The title of a CBS News article released on March 13, 2012 is “Afghan official: Soldier’s surrender on video” (Web-site/URL: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57396922/afghan-official-soldiers-surrender-on-video/?tag=cbsContent;cbsCarousel).
According to Lt. Col. Jimmie Cummings, “a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan” (ISAF), “We are still receiving, reviewing and investigating all leads in connection with this TERRIBLE incident, but AT THIS TIME, everything still points to ONE shooter“. The key phrase is “at this time”, which means that this assessment could QUICKLY change. And THERE IS NO DOUBT that the murder of these 16 CIVILIANS was a “terrible incident”.
“Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak called the killings “DEPLORABLE” (obviously), but said (that) the country must remember the BIGGER issues at stake, likely a reference to THE FEAR that the Taliban could capitalize on a precipitous foreign withdrawal”. This is a HUGE concern. In fact, A SIGNIFICANT PROPORTION of Afghans now believe that THE TALIBAN IS MORE TRUSTWORTHY THAN AMERICANS/ISAF. Also, notice “fear”, because when there is “fear”, people tend to do things they WOULDN’T normally do/act ERRATICALLY or IRRATIONALLY. More specifically, “in a news conference with German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere in Kabul”, Wardak continued: “I mean THE STAKES ARE MUCH HIGHER THAN THIS INCIDENT (alone/by itself), which we have all have condemned and I think WE ARE ASSURED (?) that the U.S. authority WILL TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION“. This is what Wardak is saying ON CAMERA, but PRIVATELY, this surely is a different story because many Afghans are OUTRAGED and want this shooter to be tried under the AFGHAN legal system, but this is EXTREMELY UNLIKELY.
Finally, “President Barack Obama has pledged a thorough investigation, saying (that) the U.S. was taking the case “as seriously as if it was OUR OWN citizens and OUR children, who were MURDERED“.
This is the latest chapter in a horrific case that has clearly put the US and ISAF in DAMAGE CONTROL mode.