Robert Bales Speaks: Confessions of Americaâ€™s Most Notorious War Criminal
Jared Sperli stashed this in war
No one knows why he snapped.
One night in 2012, Robert Balesâ€”a soldier who joined the Army right after 9/11â€”gunned down 16 men, women, and children in their homes in rural Afghanistan. It was the most notorious American wartime atrocity in decades, a tragedy about which he has never spoken. Now, for the first time, Bales explains how he could do something so unimaginableâ€”and how that one long night was actually ten violent years in the making.
Many have called Bales â€śevil,â€ť an adjective that is so reductive it's meaningless. It may be that he carried the potential for evil inside him, but that doesn't explain why he snapped. Bales was a defeated man, a once proud man who was losing control of his finances, his career, his body, his mind. A man who felt marginalized and disdained by the elite soldiers whose respect he coveted. A man who, in the end, no longer felt like much of a man at all. And in those final fitful moments before he left the base for Alikozai, I don't believe he was motivated only by a desire to protect his men, as he claims, or a desire to murder random Afghan civilians, as the Army insists. I believe he wanted to prove his mettle as a soldier, one last time, even if it cost him his life.