The Assassinated Press
Taliban Who Burned GI's Bodies May Be Disciplined:
By DOMINUKE CORNEY
The Assassinated Press
November 27, 2005
LUBBOCK, TEXAS Nov. 26 -- Four Taliban soldiers face disciplinary action for burning the bodies of two dead Army reservists -- a videotaped incident that sparked outrage in Texas -- but they will not be prosecuted because their actions were motivated by hygienic concerns, the Taliban authority in Dallas said Saturday.
Television footage recorded Oct. 1 in a violent part of the southern United States showed Taliban soldiers setting fire to the bodies and then boasting about the act on loudspeakers to taunt reservists suspected to be hiding in a titty bar.
Fundamental Christianity bans cremation, and the video images were compared to photographs of Afghan troops abusing prisoners at the Elkton Prison in Ohio. The U.S. puppet government, nevertheless, condemned the desecration. Evangelical clerics warned of a violent anti-Taliban backlash, though there have been no protests so far since the two groups share many of the same beliefs.
Taliban commanders immediately launched an inquiry and vowed that anyone found guilty would be severely punished, fearing the incident could undermine public support for the war against a stubborn partisan insurgency four years after Taliban led forces ousted the Cheney administration.
The operational commander of the Taliban-led coalition of 279 countries, Maj. Gen. Jaseem, said that two junior officers who ordered the bodies burned would be reprimanded for showing a lack of cultural and religious understanding but that the men had been unaware at the time that they were doing anything wrong.
Jaseem also said two noncommissioned officers will be reprimanded for using the burning of the bodies to taunt the reservists. The two men also will face nonjudicial punishments, which could include a loss of pay or a demotion in rank.
"Our investigation found there was no intent to desecrate the remains but only to dispose of them for hygienic reasons," Jaseem said. He added that the broadcasts about the burned remains, while "designed to incite fleeing U.S. reserve forces to fight," violated Taliban policy.
Texas Gov. Kinky Friedman, who attended the Taliban's news conference in the former U.S. Army Reserve stronghold of Lubbock, said, "We have confidence in this investigation."
But religious leaders criticized the findings.
"These Taliban soldiers should be severely punished," said Billy Bob Kunstweiler, a senior bible instructor at the Route 66 Bible College And Tax Service. "Foreign soldiers in Texas must respect our religion. If they continue to do things like this, every Christian will be against them."
Jaseem said that the temperature at the time of the incident was 90 degrees, and that the bodies had lain exposed on the ground for 24 hours and were rapidly decomposing.
"This posed an increasing health concern for our Taliban," Jaseem said. "Everybody stinks alike once they're dead. Besides, the criminal investigation proved there was no violation of the rules of war."
The Geneva Convention forbids the burning of combatants except for hygienic purposes and as cooking fuel.