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Army accuses Bales of using steroids, alcohol at base in Kandahar

Post by Adam Ashton / The News Tribune on June 1, 2012 at 12:01 pm with 3 Comments »
June 1, 2012 12:01 pm

The Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier who allegedly massacred Afghan civilians in Kandahar Province three months ago now faces charges that he used alcohol and steroids during his deployment.

The Army today refined the charges it pressed against Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, 38, of Lewis-McChord’s 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. It added the new misconduct charges while dropping one of the 17 murder counts it initially filed against the soldier.

Bales now stands accused of murdering 16 Afghan nomcombatants in a March 11 massacre in Kandahar’s Panjwai District.

The number of victims has been a point of contention since news broke of the killings. Afghan sources initially reported that there were 16 victims, and it was not clear why the Army investigation reported 17 deaths.

Military officials have leaked information for months suggesting that alcohol was a factor in the killings. The Seattle Times last year reported that steroid use was in the rise in the Army, including at Lewis-McChord.

Bales belonged to a unit in the 3rd Brigade that has been assigned to support Special Forces outposts in southern Afghanistan. He allegedly slipped out of his outpost and killed the Afghans in two separate villages.

Emma Scanlan, an attorney on Bales’ defense team, said the Army alleges that Bales obtained steroids from a Special Forces soldier at his base in Panjwai. She said witness statements suggest Bales consumed a “moderate amount” of alcohol with other service members on the day of the killings, and the amount should not have influenced his behavior.

“He is not an alcoholic and the idea that the alcohol he used that day fueled this incident is laughable,” she said.


Leave a comment Comments → 3
  1. royboy361 says:

    I know having been in the military they have a dim view of anyone using steriods. This might explain the rage.

  2. Adam Ashton says:

    Royboy, that’s where the defense looks to take this new charge. Here’s a comment from lead defense attorney John Henry Browne:

    “If the government has a case, and I’m still not convinced they do, then obviously his mental state will become an issue.”

  3. Sroldguy says:

    So what news organization first used the word “nomcombatants” and others then used it without running it through a spell checker?

    Picked up this extra info from ABC.
    “In addition to the murder charges, Bales also faces six charges of attempted murder and a new seventh charge of assault. In addition, there are “two specifications of wrongfully possessing and using a Schedule III controlled substance [steroids].” The charge sheets identify the steroid as stanozolol.”

    Alcohol and steroids at a remote Special Forces base?
    Some times you have to wonder where the leadership is these days?

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