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(Army Times)   Sgt. Bales, the killer of 16 Afghan civilians, had been issued a malaria drug not supposed to be used by those with traumatic brain injury (which Bales had) lest it cause homicidal episodes   (armytimes.com) divider line 30
    More: Followup, Afghans, killer, Afghan civilians, mental health disorders, McLean Hospital, foia requests, biological psychiatry, Robert Bales  
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6738 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Jul 2013 at 1:00 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-14 01:54:06 PM
7 votes:

ginandbacon: "He admitted to using steroids, which can cause aggression and violence."

This soldier was a walking time bomb. We punish service people for asking for help if they have PTSD and ignore all of the danger they and those around them experience directly from that condition instead of treating it like a health crisis. Add on top traumatic brain injuries and the drugs (prescribed and not) that are all too common, and frankly it's surprising we don't have more incidents like this.

It's insanely depressing.


We've gone from "several soldiers walked through a town and killed men, women, and children" to "one soldier walked through a town and killed men, women, and children" to "one soldier may have had a drug-triggered homicidal episode, walked through a town and killed men, women, and children." The key issue hasn't changed, just what may have influenced the outcome.

The only thing this "revelation" should influence is whether others should be included for punishment - despite being given the drug, despite his existing steroid use, despite his traumatic brain injury, he was still on active duty. It should not significantly influence whether his punishment should be less severe. At the end of the day, he pulled the trigger on at least 16 murders. It wasn't a crime of passion - he admitted to being lucid and deliberate, and his actions both leaving from and returning to base back that up.

He left the base, walked half a mile to one village, to kill four and injure six. The four were part of the same family - he went to a house, beat and shot everyone he could find, and went back to his base.
He left again, walked one and a half miles to the second village, killing 12.He killed 11 people from the same family in that village - everyone he could find.  He didn't just shoot them, either. He stabbed them, shot them, and then he set them on fire afterwards, to desecrate the corpses. He shot toddlers in the head, and then set them on fire.He then came back to base, even while search parties were looking for him, laid his weapons on the ground, and surrendered.
I don't care how insane you are, you don't get a mulligan on mass murder. This soldier committed war crimes. His defense has spun everything from "you can't prove anything", to "he was upset because his friend's leg was blown off yesterday", to "he was upset due to marital problems",to "he was drunk/high/roid raged/drug addled", but the fact of the matter is that despite his motivation, he pulled the trigger for hours, walking from house to house, killing not just men and women, but 2-year-old children, in two separate episodes.The whole point of this defense is so that he can avoid the death penalty. That's fine by me - I'm not keen on the death penalty, especially in cases where there could've been undue mental influence or illness. But, what he did was not trivial, nor passionate, nor was it spurious. It took hours to do, and he took deliberate actions to make it happen.

What should anger folks is that this was preventable. His superiors are the ones that should be standing next to him in court, answering some hard questions as to why this guy was on active duty, why he was allowed to leave a heavily fortified base in a war zone, dressed as a local and armed to the gills, alone, and why he was able to do so twice.
2013-07-14 11:49:49 AM
5 votes:

Popcorn Johnny: I knew the minute I heard about this guy that it was a mental health issue and not just some soldier looking for a little payback.


I think it's safe to say when anyone goes on a sixteen person killing spree it's a bit of a mental health issue.  It certainly isn't something right-thinking people do.  Don't apologize for this murderous piece of sh*t...
2013-07-14 01:15:49 PM
3 votes:

Popcorn Johnny: PhiloeBedoe: Don't apologize for this murderous piece of sh*t...
If it turns out he was indeed mentally ill, you're goddamn right I'm taking his side.


Ditto. It's Trauma, a disorder, a mental health issue, and a known psychoactive effect of a medication.  I can't lay blame on the soldier here.  The blame lies in the military institution that ignored the dangers and welfare of it's members and let the situation progress to this point.
2013-07-14 01:13:37 PM
3 votes:

PhiloeBedoe: Popcorn Johnny: I knew the minute I heard about this guy that it was a mental health issue and not just some soldier looking for a little payback.

I think it's safe to say when anyone goes on a sixteen person killing spree it's a bit of a mental health issue.  It certainly isn't something right-thinking people do.  Don't apologize for this murderous piece of sh*t...


Before he enlisted in the Army, he was an investment broker who was accused of looting the accounts of his clients, mostly elderly retirees.

His moral compass was farked long before the Army got its hands on him.
2013-07-14 10:44:19 AM
3 votes:
"He admitted to using steroids, which can cause aggression and violence."

This soldier was a walking time bomb. We punish service people for asking for help if they have PTSD and ignore all of the danger they and those around them experience directly from that condition instead of treating it like a health crisis. Add on top traumatic brain injuries and the drugs (prescribed and not) that are all too common, and frankly it's surprising we don't have more incidents like this.

It's insanely depressing.
2013-07-14 02:01:02 PM
2 votes:

lumiere: PhiloeBedoe: Popcorn Johnny: I knew the minute I heard about this guy that it was a mental health issue and not just some soldier looking for a little payback.

I think it's safe to say when anyone goes on a sixteen person killing spree it's a bit of a mental health issue.  It certainly isn't something right-thinking people do.  Don't apologize for this murderous piece of sh*t...

I'll remember this the next time the killer is brown, Arab, or Muslim.


Somehow I doubt that, you don't strike me as a long-term thinker...
2013-07-14 01:48:21 PM
2 votes:

ginandbacon: "He admitted to using steroids, which can cause aggression and violence."

This soldier was a walking time bomb. We punish service people for asking for help if they have PTSD and ignore all of the danger they and those around them experience directly from that condition instead of treating it like a health crisis. Add on top traumatic brain injuries and the drugs (prescribed and not) that are all too common, and frankly it's surprising we don't have more incidents like this.

It's insanely depressing.


Here's how it works in the military (and sadly, a lot of American's, as well):

Have a physical injury that we can see? Don't you worry none. We'll do what we can to help you recover.  Here's some medical, some physical training to help in recovery.  We'll get you back right so you can keep on working.

Have a mental injury/issue or a physical injury that we can't see? What the fark is wrong with you? Stop complaining, you piece of shiat dirtbag, and get back to work.  Buck up like the man you are and stop being such a lazy do-nothing shiatbag.

I was in the army, and I've seen it time and time again.  One of my friends got shocked from electricity; in one hand and out the other.  He had serious back problems after that.  But because no one could physically see the back problems, and because the burn marks on his hands had healed, the army treated him like a lazy piece of shiat dirtbag. They believed he faked the injury to get out of work, and our leadership wouldn't allow him to get medical help for his back.

Another friend of mine killed a guy in Afghanistan at close range with a 50 cal.  You ever see what a 50 cal does to a person? It ain't pretty.  Those guns are designed to take out vehicles and buildings, not individuals.  The guy he killed was being taken prisoner, and my friend saw the guy move/twitch his hand in such a way that my friend thought he was signaling others to attack.  He instantly pulled the trigger of his gun, because he thought he was saving the lives of the men in his unit.  Turns out it was nothing. My friend has been torn over this for years (this happened back in 05 or 06).  He thinks himself a murderer, and it tears him apart.  He has serious PTSD, self confidence issues (how can he call himself a good man when he murdered this guy), and multiple other mental issues from this incident (including thoughts of suicide). The army doesn't care.  He received no mental health for the remainder of his year long tour in Afghanistan.  When he got back to the states, he friends and family (myself included) convinced him to get medical help. He did.  Once he started getting mental health, his unit started giving him all the shiat jobs.  They sent him to Iraq three months later, and refused to give him his medication for depression. After another year in Iraq, we managed to convince him to pick up his mental health care again.  His sergeant did whatever he could to make sure he didn't get mental health, from denying him a vehicle to get to his doctor, not allowing him to leave formation or work, giving him work after hours, and punishing him for daring to need any sort of medication.  Meanwhile, all this was wrecking havoc on his physical health and his diet, and he started going over weight (this guy is 6'4", full of muscle, with a nice layer of fat around it). Despite the fact that he could outperform most of the other guys in his unit on the PT test, he failed his weight test. His sergeant, lieutenant, and captain were all trying to find a way to dishonorably discharge him, and they were using his weight to try to do it.  I have no idea what happened after that, because I haven't spoken to him in years.  That was where he was at the last time I talked to him, about 4 years ago.

I have tons of these stories from guys I knew while I was in the military, and from meeting other veterans after the military.

The military hates mental health issues.  You are weak, pathetic, and don't deserve to be in the military if you dare to have a health problem that we can't physically see.

And it doesn't surprise me in the least that his Sgt. Bales is being treated the same way, both in the military and by people outside of the military.
2013-07-14 01:37:32 PM
2 votes:

tiiger: Popcorn Johnny: PhiloeBedoe: Don't apologize for this murderous piece of sh*t...
If it turns out he was indeed mentally ill, you're goddamn right I'm taking his side.

Ditto. It's Trauma, a disorder, a mental health issue, and a known psychoactive effect of a medication.  I can't lay blame on the soldier here.  The blame lies in the military institution that ignored the dangers and welfare of it's members and let the situation progress to this point.


Unfortunately there a lot of people who do not take mental illness seriously. They don't understand that a mental illness is like any other illness. The difference is that usual illness stops people from performing act while mental illness might cause people to perform acts, that's why mentally ill people were often thought to be possessed by demons.

It is somehow not self evident for everyone that problems with the brain, the organ that define who we are and what we do, govern people's action. Some people are more comfortable believing that their self is something abstract, what some religions call the soul, instead of something physical that can malfunction.
2013-07-14 01:11:01 PM
2 votes:

PhiloeBedoe: Don't apologize for this murderous piece of sh*t...


If it turns out he was indeed mentally ill, you're goddamn right I'm taking his side.
2013-07-14 09:28:33 PM
1 votes:

Nasty Celt: hardinparamedic: Nasty Celt:  I wonder if Adam Lanza was on antimalarials? If you want to slaughter a bunch of women and children just take your anti-malarials and blame it on them.  Thank you US Army for the valuable info.

Yes. That's EXACTLY what's being said here. Put your bib back on, don't want any drool to get on your clothing.

Typical American. You'll swallow any excuse when it suits your purposes but call the very same excuse absurd when it doesn't. That's why one Floridian got 20 years for firing in the air to scare her abusive husband while another was set free for stalking and killing a teenager. Your justice system, much like the bible, can easily be twisted any way you like to suit your purpose. It's a system where money and the colour of your skin often defines the justice you receive.


Wow. I said almost the same thing to my mother a half hour ago.

/we're American, but definitely not the normal sort. Even French people like us.
2013-07-14 09:26:14 PM
1 votes:
 hardinparamedic: Nasty Celt:  I wonder if Adam Lanza was on antimalarials? If you want to slaughter a bunch of women and children just take your anti-malarials and blame it on them.  Thank you US Army for the valuable info.

Yes. That's EXACTLY what's being said here. Put your bib back on, don't want any drool to get on your clothing.

Typical American. You'll swallow any excuse when it suits your purposes but call the very same excuse absurd when it doesn't. That's why one Floridian got 20 years for firing in the air to scare her abusive husband while another was set free for stalking and killing a teenager. Your justice system, much like the bible, can easily be twisted any way you like to suit your purpose. It's a system where money and the colour of your skin often defines the justice you receive.
2013-07-14 06:53:04 PM
1 votes:

George_Spelvin: Hold on a minute.  He joined the military (as so many do) to go to foreign lands and kill people.  The US military trained him to do so.  The US government paid him to do so.

And now that he's lived up to expectations, people are pissed?


Last I checked you're only supposed to kill the kids after the enemy government has conscripted them.
2013-07-14 06:13:50 PM
1 votes:

Nasty Celt: I wonder if Adam Lanza was on antimalarials? If you want to slaughter a bunch of women and children just take your anti-malarials and blame it on them.  Thank you US Army for the valuable info.


Yes. That's EXACTLY what's being said here. Put your bib back on, don't want any drool to get on your clothing.
2013-07-14 02:53:45 PM
1 votes:
Wall_of_Doodoo: Yeah, straw that broke the camel's back. Camel had a bad back to begin with.

So end result, ya got a broken camel. Deal with broken camel as you would deal with any other broken camel.


Well said.

I have PTSD myself, so I'm pretty understanding when it comes to mental illness. I'd even go so far as to say this wasn't really "his fault." Regardless of what kind of person he was to start with, he was pushed to the point that he couldn't be expected not to do something crazy. His mind had no option but to act out against what he perceived as the source of his troubles - it's just that instead of blaming himself or his chain of command, he blamed the locals. It was an extroverted form of suicide.

But now? He's beyond help. Before he killed those people, he could have been treated, maybe even healed. Now, he's a murderous psychopath, and even if we could change that it wouldn't undo what he's done. Imagine if we somehow managed to therapy him into a decent human being - now we've just condemned someone to spend the rest of their life overwhelmed with guilt because of that time they brutally murdered 16 people.

The guy's got to be put down, but that's animal control, not justice. Justice can only be served by punishing those who pushed him to the point of no return and allowed this to happen.
2013-07-14 02:24:23 PM
1 votes:
Thats Ssg, subby. Drop and give me 50, also that is disrespect to a non commissioned officer here's your ucmj, 15 days extra duty, two weeks no pay. Confined to post, not allowed to wear civvies. Hooah.
2013-07-14 02:14:10 PM
1 votes:

talkertopc: tiiger: Popcorn Johnny: PhiloeBedoe: Don't apologize for this murderous piece of sh*t...
If it turns out he was indeed mentally ill, you're goddamn right I'm taking his side.

Ditto. It's Trauma, a disorder, a mental health issue, and a known psychoactive effect of a medication.  I can't lay blame on the soldier here.  The blame lies in the military institution that ignored the dangers and welfare of it's members and let the situation progress to this point.

Unfortunately there a lot of people who do not take mental illness seriously. They don't understand that a mental illness is like any other illness. The difference is that usual illness stops people from performing act while mental illness might cause people to perform acts, that's why mentally ill people were often thought to be possessed by demons.

It is somehow not self evident for everyone that problems with the brain, the organ that define who we are and what we do, govern people's action. Some people are more comfortable believing that their self is something abstract, what some religions call the soul, instead of something physical that can malfunction.


Without giving out too much info, I can tell you that Philoe is better placed than most to understand mental health issues.
2013-07-14 02:09:35 PM
1 votes:

PhiloeBedoe: lumiere: PhiloeBedoe: Popcorn Johnny: I knew the minute I heard about this guy that it was a mental health issue and not just some soldier looking for a little payback.

I think it's safe to say when anyone goes on a sixteen person killing spree it's a bit of a mental health issue.  It certainly isn't something right-thinking people do.  Don't apologize for this murderous piece of sh*t...

I'll remember this the next time the killer is brown, Arab, or Muslim.

Somehow I doubt that, you don't strike me as a long-term thinker...


nyrb.typepad.com
2013-07-14 01:53:06 PM
1 votes:
After all the Gulf War Sickness from the 1st invasion, it's almost surprising folks still sign up to be military guinne pigs. There's a congressional report out there somewhere.

Ah, here it is:

http://www.gulfwarvets.com/arison/banking.htm

Also interesting is the "dual use" materials we were shipping to Iraq.

Anyway, soldiers greeting used up like this by daddy war bucks is Just business as usual.
2013-07-14 01:51:33 PM
1 votes:

Peki: PsiChick: Peki: I had a bad PTSD day yesterday. First time I've encountered the "why should I subject my loved ones to behaviour I can't control" line of thinking.

Anyone who doesn't have compassion for everyone involved is ignorant, not malicious.

Kitten hugs?

/That sucks, hope you feel better today.

That was awesome, except I have no tissues, so I had to grab a roll of toilet paper.

/wishes the hormones were such that she got angry instead of weepy, but it is what it is

And yes, today is better. Thank you. :)


Yay! :) And yeah, hormones suck ass.

talkertopc: tiiger: Popcorn Johnny: PhiloeBedoe: Don't apologize for this murderous piece of sh*t...
If it turns out he was indeed mentally ill, you're goddamn right I'm taking his side.

Ditto. It's Trauma, a disorder, a mental health issue, and a known psychoactive effect of a medication.  I can't lay blame on the soldier here.  The blame lies in the military institution that ignored the dangers and welfare of it's members and let the situation progress to this point.

Unfortunately there a lot of people who do not take mental illness seriously. They don't understand that a mental illness is like any other illness. The difference is that usual illness stops people from performing act while mental illness might cause people to perform acts, that's why mentally ill people were often thought to be possessed by demons.

It is somehow not self evident for everyone that problems with the brain, the organ that define who we are and what we do, govern people's action. Some people are more comfortable believing that their self is something abstract, what some religions call the soul, instead of something physical that can malfunction.


To be fair, I believe I have a soul  and I'm mentally ill (bipolar); in most theologies the soul is not what creates our Earthly thoughts, it's more like our essence of being. The soul doesn't create thoughts like 'I want chicken wings'. That's our brains. So our brains farking up really isn't a soul farking up, it's just that your soul got put in a slightly-dented container.

/Which can be fun when your brain makes you high off your ass for no reason
//And is far less fun other times
2013-07-14 01:47:30 PM
1 votes:
3.bp.blogspot.com
2013-07-14 01:45:32 PM
1 votes:

George_Spelvin: Hold on a minute.  He joined the military (as so many do) to go to foreign lands and kill people.  The US military trained him to do so.  The US government paid him to do so.

And now that he's lived up to expectations, people are pissed?


Actually, he joined the army to get away from a mob of cane shaking retirees, who he had stolen money from.
2013-07-14 01:40:05 PM
1 votes:
We should be focused on more important things like finding the traitor who leaked this story.
2013-07-14 01:36:47 PM
1 votes:
They should of prescribed one joint taken 2 times daily.
2013-07-14 01:33:04 PM
1 votes:

George_Spelvin: Hold on a minute.  He joined the military (as so many do) to go to foreign lands and kill people.  The US military trained him to do so.  The US government paid him to do so.

And now that he's lived up to expectations, people are pissed?


See he's supposed to do it under orders.

Love the double standard everyone seems  to have in North America. I see it in Canada too.

So-and-so committed a crime because he was mentally ill: they were faking it/should have taken their meds/still understood right from wrong
They were a soldier: we need to have more compassion/they didn't understand what they were doing
2013-07-14 01:21:28 PM
1 votes:
I had a bad PTSD day yesterday. First time I've encountered the "why should I subject my loved ones to behaviour I can't control" line of thinking.

Anyone who doesn't have compassion for everyone involved is ignorant, not malicious.
2013-07-14 01:13:49 PM
1 votes:

PhiloeBedoe: Popcorn Johnny: I knew the minute I heard about this guy that it was a mental health issue and not just some soldier looking for a little payback.

I think it's safe to say when anyone goes on a sixteen person killing spree it's a bit of a mental health issue.  It certainly isn't something right-thinking people do.  Don't apologize for this murderous piece of sh*t...


Well, when the US federal government creates such a murderous piece of sh*the, hands him a gun, and returns him to combat... You can't ignore the role played by the US government.

Is this man guilty of a killing spree? Yeah but he certainly had help.
2013-07-14 01:12:11 PM
1 votes:
I doubt the Afghans upset at American troops for murdering their families are going to buy this story...
2013-07-14 01:06:27 PM
1 votes:
You know who can help this guy? Zimmerman
2013-07-14 01:04:39 PM
1 votes:
If he had a traumatic brain injury, why was he issued a weapon?
2013-07-14 01:03:27 PM
1 votes:

PhiloeBedoe: Popcorn Johnny: I knew the minute I heard about this guy that it was a mental health issue and not just some soldier looking for a little payback.

I think it's safe to say when anyone goes on a sixteen person killing spree it's a bit of a mental health issue.  It certainly isn't something right-thinking people do.  Don't apologize for this murderous piece of sh*t...


Well said.
 
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