Sixteen Dead, Nameless “Lone Gunman,” We Have Heard It All Before
The village is Balandi, outside Kandahar in Afghanistan. Thus far the dead are 16, shot in their homes, not just said to be “women and children” but actually infants murdered in their mother’s arms and set afire.
The US claims the perpetrator to be an unnamed “Army Staff Sergeant who has turned himself in.” There are inconsistencies.
This is the report from Reuter’s today:
Afghan officials also gave varying accounts of the number of shooters involved. Karzai’s office released a statement quoting a villager as saying “American soldiers woke my family up and shot them in the face.”
“They (Americans) poured chemicals over their dead bodies and burned them,” Samad told Reuters at the scene.
Neighbors said they had awoken to crackling gunfire from American soldiers, who they described as laughing and drunk.
“They were all drunk and shooting all over the place,” said neighbor Agha Lala, who visited one of the homes where killings took place.
“Their (the victims’) bodies were riddled with bullets.”
The village is outside the gate of an American base. A single soldier without a vehicle would have had to evade security and tunnel under the wire and walls to reach the village or, much more likely, this was more than one man?
This is how CNN has it as for the morning of the 12th. Story embellishment, as you will note involves a “bed count” and a “search patrol.” I believe the next story will include rocket flares and bloodhounds. We will wait for this one. To impart credit to the Army, their belated response is much more creative but as full of holes as a sieve. A minor thing to add here, of course, is that a Staff Sergeant, as the perpetrator or suspect, whichever you choose, “patsy” if you will, is a Staff Sergeant, rank E 6. At 3:AM, those of such rank typically do not “stand watch” on towers or in bunkers.
Then, of course, we will return to the forgotten jerrycan, taken off the nonexistent vehicle to burn the bodies of the dead. I did, however, feel a need to get this response added in so that readers in the Western Hemisphere would be better informed. Another minor error in the report below, noted in our earlier evaluation and reiterated here, above that text, is the nature of the armed response team.