US Army Sec. Uses Photo Of War Criminal To Promote Suicide Awareness

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The post was accompanied with a picture of former Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who committed one of the worst atrocities of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

 

 

The U.S. army decided to raise awareness about suicide in the National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and ended up using a picture of U.S. soldier who killed 16 Afghan civilians.

U.S. Army Secretary Mark Esper raised awareness about the rampant issue and said members of the army must create awareness about it and should support, encourage each other to seek help.

Although there was nothing wrong in the message itself and the topic is something that needs to be talked about. However, there was one major problem with Esper’s post.

The post was accompanied with a picture of former Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who committed one of the worst atrocities of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

The former soldier is beyond controversial.

He is a war criminal.

Bales committed one of the worst atrocities of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. In fact, his case marked the worst massacre blamed on a rogue U.S. soldier since Vietnam War.

On March 11, 2012, after a night of drinking and watching a movie, Bales allegedly armed himself with a nine-millimeter pistol and an M4 rifle and left Camp Belambay in Kandahar province and set out for the village of Alkozai. After killing people there he returned to his base and told a fellow soldier, who was sleeping, “I just shot up some people.”

He didn’t stop there but reloaded his weapons and left for another village, Najiban, and killed more people. All in all, he shot at 22 civilians, killed 16, including nine children.

In June 2013, he admitted to 16 counts of premeditated murder among other charges.

When asked as to why he killed the people, Bales wasn't able to explain that part. Though, the former U.S. soldier stated in an interview then that he had been using steroids and "went into autopilot." Also, he said he was suffering from stress and anger because he failed to save a maimed friend during an attack while Bales was on sentry duty.

He pleaded guilty to the crime in 2013 and was sentenced to life without parole. It was also recently reported that he might seek clemency from President Donald Trump.

Esper’s post has now been deleted. However, promoting suicide awareness by using a picture of a mass murderer is senseless and downright condemnable.

Banner / Thumbnail : Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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