Despite being under a Pentagon-imposed gag order, Green Beret Sergeant 1st Class Charles Martland is revealing details about the September 2011 incident in Afghanistan that led to his involuntary separation from the U.S. Army.

Martland said the Army has encouraged U.S. troops to let local Afghan officials deal with instances of child rape, which has a long history within the culture, an allegation supported by other American soldiers.

“While I understand that a military lawyer can say that I was legally wrong, we felt a moral obligation to act,” Martland writes. “Kicking me out of the army is morally wrong and the entire country knows it.”

Sergeant 1st Class Martland, recipient of the Bronze Star for valorous actions during an ambush by the Taliban, prepared a written statement at the request of Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) about the night he and another soldier, Capt. Daniel Quinn, beat an Afghan Local Police (ALP) commander after learning about a horrifying attack on a young Afghan boy.

The boy and his mother told Martland and Quinn, through an interpreter, that Afghan Local Police commander Abdul Rahman had tied him to a post in his home and repeatedly raped him for two weeks. The boy’s mother had been beaten by Rahman’s brother when she attempted to intervene to rescue her son.


The soldiers were able to confirm the story with other Afghan Local Police commanders and requested a meeting to confront Rahman about the rapes.

Martland wrote that the “child rapist laughed it off and referenced that it was only a boy, Captain Quinn picked him up and threw him.” Martland described body slamming Rahman “multiple times” continuing to do so “for fifty meters until he was outside the camp. He was never knocked out, and he ran away from our camp.”

Martland said the entire incident lasted less than five minutes.

“Our ALP were committing atrocities and we were quickly losing the support of the local populace. The severity of the rapes and the lack of action by the Afghan Government caused many of the locals to view our ALP as worse than the Taliban,” Maitland says in his statement.

Rep. Hunter wrote to the Pentagon’s inspector general, “The Army contends that Martland and others should have looked the other way – a contention that I believe is nonsense.”

Department of Defense spokesman, Capt. Jeff Davis, responded by stating, “We have never had a policy in place that directs any military member, or any government personnel overseas to ignore human rights abuses.”

The U.S. policy of ignoring the sexual abuse of young boys by Afghans reflects an unwillingness to impose what officials see as cultural values, rather than a basic question of morality, upon allies in a country where the practice has a long tradition.

 

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