This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. Scott Simon is away. I'm Jacki Lyden. The soldier suspected of killing 16 Afghan civilians is today being held at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales now has an attorney and the lines of his defense are beginning to emerge. The case has also put America's prosecution of the war in Afghanistan on trial. There are new disputes between the U.S. and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Originally published on Sat March 17, 2012 10:59 pm
Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the U.S. soldier alleged to have killed 16 Afghan civilians, was described by a former platoon leader Saturday as an "awesome" soldier.
"He always got the job done," said Cpt. Christopher Alexander, who led Bales on his second tour in Iraq. "You give this guy a task — it could be menial, it could be dangerous — either way, you never had to worry about whether he'd get it done and get it done well."
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. We now know the name of the American soldier who's in custody for killing 16 Afghan civilians last weekend. NPR has confirmed he is Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, based out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State. And for more, we're joined by NPR's Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman. Tom, the name has been withheld now for nearly a week since that shooting happened. Why is it out now?