9-26-2011By C. Dixon Osburn
Director, Law & Security
Reuters is reporting that the Army has convicted a soldier for his role in killing an innocent 15-year-old Afghan citizen and posing with her corpse as if it were a trophy. This is the latest step in holding accountable those involved in the “kill teams” murders which Human Rights First commented on here and here as details of the killings came to light.
What remains elusive is whether any commanders will be held accountable for these crimes. The Pentagon has refused to publish an Inspector General’s investigation into the matter (see our letter calling for release of the report). This spring, Rolling Stone published a special report suggesting that the murder spree was well known, as soldiers posted photos of their “kills” and cut off fingers of their victims as trophies.
Accountability must include trials for those who engaged in wanton illegality, as well as those in the chain of command who knew about it and did nothing to stop it.