US soldiers charged with murdering civilians in Afghanistan war
Charges against the 12 soldiers also include drug use and conspiring to cover up the alleged Afghanistan war crimes.
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The Guardian headlines its article: "US soldiers 'killed Afghan civilians for sport and collected fingers as trophies.' "Skip to next paragraph
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BBC News reports that although the murders took place in January, February, and May of this year, the Army has yet to review the cases. Army spokeswoman Major Kathleen Turner told the BBC that the cases are still in a preliminary phase, and that military prosecutors have yet to decide whether to move forward with the cases.
"I'm not sure what to do about something that happened out here but I need to be secretive about this," [Winfield wrote his parents] in a Facebook message [on Jan. 15, the day of the first killing]. The couple gave the AP copies of the Facebook messages, Internet chats, and their phone records.
On Feb. 14, he told his parents what happened in a lengthy Internet chat: Members of his unit on patrol had killed "some innocent guy about my age just farming." He said he did not witness the killing.
Winfield has only been charged regarding the third murder. Eric Montalvo, Winfield's lawyer, told the AP that while Winfield was ordered to shoot the civilian after the civilian had been hit by a grenade thrown by another soldier, Winfield deliberately aimed high and missed.
The Seattle Times adds that Mr. Montalvo called the Army's failure to act on Christopher Winfield's warning "a complete and utter breakdown. The dad was frantic, and was trying to save his son. The Army just sat on this, and ignored it."
Army officials would not comment on the elder Mr. Winfield's claims, and Mr. Morrell said he had no information about them.