Rogue Soldiers Had Little Supervision in Afghanistan

Superiors ignored warning signs
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 16, 2010 9:25 AM CDT
Rogue Soldiers Had Little Supervision in Afghanistan
Emma and Christopher Winfield hold a photograph of their son, 22-year-old U.S. Army Spc. Adam Winfield.   (AP Photo/Erik Kellar)

As the legal case proceeds against US soldiers accused of murdering Afghan civilians for kicks, it's beginning to become clear they had little supervision at their remote outpost, the New York Times reports. Interviews and legal documents paint a picture of rampant drug use in the 30-man platoon, and of commanding officers who largely left them on their own and ignored early warning signs like the routine killing of dogs and unauthorized discharge of a weapon.

“I just don’t understand how this went so far,” the father of Adam Winfield, one of five platoon members accused of murder, tells the Times. "I’ve been in management for 20 years; you know what your people are doing.” Investigators only began asking questions four months after the first of three alleged murders. So far, no commanding officers have been charged or disciplined. That could change: One of the accused soldiers accuses a lieutenant of helping cover up the shooting death of yet another civilian. (More Afghanistan war stories.)

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