Sgt. Robert Bales's defense attorney, John Henry Browne, said Monday, after his first interview with a client charged with committing sixteen gruesome murders, that Bales has no memory of committing the crimes with which is expected to be charged later this week, CBS News reported.[1]  --  Also on Monday, Bales's wife Karilyn released a statement to the press, saying that she "cannot shed any light on what happened on that night" and called her situation "something that makes no sense at all," the *News Tribune* (Tacoma, WA) which reproduced a facsimile of the complete statement.  --  In it, Karilyn Bales lamented "the cycle" of war and wrote:  "We must find peace," expressing again and again grief at the "terrible and heartbreaking tragedy" in Panjawai....



By Peter Van Sant

CBS Evening News
March 19, 2012

The defense of accused murderer Sgt. Robert Bales began Monday when he spent more than seven hours with three of his lawyers, including defense attorney John Henry Browne.

At their meeting, Bales did not confess to the crime.

"He has no memory of . . . he has an early memory of that evening and he has a later memory of that, but he doesn't have memory of the evening in between.," Browne said.

Witnesses describe Bales as going deliberately from room to room in several houses while killing people, not in some kind of berserk attack.  Browne said that despite the descriptions of his apparently deliberate actions, Bales remembers none of what happened.

Browne also said reports of his being drunk that night were not really true.

"He said he had a couple sips of something but he didn't have a full drink," and therefore he wasn't drunk, Browne said.

Bales told Browne he was in shock.

"He's fixated on the troops left on the ground and what they're accusing him of and how that might have negative ramifications on his friends and compatriots.  And he's concerned that there would be retaliation that would be caused by what people think he's done," Browne said.

Bales apparently is eager to get his wife and children on the phone.

"He loves them dearly and he is very interested in talking to them," Browne said.

Browne said he will not seek an insanity defense, rather one of "diminished capacity," like some sort of an emotional breakdown.

Bales is expected to be charged with 16 counts of murder by the end of the week.


Word on the Street


By Christian Hill

News Tribune (Tacoma, WA)
March 19, 2012

Karilyn Bales, the wife of Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier suspected of killing 16 civilians in Afghanistan, just released a written statement through the family’s spokesman, Seattle attorney Lance Rosen:

Here’s the statement in its entirety:


What happened on the night of March 11 in Kandahar Province was a terrible and heartbreaking tragedy.

My family including my and Bob's extended families are all profoundly sad.  We extend our condolences to all the people of the Panjawai District, our hearts go out too [sic] all of them, especially to the parents, brothers, sisters and grandparents of the children who perished.

I know that all good people around the world, regardless of nationality, religion or political values, join me in grieving that such a terrible thing could happen.

Our family has little information beyond what we read and see in the media.  What has been reported is completely out of character of the man I know and admire.  Please respect me when I say I cannot shed any light on what happened that night, so please do not ask.

I too want to know what happened.  I want to know how this could be.

I have no indication that my family's own safety is at risk, but I appreciate the efforts that have been undertaken to protect us.  I hope there will soon be no reason for protection of families, whether here or in Kandahar Province, or anywhere, because the pain inevitably inflicted in war should never be an excuse to inflict yet more pain.  The cycle must be broken.  We must find peace.

I know the media has a right to pursue and report news.  As you do your jobs, I plead with you to respect the trauma that I and my extended family are experiencing.  Please allow us some peace and time as we try to make sense of something that makes no sense at all.

All I can do now is emphasize my sadness and my condolences to the families in Panjawai for their terrible loss.  The victims and their families are all in my prayers, as is my husband who I love very much.

End of Statement