Another soldier has committed an atrocity, only this time the soldier was acting alone, and therefore, he has the DSM is on his side. We have this absurd headline from CNN on the subject, Mental illness more likely behind Afghan shooting than PTSD, psychiatrist says. The first paragraph of the report makes the matter a little clearer.
While officials have provided few details about the U.S. Army soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan men, women and children in a house-to-house shooting rampage in two villages, one psychiatrist speculated the incident may have stemmed from mental illness, but not necessarily post-traumatic stress disorder.
The enemy, man! It’s the enemy we’re supposed to be shooting! That’s hostile forces, and not innocent civilians! As I’ve noted previously we’ve got this problem with a legal definition of insanity that reads ‘a danger to oneself or others’. I’m not sure we’ve got a legal definition for soldier, otherwise, they would all be locked up.
This is serious.
Afghans approached the gate to the outpost, saying there had been a shooting and carrying their wounded, according to a senior Defense Department official. The death toll included nine children, three women and four men.
To his credit, he turned himself into military authorities afterwards.
This man’s army does not recruit psycho or sociopaths.
“A sociopath or a psychopath is somebody who isn’t going to fit into the rules of something like the U.S. military, and that kind of person would have been likely drummed out or released from the military many years ago,” he [psychiatry professor Paul Newhouse] said. “I understand this individual was, had been, in the Army for quite some time, so I think a better likelihood is that this person suffered from some severe illness or mental illness that may have come on more recently and perhaps is linked to this terrible incident.”
This psychiatry professor thinks he was probably just nuts (i.e. delusional, psychotic) instead.
On pretrial confinement, uncharged as of yet, the death penalty hasn’t been ruled out in this soldier’s case.
The suspect had 3 tours of duty in Iraq under his belt before this event occured according to the report. The brigade he had been assigned to was initially stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Washington. Here’s what this article tells us about Lewis-McChord.
In December 2010, the Stars and Stripes military newspaper said Lewis-McChord had gained a reputation as “the most troubled base in the military.” It also reported that year that multiple investigations were under way into the conduct of troops at the base and the adequacy of the mental health and medical care soldiers were receiving upon their return home.
I wouldn’t rule out PTSD just yet.