Channel 4 news tonight: Retiring head of ALS speaks out over Iraqi detainees.

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by postman_twit, Oct 12, 2011.

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  1. Apparently he will be branding the handling of all detainees as illegal.

    Should make for interesting viewing.
  2. So will he accept any personal responsibility and fall on his sword. No - didn't think so, so just another wise after the event commentator.

    Funny how every Theatre has stacks of RMPs and HQs with legal advisors at ranks far higher than their age, experience and output would seem to warrant; but when there are legal outrages everywhere (if you believe press or "victims") there is never of a sign of anyone official to curb our beastly behaviour

    Does he have a book deal pending or a nice cosy billet with a Human Rights focussed legal group?
  3. You echo my thoughts entirely. Wasn't there a thread a couple of weeks ago about moral courage? If he didn't have the cojones to cause a ruction at the time, why make an issue of it now?
  4. Yeah there's gratitude for you. Thanks for the officer status, pension and salary but bugger you lot!

    These ALS bods ain't part of the Army anyway. They only do a 2 week "vicars and tarts" course at Sandhust then they are (over) promoted to be legal advisers with the entire command structure hanging off every word they say.
  5. Nevertheless they ARE part of the Army. I think the RN has a different system whereby future legal officers first serve in a potentially seagoing appointment, typically in the logistics branch, but that is not the main issue to this story. [Incidentally, I see that Mercer had some time with an Inf Bn after the professional course at RMAS.]

    On the suggestion that Col Mercer is only speaking out now he is retiring and did not have the cojones to do so when it could have made a difference, a glance at the Channel 4 story suggests otherwise. I don't know the guy, but have we really forgotten so soon about the Baha Mousa inquiry?
  6. Why do I think of NKVD and REMF whenever I hear the words ALS?
  7. It looks like he did speak out whilst serving but was told by his superiors (MOD) to be quiet. He was a Lt Col in 2003, and leaves the Army in 2011 in the same rank suggests he did speak out; also he was (effectively) suspended for the past 3 years. Something is fishy and we'll probably find out over the coming days.
  8. Brotherton Lad

    Brotherton Lad LE Reviewer

  9. IIRC (and it is entirely possible I haven't) the legal section of the Baha Mousa enquiry seemed to be a war between the Div Legad (Mercer?) and the CoC. The legad has been proven right by time and a very expensive inquiry. We'd have done much better if they'd listened to him in the first place. MHO.

    Edited to add: Yes, the "I was stopped from speaking at the Red Cross meeting" was the guy who the inquiry evidence shows as the only grit in the otherwise (as far as history will be concerned) smoothly running engine of prisoner abuse.
  10. Brotherton Lad

    Brotherton Lad LE Reviewer

  11. Seems to me like an honest man of conviction who has spoken out-both at the time and now. Despite contrary assertions above, it would appear that Command does not hang off every word of their legal advisers.

    As for no one "curbing our beastly behaviour", I can quote several examples but wouldn't dream of spoiling a good rant with something as fundamental as facts...
  12. Yes, true. But it is not what you know but what the documentation has recorded. And it's not recorded nice stuff about us. This isn't 'fair' but then expecting anything to be 'fair' is a mug's game.
  13. Brotherton Lad

    Brotherton Lad LE Reviewer

    He gets my vote, for sure.

    As for no-one "curbing our beastly behaviour", it is , of course the function of officers and SNCOs and WOs do just that and I'm sure you're referring to examples in your personal experience, but the system should also back that up. In this case the system appears to have not been looking in the right direction.

    Edited to say it's the responsibility of every soldier to curb their beastly behaviour, but that it is especially incumbent on the chain of command to make sure of it.