2009-12-09

"The Killer Elite" in Rolling Stone Magazine

An eerie series of articles about the war in Iraq. Apparently it has won several awards. Note the "advertisement" smack in the middle of it.
An hour later, the Marines have set up a camp off the edge of the airfield. They are told they will stay here for a day or longer. This morning, the sun shines and there's no dust in the air. For the first time in a week, many of the Marines take their boots and socks off. They unfurl camo nets for shade and lounge beside their Humvees. A couple of Recon Marines walk over to Trombley and tease him about shooting camels. "I think I got one of those Iraqis, too. I saw him go down." "Yeah, but you killed a camel, too, and wounded another one." The Marines seem to have touched a nerve. "I didn't mean to," Trombley says defensively. "They're innocent." [...] When he reaches them, he notices that the younger woman seems highly distraught, gesturing and moving her mouth, but no words come out. Her breasts are exposed, her robes having fallen open while she was dragging her bundle across the fields. As Bryan approaches, she frantically unrolls its contents, revealing what appears to be a youth's bloody corpse. The boy looks about fourteen. Then he opens his eyes. Bryan kneels down. There are four small holes, two on each side of his stomach. [...] The younger boy's name is Naif. His brother, still hobbling around on his bloody shot leg, is Latif. The boys had gone out to the family's herd of camels, which had been frightened by the Marine Humvees and started running. The boys were chasing after them when they were shot. One was carrying a stick. Advertisement Each of the four holes in Naif's body is an entry wound, meaning the four bullets zoomed around inside his slender stomach and chest cavity, ripping apart his organs. [...] Sgt. Larry Sean Patrick, a team leader and sniper in Colbert's platoon, has spotted an Iraqi several hundred meters away, parked in a white pickup. He seems to be an observer. The rules of evidence are somewhat looser in a combat zone than they are back home — which means that he earns himself a death sentence for the crime of appearing to be holding binoculars and a radio. Patrick fires one shot, watches for a few moments through his scope and says, "The man went down."
Part I Part II Part III Fucked up world.