DOD: No Military Operations in Panjwai Villages During Night of Attack

Yesterday, I tried to puzzle through seeming discrepancies between the victims described by Afghans and those named in Robert Bales’ charge sheet. In addition to the difference in total number (16 or 17 victims), there appears to be a difference in the sex of the described victims (Afghans described 8 victims of both sexes, whereas the charge sheet identifies 10 female victims and 7 male victims). This would seem to indicate not only more than one unidentified female victim, but male victims who were not among those named in the charge sheet.

I thought one possible explanation for the discrepancy was that some of the dead males had been deemed legitimate military targets–perhaps men who were determined to have some tie to the IED attack against NATO forces the week before Bales’ attack.

And while I still haven’t figured out the source of the apparent discrepancy (I’m not wondering whether the reporting has incorrectly reported the sex of one of the victims), and I’m not entirely sure the possibility that some of the male dead are being counted as legitimate targets, DOD spokesperson Bill Speaks checked with ISAF and has confirmed that “there were no military operations in those villages the night of the killings.”

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