March 11, 2012

Rogue U.S. soldier kills 15 civilians in Afghanistan.

"He reportedly left his military base in the early hours of the morning, attacking at least two homes. Nine children are among the dead."
The soldier - who reportedly suffered a breakdown before the attacks - is said to have handed himself over to the US military authorities after carrying out the killings....

"This is going to have very, very bad effect, I believe, and I think it is time the US may have to alter their policy of not allowing their soldiers to be tried in foreign countries," [said Prince Ali Seraj, head of the National Coalition for Dialogue with the Tribes in Afghanistan].

72 comments:

EDH said...

Expect a somnambulant or Ambien defense.

Chef Mojo said...

The White House is on the case, having called in their senior apology writer.

Can we get out of Afghanistan, already?

sydney said...

There seems to be more bad behavior among our troops these past four years than during the preceding four. Is it that we just hear about it more now, or is there a morale or discipline problem amongst them?

Quayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quayle said...

or is there a morale or discipline problem amongst them?

They have no idea why they are there.

And neither do I.

Obama and Hillary told me that Afghanistan was the "good" war.

Yeah, tell it to the families of both the victims and the soldier.

rhhardin said...

No korans were harmed.

LarsPorsena said...

What will BO do now?
After apologizing profusely for the Koran non-event, how is he going to respond to a real atrocity?

madAsHell said...

Exactly what is the mission in Afghanistan?

I don't recall the mission, but it has become a 7th century shakedown.

Christy said...

Is this a mental health break resulting from last week's killing of American soldiers by a "friendly" Afghan soldier? Perhaps those of you who have served in combat have insight on how that incident may have broken this American soldier? Or is it just another day at war?

edutcher said...

What sydney and Christy said.

GodZero has done all he could to turn A-stan into a mess. Now he's got it.

Expect the Lefty circle jerk to start with the baby killer thing.

Quayle said...

or is there a morale or discipline problem amongst them?

They have no idea why they are there.


Baloney. The objectives were laid out long ago, but, when the Apologizer In Chief refuses to see his hand-picked commander for 9 months, when he shorts the troop list by 50%, when he gives an early pullout date, and announces he wants to make kissy face with the bad guys, and then apologizes when our (ours, not his) own men are murdered, yeah, what the Hell else do we expect?

Get this damned traitor out of the White House!

Freder Frederson said...

What a bunch of anti-American traitors!

At least that was what you were all calling me when I questioned our occupation of Iraq.

rhhardin said...

The point of the war in various places is to keep the bad guys watching their backs instead of organizing anything big.

Any group that grows big enough to work damage to the US is first big enough to detect and destroy, through footprint size and informers.

It would be nice is various failed states and 7th century authorities would manage this on their own, but until they do, we do it.

People are focussing on the "it would be nice" part as if that were the point.

We stay indefinitely but would prefer not to, is all.

It's the price of ancient grudges with modern weapons, that it has to be nipped in the bud.

purplepenquin said...

Exactly what is the mission in Afghanistan?

Its all about protecting the gas and the hash.

edutcher said...

Freder Frederson said...

What a bunch of anti-American traitors!

At least that was what you were all calling me when I questioned our occupation of Iraq.


If the shoe fits...

And it always fits Freder.

We didn't hear this from Freder when GodZero was selling out our guys.

We didn't hear this from Freder when Zero was saying A-stan was the Real War On Terror.

PS purple makes an ass of himself, as always.

Moose said...

We'll see how much more "terrible" this will be than Afghani's killing NATO forces in the same way...

Ann Althouse said...

This makes me think about the Fort Hood massacre. The military has a mentally ill person in its midst and doesn't stop him.

Pogo said...

It's still Bush's fault.

What a mess he left Obama.

sydney said...

This makes me think about the Fort Hood massacre. The military has a mentally ill person in its midst and doesn't stop him

Was that psychiatrist shooter mentally ill? I thought he was a religious zealot.

Pogo said...

What's happening on the ground to US forces is no longer being reported, according to friends of mine with family members I service there.

I wonder why that is?

Oh yeah: Obama.

MisterBuddwing said...

Exactly what is the mission in Afghanistan?

Oh, gee, something about something called 9/11 and how we were going after al-Qaida who was being sheltered by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

If incidents like this bring conservatives and liberals together in demanding that we withdraw from Afghanistan, I say have at it.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chuck66 said...

I think the left and right can come together and hold hands here. I say lets get the hell out of there. I am not quite clear who we are fighting for.

Does anyone care what happens to this stone age society? They hate us. Why are Americans dieing for a group of people who want to murder us.

And when things like this happen.....it only goes downhill from here.

phx said...

Just listening to some of these guys who've been over there is enough to give you PTSD.

It's more like we're cursed than we're failing.

phx said...

Might as well say it here now: 1-800-273-TALK(8255). Press 1 for veterans.

Like they say, it takes the ocurage and strength of a warrior to ask for help.

Pogo said...

@Chuck66:

Hilarious.

They're always right!

Ann Althouse said...

"Was that psychiatrist shooter mentally ill? I thought he was a religious zealot."

I am not sure, but one interpretation of what happened -- and he hasn't gone to trial yet -- is that he was mentally ill, but because he expressed his delusional ideas in terms of religious zealotry, he was tolerated and not stopped.

I am waiting to hear what sort of person this Afghanistan mass murderer is. He had a mental breakdown while in the military, but he wasn't stopped. Why not?

phx said...

He had a mental breakdown while in the military, but he wasn't stopped. Why not?

Until we know you have to allow for the possibility that that was his breakdown.

AllenS said...

Ann Althouse said...
He had a mental breakdown while in the military, but he wasn't stopped. Why not?

Commander: "I think that you are going to have a mental breakdown, so I'm going to arrest you."

Sure. Maybe you should ask a lawyer why you can't arrest people "before" they do something.

SGT Ted said...

Was is Hell.

But, I cannot say that the atrocity is "just another day" in a warzone, because, no, thats not what it is. Literally hundreds of thousands of veterans go through what these guys do and they don't go on unprovoked shooting sprees.

Sometimes they snap and continue to be able to do their jobs and it doesn't really manifest itself until they get home.

Or, it could even be this: Those families were actively spying on their base and some of their guys got killed because of it and he won't play nice anymore.

We just can't know.

Our NCOs are very well trained, but they aren't psychiatric experts, nor does psychiatry/psychology have all the answers for combat related stress.

SGT Ted said...

What were the signs of his breakdown? Crying? Not being happy? If you took people off duty because they cried while getting shot at or bombed, or showed signs of unhappiness, units would never be able to function.

Our very cushy civilian worldview and rules do not apply here.

Cedarford said...

I wonder if President Karzai will emulate President Obama and apologize to America on behalf of the Afghan people.
After all, the Aghans apparantly did something that deeply offended the American soldier's personal beliefs and forced him to kill Afghans.

Rusty said...

purplepenquin said...
Exactly what is the mission in Afghanistan?

Its all about protecting the gas and the hash

Wit isn't your long suit, by half.


War sucks. That being said, I'm only surprised that this has just happened now. You put people in a pressure cooker and act surprised when one of em goes off the reservation.

gadfly said...

John Kerry (who, just in case no one has mentioned, served in Viet Nam) was correct all along in his 1971 testimony to the US Senate. Forget that war is Hell . . .

"They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country."

William said...

I think a fair portion of the Afghan population will suffer horrendous consequences when we leave. I don't think much bad will happen to America when we leave......In Syria, the physicians at hospitals are being made to torture patients who come for treatment after being wounded by security forces. This is vile beyond all imagining. Nonetheless, the three prisoners who were waterboarded have received far more sympathy and notice than the tortured patients. When we leave, there will be atrocities to dwarf this, but no one will notice.

MayBee said...

If only Murtha were alive to see this.

MayBee said...

If it's about gas in Afghanistan, then it's about a pipeline.

So are you saying Obama is willing to let Americans die for a pipeline in Afghanistan, but won't let Americans safely work on a new one right here at home?

Lyndsey Garza said...

Ann,

I wanted to express how much I enjoyed your post today (March 11, 2012), titled “Rogue U.S. soldier kills 15 civilians in Afghanistan” and in especially the context you framed the tragedy.

You emphasize the rogue soldier- who seemingly just snapped- reportedly had already suffered an array of a mental breakdown prior to the attacks today. This is a horrifying factor to the tragedy as this could mean this could have been prevented if the soldier would have been committed to complete a physical and psychological evaluation and even seek treatment.

I was shocked to see the public discourse in your comments section quickly turn awry and the fingers of blame being pointed at past, present and future presidential administrations. I understand this is a natural response to a tragedy that deeply reflects poorly on our country, however, I think the emphasis should concentrate on the mental stability and health of the unidentified serviceman.
This rogue soldier should be viewed through the same lens as Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the Fort Hood Army soldier and psychiatrist who killed 13 and wounded 43 soldiers on November 5, 2009. Hasan’s colleagues, students and faculty expressed concerns about his behavior, calling him aloof, disconnected, belligerent and even “schizoid”. These instances and precursors of Hasan’s behavior, much like the rogue soldier, should have been red flags to superiors and peers within the bases and precautions should have been taken to facilitate a psychological and physical evaluation with both men. Had these steps been taken, maybe all of the innocent lives could have been spared.

I wanted to share with you a video about the U.S. soldier rogue attack that I think you will find relevant to your coverage of this tragedy. I hope you enjoy it, as I included the link below.


“U.S. Soldier Kills 15 Afghan Civilians”
http://www.newsy.com/videos/u-s-soldier-kills-15-afghan-civilians/

I hope you will embed this video into your blog and maybe in the future, we could swap blog roll links and widgets.

The clip does a great job of concisely sourcing and compiling news reports to emphasize the scope and context the content being reported on. Newsy synthesizes and analyzes news into neutral comprehensive video clips showing a variety of opinions on the story.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration. I look forward to working with you in the future,

Lyndsey Garza
Community for Newsy
Twitter: @newsyvideos
http://www.facebook.com/newsyvideos

ken in sc said...

I used to be a maintenance squadron commander at Myrtle Beach AFB. One of my troops had a mental breakdown while on temporary duty in Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm. He attempted suicide. He was treated at several military medical facilities, both Army and Air Force and sent back to my unit. I took action to remove his security clearance, bring charges against him under the UCMJ for deliberate self injury to avoid duty, and at the very least get him out of my squadron.

The JAG and medical people would not cooperate in my efforts. My boss expected me to do something about him but there was nothing I could do without the JAG and medical people's help. One of the doctors told me it was like if he had a broken leg, and they had healed his leg, then he should go back on duty. I did have authority to remove his security clearance, but all that meant was he could not go out on the flight-line and someone else had to do his job while he took up a manning slot. Never mind that nobody trusted him anymore. Eventually, I was reassigned to another base and he became someone else's problem.

Robert Cook said...

And what about the cases of predator drone operators who have gone insane and sent drones to rain bombs on wedding parties and funerals? Why aren't they being stopped? Heck, they probably get commendations!

holdfast said...

Frankly, I'm surprised this doesn't happen more. Given the level of provocation - the routine, underhanded murder so casually dispensed in places like Afghanistan, Iraq and Israel/the territories, it's almost shocking that there aren't more Baruch Goldsteins. We'll have to wait for more information to come out, but "snapped" is not a very precise term - does that mean a psychotic break, or just totally fed up with being shot at and seeing friends killed while the CinC goes on TV to abjectly apologize for the incineration of some processed trees?

Pure speculation of course, but one could see (though not condone or tolerate) how n a war where the real enemy is elusive, hits from the shadows and is very difficult to fix and fight, a bunch of poor local civvies became a convenient proxy in the mind of someone who had just seen too much.

As to the Fort Hood thing, presumably the killer was in some sense disturbed, but since he had never deployed outside CONUS or heard a shot fired in anger, any mental instability he suffered was a mere side dish to his religious fanaticism.

greenlantern said...

I think that, as a proportional response to this tragedy brought about by one US soldier, Obama will apologize profusely and agree to have a nuclear bomb dropped on the US. Karzai's choice of location.

Robert Cook said...

"As to the Fort Hood thing, presumably the killer was in some sense disturbed, but since he had never deployed outside CONUS or heard a shot fired in anger, any mental instability he suffered was a mere side dish to his religious fanaticism."

Or his religious fanaticism could have been a mere side dish to--or a consequence of--his mental instability. One doesn't have to have been made unstable by combat stress to have a psychotic break, and one cannot know--absent further detailed information--what actually drove the Ft. Hood shooter to his act, or how much he is a religious nut...or just nuts.

Alex said...

So Obama IS Hitler. Remember Obama pushed Afghanistan as the "good war" and sent a lot more troops into it. He owns this massacre just like Bush owned Abu Ghrabib(which was not a massacre).

Alex said...

Cook - we have nuts here in America like the guy who just shot up the mental health clinic. What do you propose to do about that?

Michael McNeil said...

If it's about gas in Afghanistan, then it's about a pipeline.

So are you saying Obama is willing to let Americans die for a pipeline in Afghanistan, but won't let Americans safely work on a new one right here at home?


Lefties have been proclaiming that the war in Afghanistan is “all about oil” for the entire time that the war has been ongoing. Yet no such pipeline exists after more than a decade now, nor is it even in sight.

There seems to be something wrong with this picture.

Geoff Matthews said...

I would not be opposed to capital punishment for this man.
But I'd insist that he be jailed, tried and executed in the US system.
And then leave the Afghans to themselves.

Synova said...

It's not at all acceptable to give a US soldier over to a foreign government for trial. The suggestion itself is an insult.

To actually do so would be a breach of trust so great that I don't see how we could even have a functional military afterward.

John Lynch said...

Leave Afghanistan.

Penny said...

There are things in this world worse than a "rogue" killer.

Penny said...

But what a "SHAME" if you were misdirected without a road map.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

Like the Fort Hood massacre, this event is just another case of 'workplace violence'. Every opportunity that has been afforded the perpetrator of the former, should be afforded the perpetrator of the latter.

Ironclad said...

The suggestion that the Fort Hood shooter was mentally ill is a real stretch; he was just a committed "Soldier of Allah" as it said on his name card. Just as "mentally ill" as the Taliban or any other death cult that seems to be prevalent in the middle east. He was in the company of medical personnel that should have recognized his behavior. I don't see any of them being put on trial for failure. But I do see a lot of PC coverup over his motivation.

That said, the American soldier who did this should be prosecuted by the US military- but in a location outside Afghanistan. I hope he ends up in jail for the rest of his life.

But maybe he will claim the ones he shot were burning Bibles or something as his defense.

Penny said...

Or someone hawking fig leafs at the cross in the road.

Penny said...

I mean, REALLY?

Is anyone buying fig leafs from the Greeks?

JAL said...

sydney said...
@ sydney There seems to be more bad behavior among our troops these past four years than during the preceding four. Is it that we just hear about it more now, or is there a morale or discipline problem amongst them?
3/11/12 10:16 AM


Care to elaborate?

Penny said...

Kidding!

Yes, I know Jesus wasn't a Greek.

And I know we can't put the Greeks in charge of stop signs.

Paved with olive oyl.

Penny said...

Hard to fight "type".

Eh, Popeye?

Paul said...

"This is going to have very, very bad effect,"

Well Muslim Jihad nutjobs murder all the time and what do they get???? RESPECT AND FEAR from their opponents.

Don't believe me? Why just try to insult Christian religions and see what happens (nothing) and then insult Islam and see what happens.

So who knows, some GIs now and then running amok just might have a different effect over there.

george said...

Praise be to Allah it was only some children instead of a Koran. I do not expect half the outrage from this incident as from the other. If Bush were president it would be as if he had pulled the trigger himself but about the only advantage to having Obama in the White House is that we will never have to hear about this again.

And yeah, given the rules of engagement over there I am only surprised there isn't a LOT more of this sort of thing. About the only thing our guys are allowed to do is get shot at for fear of harming civilians. If he didn't truly snap this guy may very well have wanted to send a message.

Robert Cook said...

"Cook - we have nuts here in America like the guy who just shot up the mental health clinic. What do you propose to do about that?"

How does your question pertain?

Robert Cook said...

"The suggestion that the Fort Hood shooter was mentally ill is a real stretch; he was just a committed 'Soldier of Allah' as it said on his name card."

To the contrary; his behavior suggests mental illness as a first cause. What evidence do you know of that suggests he was sane and acted because he was a Muslim extremist?

phx said...

Praise be to Allah it was only some children instead of a Koran. I do not expect half the outrage from this incident as from the other. If Bush were president it would be as if he had pulled the trigger himself but about the only advantage to having Obama in the White House is that we will never have to hear about this again.

And yeah, given the rules of engagement over there I am only surprised there isn't a LOT more of this sort of thing. About the only thing our guys are allowed to do is get shot at for fear of harming civilians. If he didn't truly snap this guy may very well have wanted to send a message.


American Exceptionalism

Robert Cook said...

"It's not at all acceptable to give a US soldier over to a foreign government for trial. The suggestion itself is an insult."

Why? He murdered citizens of in a foreign country.

If a soldier from another country were to murder 15 or so Americans in a town here, wouldn't you expect him to be arrested and tried by American authorities?

Don't fret...he won't be turned over to Afghanistan to be tried...but what principle says he should not?

Jason said...

Status of Forces Agreement, you moron.

MisterBuddwing said...

And yet, there have been instances in which U.S. servicemen accused of crimes in Japan have been turned over to Japanese authorities - under terms of the SOFA.

Jason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason said...

Riddle me this:

Which statement is true?

A. The Cubs won the National League Pennant in 2011.

B. Japan and Afghanistan are two different countries.

C. Japan and Afghanistan are the same fucking country.

If you picked C., you might be MisterBuddwing

MisterBuddwing said...

Shifting the goal posts, eh? I thought the question was whether there was precedent for allowing another country to put American service members on trial.

Or are you disagreeing with another poster who said, "It's not at all acceptable to give a US soldier over to a foreign government for trial. The suggestion itself is an insult"?

Ironclad said...

to respond: "What evidence do you know of that suggests he was sane and acted because he was a Muslim extremist" Perhaps that he exhibited the behavior of a committed Muslim in the proselytizing he made as a doctor, in the PowerPoint presentation that was given justifying killing US soldier waging war against Muslims, and in his behavior the morning of the "incident" when he gave his possessions away.

All of that was ignored since it was not fitting with the PC army doctrine. But more to the point - it is pretty much exactly the same behavior as all of the other nut cases all over the world that buy into the ROP doctrine - heaven awaits for those who slay.

If he is a mental case - then all of the other ones that do the same type actions around the world must be the same - and since it seems to be pretty common behavior in certain parts of the world, I think I might consider looking for a alternate motivation rather than mental sickness.

I don't think what the solider in Afghanistan did was right - far from it. But I think its fair to say he snapped from the stress, not from being a zealot to any "cause" like our friend in Texas. Conflating the two seems to be equating ideological zealotry with psychological stress. I don't think the two are even close.

Proud2BeAProstituteSlut said...

@ Sydney, Quayle, Christie and Althouse: Perhaps the headline should read not "rogue soldier," but "soldier from a rogue base." Look up " Joint Base Lewis- McChord."

Synova said...

Cook, it's an insult because it supposes that *we* won't try him fairly. We will.

It's unacceptable because it would be a profound breach of trust between our government and our soldiers. In this case, the case seems to be relatively clear, but what about the demands to kill the soldiers who made a mistake with the Korans? Do we allow them to be thrown to the wolves as some sort of blood offering? Or what of other attempts to try US soldiers for friendly fire accidents?

Sure, maybe this guy is guilty enough that we don't have to give him his Constitutional right to a trial, as if that's a standard we want to endorse, and maybe tossing this guy in the fire might be a *politically* useful gesture, but what about all the others that might be usefully sacrificed?

You simply can not ask men and women to serve in the military, to fight a war and kill people, without the assurance that they won't be left to hang if a politician decides it will serve their purpose.

Granted, I understand that you believe that soldiers are all criminals who all deserve what's coming to them, but you're sort of special that way.

Robert Cook said...

"Granted, I understand that you believe that soldiers are all criminals who all deserve what's coming to them, but you're sort of special that way."

You "understand" wrong.

The criminals are: the President and all those in his administration and in Congress who take us to war without due cause.

The only soldiers who are criminals are those who rape and kill civilians in other countries.