Gen. McChrystal: We’ve shot ‘an amazing number of people’ who were not threats

Justin Elliot reports:

In a stark assessment of shootings of locals by US troops at checkpoints in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal said in little-noticed comments last month that during his time as commander there, “We’ve shot an amazing number of people and killed a number and, to my knowledge, none has proven to have been a real threat to the force.”

The comments came during a virtual town hall with troops in Afghanistan after one asked McChrystal to comment on the “escalation of force” problem. The general responded that, in the nine months he had been in charge, none of the cases in which “we have engaged in an escalation of force incident and hurt someone has it turned out that the vehicle had a suicide bomb or weapons in it.”

In many cases, he added, families were in the vehicles that were fired on.

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9 thoughts on “Gen. McChrystal: We’ve shot ‘an amazing number of people’ who were not threats

  1. Steve

    well wtf do u expect? give kids weapons and slack guidance and send them on endless tours to where they don’t want to be and gee you guys kill innocent people – you’d be a moron if you didn’t expect this to occur. Can someone please read their history before writing incredulous rubbish like this!

    The USA is a murder machine pure and simple, if they don’t do it themselves they get someone else to do it and once either them are done they have convinced the relatives of those they have killed to kill back….

  2. Jose

    Dear Steve, history is no longer teach in the USA schools for many years now. The USA elite do not want the people to know what goes on.

  3. Banes

    In our glorification of things military — film in particular — the one great unacknowledged taboo is that it is to kill …..

    For example, the missing element at the West Point Military Academy museum is the display of the human result of the weapons that are on display. I suggest that the next display case, just beyond one of the weapons, should be the actual fleshy remains of the effect that, say, a fifty caliber machine gun has on a human torso or head encased within plexiglass.

  4. Norman Morley

    Steve, have you ever been a member of the U.S.Military? You write like someone who hasn’t the slightest idea of the training these members go through. You are correct in saying that sending the members on those endless tours that they don’t want to be. But you are wrong if you believe that they are just “kids” who are given weapons and slack guidance. As far as reading their history, did you? Haven’t you the understanding that since the beginning of the U.S.A. came into being, that the Military has always been used by the Business elite, to back up what ever their activities, any where in the World? This has been the way of the Military, to back commercial enterprises down through history of Human kind.

    As to the story being incredulous rubbish, you would be well served by understanding the mindset that prevails today in this country, both in & out of the Military. So, I pose a question to you, are you on the ground over there in the war zone? Have you ever been? Have you gone through “basic” training in any one of the Services? If you haven’t, then you should get your head out of you ass, either educate yourself beyond the rhetoric of the good old boys, or just plain shut the “F. .K” up.

  5. Norman Morley

    P.S. I’m a Proud Ex-Marine of this here U.S.A. What are your Bona Fedes? also, you should really be asking why in hell the top brass on down, in the officer corps are allowing the so called collateral damage taking place? It’s up to everyone who disagrees with the present coarse of events to speak out, not just sitting around acting critical of the ones who are. To only act as if your self important out spoken attitude gives you credibility, is either delusional or. . . . . . . . . . . . !

  6. Steve

    Well Norman we could bicker or do as you have done and taken the conservative way and attacked the man and not the question…

    Btw it course not coarse, unless you are being so and Bona Fides not Bona Fedes unless they’ve changed latin since I was young.

    My only claim to knowing anything is that I’m from a country who’s been dragged into every war the good ole USA has gotten itself into since WWII when you saved our butts. I think we’ve paid you back by now and would kindly request you stop your military adventurism so we can all come to some arrangement where no one gets collateralled.

  7. Norman Morley

    Steve, I stand corrected as to the “Latin” spelling along with coarse too. So, you are quick to point out the grammar, even alluding to being in some country that the U.S.A. “saved your butt, that you’ve paid the U.S.A. back by now, without mentioning which country that is. So, am I to take it that your over 70 perhaps even 80 years old? As to attacking the man & not the question, are you referring to yourself, the General, or the person that wrote the story? If you look at what you wrote, who did you attack in the first place? First impression appears you attacked the one who wrote it, yet it isn’t clear. Now, instead of clarifying your remarks, you appear to be attacking MOI. Sorry if you think I’m picking on you, but you seem to be taking the stance of having to defend your outburst that I have already addressed, by throwing in you present country. This isn’t bickering, it’s to the point that you have made & are adding another element to the debate, or hyperbole to back up your cause.

  8. Steve

    Its Australia, Norman and yes you saved our butts from the Japs (as they were known then) but we’ve been with you in every altercation from the Malaysian insurgency where we acted as your proxy through Korea, Vietnam both Gulf Wars and Afghanistan.

    Look I get your point those kids are trained but sadly the conclusion that they are trained is even more chilling – they’re being told by their middling officers to act this way.

    It’s like the US military’s attitude is shoot whoever you think you need to, if it gets out we’ll deny it, if it’s got legs after that we’ll find some poor smo to prosecute and hopefully that’ll quite things down.

    For every 1000 incidents that go without notice there’s one that someone has to be sacrifice for.

    Things have definitely changed, My Lai really upset people during the Vietnam war but with Iraq and Afghanistan there’s been hundreds of My Lai’s – but then perhaps things haven’t changed after all Calley got released after a very short while.

  9. Norman Morley

    Steve, I’ve had a few Australian friends from the past, who are just that, they reside in a different world now. I’ve always liked the country, considered it perhaps in ways most others don’t. Your folk lore is to be admired, also, as with most countries, you have your own military cover ups too.

    I like your use of “middling officers” as a term, and you are correct is stating so, though I have to say that not all officers are that way. It’s the higher up brass that do the covering up. It’s a mind set, that also encourages censorship, thereby limiting ammunition for the political opposition at home. Ever since Vietnam, this has been going on at a massive level.

    I have a relative who is a volunteer in the U.S.Army Airborne Special Forces, is a Grunt Sargent, has trained many new troops, has 4 tours in this stupid political adventure, but as I have said already, it’s the stress they work under, they don’t receive the proper R & R before rotating back into combat. As anyone who has served in combat knows, there’s also the fear factor, which might be seen as the “boogieman” of war.

    Concerning the unreported incidents vs the reported ones, it probably has legs. Perhaps one of the worst cases for the military brass, was the Cpl Tillman incident in Afghanistan, which has still not reached closure for the family. I’m sure you have similar types in your own armed forces. I’m also sure that the majority of men & women are professional.

    Even though these incidents may be the tip of the ice berg, they are being exposed, which is a good thing. It’s not like in Vietnam, where the free lance reporters were able to seemingly be in all places @ once. The military learnt it’s lessons, the hard way.

    Please except my apology if I offended you with my verbage, as it isn’t personal. I guess that I just believe that defending the men & women of the military forces is the right thing to do, especially since I’m an ex-member myself.

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