Bales to plead guilty in Afghan massacre
Proposed deal would allow Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier to avoid the death penalty.
Seattle Times staff and news services
May 29, 2013
In a proposed deal to avoid the death penalty, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales has agreed to plead guilty to killing 16 Afghans during a March 2012 tour of duty with an Army unit from Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
John Henry Browne said his client has “tremendous remorse” and would enter the plea at a court hearing at the base scheduled for June 5.
“The commanding general (at the base) has approved this so the only thing left is for the judge on the 5th to accept this plea,” Browne said Wednesday.
The Army judge has set aside a day for the plea agreement, and Bales is prepared to talk about the crimes.
Bales, 39, is accused of carrying out the most serious U.S. war crimes to emerge from more than a decade of American military involvement in Afghanistan.
In Afghanistan, the plea deal could inflame tensions. In interviews with The Associated Press in Kandahar in April, relatives of the victims became outraged at the notion Bales might escape the death penalty and even vowed revenge.
“For this one thing, we would kill 100 American soldiers,” said Mohammed Wazir, who had 11 relatives killed that night, including his mother and 2-year-old daughter.
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Thursday, May 30, 2013
Staff Sgt. Bales plea deal could cause retaliation in Afghanistan
This story leaves so many questions. Why did Bales go on the rampage? What medication was he on? There are stories circulating he had PTSD but PTSD does not usually cause anything close to this. There are reports about others committing crimes after being given Mefloquine and the Bales case caused the military so scramble to stop using it after this. There are also reports Bales had TBI and PTSD but so far there have been few answers as to why this happened. Now with troops still in Afghanistan, this plea deal could inflame retaliation against them. There needs to be answers and fast or this could get a lot worse.