Lawyer in Afghan case objects to background check

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SEATTLE (AP) -- The lead civilian lawyer for a U.S. soldier accused of massacring 17 Afghan villagers in March is objecting to a government request that he undergo a background check.

Seattle attorney John Henry Browne says the Army has requested that all civilian members of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales' defense team undergo the check to obtain security clearances for reviewing any classified evidence.

That's standard when classified evidence may be at issue.

Browne says it's troubling that to protect his client's legal rights, he and his associates would be subject to intrusive vetting by the government.

He notes that the background form asks questions about counseling and he would need extra space to write about his seven marriages.