The U.S. soldier who murdered 16 Afghan villagers in 2012 says he had lost compassion for Iraqis and Afghans over the course of his four combat deployments. The News Tribune newspaper of Tacoma used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain an eight-page letter former Staff Sgt. Robert Bales wrote to the senior Army officer at Joint Base Lewis-McChord requesting that his life sentence be reduced. "My mind was consumed by war," Bales wrote late last year. "I planted war and hate for the better part of 10 years and harvested violence," he added.