Friday, February 18, 2005

Power Without Responsibility

Two news stories today confirm the Brit Army leadership's consistency in granting its officers the Harlot's Prerogative. They exonerate the officers responsible for soldiers alleged to have hazed captives. And they exonerate officers that get their men killed.

The first story reports on the final statements in the trial of British NCOs for hazing Iraqi looters. The defense contends that the mens' commanding officer ordered the prisoners be "thrashed" or "beasted". But that can't be true because the Army has already exonerated him.

The prosecutor urged the (officer-only) military jury...not to be swayed by the "shocking and appalling" pictures they were being shown.

Pictures were of looters being threatened, tied up, simulating gay sex, hoisted by fork lifts. Presumably these officers-of-the-jury have not seen combat, otherwise they'd have a rather higher bar for "shocking and appalling". Like being left, defenceless, to die at the hands of a mob.

The second story is about just that. In June 2003, an Iraqi mob killed 6 Military Policemen (MPs). The heavily armed mob objected to 1 Bn Parachute Regiment's use of dogs to search for weapons, so attacked them. The well armed Paras shot their way out, but hours later found that they'd left the lightly armed MPs to the mercy of the mob. Which had killed them. Which raises the question. Who the fucking hell was in charge of Force Protection? Rest assured chaps.

"The Ministry of Defence said no officers would be disciplined in connection with the incident".

My grandfather and his comrades will be rotating in their graves.