The latest edition of the Rolling Stone is out with an article on the activities of members of the 5th Stryker Brigade in Afghanistan. The article, entitled “The Kill Team,” includes photos and video footage from Afghanistan.

There are a number of disturbing aspects to the events related in the story, including claims that some of the brigade’s officers and NCOs were aware that the team was killing civilians with little or no justification, but did nothing to rein them in.  One passage describes how members of the team, including SPC Jeremy Morlock, who recently pled guilty to three specifications of murder at a general court-martial for his actions as a member of the team, ambushed and shot an unarmed Afghan civilian and then told their officers that he had attacked them.  Even though their story seemed questionable to the senior officer on the scene, it was not challenged: and the officer, Captain Patrick Mitchell, “did not order his men to render aid to [the wounded civilian], whom he believed might still be alive, and possibly a threat. Instead, he ordered Staff Sgt. Kris Sprague to ‘make sure’ the boy was dead. Sprague raised his rifle and fired twice.”

8 Responses to “Rolling Stone article on 5th Stryker Brigade “Kill Team””

  1. bill almett says:

    LOL,,,”make sure” the guy is dead gets turned into “kill the dude”? I’d expect no less from Rolling Stone, but thought you, CM, could be a little more thoughtful. The CO’s soldier probably told him he thought the guy was dead, the CO said “make sure”….understandable that Rolling Stone would sensationalize this….unforgivable that a former legal officer would parrot it…

  2. Christopher Mathews says:

    Bill, the article doesn’t say the captain ordered the NCO to kill the wounded civilian. Whether that was his intent, however, or whether the NCO misinterpreted his order and decided to check the civilian’s vital signs with two rounds from his rifle, I agree that the whole story is pretty “sensational.”

  3. Some Army Guy says:

    The Rolling Stone is one of the last places I turn for credible war reporting.

    And I’m not going to buy five copies for my mother…

  4. Christopher Mathews says:

    SAG, I understand your concern about the Rolling Stone.

    Perhaps you’d prefer the Olympia, Washington Daily Olympian:

    Pfc. Andrew Holmes … one of five soldiers in his platoon facing murder charges, told investigators in June that Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs and Spc. Jeremy Morlock had talked about killing Afghan children by luring them to their vehicle with candy, or by tossing a grenade at someone and calling it a combat engagement.

    The article goes on to relate an incident in which an Afghani male was shot and SSGT
    Kris Sprague was asked to make sure the man was dead; according to the article, SSGT Sprague then fired two rounds from his rifle into the Afghan’s back.

    These reports may be wrong. They may even be “sensationalized.” But they certainly are, as I wrote above, disturbing.

  5. Mike No Man Navarre says:

    I have to say that this Rolling Stone piece was sensationalism for sensatiuonalism sake. This story has so much craziness and so many disturbing facts that if ytou just write it straight it is disturbing. The article is like a Marine prosecutor in a capital case bringing on highly questionable evidence of a flimsy gang affiliation of the accused when an entire MAG saw the accused shoot and kill his XO in his office and gravely wound his CO as he came to the XO\’s aid. Who would do that?

  6. John O'Connor says:

    Nice, Navarre. Any resemblance to actual events is purely unintentional.

    O’Connor’s Law — Don’t screw up a strong case on appeal by reaching to get in questionable evidence or by making questionable arguments to the members.

  7. Mike No Man Navarre says:

    I strongly agree with thta tenet of O\’Connor\’s Laws. And yes, mt comment does not depict any actual person or event. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, or events is purely coincidental.

  8. Cloudesley Shovell says:

    For what it’s worth, Michael Yon is raising the BS flag on the Rolling Stone article.

    http://www.michaelyon-online.com/calling-bullshit-on-rolling-stone.htm