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Afghanistan massacre suspect named as Sgt Robert Bales
BBC ^ | 16MAR12 | N/A

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 ...


TOPICS: Breaking News; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: afgancivilians; afghanistan; bales; jblm; massacre; robertbales
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To: Future Snake Eater

Just a thought FSE...although they may not need the money for legal defense, it may boost their spirits to realize how much everyday Americans support them and all of our troops. The MSM deluge never ends and it gets old to this military family. Please give us the opportunity to stand alongside of them. Mil families stick together!


201 posted on 03/17/2012 12:38:05 PM PDT by Pat4ever
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To: RightOnline
Oh...one thing I did forget to mention in the “West Pointer breakdown” story. I never laid a finger on him. Zip. He was broken down to a blubbering mass simply with words.

Yeah, that was the same thing I witnessed at SERE with the guys who broke. It was a real eye-opener.

People have no idea what goes on during war. It's NOTHING like they show it in the John Wayne flicks. First of all, there's no popcorn! I thought it was all pretty cool and made a real man of you until I realized that people I didn't know were trying to kill me because someone told them to. And, that's when we are all reduced to a primal state of kill or be killed.

Anyone who wants to criticize Ssgt. Bales needs to walk a few miles in his boots and see what happens in a war. I apologize in advance to him and his family for the crucification he and they are about to endure from the left. I would hope that if there is a little bit of patriotism left in any of us that we would want to gather outside Ft. Leavenworth and wherever his court martial will be held just to let him know that he is NOT a forgotten hero who will be fed to the wolves for reaching his breaking point. No one who hasn't been there can EVER understand what he has endured.

God bless him and ALL of our American heroes in harms' way. Each and every day we need to remember that there, but for the grace of God, go I!

202 posted on 03/17/2012 2:18:35 PM PDT by DustyMoment (Congress - Another name for white collar criminals!!)
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To: Pat4ever
I am a friend of the family and I can assure you this thread and all the heartfelt comments will be heard by Mrs. Bales.

Naturally we are simply devastated but everyone should also keep in mind that all the “facts” circulating in the media are NOT facts, and Bob has not even been accused by anyone, let alone the military. Obviously there will be a thorough investigation and even if some facts “sneak” out do not believe them for Gospel.

The “GI snapped meme” is something the media likes and inherently believes but the bottom line is we do not know the facts.

Please, please continue to pray for the Bales!

203 posted on 03/17/2012 4:40:00 PM PDT by Alas Babylon!
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To: Alas Babylon!

Will do and thanks. We are here if we can help. God bless!


204 posted on 03/17/2012 5:06:57 PM PDT by Pat4ever
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To: jesseam
Thank you very much for your input. Both problems have been evaluated at the VA and it looks like you may have a better handle on the problem.

I have had PTSD and I have General Anxiety Disorder from sensory triggered events. This seems an appropriate thread to address PTSD and this other condition on.

If a vet was infantry or had worked in and around loud noises including grenades or even loud machinery, fligh decks, aircraft, turbines, etc their PTSD from events they witnessed can be greatly compounded by the damage the noise did but was never properly diagnosed. This info as such is fairly recent as in the past decade it has become more and more researched.

We all know about vets who have come back home and first loud noise they hit the floor or at least jump as if they had been shot or something. Is that PTSD? Maybe or maybe not or both of the following. This can also be related to nerve damage or sensory processing damage in the Inner Ear. That in turn has been proved to cause anxiety, confusion, loss of concentration, agitation, and even what I refer to as entering a fog of sorts for a period of a few minutes to an hour or more of being detached mentally from your surroundings. These are harmless events but most persons think they are nuts because it happens. It’s simple sensory overload. BTW even surgery can lead to this condition due to going under.

When the person has PTSD from a traumatic event is combined with the sensory damage you have not one but two different issues. The anxiety produced by what is called the Vestibular {meaning Inner Ear auditory and part of the optic sensory system} can trigger a PTSD event at the same time.

Not that many doctors out there realize that many anxiety issues are Inner Ear issues and they treat it with the wrong medications usually antidepressants. Antidepressants given to patients with neurological impairments are more prone to an adverse reaction called Serotonin Syndrome when taking the antidepressants. That is why they have no place being used in combat nor really in active duty. A hundred soldiers may have no issues but one very well could. That reaction can trigger hallucinations.

Ok treatment for the sensory damage is fairly basic. It takes a drug like Xanax, Valium, Librium, or Clonazepam . Xanax IMO has the least side effects and works best. This class of drugs works best for this condition. Getting a V.A. doctor to write it for you? Forget it. It went for a physical check up at the clinic to stay enrolled in the VA auditory program and the doctor immediately freaked and said I want to change that medication. I’ve been on it 17 years safely LOL. He had limited medical history on me and knew me all of three minutes. My family doctor has known and treated me 10 years. Benzodiazepine class medications are the only effective treatment for it.

Many doctors created the Benzodiazepine Boogieman Hysteria by not understanding proper dosages in relation to the bloodstream. A half a MG or .5mg of Xanax taken 3-4 times a day works great. 2mg taken twice a day does not.. The trick is low but consistent levels in the bloodstream. Those medications start too work within 15-20 minutes of taking them. Antidepressants can take up to a month to build up to a therapeutic level and as long to leave the bloodstream if you have an adverse reaction. Warning with these medications can come dependence. Weigh benefits against that. I do not recommend anyone who has had addiction issues to use this treatment. Alcohol intake should be limited as well.

What I have posted can apply to vets or anyone actually. I’m not a doctor but I’ve had this for 17 years and acquired considerable understanding of the condition over the years which improved quality of life and allowed the treatment for PTSD too work after I got the right treatment for the sensory issues. My condition is severe enough I have “jerks” or Myoclonic Seizures with it.

The first attack of it was out of the blue. I did not know where I was at, where I was going, have any relation to time I had been gone, or why I was where I was. I was driving on the interstate. That part of it can be treated and those episodes I can head off. But there is no cure for this disorder. PTSD many times though can be cured with a good therapist. The same conditions that trigger this can trigger PTSD. I’m posting this to ones whom this might help.

If you have a medical history at anytime in life of chronic ear infections, sinus allergies, tubes in ears, etc then you can possibly have this.

OK here is some information on the Hearing and sensory processing system damage I was talking about. Note the descriptions and symptoms.

Sensory Integration Disorder Blog but good information

COGNITIVE ASPECTS OF VESTIBULAR DISORDERS

PANIC ATTACKS MAY BE LINKED TO BALANCE DISORDERS

Possible Symptoms of Vestibular Disorders

205 posted on 03/17/2012 5:18:32 PM PDT by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: rlferny
Zoloft was what they put him on. I think the military tries to create mental problems in our soldiers

The military barely acknowledges mental issues. A guy in my shop on the ship was Bi-Polar. It hit near his time to get out. He was near a 4.0 sailor till then. He made E-4 he got out E-1 and he never really did anything bad except her went into manic rages. Well Duh! No help was given him.

I've seen Zoloft make a person think they were seeing Satan. Their halucinations is their reality. No, what the military is trying to do is get a few more days, weeks, months, deployment time out of an over deployed, over extended servicemember without them breaking down. Not that it is any concern to them or congress if they should though. It's like running a horse flank speed till it drops dead or they get too their destination which ever comes first. They risk the potential for a major disaster in doing so.

206 posted on 03/17/2012 5:30:43 PM PDT by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: JoanneSD
Fort Leavenworth, I dont think the guy who massacured 13 at Fort Hood, including a pregnant lady, went to Leavenworth.. in fact have not heard much about the muslim,

Major Nidal Hassan is in the hospital section of the Bell County jail awaiting his court martial. He should have had it already and be pushing up daisies, or weeds.

Wouldn't suprise me a bit if the Sargent makes it to his Court Martial before the Mussleman Major.

Hassan killed 14, I count the baby. The mother's last words were "My Baby, My Baby", not "My tissue mass".

I'd shoot the bastid myself, with my own pistol. Rifle would be too good for him, but I suspect I'd have to stand in line for the privilege, if we were not too "sensitive" for that sort of thing. I'd even settle for a hanging. The last manual for that makes interesting reading. :)

207 posted on 03/17/2012 6:19:30 PM PDT by El Gato ("The second amendment is the reset button of the US constitution"-Doug McKay)
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To: cva66snipe

Thank you ever so much for your information that I am sure will be useful. I forgot to mention that my left ear suffered a concussion from a mortar blast that left me with some hearing loss and that could very well be a cause of the vestibular problems too. Again your input is much appreciated. Thanks.


208 posted on 03/17/2012 6:20:24 PM PDT by jesseam
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To: jesseam
I forgot to mention that my left ear suffered a concussion from a mortar blast that left me with some hearing loss and that could very well be a cause of the vestibular problems too.

About a 100% likelyhood it did. Except for things like infections, plugged tubes etc Vestibular damage like that is usually permenant. V.A. does have a great Audiology Program.

209 posted on 03/17/2012 6:42:00 PM PDT by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: Delta 21
Soldiers are expendable.

Ultimately yes, but you don't want to expend them for just any old thing. Certainly not in that trash heap of a country. We should have finished that job, and it was job that needed doing, about 5 or 6 years ago. It took us less than 5 years to defeat Nazi German and Imperial Japan, and assorted hangers on. We could have defeated these people too. IF we were willing to pay for it, in terms of a significantly increased military, in both numbers and money. We weren't and we aren't. So we die the death of a million cuts instead. Successful war cannot be made on the cheap.

Or we could have just nuked the place and taken our lumps in 'world opinion'. World Opinion isn't worth a single soldier, airman, sailor or Marine's life. Not one.

210 posted on 03/17/2012 6:44:43 PM PDT by El Gato ("The second amendment is the reset button of the US constitution"-Doug McKay)
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To: cva66snipe

Yeah, the VA did fit me with hearing aids.


211 posted on 03/17/2012 6:45:38 PM PDT by jesseam
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To: Ozymandias Ghost
Two names come to mind.

Marinus van der Lubbe

Jimmy Shifflet.

The later is a fictional character, from Travis McGee's (Matt Braken's) Enemies Foreign and Domestic.

Y'all figure out who van der Lubbe was.

212 posted on 03/17/2012 7:10:29 PM PDT by El Gato ("The second amendment is the reset button of the US constitution"-Doug McKay)
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To: katiedidit1
Panetta is a snake in the grass

Fixed it for you.

213 posted on 03/17/2012 7:24:31 PM PDT by El Gato ("The second amendment is the reset button of the US constitution"-Doug McKay)
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To: katiedidit1
Panetta is a snake in the grass

Fixed it for you.

214 posted on 03/17/2012 7:24:46 PM PDT by El Gato ("The second amendment is the reset button of the US constitution"-Doug McKay)
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To: LittleSpotBlog
Here's the picture Fox has up. He's on the left.

I try not to go to MSNBC, might catch their commie cooties. :)

215 posted on 03/17/2012 7:32:39 PM PDT by El Gato ("The second amendment is the reset button of the US constitution"-Doug McKay)
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To: cva66snipe

marked for reference


216 posted on 03/17/2012 8:05:57 PM PDT by Irish Eyes
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To: Dengar01

Bale’s family is living on base and under protection. His co-workers are in Afghanistan fighting a politically correct war to save some poppy fields and primative people from each other.
My prayer is OUR soldier is treated fairly for ONCE and not railroaded by some shoddy investigation. I believe his lawyer is a fighter.
I can’t stand the thoughts of him being executed or put away for life:( I want to help him.


217 posted on 03/17/2012 8:21:23 PM PDT by katiedidit1 ("This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever." the Irish)
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To: Future Snake Eater

Thank you for your service. Thank you for sharing with us your time with Sgt Bales.

Sgt Bales and his family are in my prayers. May God protect them. May God give them peace of mind and courage to face each new day. May no weapon, physical or verbal, against him prosper.

Dearest Father God, reveal the truth about your soldier. Bless him.


218 posted on 03/17/2012 9:33:59 PM PDT by 1_Rain_Drop
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To: Future Snake Eater

I saw the AP story detailing your defense of SSG Bales linked on the Drudge Report. God bless you and all those who’ve served honorably during this hellish decade. 9/11 changed me, too and as a result I married a military officer. He’s been assigned overseas for the past 3.5 years, but largely not in harm’s way. I can only imagine what the Bales family and yours have been through. Right now this overall story as reported is not making sense to me.


219 posted on 03/18/2012 5:14:22 AM PDT by Belle22
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To: Ozymandias Ghost; Future Snake Eater

Something is dreadfully wrong w/what is currently happening in Afghanistan ..

Uhuh.   And it belongs to the Quisling protege of the Terrorist Weather Underground who's been planted in the White Hut. 

 

Don't need no Weatherman

to see which way the wind

blws.

 

"Behind the Violence, Says Jane Alpert, Was Sex"

--November 09, 1981--
"The leaders of the Weather Underground, she believes, followed a similar pattern of constantly shifting sexual alliances..."

http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20080637,00.html

"He [Bill Ayers] also writes about the Weathermen's sexual experimentation as they tried to 'smash monogamy.' The Weathermen were 'an army of lovers,' he says, and describes having had different sexual partners, including his best male friend."

Source: New York Times, September 11, 2001: "No Regrets for a Love Of Explosives; In a Memoir of Sorts, a War Protester Talks of Life With the Weathermen"
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F02E1DE1438F932A2575AC0A9679C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=1

"...the Weathermen, when not engaged in group sex, committed such revolutionary acts as parading with a Viet Cong flag through a local park on Independence Day and spray-painting the walls of a high school with the slogans, "Off the Pigs," "Viet Cong Will Win," and "F#$k U.S. Imperialism."..."

Campus Wars: The Peace Movement At American State Universities in the Vietnam Era

 

"What happens next bears watching closely, as does the response of the president, ex-Speaker Pelosi, and others on the left.  Encouraged by leftists in the Democratic Party and funded by left-leaning nonprofit organizations and celebrity contributors, Occupy Wall Street may in time morph into something resembling the radical factions of the late 1960s and 1970s."

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/10/predicting_the_weatherman.html

The Osawatomie Coincidence

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2818309/posts


220 posted on 03/18/2012 5:34:02 AM PDT by LomanBill (Animals! The DemocRats blew up the windmill with an Acorn!)
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To: Belle22

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!


221 posted on 03/18/2012 5:45:29 AM PDT by Future Snake Eater (Don't stop. Keep moving!)
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To: Future Snake Eater

>>out of character,

Consider the strange tale of former Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist.

http://www.google.com/#hl=en&output=search&sclient=psy-ab&q=william+rehnquist+CIA+Hospitalization

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.


222 posted on 03/18/2012 5:48:49 AM PDT by LomanBill (Animals! The DemocRats blew up the windmill with an Acorn!)
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To: El Gato
“Y'all figure out who van der Lubbe was.”
____________

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.”

223 posted on 03/18/2012 7:40:10 AM PDT by Ozymandias Ghost
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To: Future Snake Eater

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.


224 posted on 03/18/2012 1:49:34 PM PDT by Belle22
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To: Belle22

Thank you. I just hope it was enough.


225 posted on 03/18/2012 1:59:14 PM PDT by Future Snake Eater (Don't stop. Keep moving!)
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To: El Gato
I'd shoot the bastid myself, with my own pistol. Rifle would be too good for him, but I suspect I'd have to stand in line for the privilege, if we were not too "sensitive" for that sort of thing.

“As horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that's worse.”

226 posted on 03/18/2012 2:04:33 PM PDT by Future Snake Eater (Don't stop. Keep moving!)
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To: Future Snake Eater

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.


227 posted on 03/18/2012 4:53:40 PM PDT by panthermom (Please Pray for C Co 3-21)
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To: Alas Babylon!

They have my families prayers!!! From personal experience....THE MEDIA LIES!!!!

God Bless!


228 posted on 03/18/2012 4:57:24 PM PDT by panthermom (Please Pray for C Co 3-21)
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To: panthermom

Does he have any insight? On the villages, the players involved, anything he heard about the shootings?


229 posted on 03/18/2012 5:00:16 PM PDT by Future Snake Eater (Don't stop. Keep moving!)
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To: Future Snake Eater

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.


230 posted on 03/18/2012 5:43:43 PM PDT by Spacetrucker (Sorry, folks, give my spot in the handbasket to an angry lib >:))
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To: Future Snake Eater

Prayers are on the way. Thanks for your service and your insight.


231 posted on 03/18/2012 5:57:37 PM PDT by KC Burke (Newton's New First Law, Repeal and Restore!)
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To: Future Snake Eater

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.


232 posted on 03/18/2012 6:05:22 PM PDT by panthermom (Please Pray for C Co 3-21)
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To: panthermom; Future Snake Eater

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?


233 posted on 03/18/2012 8:47:54 PM PDT by robowombat
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To: robowombat

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.


234 posted on 03/18/2012 11:40:04 PM PDT by 1_Rain_Drop
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To: robowombat; panthermom

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.


235 posted on 03/19/2012 4:09:31 AM PDT by Future Snake Eater (Don't stop. Keep moving!)
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To: panthermom

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.


236 posted on 03/19/2012 4:22:32 AM PDT by Future Snake Eater (Don't stop. Keep moving!)
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To: panthermom

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.


237 posted on 03/19/2012 4:37:42 AM PDT by Kaylee Frye
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To: Future Snake Eater

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.


238 posted on 03/19/2012 5:30:26 AM PDT by panthermom (Please Pray for C Co 3-21)
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To: Belle22; Future Snake Eater
219 posted on Sunday, March 18, 2012 7:14:22 AM by Belle22: “I saw the AP story detailing your defense of SSG Bales linked on the Drudge Report. God bless you and all those who’ve served honorably during this hellish decade.”

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 Bales’s 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 don’t want him seen as some psychopath, because he is not.’”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/soldier-accused-in-afghan-shooting-spree-could-return-to-us-friday/2012/03/16/gIQAauMSGS_story.html

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...

239 posted on 03/19/2012 6:49:48 AM PDT by darrellmaurina
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To: darrellmaurina
Welcome to the media world, Capt. FSE... I hope my colleagues from far bigger newspapers don't mangle your story.

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.

240 posted on 03/19/2012 9:21:56 AM PDT by Future Snake Eater (Don't stop. Keep moving!)
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To: Future Snake Eater
Glad things haven't been too bad for you, Captain, and thank you for your service. Not all of us in the media are anti-military.

Since you're doing this all on your own, may I give a bit of perspective of why reporters do what they do? This isn't so much intended as advice — you seem to be doing an excellent job on your own and don't need any advice — but rather trying to help you (and others reading) understand what makes the media tick. I know we're strange wild critters sometimes, but understanding the media isn't any more difficult than trying to explain to a typical civilian what it means to be a soldier. People in both professions live in a very different world than the way most Americans live, and that's much more so at the upper levels of the media — i.e., most people interviewing you now — than at lower levels in small newspapers and small towns and cities where I've spent most of my career. I have former colleagues working now at the upper levels of the media (USA Today, some Washington outlets, etc.), and while that's far from my world outside Fort Leonard Wood, the basics are still the same.

First, why is everybody calling you? The main reason is that most reporters try to be fair, and that means, among other things, they want to get both sides of a story if possible. They also want to get it firsthand from you rather than relying on someone else who may or may not have gotten the story right, and I think you can appreciate that.

A few words about media bias: with a major story like this all bets are off, but bias most commonly shows up in what stories editors consider worth covering, not how the stories themselves get covered. If a reporter wanted to portray SSG Bales as a monster, he probably wouldn't be calling you for background on him.

You can be assured that most if not all of them are reading each others’ articles on the internet, and the Associated Press article can be used in whole or in part by any media organization which is an AP member, but reporters want to hear things from you directly.

For the moment, for better or for worse, you're the only person other than SSG Bales’ lawyer who can give an insight into his side of the story. Because SSG Bales’ lawyer didn't know him until very recently and has had only limited contact with him, media will understand — probably correctly — that you have more insight into Bales than anyone else who is talking right now.

An additional factor of why they're calling you is that people want to paint a human picture of what somebody is like beyond the bare bones facts.

You can paint that picture in ways almost nobody else can, since you actually served with him in combat and saw how he reacted under fire. Even spouses and close civilian friends may not be able to do that. You've probably heard the Vietnam-era soldiers telling their wives that they refuse to discuss what they did in Vietnam with comments like “Honey, if I told you what I did you wouldn't love me anymore.” In my own family, none of us had ever heard much about my father-in-law’s Korean war experience until my niece decided to join the Army, and then she heard things from her father and grandfather that nobody else knew, not even their wives. Even a reporter who doesn't understand the military will realize you have a window into SSG Bales life that virtually nobody else has; those reporters who do understand the military and know what it means to be a platoon leader will know that you likely have the best possible insight into his performance as an NCO of anyone other than his current unit members — and the Army won't be letting those soldiers talk to anybody pending completion of their investigation.

Of course, there are more impersonal ways to find out about SSG Bales. Court records tell a story, but it's an incomplete story at best. Military service records say a great deal, but most reporters won't know how to interpret his service record other than calling him “highly decorated,” and those few reporters who **DO** understand the military will understand that it's possible for somebody to chase medals rather than being a good soldier. How many “lifers” do you know with a chestful of medals who weren't anywhere near as good as other people who did their jobs quietly and weren't interested in being a gloryhound?

Eventually a picture will emerge about SSG Bales which represents a consensus of what the media think he's like. You won't be the only person helping form that consensus, but first impressions count a **GREAT DEAL** and by what you've said about him being an excellent NCO who saved lives, you've already helped cast doubt on the early reports of SSG Bales being a guy with marital and alcohol problems who snapped. What you said carries much more weight with media than an attorney hired to represent him, and that's the way it should be since you represent your own views and have no agenda to do anything except say what you believe to be true.

Having said all that, I want to say more on the issue of media bias. You and I are both conservatives or we would not be on Free Republic. I am well aware, after more than two decades in the working press, that my politics are a minority in the media, and I've often been the token conservative in the newsroom. On the other hand, you will find that reporters who choose to cover the military or the police beat usually do so because they like those subjects, and may be a lot more appreciative of the work of those who wear the uniform.

You won't see this so much early on, but there are media organizations which are hunting for another My Lai massacre story or at least an Abu Ghraib. Most reporters want to be honest, and if they didn't, they wouldn't be calling you to paint a human face on a guy who in the civilian world would be viewed as being accused of mass murder. But be aware that as this story continues, there will be reporters who will try to play what I call “gotcha games” to trip you up.

My personal recommendation to people is when giving interviews on high-profile subjects with reporters you don't know, ask to have your own tape recorder running, just in case you get misquoted. Since most of your interviews will be by phone, if you don't have the equipment to tape your phone calls, getting some may be a good idea, and is perfectly legal as long as both people know the call is being taped. Cell phones pose a problem since they typically can't be recorded due to interference of the cell signal with the recorder microphone -- that is the one exception. My view is it's more important to give an interview and do it quickly via cell phone than to wait until you get home and can use a land line, since reporters are usually on deadline and need to do an interview quickly. But for longer interviews when you can schedule a time to talk, a tape is useful, and it's usually those longer interviews where you have the greated chance of getting drawn "off message."

Since most reporters today use tape recorders themselves, few if any will object. Just don't act like you're telling them “I don't trust you, I want a tape.” There are other perfectly legitimate reasons to have a tape that have nothing to do with lack of trust. Most though not all reporters will understand that you are a soldier in the United States Army and you may have to explain what you said to your chain of command, in context. I personally believe having a tape protects everybody, but I know not everybody agrees. I wasn't terribly happy when staff members for a certain Democratic senator stuck tape recorders in my face as I was interviewing their candidate, but I understood why and a nice request would have been happily granted.

At some point you're going to be asking yourself the question, “Why am I bothering to keep giving these interviews?”

Here's my answer. The reporter is going to write his or her story whether you talk to them or not. Do you want your side of SSG Bales to come out, or do you want only his enemies talking? The public perception of SSG Bales will be determined by the media and you can play a key role in that.

There's also an important underlying principle about America being a free republic with the military answerable to the citizens. Unlike what some liberals think about the Army and unlike what some conservatives wish were true, Army Public Affairs doctrine includes such mottos as “maximum disclosure, minimum delay,” and “bad news does not improve with age.” If soldiers don't tell the story of what the Army is doing, either it won't get told at all or it will get told by people who don't like or don't understand the Army.

Several closing points:

I personally know the retired Army engineer officer who since retirement has worked for a dozen years in Army Public Affairs and is on his way to help coordinate public affairs stuff in Afghanistan. He's a straight shooter and has dealt with crisis management cases before, including ones where it quickly became clear that I knew more about situations than the generals who were supposed to be in charge because O-5s and O-6s under the generals weren't telling their supervisors the whole story. He knows what he's doing and he will be pushing for a straight and honest relationship with the media. He strongly believes the Army has an important story to tell, and while the media may sometimes get the story wrong, it's the Army's job to tell its own story and get truth into the hands of the public who pay to keep the military running.

And for other media reading this — I know absolutely nothing about this case beyond what I'm reading in the media, but I do know how Army Public Affairs works, and as long as you're honest with them they'll be honest with you, **ESPECIALLY** on a high-profile crisis management case like this. Just because soldiers wear uniforms doesn't mean they eat kittens for breakfast and enjoy killing. None of us know the facts of what SSG Bales did or did not do, but whatever happened in that Afghan village is totally out of character for a soldier.

To the older reporters who went through Vietnam and disagree with what I wrote in that last paragraph: we aren't in the Vietnam era with draftees who don't want to be there. Every soldier wearing the uniform today signed up after 9/11 knowing it was very likely if not certain they'd be deployed at some point to Iraq or Afghanistan. It makes a big difference; with no insult whatsoever intended to the Vietnam-era soldiers, the Army today can be much more selective, and even in the civilian world you know that an organization choosing between lots of applicants gets better people than an organization that isn't being or can't be as selective.

I know this is long. I sincerely hope it helps not only you but others reading here.

241 posted on 03/19/2012 11:03:28 AM PDT by darrellmaurina
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To: darrellmaurina

Yeah, that was helpful, I do appreciate the information/advice. I’m certainly new to all of this, and I feel like I’m walking on eggshells with the fact that I’m still an active duty Army officer. Not that I’d really say anything different, I feel I have to be careful, and I’m limited in the medium I can approach due to that status (NO television!).

I’m finding that TV people are flabbergasted when you decline to speak on TV. It’s kind of funny, actually. I don’t know why you wouldn’t want to go an armed raid against a terrorist target in Baghdad, so....


242 posted on 03/19/2012 11:27:03 AM PDT by Future Snake Eater (Don't stop. Keep moving!)
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To: Future Snake Eater
Yep... our closest TV station is 90 minutes away so we don't often deal with TV around here, and when we do, it's usually a senior officer talking who is fine with being on TV, or it's something that would be irrelevant for the insurgents.

I understand the “no video” rule but I also understand why reporters are surprised. Many people caught up in something like this love to be on TV and keep the tapes to show their kids and grandkids. That's what television reporters expect, especially at the national media level, but when it's explained that putting you live on air could result in you becoming a target, generally they understand. TV reporters routinely have protect the identities of images of rape victims or undercover police officers.

I wish you well, Captain... and you're finding out firsthand how easy it is for someone like Rick Santorum to get drawn off-message by answering questions that may create complications.

We'll all find out much more soon about what happened with SSG Bales, and I'm guessing you'll end up being called as a defense witness in the court-martial so this probably won't be your last time explaining publicly what you know of SSG Bales.

243 posted on 03/19/2012 12:03:49 PM PDT by darrellmaurina
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To: darrellmaurina

Well, aside from potential career ramifications, I also feel like going on TV like that would basically be more feeding into my vanity than trying to help Bales.

It must be hard for presidential candidates. I have the luxury of saying “I don’t know” or “that’s above my pay grade” whereas a competent presidential candidate can’t possibly get away with that (see what I did there?). Plus, I haven’t exactly been hit with “gotcha” questions like they have to deal with.

I’ve little doubt that the defense will call me out. Should be interesting.


244 posted on 03/19/2012 12:12:28 PM PDT by Future Snake Eater (Don't stop. Keep moving!)
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To: Future Snake Eater
Yep... “I don't know” is a perfectly acceptable answer for an O-3.

We've already seen on Free Republic how Cain got blasted for giving essentially that answer, which was probably a perfectly honest and forthright answer, to questions about things he didn't know about. When you're running for president, if you don't know the answer to something you're accused of being ignorant; if you give an unwise answer based on incomplete information, you're accused of even worse things.

I'm guessing you've got more than a passing familiarity with courts-martial. I've covered enough of them in both the Air Force and the Army to believe the military judicial system is significantly better than its civilian equivalent. The difference won't be as great with a high-profile case, but it is dramatic with lesser cases where, unlike military JAG personnel who have adequate time to prosecute and defend, the overworked civilian prosecutors cut deals because they don't have time to deal with the cases and defendants either rely on overworked public defenders or pay for the best justice they can afford through getting their own private defense attorney.

Whatever happens to SSG Bales, he'll be treated fairly by the military court martial system — severely, but fairly.

I can't consistently say that about civilian courts. I firmly believe in the American judicial system, but crime has greatly outstripped the willingness of taxpayers to pay for police, courts, jails, and other things which are necessary to have a well-ordered society. So much tax money is being wasted at the federal level on worthless social programs that voters don't get to approve by referendum that local tax issues, which typically **DO** have to go on the ballot, get defeated regularly, thereby forcing local governments to rely more and more on federal aid.

245 posted on 03/19/2012 12:52:25 PM PDT by darrellmaurina
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To: Future Snake Eater
FSE, did you see this video interview with the lawyer? Defense lawyer in Afghanistan massacre known for hard-core cases

When asked about his first conversation with SSGt Bales, Atty Brown says, he sounded distant, had a deer in the headlights......sounded okay, etc. When the interviewer asks Atty Browne if it appeared that SSGt Bales knew what he had done, the attorney responds, No. He seemed to be unaware of some of the facts that he (Browne) talked about which made him concerned about his (Bales') state of mind.

I hadn't seen that reported anywhere, how about you?
246 posted on 03/19/2012 2:33:27 PM PDT by Girlene
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To: All

Interview with Atty Browne just confirmed my previous post. SSGt Bales has no memory of the killings. Charges expected by March 22; Browne indicating he won’t likely go for insanity defense, rather a diminished capacity defense.

Report went into further details of financial liabilities from work as a broker.


247 posted on 03/19/2012 3:44:10 PM PDT by Girlene
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To: butterdezillion

The latest reports are that the suspect has “no memory” of any of the events that night.

There is much being hidden about this case.


248 posted on 03/19/2012 4:55:26 PM PDT by BlackVeil
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To: Girlene

I had heard rumors to that effect, but this is the first confirmation of it I’ve heard.


249 posted on 03/19/2012 5:54:57 PM PDT by Future Snake Eater (Don't stop. Keep moving!)
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To: BlackVeil

The whole thing stinks. Too much that doesn’t add up.


250 posted on 03/19/2012 6:20:36 PM PDT by butterdezillion
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