Against the Pentagon’s Wishes, LA Times Runs Grisly Photos of U.S. Troops Posing with Afghan Corpses

An unidentified American soldier has provided 18 photographs to the Los Angeles Times showing U.S. Army paratroopers posing with the body parts of Afghan insurgents. After being shown the images by the newspaper, the Army launched a criminal investigation. The military also requested that the LA Times not publish the photos.

Ultimately, the paper decided to run two of the 18 photos. Editor Davan Maharaj explained:

After careful consideration, we decided that publishing a small but representative selection of the photos would fulfill our obligation to readers to report vigorously and impartially on all aspects of the American mission in Afghanistan, including the allegation that the images reflect a breakdown in unit discipline that was endangering U.S. troops.

The photos show soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division grinning and posing with bloodied body parts from Afghan insurgent bombers. Afghan police are also seen posing in the photos. The soldier who provided the photos under the condition of anonymity did so because he believed they pointed to “a breakdown in leadership and discipline” that “compromised the safety of the troops.”

Read the full LA Times story here.