The Obama Administration’s promises to prosecute Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales over the Kandahar massacre seem to be in serious doubt today, as US military officials revealed that they haven’t been able to access the sites of any of the killings.
Officials say that “security issues” have kept them from going to any of the locations in the two villages near their base, and that they haven’t been able to get formal permission from the villages in the district to do so either.
Bales’ lawyer, John Henry Browne, is expecting these circumstances to dramatically change the face of the trial, noting that “they haven’t been back there. So there’s no crime scene, there’s no DNA, there’s no fingerprints, there’s no confession.” Bales is facing 17 counts of murder and other charges over the massacre.
The narrative surrounding the massacre has gotten considerably more complex in recent days, with officials now trying also to explain how Bales returned to base mid-massacre to take a break, and was able to wander off for a second round of killings.
There are a lot of questions to answer about the massacre, and Bales claims he doesn’t remember anything about it. With the military so far unable to secure any solid evidence, the entire case seems shaky.