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An Outstanding Job: Robert Bales, Charged with Afghan Massacre, Considered One of "Our Best Guys"

by Abby Zimet

Underway this week is the hearing for Robert Bales, charged with killing 16 Afghan civilians in a rampage last March after multiple deployments, to decide if he will face a court martial. Emerging from the often grisly testimony are details on Bales' reputation as a top soldier; his mental health; his alleged frustration with the rules of engagement, his family life and his failure to get a promotion; his use of steroids and alcohol; the bodies, blood stains and injuries found at the crime site; and the enraged reactions of Afghan villagers that kept investigators away from the site for weeks. Some of those witnesses will testify by video later this week. Bales faces the death penalty.

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