Army investigators say they now believe that the men seen in a video cheering as they watch a sheep being beaten to death with a baseball in Afghanistan are airmen, and they have handed the case over to Air Force authorities.
Air Force officials said they have not identified anyone involved with the sheep beating video, but said they will investigate the matter fully. Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Andy Roake said the actions in the video “are contrary to the high standards we expect of every airman, and run counter to the Air Force’s core values.”
“The actions seen in the internet video are contrary to the high standards we expect of every airman, and run counter to Air Force’s core values,” Roake wrote in an email. “Once the investigation is complete, and the facts have been determined, the Air Force will take appropriate action.”
For standing by as the sheep was bludgeoned to death, the troops in the video could be punished under Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, said Abraham Burgess, an attorney who specializes in military law.
“If I were advising the commander, I would argue that that by watching, not intervening or encouraging the acts in the video, they are bringing discredit or prejudicing the public against the armed forces,” Burgess said during a January 18 interview with Army Times. “You see in the video what is wrong and what hurts our reputation.”