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Afghan Killings: Staff Sgt Bales Charged With 17 Counts of Premeditated Murder

Afghan Killings: Staff Sgt Bales Charged With 17 Counts of Premeditated Murder

Staff Sergeant Robert Bales has been charged with the premeditated murder of 17 Afghan civilians — nine children and eight adults — on March 11 in Kandahar province. He has also been charged with six counts of assault and attempted murder on a man, a woman and four children. He could face the death penalty for the charges, say American officials in Afghanistan. According to the New York Times, the minimum penalty he could face for the charge of premeditated murder is life in prison with the possibility of parole.

The killings have further strained already tense Afghan-US relations and led to demands that NATO accelerate the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

Since being flown from Afghanistan via Kuwait to the US, Sgt Bales has been held in solitary confinement in a military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He is the only known suspect in the killings, though Afghans have repeatedly asserted that he was not the only American involved. Both Afghan and American officials have said that 38-year-old Sgt Bales, who had recently been deployed to Afghanistan to serve his fourth tour of duty after serving three tours in Iraq, walked off his base in southern Afghanistan, entered the homes of a number of Afghan civilians and shot them.

The charges were described in an 6-page-statement. Initial reports had said that Sgt Bales killed 16 civilians and the larger number was not accounted for in the statement, says the New York Times. Three of those wounded in the attacks remain hospitalized.

John Henry Browne, Sgt Bales’s lawyer, has refuted earlier reports that his client was drunk on the night of the killings and has said that Sgt Bales remembers “very little.” Browne also said that Bales “definitely” experienced a brain injury from a vehicle rollover suffered in Iraq; Sgt Bales had not received or sought treatment for this, according to Browne. Sgt Bales was based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, south of Tacoma, Wash., and Browne says in the New York Times that there is a “strong chance legal proceedings in the future” could take place there.

President Hamid Karzai and many in Afghanistan had requested that Sgt Bales be tried there, despite an agreement with the US that coalition fighters accused of crimes be tried in their own countries. Karzai has been “sharply critical” of the quick transfer of Sgt Bales back to the US. While reaction to the charges against Sgt Bales was muted in Afghanistan, in part because Friday is a day off there and because it is the Persian holiday of Norwuz, Aimal Faizi, a spokesman for Karzai, said that “the people of Afghanistan want justice as soon as possible.”

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Photo from AP Photo/DVIDS, Spc. Ryan Hallock

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101 comments

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1:55AM PDT on Mar 30, 2012

Gerald L

I commend you this article by my old friend Linda Heard. Read it all.

http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/5328

US can’t spin this horrific massacre
By Linda S. Heard

346285564.bin.jpeg

March 28, 2012

There are two different narratives on the massacre of 17 Afghan civilians, including nine children, currently dominating headlines. American news outlets have bought into the lone soldier scenario, the poor decorated Iraq war hero who lost his mind when his buddy’s leg was blown off the day before he went on his murderous rampage. The accent of their reporting lies in the combined effect of multiple tours of duty on a soldier’s psyche as well as debate on whether or not US troops should pull out of Afghanistan before 2014.

US networks and newspapers attempt to tug at heartstrings, suggesting that Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, a good guy with a clean record, might have been under the influence or suffering from marital problems. His lawyer maintains his client was upset at having to undergo a fourth tour. Perhaps, but when most of us are 'upset’ we don’t go house-to-house exterminating strangers asleep in their beds as though they were rats.

News coming out of Afghanistan is slanted otherwise. The Afghan media contend the killings were not the work of one man, based on interviews with the victims’ families and village elders. They’re not sq

9:44PM PDT on Mar 29, 2012

Quote : John Delusional, or is it denial ?
3:04am PDT on Mar 29, 2012
Furthermore, Iraq was retribution for what? Iraq had nothing to do with the TT incident.
Do you have a learning disability, or is it a bias or hatred for quote AN M. I'm sick of this American trash here always making excuses for the behavior of those US punks in unform,

Are you racist ?
Seems like a statement loaded with bitterness.


9:35PM PDT on Mar 29, 2012

John D. what has the JetBlue pilot who went crazy and yelled "Iraq, al-Qaeda, terrorism, we´re all going down" on his flight, we´re still getting ... paranoid traumatic stressfull reactions to the Twin Towers.
We still go through intrusive security checks @ airports. I wonder why ? Did
this pilot do active duty ? If not, it verifies my position that we are not to judge what makes people snap.

3:04AM PDT on Mar 29, 2012

Furthermore, Iraq was retribution for what? Iraq had nothing to do with the TT incident.

3:03AM PDT on Mar 29, 2012

Fort Hood wasn't in more than one location and the bodies weren't all dragged to a pile and burned.

12:35AM PDT on Mar 29, 2012

Gerald L. Ya you keep repeating that as if it is the end all to holding him accountable. He was also fined $1.5 million for defrauding an elderly couple out of their life savings, half for compensation and half for punitive damages because he showed his actions to be fraudulent and malicious. He ignored the fine, obviously had NO REMORSE. Of course all his family and friends say he is a nice guy....they said the same thing about Ted Bundy too.

9:46PM PDT on Mar 28, 2012

Opp's dbl. flashback : Quote Patrick F. How can you even compare Vietnam which soldiers were drafted and forced to serve in a war they didn't back and a man who CHOSE to enlist? Your stupidity and vile behavior here clearly knows NO limits. Come back when you have something sensible to say.

Wise one voluntarily enlisting or being drafted does NOT EXEMPT one from suffering PTSD. Do you suffer from a learning or memory liability, the STORY LINE mentions Sgt. Bales was on his 7th. TOUR of DUTY.

9:34PM PDT on Mar 28, 2012

Quote John D. CONSPIRACY THEORY : Of course the head injury rubbish is just that - crap. I just wish some proof could be found to implicate the other 15 to 20 pieces of $h1t who accompanied this scapegoat.

CONsider that Hassan @ Fort Hood killed 13 & wounded 29 singlehandedly, but the John D. conspiracy theory implicates 15 to 20 pieces of $h1t who accompanied this scapegoat.
quote ; John D. What's the Twin Towers got to do with destroying Iraq and getting a bloody nose in Afghanistan?

+ / - 3800 die in the towers, Iraq was retribution, but you seem to have forgotten my previous comment : Maybe the cowards who flew passenger planes into the towers should have flown fighter jets from their country of origin. Then the response of revenge would have been accurate.

My/Your stupidity and vile behavior here clearly knows NO limits. Come back when you have something sensible to say.

15 to 20 Scapegoats


9:19PM PDT on Mar 28, 2012

Quote John D. CONSPIRACY THEORY : Of course the head injury rubbish is just that - crap. I just wish some proof could be found to implicate the other 15 to 20 pieces of $h1t who accompanied this scapegoat.

CONsider that Hassan @ Fort Hood killed 13 & wounded 29 singlehandedly, but the John D. conspiracy theory implicates 15 to 20 pieces of $h1t who accompanied this scapegoat.
quote ; John D. What's the Twin Towers got to do with destroying Iraq and getting a bloody nose in Afghanistan?

+ / - 3800 die in the towers, Iraq was retribution, but you seem to have forgotten my previous comment : Maybe the cowards who flew passenger planes into the towers should have flown fighter jets from their country of origin. Then the response of revenge would have been accurate.

7:18PM PDT on Mar 28, 2012

Kimberlee, maybe your post would have more impact if you linked to an article or something that proved your claim.

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