Re: “Death penalty for Bales?” (TNT, 11-14).
I feel very sad that Robert Bales stands accused of killing 16 Afghan people and leaving others wounded and without their loved ones. But as an American, I sympathize with him and his family. We have asked our military to fight this unwinnable war; it was his fourth deployment! How much can a human being take?
His family was in trouble. He had seen one too many of his military buddies wounded by an enemy that is not in uniform. Pills were readily available, and if he did drink alcohol and had certain drugs in his system, it is a wonder he is alive to face these charges. Can we really say he was of sound mind?
I know that the military has a code of honor, and that the vast majority of our military members would not do what Bales is accused of doing. But now we see that even generals are subject to “lapses of judgment.”
It is time to realize that war does terrible things to people, and some may never recover from their war experiences. I feel as Americans that we all share some responsibility for what Bales may have done.