March 15th, 2012
04:26 AM ET

Afghan protesters demand U.S. soldier be tried in Afghanistan

Afghans took to the streets Thursday to demand a U.S. soldier accused of killing 16 civilians be prosecuted in Afghanistan as word spread that the American military moved him out of the country.

The protest came as U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul, where the subject of the alleged killings and the recent burning of Qurans by U.S. troops was expected to top discussions.

Panetta was wrapping up a two-day trip, the first by a high-ranking American official since Sunday's killings in the Panjwai district of Afghanistan's Kandahar province. Panetta's trip was scheduled before the attacks.

Protesters gathered in Qalat, a city near the two villages at the center of the rampage, in a demonstration organized by religious leaders, according to Muhammad Jan Rasuli, the deputy governor of the Zabul province.


Filed under: U.S. • World
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. ron

    This was not the act of an American soldier following military command but the act of an indivdual on their people, on their soil. He should be held accountable for HIS actions by THEIR people according to their laws. The cloak of "military" diplomacy has no position in this if he recklessly chose to go against what he knew, and he did know what was expected of him as he had served multiple duties. If this had happened to us, on our soil, we would demand it.

    March 15, 2012 at 5:56 am | Report abuse |
    • common sense

      You are 100% correct my friend..

      March 15, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Dott

      Don't judge until you have walked in his shoes. Obviously the man just went insane. He is a family man with children of his own. He should be evaluated for his mental condition but not in that country. All you judges who are so critical – have any of you been forced to stay away from your family time and time again. He just flipped out. If we get into war with Iran I hope they bring back the draft so some of the rich folks kids will have to serve time over seas.

      March 15, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
    • High Hopes

      Good point, Ron!


      You assume too much. You know nothing
      about this person, whether he's rich or
      poor; sane or insane, lonely or flourishes
      in the time he spends away from home.

      Judgement and discernment are two
      different things. Determining the
      difference between right and wrong
      trains our conscience. Discernment is
      putting our conscience to use, being wise.
      Sound judgement is not bad. It's how we
      learn through other people's errors.

      Condemnation and punishment is to be
      left for Judges. All we're saying is be fair
      about it! Live by the same rules you
      enforce on others...

      March 15, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dott

      No I don't know this man and neither do you. This forum is for people to voice their opinion as I did. The man was on his fith tour to that foul place and just flipped out. So again unless you have walked in his shoes do not throw stones. He is an American Citizen and should be tried in this country and not over there. My opinion.

      March 15, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Scottish Mama

    I believe that the young man and father should be tried here at home. I do not think he can get a fair trial in Afghanistan. I think it would be equivilent to a lynching if he did. I think this is a time when Karzai can try to lead, and keep his people abreast of the trial and what comes out of it.
    I do not think he will be fit for trial, but that is just my opinion.( I am not a real doctor and I won't play one here).
    It is an unspeakable act, tragic for the Afghan families and people. Condolences to the Afghan families that lost their love ones.
    To the wife, children, family members and friends of the young man who killed these Afghan people, my thoughts of sadness of your road that lies ahead you in the coming months.
    To our country this is a sad day for us also as we have to face the facts that one of our soldiers has murdered innocent people. We sent them there to do a job, and have sent them there not 1,2,3, but in many cases 4 or more. We need to get them the help they deserve and support their efforts of healing. Meaning; the government has to make it clear that when you come back if you are having problems, they will try to identify PTSD, they will help without the stigma that there will be consequences to your career, and make provisions to get them help. The more tours the longer the observations at a base, (specifically set up for this?), can deal with PTSD. We owe that to our boys and the people they are trying to protect.

    March 15, 2012 at 6:20 am | Report abuse |
    • revnowwhilewecan

      "We" did not send him anywhere. Our war loving policy makers are the ones that sent him there. On the surface, officals will say, "Oh how tragic" and try and use every diplomatic phrase known until this "blows over". Meanwhile, the higher ups are writing it off as collateral damage and could give one crap about this soldier, his family or any amount of Afganies killed, thats for sure. And PTSD?? Forgive me, but when you sign up to kill people, all bets are off. It's a scam for better treatment because soldiers are not compensated properly when injured and come home. Thousands of cases of PTSD in the military but zero among the hundreds of thousands of mercenaries. See the correlation?

      March 15, 2012 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      I guess you are trying to debate that PTSD is not a valid condition? I can say that the homeless veterans, WW 1and 2 vets, suicidal family members, families of murdered mothers and children by soldiers, incarcerated soldiers, and phychiatrist would differ from the opinion that it does exist. See the correlation?
      I guess now they wished they listened to Mr. Wilson? (Valerie Plame husband)
      We also voted and put into office the people who sent them over.(Well atleast the GOPers did.)(fabricated intel)
      I do not know much about mercenaries, but aren't they the guys that go in do a job and they are out of there.
      I think the soldiers are in exposure to death on prolonged periods of time. Which I think would be more of a detriment to the psyche of a person. Sort of like prolonged child abuse, opposed to just one incident.

      March 15, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
    • High Hopes

      You would let a 30 year-old man skate
      based, solely, on the fact he's one of
      'Our Boys'? Everybody has a mama
      and this is not a boy we're talking about.

      His actions have done more damage to
      the reputation of those boys who serve
      and has further jeopardized their safety
      and ours... in one night of horror and you
      want to wave our flag for him, call him a
      lost soul with a diseased mind without even
      one glimpse of him?

      What about the other boys... four two-year
      olds? Where is your outcry for them? Are
      their lives less precious than your boys? I
      hold myself, my family, my country and our
      military to a high standard and so do others.
      At the eternal demise of sixteen innocent
      people who placed their trust in us, we
      have failed... and continue to do so.

      March 15, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      @high Hopes are you talking to me? If you read my 1st post, I said I wanted to try him here in the USA. My second posts was an answer to revnow.

      March 15, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • High Hopes

      Yes, Sweet Mama,

      I was. I'm so surprised that we disagree on
      this. If they try him here the witnesses are going
      to be at a disadvantage. The villagers and
      family members will have to testify through
      depositions. Not subjected to cross examination,
      their eyewitness accounts won't carry much
      weight during deliberation. No one will be
      there to represent the victims. No voice...

      Is that fair? I mean, to what degree do we
      support our troops? Is it justice to treat him
      with privilege. Or, does he loose that privilege
      when he acts on his own accord?

      They've moved him to Kuwait. Hopefully,
      he'll be tried in a court of law that is assessable
      to the family (victims) of this senseless act.

      March 15, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      I see your point and agree about justice for the Syrian families affected. With todays technology they can be in the room with him. They have collected all the shells, there seems to be little doubt who has murdered these people.
      I guess I am just stuck in the vietnam war, were it is paramount never to leave a man behind.
      I once wore a bracelet of one of the POW's. I actually got on the internet and found him, in Phoenix, Arizona, and called him a couple of years back. He is a very interesting intelligent man. Like McCain he had residual health problems, but despite all he had been thru his wife had waited for him, I think 4-6 years. Thank you for your thoughts, Scottish.

      March 15, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bill

    Cut his head off. He should be tried in afgan. He did the crime there. What if a afgan person killed people in USA. We going to shipped him to afgan for a trial?

    March 15, 2012 at 7:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      I think we have them at camp Gitmo? Then we send them back to be reformed in Saudi Arabia.

      March 15, 2012 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
  4. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©™

    I don't think that protesters in Afghanistan can effectively "demand" that the USA government or military services do anything at all.
    I could protest in front of the White House to "demand" that President Obama wear only dark suits, red ties, and American flag lapel pins even on vacation. I doubt that the President would pay much attention to me.

    March 15, 2012 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
  5. leeintulsa

    he should be tried in afghanistan.. their place, their people.. right now, apparently, you can kill a bunch of civilians you just disarmed, then leave the country.. what kind of message does that send to other soldiers? who may want to leave the country..?

    March 15, 2012 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
  6. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©™

    I have made a decision to protest in front of public schools in Manhattan, absolutely "demanding" that all students be required to write in proper cursive script and in italic script before being graduated from the sixth grade.

    March 15, 2012 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  7. banasy©


    March 15, 2012 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
  8. KcCritic

    I believe he should be tried in Afghanastan/ thats where the murders against THEIR people occured. Remember the Sharia law argument? Same thing. Death Penalty case/ im sure for this soldier.

    March 15, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  9. Dott

    Absolutely NO. He is an American and should be tried in the USA. Why are we still in that God forsaken country anyway? Bring our troops home NOW. Obama promised that he would do so 3 years ago. Why are they still there? Let those people kill each other as they have for hundred's of years.

    March 15, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • High Hopes



      You don't want us to judge him til we've
      walked the mile... and, yet, you condemn
      a whole nation of people based on the
      actions of a few? Or is it the clothes they
      wear, the tint of their skin, their culture?


      Judge yourself...

      March 15, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jj

    This is horrible first of all and I deplore this kind of behavior. Hi banz! Lol. Look these people over there blow themselves up on a daily basis. Killing, maming their own kind! Suddenly, it's a huge flippin deal that a US service member went off his rocker too. They should embrace this nut job as their own.

    March 15, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Dott

      Could not have said it better. Thanks

      March 15, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Hi, Jj.
      I am so conflicted about this whole mess, I can't comment...haven't quite wrapped my mind around it yet.
      It's all so...pointless.

      March 15, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @jj: that excuse doesn't work for 2nd graders, and it doesn't work here...

      it's not ok to be bad just cuz everyone else is. i judge him as an american. i don't judge him as an afghani. and americans can't do this..

      March 15, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Savior

    Its a military issue and will be handled in a military court.where in all Afghanistan will you find a jury fit to try him? You won't. He is no longer in Afghanistan anyway.while your at it send the rest of the soldiers home.let karzi deal with the taloban alone ..if he can..I'm sure he will be dead within a year after the pullout

    March 15, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Savior

      *spell check on try and taloban *
      I goofed ..sorry

      March 15, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  12. chrissy

    @ lee, WORD! and @ jj, thats exactly what they want to do, treat him as one of their own. He needs to be tried there! If it were reversed and was one of them on our soil killing women and children that person would be tried here! This is no different.

    March 15, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  13. chrissy

    And...He was evaluated before he went over there, because of brain trauma, but was deemed fit for combat!!! Those that deemed him fit should be *tried* in the US!

    March 15, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  14. High Hopes

    They told us to return to the village and
    we would be safe...

    Sadly, one man, a family man saw to it
    that they weren't safe. You know how I
    feel. You know how their government
    feels. But, judging by the way some of
    you pass it off hoping they kill off one
    another... you, truly, don't understand
    how they feel.

    To embrace him, for whatever reason, is
    turning your backs on his victims. Hate
    for the victims (the ones we vowed to
    protect) and petty excuses for a murderer
    is exactly what our military expects from
    us and from a jury of his peers.

    We've witnessed them urinating on the
    dead, why should throwing a little gas
    on them be any different? Our conscience,
    just like theirs, is lacking a sense of common
    decency... and that's not their fault, it's

    I enjoyed reading your comments...

    March 15, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Savior

      I don't think any body is saying killing those people was right.just saying he is an American soldier and will face American military justice if found guilty and mentally sound ..hang him I don't care cause killing those nine kids was and will always wrong.but give him a fair he wont get in Afghanistan ..ty for your time..

      March 15, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. CenTexan©

    As much as I hate to admit it...I think he should be tried there. I understand he would received the death penalty. He did MURDER unarmed, noncombatant civilians. It's a terrible thing.

    March 15, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
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