CGS Flies to Iraq

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Letterwritingman, Sep 12, 2004.

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  1. From todays Telegraph

    Jackson flies to Iraq to placate troops
    By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent
    (Filed: 12/09/2004)

    General Sir Mike Jackson, the Army's most senior officer, has flown to Iraq in a bid to quell the rising anger of British troops furious at the revelation that 19 soldiers face allegations of murder and brutality.

    The Telegraph has learnt that senior officers believe that the unprecedented number of investigations into troops' behaviour is creating a fear of prosecution among soldiers that undermines the Army's operational effectiveness.

    Gen Sir Mike Jackson
    The visit by Sir Mike, the Chief of the General Staff, begins today and follows the disclosure that a further three soldiers, all from the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, are expected to be charged with murder this week.

    The charges follow the court appearance last Tuesday of Trooper Kevin Williams, 21, a member of the same regiment, who is accused of murdering an Iraqi lawyer in August last year.

    Although the General's visit was scheduled before details of the charges became public knowledge, it is understood that he intends personally to assure soldiers that they have his full support.

    It is believed that he will tell troops that the Army's rules of engagement have been created to safeguard their individual security and protect them from prosecution.
    The three soldiers from the 2RTR facing murder charges have been under investigation for several months. It is alleged that they shot dead an Iraqi civilian after he attacked Sgt Steve Roberts at a checkpoint outside the southern town of Az Zubayr on the fourth day of the war in Iraq.

    Sgt Roberts died after he was struck by bullets fired from a British tank. He had earlier been ordered to hand his body armour to another soldier who had none.

    It is understood that the investigation, which was conducted by the Special Investigation Branch of the Royal Military Police, was initially undertaken to try to establish how Sgt Roberts had died.

    The file on his death was passed to the Army Prosecuting Authority and then to the Crown Prosecution Service, whose lawyers are understood to have recommended murder charges against three soldiers. It is alleged that the soldiers killed the Iraqi after he ceased to pose a threat to Sgt Roberts.

    A senior Army officer said: "We are in grave danger of creating a culture in the Army where soldiers are too scared to open fire because they fear that if they make a mistake they will face prosecution. Soldiers are trained to react instinctively to events and these investigations are undermining that quality.

    "There is a big difference between a soldier who carries out an illegal execution and one who mistakenly kills a person while they are carrying out what he believes is his duty."

    The Ministry of Defence refused to comment yesterday

    So that'll be all right then! I bet the guys and girls feel wonderfully protected now. :evil: :evil:

    What a load of Toss
  2. And I thought he and his staff where going as the reinforcement to allow Brit troops out of Basra.
    Troops must have the benifite of the doubt when in action against mobs.
    Be nice/correct to see some of these Lawmakers risk there neck in a situation where there's the quick and the deed and not have the luxury of hours days weeks months to compose sum law that will be debated at lesure in a safe court of law.
  3. I think and I wasent alone out there that the belief was that if you had to fire your weapon you would be in the shit what ever the circumstances .
    But that it would be better to be alive than worry about consquences and hesitate . We had numerouses breifings about the roe but people took the cyncial view that the headshed would screw us given the choice .fortunatly none of my lot ever had to find out what would have happened if we fired .
    though we nearly shot up a daily mirror journlist who drove fast towards the main gate .
  4. What's all the fuss about? Surely the lawyers will take into account the fact these soldiers were on a battlefield, had been fired on, were at war etc etc??

    Oh F*&K! Did I say lawyers? Well, thank God for the government, they'll stand up for lads? Hell, its even worse than I thought!

    Remind why we were out there? Conducting operations for which false reasons (known as lies when told by us, but false reasons when said by the government!)

    Seriously, my sympathy goes out to all those whose actions under fire are now being examined from the safety of a lawyers office and with the advantage of hindsight and without the distraction of incoming.

    May God cast into the abyss the souls of those who would judge soldiers actions without ever understanding the pressures they are under - most especially if they are Tony B Liar or TCH! I mean that in all seriousness.

    Incidentally, whilst I think it is highly commendable that CGS is visiting 2 RTR, I think it also serves to highlight the gravity of the situation that he is doing so and illustrates well the problems that will not follow on within the Army. Who would join an Army whose natinal legal system will treat them this way? (This is one thing the Americans do get right - I don't see any Spams appearing in court under similar charges).

    I could weep at the double standards of it all.
  5. Are the soldiers as likely to get off as scott free as the Govt that caused the death of David Kelly I wonder?

    But then the liberals, even those that go to war 5 times in 7 years as BLiar has done, hate soldiers in their selfish, childish, snivelling little worlds out in Islington. No wonder they plie their spite in this way.

  6. I hope that CGS will visit 2 RTR but he is going to Iraq! Methinks he's going in the wrong direction!

    The people who will scrutinise the guys actions are 12 civvies if the case is in the civvy court or 5 WOs and Officers if its a CM.

    Obviously if its a CM then u assume that the board can bring knowledge of hindsight, incoming etc - if not then you are arguing for CMs to be abolished and everything to be dealt with in civvie street.

    A jury of 12 civvies can be cleverer than you think - and bear in mind that when cases come before the courts of police firearms officers when the jury actually hear the facts the officer is acquitted.



    Also bear in mind that it is then civvie lawyers who appear at CMs to expose all the above and more. Bearing in mind they don't have the benefit of hindsight, incoming etc they seem to do a tolerable job.
  7. Here's a link to the Independant that covers the allegations of abuse and murder. The footnote at the bottom of the page that details the death of Fus Steven Jones on Friday puts it all in perspective. A footnote to an article that I believe is founded on nothing but the greed of a few lawyers - I despair sometimes. :(
  8. The thinking behind the Independent article seems a bit muddled. It lumps together criminal investigations by the Army with civil law suits by Iraqi nationals. While some of the prosecutions and civil law suits might arise from the same incidents, the two legal processes are completely separate. I don't believe the High Court or the European court will rule that the HR Act applied in Iraq. The Army investigations (and any subsequent criminal trials) will draw their own conclusions as to whether there was any criminal behaviour by the soldiers involved.
  9. Let us try and get this into perspective.

    The Army has to operate within a set of rules ie. rules of engagement. Operate within them - you are protected by law; if you do not - then you are liable. This is only right and fair in a democratic society where there is protection for both sides; society and the soldier.

    The tricky bit will be where there is uncertainty. I have no knowledge of this or of any of the cases mentioned in this thread, but if the soldier acted reasonably within the circumstances at the time and with appropriate force, then a soldier should have nothing to fear.
  10. The Mail today reports

    A Cpl from 22 SAS is being investigated over the shooting of two Iraqis in Tikrit. The piece goes on to say that a report has been handed to both the APA and CPA!! 8O 8O
  11. Quite agree, but when it becomes political, thats a different ball game
  12. Disscusing the legal structures will not change the opinion of the soldier with boots on the ground, faced with a lack of support from his/ her leaders and facing an aggressive, compensation driven legal profession.

    Mates of mine who are lawyers cosider this an abuse of the legal system and are quite opposed to the AGs actions. Understandably, most lawyers hold the british legal system in high esteem and hate seeing it used for publicity purposes

    We HAVE a problem. This prosecution has changed my mind and would be the main dirver for seeking discharge after nearly 20 years in the system. Why should I serve my country and not only put my life at risk, but I get through and my whole life could change because of a split second of poor judgement under extreme stress!

    What about the concept of 'a guilty mind'? I thought that in criminal trials, that this HAD to be proven. I have trouble believing that a soldier will react with anything other than training and a lot of self preservation instinct.

    I suspect, in the near future, we will have dead soldiers that failed to fire at the critical moment. But that won't matter to the media, who do not hold soldiers' lives in any regard, nor it seems our senior officers who are failing in their duty. We might also see soldiers surrendering weapons to the bad guys, in order to avoid prosecution at a point in the future. Let's face it, surely better to surrender your weapon, than face a lifetime in jail?

    No matter the outcome, innocent or guilty, Tpr Williams life is now ruined at the tender age of 20. The stress of a highly engineered public show trial will take it's toll.

    To back up Woody - agreed there was a culture in basrah that if you fired your weapon you would be abandoned by the hierarchy. I know plenty of people that stated they would not fire a weapon under any circumstance and went around with the weapon not ready to fire.

    We have a problem
  13. God help us all, it's not Northern Ireland, it's Iraq. What the F*** are the flying lawyers even doing out there? Surely ROE are to protect US, not hang-draw-and-quarter soldiers who are just protecting themselves, or their mates!!! Does make you feel rather sick, we're fighting an unpopular war, at the behest of the Government, and we're getting prosecuted for it.

    Whichever idiot decided to make the APA independant of the chain of command should be sent out for a foot patrol in the nasty parts of Basara, Al Amara (excuse appauling spelling) or anywhere else of troops our, and see how they like it. It's just disgusting that the Trooper who's CO decided there was no case to answer is now standing up in a civilian court for doing his bloody duty.
  14. its not entirely true that the civvie defence lawyers who act at CM's have no knowledge of military life and even some incoming!!

    if anybody needs the names they can pm me for advice, or can just call their local Court Martial Centre and get some advice from the court staff. they wont recommend anyone but will be able to tell them the names of lawyers who regularly appear in these type of cases - and probably will tell you which ones ex ex-mil
  15. Having done more than my fair share of DALS baiting, they are serious people who take their jobs and responsibilities seriously.

    The problem with the legal profession in general is that they have forgotten the bit about Order in 'Law and Order'

    Without order one can have as much law as one wants, but it won't do a blind bit of good. Only when order is established can Law function. And you can't establish order by quoting law books at people.