On at least two occasions, paratroopers with the 82nd Airborne Division posed for pictures with body parts of fallen Afghan insurgents, the Los Angeles Times revealed today, after a soldier from the division sent the paper 18 resulting photos. In one, soldiers grin for the camera while holding aloft the corpse's severed legs; in another, they have a severed hand flip off the camera. In still another, someone placed a patch reading "Zombie Hunter" next to some remains.
The anonymous soldier who provided the photos said he did so to call attention to the poor leadership and discipline he saw in Afghanistan. The Army has launched a criminal investigation, and says it will "take appropriate action" against those in the photos, most of whom have been identified; the AP notes that top military officials have condemned the soldiers' actions. But a Pentagon spokesman also criticized the Times for releasing the two-year-old images, saying they might incite violence against the troops. The Times says it viewed printing a "small but representative selection" as its "obligation." Click to see the photos it chose to run.