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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:41 pm 
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I'll write more about this as I have time. I've been spending a bit of time taking in what happened.

This we know.

  • Staff Sgt. Robert Bales appears to be a good guy from a small town in Ohio
    ...
  • Gave up a job in financial services to serve his country.
    ...
  • Married with 2 kids at home
    ...
  • Served 3 tours of duty in Iraq/Afghanistan, and was told he wouldn't be sent over any more.
    ...
  • Was sent back. (My great grandfather could tell you tales about the Army not keeping its promises...)
    ...
  • Was likely suffering from PTSD due to extended time in a war zone.
    ...
  • Suffered a traumatic brain injury
    ...
  • Had just experienced/witnessed a number of Afghan military personnel commit military fratricide against his fellow American soldiers
    ...
  • May or may not have been drinking
    ...
  • Allegedly chose to engage in an atrocity where he went into a number of Afghan homes in the night - complete with full gear - and killed a number of men, women, and children.

Have I missed anything?

Do you see a pattern?

- Bill


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:00 am 
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On the #1 Uechi site in Amaerica? Are there any Veteran's that that been effed over by the ones we trusted completely? K.. I'll break the ice.. What's new??

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:46 pm 
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Sgt. Bales hasn't had his day in court, and we may not know all the facts. But from what I listed, it says a lot.

PTSD is a known possible consequence of using operant conditioning to override a human's natural tendency not to want to kill others of its own species. The pre-programming most of us have in our brain is there to assure survival of a species. We'll kill a chicken to eat supper, but the brain says no to killing the guy down the road. A small percentage of individuals don't have that programmed restraint, and those are people you hope to be "good guys." The average person can be trained to override the instinct, but the brain often rebels against that conditioning. These days the military doctors often treat PTSD with medications such as SSRIs, and the person is sent back out in the field.

Throw in a little traumatic brain injury. Having passed through the experience of a roadside bomb, the brain's frontal lobe may be damaged. The frontal lobe is part of what controls impulsive behavior, judgement, and the whole realm of "mature" decision-making.

Nobody should make excuses for wartime atrocities. But understanding why they happen can possibly prevent them from happening in the future. No doubt the process will get its low-ranking scapegoat. But the review process should not end there.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:43 pm 
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I do think he had reached a breaking point, but regarding these two points:
Bill Glasheen wrote:
  • Staff Sgt. Robert Bales appears to be a good guy from a small town in Ohio
  • Gave up a job in financial services to serve his country

it appears his quiting financial services and joining the military may have been to avoid (or at least delay) paying a $1.5 million fraud judgment against him and some of his associates, which calls into question the "good guy from small town Ohio" part as well. The article below does mention that "his service in Afghanistan was complicated by mounting financial pressures back home, his lawyer has acknowledged. His home in Washington state had been listed for sale shortly before the alleged massacre". Possibly the final straw of stress that made him snap.

Afghan shooting suspect did not pay fraud judgment
Quote:
By Peter Henderson and Jed Horowitz
NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO | Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:59am EDT

(Reuters) - The U.S. soldier accused of killing 16 civilians in Afghanistan left for war without paying a $1.5 million judgment for defrauding an elderly client in a stock scheme, and remains shielded from the obligation as long as he remains in the military, legal experts said.

Before beginning his military career in November, 2001, Robert Bales worked almost five-and-a-half years at a series of largely intertwined brokerages that received repeated regulatory censures, according to regulatory records.

Bales joined the Army 18 months after an Ohio investor filed an arbitration complaint alleging unauthorized trading, breach of contract and other abuses against him, his securities firm and the firm's owner. In 2003, the arbitration panel ordered them to pay the investor $1.2 million, including $637,000 in punitive damages for willful or malicious conduct and $216,500 in attorneys' fees.

Bales never appeared before the panel and did not hire a lawyer to represent him.

Earle Frost, a lawyer for the victim, Gary Liebschner, said his client never received any of the payment ordered by the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) panel.

He said Liebschner could have taken Bales to court to enforce the award, but "we couldn't find him."

By that time, Bales had embarked on an Army career that included three tours of duty in Iraq and a fourth in Afghanistan.

Even if Bales's victim had pressed the claim, Bales had protection under laws that shield members of the military from some financial obligations.

Any active-duty member of the military can apply for relief from outstanding financial obligations as long as he or she makes less in the service than before, said John Odom, a retired Air Force colonel and a partner at the law firm of Jones & Odom in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Bales, a staff sergeant, is expected to be charged this week in the March 11 killings of nine children and seven other civilians, who were gunned down in a late-night rampage.

His financial troubles add to the complex portrait of the man accused of the massacre.

His lawyer, John Henry Browne, did not respond to a request for comment on the NASD arbitration ruling. He has said Bales joined the army to defend the United States after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

His service in Afghanistan was complicated by mounting financial pressures back home, his lawyer has acknowledged. His home in Washington state had been listed for sale shortly before the alleged massacre.

Bales began his financial industry career in 1996 at Hamilton-Shea Group, a brokerage in Florida that was expelled from NASD in 2001 and fined $1.4 million over several issues, according to records from NASD and its successor organization, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Hamilton-Shea was "the kind of place where you learn to cold call, to 'pump and dump,'" said Joseph Dehner, a lawyer in Cincinnati, Ohio, who specializes in cases involving rogue brokers and firms.

Pump and dump refers to a practice in which firms artificially raise the prices of stocks they hold by aggressively selling shares to clients and then selling their own shares.

At least three Hamilton-Shea brokers who worked briefly with Bales pleaded guilty to violations of securities law after he left Florida to work in Ohio at Quantum Capital Corp., according to records from FINRA. Quantum also owned Hamilton-Shea.

Bales left Quantum in early 1998 to join Michael Patterson Inc., or MPI, whose eponymous owner had worked with him at both Hamilton-Shea and Quantum. Bales remained there until late 1999, then worked for two other Ohio brokerages until December 2000.

Patterson, whose firm was shuttered one month after Bales joined the Army, could not be reached for comment.

Neither FINRA nor the Ohio Divison of Securities ever suspended Bales, who simply let his securities license lapse, according to regulators. If an arbitration award is not paid within 30 days, FINRA can suspend a broker and would not allow him or her to join another firm during the suspension.

So was his repeatedly being sent to Iraq/Afghanistan the army's idea or his?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:00 pm 
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Glenn wrote:
So was his repeatedly being sent to Iraq/Afghanistan the army's idea or his?

Good point. Sort of like the woman who stays pregnant because she can't be sent to prison while pregnant.

The mess at home adds to a portrait of someone with nothing to lose. It also describes someone who's shown a pattern of operating outside conventional rules of "the game."

Apparently the charming aspect of his personality is something he didn't always use for good.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:23 pm 
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I dred the reaction in Afghanistan to a verdict in his trial. In all likelihood his lawyer will successfully use PTSD and other factors to argue against the death penalty, and anything less than execution will be unacceptable to most Afghanis.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:08 pm 
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Glenn wrote:
I dred the reaction in Afghanistan to a verdict in his trial. In all likelihood his lawyer will successfully use PTSD and other factors to argue against the death penalty, and anything less than execution will be unacceptable to most Afghanis.

I do as well, yes, and yes.

However...

Where are the riots in the street over Mohammed Merah in France for his multi-week killing spree? Where were the riots in the streets when Afghan soldiers were committing fratricide? And what's the big deal about burning Korans which were being desecrated by prisoners who were using them to pass messages? There's way too much hypocrisy in it all for me to have a lot of empathy for them. Nothing but a bunch of Taliban insurgents creating mayhem.

We need to finish up fast with the nation building, get out, and stop sending money (indirectly) to the Pakistani ISI. Any new training camps for terrorists should be dealt with in a most rude and unkind fashion. The world should have no patience for this tribal hellhole. Let them fight amongst each other and create their own Medieval society. Self-determination can be sweet revenge.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:17 pm 
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Bale's day in court shouldn't (and won't) be influenced by what may or may not happen in Afghanistan. But let's not kid ourselves about Afghanistan's tribalism and the riots that will result from it. Tribalism is alive and well here at home.

Bale's past is painting a rather nasty picture of him. It appears he doesn't do good things with money. He also has the PTSD and two recorded head injuries and a diagnosis of Traumatic Brain Injury... but I've read several articles posing a very plausible theory that what he did was rooted in revenge. A week or two before the shootings, a commanding general told the troops there that vengeance killings would not be tolerated. That the Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Marines were to take the killings of their brethren in stride, stay the course, and remain professional in regards to the risks of their chosen profession. It's very possible Bale acted on his anger and desire for vengeance anyway. His trial should be interesting.

We'll likely see riots this summer, but don't kid yourselves that it'll be restricted to Afghanistan. Occupy has shown they can't take the cold of winter, but they'll be back. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and others I'm not allowed to criticize are feeding the flames every time an African-American is killed. The Black Panther party is putting out dead or alive wanted posters on a citizen of the United States, and law enforcement will do nothing to stop it. If you think Hispanic organizations are going to take that lying down, I've got stocks in a alternative energy company to sell you. I'm still waiting for the first casualty (other than logic) in the 'War on Women.'

It's going to be a hot summer.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:42 pm 
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Jason Rees wrote:

It's going to be a hot summer.

Not quite the summer of 1968, my friend. But it will be interesting to see how things play out.

- Bill


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