brain damaged.  I don't know why they had him in combat leading other young soldiers, some physician had to sign waivers for his meds and for this to happen.  The guy could not sleep and was taking two whopper drugs as well in an attempt to try to get him to sleep.  He was taking Amitriptyline as well as Jeralyn's fave good ole Ambien.  I have never heard of anything like this, and whoever was responsible for this guy being where he was is in some serious trouble today.

    Wow, and Morlock is also (none / 0) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 02:08:31 PM EST
    taking "heavy" medications for brain injury as well.  Jesus Christ, what are these guys doing toting guns around Afghanistan when they should be home and being treated for and dealing with brain injury?  Who has been writing waivers in 5th Stryker Brigade that has been putting people into combat with serious brain damage?  There is some large commander at the top of this pile who has been hell bent on discounting TBI.  That is the only way this crap could have gone down.  He probably thinks that people claiming TBI are just trying to get over and suck the government tit.  God.....look what you've done now you idiot.  Maybe it is some physician as well, but something has juiced this situation in a huge way.

    This time the sheit needs to roll up hill if (none / 0) (#33)
    by BTAL on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 02:40:04 PM EST
    those are the facts.

    A list of the (none / 0) (#50)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 05:50:04 PM EST
    prescribed meds that Morlock was taking

    In May, when Morlock was questioned about alleged war crimes, his prescription drugs included two anti-depressants, one potent muscle relaxer, two sleep medications and a pain reliever infused with codeine, according to a list provided by his defense attorney.

    Really? (none / 0) (#30)
    by squeaky on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 02:22:51 PM EST
    I have never heard of anything like this

    Certainly seems normal in the wake of went on in Iraq. Remember the torture pictures everyone seemed to have on their cell phones? The laughing over piles of naked Iraqis getting urinated on?

    Maybe you mean to say that you have never heard of a commander who was still working who had such sever brain injury.

    But the hatred seems endemic to me.


    What does Abu Ghraib (none / 0) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 02:33:35 PM EST
    have to do with sending soldiers with documented brain damage on whopper drugs into high stress combat situations?  You are so annoying sometimes, and I realize that is part of your gig.

    Trouble Reading? (none / 0) (#34)
    by squeaky on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 02:48:32 PM EST
    Considering that I was not sure what you were surprised about I wrote:

    Maybe you mean to say that you have never heard of a commander who was still working who had such sever brain injury.

    thanks for clearing that up.

    And I understand that the gratuitous bit is reflexive at this point.


    Ha! ya got me (none / 0) (#35)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 02:52:52 PM EST
    I've been shot in the reflex

    This is a bit odd on this blog (none / 0) (#39)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 04:13:38 PM EST
    It never ceases to amaze me how the presumption of innocence goes out the window for some when the accused are those we dislike. Seriously, Jeralyn "it was done for sport" what are we a JAG now?  I'm sorry but if previous media driven trials of soldiers have taught us nothing else its that the initial circumstances are seldom the whole story- remember how bad Haditha looked initially.  Look I don't mean to be an apologist for accused murderers I just think its odd that many on here apparently view them as guilty without trial whereas those same people admonished others for jumping to conclusions in the Van Der Sloot and Polanski cases.

    TL is NOt A Court Room (none / 0) (#41)
    by squeaky on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 04:53:34 PM EST
    And the commenters are not jury members. ALthough, speaking for myself, this blog does have a pov. Evidentially that detail has been lost on you.