Daily Archives: March 28, 2011

‘Death Squad’: Full horror emerges of how rogue U.S. brigade murdered and mutilated innocent Afghan civilians – and kept their body parts as trophies

Horror: A released video shows an incident in which two Afghans on a motorcycle are gunned down

  • Rolling Stone reveals how U.S. troops murdered Afghan civilians
  • Soldiers cut off 15-year-old boy’s finger and kept it as trophy
  • Video captures U.S. troops cheering as airstrike kills two Afghan civilians
  • New pictures show dead Afghan man’s head on a stick
  • Soldier stabbed the body of a dead Afghan civilian
  • Military tried to pull pictures out of circulation to avoid another Abu Ghraib

Daily Mail | Mar 29, 2011

By Daniel Bates and Mark Duell

The Pentagon tonight apologised after shocking new details emerged of how American soldiers formed a ‘death squad’ to randomly murder Afghan civilians and mutilate their corpses.

An investigation by Rolling Stone magazine details how senior officers failed to stop troops killing Afghans and keeping their body parts as trophies.

In one horrific episode, the magazine claims troops threw a grenade at an innocent Afghan boy before chopped off his finger and later using it as ‘gambling chip’ in a game of cards.

The disturbing detail included in the dossier accuses American troops of a new level of depravity and is likely to be a public relations disaster for the military.

The U.S. Army says the photos of American soldiers posing with dead Afghans are ‘in striking contrast’ to its standards and values – apologising for any distress caused by the images.

The investigation by Rolling Stone also revealed how:

* Troops shot dead civilians and tried to cover their tracks;
* U.S. soldiers hacked off part of a dead man’s skull;
* Soldiers cheered as they filmed a U.S. airstrike blowing up two Afghan civilians;
* A video showed two Afghans on a motorcycle being gunned down.

The magazine claims the men hacked off bits of skull from their victims and kept them as trophies of their kills.

The soldiers are also accused of opening fire on civilians for no reason and covering up their attacks by planting guns and magazine on their victims.

The magazine claims that amongst the accused ‘killing innocent Afghan civilians became less a reason for concern than a cause for celebration’.

Last week Army Specialist Jeremy Morlock, 23, admitted his part in the twisted scheme and was jailed for 24 years.

The remaining four soldiers who are due to be court-martialled are Sergeant Calvin Gibbs – who is accused of being the ringleader – Specialist Adam C. Winfield, Specialist Michael S. Wagnon II and Private first class Andrew H. Holmes.

They were all part of the 5th Stryker Combat Brigade, of the 2nd Infantry Division, who carried out at least four executions in Kandahar province between January and May last year.

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Peking University to screen students for ‘radical thoughts’

Peking University in Beijing Photo: ALAMY

China’s most prestigious seat of learning, Peking University in Beijing, is planning to screen students for ‘radical thoughts’ in a further sign that China’s authorities are becoming increasingly fearful of dissent.

Telegraph | Mar 28, 2011

By Peter Foster, Beijing

Students at the university – China’s equivalent of Oxford or Cambridge – reacted furiously to the news, saying the policy evoked memories of the Cultural Revolution (1966-76) when students and professors were persecuted for being politically unreliable.

University authorities said the screening for “radical thoughts”, which will begin in May, was just one element in a ten-point checklist to help students suffering from a range of problems including “psychological fragility, poverty and internet addiction”.

Cha Jing, deputy head of the university’s student affairs office, told Beijing Evening News that the university was anxious to meet “radical” students who exaggerated minor flaws on campus.

“Some would even criticise the school after canteen food prices rose 20 cents,” he explained.

However students and academics heaped scorn the plans, accusing the authorities of petty-mindedness and trying to curb the supposedly freethinking ethos on which the university was founded in 1898 as part of China’s attempt to modernise.

Yu Jianrong, of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and one of China’s leading social commentators, was openly scathing of the campaign.

“I don’t know how Peking University defines ‘radical minded’,” he wrote on his microblog, adding with heavy sarcasm, “May I request that the university [Communist] Party committee publicise the standards so that all colleges around the nation can learn from it.”

Zhang Ming, a politics professor at Beijing’s Renmin University, was even more direct.

“It is going too far for a respected university to openly control radical minds,” he told the South China Morning Post.

“Aren’t we going back to the days of the Cultural Revolution? This is hateful and terrible.”

Peking University has always been a centre of liberal thought in China, spawning the anti-imperialist May 4th movement of 1919 and the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 that still haunts the Chinese leadership.

Following a wave of grass-roots revolutions in the Middle East, China’s leaders have shown increasing signs of nervousness, suppressing any threat of a “Jasmine-style” revolution by pressuring lawyers, journalists and academic institutions to “maintain stability”.

In a speech to senior Party leaders last month, China’s president, Hu Jintao, called for a stepping up of “innovative social governance methods”, exhorting officials to seek to try and control online debates and shape “healthy opinions” among the public.

However of more than 2,000 online users who expressed their opinions on one of China’s popular web portals about “radical thoughts” screening at Peking University, the vast majority were indignant.

“How can Peking University, such a prestigious university, be so shameless?”, asked one, while another warned that such schemes would lead to the crushing of the innovation and freethinking that gave Peking University its reputation.

“This will kill freedom of thinking. It will be the darkest moment in Beida [Peking University] history and totally undermine the concept of education.”

‘Racist bisexual’ Gandhi ‘left his wife to live with a male lover’ claims new book

Lovers? Gandhi and Kallenbach sit alongside a female companion. A new book has controversially said that the pair had a two-year relationship between 1908 and 1910

Daily Mail | Mar 28, 2011

By Daniel Bates

Mahatma Gandhi was bisexual and left his wife to live with a German-Jewish bodybuilder, a controversial biography has claimed.

The leader of the Indian independence movement is said to have been deeply in love with Hermann Kallenbach.

He allegedly told him: ‘How completely you have taken possession of my body. This is slavery with a vengeance.’

Kallenbach was born in Germany but emigrated to South Africa where he became a wealthy architect.

Gandhi was working there and Kallenbach became one of his closest disciples. .

The pair lived together for two years in a house Kallenbach built in South Africa and pledged to give one another ‘more love, and yet more love . . . such love as they hope the world has not yet seen.’

The extraordinary claims were made in a new biography by author Joseph Lelyveld called ‘Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi And His Struggle With India’ which details the extent of his relationship with Kallenbach like never before.


Mahatma Gandhi ‘racist and bisexual’ claims new book

At the age of 13 Gandhi had been married to 14-year-old Kasturbai Makhanji, but after four children together they split in 1908 so he could be with Kallenbach, the book says.

At one point he wrote to the German: ‘Your portrait (the only one) stands on my mantelpiece in my bedroom. The mantelpiece is opposite to the bed.’

Although it is not clear why, Gandhi wrote that vaseline and cotton wool were a ‘constant reminder’ of Kallenbach.

He nicknamed himself ‘Upper House’ and his lover ‘Lower House’ and he vowed to make Kallenbach promise not to ‘look lustfully upon any woman’.

‘I cannot imagine a thing as ugly as the intercourse of men and women,’ he later told him.

They were separated in 1914 when Gandhi went back to India – Kallenbach was not allowed into India because of the First World War, after which they stayed in touch by letter.

As late as 1933 he wrote a letter telling of his unending desire and branding his ex-wife ‘the most venomous woman I have met’.

Lelyveld’s book goes beyond the myth to paint a very different picture of Gandhi’s private life and makes astonishing claims about his sexuality.

It details how even in his 70s he regularly slept with his 17-year-old great niece Manu and and other women but tried to not to become sexually excited.

He once told a woman: ‘Despite my best efforts, the organ remained aroused. It was an altogether strange and shameful experience.’

The biography also details one instance in which he forced Manu to walk through a part of the jungle where sexual assaults had in the past taken place just to fetch a pumice stone for him he liked to use to clean his feet.

She returned with tears in her eyes but Gandhi just ‘cackled’ and said: ‘If some ruffian had carried you off and you had met your death courageously, my heart would have danced with joy.’

The revelations about Gandhi are likely to be deeply contested by his millions of followers around the world for whom he is revered with almost God-like status.

Nobody from the Indian High Commission to Britain was available for comment.