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FROM THIS EPISODE

The war in Afghanistan has been stained by another atrocity, with another American soldier accused of brutally murdering helpless civilians. We learn more about Sergeant Robert Bales today, the strains of combat and the prospects for justice. Also, a new GOP budget that may not sit well with Republicans, and a neighborhood watch volunteer shoots an unarmed black teenager to death. Will Florida's "stand your ground" law prevent prosecution?

Banner image: An Afghan elder (R) talks during Afghan President Hamid Karzai's meeting with relatives of the Kandahar incident victims at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on March 16, 2012. Photo by Massoud Hossaini/AFP/Getty Images

Producers:
Christian Bordal
Katie Cooper
Caitlin Shamberg

Making News A New GOP Budget that May Not Sit Well with Republicans

In today's Wall Street Journal, and at a news conference on Capitol Hill, Congressman Paul Ryan today released a Republican budget plan, which renews the attack on big government and reduces taxes. Ryan's plan may reveal the heart of contemporary conservatism, but many fellow Republicans fear the timing could give an advantage to Democrats in this election year. David Hawkings is Editor of the CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing.

Guests:
David Hawkings, CQ Roll Call (@davidhawkings)

Main Topic Another Atrocity in the War in Afghanistan

It's one of the worst war crimes by an American soldier: Sergeant Robert Bales is accused of leaving his base in a remote part of Afghanistan, brutally murdering 16 civilians, including 9 children, and trying to set their bodies on fire. Bales reportedly returned to base afterward and asked for a lawyer. He'll likely be tried by the military at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Does he have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? Is he himself a kind of war victim, or is he a cold-blooded killer who can't be excused in any way? These and other questions will haunt the longest war in American history until long after it's over. We hear some of the early answers today.

Guests:
James Dao, New York Times
David Brahms, National Institute of Military Justice
Mike Prysner, March Forward (@MikePrysner)
Joshua Renschler, Men of Valor
Robert Fisk, The Independent (@TheRobertFisk)

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