News

Obama Vows Full Force of Law for Afghan Shooting Suspect

President Barack Obama in the Rose Garden, White House, Washington, D.C., March 13, 2012.
President Barack Obama in the Rose Garden, White House, Washington, D.C., March 13, 2012.

President Barack Obama says he will make sure there is full accountability for the shooting rampage, allegedly at the hands of a U.S. Army sergeant, that killed 16 civilians in Afghanistan.  

Mr. Obama spent about two minutes at the beginning of a longer statement about new U.S. actions with key partners on China trade practices to stress his determination to ensure a full investigation and full accountability for the killings.

He said the United States takes the matter "as seriously as if it were our own citizens and own children who were murdered."  The killing of innocent civilians, he added, "is outrageous and unacceptable" and does not represent "who we are as a country" or represent the U.S. military.

Mr. Obama offered this assurance to Americans and the Afghan people. "I can assure the American people and the Afghan people that we will follow the facts wherever they lead us, and we will make sure that anybody who was involved is held fully accountable with the full force of the law," he said.

President Obama said he met Tuesday with the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker, and the commander of U.S. and international forces, Marine Corps Lieutenant General John Allen, who are in Washington.  Mr. Obama said he has "extraordinary confidence" in them and in American forces in Afghanistan.

President Obama mentioned that he and visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron would be discussing what he called "the way forward" in Afghanistan.

Panjwai district, Kandahar, Afghanistan
Panjwai district, Kandahar, Afghanistan
Mr. Obama made a point of addressing his remarks to Americans who recent public opinion surveys show are increasingly opposed to the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. "Make no mistake.  We have a strategy that will allow us to responsibly wind down this war.  We are steadily transitioning to the Afghans who are moving into the lead.  And that is going to allow us to bring our troops home," he said.

The president noted that a total of 33,000 troops will be withdrawn by the end of the year, the full surge force he sent in 2009 to blunt Taliban advances. There are about 91,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, with another 34,000 to 37,000 NATO forces.

In a CNN interview on Monday, General Allen said there is no contemplation of "any form of an accelerated drawdown" of troops ahead of the 2014 NATO target to end its combat role in Afghanistan.

President Obama said on Tuesday that although there is no doubt the United States and its partners face a "difficult challenge," the work of devastating al-Qaida's leadership and denying the terrorist group safe haven will continue.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 5
 Previous   Next 
by: Hamza Rayes
March 13, 2012 12:16 PM
yeah and when somebody from taliban do something wrong it does represent muslims ............

by: American
March 13, 2012 11:42 AM
Fort Hood 14 (Americans) dead - no full force of law is needed for BO.. What is next, converting our militaries into i sl am by executive order?

by: josie betancourt
March 13, 2012 11:39 AM
how much more shame do we as Americans have to suffer at the hands of our politicians?

by: Jack Meoff
March 13, 2012 11:28 AM
Give him to Karzai to prosecute.

by: Lumpy
March 13, 2012 11:27 AM
And will the "full force of law" be used against Eric Holder & the ATF for the death of our officers in the "Fast and Furious" scandal? The empty suit will use the " full force" until it's out of the headlines. What a joke.

by: Me
March 13, 2012 11:19 AM
The Pavlovian Obama bashers and nutjobs are so pitiful... And just to be clear I am a moderate right-winger.

by: FishtownYo
March 13, 2012 11:17 AM
Hand the soldier over. He killed children, he should be hung by the families.

by: cindy murphy
March 13, 2012 11:17 AM
send Obama over there, to fight. the boys have no water in some bases.
the drug people getting welfare has more then our military. shame

by: William A. Hall
March 13, 2012 11:15 AM
This deranged soldier will be tried by a military court. The President does not have the authority to turn him over to another nation. If he really should not have been redeployed, I am not sure of the nature of his prior trauma, no military jury is going to find him guilty. The person who is ultimately responsible is the President who keeps and undersized military fighting a really dumb fight. We need to withdraw our troops to our own borders and use them only for defense of the USA.

by: William A. Hall
March 13, 2012 11:15 AM
This deranged soldier will be tried by a military court. The President does not have the authority to turn him over to another nation. If he really should not have been redeployed, I am not sure of the nature of his prior trauma, no military jury is going to find him guilty. The person who is ultimately responsible is the President who keeps and undersized military fighting a really dumb fight. We need to withdraw our troops to our own borders and use them only for defense of the USA.
Comments page of 5
 Previous   Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs