I read that second example differently. I don't think it eulogises the crime. It probably goes too far in exonerating the individual, but this is a tiny corrective to the rest of the media which refuse to make a link between the killings and their context — namely, war, and in particular a long aimless war that can't be won. The media prefer, as you do, to portray the killer as a bad egg or as mentally ill. Yet practically every war throws up this kind of incident. It isn't far-fetched to suppose that the former causes, or at least provokes, the latter.
The media's knee-jerk pathologising of the killer feels like an attempt to defend the legitimacy of war (and, notably, western governments' freedom to wage war whenever they want). After all, if 99% of the military obey the rules, then the circumstances can't explain those that do not, can they?