Facebook Messages From Soldier Warned About Killing Afghan Civilians

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Specialist Adam Winfield.Photo: NPR

The Army recently charged Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs with murdering three civilians in Afghanistan, including throwing a grenade at an Afghan civilian and then ordering soldiers to open fire, as well as threatening subordinates to lie to investigators about drug use in the platoon. But the father of one of Gibbs's soldiers, specialist Adam Winfield, is alleging that when he tried warn the Army about what was going on, no one followed up. Winfield's father, Chris, says Adam first sent him a troubling Facebook message shortly after Gibbs's first murder. His son called Gibbs "the golden child" of the platoon. "He said the golden child can do no wrong. He can commit murder."

As Adam struggled with how to respond, the Facebook messages got more desperate. His son wanted to speak up, but Gibbs was "watching my every move." Back when Chris tried to bring the Army's attention to his son's complaints, however, he was passed along the phone chain, then told that his son should report the incident once he got back home. That way, a sergeant told Chris, his son "can turn the guy in safely and not worry about any repercussions." The second and third alleged murders were committed after Chris's warnings. His son is among those charged in the third.

Father: Army Ignored Complaints Of Afghan Slayings [NPR]