Monday, May 30 2016

Investigation into Qur’an burning recommends soldiers face disciplinary action

The news agency, Associated Press, has reported that an investigation by the US military into the Qur’an burning incident at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan in February has recommended that around seven troops face disciplinary action and not criminal charges.

From AP:

“A U.S. military investigation is recommending that as many as seven U.S. troops face administrative punishments, but not criminal charges, in the burning of Qurans at a U.S. base in Afghanistan in February, The Associated Press has learned.

“U.S. military officials said the classified report and recommendations for disciplinary action against the service members involved were delivered to the Pentagon more than a week ago. They have been turned over to the Army and Navy secretaries. No final decisions have been made.

“According to the officials, one Navy service member and as many as six Army soldiers could face nonjudicial disciplinary actions, which can range from a letter in their file to docking their pay or assigning them additional duties.

“The Qurans and other Islamic books were taken from the Parwan Detention Facility, and officials believed that extremists being detained there were using the texts to exchange messages. The religious books and other materials were put in burn bags and then later thrown into a fire pit used to burn garbage at Bagram Air Field, a major U.S. base north of Kabul.

“U.S. officials have said that the service members did not know what they were throwing into the burn pit and that the books were pulled out by Afghan workers before they were destroyed.

“President Barack Obama apologized to Afghan President Hamid Karzai for the incident.

“A preliminary joint investigation into the matter — done by senior U.S. and Afghan military officials — concluded in early March that while mistakes were made in the burnings, there was no intent to desecrate the Qurans or other religious materials.

“But it has taken until now for the military to deliver the report and recommended punishments to senior Pentagon leaders for final action.

“It could take weeks for the process to unfold and for any final decisions to be made. The military usually does not publicly disclose details of administrative punishments.”

Altogether, eleven US servicemen were sent back to the States immediately after the incident following protests in Afghanistan over their conduct. The incident marked a series of egregious blunders committed by the US military bringing its presence in Afghanistan into disrepute. Past controversies have included the disclosure of images of US soldiers posing with mangled Afghan corpses, video footage showing US soldiers urinating on Afghan corpses, and revelations last month that a course taught at a US military college taught reprehensible viewpoints on Islam, including that the religion is America’s enemy.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 September 2012 14:22

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