Skip to comments.Afghanistan massacre suspect named as Sgt Robert Bales
Posted on 03/16/2012 3:53:49 PM PDT by Future Snake Eater
Senior US officials told the BBC the name of the suspect as he was heading back to the US to face charges. He is being flown to Fort Leavenworth, in Kansas, from Kuwait. His lawyer, John Henry Browne, said on Thursday that the suspect was a 38-year-old man who had been injured twice while serving in Iraq. He also said the accused had witnessed his friend's leg blown off the day before the killings. That incident has not been confirmed by the US Army. The Taliban called off peace talks in the wake of Sunday's deadly rampage - in which men, women and children were shot and killed at close range. The US has stressed it remained committed to Afghan reconciliation. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has also reacted angrily to the killings. He told the US it must pull back its troops from village areas and allow Afghan security forces to take the lead in an effort to reduce civilian deaths. On Friday he said the US was not fully co-operating with a probe into the killings.
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
Yeah, it all kind of blew up bigger than I expected, but as long as the word gets out to counter the “Sgt Psycho” crap.
Deployments are stressful whether you’re in harm’s way or not. I’ve done a combat deployment and a staff deployment. While the personal danger levels were certainly lower, the staff deployment involved much longer hours and an endless stream of demands from many, many people. After a while I was dying to do a few combat patrols!
>>out of character,
Consider the strange tale of former Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist.
We all have one foot in the rabbit hole.
Prayers up for SSG Bales and his military family - and thank you ALL for your service.
Van der Lubbe was tried, convicted and executed by guillotine in Leipzig on the 10th of January 1934 for setting the Reichstag fire.
Some historians theorize Van der Lubbe was “set-up” by the Nazis in order to create the impetus and favorable climate which allowed Hitler to declare a national emergency. That declaration empowered Hitler to suspend civil liberties; declare left wing opposition political (Communists) parties illegal and enacted various other emergency powers.
...and, yes, I freely admit I had to look up “Van der Lubbe!” (smile)
So, it appears you are proposing that this event is the impetus for some sort of convoluted plot to give Obama the emergency powers necessary to allow him to remain in office indefinitely.
That's an interesting theory; however, at this juncture w/what few and conflicting reports we have, I am more inclined to see this whole tragedy as the all too predictable outcome of poor policy, an horrendous lack of leadership from the WH on down thru senior military chain of command, unrealistic and unworkable ROE’s and one man who did his best to be a good soldier; but, who was put thru a physical and emotional “meat grinder” that no human being should have been asked or expected to sustain.
That said, I'm guessing too ...we really don't know much and what we do “know” may be false in whole or in part. As the current witticism goes; “We don't know what we don't know.”
Yes, my husband is pretty strong, with a long time serving in Ranger units, but being at CENTCOM for 3 years during 2005-8 almost broke his physical health. At times, he would rather have been out with the Rangers. But he knows the toll that takes and the asymmetrical warfare means you can’t ever relax.
Anyway, we all know what the media are and how they go with a narrative regardless of facts. (I read the UK Daily Mail and they printed a picture of General Petraeus and identified him as SSG Bales. I wrote to them and they took it down.). I know that your actions and Alas Babylon’s communications will tell the family that we other military families
recognize their sacrifice and they are not alone in this.
Kudos to you for Motivating the AP to print your experiences. It was great to see that out there early.
Thank you. I just hope it was enough.
As horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that's worse.
This happened in my son’s AO, just up the road in fact..the 2nd ID is relieving them.
Nobody hears of Panjwaii..I know, I googled it when my son got there......It is HELL! There is not a reporter in the world that will go there. After 11 mos. I know what this Soldier was up against! He and his family are in our prayers.
They have my families prayers!!! From personal experience....THE MEDIA LIES!!!!
Does he have any insight? On the villages, the players involved, anything he heard about the shootings?
My FRiend, i truly sorrow for you and your compatriots currently serving/having served during this conflict. I served in the USMC during the first Gulf War, and I can tell you TO A MAN we were angry that the “Coalition” didn’t get to go in and finish the job right then and there, thus sparing the current generation of the hardship they are still suffering.
Prayers are on the way. Thanks for your service and your insight.
He was woken up right after the shooting occurred. Funny, the there has not been a peep from the locals...business as usual like it never happened. Unfortunately, I know from experience that the press takes one bit of information and makes the rest up!!!!!
This particular area is all Taliban. It is actually the birthplace of Mullah Omar and several Taliban leaders. In 10yrs. nobody has been able to make headway. During this deployment, those operating in this AO have been awarded more Purple Hearts than the rest of the Brigade combined.
The NCO’s with my son’s platoon all had previous deployments to Iraq....even they were unprepared for what lied ahead. The entire place is one big booby trap.
The villages for the most part were very unfriendly...it would not be uncommon to see a headless body in the middle of the courtyards for even talking to an American. I know people probably don’t want to hear it but, most of the kids were NOT like what we see on tv. They would pelt the soldiers with rocks, and instead of waving...they would mimic a throat slit. They even knew one kid was a lookout..they’d see him everywhere and then there would be contact. My own son’s COP started with 42 soldiers within 2 mos. they were down to 19. That was at the height of fighting season...my son said they never stopped coming. The frustrating part of it all was that you knew who the Taliban were, you knew where they were but you were defenseless to do anything...If we took WIA’s or KIA’s they were ordered to stay put....in the meantime they knew that the Taliban used this time to replant the IED’s and they had freedom of movement to launch again...it was like a dog chasing it’s tail.
Your friend is in my prayers.
How do we here at FR do something substantive to materially aid SSgt Bales and hs family. How do we start to form a nationwide support force?
Today I requested a special prayer for Sgt Bales. Not many knew about him. Those that did parroted what the media reported. I pointed out to them how the media distorts and gave them various examples. Based on the information in this thread I was able to enlighten them on Sgt Bale. We prayed that the truth be revealed.
It’s a small start.
The truth shall set him free.
About the best thing I can recommend is to contact the lawyer John Henry Brown. His office would be the ones to really set these things up.
Everything you described there is exactly what pushes a guy to say “screw this” and meter out some 5.56mm justice. I saw similar stuff in Iraq, but not to that extent.
It is beyond maddening.
Thank you for posting this information. This is exactly what I was thinking when this first happened. What a tough horrible situation our men are in over there. I will definitely say some prayers for the guys who are still there.
Something happened out there! I don’t care how much this guy drank..sitting around and BS’ing did not cause him to go off like this....Something set him off that we will probably never be privy to. I’m telling you this area is cursed. For instance, my son was on a COP. My son’s platoon took the COP over from the Canadians. The Canadians manned the SAME COP with 160 soldiers, we did it with 42. The Canadians had 2 suicides on that COP, just before we got there.
For the benefit of those who may be interested, the comments by our very own “Capt. Future Snake Eater” are here in the Reuters article to which the Drudge Report linked: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/18/us-usa-afghanistan-soldier-life-idUSBRE82H0A820120318
Here are comments from the Washington Post: “Army Capt. Chris Alexander, 28, who was Baless platoon leader during a deployment in Iraq, said in an interview Friday night that he ‘saved many a life’ by never letting his guard down during patrols. ‘Bales is still, hands down, one of the best soldiers I ever worked with,’ Alexander said. ‘There has to be very severe [post-traumatic stress disorder] involved in this. I just dont want him seen as some psychopath, because he is not.’”
Here's the CBS News report, including the photo Capt. FSE put up on Free Republic: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57399725/new-revelations-about-sgt-robert-bales-past/
Here's the Associated Press story which will be widely carried by lots of other media: http://articles.boston.com/2012-03-18/news/31208111_1_second-deployment-model-soldier-staff-sergeant
Many more links could be cited. Google News is showing 2,450 different news sources so far citing our Army captain from Free Republic in the same story as Sgt. Bales.
Welcome to the media world, Capt. FSE... I hope my colleagues from far bigger newspapers don't mangle your story. Sgt. Bales’ lawyer, and Sgt. Bales’ wife (apparently a public relations executive, based on media reports) have probably already given you lots of good advice on how to deal with reporters.
Now I need to get back to my main job for today, trying to make sense out of the uproar at the Missouri Republican caucuses on Saturday...
Nah, they've been OK. It's just ridiculous how much they're all over me. ABC, CBS (local and national), WaPo, NPR, Reuters, AP, People Magazine (the hell?), Seattle Times...I've only spoken to a couple of folks, and I always tell them the same thing, but they seem to want to hear me say it over and over again. Can't these clowns just share notes?
Sgt. Bales lawyer, and Sgt. Bales wife (apparently a public relations executive, based on media reports) have probably already given you lots of good advice on how to deal with reporters.
Nope, I'm all by my lonesome here.
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