"Thrill Kill" Army Private Gets 7 Years For Sport Killing 15 Year Old Afghan

PFC Andrew Holmes, a member of the "Kill Team" of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan that killed villagers for sport, was sentenced today to 7 years in prison for killing an unarmed 15 year old.

Five members of the former 5th Stryker Brigade have faced murder charges in connection with what military prosecutors say were staged attacks on Afghan villagers. In the attacks, prosecutors say, U.S. soldiers fired volleys of guns and grenades at innocent people and then planted weapons to make it look as though the victims had shot first.

Holmes is the 9th soldier convicted. Charges remain pending against two or three others. [More...]

Holmes almost got 15 years because the judge didn't think he understood the gravity of what he did. But a last minute plea deal limited the sentence to 7 years.

More at the Seattle Times:

Holmes yesterday admitted the he shot a 15-year-old Afghan Gul Mudin in January 2010 even though he had doubts about the order he received to fire on the boy. He pleaded guilty to a murder charge described as causing a death through reckless behavior with disregard for human life.

...In the two-day court-martial, Holmes acknowledged shooting 6 to 8 rounds from his automatic weapon at the 15-year-old villager — who was unarmed and, Holmes said, "stood like a deer in the headlights."

The ringleader, Jeremy Morlock, got 24 years. When the judge asked Holmes why he hadn't reported Morlock to superiors instead of following Morlock's orders, he said:

"There is a mindset that what happens in Afghanistan stays in Afghanistan," Holmes said.

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    There was a mindset (none / 0) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 09:54:53 PM EST
    in Afghanistan that you didn't have to obey General Petraeus or General McChrystal as long as you were Holbrooke and Eikenberry's baby.  The commander of the "Kill Team" was part of Holbrooke's troops in Afghanistan and he was going to conduct himself under different rules to include that people who had been diagnosed with severe traumatic brain injury would not be sent home because he was running the real Army, not the fricken pansy assed Army that Petraeus was running.  The "Kill Team" was on so many prescribed drugs it was hard to imagine that anyone taking what the leaders were taking could even conduct a civilian life let alone be functioning soldiers in  a war zone.  Holbrooke goes down as NO LIBERAL hero in my book.  Lighter sentences are meant to sweep all this under the rug if possible, so that nobody knows about the command infighting that was taking place in Afghanistan and what "the liberal" leadership was enabling.  The command environment of the "Kill Team" is hard to imagine though I suppose unless you barely managed to live through it.

    I see a tell all book in your future. (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 10:03:50 PM EST
    Perhaps there should be on some of this (none / 0) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 10:30:45 PM EST

    Everybody is getting very serious lately.  Particularly tonight, went out with military friends.  Lots of rumors of even winding down Afghanistan right now and "managing" most of our terrorist threat out of Africom using drones.  My husband had thought he would do one more Afghanistan tour but he came home tonight and said that he was beginning to wonder about that now.  The particular job he was going to do may not need someone in it much longer.


    Wouldn't think a single member of our (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 10:32:48 PM EST
    military would want to go to Afghanistan if the budget cuts will slash funds for that endeavor.  

    I don't think they would slash (none / 0) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Sep 24, 2011 at 04:26:27 AM EST
    anything in the specific area that he is going in.  If he goes to Afghanistan they are very protected there, sealed in.  If he were to go with a group in one of the more satellite areas now, maybe not so secure but who knows?  And it isn't likely that I would know what the conditions would be like in those areas.  I only know how secure he is in Afghanistan because he is on Bagram and I can read about the fact that Bagram has three perimeters on global security.  And you can look at it on google maps though who knows how up to date the image is.

    Irresponsible (none / 0) (#5)
    by koshembos on Sat Sep 24, 2011 at 01:28:54 AM EST
    This comment make awful accusations without any justification and sources. Relying on gossip and badmouthing public figures for behavior that is quite common to many militaries at war is irresponsible and despicable.

    By the way, neither Petraeus nor McChrystal did well in Afghanistan. The magic just evaporated or was always media created.


    It's not gossip and it is not bad mouthing (none / 0) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Sep 24, 2011 at 04:29:11 AM EST
    There are even a few books about what was going on on the book shelves now.  But you would have to care about knowing about it first.

    General Petraeus and even McChrystal did very very well in Afghanistan and what you know about the subject and having to do and be committed to the impossible might actually fit into a thimble.


    I will add this too (none / 0) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Sep 24, 2011 at 05:06:08 AM EST
    General Petraeus and McChrystal did everything you can imagine to avoid collateral damage.  Holbrooke thought their "methods" too time consuming, a few extra dead people didn't matter that much to him because he was getting stuff done. Most liberals HATE having to know and deal with the fact that the military cared more about killing innocent civilians in Afghanistan than Holbrooke did.  Sometimes the real truth and not just what you want to believe hurts.

    Yes it is gossiping based on what (none / 0) (#9)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Sep 24, 2011 at 07:52:08 AM EST
    you've picked up from husband, friends and books you've read. Some of it may be factual, some of it may not.

    It's your point of view.

    And let's call it what it is. Gossip.


    Books that were vetted by editors and (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Sep 24, 2011 at 01:34:42 PM EST
    publishers?  Really?

    Try to encourage Jim's ... (none / 0) (#12)
    by Yman on Sat Sep 24, 2011 at 02:08:41 PM EST
    ... sudden concern for "gossip" -  it's a sign of progress.

    I put the over/under for it's duration at @ 3 posts.

    (Never mind ... too late).


    You remind me of a man I knew (none / 0) (#14)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Sep 24, 2011 at 02:51:58 PM EST
    You could walk up to him on a pleasant day and say, "Nice day."
    He would immediately say:

    "Don't you see those clouds over there? Did you see the forecast of 25% chance of rain? Don't you feel the chill in the wind? Are you aware that it's 70 degrees? The average is 75 on this date!"

    In other words, he knew what had been said, and understood. But he wanted to put down the other person and demonstrate how informed he was about things that were not germane to the conversation.


    Recycling your own posts, Jim? (none / 0) (#16)
    by Yman on Sat Sep 24, 2011 at 03:38:23 PM EST
    It wasn't particularly witty the first time.

    Definitely not worthy of a cut-and-paste.


    And the gossip (none / 0) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Sep 24, 2011 at 01:40:21 PM EST
    that came my way about the initial fight between how Afghanistan was going to be conducted hit my ears long before it was revealed in Rolling Stone.

    Tracy, it is gossip (none / 0) (#13)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Sep 24, 2011 at 02:50:10 PM EST
    You know it, I know it and everyone else knows it.

    Now, it may be titillating. It may be even partially true.

    But that doesn't change what it is.


    Who was a better Commander in Afghanistan (none / 0) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Sep 24, 2011 at 03:28:09 PM EST
    Jim?  And why?

    I have a pretty good idea who and why from people who served under both in Afghanistan.  That isn't to say they both didn't preform well, but there is a noticeable difference.  Say what you like about my opinions, they don't come from some rightwing fighting keyboardist who is mad because Afghanistan isn't being conducted like Vietnam.


    Speak for yourself (none / 0) (#17)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Sep 24, 2011 at 06:54:27 PM EST
    I have never never said that we had the correct strategy in Vietnam.

    In fact, before you arrived I commented several times that we should have used every resource we had to end the Vietnam war as quickly as possible.

    It is highly stupid to bomb the same road crossing every other day or allow the enemy to have safe haven to rest and resupply.

    Like Vietnam??? Dear Tracy. Operations in Afghanistan are being conducted more and more like Vietnam.

    So quit thinking you invented unhappiness with whoever happens to be the leader(s) or have some mythical right to not be called out when you engage in gossip.


    All I have to say is Vietnam (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Sep 24, 2011 at 07:23:15 PM EST
    and Kaboom.  Vietnam Vietnam Vietnam.....sorry, I'm being somewhat rude but I can't help it under the existing circumstances.  The circumstances where my family has skin in this game and I need things to happen that address the dangers but will send my husband home a human being with a soul.  He has children, he has grandchildren, he needs to come home with a soul.  I don't need to find him in the bedroom with a gun in his mouth ever because they did things that men with souls can't live with or make them unable to ever look at their grandchildren and feel deserving of their love.

    I understand your focus (none / 0) (#19)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 08:27:20 AM EST
    but it is un-seemingly for you to make incorrect statements re Vietnam.

    Leave it alone and I don't think you will find anyone responding about it.

    Others also had and have skin in the game.


    And I know many of those people on a first (none / 0) (#21)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 08:23:15 AM EST
    name basis and share a current life and the current reality with them side by side.  My Conservative friend thinking about blogging, he has been reading the intertubes and he announced this Friday that he doesn't think he is a Conservative anymore.  He thinks under the existing definitions he is an Independent.  Retired out of the military, now an instructor in Military Intelligence....and he is NOT impressed with what he reads on Conservative blogs, the beliefs held and fought for where Afghanistan and Iraq are concerned.  You guys are peeling off the people who were once Conservatives and who are showing up to actually deal with what is going on.  Some of them think maybe some of you might actually be nuts :)

    "everyone else" (none / 0) (#25)
    by jondee on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 12:40:05 PM EST
    being him in his teabagging pet mouse.

    I Couldn't Disagree More (none / 0) (#23)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 11:53:05 AM EST
    I get it, you're tied into the military and I respect that.  It would be easier to buy what you are selling if you could explain away the 7 years.

    To me the story is the 7 years, 20 would get less press IMO, but that still doesn't make sense.  this would be a capital case in the US, sport hunting human beings.  

    And the judiciary is an entirely different segment of the military, and combining them only tells me it not this or that person, the whole beast is infected.

    Your normal posts are pretty fact based and logical, with links from time to time.  The post above isn't, it read like a tabloid.  

    The only orders I did/didn't follow were people I had daily contact with, convincing me these lunatics were loose because the brass didn't follow shinier brasses rules is a stretch I cannot buy.

    Not saying your are wrong, but give me something to chew on beyond, "My husband says..."  How many degrees from you to Holbrooke or Eikenberry, 5 ?  Any less and you are probably reveling something you shouldn't be.

    The books.  Come on, a book...  Unless they have some respected sources on record, it's suspect.  You know that.  


    Big Pharm should warn.. (none / 0) (#24)
    by jondee on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 12:37:26 PM EST
    "may induce homicidal thoughts", along with the standard "may induce suicidal thoughts"..

    Especially in a war zone..


    SITE VIOLATOR (none / 0) (#22)
    by jbindc on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 09:08:02 AM EST