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Afghanistan Spree Killer Remembers Little, Offers Little to Build a Defense
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Army Staff Sgt Robert Bales, the man suspected of killing 16 Afghan civilians when he went berserk one night while on duty, many of them children, recalls little of what went on. His lawyer is struggling for some sort of explanation and has considered attributing Bales’ actions to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

His attorney, John Henry Browne, who met with Bales on Monday, said he is still familiarizing himself with the case, and so far was able to learn from his client’s report that Bales recalls little of what happened when he went through a killing spree through two Afghan villages.

“He has some memories of before the incident and he has some memories of after the incident. In between, very little,” said Browne, after he had visited his client at Fort Leavenworth, where he is being held.


Nevertheless, Browne reported that the soldier relayed what it was like being a soldier: “You read about it. I read about it. But it’s totally different when you hear about it from somebody who’s been there. It’s just really emotional.”

Browne has defended serial killer Ted Bundy and the “Barefoot Bandit,” as well as 4 military cases. He has experience in such high profile cases as this one, which has intensified an already tense situation. Protests in Afghanistan are upsetting the tenuous relation America has there, where American policy is a sensitive matter.

Browne’s consideration that the soldier may suffer from PTSD has received intense criticism, much of it from soldiers who do not want to see the soldiers stigmatized by a disorder that is not associated with a higher likelihood to commit violent crimes. Most of the symptoms of PTSD effects only the soldier and his family, and include intense anxiety and the inability to focus on job assignments.

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Bales signed up for military duty shortly after 9-11, being deeply upset by the attack. He left behind legal problems that are costing him over $1.5 million, and a criminal history of assaulting a girlfriend and feeling a hit-and-run accident.



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