● An Army Specialist has been “charged with the murders of three Afghan civilians,” reports the AP via USAToday here. The Joint Base Lewis-McChord (which admittedly I did not know existed) PAO issued thispress release. The soldier, Spc. Jeremy Morlock, is charged with three specs of premeditated murder and one spec of assault. There are no further details on the charges, but the AP reports that an Army spokesperson confirmed
[T]he charges against Morlock involve three separate events alleged to have happened between January and May at or near Forward Operating Base Ramrod in Afghanistan. She said she had no further details on the victims or circumstances.
[She stated that] other soldiers were being investigated but she could only discuss Morlock since he is the only one to have returned to the Washington state base. . . .
About 10 members of an Army unit based at Fort Lewis have been under investigation for as many as three civilian deaths in Afghanistan, along withother potential wrongdoing, a senior military official said last month.
The official did not have details of the investigation but confirmed that the 5th Stryker Brigade was under scrutiny.
Here are links to 2 earlier reports on the investigation, Seattle Times and Tacoma New Tribune. The stories offer these add’l details, “[t]he accusations focus on up to nine soldiers from the [5/2] Stryker Brigade . . . at Forward Operating Base Ramrod, a remote outpost west of Kandahar city;” and “[t]he soldiers initially were under investigation for drug charges . . . but that led to allegations that the unit had taken part in killing three Afghan civilians in a series of confrontations over several months . . .”
● Without add’l comment I give you TPM’s primer on the LTC Lakin Art. 32 hearing, here, or is it a preliminary hearing in his court-martial (I couldn’t resist)? The summary is actually pretty good, thanks in no small part I am sure to Michelle Lindo-McCluer’s professorial insights. Phil Cave from CMTP is also quoted.
● And, lastly, on the you think our justice system has problems front, I give you this which just shocked me when I read it, “[On Monday] in Sangin District [of Afghanistan], Taliban insurgents accused a 7-year-old boy of acting as an informant for the government and summarily executed him, the governor’s spokesman, Mr. Ahmadi, said. But the Taliban spokesman denied that the group was responsible for the killing. It was unclear if the execution was related to the military activities in the district on Wednesday.”