August 19, 2015
Steroid-using US Soldier Who Murdered 16 Afghans Was Erratic, Violent
The base stationing soldier suffered from low standards and discipline. Some leaders also were complicit in alcohol and steroid use. The U.S. soldier who shot dead 17 Afghan women and children in 2012 had showed signs of violence one month before the incident and was also reported by one of his fellow soldiers for erratic behavior due to his use of steroids while on duty, an investigation by the U.S. Forces-Afghanistan said Tuesday. The report said that U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who is currently serving a life sentence, punched and kneed an Afghan truck driver a month before he shot 22 people in Kandahar Province in 2012. Bales was also reported by a fellow soldier in late February 2012 for erratic behavior and taking steroids during missions. However, the report concluded that the neither the attack on the truck driver nor the complaint by the fellow officer were reported to commanders at the base. RELATED: 10 Steps to Wean US Foreign Policy off Militarism Bales, a father of two who served in four combat mission in both Iraq and Afghanistan, shot dead 22 Afghans in raids on two villages in Kandahar Province in March 2012. Combat operations in Afghanistan were halted following the massacre and it took investigators three weeks to reach the crime scene. The command climate at Village Stability Platform Belambai base, where Bales was stationed, suffered from low standards and discipline, the report said, adding that certain non-commissioned officers used alcohol and steroids, and some used racial and ethnic slurs when referring to Afghans. While the report said that morale was high at the base, in a recent letter requesting his life sentence be reduced, Bales said that by the time he committed the crime against the unarmed civilians, he had lost compassion for Iraqis and Afghans and that his mind “was consumed by war.” ” I planted war and hate for the better part of 10 years and harvested violence,” he said in the recent letter. “After being in prison two years, I understand that what I thought was normal was the farthest thing from being normal.” This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address: “http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Report-US-Soldier-Who-Murdered-16-Afghans-Was-Erratic-Violent–20150818-0029.html”.