Why Do People Take Snapshots of Themselves Holding Decapitated Heads?

Last year, the Army undertook a war crimes probe, with, as evidence, some 4000 photos and videos from Afghanistan. Which sound in some cases really bad, and in some cases, in extremely poor taste: posing next to dead bodies alone seems like a gross way to pass the time. Apparently people really get into this: “Soldiers have told investigators that such photos of dead bodies were passed around like trading cards on thumb drives and other digital storage devices.” 12 soldiers in all have been charged, most of them for lesser crimes; five were charged regarding “premeditated murder.” Now Der Spiegel has just published three of the photographs, but apparently has access to a large number of them. And now, what will happen? “Commanders in Afghanistan are bracing themselves for possible riots and public fury triggered by the publication of ‘trophy’ photographs of US soldiers posing with the dead bodies of defenceless Afghan civilians they killed.” The first court martial will result in a guilty plea to murder—and evidence against the others involved.