Friends call Afghan killing suspect Robert Bales trusted soldier, family man
(Seatttle Times) --
The Army staff sergeant suspected of killing 16 unarmed Afghan civilians during a rampage through two isolated villages Sunday has been identified as a Lake Tapps man who joined the Army after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Sgt. Robert Bales, an Army sniper from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, was on his fourth combat tour when he is alleged to have wandered off on his own from a small outpost to commit an atrocity that has strained U.S.-Afghan relations and saddened his colleagues.
There is little indication of a motive behind the slaughter, which included the shooting deaths of nine children. Some corpses were burned.
And the fact that Bales is a seasoned combat veteran and noncommissioned officer of the sort the Army has relied on through 10 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan only deepens the mystery.
Bales, 38, was flown Friday from Kuwait to the high-security military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where he is being held pending charges.
His neighbors, friends and comrades-in-arms have expressed grief and disbelief at the accusations.
"He was a great noncommissioned officer," one of Bales' former commanding officers told The Seattle Times on Friday. "When I found out who the name was, I nearly fell off my chair and I had a good cry."
The officer, who commanded Bales during intense fighting in Iraq, where the suspect served a total of 37 months, asked that his name not be used because Bales has not been identified formally by the Army as the suspect...
The New York Times has quoted senior military officials as saying Bales had been drinking against regulations before the killings.
Browne, his attorney, said the soldier has "never said anything antagonistic about Muslims. He's never said anything antagonistic about Middle Eastern individuals."
"He's generally been very mild-mannered," Browne said.
The former commanding officer who spoke to The Times was among several sources who said Bales distinguished himself in Iraq at the bloody and one-sided Battle of Zarqa, also known as the Battle of Najaf, in January 2007. About 170 Stryker troops confronted a well-armed, fortified force of Shiite fighters after a U.S. helicopter was downed.
Over two days, some 250 enemy fighters were killed and 80 others wounded in a frightening display of firepower. The Americans didn't suffer a single casualty.
Afterward, the soldiers turned around and provided medical assistance and humanitarian aid to the survivors and their families.
"I've never been more proud to be a part of this unit than that day," Bales said in a 2009 article published about the battle in the Northwest Guardian, a Lewis-McChord publication. "For the simple fact that we discriminated between the bad guys and the noncombatants and then afterward we ended up helping the people that three or four hours before were trying to kill us.
"I think that's the real difference between being an American as opposed to being a bad guy," he said...
Browne, the attorney, has described Bales as a "highly decorated" soldier who had been injured twice in combat, including a head injury in the crash of a Stryker vehicle and another incident in which he said Bales lost a portion of a foot — injuries that typically would result in a Purple Heart decoration.
However, Army records released Friday show numerous commendations for Bales but not a Purple Heart.
The shock over the killings is amplified by Bales' status as a senior and experienced noncommissioned officer, long considered the backbone of the military...MORE...LINK
No more wars for Israel, Zionism and Globalism.
As for the rich, overfed, 1% slobs and their wiry political lackeys who think the U.S. Military is their play thing, let them move to Israel and pick up a rifle if they want a clash of civilizations.
They won't, because they're cowards, hypocrites and self-serving snakes...a true nest of vipers that Jesus of Nazareth and many others down through the course of Western civilization warned the world about.
Why has America unleashed these snakes upon the world? Because its political class is hopelessly corrupt, and in need of radical reform at whatever cost it takes.-- C.M.