Skip to comments.Staff Sgt. Robert Bales gets Life w/o parole. What really Happened? Could this have been avoided?
Posted on 08/25/2013 1:38:22 PM PDT by lee martell
Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who pleaded guilty to killing 16 Afghans in a shooting spree last year, was sentenced Friday to life in prison without parole, legally ending an episode of one of the worst atrocities of the Afghanistan war. The Jury of six soldiers deliberated for less than two hours before reaching their conclusion.
Many are saying the Bales did not receive very good defense representation. There is surprise that the Post Traumatic Stress Defense was not employed by defense attorney, John Henry Browne. Mr. Browne's reply to that was; "We didn't want to open that door, Because then, you get into a battle of the experts, and I don't think juries like that." It is likely that Robert Bales and family are too shaken by this entire matter to think critically or question the wisdom of his attorney. One would be inclined to expect your defense attorney to do all that was legally possible to allow for some possible consideration of parole in the future.
I supported the first Iraq war and the actions in Afghanistan. What reduced my enthusiasm was knowing that the U.S. Military made a policy of sending soldiers back to those same hot spots again and again and again. This happened in some cases, even when that enlisted's contractual active duty was over, and they should have been re-assigned elsewhere. Why would they stridently break their word by recycling our warriors this way? A primary reason for this recycling is likely because not enough qualified young people are volunteering for the military. When you remove all the morbidly obese couch potatoes, the gang bangers, the super-sensitives who cannot take the rigors of drills and rules, there aren't many left. Those left end up doing the jobs of two or three personnel in more populated times, and they may not make a career out of the military as often as in the past. Marriages can easily break down when spouses are unexpectedly separated for years.
We will probably need to reintroduce the draft, is my feeling. An added advantage to the draft (for both men and women) is that there will be a few less million unemployed people with too much time on their hands. For some, serving two years in the service will help them and their enabling families to finally grow up.
Well, he may have been stressed out, but that doesn’t excuse his actions. There are other ways of dealing with this.
I think he should have gotten the death penalty.
But since nobody gets it - except Timothy McVeigh, obviously to keep him from revealing what he knew - I guess life in prison is acceptable. At least we know that he, being a non-Muslim average white person, will serve it in great discomfort and misery. On the other hand, when Hassan gets it (because believe me, they’re definitely not going to put him to death), he’s going to be in the lap of luxury.
For Hassan, it will be Islamic tasty treats on holidays, Islamic food prepared by a chef the rest of the time, visits from his mullah and group prayers...and probably being able to write his book, “Jihad and Me.”
The all-volunteer force does work. These instances are rare.
You're in you go where you're told. Draft? ...zot.
forget the stress for now, just look at the multi. closed head injuries,partial loss of his left foot,loss of his best friend,multi. back to back deployments, Just these few factors alone should have at least brought him home for at least a year or more just for rehab & rest & readjustment.
but the Army kept sending him back into a meat grinder. Men & women are NOT machines are abound to snap at some time. The Army has a lot to blame for this too, as well as an Admin. that ties the hands of our troops behind their backs so they can not win the war....
Oh, I agree that he shouldn’t have been there.
And I think it’s very true that the fact that our military is now barely even allowed to shoot back and defend themselves is a contributing factor.
That said, it’s horrible that his victims had to go through something where they thought that somebody who had come to help them had suddenly turned on them. It discredits us and shows how weak and useless our chain of command and discipline have become.
Unless, of course, they were jihadis, but he never argued this.
Another American casualty. Along with his family.
This isn’t right.
To update somewhat Bismarck’s proclamation, “The entire Muslim world isn’t worth the bones of a single Pomeranian Grenadier.”
“What reduced my enthusiasm was knowing that the U.S. Military made a policy of sending soldiers back to those same hot spots again and again and again.”
It didn’t reduce your enthusiasm when the afghan soldiers we were forced to train were murdering us day after day?
It didn’t reduce your enthusiasm when the pos in chief changed the ROE so we couldn’t even defend ourselves against the taliban if they weren’t actually shooting straight at us while planting IEDs or if someone who might or might not be a civilian was within striking distance?
It didn’t reduce your enthusiasm when the AMERICAN women soldiers were forced to wear headscarves to avoid hurting the ‘sensibilities’ of our taliban brothers?
It didn’t reduce your enthusiasm when the Holy Bibles had to be burned for the same reason?
It didn’t reduce your enthusiasm when our troops were under seige and air support was refused?
And you wonder why this man cracked, snapped, whatever on top of the drug cocktails they were being fed to keep them going without rest or sleep?
Buddy, if none of THAT curbed your enthusiasm, you sure must have liked this war over nothing except to keep a bastard drug coop in power while the poppy production went up exponentially every year we were there.
Sgt. Bales got screwed. He had a head injury and the jerks in the Pentagon sent him back to Afghanistan. He should NEVER have been returned to a combat situation after sustaining a head injury.
So, I blame the higher-ups in the Pentagon for what happened rather than him. I pray that someone with an ounce of common sense will overturn his sentence sometime and render true justice for both Sgt. Bales and the Afghans he allegedly killed. So far, all that has been done is crap in the name of political correctness.
Not ever again.
I served with draftees, since the draft for the Marines and Army ran from 1941 through 1973, draftee was common.
In WWII many Marines and sailors were draftees, and the Army that fought WWII was 93% drafted, a military that can’t turn an 18 year old teen into a good soldier is in trouble.
The all volunteer military is incredibly expensive, and is self destructing, the shortage of men has feminized the military as females, moms, and grandmothers had to be recruited to make up the shortages, we lack bench depth for major wars.
The 40 years of changes that the volunteer military has brought, has actually made it too late for a draft to save the military, since now, the draft would not be used to bring in men only, but would now reflect the volunteer military of males, females, and gays.
At least the draft could save money and create a large inactive reserve of trained GIs.
I am a 12 year veteran, and have siblings and family going back many generations who were in the military. Same on my wife’s side. Any country worth fighting for will not need a draft. Any military worth serving in will not need a draft. Any war worth fighting will not require a draft.
This progressive new military and the traitors on both sides of the aisle can gin up and execute their wars without my kids and any other kids who I can convince to dodge any draft that comes down. Let the pillow biters and Christian haters go get killed for the Progressive National Socialist cause.
I vow right now that I will hide, give shelter and support to anyone who evades a coming draft based on an understanding of the tyranny that has come to our country.
Those tricky Germans using fluffy white dogs as grenadiers....
Draft? Absolutely not.
A big part of why Bales’ trial was concluded so quickly was b/c he fessed up to what he did. He didn’t play games with the court system. You could make the argument that he just did that to get out of the death penalty, and that argument has merits, but, frankly, life without parole was a possibility from that moment, and that could be seen as a worse fate. Also Bales isn’t a coward. He did it for his kids? I don’t know. I can’t imagine there’s going to be a lot of visiting time in the future.
People can sit here and in their homes and condemn him as a mass murderer who deserves what he gets, but this is a very, very sad story all the way around, no matter how you look at it. Innocent people (probably) are dead, a terrific NCO with a bright future is now in chains for life, and a family is ruined. Heartbreaking.
Sure, he could have abstainded from murdering those innocent civilians....and I'd have a little more respect for him if he asked for the death penaly as Hassan is doing.
Maybe if they chose their battles, and then fought to win and go home, they wouldn't have that problem.
Sending these guys in, over and over, with one hand tied behind their back, with queers and women in the mix is a great recruiting tool.
And what do you have to say for the families of the members he killed in cold blood, in a country he was sent to defend? It is right and that is why we have the UCMJ.............
they are scum i spit on them and wish hell on earth
When 9/11 happened, it did not result in the enlistment offices being filled.
Many of us older freepers will tell how we tried to reenlist but were told we were too old, but the young didn’t show up, and black and female enlistment clearly dropped when we started fighting.
Things got so desperate that the Army actually started allowing in 42 year old grandmas in 2006.
My first post to reply to this, I can’t stand this kind of talk.
I do not want to serve with anyone that has been drafted.
The all-volunteer force does work. These instances are rare.
As a Draftee, I did not like serving with you lifer mofos either....wait, maybe you never had the pleasure of doing so for your country, much less doing it at your country’s request.
Draftees accounted for 30.4% (17,725) of combat deaths in Vietnam, over 1.5 million were conscripted during the Korean War, and of 292,131 Americans that died in WW-II...about 60 percent of those (175,000) were draftees. I believe the families of these fallen conscripts” would take issue with your strange idea that draftees were inferior.
Can I set you up as guest speaker at our next regional 1st Cav Association meeting, as your special knowledge of the the quality of drafted troopers should make for a lively discussion in the bar or even out in the parking lot, later.
If you ain’t Cav, well you know the rest.
“”Any country worth fighting for will not need a draft. Any military worth serving in will not need a draft. Any war worth fighting will not require a draft.””
The draft and historical amnesia
VFW Magazine, March, 2003
No 20th century war could have been waged, much less won, without draftees. During WWI, 72% of servicemen were drafted50% of the men in Frances trenches were conscripted.
In WWII, 66% of all U.S. forces were drafted. Of the 10.5 million Army personnel, a whopping 93% were draftees. A poll taken in 1941 showed that just more than half of Americans would be willingly drafted for overseas service.
From 1946 to 1973, 5,077,185 men were drafted. During the Korean War era, 30% of total troops were drafted. In December 1950, 82% of the Army in Korea was made up of regulars. Exactly two years later, the ratio was 37% regular to 63% draftee in the war zone.
During the Vietnam era, 1,728,344 men were drafted. Of the forces who actually served in Vietnam, 648,500 (25%) were draftees. Draftees (17,725) accounted for 30.4% of combat deaths in Vietnam.
I'll defer to you on that. I thought there were plenty who showed up to enlist after 9/11. Bush (warts and all) had the respect of those who did.
I did not serve, and I believe you did. So thanks. That said I would not encourage young kids to sign up with this treacherous regime.
My statement stands. I don't want to serve with someone forced to serve. Enough screw-ups get in as it is.
Innocent civilians killed and that is what you wish on them and their families? Sorry bro but you and I don't subscribe to the same God you claim to worship by virtue of your membership on this site.
After further thought, I don't think you affiliate with any God at all and that makes you worse than the muslims...
In the 1st two wars mentioned there were plenty of volunteers. The draft was used to keep the intake orderly.
The 3rd war mentioned proved to be in vain. My position stands.
The military made a conscious decision, under the civilians in control, to NOT expand the Army much. Expanding it enough to handle the demand would have required money, and it would have signaled that we would be there a long time.
During my tour in Afghanistan at 49 (in 2007), I was serving with guys who were on their third & fourth rotation. That was obscene. But GWB didn’t want America to be disturbed from its comfortable lifestyle...
Tell me the gain of being in Afghanistan. Tell me when you look at your grandchildren you approve of your governments coddling of moslems. Tell me you want Sharia in the United States.
You spit on our servicemen.
You don’t think. And all of you people who don’t think have turned this place into a third world craphole.
Let me guess, you got your draft notice back in 1969 and moved to Canada..........I think I met your daughter at the Detroit Metro airport baggage claim back in march of 2003. She was from Vancouver, BC, and bragged about how you and your wife moved to BC after you got your draft notice.....I found it ironic how you chose to remain in Canada all these years and still had the guts to enroll your daughter into Ohio State......
The last draftee retired 2 years ago.
Army’s Last Draftee to Retire After 39 Years
Published July 03, 2011 Associated Press
Mellinger told the draft board there was a mistake.
“I ... told them I don’t need to go into the Army, I’ve got a job,” said Mellinger, who hung drywall for a living. “They just kind of laughed.”
He heard so many war stories in training that he was fired up about going, and was disappointed he was instead assigned to be an office clerk in Germany.
Mellinger wasn’t long for clerking. He earned a spot in the Army Rangers, and would go on to do more than 3,700 parachute jumps. And despite the 1991 parachute accident that gave him the material for the wind chime, breaking his leg in several places, he went on to run nine marathons. He was made a command sergeant major in 1992.
Nearly a decade later, he was sent to ground zero in New York right after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks as part of an advance party from the First Army. Then came his time in Iraq as the top enlisted soldier of the multi-national forces in Iraq, where he says he survived 27 roadside bombings during his deployment of nearly three years straight.
“Draftees are pretty maligned over time,” he said, “but the fact is they are part of every branch of service up to 1973, and when you look at what those military branches accomplished over time, I’ll let the record speak for itself.”
Your explanation helps me to make a little more sense of those times. What you say has an unfortunate sort of logic, if you take the Rove/ Rumsfeld perspective. I guess style ruled over once substance again, just like last November.
Did you read my post, or just skip to the part that echoed in your vacuous noggin?
I served 12 years, most of it overseas and did serve in a combat zone behind a deck-mounted gun.
Anything else I can spell out for the THIRD time?
I am Dana Lee Kissick, United States Navy, STG1. And you are?
I demand justice against those who bring dishonor against the unform I wore...And in the case of Mr. Bales, he got what he deserved.
Nice to meet ya.......but for what it's worth, who cares?
So what was that about me draft dodging? What service did you do? Are you man enough to put your name behind your words? You have any skin in the game?
There clearly not plenty of volunteers, that is why the WWII Army was 93% draftees, the draft was needed to get men into ground combat.
The draft has always proven necessary for large wars, it is why we had to accept old 40 something grandmas, for even these small recent wars, we were desperate.
You were there. You KNOW EVERYTHING. Judge jury and executioner all rolled into one.
Congratulations. Your Honor.
“Contrary to popular belief, recruiting offices didnt fill up after 9/11 like they did after the attack on Pearl Harbor. A modest rise in enlistments followed 9/11, but that increase quickly dissipated as the nation got caught up in two grinding wars.
By 2006, the services were missing recruiting goals. They began lowering standards and offering enlistment bonuses to draw volunteers. In 2003, 94 percent of Army active-duty recruits had high school degrees. Four years later that number had fallen to 82 percent, according to the Army Recruiting Command.”
Thank You Dana L. K., for your service to our country.
Somebody who doesn't feel the need to have to brag about my military experience in an effort to claim moral superiority......
I’d have to say he’s the exception to the rule, but that’s what made America from it’s founding onward... exceptions to the rule.
Actually I wasn't, that was a separate military judge, military jury and military judgment...............
Evidently those facts escaped you........not surprised.
You can continue to play general in the old paradigm but I see where lays the new battlefields. I strongly suggest that no one allow themselves or their kids to be drafted for the future wars of our country as it now functions.
You insinuated that I was a draft dodger. I cleared the air on that by stating the facts. Facts ain’t bragging. Talking about all the women I had in various ports would have been bragging.
As far as moral superiority goes, I never claimed it, and would posit that your attack on me reeked of it. Either way. I am surely not morally superior, merely sure of where the military is heading and damned sure that it will not be a moral place to be in the near future.
I agree with you on the draft. Way too many young people have no idea what to do with their lives after they finally get kicked out of mommy and daddy’s house at the age of 30.
I don’t think that the United States Army of WWII, at 93% draftees, or the 72% draftee military of WWI was just lucky to have a few exceptions.
There were alternatives, like increasing wages & benefits. But why should anyone have joined? GWB wanted America to feel good about itself, and not make any sacrifices. So we didn’t increase taxes to pay for the war, we didn’t explain WHY there was a war...for the most part, we tried to pretend we were not at war.
The recruiting offices were operating without anyone at the top of the government making the case to join.
This was from a 2004 NPR report:
“Currently, there are 499,000 active duty Army troops, backed up by 700,000 National Guard and Army reservists. That’s a third less than when the U.S. fought its last big war in the Persian Gulf, in 1991...
...LT. GEN. JOHN VINES, U.S. Army: Many of our forces have been deployed for a year; some are on their second deployment. And so, right now, the demands on the individual soldier are enormous...
...The new pressures on the Army recently led a bipartisan group of 128 members of the house to call on President Bush to increase the Army’s overall size, called end strength, and to reduce the time reservists must spend on active duty. Republican Heather Wilson of New Mexico is a leader of the effort.
REP. HEATHER WILSON, R-N.M.: I think all of us are concerned that we’re going to see back-to-back combat deployments for American military personnel. And you can’t sustain that for very long without acknowledging forthrightly that we need to increase the end strength of our active duty people in order to meet the needs of the continuing war on terrorism.
KWAME HOLMAN: The Pentagon’s top leaders agree the Army is busy, but say that doesn’t mean its size should be increased. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Richard Myers.
GEN. RICHARD MYERS, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff: One of the most expensive things you can do in the department of defense is hire somebody. Sixty percent of our budget is in the personnel line. So with health care, all that ... all those pieces, it’s a very expensive solution, and it’s not a solution that comes on line right away...
...KWAME HOLMAN: The Army estimates that each 10,000-soldier increase costs $1.2 billion a year. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says he’s open to growing the Army, but last month he said he wasn’t convinced of the need.
DONALD RUMSFELD: If at any moment there was an analysis that suggested one of the services was too small, obviously we would recommend an increase in it. We just don’t have that kind of analysis at the present time...
...JIM LEHRER: Today, Secretary Rumsfeld acknowledged the Army is stretched thin because of Iraq. But again, he said a permanently bigger Army may not be the answer to a temporary problem.”
Yet you blindly take their word for it.
BULLSHIT. BULLSHIT. BULLSHIT. The women's lib hippy feel good nonsense recruited women into the military. Socialists that think the military is the perfect place to conduct social experimentation recruited females into the military.
The all volunteer military isn't self-destructing....it is being intentionally destroyed from the outside. It isn't some Lance Corporal that decided to repeal DADT and pack the ranks with faggots. It isn't some Sgt deciding the Marine Corps needs to drop to a troop level of 150,000. It isn't a Capt deciding the Army needs to cut all those combat brigades.
It wasn't the troops that decided women should be in the infantry and special forces. Tell me, if the Army is dropping combat brigades and the Marine Corps is dropping infantry battalions, just how the hell do you explain there is a lack of men and therefore a need for women in these positions? How is it.? Please by all means enlighten me, when they are FORCING MEN OUT THAT WANT TO STAY!
The draft would be more expensive to maintain than the volunteer force. While service members receive benefits and incentives to enlist/re-enlist, today's military is highly technical......a two year turnover on draftees removes continuity and hinders operational capability.
For a Marine it is 3 months of recruit training, leave, and another month of combat training....before they ever get to their MOS school, which can be up to a year long - that's nearly 1 1/2 years and millions of dollars in training before their first day on the job.
For grunts, it is 3 months of RC, leave, and 2 mos of infantry school before they ever hit the fleet .......and usually 6 months+ before they, and their unit, are certified and shipped off on deployment. That's about a year for a brand new Marine to deploy for 6-7 months.....and then the end of of their draft time under your timetable.
We lost over 400,000 in WWII and nearly 60,000 in Vietnam with draftees. After over 10 years in Iraq and Afghanistan - less than 8,000. That is a direct reflection of willing people that are able to turnover skills and experiences (including advances in medicine that allow the injured to live through what would have previously killed them) and work in concert.
Not to mention, just conducting the background checks for upper level security clearances can run upwards of $50,000 - each serviceman.
In short the constant turnover and recycle would be MORE expensive under the draft.
If you want to know "who" is destroying the military, smile at the people you pass on your way to the grocery store, or pass at the mall. They voted for it.