The Obama adminstration doesn’t think dying is enough. If you survive the jihadis, the green-on-blue attacks, the mandatory Ramadan dinners, perhaps you’ll face Obama’s military tribunals. Here, US soldiers face disciplinary action for sending boxes of Qurans and other religious books to a base landfill for incineration after discovering that Afghan detainees were using the books to relay messages and share “extremist writing.”
WASHINGTON—The U.S. military is expected to discipline nine service members on Monday in connection with two incidents that sparked widespread outrage in Afghanistan, including the burning of copies of the Quran at one of the country’s largest military bases.
The punishment, which doesn’t include criminal charges or jail time, falls far short of Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s calls for a public trial, and it remains unclear how Afghan officials and the broader public will respond to decisions that could be viewed as relatively lenient.
In addition to the incident of the burning of copies of the Quran, service members will face discipline in connection with a video of four Marines urinating on dead militants.
A military investigation of the Quran burning found that six U.S. soldiers at Bagram Airfield were “derelict in their duties” when they sent boxes of Qurans and other religious books to a base landfill for incineration in late February, according to two U.S. military officials.
While the military concluded that there was no ill-intent on the part of the American soldiers, the investigation also determined that they didn’t follow proper procedure when they ordered the destruction of the prison library books, officials said.
“It was a series of mistakes,” one military official said on Sunday.
The investigation also found that a lack of trust between U.S. and Afghans at the base fed into the errors.
The incident sparked days of nationwide riots that left more than three-dozen people, including two U.S. soldiers, dead.
Afghan officials said the burning of the Qurans—Islam’s holiest book— showed the
Muslims view the Quran as the sacred word of God as relayed to the Prophet Muhammad, and burning the books en masse at a military incinerator was seen as an especially disrespectful affront.
President Barack Obama apologized for the incident and Mr. Karzai called for the American soldiers to be put on public trial in his country.
At the time, military officials said the books were sent for destruction after they determined that Afghan detainees were using them to relay messages and share extremist writing. Afghan leaders briefed on the initial investigation challenged that claim and said the books recovered from the landfill contained innocuous signatures from the detainees, not inflammatory notes.
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