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Panetta condemns photos of U.S. soldiers posing with dead Afghan insurgents

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 - 02:21

April 18 - U.S. Defense Secretary Panetta condemned photos of U.S. soldiers posing with dead Afghan insurgents published in the Los Angeles Times. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, speaking at a NATO new conference in Brussels, condemned photographs that appeared in the Los Angeles Times of U.S. soldiers posing with the maimed bodies of dead Afghan insurgents. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY LEON PANETTA SAYING: "With regards to the photos, I strongly condemned what you see in those photos as has General Allen. That behavior that was depicted in those photos absolutely violates both our regulations and more importantly our core values. This is not who we are and it is certainly not who we represent when it comes to the great majority of men and women in uniform who are serving there. I expect that the matter will be fully investigated, that the investigation has already begun. This is a matter that I believe goes back to 2010 , but it needs to be fully investigated, and that investigation, as I understand, is already underway." The publication of the photos dealt another blow to already tense relations between the U.S. and Afghanistan. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY LEON PANETTA SAYING: "This is war, and I know war is ugly, and is violent. And I know that young people sometimes caught up in the moment make some very foolish decisions. I am not excusing that, I am not excusing there behavior. But neither do I want those images to bring further injury to our people or to our relationship with the Afghan people. We had urged the LA times not to run those photos, and the reason for that is those kind of photos are used by the enemy to incite violence, and lives have been lost as a result of the publication of similar photos in the past and we regret that they were published." NATO wants to pull out combat forces from Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and hand the security issue over to Afghan security forces. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters.

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Panetta condemns photos of U.S. soldiers posing with dead Afghan insurgents

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 - 02:21