He loves children, he’s like a big kid himself. I have no idea what happened, but he would not … he loves children, and he would not do that.Karilyn Bales, wife of Afghan shooting suspect Robert Bales • Speaking on “The Today Show” about the allegations against her husband. Bales, whose husband went into the military in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, says her husband is “very brave, very courageous,” but admits that he did not tell her everything about his work. For example, she did not learn he suffered a traumatic brain injury in Iraq until he returned home. Robert Bales is being held at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, from which he and his wife shared a phone call last week.
» Meant as compensation? According to Afghan official Haji Nyamat Khan (a Kandahar provincial council member), he U.S. government offered the money as a way to help the families, not solely as compensation. But a NATO official disputed that, specifically saying it was meant as compensation. Whether or not this is the case could be significant, as “blood money” can be used as a way to replace a trial in Afghanistan. The suspect in the shooting, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, is currently getting tried in the U.S., but many Afghan want him to be tried there.
There will be efforts to paint him as a rogue soldier rather than focusing on how we treat GIs in general or whether we should be over there to begin with.Attorney John Henry Browne • Discussing his client, the soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians last week. Browne, who spoke on The Today Show this morning, said the case against his client was “more political than legal” and that the defense would likely focus on the client having post-traumatic stress disorder.
Afghan security forces have the ability to keep the security in rural areas and in villages on their own.Afghan leader Hamid Karzai • Saying in a statement that he wants international troops out of Afghan villages for good, in the wake of a deadly shooting of Afghan civilians by a U.S. soldier. In related news, peace talks between the Afghan Taliban and U.S. broke down Thursday.
This is not the first of those events, and it probably won’t be the last. But we cannot allow these events to undermine our strategy or the mission that we’re involved in.Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta • While discussing the recent shooting of 16 Afghan citizens, by a member of the U.S. military, with reporters on flight to Kyrgyzstan. During his remarks, the Secretary of Defense also mentioned that the government’s goal was to see the suspect tried in the U.S. military justice system. Panetta’s comments come amid increasingly loud calls for the soldier in question to face trial in Afghanistan, and for the United States to re-evaluate its long-term plans for operating inside the country. The calls have grown louder in recent weeks after a series of incidents including Sunday’s shooting, and the mass-burning of Korans at Bagram Air Base last month. source (via • follow)
This is an assassination, an intentional killing of innocent civilians and cannot be forgiven.Afghan President Hamid Karzai • Using tough words in discussing the mass killing of 16 Afghan civilians, allegedly at the hands of a U.S. soldier. Karzai says he’s asked the U.S. to stop killing Afghan civilians many times in the past, but the latest incident seems to have put him over the edge.