Death penalty possible in Afghan killings case, AP reports

An Afghan soldier keeps watch in a guard tower at a military base in Kandahar. An Afghan soldier keeps watch in a guard tower at a military base in Kandahar. Allauddin Khan/AP

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the death penalty could be possible as the military investigates a U.S. soldier suspected of shooting and killing at least 16 Afghans on Sunday, according to the Associated Press. Speaking to reporters traveling with him to Kyrgyzstan on Monday, Panetta said the killings must not derail the U.S.-led military mission in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Reuters cites a U.S. official as saying the Army staff sergeant was treated for a traumatic brain injury sustained in 2010 in Iraq. The official, however, did not say there was necessarily a link between that injury and the killing spree in Afghanistan.

Gen. John Allen, commander of the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan, told CNN earlier on Monday that the suspect acted alone. The soldier, who was supporting a village stability operation to help local police, was quickly noticed when he left his base in the Panjwai district in southern Afghanistan. As the American soldiers realized who was missing during a headcount, and the search party was forming, Allen said, "we began having indications of the outcome of his departure."

Although Allen would not release the suspect's name to protect the investigation, he did confirm that the soldier served three tours in Iraq before deploying to Afghanistan.

Allen offered his "sincere condolences" to the victims, their families, and the Afghan people. "We are investigating it aggressively, and we will hold the individual accountable should the evidence point to his culpability here," Allen said.

Allen's command will take the lead in the investigation. Amid calls from some Afghan officials to take charge of the investigation, Allen promised that the U.S. would keep the Afghan government informed throughout the investigation and potential prosecution. "But this individual will be investigated, and the outcome will be in accordance with U.S. law."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.