The staff sergeant who is alleged to have murdered 16 Afghan civilians had been drinking prior to the incident and evidently suffered some kind of mental breakdown, says the army.
The New York Times:
“When it all comes out, it will be a combination of stress, alcohol and domestic issues — he just snapped,” said the official, who has been briefed on the investigation and who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the soldier has not yet been formally charged.
As new details emerged about possible reasons behind the shootings, the American official said the military was preparing to move the sergeant to a prison in the United States as early as Friday, most likely to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., just a day after he was flown to a detention site in Kuwait from Afghanistan.
The sergeant’s sudden transfer to the United States is the result of a behind-the-scenes diplomatic uproar with Kuwait, which learned of the sergeant’s move to an American base on Kuwaiti territory from news reports before the United States government could alert the Kuwaitis about it, the senior American official said.
“When they learned about it, the Kuwaitis blew a gasket and wanted him out of there,” the official said.
The highly decorated career military man was on his fourth combat tour, after three deployments to Iraq. He was wounded several times in Iraq, including suffering a concussion after his vehicle rolled over, the result of hitting a roadside bomb.
His lawyer says not to believe everything the military is saying about this case — including the idea that he was drinking. Indeed, there is probably some self-serving butt covering going on as the soldier was able to leave camp in the middle of the night without any trouble. Someone is responsible for that part of this tragedy and should be punished as well.