Set Up by the USA

When you live next to the biggest US army base in Korea, you eventually get to meet a lot of soldiers. Some of them have been to Iraq/Afghanistan, and others worked right alongside the CIA. So you often get drunk and share stories. Many I have forgotten, but others I wish I could forget.

I presume that it would be rather impossible to find out where exactly my friend – let's call him Corporal America – was, since he was on a need-to-know basis and never really went out of his way to know. So, Corporal America is special forces, which means he's part of JSOC. It's a well known fact that the CIA has been trying to bring JSOC under its absolute control for quite some time now. That basically means that Corporal America was something more of a CIA subcontractor than he was an enlisted US soldier. This is not relevant to the story, but maybe it will make the troops seem more honorable since the raid was an article 50 operation, and thus under CIA control.

Corporal America has told me the story three times, and each time it has been different. I brought up the subject once when he was sober, but he refused to talk about it. In fact, he insisted that I never bring it up again because, “it brought back some fucking bad demons.”

It took some insistence before he allowed me to even tell part of this story. However, he refused to relate the details of what happened that fateful day in Afghanistan. My story is but a reconstruction of his three drunk re-tellings and my own sober recollection. However, it must be written for it was that day that I lost what little faith I still had in the myth of American justice.

We were smoking Jamaican cigars on some roof in Haebangchon when Corporal America and I looked over at the trucks by gate three. The vehicles are painted in jungle camo, which we felt would be completely useless if used in Seoul. But the trucks are painted in a green that reminded me of the Korean war.

The Korean war memorial is at the opposite end of the trucks, just slightly out of view. I visited once and was particularly struck to find two dead Abreus chiseled into the indoor memorial wall. It struck me because in an earlier time, I could have been one of those dead Abreus. And perhaps one of those dead Abreus could have been Corporal America; just a man doing a difficult job that he maybe didn't really want to do and couldn't really quit. And for some reason looking at the trucks while Corporal America told me the story reminded me of those dead Abreus.

One day Corporal America was doing a raid on a house and he got to charge into a room first. In all versions of the story he panics because he saw a remote control near the bed where one of two unarmed, naked men on their knees had their hands in the air. He yells to the guys to stand still, and he says that they did but that maybe he thought he saw one them reaching for the remote, so he popped two in the chest and one in the head. The other Afghani remains motionless and completely quiet as he starts crying. Somehow what feels like minutes pass and he declares the room cleared, or someone else declares the room cleared. He doesn't remember moving, nor does he remember the other Afghani guy moving, but then he sees an officer standing between him and the naked, motionless Afghani. He still had his weapon up, and that's when he lowered it, when he saw his commanding officer.

He heard someone say “we fucked up, it's the wrong house!” but he was still in shock and couldn't really process the scene. The officer exchanged some words with the naked Afghani. Then he saw someone else pull a gun and bust the head of the motionless, naked man. He fell right next to his comrade.
Corporal America shouted: “What did he say!?”
The officer looked at him and told him: “Just look at it this way, two unrelated males in one house makes it easier for us to say they were terrorists.”

A suicide vest magically appeared in the house, and the killings were more than justified. Everyone got a pat on the back for taking out an Al-Qaeda safe house.