For several months the Pentagon twisted heaven and earth to conceal the story of the U.S. “Kill Team” in Afghanistan. The reason for the quarantine effort hardly needs explication as the events at issue raise very serious questions about the extreme inhumanity and lawlessness that exists within the ranks of the United States military, even at the highest echelons. But the nightmare proved impossible to contain. I won’t attempt to provide a full summary here, but we learn in a Rolling Stones Special Report by Mark Boal that members of the US military engaged in elaborate and premeditated schemes to murder Afghani civilians for pure sport, including a fifteen year old boy. The descriptions contained in this report bear an uncanny resemblance to the most gruesome scenes in the now-infamous movie “Hostel,” whose characters are found torturing and lynching human beings for personal theater.
Rolling Stone Magazine and Mark Boal should be praised for their remarkable courage and commitment to the highest standards of journalistic integrity. Boal, as many know, was screenwriter to the outstanding Oscar-winning film “Hurt Locker.” Along with Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, this will prove to be yet another unmitigated disaster for the US “peace” effort all throughout the Muslim world. No matter what flag one venerates, I personally find it impossible for any decent, principled human being to read this story, and view these photos, without feeling genuine moral outrage. However, it must be emphasized that the leaders of the Muslim world, particularly the religious class, have an Islamic obligation to ensure that Muslims not respond with lawlessness and violence of their own, which would not only constitute a moral abomination, but deplete any sympathy the Western world may otherwise feel for their plight.
No doubt, apologists for state violence are already preparing their rebuttals. Perhaps they will find refuge in the words of Noam Chomsky, here paraphrasing the late conservative senator Sam Ervin, a graduate Harvard Law:
“If the law is against you, concentrate on the facts. If the facts are against you, concentrate on the law. And if both the facts and the law are against you, denounce your opposing counsel.”