Afghanistan War

A new book that documents an attempt to rescue an Idaho soldier in Afghanistan will not likely interfere with efforts to bring him home. That’s according to at least one national security expert. The controversial book is getting attention because it describes the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. It also says in 2009, Navy SEALs went after Bowe Bergdahl’s captors too.

An Army combat engineer has become the 12th Washington-based soldier to die in Afghanistan this year. The pace of deaths has picked up in recent weeks as the summer fighting season begins.

The Army says Sgt. 1st Class Barett McNabb was killed by an improvised explosive device. He was on his fourth deployment, but his first to Afghanistan.

McNabb is just the latest soldier from Washington’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord to die in Afghanistan. May was the deadliest month so far this year with six soldier deaths.

The cemetery at Joint Base Lewis-McChord will be the site of a Memorial Day ceremony to honor fallen service members. A University of Washington graduate is among the latest Washington-based soldiers to die in Afghanistan. Army records indicate eight soldiers from the Army post near Tacoma have been killed in action so far this year.

Parents of captured Idaho soldier want prisoner swap

May 9, 2012

The Idaho parents of the only U.S. soldier in Taliban captivity say they want the Obama administration to negotiate a prisoner swap to bring their son home. Bob and Jani Bergdahl broke their long silence in new interviews, hoping to build public pressure for a deal.

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. — A top military commander speaking at the base of the soldier suspected of killing 16 Afghan civilians says the Army is adequately dealing with mental health and other issues related to multiple deployments.

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A U.S. official says the American who killed 16 Afghan villagers Sunday is a soldier from Washington who was assigned to a remote special operations site.

A senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, added that the suspect is married and has two children. He served three tours in Iraq, and had been serving his first deployment in Afghanistan since December.

U.S. officials say the soldier acted alone, leaving his base in southern Afghanistan and opening fire on sleeping families in two villages.

Associated Press

LONGVIEW, Wash. — Gov. Chris Gregoire has directed that flags at state buildings be lowered to half-staff Thursday in memory of a Longview soldier who died Dec. 20 while serving in Afghanistan.

A celebration of life will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Kelso Eagles for 21-year-old Mikayla A. Bragg.

Northwest News Network

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – A young Army private from Boise has been sentenced to a maximum of seven years in a military prison for murder and other crimes while deployed to Afghanistan. Private First Class Andrew Holmes admitted to shooting an unarmed 15-year-old Afghan boy.

Department of Homeland Security

Former U.S. Senator from Washington state, Slade Gorton,  says the killing of bin Laden is proof that intelligence agencies in the United States have improved.  Gorton sat on the 9/11 Commission, which investigated the terrorist attacks.

Rolling Stone magazine has published several more grisly photographs related to the war crimes case unfolding at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

The release comes just one week after a German magazine was the first to publish photos. The Army had sought to keep the pictures under wraps for fear they could trigger a backlash against U.S. troops.

Last week’s photographs showed soldiers posing with a dead Afghan named Gul Mudin. Rolling Stone now reports he was an unarmed 15-year old boy, the first of three victims allegedly killed by members of a rogue platoon from Western Washington.

Austin Jenkins / N3

A Washington-based soldier has been sentenced to 24-years in prison for killing unarmed civilians in Afghanistan. Specialist Jeremy Morlock pleaded guilty to three counts of premeditated murder and other crimes.

The Defense Department is deploying about 700 soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord to Afghanistan next summer to support combat operations.

The department said Friday the I (First) Corps Headquarters will serve as the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command Headquarters.

In a press release, Joint Base Lewis-McChord public affairs noted a historic aspect to the assignment: