News24

Wife of 'rogue' US soldier defends him

2012-03-26 15:47

Washington - The wife of a US Army sergeant accused of killing 17 Afghan civilians this month said she does not think her husband could have carried out the massacre as he was like a child himself and would not have harmed children.

Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, a decorated 38-year-old veteran of four combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was charged last week with 17 counts of murder for killing eight adults and nine children and six counts each of assault and attempted murder for attacking two other adults and four children.

Karilyn Bales, speaking publicly for the first time since the March 11 shootings in Afghanistan's Kandahar province, told NBC's Today show she had recently spoken to her husband twice, but did not directly ask him if or how he was involved.

"I just don't think he was involved," she said in the interview. "This is not him. It's not him.

"He seemed a bit confused as to where he was and why he was there," she said.

She said Bales, who is being held at Leavenworth military prison in Kansas, was a great father who would not have harmed children.

No nightmares

"He loves children. He's like a big kid himself ... I have no idea what happened ... but he loved children, and he would not do that. It's heartbreaking."

Karilyn Bales said her husband's latest mission seemed more intense than his past tours, but there was no question that he was mentally and physically cleared to deploy.

He did not appear to show signs of post-traumatic stress syndrome, and there were no nightmares or bouts of erratic behaviour, she said.

Still, her family was unprepared before he went to Afghanistan for the news that Bales would be going overseas for a fourth time.

"It was a big shock because we weren't on the schedule to be deployed again ... he didn't want to miss out on any more of his kids' lives," she said.

The incident in southern Afghanistan has further strained US-Afghan relations after more than 10 years of war.

Fund set up

If convicted, Bales could face the death penalty and a mandatory minimum sentence of life imprisonment with eligibility for parole.

A legal defence fund has been set up for Bales, his wife said.

"I'm waiting to hear what actually is true," she told NBC. "I don't think anything will really change my mind in believing that he did not do this, that this is not what is it appears to be."

Comments
  • Shaun - 2012-03-26 16:19

    This is called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Its that simple but that does not make his actions right.

  • goyougoodthing - 2012-03-26 17:05

    Maybe he had nothing to do with it, it has happened before and will happen again. Will be ever know with contradictory statements from those that were there, the US military and others. This is the sam army who gave their soldiers LSD in Vietnam, not exactly a decent bunch. If he has been set up then it's really really sad. If he did it then something must have snapped. 17 People are still dead though, the poor innocents once again get it in the neck. That said, if he wasn't playing soldiers in the first place, he could not be blamed. Put the guns down kids.

      Fred - 2012-03-29 01:53

      You're stuck in the 1960's, that much is clear. With your Rothschilds belief, now LSD in Vietnam. Your views are defunct and distorted.

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