On today’s episode of “VBS Meets,” our correspondent Ben Anderson sits down with Jim Frederick, executive editor of TIME magazine and the author of Black Hearts: One Platoon’s Descent into Madness in Iraq’s Triangle of Death. Black Hearts is the story of the United States Army’s 101st Airborne division, a group of soldiers deployed to Iraq’s inauspiciously named “Triangle of Death” in 2005. Locked in a region fraught with insurgent activity and an ongoing Sunni – Shi’ite civil war, with American defense forces suffering from plummeting enrollment and evaporating resources, the platoon was immediately stretched to its physical limit. A disconnect with brigade leadership and the constant threat of violence left the troops in a state of disciplinary disarray and severe psychological damage. This led to an event in the summer of 2006 that Frederick describes as “the most heinous war crime known to have been committed by US soldiers during the Iraq War” — the rape, murder, and mutilation of a 14-year old-Iraqi girl, followed by the execution of her parents and six-year-old sister. Watch “VBS Meets: Jim Frederick” to hear the whole story.
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