The United States has paid $50,000 in compensation for each Afghan killed in the shooting spree attributed to a U.S. soldier in southern Afghanistan, an Afghan official and a community elder said Sunday.
The families of the dead received the money Saturday at the governor's office, said Kandahar provincial council member Agha Lalai. Each wounded person received $11,000, Lalai said. Community elder Jan Agha confirmed the same figures.
They were told that the money came from U.S. President Barack Obama, Lalai said.
A U.S. official confirmed that compensation had been paid but declined to discuss exact amounts, saying only that it reflected the devastating nature of the incident. The official spoke anonymously because of the sensitive nature of the subject.
This is disturbing in a number of ways.
First of all, what we've done, essentially, is admitted guilt and paid blood money in accordance with Pashtun tribal custom. And what we've admitted to in their eyes is not one soldier apparently having a breakdown, but what an Afghan commission charged with 'investigating this tragedy came up with - the fantasy that this was a planned U.S. military strike involving 15 to 20 soldiers with air support.
If Sergeant Bales comes to trial and is found not guilty because of PTSD, temporary insanity or some similar cause, just how do you think the Afghans are going to react - since we've already admitted guilt by paying the blood money?
Another point that bothers me intensely...who does President Obama think he is using our money to do this and then taking personal credit for it, as if it came out of his own pocket rather than ours?
Clueless and arrogant, all in one package.