U.S. Troops Pose With Body Parts of Dead Afghans

The LA Times has photos of U.S. troops in Afghanistan posing with body parts of dead Afghans.

The troops were with the 82nd Airborne Division. In one instance, their mission on the first such occasion was simply to :

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.

They did the same while investigating another suicide bombing a few months later. The photos were given to the Times by a soldier in the division. A criminal investigation has been launched:

It is a violation of Army standards to pose with corpses for photographs outside of officially sanctioned purposes," said George Wright, an Army spokesman. "Such actions fall short of what we expect of our uniformed service members in deployed areas."


Some soldiers in the division explained the photos as a product of the soldiers' frustration over lack of security at the base and having had friends killed in blasts.

The Times said it decided to publish them to because of the "allegation that the images reflect a breakdown in unit discipline that was endangering U.S. troops."

The leaders of the unit at the time were Col. Brian Drinkwine, then-commander of the 4th Brigade, and Lt. Col. David Oclander, then-commander of the 1st Battalion. They are not commenting.

There had been other complaints against Drinkwine at the time.


In January 2010, the commander of the brigade's 2nd Battalion and the battalion's top noncommissioned officer were relieved of duty and ordered home after slides with racial and sexist overtones were shown during daily PowerPoint briefings.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Seems Obvious... (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 12:17:09 PM EST
    ...that a decade at war is taking its toll on the minds of men fighting the war.

    I kinda get taking a picture with a dead guy, don't agree, but I can wrap my hear around it.  I can't do the same for body parts, that just makes me shiver at the thought.

    At some level I have to wonder if these kids are trying to end this anyway they can, certainly this is making the case for expulsion even stronger.

    It ain't John Wayne, Bruce Willis (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by jondee on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 01:14:34 PM EST
    and Sly Stallone..

    Whats the diff between a whole 'war trophy,' and a scalp, or a bunch of ears?

    War degrades everyone and everything.

    Once again. (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by lentinel on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 03:27:21 PM EST
    The photos were given to the Times by a soldier in the division.

    If things take their usual course, the one to be prosecuted and incarcerated will be the soldier who made the photos available to the media.