On Patrol

Until every one comes home | The Magazine of the USO


Insanity is a word many may use to describe the events of March 11 in Afghanistan, when Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales allegedly went on a rampage that led to the death of 16 Afghan civilians. But will that definition hold up in a court of law?

Bales’ attorney – John Henry Browne – has suggested he may argue Bales was operating under “diminished capacity” according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Bales was on his fourth deployment in the last decade when he allegedly killed the Afghan civilians. According to Businessweek, Bales suffered a brain injury on a previous tour in Iraq.

“[An insanity defense] is a hard sell, particularly in the military environment, where folks are under tight supervision,” Morris Davis, a former chief prosecutor of terrorism trials at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, told Businessweek. “That seems to be the only card they’ve got in the deck.”

Also, ABC News is reporting Madigan Army Medical Center – a hospital that serves many soldiers from Bales’ home base of Fort Lewis-McChord – “is under fire for reneging on mental health care” for troops diagnosed with post traumatic stress.

Read more in “Insanity Defenses Rarely Succeed in U.S. Military Courts.”

In other news around the military:

  • News from allies: The Military Wives Choir – the singing group of spouses of British troops that claimed the No. 1 spot on England’s singles chart this past Christmas – now has the No. 1 album England.