But, But… They Hate Us For Our Freedoms

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The American soldier charged with killing 16 Afghan civilians during nighttime raids on two villages last year pleaded guilty Wednesday in a military courtroom to avoid the death penalty, setting the stage for him to recount details of the horrific slaughter.

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales pleaded guilty to 16 counts of premeditated murder and other charges in the March 2012 attacks on two villages near the remote base in southern Afghanistan where he was posted.

Most of the victims were women and children, and some of the bodies were burned; relatives have told The Associated Press they are irate at the notion Bales will escape execution for one of the worst atrocities of the Afghanistan war.

A military judge still must decide whether to accept his plea.

As the hearing began at Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Seattle, the judge, Col. Jeffery Nance, explained Bales’ rights and asked if he understood them. Bales stood and answered: “Yes, sir, I do.”

Defense attorney Emma Scanlan then entered Bales’ pleas on his behalf. She entered one not guilty plea, to a charge that he impeded the investigation by breaking his laptop after he was taken into custody.

Bales, 39, has signed a lengthy stipulation of facts about his actions the night of the attacks.

Nance said Wednesday he will question the soldier about the details admitted in that document. Bales’ attorney John Henry Browne has said he expects his client to admit to “very specific facts” about the killings.

Browne said last week that Bales, a father of two from Lake Tapps, was “crazed” and “broken” but not legally insane at the time of the attacks.

Although Wednesday’s proceedings will provide Bales’ account for the first time, survivors who testified by video link from Afghanistan during a hearing last fall vividly recalled the carnage.

A young girl in a bright headscarf described hiding behind her father as he was shot to death. Boys told of hiding behind curtains as others scrambled and begged the soldier to spare them, yelling: “We are children! We are children!” A thick-bearded man told of being shot in the neck by a gunman “as close as this bottle,” gesturing to a water bottle on a table in front of him.

Prosecutors say that before dawn on March 11, 2012, Bales slipped away from Camp Belambay in Kandahar Province, armed with a 9 mm pistol and M-4 rifle outfitted with a grenade launcher.

He first attacked one village of mud-walled compounds, Alkozai, then returned to the base, woke up a fellow soldier and told him about it. The soldier didn’t believe him and went back to sleep. Bales then left to attack a second village, Najiban.

The massacre prompted such angry protests that the U.S. temporarily halted combat operations in Afghanistan, and it was three weeks before Army investigators could reach the crime scene.

Bales was serving his fourth combat deployment and had an otherwise good if undistinguished military record in a decade-long career. The Ohio native suffered from PTSD and a traumatic brain injury, his lawyers say, and he had been drinking contraband alcohol and snorting Valium – both provided by other soldiers – the night of the killings.

The case raised questions about the toll multiple deployments were taking on American troops. For that reason, many legal experts believed it was unlikely he would receive the death penalty, as Army prosecutors were seeking. The military justice system hasn’t executed anyone since 1961, but five men currently face death sentences.

“Any time you can strike a deal that saves your client’s life, I would call that a win,” said Dan Conway, a civilian military defense lawyer who is not involved in the case. “This is the right result for both parties.”

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11 COMMENTS

  1. “The Ohio native suffered from PTSD and a traumatic brain injury, his lawyers say, and he had been drinking contraband alcohol and snorting Valium”

    Brain injury can easily be proven, however PTSD, alcohol and Valium are just an excuse. Anyone who’s had Valium knows how heavy and dull it makes you. I doubt snorting would cause the reverse.

    Alcohol makes many people, including myself sleepy. Some get restless, but the combination of Valium and alcohol couldn’t possibly make someone focused enough to carry that out – PTSD, brain injury or otherwise.

    I wonder why he would still be serving and, capable of gaining access to a weapon with PTSD and a brain injury. Who are these people?

  2. The world can, and IMHO should, hate Americans for their ideas. They should also hate the violent enforcers of those ideas. That doesn’t mean they should hate individual American who conductive themselves peacefully and morally, assuming they have away to determine who is who.

    People Have Rights. Violent Enforcers of Ideas Don’t Have Rights. Ideas Don’t Have Rights.
    http://i.imgur.com/xJZ9kNH.jpg

    • America – synonymous mostly with the US government – is arguably the most hated entity in the world. Because it is a pushy, relentless bully – commercially as well as militarily that cannot leave anything alone. It is the Yankee Sickness writ large. The legacy of those filthy New England Puritans and their cannot-be-satiated lust to control others for their own good.

      • Yankee Sickness. That’s an excellent diagnosis, Doctor.

        St Peterburg FL Times 7-9-44 “Yankee Sickness”
        http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=888&dat=19440709&id=7BVPAAAAIBAJ&sjid=yk4DAAAAIBAJ&pg=5201,5665699

        “Allies Attack In Normandy

        Field Marshall Rommel’s liver acted up and his personal physician sped to the invasion front to tend it. No Nazi medicine man had a cure for the Yankee Sickness, Canadian Aches, or British Complaint”

        That’s a very telling sentence. I read it as the Nazi’s are a sick society. Now that they are being overrun by a larger more powerful alliance of other sick societies.
        – – – –

        The Germans should have drawn a line at retaking the lands where German was the lingua franca. The allies should have ceded their German Helots back to a German Empire, as only a rightful and typical condition of the world. A German empire that still owed a great debt to the other nations, but one they would work with.

        Instead both sides became even sicker in the head, bound and determined to incapacitate everyone, so that no one was sovereign any more, and that all were captives of outsider nefarious forces and conscripted of endless warmongering.

        • Indeed!

          And, in re Germany and WWII:

          I have always thought it interesting – and telling – that Britain and France declared war on Germany… but not the Soviet Union. If it was justified to declare war on Hitler’s Reich over its attack upon and occupation of Poland, then why was it ok for Stalin’s Soviet Union to do exactly the same thing with no significant Western response?

          Churchill refused to make peace with Germany – even though Hitler offered to pull his troops back from France and several other countries that had been occupied and enter into negotiations to discuss the Polish state’s status. The stated reason was that Hitler and the Nazis were evil, and aggressively expansionist. True.

          Yet, Churchill – and the US – permitted Stalin to take – and occupy – much of Europe. Including all of Poland.

          What was the upside to not making peace with Hitler?

          Note: This is not a defense of Hitler. It’s just a few politically incorrect observations about acceptable tyranny – i.e., Soviet communism – vs. unacceptable tyranny – i.e., National Socialist Germany.

          • One could turn oneself red white and blue trying to honestly argue against German rule over Germanic people or Russian rule over Slavic people. Maybe say they’re godless and mean, the sheeple will believe a lie if it’s big and brazen enough.

            Brit-Yank-Franks have quite the unashamed kaleidoscopic history of turncoatism, and that’s why our Brit-Yank-Frank founders manifestly swam to Hawaii, Philippines, Caribbean, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and other Domineering Christianizing Beachheads. God Save the Queen-President-Consul.

            That’s why the Allies Pre-war Naval Blockade Starved so many German People, out of their Holy and Righteous Brotherly Affection.

            They do it all for us because of their honest and noble intentions, not a bit like those cruel and godless Communazis. God Smite the General Secretary-Führer

            Communazi Pact
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molotov–Ribbentrop_Pact#The_secret_protocol

            Communazi 10 Year Non-Aggression Agreement Between Hitler & Stalin
            http://www.hourofthetime.com/wordpresstest/?p=1162

            TIME Magazine
            The Revolt of the Intellectuals
            Monday, Jan. 06, 1941

            “When the train of history makes a sharp turn, said Lenin, the passengers who do not have a good grip on their seats are thrown off. Last week the Communist Limited had just about completed the dizzy turn from the Communazi Pact to the Battle of Britain, and U. S. literary liberals were spattered all over the right of way. As the Red Express hooted off into the shades of a closing decade, ex-fellow travelers rubbed their bruises, wondered how they had ever come to get aboard. Observers wondered if they had learned enough…”

  3. This is an outrage. All murders of third world foreigners on the other side of the world should be duly authorized and carried out in strict adherence to the constitution.

    Otherwise, we’ll lose their hearts and minds, and the world at large will stop believing Americans only occupy nations of indigent villagers to selflessly fight for freedom.

    – – – –
    Another Brick in the Wall cover version by Richard Cheese. Lounge version from the album “Sunny Side of the Moon.”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zX2wqsrF3A
    – – – –
    Open Box of US Passports Found In EPA Man Cave
    http://www.epa.gov/oig/reports/2013/20130531-13-P-0272.pdf

    • This man committed a war crime every bit as egregious as the war crimes for which numerous members of the Waffen SS were hung, post-1945.

      Yet this creature will not forfeit his life.

      And what of the officers above him?

      Nothing happens to them.

      • Nuremberg, Bavaria Looks Nice. Look a Toy Fair.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aebuDel86_o

        Germany was just voted the most popular nation in a BBC poll. I bet they would be qualified to serve as a neutral host for a World’s Justice Fair.

        Surely they have many wise men, to play host to other individuals of the world. More than capable of deciding who should be punished for modern war crimes, and how severely.

        Germany Voted Most Popular Country
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22624104

        Why not a World’s Justice Fair? A solid step on a new path. To be held in Nuremberg, Bavaria on Gedenktag des Attentats auf Hitler commemoration day*, July 20th, 2013.

        *Commemorative day of the assassination attempt on Hitler in 1944. More of an observance than official holiday.
        On July 20, 1944 an assassination plot against Hitler failed Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg’s bomb detonated but only injured the crazed tyrant.
        Von Stauffenberg and his fellow conspirators were arrested and hanged.
        Today von Stauffenberg and the other plotters are recognized each year for trying to end Nazi terror and restore legitimate and peaceful rule in Germany.

  4. “This is the right result for both parties.” What the hell? Which two parties? Seems the dead would beg to differ.

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