US soldier suspected of Afghan shooting spree
WASHINGTON (AP) – Senior U.S. officials were scrambling Sunday to determine what caused an American Army soldier to leave his base in southern Afghanistan and allegedly gun down as many as 16 Afghans in the early morning weekend hours.
Officials confirmed that the soldier was being detained in Kandahar and that the military was treating at least five wounded. One U.S. official said the soldier, an Army staff sergeant, was believed to have acted alone and that initial reports indicated he returned to the base after the shooting and turned himself in.
Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, issued a statement pledging a “rapid and thorough investigation” into the shooting spree, and said the soldier will remain in U.S. custody.
The shootings come at a particularly sensitive and critical time for the U.S., just as violence over the burning of Muslim holy books at a U.S. base was starting to calm down. And it could further fuel calls for a more rapid withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. SOURCE
That was the 1st story I saw, then it was followed up by this;
US soldier kills 16 Afghans, deepening crisis
BALANDI, Afghanistan (AP) – An American soldier opened fire on villagers near his base in southern Afghanistan Sunday and killed 16 civilians, according to President Hamid Karzai who called it an “assassination” and furiously demanded an explanation from Washington. Nine children and three women were among the dead.
The killing spree deepened a crisis between U.S. forces and their Afghan hosts over Americans burning Muslim holy books on a base in Afghanistan last month. The burnings sparked weeks of violent protests and attacks that left some 30 dead. Six U.S. service members have been killed by their Afghan colleagues since the Quran burnings came to light, but the violence had just started to calm down.
“This is an assassination, an intentional killing of innocent civilians and cannot be forgiven,” Karzai said in a statement. He said he has repeatedly demanded the U.S. stop killing Afghan civilians.
The violence over the Quran burnings has spurred calls in the U.S. for a faster exit strategy from the 10-year-old Afghan war. President Barack Obama even said recently that “now is the time for us to transition.” But he also said he had no plan to change the current timetable that has Afghans taking control of security countrywide by the end of 2014. SOURCE
Here is what I see happening in the immediate future;
Hamid Karzai will continue to cry *assassination*, when what it actually is, if it DID happen as reported, is a mass murder.
Afghanistan will erupt in a gigantic wave of violence against American troops, more than the normal violence, perhaps more that that seen in the Quran burning incident.
Barack Hussein Obama will have Air Force One gassed up and will go on a world wide apology tour again, at OUR expense, and his lovely wife Mooch will follow in a separate plane with a full entourage of servants. Think about that, Obama and Mooch are simply brilliant, they can apologize to the world and take another vacation all at the same time. Multi-tasking at it’s very best.
Leon Panetta will consult the United Nations, given that he apparently believes the U.N. and their decisions trump those of the DoD, the U.S. Senate and Congress.
Hillary Clinton will express her outrage at this atrocity and the libber left will declare her to be the most wonderful Secretary of State ever.
There is a distinct possibility that we will see repercussions right here on American soil; Islamic activists are looking for a reason, ANY reason, to attack us here at home. This could give them the motivation needed to do so.
And then there is the U.S. soldier that allegedly committed this horrendous act.
Field Manual No. 22-51: Leaders’ Manual for Combat Stress Control: Booklet 1
Chapter 4: Combat Misconduct Stress Behaviors
Headquarters, Department of the Army, Washington, DC
4-10. The Misconduct Stress Behavior of Killing Noncombatants
a. Some incidents of mass execution of civilians (for example, those committed by Nazi Germany) are acts of deliberate policy and are outside the scope of this discussion. Others, like the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, although premeditated, are clearly reactions to cumulative combat stress. These misconduct stress behaviors are likely, especially in guerrilla warfare, when some seemingly noncombatants, such as women and children, are in fact un-uniformed combatants. Misconduct stress behavior is also likely when the sympathies of the civilian noncombatants have become suspect as they allow the soldiers’ buddies to be killed and mutilated by mines and booby traps which they themselves avoid.
b. Other examples of killing civilians may be impulsive, individual stress reactions or rage attacks: One soldier who has just seen his buddy killed impulsively shoots two children on a water buffalo. The hot, angry, frustrated soldier shoots the peasant who is shouting at him in a foreign language about trampling her vegetable garden. The fact is that overstressed human beings with loaded weapons are inherently dangerous.
The field manual recognizes and defines the act, but what are the penalties faced by the soldier himself?
Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice this soldier may very well be facing charges of capital murder, charges that will be heard in a Court Martial and if found guilty, could result in the execution of said soldier.
Sentencing and execution
Capital cases are tried in courts-martial before a panel of at least twelve military members. If the defendant is an enlisted service member, they may opt for at least one third of the panel to also be of enlisted rank. All members of the panel must outrank the accused. The defendant cannot plead guilty to the charges. The panel must be unanimous in conviction, that the government has proven necessary aggravating factors, that the aggravating factors outweigh the mitigating factors, and that death is the only sentence applicable. All death sentences are automatically appealed first to the Court of Criminal Appeals for the military service concerned, then to the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. The sentence must be personally confirmed by the President of the United States.
Military executions would be conducted under regulations issued on January 17, 2006, and would ordinarily take place at the Special Housing Unit of the United States Disciplinary Barracks, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, although alternative locations are possible (such as the Federal Correctional Complex, Terre Haute, where federal civilian death row inmates are housed and executed). Of five convicted servicemen awaiting execution, four are confined at the Special Housing Unit and one at Camp Lejeune, all of whom have been convicted of premeditated murder or felony murder.
Until 1961, the last military execution to date, hanging was the sole and official method. Later, the military introduced the electric chair, which was never used. Currently, lethal injection is the sole method. SOURCE
Personally, I have NO issue with the form of execution used, dead is dead and only a bleeding heart cares about the way a murderer is put to death, I am NOT a bleeding heart.
I am not saying that ANY of this is an ‘absolute’, there in an investigation that must take place before ANY action is taken, but you can bet the farm that the fact that even though NONE of this is a 100% certainty, it won’t stop the Muslim outrage.