On the U.S. Army 5th Stryker Brigade ‘Kill Team’ (UPDATED)

Oh joy.  The leftwing rag masquerading as a “rock-n-roll magazine”, squirts out another inflammatory piece on U.S. troops.

Rolling Stone Magazine has published graphic images and unseen videos taken by so called “kill teams” in Afghanistan, or what the Army describes as rouge elements of the 5th Stryker Brigade. In one previously unseen video, Soldiers are shown gunning down two Afghan men as they ride on their motorcycle along an isolated dirt road. An Army spokesman says the video is not new to investigators — instead it’s one of nearly 4000 files the Army collected while looking into these killings. Army investigators only deemed 130 of the files were deemed questionable by investigators.

“The photos published by Rolling Stone are disturbing and in striking contrast to the standards and values of the United States Army,” the Pentagon said in a statement. “Like those published by Der Spiegel, the Army apologizes for the distress these latest photos cause.”As for the motorcycle video, it’s not connected to any of the current criminal charges. “We don’t know if a crime was committed,” Army Spokesman Col. Tom Collins told FOX News. In watching the video, taken on a helmet cam, it’s unclear whether the Afghan men are armed.

The Rolling Stone article pushes the notion that knowledge of the civilian killings spread well beyond the men from the small unit who allegedly pulled the trigger, and that rather than conducting a secretive mission, these men were operating out in the open. Within days of the first killings, the incidents were “on the radar of Army senior leadership,” the Rolling Stone article says.

So far no Army officers have been charged in connection with these crimes, but, the investigation is still ongoing. “I’m not going to speculate where this investigation might go,” Collins said. “It’s not necessarily static to these 12 individuals.”

So far 12 Soldiers have been charged. Last Wednesday Cpl. Jeremy Morlock was sentenced to 24 years in prison after he agreed to testify for the prosecution against Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs, the alleged mastermind. Rolling Stone describes him as someone who has been “widely portrayed as a sociopath of Mansonesque proportions.”

The Rolling Stone article also accuses the Army of censorship and massive cover-up in attempt to avoid and Abu Gharib-like scandal. The Army admits it was concerned about how the photos could be perceived- that they could be “inflammatory.” But, Collins said, “censor” is too strong a word. The photos were sealed as part of the investigation, which is standard operating procedure, Collins said.
http://politics.blogs.foxnews.com/2011/03/28/pentagon-reacts-alleged-afghanistan-kill-teams

The leftwingnuts didn’t seem to have many qualms over the bodies of contractors hung on a bridge by their muslim jihadist sidekicks.  Or the endless atrocities committed by the Al Qaeda and Taliban in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Jann Wenner isn’t known for publishing articles that make the enemy look bad.

Another thing: We killed oodles of “innocent civilians” in Italy, Germany, and the Japanese-held islands in WWII. Should that have prevented us from doing what was necessary to defeat the enemy? Hell no.
Sorry to burst their PC bubble, but people, including civilians, die in war. Our current enemy doesn’t wear identifiable uniforms. They blend in with the population and screech “war crimes!” when you kill them and some non-combatants because they just so happen to be in the same village.

Our Soldiers are saddled with fucked up ROE, while the enemy kills carte blanche. Somehow I just can’t muster up a whole lot of concern over this, especially given the double standards.

UPDATE: Michael Yon has a few thoughts:

The story—not really an “article”—covers Soldiers from 5/2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT) in Afghanistan. A handful of Soldiers were accused of murder. It does in fact appear that a tiny group of rogues committed premeditated murder. I was embedded with the 5/2 SBCT and was afforded incredible access to the brigade by the Commander, Colonel Harry Tunnell, and the brigade Command Sergeant Major, Robb Prosser. I know Robb from Iraq. Colonel Tunnell had been shot in Iraq.

The brigade gave me open access. I could go anywhere, anytime, so long as I could find a ride, which never was a problem beyond normal combat problems. If they had something to hide, it was limited and I didn’t find it. I was not with the Soldiers accused of murder and had no knowledge of this. It is important to note that the murder allegations were not discovered by media vigilance, but, for instance, by at least one Soldier in that tiny unit who was appalled by the behavior.

A brigade is a big place with thousands of Soldiers, and in Afghanistan they were spread thinly across several provinces because we decided to wage war with too few troops. Those Soldiers accused of being involved in (or who should have been knowledgeable of) the murders could fit into a minivan. You would need ten 747s for the rest of the Brigade who did their duty.

……The online edition of the Rolling Stone story contains a section with a video called “Motorcycle Kill,” which includes our Soldiers gunning down Taliban who were speeding on a motorcycle toward our guys. These Soldiers were also with 5/2 SBCT, far away from the “Kill Team” later accused of the murders. Rolling Stone commits a literary “crime” by deceptively entwining this normal combat video with the Kill Team story. The Taliban on the motorcycle were killed during an intense operation in the Arghandab near Kandahar City. People who have been to the Arghandab realize the extreme danger there. The Soviets got beaten horribly in the Arghandab, despite throwing everything including the Soviet kitchen sink into the battle that lasted over a month. Others fared little better. To my knowledge, 5/2 and supporting units were the first ever to take Arghandab, and these two dead Taliban were part of that process.

The killing of the armed Taliban on the motorcycle was legal and within the rules of engagement. Law and ROE are related but separate matters. In any case, the killing was well within both the law and ROE. The Taliban on the back of the motorcycle raised his rifle to fire at our Soldiers but the rifle did not fire. I talked at length with several of the Soldiers who were there and they gave me the video. There was nothing to hide.
More here:
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/03/30/bogus-report-rolling-stone-troops-afghanistan-crying-bullst/

Michael Yon is a former Soldier-turned-journalist who was attached to Army units and blogged dispatches from Iraq and Afghanistan. He reported the order of battle and successful campaigns ignored by the media: http://www.michaelyon-online.com/

Related post:
https://sfcmac.wordpress.com/2010/04/19/michael-yons-embed-with-army-stryker-bct-comes-to-an-end/

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by sfcmac on 01/04/2017 at 08:29

    Cris,

    If you actually read my comments in the post you will note that as a former Soldier and Iraq War vet, I am in full support with any measures and any methods it takes to kill the enemy, The article I referenced is from Rolling Stone, a notorious leftwingnut magazine with a reputation for smearing the U.S. military, regardless of the facts.

    SFC MAC

  2. Posted by Cris on 31/03/2017 at 12:28

    It only gets worse. 8 years later now liberal America is turning our flag upside down and scribbling in permanent marker how no matter how big our flag is we cant cover the blood of the innocent.

    This is a perfect example of look only for the bad and when you find it blow it up put it on a blimp, the news and a bullshit tv special early twenties college students and “progressive” bloggers will eat that shit up and turn a a 3 man incident that happened within in a few tiny miles on the othet side of the earth. Into an attack on the morals and ethics of their government and murder.

    Hate to break it to you but people die all the time here in america killec by Americans not soldiers.

    I wad part of this deployment same battalion. The accused was B co I was nearby in sister company C co. I wad deployed as a field medic. Write a story about the clinics we built antibiotics given to dying children and recourses and security provided to villages.

    We saved and improved more lives than harmed. But that’s a boring story.

  3. Posted by Alicia Poore on 27/05/2013 at 18:00

    Grow up Rolling Stone and bunk film maker Dan Krauss!
    This was a isolated incident!!! In no way can you generalize this. That is complete ignorance! I cant believe your arrogance Dan Krauss, when you are clueless to what it was that actually took place in Afghanistan!!! Trying to come across like you know WTF your talking about. HOW DARE YOU DISGRACE ALL THE BRAVE SOLDIERS THAT LOST THEIR LIVES IN 5-2ID (SBCT) to the local Afghan civilians! And not telling the whole story but picking pieces to shape your own lie for fame and a paycheck!
    You who have never been in a War Zone.
    You who are clueless and not brave enough or cut out to join and choose INFANTRY to help serve your country!
    War or war zones are NOT for the weak or stupid!
    The general population is unable to handle or grasp the reality of war and what military live on a daily basis!
    Dan you are CLUELESS and certainly no authority in predicting future military behavior!!! You interview two Privates that did not want to be deployed in the first place and never should have joined to began with. You reading this who may watch this documentary have never been in a war zone and are completely clueless!
    This one platoon may have seen less action than the rest of 5-2ID.
    That doesn’t mean 5-2ID didn’t see action. It’s the opposite we actually saw too much of it!!! And we lost over 45 Soldiers Brothers Friends Teammates who were Murdered by Afghan civilians!
    It seems “YOU” DID SERIOUSLY HAVE NO IDEA THAT LOCAL
    AFGHANS WERE THE ONES HAPPILY MURDERING US SOLDIERS FOR SPORT!!!
    To call the locals innocent when most were not is disgusting!
    I also would not call what happened in 5-2ID a war crime!
    That’s a oxymoron if there ever was one! I resent any dumb_ss who calls it that. HELLO, YEAH RIGHT HERE!
    “IT WAS A FU_KING WAR ZONE”!!!
    2009-2010 was one of the most violent years among local Afghan civilians attacking and KILLING NATO soldiers and bases!
    The act by one 5-2ID soldier may be considerd a little overboard to the clueless and emotionally detached to what our soldiers actually go through!
    BUT THAT IS NO EXCUSE TO IGNORE ALTOGETHER WHAT OUR BRAVE SOLDIERS EXPERIENCE AND WHAT THE LOCALS OR AFGHANISTAN CIVILIANS ACTUALLY DO!
    If anything it should make us wonder a little more about what soldiers are forced to put up with and the real story which is locals attacking US Troops at ANY “GIVEN” opportunity!
    Scenarios from Iraq and Afghanistan may be different but all have the commonality of Military being attacked and killed in gruesome ways by the locals (including kids, teens and adults) of the country we are trying to help!
    In 5-2ID Our soldiers, brothers, friends were being killed, MURDERED EVERYWHERE in horrible ways by these local afghani sh_theads!

    THERE ARE SO MANY DETAILS NOT BEING BROUGHT TO LIGHT ABOUT THE AFGHAN CIVILIANS!

    The pressure the stress the anger of them getting away with, killing 5-2ID Soldiers horrifically as well as every other NATO SOLDIER BROUGHT OVER, took its toll on some of these guys who actually CARED ABOUT THEIR FRIENDS AND BROTHERS BEING KILLED AROUND THEM.
    They had enough of the bullshit orders and US and NATO policy’s that WERE CARELESSLY AND CALLOUSLY ADVOCATING OUR SOLDIERS DEATHS!!!
    How can you win the hearts and minds
    (of lying, stupid, uneducated, unstable, untrustworthy corrupt afghanis and ANA that will shoot you in the back with no thought)
    of those who have neither?
    AGAIN HOW CAN YOU WIN THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF THOSE THAT DON’T POSSESS THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE?
    AT LEAST NOT FOR PEACE WITHIN THEIR OWN COUNTRY OR FOR US/NATO SOLDIERS TRYING TO HELP THEM BECOME A STRUCTURED PEACEFUL NATION! NO, THEY DONT WANT IT! THOUGH THEY DEFINITELY WANT AND HAVE A HEART AND MIND FOR RAPING LITTLE BOYS AND SHEEP, FOR NEEDLESSLY ABUSING WOMEN, YOUNG GIRLS AND KILLING EACH OTHER!
    THEIR HEARTS AND MINDS ARE INSTEAD TWO FACES WHICH THEY USE TO THEIR ADVANTAGE!!! One face they use to pretend they want our help when in fact its really enthusiasm for the free weapons, training and getting our average intel!
    The other face is turned against us using the knowledge we gave them to further corrupt their country and kill us.
    When the face was turned against us we could use NO, NONE to ONLY proportionate force (if fired upon). Soldiers couldn’t even take out suspect obvious IED placers etc nor could they detain the guys they recently got in a fire fight with if they saw him or them the next day and were not currently (that day) in a firefight!!!
    So many IEDs stay put to kill the next group of soldier that cross its path!
    Winfield in my opinion was a scared poor excuse for a private/Spc who DOSENT UNDERSTAND CHOICES AND WAR (he was never cut out to be in the military in the first place!!!)
    This film seems like it might cover young kids not emotionally stable for war which is good because that is a problem!
    Kids trying to join who shouldn’t, not realizing they are taking on a real life situation where you have to make life and death decisions to stay alive! THE REAL MAN SH_T, not the video game your mom bought you!
    Our soldiers never should have been convicted! Especially by sh_t head officers and blood thirsty media (who never experienced combat)!
    Who don’t understand what it is actually like to be a true soldier physically fighting for your brothers and your country!
    But instead are the ones making the policys that kill them!
    SO MANY OF OUR GUYS JUST FROM 5-2ID WERE KILLED, MURDERED BY LOCAL AFGHAN CIVILIANS! YET NO-ONE SEEMS TO GIVE A SH_T ABOUT THEM OR WANT TO TELL THEIR STORIES!!! WHY? THAT IS THE REAL QUESTION! THAT IS THE QUESTION THAT SHOULD BE THE INSPIRATION FOR THIS DOCUMENTARY!
    Not who is the piss poor wannabe named Winfield. And PVT Stoner a wannabe who was only in the military a few months before deployment he closed his eyes pissing his pants while crying for his mommy every step of the way!
    All of these Soldiers should be exonerated due to PTSD and OH YEAH as well as the fact “IT WAS A REAL LIVE WAR”!!! So many soldiers blood was spilt by afghani civilians when we were only trying to help them! These soldiers should not have been convicted they were stained with their brothers blood put there, FORCED THERE BY THE AFGHAN CIVILIANS THAT MURDERED THEM!!!

  4. Posted by sfcmac on 07/04/2011 at 13:33

    Don,
    People who trust Rolling Stone as a credible news source, are gullible, to say the least. It’s a leftwing rag that, like the New York Times, will never hesitate to sensationalize a few bad apples; and try to make it look widespread. Infammatory pieces are the standard for Jann Wenner and Bill Keller. The MSM took a sharp left turn in the 1960s and never looked back. READ: https://sfcmac.wordpress.com/2007/04/24/the-media-at-war/

    I’m a retired Army Sergeant First Class/Intelligence Analyst who did two tours in Iraq. I was in for a total of 30 years, and served all over the world. I can say in no uncertain terms that the Soldiers I served with were some of the finest people I’ve ever known.

    I’m sick of civilians mouthing the “rage, drugs, and ammo”, and “joining due to not being able to find a job” crap. It’s hackneyed and patently false. Quite frankly, I’ll never respect an assclown who spews those kinds of nihilist talking points, just so the Army tastes like shit in their mouths. Today’s Soldiers are vastly more educated and trained than the previous generations. Many of them already have some college when they enlist.

    “It’s not people’s religions that are making them turn against us….”.

    Then why in the fuck did Al Qaeda terrorists attack us on 9/11? We weren’t in Iraq or Afghanistan prior to that. These religious zealots want to make the world into a Caliphate, and you’ve got your panties in a wad because “they don’t like us”. You better hit your knees and pray to whatever god you worship that there are Soldiers—people far better than you—who are on the front lines making sure that doesn’t happen. Yeah, the world hates the big, bad, rich, imperialist America….except when they have a natural disaster or we have to pull their asses out of trouble when they’re threatened or attacked by some evil tyrant.

    Fanaticism is at the core of Islam. They’re simply doing what the Koran instructs. Matter of fact, they massacre people in the name of allah on a regular basis: http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/

    “Imagine your kid being gunned down in the middle of night by a lunatic with a gun, night vision, and a head full of opium with a leader encouraging the final shot….”

    Hey Don, imagine this: I’d have leveled 3/4ths of the Middle East on 12 September 2001. Islamic terrorists are funded, trained, bred, and supported throughout the region. I’d have made William Tecumseh Sherman look like a boy scout. That’s how you fight a jihad, but I’m a former Soldier, not a politician. I’m all for isolationism. We should stop giving aid and support to countries who jeer from the sidelines, and expect us to do the heavy lifting as a world cop. On the other hand, if you attack us, we annihilate you, your country, your supporters and your allies.
    Then we wouldn’t have to worry about Islamofascist lunatics or their apologists.

    SFC MAC

  5. Posted by Don Williams on 04/04/2011 at 14:31

    It’s not the fact that Rolling Stone is publishing news such as this. It’s not the fact that lefties are putting out “inflamatory” pieces on US troops. It’s the fact that our news media today is better than that of WWII or any other war for that matter, and, plain and simple, no one can keep their mouth shut. Everyone is watching and the government isn’t taking control of looking over what is going on as well as it should be. These soldiers are murdering innocent civilians for fun, and/or they’re too scared at what has happened before that they won’t take the time to hold fire. They’re full of rage, drugs, and ammo (not a good combo). This needs to stop if US troops are to be respected in other countries. It’s not people’s religions that are making them turn against us, it’s what they see us doing to their own people without an exuse that is worthy of the cause. We’re there to help, but the people helping can’t make the right choices, which is due to strike up another war all in itself against Americans. Our army is falling apart with the lower rankings. Soldiers have the training but don’t have the wits to see what is right or wrong anymore. Most are joining due to not being able to find a job, then some are being thrown out in the field without having the proper medical clearance. They’re being sent out to get killed with no one looking after their well being. We are AMERICA and Americans are wondering why people overseas don’t like us?…Imagine your kid being gunned down in the middle of night by a lunatic with a gun, night vision, and a head full of opium with a leader encouraging the final shot….

  6. Posted by butt neckid on 29/03/2011 at 12:02

    wellllll…I think the guys were just a lil’ out of line…

    but just think about this…

    how many times have you seen pictures of family or friends with a trophy deer/elk/bear/hog???

    isn’t that what ARMIES ’round the world do??? kill things and blow shit up???

    let the pansies in the pentagram make a new rule…NO CAMERAS in a war zone…

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