Showing posts with label adam winfield. Show all posts
Showing posts with label adam winfield. Show all posts

Friday, November 11, 2011

A U.S. soldier sentenced to life imprisonment for killing Afghan civilians

Adam Winfield
Adam Winfield
The leader of a group of U.S. soldiers accused of having executed three Afghan civilians in 2010 was sentenced Thursday, November 10 to life imprisonment by a court martial of the State of Washington. Sergeant Calvin Gibbs, 26, was convicted of 15 counts, including three premeditated murders. The military jury deliberated for five hours. Sergeant Gibbs can apply for parole after serving ten years in prison, the court decided. His trial began October 28 on the military base at Lewis-McChord, south of Seattle. Five other soldiers were charged in this case, three of them pleaded guilty and were sentenced to terms ranging from three to twenty-four years in prison. A fifth is awaiting trial.

During these procedures, and since the opening of the first trial in March, the young man tried unsuccessfully to refute the accusation of his fellow unit, which described him as the leader of the group. It would partly designed and directed the execution of "scenarios" play, which sought to disguise killings of Afghan civilians in combat operations. The soldiers and detonated grenades and weapons deposited close to their victims, later reported to their superiors of insurgent attacks. "TROPHIES" "to believe a legitimate intervention was part of the plan," said Attorney had in his indictment Wednesday. But these stories are "highly unlikely" he continued.

Gibbs was convicted of inciting two men to kill an agricultural worker of 15 years named Gul Mudin in a field. The sergeant gave a grenade at one of the soldiers under his command, Jeremy Morlock, who threw the boy. Then a second soldier, Andrew Holmes, shot him. Gibbs was also found to have shot dead a man asleep at the roadside, Marach Agha, and filing of a Kalashnikov rifle near his body. The third murder was that of a cleric, Mullah Adahdad, again performed with grenades and shot.

Some soldiers were photographed posing next to the corpses. They have taken parts, described as "trophies" by the prosecution. Sergeant Gibbs has admitted that he cut the fingers of his victims, pulled teeth and have subsequently used to intimidate another soldier. He acknowledged during the trial to be ashamed of these actions: "I was trying to be hard, real hard," he said during the hearing, while continuing to assert that the victims represented a real threat to its unit.


Montana Son of Mormon, poorly educated, Sergeant Gibbs joined his unit in the fall of 2009, several months after deployment of the brigade. He had served previously in Iraq. A tall (1.91 m), jaw powerful: it was described by his comrades as charismatic, experienced and with some intelligence tactics.

The New York Times, several soldiers from his company described the boredom dominant deployment, from the summer of 2009, a forward base in the east of Kandahar, the former capital of the Taliban in the Pashtun south. They also spoke of a lack of closeness and trust with Afghan villagers, fear of improvised explosive devices placed on the roadside, which exploded during their two regular daily patrols, and the expectation of direct combat that not come. "All other units had these super stories of fighting, said one of them on condition of anonymity. And we, we are here, it does nothing. We had to sit and wait to explode."

The first murder was linked in January 2010, the second in February, the last in May. One of the soldiers of the unit, Adam Winfield, who pleaded guilty, had complained to her parents on Facebook, not being able to pop the case. In one of these exchanges, he spoke of the death of young farm worker: "A guy innocent. They prepared it and they did. I knew. I thought they would not do it. And then it ' has arrived. Almost the entire unit knows, and it is OK for most. Except for me. I want to do something. The only problem is that I can not tell anyone. The type who did this is the 'golden boy' of the company, who can never do anything wrong, and that's my word against theirs, "he wrote. Sergeant Gibbs is the highest ranking officer to have been prosecuted in this case. Command of the brigade was withdrawn to Colonel Harry D. Tunnell IV, in the summer of 2010, after the start of the investigation.

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