Stryker soldiers discussed 'drop weapons' in Afghan civilian killings

Tacoma News TribuneJuly 21, 2011 

Stryker brigade soldiers were open to talk of using “drop weapons” to murder Afghan civilians last year because it fit into other discussions about whether they’d need to plant evidence on legitimate killings to justify battlefield decisions, a private who’s pleaded guilty to murdering noncombatants testified today.

“It wasn’t so far-fetched,” Pvt. Jeremy Morlock said in court at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. “The idea of drop weapons had always been around. It was a different spin that these weren’t drop weapons to cover your (expletive). These were drop weapons to kill someone.”

Morlock’s on the witness stand today testifying at a pretrial hearing for Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs, the Lewis-McChord soldier who allegedly first raised the idea of murdering Afghans in combat-like scenarios during his deployment with the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.

Gibbs of Billings, Mont., is accused of murdering three Afghans, keeping body parts as war souvenirs and assaulting the private who blew the whistle on misconduct in their platoon. He maintains he’s innocent, and contends the killings took place in legitimate combat.

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