After word leaked that one soldier had spoken to military police, several platoon members retaliated, records show. They confronted the informant and beat him severely – punching, kicking and choking the soldier, then dragging him across the ground. As a last warning, the documents state, Gibbs menacingly waved finger bones he had collected from Afghan corpses.

Soldiers from 3rd Platoon, Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment created a “Kill Team” to deliberately murder Afghan civilians, according to Army charging documents reported in the Washington Post. If the command environment in Kandahar doesn’t become the subject of this investigation, the injustice on display will compound. General McChrystal could not have been clearer about the imperative of population protection. Whatever one wants to say about how insufficiently that’s manifested, it could not be more opposite a commander’s intent from this horror. Where was the breakdown?