Making Excuses for Executioners and Murderers. Case in Point: Robert Bales

On March 11, 2012, Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales  –  a worthless human being for whom pretty much every excuse under the sun is being currently used to justify the massacre he committed –  after drinking on a southern Afghanistan base, crept away to two slumbering villages overnight, shooting his victims and setting many of them on fire. Nine of the 16 killed were children and 11 belonged to one family.

Because the perpetrator is an American, true to form, every news media outlet in the US is making an array of excuses for this guy, from citing his personal money and job problems, to a concussive brain injury, alleged Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) brought upon by his three tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan as well as marital problems.  The man has not even been charged yet – as if there was some sort of a dispute exactly as to what he did – and in fact they are still trying to determine what the charges ought to be.

It is interesting to note that this violent murderer and executioner is being held in the same maximum security military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas where they just a few months ago held Pfc. Bradley Manning, a non-violent individual whose only offense allegedly is leaking materials documenting war crimes, among other things, to WikiLeaks.

Bale’s defense attorney, John Henry Browne, 65,  whose clients range from serial killer Ted Bundy to Colton Harris-Moore, is said to probably not try to argue for a complete acquittal of Bales but instead work to ratchet down the charges. A full acquittal would require that Browne convince a military jury that his client “was unable to perceive the wrongfulness of his or her acts.”  More likely, Bales’ defense will argue that his client’s acts “were not premeditated.” That could possibly expose him to lesser offenses, such as second-degree murder or even manslaughter.

I must say that the thought of this executioner and murderer getting off the hook and being set free with something like second degree murder or manslaughter after shooting and setting on fire nearly a dozen children and women turns my stomach and makes me lose any kind of vestigial hope I may have had in humanity.

When the Whole Country Makes Excuses for Murderers and Executioners

As his legal preparations get under way, the news media, Bale’s family and friends as well a colleagues and every commentator in this nation are working hard to paint him as the real victim here under the guise of everything they could come up with doing a quick internet search for “getting murderers acquitted”.  As if what Bales did really couldn’t be true and something else was going on there. Everything but personal accountability.

And the only thing that seems to surprise and pain his family is not the fact that 16 people were brutally killed and torched at his hands, but how such a sweet, dedicated little golden boy who did such unique things such as being a high school student once and engaging in extracurricular activities, could have possibly done such a thing. They are said to stand behind the man they know as a “devoted husband, father and dedicated member of the armed services.” It is almost like children who just cannot believe Santa Clause isn’t real.

No tactics aimed at evoking sympathy for this murderer are spared. His victims remain faceless and nameless, seen as nothing but a bunch of dirty Arabs and terrorists no one cares about (note to the reader: Afghans are not Arabs). Bales is remembered fondly by everyone; neighbors recite his “gregarious, chatty and engaged” attitudes as a teen, his army colleagues describe a sunny man, using words like “solid,” and offering up photos of him wearing a broad grin, and his commanding officer Maj. Brent Clemmer describes him as “a really good” soldier and “one of those guys who was always positive”. In fact, in what appears to be a moment of keen character judgment, Clemmer once nominated Bales to receive a medal of valor for his conduct in the battle of Najaf in 2007.

With the high esteem everyone seems to have for this guy it surprises me they haven’t put a medal on him already.

Needless to say I am pissed.

I really can’t believe how the news media in this country and journalists and this guy’s friends and family and pretty much everyone it seems are trying to make excuses and almost feel sorry for him: “he had money problems“, “he had job problems“, “poor baby was under stress“, “he once saved people “, “he was such a nice guy“, “he was deployed to war” blah blah blah. Are you kidding me? I don’t care what your problems are and what stress you are under, you don’t go torching children and innocent civilians.

We all have problems, we are all not feeling great; in fact, not feeling great is the reality for everyone after childhood ends.  In recent years, a lot of people lost their homes and retirements and livelihood; we are all somehow having issues of varying degrees – from the traumatic and serious to the mundane –  but we don’t go on killing sprees setting people on fire.

Behaving Like the Enemy

If the situation had been the other way around, as in an Afghan soldier had torched and killed over a dozen of American children and families, you bet that no one in the US news media would be sitting here reciting to us the story behind the Afghan soldier’s childhood and tough personal circumstances in attempts to evoke sympathy for him or make his atrocities more “understandable”.

But since the perpetrator is American, everyone is making excuses for him instead of seeing this as what it is: the cold blooded massacre of innocent people by an individual who belongs locked up for the rest of his life for his crimes.

From citing the military industrial complex, the way our troops and veterans are treated, to the Bush administration as well as the rationale behind the war – all legitimate points on their own merit – everyone seems to think that it is everyone else’s fault but his.

While it is important to take the mental state of a person committing a murder into account, in a gruesome case like this and of such proportions where the facts speak for themselves, it is seems asinine to be employing the cowardly tactics of defense attorneys who represent the Ted Bundys and Scott Petersons of this world to somehow absolve this guy of any wrong doing.

Glimpses of a Darkness in Bale’s personal life

A New York Times article shows that Bales was not really the stable, swell and upright citizen everyone is falsely painting  him out to be.  Bales’s past includes an arrest on a misdemeanor charge of assault on a woman, which was dropped after he completed anger-management counseling; an accident in which he overturned his car, something he attributed to falling asleep at the wheel; and an accumulation of rejections and disappointments.

He also seemed to be enjoying his deployments. During his June 2006 to September 2007 deployment to Iraq, Bales injured his foot. When he returned to the Tacoma area, he was limping, neighbors said, but also working hard to rehabilitate his foot because he wanted to return to full duty. “He was a gung-ho Army guy,” said Tim Burgess, 59, a retired trucker and warehouse worker who lived next door to Bales at the time. “He still wanted to see action even though he had been wounded.”

By August 2009, he was gone again. It was a quieter tour, with more nation building than combat. In a Facebook exchange with a childhood friend, Steven Berling,  Bales called the deployment “boring” and “pretty dumb,” then lamented the lack of fighting. “Giving money to Hagji instead of bullets just don’t seem right,” he wrote, apparently misspelling Hajji, a term used by soldiers, often pejoratively, in referring to Arab people.

Bales does not strike one as a peaceful non-violent man or as someone suffering from PTSD. He appears to be harboring a history of violent tendencies and disdain for the citizens of the countries he is deployed to.

Shame on America and everyone who attempts to make excuses for murderers and executioners, such as Staff Sgt. Robert Bales: former high school teenager with hobbies, loving husband and father (except for that time he assaulted a woman),  patriot to his country, always eager for the next deployment; loser first class on all other accounts, murderer and executioner of children, women and other innocent civilians.

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