- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Photographs of U.S. soldiers posing with body parts of militants in Afghanistan are “deplorable and despicable,” Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Wednesday.

“What bothers me more than anything else is that 99.9 percent of these young Americans who are serving over there have the highest standards,” Mr. McCain said at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.

“All of that is tarnished so badly” by incidents such as the photographs published by the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, he added.

One photo, taken in 2010, purportedly shows troops from the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division and Afghan police posing with the severed legs of a suicide bomber.

“It does such damage, and it grieves me because there are so many brave and honorable young Americans who have served there, and so many who have sacrificed, so many I see … that have suffered the wounds of war, and it tarnishes their reputation,” Mr. McCain said.

“That’s what makes me sad,” he added.