Sgt. Bales claims to have lost his memory of his alleged killings of 16 Afghans. I don't believe that, not unless he was drunk out of his mind or under the influence of some drug that causes blackouts. But there is now evidence that U.S. soldiers threatened the villagers with retaliation a few days earlier. The AP story reports statements by the villagers. (See here and here.) For those who do not click through, here are a few quotes:
"The soldiers called all the people to come out of their houses and from the mosque."
"The Americans told the villagers 'A bomb exploded on our vehicle. ...We will get revenge for this incident by killing at least 20 of your people.'"
"...a US soldier, speaking through a translator, then said: 'I know you are all involved and you support the insurgents. So now, you will pay for it — you and your children will pay for this.'"
"'It looked like they were going to shoot us, and I was very afraid,' said Mr Khan. 'Then a NATO soldier said through his translator that even our children will pay for this. Now they have done it and taken their revenge.'"
A number of witnesses told the same story.