Nightly News | September 28, 2010
>>> and an interrogation video is providing chilling details about how a group of american soldiers , allegedly, murdered afghan civilians and what we're learning is from the soldiers themselves. it's all part of a case that could have an impact on the war in afghanistan , and, perhaps, put american troops at greater risk of retaliation. our pentagon correspondent has the tale of this tape.
>> reporter: this u.s. soldier's casual account of the killing of civilians in afghanistan sounds disturbing, if not cold-blooded.
>> you guys want to wax this guy or what?
>> reporter: in all, five soldiers are accused in the murder of three innocent civilians in southern afghanistan early this year. in this interrogation interview obtained by nbc news, one suspect, corporal jeremy morlock, tells that staff sergeant calvin gibbs , seen here in a high school video, allegedly selected the victims and took command of the killings.
>> he pulled out an american grenade, popped it and tells us to [bleep] -- kill this guy. kill this guy.
>> reporter: army officials say gibbs bragged about killing civilians in iraq and morlock together vegd tors he feared gibbs might kill him.
>> if gibbs knew i was sitting here in front of this camera there's no doubt in my mind that he would take me out.
>> reporter: he wasn't alone. specialist adam winfield text messaged his parents about the first killing. some innocent guy about my age just farming. adams' father, chris, warned the army but tragically army officials refused to investigate. his son, now charged in the third killing, that took place three months later.
>> is your son a whistle blower or a murderer.
>> he's a whistle blower. he tried. the arm didn't listen.
>> he does not deny he was present at the third killing which need not have happened had the army investigated but he was not -- he did not cause any injury to the deceased.
>> the army fears it has a bigger problem and is with holding from public release some of the more gruesome photos that are evidence in this case. there are serious concerns that the images like that that emerged from the abu ghraib scandal in iraq will ignite a firestorm of anti-american sentiment in afghanistan , putting the afghanistan war itself at risk. nbc news, the pentagon.