Journalism in the Public Interest


Read: Military Documents Accuse Five U.S. Soldiers of Slaying Afghan Civilians

In the first half of this year, members of a U.S. Army planned and executed the shootings of three Afghan civilians for sheer sport, according to Army charge documents.

The Washington Post and others have detailed the circumstances of the attacks, which five members of the 5th Stryker Combat Brigade are accused of orchestrating. Seven others have also been charged with crimes related to the case.

The charges involve three incidents, each of which occurred when a soldier threw a grenade in the vicinity of an Afghan civilian, creating a pretext for others to open fire as if they believed the civilian had thrown the grenade, according to the documents.

The Seattle Times had earlier posted these charge documents related to the case, and we’ve put them into our document viewer. In each case, the names of the soldiers’ accuser has been blacked out.

Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs, who other members of the unit identified as the ringleader, is accused of involvement in all three killings. So is Specialist Jeremy Morlock, who according to the Times had played a significant role in helping the Army build its case. Morlock's lawyer, the Times reported, is seeking to have client's statements withdrawn.

The accused soldiers have denied wrongdoing through attorneys and family members. Army officials declined to comment, citing an ongoing investigation.

Pre-trial hearings are scheduled for this fall at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, a military base in Washington state.


Sep. 21, 2010, 6:38 p.m.

For a very long time reports somewhat like these have surfaced, only to have been ignored by the press and media—but also; such reports have been made rather frequently by the media the wars, before this one. But, unless events prove to overwhelmingly spectacular while coupled with other widely spread coverage atrocities, so as to be undeniable—such coverage tends to remain ignored—My Lai is an example! WikiLeaks may have provided the impetus with these incidents.

Add a comment

Email me when someone responds to this article.