With Rolling Stone magazine breaking a story today about alleged war crimes perpetrated by an ODA in 3rd Special Forces Group we now enter yet another SOF media frenzy, one that resembles a shark tank with everyone looking to get their pound of flesh.
The allegation is that an Afghan interpreter named Zakrya Kandahari working with an ODA in Wardak Province had been executing detainees captured by US forces. We’re told that 10 total bodies were then buried near the Forward Operating Base that the ODA worked on. Whether any of these allegations are true is unknown. If true, whether the ODA knew what the interpreter was doing is also unknown.
War crimes are a serious issue, but also an insidious one. They carry the same type of baggage that crimes like rape or pedophilia typically come with. Victims and witnesses may not come forward. People in general don’t want to hear this stuff. Also, just the allegation of such crimes is enough to create a dangerous situation. We should not speculate on what did or did not happen but rather let due process take it’s course. We are told that a CID investigation is underway at Ft. Bragg.
The allegations are grave, but our soldiers are innocent until proven guilty. If they are convicted, then let the punishment fit the crime however, it is not our job to convict them in the court of public opinion.
Whatever the truth, we should proceed with eyes wide open. Allow the justice system to do it’s job, and let the chips fall where they may without letting rumors and speculation paint a narrative over the truth.