Sunday, March 18, 2012

Army Sergeant Suspected In Afghan Killings Identified

Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who is suspected of killing 16 Afghan villagers and attempting to burn some of the bodies has been flown to the U.S. and is now being held in an isolated cell at the military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

His overall profile makes it more likely that what happened in Afghanistan that night happened when he was simply not in his right mind.

He's a ten year veteran who enlisted after 9/11, giving up a good job as a stock trader to do it. Sergeant Bales had completed four tours serving in Iraq and Afghanistan,and had a string of commendations for good conduct. His former platoon leader described him as a model soldier, who performed coolly and competently under fire:

[Army Capt. Chris Alexander] said that while serving with Bales, he saw no evidence that Bales had any more difficulty dealing with the stresses of battle than anyone else. If the allegations against Bales are true, "it's 100 percent out of character for him."

"He always made sure his team was ready, that they were briefed on the mission, that the equipment was checked," he said. "Anything he was given to do, you never had to worry about it getting done and done well."

"I'm not a psychologist, but you don't go from being a solid NCO (noncommissioned officer) to this unless there are extenuating circumstances," Alexander said. "He is not some psychopath. He's an outstanding soldier who has given a lot for this country."

The dinosaur media is looking into Bales' background with a microscope,because the script is to paint him as a crazed killer who finally snapped because the Army was to blame. Think of it as a modern day spin on the old 'crazed, psycho baby killer Vietnam vet' that was so popular with them for awhile.

So far, they've managed to find a few indications of financial troubles largely based on the plummeting real estate market, an incident of what was likely reckless driving that he paid a fine on and an old incident with a girl friend that resulted in his having to attend some anger management classes - again, nothing unusual given the way today's laws are structured.In actuality, Bales' overall background is fairly normal and straightforward.

Bales' attorney will be John Henry Browne, a Seattle attorney famous for defending serial killer Ted Bundy. Bales will also have at least one military lawyer.

Charges against Bales are still being decided as an investigation of what happened continues and will probably be filed within a week or so.

The defense may very well build its case around post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or temporary insanity. Given the politics of the situation and the fact that the Afghans are screaming for Bales' head, that's going to be an uphill battle even if it's the truth.

1 comment:

nazar said...

From what I read about him, I can understand why he did it. One of his guys got his leg blown off by an IED the day prior, and he somehow got his hands on alcohol the night that he shot those people. He wanted revenge and the alcohol gave him all the liquid courage he needed to kill those civilians. Not saying it's right, he should be court-martialed.

I'm all for revenge killing, but you got to be smart about it. The smart thing to do would be to take a night patrol to the local shady mullah's compound, drag him out to an intersection, or any other place that would be a good IED location where soldiers walk, and put a couple of rounds in his head. Then, plant IED making material on him and have a plausible excuse.

If there's anything I learned, first you got to make the people fear you, then you can reward them for good behavior after they respect you. It's like you always say, these people are either at your throat or at your feet.

Just to clarify, I think what Staff Sgt. Bales did was extrememly stupid and dishonorable, but having been in very similiar circumstances I can totally put myself in his shoes.