No one denies that SSG Bales murdered those 16 men, women, and children on the night of March 12, 2012. What I am asking for, on behalf of my client, is for a Congressional review board to take into account certain facts that were not allowed to be presented in court.
These include the following:
-During the pretrial discovery process, several key witnesses reported that SSG Bales was seen taking a copy of The King in Yellow from the post library at his FOB.
-Investigators stated in their reports that they had found the same book on Bales bunk when they searched his room. A torn open envelope was in it as a bookmark. This was not formally entered into evidence, as the book vanished at an undetermined point in the chain of custody (not an unusual occurrence when dealing with this book).
Although the effect of reading The King in Yellow is well known, the presiding judge at Bales’ court-martial ruled that insanity due to reading the book could not be argued. Since the statements from the investigation team said the bookmark they found was only as far into the book as Cassilda’s Song (Act 1, Scene 2), the effect, if any, would not be sufficient to alter the Staff Sergeant’s perception of right and wrong or of reality (or so the judge stated).
I respectfully disagree with this conclusion. Partial exposure has never been tested in a laboratory environment; indeed all human testing in relation to the book has been banned. We don’t know how it affected this otherwise exemplary soldier.
And besides…. how did The King in Yellow find its way into that FOB anyway?