To deflate anger over the killings, U.S. officials will need to act swiftly and sternly, said Davood Moradian, an assistant professor of political science at the American University of Afghanistan.
KABUL -- Afghan officials expressed dismay and rage Monday as villagers quietly buried 16 civilians, including nine children, allegedly shot by a rogue U.S. soldier in southern Afghanistan the day before.
Some members of the Afghan parliament cast doubt on the U.S. account that a lone gunman was responsible for the killings and questioned whether the staff sergeant taken into custody would be held accountable for the worst atrocity by a U.S. soldier in the decade-long war.
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The Afghans doubt the swiftness and certainty of American military justice. Well, can you really blame them? I worked on a military justice case in the Supreme Court once: Loving v. United States, 517 U.S. 748 (1996). The judgment in that case still has not been carried out, 16 years after the Supreme Court affirmed it.
Update: AP reports, "Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says the death penalty is a consideration as the military moves to investigate and possibly put on trial a U.S. soldier suspected of gunning down 16 Afghans."