25.9.06

A Silence in the Afghan Mountains | The Few, The Proud...the sick, cowardly, lying, murdering bastards

A Silence in the Afghan Mountains - Los Angeles Times:

Its commander had nominated each of his men — as well as himself — for medals for valor. The team's performance was heralded as evidence that the Guard could play as equals with the regular Army in the war on terrorism.

But the team also had come home with secrets.

Apparently unknown to Army officials, two detainees had died in the team's custody in separate incidents during the unit's final month in eastern Afghanistan. Several other detainees allege that they were badly beaten or tortured while held at the base in Gardez.

One victim, an unarmed peasant, was shot to death while being held for questioning after a fierce firefight. The other, an 18-year-old Afghan army recruit, died after being interrogated at the firebase. Descriptions of his injuries were consistent with severe beatings and other abuse.

A member of the Special Forces team told The Times his unit held a meeting after the teen's death to coordinate their stories should an investigation arise.

'Everybody on the team had knowledge of it,' the soldier said, insisting on anonymity. 'You just don't talk about that stuff in the Special Forces community. What happens downrange stays downrange…. Nobody wants to get anybody in trouble. Just sit back, and hope it will go away.'

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