Big Boys Rules

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error_unknown

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#1
http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20031028-113335-6042r.htm

The US Army has charged an American officer, a 19 year veteran, who used psychological pressure by twice firing his service weapon near an Iraqi. After the shots were fired, the detainee, an Iraqi police officer, gave up information on a planned attack around the northern Iraqi town of Saba al Boor. Col. West said the gunshots spurred the Iraqi to provide the location of the planned sniper attack and the names of three guerrilla fighters.
But the Army is taking a dim view of the interrogation tactic and the Officer has been charged with one count of aggravated assault which could lead to the Army court-martialing Col. West and sending him to prison for a maximum term of eight years.
"I accept being retired at the grade of major and paying whatever fine required, but resignation and prison seems an attempt to destroy me," Col. West says. "All I wish is to go away, re-establish my family and retain some of my dignity."

Whilst abiding by agreed rules and maintaining standards is important, interrogation, however unpleasant, is a necessary factor and it seems crazy that an officer should be treated as a criminal rather than a hero in these circumstances.
From what I read here the man appears to have done his job well....How can it be wrong to scare a bloke to get intelligence?
Although a different story I'd bet our own Col. Tim relates to this one..thank GOD our people investigated things thoroughly and HIS good name was cleared.
 
#2
i hope they take him to the cleaners, you just cant do that sort of thing.
would he like it if it happened to him? probably not.
 
#3
blondebint. said:
Col. West says. "All I wish is to g...ristmas at home with their families for once.
 
#4
Theatreman said:
i hope they take him to the cleaners, you just cant do that sort of thing.
would he like it if it happened to him? probably not.
Since when can't you do that sort of thing? It's a hell of a lot more humane than what they do to people.

The man was doing his job, and doing it well. Leave him alone.
 
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error_unknown

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#5
Theatreman said:
no doubt thats all the Iraqi ..officer wants to do as well.oh and drive the US forces of occupation from his home land which in turn will allow the Brits to spend a christmas at home with their families for once.
The Iraqi police officer had intelligence about a forthcoming attack that he did not impart to his interrogators until the shots were fired close to him at which point he no doubt wet himself and talked. The consequences of not getting that information out of the Iraqi would no doubt have led to there being no more Christmas ever again for some coalition troops.
Needs must when there's a war on.
 
#6
Theatreman said:
i hope they take him to the cleaners, you just cant do that sort of thing.
would he like it if it happened to him? probably not.
If "Standard" interrogation techniques revealed the data extracted, but too late would you have written the letter to NoK apologising for the death or maiming of their husband/son/loved ones?
 
#7
Theatreman said:
i hope they take him to the cleaners, you just cant do that sort of thing.
would he like it if it happened to him? probably not.
If "Standard" interrogation techniques revealed the data extracted, but too late would you have written the letter to NoK apologising for the death or maiming of their husband/son/loved ones?
 
#8
Bravo_Bravo said:
If "Standard" interrogation techniques revealed the data extracted, but too late would you have written the letter to NoK apologising for the death or maiming of their husband/son/loved ones?
Playing Devil's Advocate.......

There's a good article in the Spring 2003 issue of British Army Review on this very subject; it provides all of the justification for not using, err, "non-standard", interrogation techniques; namely it provides a short-term gain (where is this bomb) for some severe losses, mainly to credibility and integrity, in the long-term (those Coalition types are torturers, don't trust them, so much for the moral high ground, etc, etc)

If you've read "Big Boys' Rules", you'll remember that it pointed out how the, err, robust doctrine for dealing with PIRA didn't actually produce the desired effect (Hey, the Israelis have been proving this since the start of the second Intifada). After all, where would Christianity be if Jesus had got 10-to-15 with time off for good behaviour?

The BAR article also provides the example of a French officer, who had himself been tortured in Dachau during WWII, being ordered to torture an FLN detainee in Algeria in order to get just such information ("where is the third bomb")..... read it, you'll find out what he did :)
 
#10
I'm with Theatreman on this one. This is just not acceptable. Turn the situation on its head and put a British soldier in his place being interrogated by a member of an opposing force and lets say thay are after the Brigade plan of which Tommy Atkins knows nothing. Will the shock of a pistol being fired next to his head suddenly allow him to be party to said plan? Unfortunately not, so where does the interrogator draw the line - shoot off a couple of fingers perhaps? How did this cowboy actually KNOW that the detainee knew anything?

This type of cowboy attitude to interrogation is contrary to the Geneva convention. I hope he spends a long time in the nick. :evil:
 
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error_unknown

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#11
Gravelbelly said:
If you've read "Big Boys' Rules", you'll remember that it pointed out how the, err, robust doctrine for dealing with PIRA didn't actually produce the desired effect
This incident was dealing with an Iraqi policeman who it was believed had vital information about a forthcoming attack. He resisted usual interrogation procedures. This firing of a couple of shots seems to have produced the desired effect quite nicely.
Long term effects of the odd interrogator getting a little 'cross' now and then may, I would think, encourage those interviewed to 'fess up' earlier.
I cannot see that comparing entrenched republicans responses to hard interrogation with those of Iraqis; newly involved in resistance is, at this stage, valuable as, if resistance does continue for the long haul in Iraq, things will inevitably toughen up all round.
Just my take
 
#12
No doubt you will know all about it BB??
Do I have to repeat myself?
 
#13
Blondie, as it's patently obvious that you know absolutely sod all about the subject matter, it looks like you are just posting a conflicting argument for the sake of it. In future, consider yourself as living in Coventry from this callsign. :evil:
 
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error_unknown

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#14
Which point or points did you disagree with? :?
If the points I make are, in your view, wrong, please refute them,
make your own points and enlighten me and the other contributers
...that's discussion after all.
I'm not just disagreeing for the sake of it (actually I was the first here to post my viewpoint and I have stuck to it throughout).
I am most interested in other thoughts on the subject.
I would of course, love to learn more.
 
#15
there is an approach in dealing with the enemy combatants in war, in which the Geneva Convention, must be upheld,

and a different standard in dealing with illegal combatants or insurgents at home or abroad.

however from a PR and/or Hearts and minds view its just not a smart way to do business. if you are going to do it, do it out of public view/tv camera/locals.

if you get caught breaking the rules dont start bleating.
 
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error_unknown

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#16
Blondebint has a valid point of view and doesn't deserve the slagging-actually I disagree with BB, but welcome the debate.

In 20 years of NI we managed to mostly comply with the Rules of War. This gave us the moral high ground. It seems that in this case the US chap broke those rules and must now face the consequences of his actions.

The same inquiry that cleared Tim Collins of wrongdoing would have been totally justified in recommending discipliniary action if the allegations had been found to be true.

There are I believe a number of other investigations going on and anyone who is found to have broken the rules will be dealt with. I know it is frustrating when only one side plays by the book, but that is how we do things.
 
#17
flash_to_bang said:
In 20 years of NI.
or even 34 years. (sorry, off on a tangent)

so we have on one hand an american reporting a Brit for these tatics saying its wrong and on the other we have an american doing the same and yet its right.

you cant use terror or intimidation as interrogation techniques, even if the other side arent playing by the 'rules', but whose rules are they? did they sign up for these rules? its all very well and good making up these rules and signing to say that youll comply with them, but why start crying when you actually find out that your own set of so called rules prevent you from getting the desired result. as stated by Oracle, the 'law abiding' western world would be be in uproar if the same tactics were used against one of our troops.
 
#18
I have to agree with theaterman, if we start to use these sort of tactics then we lose all credibility with the onlooking world.

Would you want the same done to you if you were captured by the enemy? As signatories to the Geneva and Hague Conventions we have an obligation to abide by the rules of armed conflict laid down in these agreements. If we start to change the rules to suit ourselves then we are in danger of becoming like the Spams (see Guantanamo Bay, etc) :evil:
 
#19
From what I read here the man appears to have done his job well
Apart from breaching the Geneva Convention you mean?

it seems crazy that an officer should be treated as a criminal rather than a hero in these circumstances.
Quite apart from the fact that he committed a "criminal act"? And "hero"? Heroic acts involve running into a burning building to rescue people who are trapped, or making some sacrificial act for the benefit of others in haorrowing or dangerous circumstances. Whacking a couple of 5.56 ball into the wall behind someone's head doesn't qualify as heroic in my book.

Although a different story I'd bet our own Col. Tim relates to this one
Different issues, different circumstances. Tim Collins was falsy accused of whacking an Iraqi around the back of the head with a pistol which proved false, this guy (on the face of the reports) breached the Geneva Convention on the treatment and interrogation of civilians, which is what this man was as he was a police officer and not a soldier.

I might suggest the removal of the rose tinted view you have of all US/UK servicemen has reduced the objectivity with which you have viewed this report. I might agree that this hardly constitutes a "war crime" along the lines of a Nazi death camp, but he is a Col, he knows the rules, and no matter how much he may agree or disagree with them he was bound to follow them and didn't, ergo he faces the consequences of his actions.
 
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error_unknown

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#20
5_mile_sniper said:
If we start to change the rules to suit ourselves then we are in danger of becoming like the Spams (see Guantanamo Bay, etc) :evil:
I, of course, agree in general terms with what you say here...and of course it's reassuring to once again see the deeprooted totally professional attitudes of soldiers of the British Army coming through.
But America is so hypoctrical in this.
They illegally hold men without trial in Guantanamo Bay and talk in terms of building death chambers there (fear inducing maybe?!) yet when one officer introduces the fear factor and successfully extracts vital intelligence in one incident they throw the book at him.
Further-
http://www.washtimes.com/national/20031029-105110-6224r.htm
 

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