US apologises over leaked photos

19 April 2012 10:55 am - 38     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta apologised for photographs revealed showing US soldiers posing with the bloodied remains of dead insurgents in Afghanistan.

He said war can lead young troops to "foolish decisions" and expressed concern the photos could incite fresh violence against Americans.

The White House called the two-year-old photos "reprehensible", joining Mr Panetta and other top military officials in expressing regret for the latest in a string of embarrassing missteps by the US military in a war that's built on earning the trust and confidence of ordinary Afghans.

In recent months, American troops have been caught up in controversies over burning Muslim holy books, urinating on Afghan corpses, an alleged massacre of 17 Afghan villagers and other misdeeds.
"This is war. I know that war is ugly and it's violent, and I know that young people sometimes caught up in the moment make some very foolish decisions," Mr Panetta said.

"I am not excusing that behaviour, but neither do I want these images to bring further injury to our people or to our relationship with the Afghan people.

"My apology is on behalf of the Department of Defence and the US government," Mr Panetta told a news conference in Brussels following a meeting of Nato allies at which the way ahead in Afghanistan was the central topic.

The photos were published in yesterday's Los Angeles Times.

One shows members of the 82nd Airborne Division posing in 2010 with Afghan police holding the severed legs of a suicide bomber.

The same platoon a few months later was sent to investigate the remains of three insurgents reported to have accidentally blown themselves up - and soldiers again posed and mugged for a photo with the remains, the newspaper said.

A photo from the second incident appears to show the hand of a dead insurgent resting on a US soldier's shoulder as the soldier smiles. Mr Panetta said he had urged the newspaper not to publish the photos, which it said it were given by a member of the 82nd Airborne.

"The reason for that is those kinds of photos are used by the enemy to incite violence, and lives have been lost by the publication of similar photos in the past," he said in Brussels.
His British counterpart, Philip Hammond, said he regretted the "besmirching of the good name" of all coalition troops who act properly.
There was no evidence of a violent Afghan backlash in the first hours following the photographs' publication.

In fact, there was no immediate comment from the Afghan government or President Hamid Karzai's office, and many officials said they were not aware of the pictures, which were taken in Zabul province.

The governor of the province, Ashraf Nasary, said he could not comment because he did not know about the incident or who was involved. (dailyrecord.co.uk)
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  Comments - 38

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  • Mahadenamutta Friday, 20 April 2012 07:00 AM

    Apologiseis is not a excuse for human right violation .

    TMA Thursday, 19 April 2012 01:20 PM

    They realised the fault & apologised didn't they?

    Iru Friday, 20 April 2012 02:31 AM

    A Big tsunami in USA near future.

    Leftistlankan Friday, 20 April 2012 07:17 AM

    meant it in a sarcastic way. It is funny to see sri lankans frothing at the mouth when somebody desecrates a body of a 'taliban' fighter. Do they even know what the taliban stand for? what have they been responsible for? When the taliban had NO PROBLEMS beheading Nicholas Berg and videotaping that gruesome execution why should the world apologize to these people.

    saman Friday, 20 April 2012 02:30 AM

    what shall we teach our school students about United Nations ?

    kaslana Thursday, 19 April 2012 01:40 PM

    At least for those narrow minded people shouting shame, disgraceful and shenanigans at the US should realize that they (USA) upholds independent journalism and moral justice. Unlike us, they (USA) do not advocate white-vans, abduction, murder of journalist and lack of accountability like we do over here. Plus the US does not broadcast to the world that they're a saint. They're very much humiliated by these atrocities and take remedial action unlike we Lankan's do.

    daytona Thursday, 19 April 2012 01:27 PM

    Yes, they have been taking corrective actions for the past few DECADES

    sajitha Thursday, 19 April 2012 02:13 PM

    can you tell me the effective Remadial action in the last 5 years ince the Abu-Gharbi pictures were published? how many times did the photoes of US soldiers humiliting prisoners and dead emereged? is that good enough for you?

    On what ground did US brought the resolution against sri lanka?

    What action did they take against the people in te pics?

    daytona Thursday, 19 April 2012 02:02 PM

    Go tell that to the million or so Red-Indian , Vietnamese and Hiroshima - Nagasaki victims. Shame on You!!

    raj Thursday, 19 April 2012 02:21 PM

    US have apologized hundreds of times, but still they repeat it.

    mike Thursday, 19 April 2012 02:21 PM

    Don’t talk bull. Of course they are caught red handed what more can they do? how many times did they apologies? Why they know no one can take action against them. what happened to da us general in charge of Afghanistan when he spoke against Obama?? Is that democracy? Sorry we are people of higher intellect than you!

    Padmal Kolongahapiti Thursday, 19 April 2012 03:39 PM

    Exactly. That's USA way. Talk about CA. That's why they have NATO. No Action Talk Only.

    Fayad Thursday, 19 April 2012 04:55 PM

    What is the corrective action after the person is killed.

    Amila.G Thursday, 19 April 2012 05:06 PM

    Apology is the name of the game with Americans and the Western World . UNHRC shame on you.

    KG Thursday, 19 April 2012 06:33 PM

    World is becoming a disgraceful & shocking place to live. horrendous is the word!

    Ratan Thursday, 19 April 2012 07:14 PM

    What is the US representative in Sri lanka has to say about this.

    Priyanka Thursday, 19 April 2012 07:41 PM

    need a UNHRC meeting and a resolution ASAP....

    jacoobc Thursday, 19 April 2012 08:39 PM

    Remember the ancient budda staatue and the things they did to it by taliban...

    Sinhala Baudda Thursday, 19 April 2012 09:21 PM

    Then they advise others to protect human rights. What a joke !

    neil fernando Thursday, 19 April 2012 09:11 PM

    my dear america where is your human rights for this? why you always pointing your finger for sri lanka and all over the world knows that you are the great human right violaters

    Wara Friday, 20 April 2012 05:40 AM

    Just say sorry !!

    Wara Friday, 20 April 2012 05:41 AM

    No just after you !!

    Wara Friday, 20 April 2012 05:42 AM

    What human rights ?? Had they take any action against the broad day light killers of Gadafi ?

    Adam Brown Thursday, 19 April 2012 11:10 AM

    A country that talks so much about human rights and dignity should be able to uphold them first. Disgraceful!

    patriotic Thursday, 19 April 2012 11:16 AM

    now who is going to submit a resolution to the UNHRC against "Grandpa Sam"

    Wara Thursday, 19 April 2012 11:31 AM

    Very simple theory. After doing all, just apologies. No Human right violations, no resolutions or what so ever. Why can't we too follow this even something happened ??

    DireStraits Friday, 20 April 2012 12:26 AM

    Just born ? welcome to the the wonderful world of anything goes!

    Fusion Thursday, 19 April 2012 11:44 AM

    The US is no angel. It is probably one of the biggest rights violators on earth. But, notice they did not compulsively, egoistically shout "FAKE" at these pictures, or call it a conspiracy by the Chinese & Russians. The GoSL can learn a thing or two here. Also, a simple apology can help control the damage to an extent. But unfortunately in Sri Lanka's case, its too late. Damage is already done.

    Obama/Hilary Thursday, 19 April 2012 12:00 PM

    Oops, it's a mistake. Sorry.
    Obama/Hilary

    Bobby Pereira Friday, 20 April 2012 12:46 AM

    The US apologises only if they are exposed. That too they do not mean.

    Wara Thursday, 19 April 2012 12:02 PM

    They know that no one will take any action even they admit that.

    SRK Thursday, 19 April 2012 12:22 PM

    I am sure the Taliban treat Buddhists and Hindus very well.

    Fayad Thursday, 19 April 2012 12:12 PM

    Human rights violators are very famous for giving apologies and pointing the finger at others to cover up the crime
    Shame & disgraceful

    Democrat Thursday, 19 April 2012 12:33 PM

    The fact is they admit and apologizes and at least shows that they are taking corrective action.

    Leela Thursday, 19 April 2012 12:19 PM

    Another open apology. It looks as if they are going to issue one every day.

    kumar Thursday, 19 April 2012 12:20 PM

    This is the difference between US and Sri Lanka.


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