Here we go again: The Army has launched a criminal investigation into actions of the 82nd Airborne Division after the Los Angeles Times showed officials copies of a series of 18 photos of soldiers posing with the mangled corpses of Afghans believed to be suicide bombers. The photos were taken in 2010 and came to light this week; the Times opted to publish two after tangling with the Pentagon, which tried -- no surprise here -- to prevent their publication.
"The reason for that is those kinds of photos are used by the enemy to incite violence, and lives have been lost as the result of the publication of similar photos," U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Wednesday.
That may be true, Panetta, but it seems the photos also have been revealed at the worst possible time. In January, a video appeared online showing four Marines urinating on Afghan corpses. In February, the burning of copies of the Koran at a U.S. base resulted in riots that killed 30 and led to the deaths of six Americans. And in March, a Staff Sgt. Robert Bales went on a shooting rampage in two Afghan villages, killing 17.