WASHINGTON (CNN) – White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said President Obama is "saddened" by Monday's news that an American soldier shot and killed five of his fellow troops at Camp Liberty in Baghdad.
"The President's heart goes out to the families and friends of all the service members involved in this horrible tragedy," Gibbs said at Monday's White House briefing.
"He was shocked by the news of this incident and will press to ensure that we fully understand what happened at the clinic and that we are doing everything we can to ensure that our men and women in uniform are protected," Gibbs said. "He plans on seeing Secretary Gates this afternoon and will raise this matter then."
The shooting took place at 2 p.m. local (6 a.m. ET) at the U.S. military base. The soldier is now in custody.
Updated 5:15 p.m. With written statement from the president.
President Obama issued the following statement Monday evening about the shootings:
"I was shocked and deeply saddened to hear the news from Camp Victory this morning, and my heart goes out to the families and friends of all the service members involved in this horrible tragedy. I will press to ensure that we fully understand what led to this tragedy, and that we are doing everything we can to ensure that our men and women in uniform are protected as they serve our country so capably and courageously in harm’s way. To begin this process, I met with Secretary Gates this afternoon to get a briefing on the situation."
Related: Soldier kills 5 comrades, officials say
Our YOUNG and I mean YOUNG (81 -25) are losing their minds in the Middle East. They are NOT equip mentally to deal with the realities of WAR and yet we send them over there to fight. AND now we are shocked when they display signs of mental illness?
WHY IS THAT? Just putting a gun in someone's hands does not make them a soldier. Our young men and woman are suffering the consequences of an UN-NECESSARY WAR!!
We are going to have more suicides, more physical abuse and more metal illness in the military than ever before.
We BETTER be ready to CARE FOR THEM and PROVIDE ALL the medical benefits they need to get healthy again!!
This is why they need to come home! The Troops are fed up being in Iraq
I am sure the liberals will ultimately put the blame for this on Bush.
I am glad the matter is being investigated and my heart goes out to the family members who lost their loved ones....
Maybe he listened to Mr.Cheney over the weekend and thought his fellow troops were too Liberal.
I'm sure these solders are stressed beyond belief
It saddens me too.
I don't pretend to know what happened in this case, but there are many young men and women who have come back from Iraq with barely visible problems. Problems that will come out in violence, substance abuse and suicide.
We need to get these men and women the help they need. They do our dirty work and how do we repay them? Cram them into an insensitive and overcrowded system and refuse to understand the true trauma they have endured.
This is not a political issue. It is an American disgrace.
PTSD.....Sadly, the brave men and women in our military are overworked and underpaid........Shuffling them from one war zone to another will only increase their stress.......The president of Aghanistan has arrogantly stated that he wants our troops to be there for "a while." .......That sounds like indefinitely to me......His attitude stunk......Bring our troops home......Let Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan fend for themselves........Even if we capture or kill Bin Laden; win the greatest victory over there; in a year or two another uprising will come....It's non-ending.....We still have a chance to end our involvement over there, with success and dignity.......
It is unfortunate that some on the extreme right and left will see this as an oportunity to blame and vilify the opposition.
As Americans we owe our troops better than that. We owe them our freedom and our undying support.
My heart goes out to the families even the one the did the shooting. For our sons go through alot and are trained to kill which can cause something like this to happen. That is why some soldiers come home and end up killing someone in their family, and we end up wanting to hang them for what they did. But it is their traing that cause this. We need to get them help instead of putting them away the soldiers pertected their Country and then lost it. I don't know which camp and where my son is out there. When will we know what happened and who was involed.
This could not be avoided, our over-stressed, over-extended troops have got to be wearing down, they have been asked to do more than most under extraordinary conditions. Our new President needs a resurgence of committment by recruiting new troops to relieve those who have given more than they should by his promise to utilize their skills much better in the future!!!
God be with their families. So sad to hear.
I am not blaming veterans in any way, you cannot expect to give a 19 year old a gun and say kill people and then expect them to come out of a war arena without mental trauma.
However, as tragic as this incident is this should also highlight the reason the DHS sent the message out about recently returning veterans from the war arena.
As this terrible situation indicates the returning or soon to be returned some veterans are both traumatized and in a vulnerable mental state
It is even sadder that the attacker, who may have problems as well, preyed up 5 soldiers that were seeking help for the many issues war can understandably exacerbate.
My prayers go out to the families of the slained soldiers and also to the tormented that committed such a terrible act. I pray for all of our soldiers.
This is all happening because of the unjust war in Iraq.
More than 4200 US Troops have died and 46,000 US Troops have suffered injuries.
None of the 9/11 terrorists were from Iraq. Iraq was attacked for Bush’s greed for Oil. Intelligence report that Iraq has WMDs was false and specially designed to mislead Americans for getting their support to go to war. Bush admitted this in his farewell address that Iraq intelligence report was a mistake.
Terrorists don’t attack us from other Countries. They come here inside our Country, infiltrate and attack us. Other countries will not let terrorists use their soil as a launching pad to attack U.S., because it will amount to direct war with US. No County wants to mess with a Super Power like U.S.
Going after terrorist in other countries is more expensive and puts out troops on harms way. Our economy is in shambles due to the 2 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Countries affected by terrorism are in poverty. Where do terrorists get these sophisticated weapons to fight U.S. troops. Definitely some other industrially advanced country is providing these terrorists with weapons and money. Our intelligence network should be emphasizing more on this. Unfortunately in the past 8 years intelligence agencies were fabricating false intelligence reports at the direction of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld.
God Bless our troops...
this character ran around the country promisinf the bring those boys home......................gues he has been too busy spending our money......my God is he a disgrace
I was stationed right next door to Camp Liberty, at Sather AB, back in 2005. Went to their BX a few times, went to their chow hall a few times, stuff like that. So I'm familiar with that whole area. Soldiers at Camp Liberty have enough to worry about (rockets, mortars, snipers) that this just makes things even worse. Threats aren't always outside the wire.
What a tragedy. God bless all those who lost loved ones and friends.
They want to come home. It is so annoying that they are forced to stay there against their will. Everyone knows most of these young people sign up to get a paycheck and a chance to have an education, but instead come back horribly mutilated, crippiled mentally and physically. No excuse for what that person did, but sometimes you can't help but wonder what is going on in their minds after being away from family and friends for sooooo long. My prayers go out to the affected families.
The question should be why is the same units going to Iraq over and over again when there are over 3 million people in the arm forces send everyone before the same people go again. The basic weapon is the M-16
I'm saddened by the whole situation, please help our soldiers.
This is what Napolitano was talking about.
Obama better make sure our soldiers are well cared for when they come back.
I have a friend that came back from Afganastan(sp?) and he isn't the same as he used to be. I don't think there are many that can handle the realities of war.
This is very sad and probably stressed related. I read that Liberty houses our brave soldiers who are experiencing problems. We need to pray for all our soldiers and not look for blame. I've never walked in their shoes as many of us haven't.