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Jeffersons Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-09-10 03:05 PM
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"Perhaps the most serious war-crimes case" begins
Hearing begins in Stryker 'kill team' case
By Craig Whitlock

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - A soldier who is charged with leading a conspiracy to randomly target and kill unarmed Afghan civilians made his first appearance in a military courtroom Tuesday, as prosecutors presented details of to emerge from the Afghan conflict.

Staff Sgt. Calvin R. Gibbs, 25, of Billings, Mont., is accused of leading a "kill team" of soldiers that murdered three unarmed Afghan men, hoarded body parts and photographed each other posing with their victims between January and May. Although the Army has not revealed a motive for the killings, other soldiers charged in the case have said they acted simply because they thought they could get away with it - and did so for several months without attracting scrutiny.

Four other soldiers from the 5th Stryker Combat Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division also face murder charges. Some of the defendants have described Gibbs as the ringleader, saying he planned the attacks, planted evidence to cover them up, carved fingers off corpses and intimidated other members of the unit to keep silent.

Gibbs's civilian attorney, Phillip Stackhouse, has said that the killings were combat-related and therefore justified. Gibbs's family members have declined to speak with reporters.
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