Skip to comments.Wife of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales' (releases) statement
Posted on 03/19/2012 4:15:37 PM PDT by xzins
Karilyn Bales, whose husband, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is accused of killing Afghan civilians, released this statement on Monday:
What happened on the night of March 11 in Kandahar Province was a terrible and heartbreaking tragedy.
My family including my and Bobs extended families are all profoundly sad. We extend our condolences to all the people of the Panjawai District, our hearts go out to all of them, especially to the parents, brothers, sisters and grandparents of the children who perished.
I know that all good people around the world, regardless of nationality, religion or political values, join me in grieving that such a terrible thing could happen.
Our family has little information beyond what we read and see in the media. What has been reported is completely out of character of the man I know and admire. Please respect me when I say I cannot shed any light on what happened that night, so please do not ask.
I too want to know what happened. I want to know how this could be.
I have no indication that my familys own safety is at risk, but I appreciate the efforts that have been undertaken to protect us. I hope there will soon be no reason for protection of families, whether here or in Kandahar Province, or anywhere, because the pain inevitably inflicted in war should never be an excuse to inflict yet more pain. The cycle must be broken. We must find peace.
I know the media has a right to pursue and report news. As you do your jobs, I plead with you to respect the trauma that I and my extended family are experiencing. Please allow us some peace and time as we try to make sense of something that makes no sense at all.
All I can do now is emphasize my sadness and my condolences to the families in Panjawai for their terrible loss. The victims and their families are all in my prayers, as is my husband who I love very much.
End of Statement
I agree, FSE. Those type incidents are not reported in the enemedia and that type incident is repeated many times I would imagine.
You’re right Smooth, multiple tours and ROE.
Good article, jaz, and, oh, so timely. Add in the TBI’s (traumatic brain injury) that many of our troops have received with IED’s being the weapon of choice, and the situation gets even worse.......
..................and obama is cutting TriCare?
The article goes on and talks about the distrust between Afghan civilians and US troops. This was news to me:
...........”Mr. Bordin also uncovered deep distrust of Afghan civilians. American soldiers, he wrote, were repulsed by the abuse and neglect they observed in how children are treated in Afghan society. U.S. soldiers largely reported that they did not care for Afghan civilians due to these factors as well as their suspected sympathies for the insurgents.”.................
It's not surprising, they're primitives. The mystic monkeygod book that few of them can even read has far more hocus pocus power than the value of a human life.
The Afghans are a much more devout Muslim country than Iraq from what I've read, they're also a more primitive people. The Taliban fighter comes from the towns and villages that our troops are in and close to, little wonder we don't trust the civilians and vice versa.
That has been interesting. Theories why?
Your tin foil hat is on two tight.
I realized there was distrust between US and Afghanis. What I hadn’t realized is that the Afghanis abuse and neglect their children.
Thank you for the thanks... though I'm not sure I've done anything worthy of being thanked. FWIW, I definitely believe that no matter what SSG Bales may or may not have done, Mrs. Bales is among the victims in this nightmare. She deserves no blame for what happened and definitely deserves the sympathy and prayers and general encouragement of the military community.
254 posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2012 7:50:36 PM by Future Snake Eater: “Thats good to hear that life is progressing for her, thanks for the report. The media are insane over this, theres no doubt. Hell, I feel like Im making matters worse these days. Ive spoken to a few folks about the idiotic interpretations of Karis blog entries. Who knows if its done any good?”
Thank you again for your efforts here, FSE.
I've already gone out on a limb here by saying considerably more than someone in my profession should say, but I'm going to keep doing some of that for two reasons: 1) I don't think there is any likelihood that I will ever have to cover this case, and 2) you got my attention loud and clear several days ago when you said you don't have any public relations people advising you. I'm not a PR guy by any definition of the word, and I'm definitely not in the same league as the media people you're dealing with, but I do know how the media work and perhaps what I can say will help.
Obviously it is your choice what to say and what not to say, but I'd encourage you to keep talking and keep correcting misunderstandings and errors. Given time, it works. The alternative is that honest misunderstandings and negligent errors combine to form a consensus view in the media which may be very difficult or impossible to counteract.
Reporters know there are at least two sides to a story and generally want to be able to tell both sides. That's very difficult in a situation like this where very few facts are available, where most people aren't talking, and where key information can be obtained only from Afghanistan — a place where there's no way even the embedded reporters and Kabul bureau personnel can do their own investigations without a high likelihood of being killed.
The result is reporters are hunting for facts anywhere they can be found, and getting a combination of accurate information, total nonsense, and everything in between, plus well-meaning misinterpretations of that information and misinformation.
Lack of access to facts provides an opportunity for those who do have facts — you included — to have a major role in shaping the narrative being told by the media.
In this case, it appears that you and SSG Bales’ lawyer are the only people telling his side of the story. At the same time, Army personnel are leaking things to the media, presumably with explicit permission or “please don't tell me what you're doing” tacit approval from their chain of command. This is a highly charged political case with international repercussions, and I'm not going to blame the senior leaders too much for the leaks which they probably think are necessary to prevent more soldiers from being killed, but the fact is that when only one side is talking, that side is the one which gets its story told. Perceptions, even if totally wrong, can quickly become reality in the mind of the general public if they don't get challenged.
Here's a concrete example of what can happen when people refuse to talk to the media early on, thus allowing public perceptions to get framed in problematic ways. Remember Elian Gonzalez, the Cuban refugee boy whose mother died along with others trying to bring him to Florida, but whose father in Cuba managed to obtain custody via American courts? Elian Gonzalez should have been a poster-child for the opportunities of America versus the near-slavery of Cuba, but early refusal of the Florida Gonzalez relatives to discuss the case allowed the Cuban government to tell their side of the story to the American and international media. By the time the Florida Gonzalez family became more aggressive in telling their story, the narrative had already been defined in ways that were not helpful to their interests. I'm not trying to blame the Gonzalez family here, merely to point out that in a battle for public perception of a high-profile case, early actions or inactions can have a tremendous effect down the road.
Again, I have no way to know what SSG Bales did or did not do in Afghanistan. I cannot take sides in a case where I don't know the facts. What I do know is that if his side of the story is going to be told, it will have to be people like you, who do know him, and who are willing to tell it.
262 posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2012 8:08:22 PM by Kaylee Frye: “That is unbelievably shameful. The movers should have called the cops the second that happened. My heart aches for Kari.”
Kaylee, I am not going to defend the conduct of reporters and photographers swarming the moving team at a vacant house to get photos for print or video footage for television. However, I'm saying that as a reporter who refuses to photograph dead bodies or injured people at car crashes, so I fall into the category of someone who thinks respect for victims is important and thinks photos are less important than facts. A lot of my colleagues won't agree with me on that.
**HOWEVER** — being an insensitive jerk is not a crime.
If these reporters and photographers did what they were doing from the street or sidewalk, they had every legal right to stand there and take all the photos they wanted. Conservatives protesting abortion clinics, for example, were entirely correct to demand their right to protest on public property.
If these reporters were trespassing on private property that changes things completely.
In closing, I feel horrible for the family of SSG Bales. Being a military wife is hard enough without something like this happening, which puts it off the charts on horrible outcomes of a deployment. I'd say the same thing about the surviving family members of the victims of this shooting if I knew enough to be sure they were innocent victims, but this is warfare, we're fighting an enemy which hates us, and we don't know enough yet for me to want to go out on a limb and say much about the shooting victims.
See? I never knew it was that many...where is the outrage over this. I for one am sick and tired of it all. 10 years is enough - we've given enough to a country that doesn't want peace.
Show me a link to how many victims, their ages, their gender and how each died. That's not too much to ask is it?
You are so right! Now he’s telling his minions he needs 5 more years to complete “his job”.
PB, the Afphyies don’t have to riot, our screaming presstitutes are doing it for them.
Yesterday I read one of Michael Yon’s articles and so far the “friendly” Afphgans, having been trained by Americans and are mixed in with American troops,have killed 200 of our troops and maybe more. The Americans are being reported as KIA. Actually these American military are being murdered by the very people the Americans are trying to help. So why are the presstitutes of the American traitoress media NOT reporting this?
Someone (the old liberal/progressives?) is silencing the media that wants to report these facts. Karzai is nothing but a puppet for the Taliban. Time to let them spill their own blood for their freedom and democracy.
No, this administration has been hand picked to do and say exactly what we are seeing and hearing. O was picked from nowhere and now sits in our whitehouse, he has surrounded himself with like minded unAmericans including the presstitutes. He and his troops are and have been in the process of ruining this country. He now want’s 5 more years to finish the job.
By disarming the Marine greeters upon his arrival, panetta just wanted to kiss Karzi’s other cheek by accusing SSGT Bales. He’s one of those clinton reruns, UN yes men flunkies.
I don’t know whose deicision it was to disarm our own, but it was pathetic. IMO, they put the Sec Def. in harm’s way.
I don’t know how to investigate it other than to dig into it, girlene. I do know that buried at the end of on article castigating Bales was a little line about “7 other individuals and companies” being accused of this same crime.
My antennae went up at that info. My sense is that Bales was part of a company that had bad financial methods.
You really have to wonder how a relatively smart person gives one man 1.5 million dollars on a wish and a prayer, and it gets pocketed by that one man. Then you learn that, no, it was 7 different individuals and companies.
BTW, in the army a staff sergeant is abbreviated SSG. That’s different than the Marines. It’s no biggie. Just thought you’d want to know.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.