The video: Several American soldiers have confessed on video to killing Afghan civilians for sport, and taking body parts for souvenirs — but they blame the alleged crimes on their sergeant, Calvin Gibbs. In a video obtained by ABC News, Corporal Jeremy N. Morlock, 22, one of five soldiers currently facing murder charges, admits his role in the deaths of three unarmed Afghans early this year. Morlock describes one of the killings, in which he and his fellow brigade members identified a captive as a civilian, and alleges that Sgt. Gibbs remarked, "You guys wanna wax this guy or what?"
The reaction: "And you thought Koran burning was a problem," says Michael Crowley at Time. The U.S. counterinsurgency campaign in Afghanistan depends on winning the cooperation of the local population. When word gets out over there about these shocking murders, it will be "an absolute disaster for the U.S. effort." Some ghoul reportedly recorded the "team's kills" with photographs, says Spencer Ackerman at Wired, and the Army is determined to keep them from being made public. So far, this case has yet to spark the "outrage" that a Florida church's aborted plan to burn Korans did two weeks ago. But that could change, fast, if the Afghan people see the "gruesome evidence" of these crimes. Watch the clip:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Obama just kneecapped Jeb Bush and Chris Christie's 2016 prospects
- How science is accelerating our search for alien life
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1: 10 major differences between the book and the movie
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- It's official: The religious right is calling it quits
- 6 tiny scientific mistakes that created huge disasters
- Inside Turkey's shadow war with ISIS
- 10 classic Sesame Street moments we wouldn't show today's kids
- 10 things you need to know today: November 22, 2014
Subscribe to the Week