Jun 20, 2012 No Comments ›› Chuck Biscuits
Excerpted from USA Today: — A U.S. military investigation is recommending that as many as seven U.S. troops face administrative punishments, but not criminal charges, in the burning of Qurans at a U.S. base in Afghanistan in February, The Associated Press has learned.
U.S. military officials said the classified report and recommendations for disciplinary action against the service members involved were delivered to the Pentagon more than a week ago. They have been turned over to the Army and Navy secretaries. No final decisions have been made.
According to the officials, one Navy service member and as many as six Army soldiers could face nonjudicial disciplinary actions, which can range from a letter in their file to docking their pay or assigning them additional duties.
The lack of any criminal charges is in line with early assertions from military officials that the incident, while regrettable, was a mistake. But it is likely to anger Afghans who were enraged by the burning.
Thousands took to the streets across the country in deadly riots after it happened. More than 30 people were killed in the clashes, including two U.S. troops who were shot by an Afghan soldier and two U.S. military advisers who were gunned down at their desks at the Interior Ministry.
The Qurans and other Islamic books were taken from the Parwan Detention Facility, and officials believed that extremists being detained there were using the texts to exchange messages. The religious books and other materials were put in burn bags and then later thrown into a fire pit used to burn garbage at Bagram Air Field, a major U.S. base north of Kabul.