Monday, March 26, 2012

US throws money at grief to muzzle justice

Details of the massacre of 17 Afghans have not been released by the US military & the media shows no interest in determining what actually happened. The Pentagon account of a lone gunman is at odds with accounts of those who witnessed the carnage & claim Bales did not act alone. Details that have been released are piecemeal & in snippets: victims were attacked & murdered in their homes, some were set on fire, the attacks took place in two villages--one north & one south of the military base. Now the US has offered each family $50,000 for each person murdered & $11,000 to each person injured. Full disclosure is required of how they were murdered & what are the extent of the injuries. Is this compensation intended to mute the demands of victims that Bales be tried in the jurisdiction where he committed the crimes instead of on a military base near his family & home? The victim’s families have a right to face the murderer(s), to render testimony & have their voices heard, to see justice done. Removing the trial to Tacoma, Washington is a way to make certain the truth of those crimes will not be exposed. Mohammad Wazir, the parent of a 7-year-old girl murdered in the rampage, has trouble drinking water now because his daughter was shot when she went to get him a drink of water that night. Nine other members of his family have also died & Mr. Wazir & his neighbors say they feel irreparably broken. No amount of money thrown at them will heal the grief. Confronting the perpetrator(s) in a court of law is part of the healing but the US will not allow it since the entire US-NATO occupation will be indicted. Here a young boy prays over the grave of one of the 17 victims on Saturday. By the way, news interviews with Kari Bales denying her husband could commit such atrocities include the mailing address for sending money to Robert Bales’ defense fund--answering the question of why the media is so little concerned with the facts. (AP photo)

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