Afghan Massacre

The Prosecution of Staff Sergeant Robert Bales—American Values Put on Trial

The case of Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales is deeply troubling for any person of decency and sensitivity. He is accused of gunning down 16 Afghan civilians, including nine innocent children, and is awaiting a court ruling on whether he should be subject to court martial with the potential to be executed.

The prosecutor appropriately characterizes the crimes of which Bales is accused as, “heinous, brutal, methodical and despicable.” It could not have been better stated.

We are told that Bales was under the influence of Valium and alcohol at the time. Prominent mention is made of Bales' supportive wife and the fact that he has two young children. I am sure we will also be told by the defense that war is hell and that individuals like Bales are dehumanized as they are trained to kill the enemy.   These factors must not be permitted to interfere with an objective and appropriate analysis of his case, and if found guilty, a sentence of execution or life in prison dispensed.

The Afghan people and the entire civilized world surely watch with rapt attention to learn whether the American tenet of regard for human life will be demonstrated through the manner in which a mass murderer is treated. Interested onlookers have the right to demand that we honor the lives of those who were slaughtered by holding their monstrous killer accountable.  

If there is to be a death penalty for military crimes, what case would merit its imposition more than this one?

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MSgt. John DeLallo November 16, 2012 at 03:29 PM
I'd say the Muslim radical Army doctor at Ft. Hood should be the first to be hanged at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, or have you forgotten about that massacre? Atrocities in battle happen, and they are no less a crime because they happened on the battlefield. Opening fire on your comrades in arms in the relative peaceful surroundings of Ft. Hood is indeed a slaughter, monstrous, heinous, and deserving of the death penalty. So in answer to your question, yes, there is a crime that that would merit imposition of the death penalty moreso than this one.
Oren Spiegler November 16, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Of course I have not forgotten nor do I minimize the horrific nature of the Fort Hood atrocity, MSgt. DeLallo Why would my writing about the Bales case cause anyone to conclude that I write off any other mass murderer? This essay is written based upon the massacre that is headlining the news now, that of the Afghan civilians. I do not care whether the Fort Hood or Afghanistan killer is hanged first and would encourage execution of both if they are found guilty as it appears they will. It is not necessary to determine which cold-hearted killer is worse and I am not going to classify anyone as being worse than one that slaughtered nine innocent children. Let it suffice to say that both should get what is coming to them upon conviction and sentencing. May they answer to God for the anti-societal actions horrors they have perpetrated against their fellowmen and women.
MSgt. John DeLallo November 17, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Don't get testy. You asked "If there is to be a death penalty for military crimes, what case would merit its imposition more than this one?" and I replied the Ft. Hood shooter. I also asked if you had forgotten about Ft. Hood. Obviously you have not, and that's good enough for me.


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