WASHINGTON - Six months have passed since the deadly elementary school shooting which made gun control a priority issue in the United States once again. Families of some of the victims are now going back [more]
“It’s coming back,” said Virginia Senator Joe Manchin Tuesday about his bipartisan bill to expand background checks on gun sales, a bill which failed to pass on its first run through the Senate last month. [more]
Attorney in Afghan Massacre Opposed to Criminal Background Check
Attorney John Henry Browne, the lead civilian lawyer representing Robert Bales, the U.S. Army accused of killing 17 Afghan villagers, is objecting to a routine background check required by the military. These types of background checks are typical when classified evidence may be reviewed for a case, and in obtaining security clearances.
The Seattle based attorney had said, that he had no secrets to hide but is opposed to the security background check simply on principle and that there is really no need to be subjected to this intrusion in order to protect his client’s rights. Although Browne will likely still need that security clearance in order to see classified materials relating to the events where prosecutors say Robert Bales gunned down 17 Afghan civilians on the 11th of march.
Bales is in military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, awaiting mental evaluation to see if he is fit to stand trial for the massacre. The U.S. Army staff sergeant, 38, a father of two from Lake Tapps, Wash., is accused of walking off the base where he was deployed in southern Afghanistan with a 9 mm pistol and M-4 rifle outfitted with a grenade launcher. Officials say he walked to two local villages, where he killed four men, four women, two boys and seven girls, and then burned some of their bodies.
“This is an example of how much we have lost civil liberties, the prosecution gets to ‘clear’ the defense lawyer,” he wrote. “Most offensive are personal facts about mental health, alcohol and drug use, voluntary counseling and in and out patient treatment EVER,” he wrote. “For God’s sake I did live in and through the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s!!!!” Browne made his name by defending serial killer Ted Bundy and a number of high-profile homicide suspects.