Posts tagged ‘United States Army’

March 22, 2011

US says ‘We’re sorry’ to Afgans for civilian deaths

BBC News: Over 4000 media items including photos and videos were obtained by the German newspaper, Der Spiegel, which show soldiers in the US Army in graphic and ‘repugnant’ actions upon Afghan civilians. The US military has since apologized and says that the actions were those of a ‘rogue’ unit in 2010 and investigations are under way.

The photos were recently published by Germany‘s Der Spiegel magazine and are said to be some of the many that were taken by US Army investigators. They depict US soldiers grinning over the bodies of Afghan civilians they appear to have killed.  Other photos show soldiers kneeling over a body and holding the face of the dead man to the camera by using his hair and turning his head.

In 2010,  around 3000 civilians were killed in the conflict. The UN says that the Taliban were responsible for around 75% of the deaths and coalition forces the remaining 30%.

[Middle East Contributor]

March 11, 2011

Bradley Manning strikes back

Guardian UK reports that David Coombs, the lawyer of Bradley Manning the US Wikileaks detainee, has released a letter from Mr. Manning in which the 23 year old complains of how he has been “left to languish under the unduly harsh conditions of max [security] custody” after he was transported from Kuwait to be interned in the Quantico marine base prison in Virgina last July.

He says that since January he has been on ‘suicide watch’ which means that he is stripped naked every night and has been subject to frequent strippings and ‘unlawful pre-trial punishment’. He believes that his treatment, which has included taunting and and other forms of verbal harrassment from the prison staff is because he is being punished for the support he is getting from those who feel that he is being victimised.

Since details of his treatment have been made public, it is reported that Amnesty International and the UN are looking to begin an enquiry to determine whether he is in fact being tortured.

Mr. Manning is under charges of ‘aiding the enemy’ among others for his whistleblowing revelations to Wikileaks when he was a serving soldier, which showed up widespread abuse of Afgans civilians and apparently unlawful killings of them and others (including journalists) by US troops in Afganistan.  His charges mean that he may receive the death penalty in the end.
[Crime Contributor]