March 23rd, 2012
02:40 PM ET

Charges announced in Afghan massacre

The U.S. military has formally announced charges in the March 11th killing of 17 Afghan civilians.

Read also: Prosecution faces major hurdles

Here is the press release detailing the charges:

Soldier faces criminal charges

KABUL, Afghanistan (Mar. 23, 2012) - Criminal charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) were formally preferred today against U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales. The charges allege that, on or about March 11, 2012, SSG Bales did, with premeditation, murder seventeen Afghan civilians and assaulted and attempted to murder six other civilians at or near Belambey, Panjwa’i District of Afghanistan’s Kandahar province.

Staff Sergeant Bales is assigned to 2d Battalion, 3d Infantry Regiment (Rear) (Provisional), headquartered at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. He is currently in pre-trial confinement at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Under the UCMJ, the maximum possible punishment for a premeditated murder conviction is a dishonorable discharge from the Armed Forces, reduction to the lowest enlisted grade, total forfeiture of pay and allowances, and death (with a mandatory minimum sentence of imprisonment for life with eligibility for parole).

The next procedural step in the military justice process is for the Special Court-Martial Convening Authority at Joint Base Lewis-McChord to decide whether to direct an investigation of the charges under UCMJ Article 32. An Article 32 investigating officer submits to the command a written report with non-binding recommendations concerning the sufficiency of the charges and evidence. The report aids the command in determining an appropriate disposition of the charges. The charges may not be referred to a general court-martial absent a prior Article 32 investigation.

No disposition decision has been made concerning the preferred charges. Preferral of charges represents an accusation of criminal misconduct only. In accordance with U.S. law, a military member accused of criminal misconduct is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at a trial by court-martial.

Filed under: Afghanistan • SSGT Robert Bales
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Deena Nasir

    January 28, 2021 at 9:58 pm | Reply
  2. rachelbrasnett

    Reblogged this on rachelbrasnett and commented:
    A blog that looks at the specifics of terrorism, on a US and International level, check it out!

    April 11, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Reply
  3. Name*Ted DiDonato

    Im glad jes not going to get yhe death penalty. Obviously, the marine in question had phychatric problems. To compare him to any other marine and what he or she would have done , is totally unfair. Everybody has a different breaking point. The fact that he cant remember what he supposedly did, and the disappearance of key evidence, to me raises sufficient doubt to the point that it should be thrown out, or at lrast lower the sentence more. I was thinkinking they were going to make him a sacrificial lamb. Which would be a wiych hunt. What did all tje fighting we did in iraq andfganistan really accomplish? The attack on Iraq was ludicrous to say the least. How many innocent people died and who is jheld responsible for that??? Does Afhanistan temember the rule of the taliban, and the ctuelty they teigned down on their own country. Guaranteed, when we pull out, the taliban will start all over again. I feel bad for any innocent petson no matter what country they are from. Our wish to bring democracy to the mideast as noble, but historically almost impossible and war will never solve anything. Surr sadam was a bad guy, but thet are a lot of bad ruler in the world. We ard no longer the policeman of yhe world. We ruined America through corporate greed and foolish cjildish bickering in yhe house and senate. Lets look in our own backyard first, and treat our own people with the dignity we want to bring to foreign lands whom have been around thousanda of years before the us existed. No wonder other countries think we are hippocrates. We are. If we cant help our own, well then how can we help someone else. Accountability starts at home. Not 5,000 miles away. Whose culture a lot of people in power here dont understand. I agree about iran
    ,syria a.d other regimes that slaughter their own people. Just fof voicing their opinions. It a world that has become so dangerous, that it makes me wonder if the world will keep going on for any extended period of time. God help us all. We need more understanding for other peoples. Maybe then things can start to turn around. We all bleed red. We all share one common factor. We are all human and most of us love our children and families. That is our common bond that anybody with a conscience should find easy to understand. Lets give our kids a better chance. Not just the fortunate, but all our children. We must put some differences and hatred aside for the benefit of our children we love so. I would give my life for mh child. I think most parents would. I believe that because i think its true.

    March 24, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Reply
    • Jo

      he wasn't a marine dude get your facts straight before you post

      March 25, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Reply
    • The War Criminal General Sherman

      He's a fucking mass murderer. Save your sympathy for his defenseless victims.

      March 25, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Reply
      • Jo

        Yes. Oh how many innocent civilians did the terrorists kill when they flew planes into our buildings? 3000? with his 16 we still owe them 2984. Oh and by the way your little handle gives away what you really are Nazi little dipshit.
        Master Sergeant Jo 5th Special Forces, Deployed Currently in Afghanistan.

        March 26, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
      • The War Criminal General Sherman

        Jo – 'Master Sargeant'? More like masturbator. I think the only thing you've ever 'served', is time.

        15 Saudis, 1 Lebanese, 1 Egyptian and 12 from the U.A.E. None from Afghanistan – or Iraq. And bye the way; he's still a fucking mass murderer of helpless women and children. So was Sherman.

        March 26, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
      • Jo

        I have been in the military boy since 1979 served with the 101st Airborne for 7 years and with the 5th Special Forces in Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada, Operation Just Cause and Operation Nifty Package in Panama, The pursuit and capture of General Noriega after he killed 4 and wounded 9 Navy Seals,Operation Desert Storm in Kuwait, Operation Desert Shield in Iraq And am currently deployed in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. So you insignificant little Nazi Monkey, When you man up and join up you can speak. Get off of your parents computer cause you don't know shit. You know why you don't know shit? It's because What you know is what we feed to the press and we don't feed them Squat. everything you read or see in the new's is made up shit by them to get you to watch their channel. Your punk little Nazi loving friends love you I'll bet? You wouldn't make it 2 hours over here. so until your here and serving our country, you really have nothing to say. I joined at 17 years old in 1979 and am still serving. I hate punks with a mouth that have never served. your insignificant. a bug on the wall. period.

        March 26, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
      • The War Criminal General Sherman

        Oops!......make that 2 from the U.A.E.

        March 26, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  4. mipolitic

    well the only thing that the world is concerned with is justice , and when this animal is met with justice that will result in his end .

    March 23, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Reply
  5. Maranda Law 2012

    Because this Soldier,was from Ohio,I am Worried about the "Hatred Groups" across Northeast Ohio.There are so many,Cover Ups..Illegal Weapons Crossing the Borders..Mafia Ignorance,Judge Ignorance,Military Devices Missing from the "Downtown Cleveland,Ohio Federal Building".All this things can Become a Influence,For a Young Soldier.

    March 23, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Reply

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.