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Wed Dec 19, 2012, 07:11 PM

Army Seeking Death Penalty for Sergeant Accused of Killing Afghan Civilians

The Army has charged that Sergeant Bales, 39, who was serving his fourth combat tour, walked away from a remote outpost in southern Afghanistan and shot and stabbed members of several families in an ambush in two villages in the early morning hours of March 11. At least nine of the people he is accused of killing were children.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/20/us/robert-bales-faces-death-penalty-in-afghan-massacre.html?_r=0

seems to me the death penalty should be reserved for acts that overwhelmingly shock the conscience and for which the evidence far passes the reasonable doubt standard. this may be one such case.

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Reply Army Seeking Death Penalty for Sergeant Accused of Killing Afghan Civilians (Original post)
arely staircase Dec 2012 OP
tama Dec 2012 #1
arely staircase Dec 2012 #2
tama Dec 2012 #3

Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 08:13 PM

1. Blame the individual

 

who got psychotic from too much war - not the system. Yup, blame the individual and make the system kill him. For all our collective sins. I recommend method of public stoning, and that you throw the first stone.

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Response to tama (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:24 PM

2. well this individual will receive due process

unlike those he allegedly murdered. and i said this may be such a case in which the dp is warranted, not that it is. if he can show diminished mental capacity that should certainly be a factor. but you do a disservice to the hundreds of thousands of service members who serve honorably (as in not committing war crimes.) by your logic a nazi death camp guard shouldn't be prosecuted as he was just a victim of the system. makes no sense ethically or logically.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:49 PM

3. Clearly

 

death camp guards were "just following orders" while this guy was not following orders when he left his base for psychotic killing rampage. So your post is very confused about "my logic".

No, authoritarian followers are not free of responsibility when they just "follow orders". But it's a big and sorry problem deep in human psychology, as Milgram Experiments etc. show (http://www.sott.net/article/250295-Authoritarian-Followers-The-temptations-and-perils-of-blind-obedience-to-authority)

I can see why you don't see the problem, but the problem in cases like this is that the murderous machine of authorities and authoritarian followers, ie. society at large, is accusing in what you consider "due process" their own product to forget and deny what they are, in classic scapegoat action.

To quote Tolstoy:

The question is not, I repeat, which community will be the more secure, the better — the one which is defended by arms, cannons, gallows or the one that is not so safeguarded. But there is only one question for a man, and on it is impossible to evade: “Will you, a rational and good being, having for a moment appeared in this world, and at any moment liable to disappear — will you take part in the murder of erring men or men of a different race, will you participate in the extermination of whole nations of so-called savages, will you participate in the artificial deterioration of generations of men by means of opium and spirits for the sake of profit, will you participate in all these actions, or even be in agreement with those who permit them, or will you not?”

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