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Since retiring from the Navy SEALs, Chris Kyle, who was known as America’s deadliest sniper, would occasionally take fellow veterans shooting as a kind of therapy to salve battlefield scars.

Kyle, author of the best-selling book American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, was with a struggling former soldier on just such an outing on Saturday, hoping a day at a shooting range would bring some relief, said a friend, Travis Cox.

But Texas authorities said Sunday that for unknown reasons, the man turned on Kyle and a second man, Chad Littlefield, shooting and killing both before fleeing.

“Chad and Chris had taken a veteran out to shoot to try to help him,” Cox said. “And they were killed.”

On Sunday, the police identified the shooter as Eddie Ray Routh, a 25-year-old veteran with a history of mental illness who had served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The police offered no information about a possible motive.

A spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety’s Highway Patrol Division, Sgt. Lonny Haschel, said in a statement that Routh shot the men at about 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, at the Rough Creek Lodge, an exclusive shooting range near Glen Rose, about 50 miles southwest of Fort Worth. Routh then fled in a pickup truck and was arrested on Saturday night at his home in Lancaster, a southern Dallas suburb. He has been charged with two counts of capital murder, Haschel said.

Cox, the director of a foundation that Kyle created, said he was not acquainted with Routh, but said that Kyle had devoted his life since his military retirement to helping fellow soldiers overcome post-traumatic stress.

In 2011, Kyle created the FITCO Cares Foundation, to provide veterans with exercise equipment and counseling. He believed that exercise coupled with the camaraderie of fellow veterans could help former soldiers ease back into civilian life.

The audiobook of Chris Kyle's autobiography.
The audiobook of Chris Kyle’s autobiography.

“He served this country with extreme honor, but came home and was a servant leader in helping his brothers and sisters dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder,” Cox, also a former military sniper, said by telephone.

Kyle, who lived outside of Dallas, had his own difficulties adjusting after retiring from the SEALs in 2009. He was deployed in Iraq during the worst years of the insurgency, perched in or on top of bombed out apartment buildings with his .300 Winchester Magnum.

He became proficient at his job, racking up more than 150 kills and becoming the scourge of Iraqi insurgents, who put a price on his head and reportedly nicknamed him the “Devil of Ramadi.”

He preferred to think of his job not as killing bad guys, but saving the good.

“I feel pretty good because I am not just killing someone, I am also saving people,” he said in a Jan. 2012 interview with The Dallas Morning News. “What keeps me up at night is not the people that I have killed. It is the people I wasn’t able to save.”

Manny Fernandez contributed reporting.

The New York Times

100 Killer Secrets

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


A splinter group of American soldiers structured an anarchist militia and spent $US87,000 ($83,922) on weapons in an elaborate plot to overthrow the government and ultimately assassinate the president, a court heard.

The soldiers allegedly made themselves into a group called FEAR, standing for Forever Enduring Always Ready, and purchased property in Washington state from which to launch their attacks.
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The court had heard that they were to have planned to blow up a dam and poison apple crops in Washington state, bomb a park in Savannah, Georgia, attack vehicles belonging to Department of Homeland Security employees, and take over an ammunition control point at the sprawling Fort Stewart army base in the state of Georgia.

Prosecutors said its long-term goal was revolution; bringing down the US government and killing President Barack Obama. It is unclear as to what period of time this alleged plot would have taken place.

Details of the militia emerged during civilian court proceedings in Georgia in which three soldiers have been charged with murder.
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Pte Isaac Aguigui, who was identified as the founder and leader of FEAR, Sgt Anthony Peden, and Pte Christopher Salmon, are charged over the deaths of a former soldier, Michael Roark, 19, and his girlfriend Tiffany York, 17.

The victims were allegedly killed in woodland in Georgia last December, to keep the militia’s existence secret.

A fourth defendant in the case, Pte Michael Burnett, 26, admitted two counts of manslaughter on Monday. He is co-operating with prosecutors in a deal which will see him avoid a possible death sentence.

Burnett told the court Pte Aguigui introduced him to “the manuscript”, which was “a book about true patriots”, and that the militia aimed “to give the government back to the people”.

Prosecutors said militia members wore anarchist tattoos and it was unknown how many members there were. The court heard that Pte Aguigui funded the group using $US500,000 in insurance money and benefit payments he received after the death of his pregnant wife a year ago. He was said to have recruited members through the US army.

Prosecutor Isabel Pauley said the militia “possessed the knowledge, means and motive to carry out their plans”.
American Cleaning Technologies



USA Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales has been charged on 17 counts of premeditated murder of Afghan civilians, the Army stated.

Bales, 38, also faces six charges of assault and attempted murder, the Army said. Under US military law, criminal charges were formally preferred today against Bales.

The charges allege that on March 11, Bales murdered Afghans near Belambey, in the Panjwai district of Afghanistan’s Kandahar province. If convicted, the maximum possible punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice is the death penalty with a mandatory minimum sentence of imprisonment for life with eligibility for parole.

Nine children, four women and four men died in the shootings, while four children, one woman and one man were injured.

Marine Corps General John Allen, the commander of US forces in Afghanistan, said “we are under some very trying circumstances” in the country when asked about the aftermath of the killings. He said Afghans “understand these kinds of things happen and are not happy about it”.

Allen said Afghans knew the US would hold those who commit crimes responsible for their actions. He said the Afghan “leadership is confident that we’ll investigate thoroughly, try the case thoroughly and, if required, hold the individual responsible”.

In a murder charge, the term premeditated refers to a “consciously conceived” intent to kill, Army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jimmie Cummings said.

The Army released a “charge sheet” about the incident that redacted the names of the victims and provided no details about how the shooting unfolded.

The next step in the process is a so-called special court-martial to be convened at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state, which is the home base for Bales.

The investigation may determine whether a general court-martial will be convened to try the case.

The soldier’s civilian attorney, John Henry Browne, has questioned how much evidence the military has in the case. Browne has also said his client suffered a traumatic brain injury during one of three tours in Iraq and didn’t want to go to Afghanistan, where he was deployed in December.

Bales, a qualified sniper with the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment of the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat team, was in Afghanistan in support of US Special Operations forces. He is being held in confinement at a military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

The killings exacerbated tensions between the US and Afghanistan, already at a high level after the burning of Korans last month in a trash dump at the largest US base in the country. Protests followed across Afghanistan, and six American military personnel were killed by Afghans.

President Barack Obama called Afghan President Hamid Karzai after the shootings of which Bales is accused, pledging “to hold fully accountable anyone responsible”.

A trial may not begin for at least a year, according to Colby Vokey, a retired Marine Corps officer who tried or supervised hundreds of military cases as chief prosecutor and later chief defence counsel at Camp Pendleton, California.

Questioning the evidence in the case, Browne, the Seattle attorney representing Bales, said this week: “If I was the prosecutor, I’d be concerned about how we prove anything.”

Browne also has indicated he may seek a “diminished capacity” defence for his client. He said this week that Bales was “confused” and did not recall some details of the alleged assault.

A mental-health defence may be difficult to win before military jurors, according to Christopher Swift, a fellow at the University of Virginia Law School’s Centre for National Security Law.

He said that strategy may help avert a death sentence if the military sought it in the case.

“I see this as a defence that’s aimed at mitigating the ultimate penalty,” Swift said.

American Special Forces in Afghanistan have shot and killed the Afghan soldier who killed Lance-Corporal Andrew Jones.

The Australian soldier, aged 25, was shot on May 30 in Afghanistan by the rogue member of the Afghan army who was in a watchtower on sentry duty.

The circumstances of the Lance-Cpl Jones’s death are not clear, but it seems the Afghan soldier – Shafied Ullah  –  had only been at the patrol base for a few weeks.

Lance Corporal Andrew Jones has been remembered as gregarious, popular, cheeky, a true gentleman and a "great cook".Lance Corporal Andrew Jones has been remembered as gregarious, popular, cheeky, a true gentleman and a “great cook”.

He shot the Australian three times, as Lance-Cpl Jones stepped out of his tent, and then fled the patrol base, evading shots from another Afghan soldier and a search.

Australian troops were on a long term deployment with the American Special Forces unit that tracked the Afghan soldier to his home village in Khost Province, close to the Pakistan border.

It’s understood he was shot after a warning was given for him to surrender.

Tribute ... mourners carry Lance Corporal Andrew Jones's coffin.Tribute … mourners carry Lance Corporal Andrew Jones’s coffin. Photo: Craig Sillitoe

Defence Minister Stephen Smith said Shafied Ullah was with his brother at time Coalition forces approached him. He drew his pistol before being shot and killed. His brother was been detained and is being questioned, he said.

Mr Smith said he was confident Coalition forces had got the right man.

“We are proceding conclusively on the basis that the murderer of Lance-Corporal Andrew Jones has himself been killed,” he said, adding Shafied Ullah had been biometrically scanned to confirm his identity.

Chief of the Defence Force Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said despite intentions to detain Shafied Ullah, his death could not be avoided after he posed a direct threat to the Coalition Special Forces team carrying out the mission.

“I understand from reporting received this morning that Shafied Ullah drew a pistol when confronted by the Coalition Special Forces team and was shot and killed,” Air Chief Marshal Houston said.

“Across the Coalition and the Afghan National Security Forces, there has been tremendous efforts directed towards bringing the man suspected of the shooting to justice and for that support I personally thank General Petraeus and General Karimi.

“While it gives me no great pleasure that Shafied Ullah is dead, I am pleased that this man no longer poses a threat.

“The family of Lance Corporal Andrew Jones have been advised and they have requested that the media respect their privacy at this time.”

The Age has confirmed that since 2001, Australians from the SAS and Commando regiments have served on ”third country deployments” and in turn have fought alongside some of the most highly classified and best-trained combat groups in Afghanistan. Crucially, the Australian troops have been refused permission to participate in cross-border raids into Pakistan.

Australia’s Defence Minister will give more details at a press conference shortly.

Lance-Cpl Jones, from Victoria, was the cook with the 9th Force Support Battalion and the 25th Australian soldier killed in Afghanistan.

His funeral was held in Melbourne earlier this month.

Australian Digger shot dead by

Afghan soldier

as he walked down stairs

June 1, 2011 – 9:57AM
Shot dead ... Lance Corporal Andrew Jones.Shot dead … Lance Corporal Andrew Jones. 

The Australian soldier killed by a rogue Afghan soldier was shot four times as he walked down stairs at a patrol base in Afghanistan on Monday.

In an updated account of the incident, Defence Minister Stephen Smith said the Afghan soldier was alone in a watch tower as one his comrades was making his way to the ground.

At the same time Lance Corporal Andrew Gordon Jones was walking down stairs.

“[The Afghan soldier] shot our soldier on four separate occasions and then fled,” Mr Smith told ABC Radio.

No progress had been made in capturing or “rounding up” the rogue soldier.

Mr Smith described the new version of events as a slight variation of the original account given by Defence Force chief Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston yesterday.

“This is not unusual and one of the reasons why the chief of the Defence Force and I always say we need to be very careful and await the exhaustive investigation.”


Government brings in law firm

to probe defence abuse

May 21, 2011 – 6:56AM

The government has commissioned a law firm to conduct an external review of allegations of sexual and other abuse of past and present defence force members, some dating back decades.

Defence Minister Stephen Smith said the review would be conducted by the law firm DLA Piper (formerly DLA Phillips Fox).

It will make an initial legal assessment of all complaints and allegations of abuse raised with the defence minister’s office, Defence Department or reported in the media since April 1.

Mr Smith said that would put the government in a position to make further decisions about how to deal with these matters.

“Current and former Defence personnel (including members of the Australian Defence Force) may make or refer allegations relating to sexual or other forms of abuse in Defence to the review until June 17,” he said in a statement.

The review is one of a series launched in response to allegations of misbehaviour at the Australian Defence Force Academy in which one cadet filmed himself having sex with a female cadet and streamed the imagery to fellow cadets in another room.

That prompted an outpouring of other claims of abuse and misconduct in the force.

Mr Smith called on community associations and media organisations notified of complaints or allegations to provide the review with details by June 17.

He said it was important that anyone wishing to provide confidential information should first contact the review team before submitting the information.

The review is being led by DLA Piper special counsel Dr Gary Rumble, assisted by former Commonwealth Ombudsman and DLA Piper special counsel Professor Dennis Pearce and by partner Melanie McKean.

DLA Piper can be contacted on             1800 424 991       or by email at or

Mr Smith said Defence had established support arrangements for those experiencing distress or who felt they need emotional support.

That’s available to current and former Defence force members and to public service personnel and their immediate families who raise or have raised allegations with the external review team.


Melee at Tripoli hotel

after woman claims

she was raped

27 Mar, 2011 10:27 AM

Dramatic footage has emerged of western journalists caught up in a hotel brawl in Tripoli after a Libyan woman burst in announcing she had been raped by government troops.

The woman was tackled by waitresses and government minders as she sat telling her story to the press.

In a state of distress, she had rushed into the restaurant at the Rixos hotel, where a number of journalists were eating breakfast on Saturday.

She told them troops had detained her at a checkpoint, tied her up, abused her, then led her away to be gang-raped – an account that could not be independently verified.

She claimed she was targeted by the troops because she is from the eastern city of Benghazi, a rebel stronghold.

In response, a hotel waitress brandished a butter knife, a government minder reached for his handgun and another waitress pulled a jacket tightly over her head.

The waiters called her a traitor and tried to stop her talking.

The scene descended into chaos when the journalists tried to intervene to protect the woman and were pushed out of the way by the government minders.

A British television reporter was punched and a CNN camera was smashed on the ground by the minders.

A gun was pulled out in front of a Sky News crew but was not pointed at anyone.

Meanwhile, the cameras continued to roll and journalists tried to smuggle the footage out but said attempts were made to prevent this.

Sky News foreign affairs correspondent Lisa Holland was among the reporters caught up in the melee, but Sky said none of its staff were injured.

The fracas culminated in the minders overpowering the woman, leading her outside and shoving her into a car that sped away.

At a hastily arranged press conference after the incident, government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said investigators had told him the woman was drunk and possibly mentally challenged.

He added that she was under investigation.

A number of foreign media teams are staying at the Rixos while they cover the conflict.


Soldier jailed for killing for fun

March 25, 2011

US soldier gets 24 years for murder

A n American soldier has been sentenced to 24 years in prison for the deaths of three civilians in Afghanistan.

SEATTLE: A US soldier who pleaded guilty to killing Afghan civilians for fun has been sentenced to up to 24 years’ jail.

Corporal Jeremy Morlock, one of five soldiers from a US Army Stryker brigade accused of staging combat situations to kill three civilians in Afghanistan last year, has agreed to testify against the other defendants.

He told the military judge presiding over the case that the deaths were neither justified nor accidental.

”The plan was to kill people, sir,” Morlock told the judge at the start of his court martial.

Some of the soldiers in the case are accused of posing with dead Afghans in photographs then sharing the pictures with others.

The German magazine Der Spiegel published three photographs this week, including one that appears to show Morlock smiling as he holds the head of a dead man by the hair.

”Soldiers who commit offences will be held accountable as appropriate,” the army said. It has described the actions as repugnant.

The sentence, plea and agreement to testify followed an agreement Morlock and his lawyers negotiated with prosecutors in January.

The typical sentence for the charges to which he pleaded guilty, including three charges of premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit murder and assault, is life in prison, with the possibility of parole.

Morlock, 22, of Wasilla, Alaska, is the first of the five to face a court martial.

In court he affirmed the accuracy of statements he had signed earlier, in which he said that another of the accused, a superior, Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs, was the ringleader in the killings.

A lawyer for Sergeant Gibbs has said all the killings were justified combat situations.

Morlock apologised to families of the victims, ”the people of Afghanistan themselves” and fellow soldiers.

He made several references to his close relationship to his father, a former US Army paratrooper who died in 2007.

”I violated not only the law but the army core values, and I also violated the principles my father instilled in me,” he said, adding that he had ”lost my moral compass”.

The New York Times  

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