The Ramrod five

AP reports that:

Five soldiers from the same Washington state-based unit have now been implicated in the killing of three Afghan civilians, an Army spokeswoman said Monday.

The Army said Friday that Spc. Jeremy Morlock had been charged with three counts of premeditated murder and one count of assault.

On Monday, Lt. Col. Tamara Parker, a Joint Base Lewis-McChord spokeswoman, said "there is enough evidence to say that five may be charged," although Morlock is the only one charged so far.

A second soldier is being held in confinement in Kuwait, and the others three remain with their unit in Afghanistan, she said.

Seattle Times has this:

An Army spokeswoman said Saturday the murder charges against a Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier accused of killing three Afghan civilians could lead the military to examine its screening of soldiers.

The screening issue may relate to this Fox News piece.

Morlock, who entered the military in June 2006 and was first deployed last July, has a criminal record.

The Seattle Times reported that Morlock’s wife sought a domestic-violence protective order against him two years ago in a case that was resolved. Last year, he was charged with assault and disorderly conduct and was reportedly found guilty of the latter charge.

Morlock also was charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving an injury or death when he was 15, the newspaper reported.

If recollection serves he joined at a time when waivers were more easily gotten for past civilian offenses.  But the military, largely due to good recruiting numbers, have stopped moral waivers.

Here is the kirotv.com initial:

Ten Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers deployed in Afghanistan are at the center of a criminal investigation.

Ten soldiers of the 5th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division are accused of deliberately killing three Afghan civilians, using illegal drugs and conducting other illicit activities such as conspiracy and assault.

CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr broke the story and said the assault may have happened after one of the soldiers told his commander of the incident.

"Turned it into his commanders and may have been assaulted by other troops, beaten up we are told for blowing the whistle on all of this" Starr said.