by Scott Creighton
“In his family, in four rooms people were killed – children and women were killed – and then they were all brought together in one room and then set on fire. That, one man cannot do.” Karzai from the AP
The official story has not grown any more believable since I first started reporting on this tragedy day ago. For a variety of reasons, I cannot buy into the lone gunman narrative. The Afghan government doesn’t buy it nor do the Afghan people. You shouldn’t either. Logistically speaking the suspect simply could not have committed all of the acts attributed to him in all the separate locations in the given time allotted by the official story.
Unless they want to claim it was a few “magic bullets’ that zipped around from village to village kicking in doors and killing different people on their own, their story just doesn’t add up.
The official story: The Crazed (drunk?) Lone Gunman Theory
The Kandahar Massacre suspect has been officially identified as Staff Sargent Robert Bales. He was first held in confinement in Kandahar then shipped out to Kuwait (which pissed off the Kuwaitis) and now he is safe and sound in a private cell at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. No official charges have been filed as of yet.
“Bales arrived late Friday at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he was being held in solitary, pre-trial confinement at the Midwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility, the Army said in an e-mailed statement said. “Bales will be in special housing in his own cell” and “will be afforded time outside the cell for hygiene and recreational purposes,” it said.
The Army statement was the first public acknowledgment by the military of Bales identity, which was initially provided to CNN by unnamed military and senior defense officials. Bales has not been formally charged…” CNN
According to the official story, Bales acted alone. He “slipped out” of his forward operating base, Camp Belambay in Kandahar province, around 3:00 am in the morning on foot and was immediately reported to the officers in charge by an Afghan Soldier. They took a headcount of the 13 or so U.S. forces stationed at the camp, discovered he was missing at 3:05 am, and sent out a search party who “went off in the direction Bales was seen heading”. They did not find him prior to the massacre and Bales returned, unimpeded all the way back to the base, on his own accord and promptly confessed his crimes. He is expected to plead insanity.
“It’s hard to say whether the case will even go to trial because in war crimes like this it’s very possible that there will be … an insanity defense, that he is unable to recognize the wrongfulness of his act because of a severe mental disease or injury” Fox News
There is apparently a video now supposedly taken from some kind of blimp which shows him returning to base with something in his hands covered by a blanket.
“Then, in the middle of the night last Sunday, shots rang out in a pair of villages within walking distance of the base. Soon after, a surveillance camera mounted to a blimp captured an image of a soldier the Army identifies as Bales returning in the dark. A traditional Afghan shawl was draped over the gun in his hands. As he reached the gates of the base, the man in uniform lay the weapon down. He raised his arms in surrender” WJLA
Though there is “currently no specific, credible threat information“, none-the-less the trusty FBI and Homeland Security have issued a warning that “(t)he FBI and DHS are concerned that this event could contribute to the radicalization or mobilization of homegrown violent extremists in the Homeland, particularly against U.S.-based military targets”. The officials expect the radicalized extremists here in American, like all of those the FBI has had to create over the years since 9/11, will stage terrorist attacks here in America as a reaction to the massacre.
That’s the official story.
The parts of the official story that are missing: Eye witness reports, event locations, distances, timeline, forensics
I’ve noticed that most reports on the official story seem to leave out some crucial details which take a while to dig up. The government of Afghanistan has already conducted a preliminary investigation and they have concluded that the massacres (yes, that is plural for a reason) were carried out by several soldiers (up to twenty) with air support from helicopters.
The team of Afghan lawmakers has spent two days collating reports from witnesses, survivors and inhabitants of the villages where the tragedy took place.
“We are convinced that one soldier cannot kill so many people in two villages within one hour at the same time, and the 16 civilians, most of them children and women, have been killed by the two groups,” investigator Hamizai Lali told Afghan News.
Lali also said their investigations led them to believe 15 to 20 US soldiers had been involved in the killings…
… The head of the Afghan parliamentary investigation, Sayed Ishaq Gillani, told the BBC that witnesses report seeing helicopters dropping chaff during the attack, a measure used to hide targets from ground attack” Russia Today
When you look at the facts surrounding the massacres you have to wonder about the logistics of the “lone gunman” theory. When you take those into consideration along with the eye witness testimony of victims, relatives of the victims, and neighbors, you are left with a conclusion that the official story cannot possibly be accurate.
First of all, the killings took place in two separate villages, Alokzai and Balandi, near the forward operating base, Camp Belambay. You can’t find these villages on Google Maps, seems they have scrubbed them off. You also can’t find the exact location of the base in relation to the villages. This is an important aspect of the crime. How long would it have taken this soldier to walk to these locations, committed the crimes, and then returned to the base? Could one person have done it in the amount of time given in the official story? Many don’t think so.
“Afghan lawmakers have begun raising doubts that just one man carried out the killings. “It is not possible for only one American soldier to come out of his base, kill a number of people far away, burn the bodies, go to another house and kill civilians there, then walk at least 2 kilometers and enter another house, kill civilians, and burn them,” said Abdul Rahim Ayubi, a lawmaker from Kandahar province. He noted that the houses targeted were more than one mile apart. Kandahar parliamentarian Mullah Sayed Mohammed Akhund told The Wall Street Journal that local villagers witnessed more than one solider during the night and Afghan soldiers said they heard simultaneous shootings coming from different locations.” National Journal
“The villages are one and a half kilometer from the American military base. We are convinced that one soldier cannot kill so many people in two villages within one hour at the same time, and the 16 civilians, most of them children and women, have been killed by the two groups.” Outlook Afghanistan
The National Journal article is the second one I found that put the distance between the scenes of the crimes at more than a mile apart and the first scene over 2 km from the base. Two km equals 1.242 miles. You add the additional mile between the houses where the murders took place and then factor in the distance to return to the base and you end up with around 3-4 miles of walking distance for this “lone gunman” to have walked during the hour or so the official story claims he was away from the base.
According to most stats, a person can walk about 3 mph. That means he would have spent all of his time away from the base simply walking leaving little to no time for the systematic killings and dragging the bodies and burning them. This is all dependent of course on the blimp image of Bales returning to base with something in his hands. Is the image actually of Bales or is it of some Afghan civilian carrying a wounded victim? Exactly what time was this image or video taken?
The image itself is widely mentioned in the official stories about these massacres but as of publishing this article, I have not been able to find either the video or the image.
That doesn’t necessarily prove he didn’t act alone, but it does leave one wondering why all of this information seems to be missing from the official story.
Another thing that cannot be disregarded are the eye witness reports coming out of these villages. These people have absolutely no reason to lie and the more you look at the logistics of the official “lone gunman” story, the more the alternative narrative makes sense.
They (Americans) poured chemicals over their dead bodies and burned them,” Samad told Reuters at the scene.
Neighbors said they had awoken to crackling gunfire from American soldiers, who they described as laughing and drunk.
“They were all drunk and shooting all over the place,” said neighbor Agha Lala, who visited one of the homes where killings took place.” Reuters
“Neighbors and relatives of the dead said they had seen a group of U.S. soldiers arrive at their village in Kandahar’s Panjwayi district at about 2 a.m., enter homes and open fire.
An Afghan man who said his children were killed in the shooting spree accused soldiers of later burning the bodies.” Reuters
“The Americans stayed in our house for a while,” he said. “I was very scared.” BBC
Afghan officials also gave varying accounts of the number of shooters involved. Karzai’s office released a statement quoting a villager as saying “American soldiers woke my family up and shot them in the face.“” Reuters
The reports of helicopters being heard and seen involved in these crimes can also not go unheeded.
Several witnesses stated that it was an odd night because at first they heard a plane flying low overhead and then a bit later they heard helicopters nearby right before the shooting started.
“”We have been restricted by the government and Taliban not to move around during the night,” he said.
It had already been an unquiet night, he added. Around midnight, aircraft were heard overhead and, some time between 01:00 and 01:30, there came the sound of helicopters and gunfire.
A female eyewitness, who withheld her name in line with local custom, told BBC News she had heard gunshots at 02:00.
A barking dog, she said, was shot dead by the gunman.” BBC
Sunday timeline (from the BBC)
- 00:00 Aircraft heard by eyewitness over villages
- 01:00-01:30 Helicopters heard, followed by gunfire
- 02:00 Witness says she hears shooting in one of the villages
- 03:00 Time at which soldier is said by Afghan officials to have left US base
I had hoped to come to a different conclusion that I did when I first started reporting on this horrendous massacre. But at this point, given the way the information has been handled and omitted, I can’t find a different more pleasant conclusion. The distance traveled, the time frame it all took place, the many eye witnesses immediately ignored by our investigations into the matter, and the deliberate lack of concrete facts surrounding the official “crazed lone gunman” story forces you to consider alternate theories about how this took place.
This seems like a psyop raid conducted for God Knows what reason. Camp Belambay where Bales was stationed is not your average forward operating base. They are mainly Green Beret special operations soldiers. The kinds of soldiers who would be used in an operation such as this, if that is what it was.
I won’t go into the gruesome details of the execution style murders or the ages of the 9 children who lost their lives that night. One was only 2 years old and apparently she was shot point bank in the forehead.
The official story does not hold water. We need more information. We need to know the exact official time-frame, the distances between the crime scenes and the base, the video or the photo of the suspect returning to base, and a complete forensic work-up done on the shell casings, the bodies, and the times of death of each of the victims. But don’t hold your breath. None of that is forthcoming with the possible exception of some grainy image of a person outside the camp taken from above with no time stamp provided or a wrong one with the excuse the clock on the recorder is broken.