Afghan Villagers Pleaded to Bales: 'We Are Children'

Soldier's hearing in massacre under way in Washington state

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 11, 2012 10:17 AM CST

(Newser) – Residents of the Afghan village Robert Bales stands accused of shooting up in a blood-soaked rampage that killed 16 took their turn on the witness stand last night as part of the Army sergeant's military hearing, reports the AP, and the details were as graphic as they were awful. "I was standing behind my father," testified one 7-year-old girl, who watched him die as he cursed in agony and anger. "He shot my father." She was also hit, but failed to realize it at first. Elsewhere, little boys hid behind a curtain as bullets flew, screaming, "We are children! We are children!" Nine of the dead were indeed children.

A friend of the little girl who was shot through the top of her head and initially given no chance of survival by doctors also testified, while one man described returning to his home to find his mother's body. "I just saw her, I cried, and I could not look on her face," he said. It was the second such overnight hearing, held at that time to accommodate the time difference in Afghanistan, and will determine whether Bales will face a court-martial. Bales, who the AP notes showed no emotion through the proceedings, could also face the death penalty.

Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is shown in the early hours of Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 during his preliminary military hearing at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington.
Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is shown in the early hours of Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 during his preliminary military hearing at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington.   (AP Photo/Lois Silver)
Haji Naim testifies from Afghanistan on a video monitor, in the early morning hours of Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012.
Haji Naim testifies from Afghanistan on a video monitor, in the early morning hours of Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012.   (AP Photo/Lois Silver)
Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, left, watches Haji Naim testify from Afghanistan on a video monitor, in the early morning hours of Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012.
Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, left, watches Haji Naim testify from Afghanistan on a video monitor, in the early morning hours of Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012.   (AP Photo/Lois Silver)
Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, seated lower center, is shown Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, as he watches testimony from a man named Khamal.
Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, seated lower center, is shown Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, as he watches testimony from a man named Khamal.   (AP Photo/Lois Silver)
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