Rolling Stone has a special report on the U.S. Army's self-proclaimed "kill team"—whose members are currently on trial for murdering Afghan civilians—and with it, new photos from the cache that was partially leaked to Der Spiegel last week.
Warning: These are graphic photos.
In addition to the four photographs that leaked to German magazine Der Spiegel (and which we published last week), Rolling Stone has an additional 17, a mix of disturbing photographs of the so-called kill team's victims and more innocuous pictures of fellow soldiers and Afghan kids. (The magazine also has two videos from the same hard drive on their website.)
The photos, and the sick details that emerge from Mark Boal's well-reported story, are horrifying, particularly the possibility that some of the photographs are "evidence that the killings of civilians went beyond a few men in 3rd Platoon," and may have been undertaken by other platoons as well. According to Boal, the Pentagon went to extraordinary lengths to surpress the photos—possibly because of the fact that they implicated soldiers in other platoons—and, unsurprisingly, worries that they will create a scandal of Abu Ghraib-level proportions in Iraq.
This is the body of 15-year-old Gul Muddin, who was murdered by members of the "kill team." Previously published photos show Cpl. Jeremy Morlock and Pfc. Andrew Holmes holding up the body like a trophy.
The bodies of these two men, which show up in a least two photos, were reportedly not killed by the 3rd platoon "kill team." "Those were some innocent farmers that got killed," an anonymous source told Rolling Stone.
Cpl. Morlock, who pleaded guilty last week and will testify against other "kill team" members, posing with an Afghan child. "At one point," the Rolling Stone caption reads, "soldiers in 3rd Platoon talked about throwing candy out of a Stryker vehicle as they drove through a village and shooting the children who came running to pick up the sweets."