Soldier who massacred 16 Afghan civilians was drinking says army

He was also stressed out due to his deployment to Afghanistan being his 4th combat tour after three deployments to Iraq.

New York Times:

"When it all comes out, it will be a combination of stress, alcohol and domestic issues -- he just snapped," said the official, who has been briefed on the investigation and who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the soldier has not yet been formally charged.

As new details emerged about possible reasons behind the shootings, the American official said the military was preparing to move the sergeant to a prison in the United States as early as Friday, most likely to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., just a day after he was flown to a detention site in Kuwait from Afghanistan.

The sergeant's sudden transfer to the United States is the result of a behind-the-scenes diplomatic uproar with Kuwait, which learned of the sergeant's move to an American base on Kuwaiti territory from news reports before the United States government could alert the Kuwaitis about it, the senior American official said.

"When they learned about it, the Kuwaitis blew a gasket and wanted him out of there," the official said.

The account by the American official, confirmed by a senior official at the Pentagon, is the most detailed description so far of the state of mind of the sergeant, a 38-year-old married father of two who was on his first combat tour in Afghanistan but his fourth over all, including three in Iraq, since he enlisted in 2001.

The soldier was decorated several times and suffered a couple of wounds in Iraq. A man like this - a career soldier - does not murder innocents. Clearly, he was mentally disturbed and it would be a travesty to charge him as a war criminal.

Instead, those who were responsible for his deployment despite signs that he was under stress, as well as the commander at the base who is ultimately responsible for the fact that he was able to walk past the gate in the middle of the night with his gun, should be subject to military justice.