Col Mendonca speaks out.

B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#2
And this story is being repeated for what reason? There's nothing new in what's been written, no revelations and noteably no acceptance that he was responsible for the conduct of his Battalion. Happy to receive medals on behalf of their efforts of course, but not so happy when having to take it on the chin when they f*ck up.

He comes over as a whinger.

BTW, who did kill Mr Moussa?
 
#4
During a raid on a hotel in Basra, nine men had been arrested.

It was initially believed that several had played some part in the killing of the Royal Military Police officers. Understandably, feelings were running high.

Col Mendonca was told that the men had been brought in for questioning and were being held. He was also told of a claim that money had been pocketed by his men during the arrests. And he was incandescent when that allegation was confirmed to be true.
And what has been done?

"This was exactly the sort of thing I knew could derail everything we were doing in Basra," he says now, slapping the table in fury. "It's pitiful, given what was to follow, but I was furious about some petty pilfering.

"I went round all my units that night, reading the riot act. I gave them all hell. I told them that if word got back to the UK that they were little more than petty thieves, their reputations would be in tatters.

"I ranted at them - 'Do you want to be regarded with complete disrespect when you get off the train in Preston? Do you want to be pointed at, condemned, spat at? Do you, boys? Do you? Because that's what you will get if it gets out that you have been stealing from Iraqis, not helping them.'

"I went over the top, but I wanted to ram home the message. But, my God, I did not know what was to come."
Why not to jail the thieves and return money. Such development would win many 'hearts and minds'.

Indeed, as he was talking, a much more serious violation was already under way. The nine men arrested were not being "held" at all. They were being poked and jabbed and humiliated.

In time, they would be kicked and punched, over and over again. One of them would suffer renal failure from repeated blows to his kidneys. Another would be beaten until he died.
...
"My men behaved like bloody animals," he says finally. 'They knew I would have gone ballistic if I'd known that one of them had thrown as much as a punch. But this? They let everyone down. Themselves, their colleagues, Mousa, me. It was the ultimate betrayal."

Yet was it? Col Mendonca knew at that moment that everything his regiment had achieved in Basra would be undermined. The reputation of the British Army itself would be, rightly, called into question.

What he did not know was that his own superiors would demand a scalp for what had happened: and that scalp would be his.
No, if Col Mendonca would jail immediately the thieves then Baha Mousa would be likely alive. and anyway col.Mendonca could immediately severy punish, jail those who was guily. It hasn't been done.
 
#5
Nice picture that goes with the story though. Looks like a very difficult patrol from the accomodation to the cookhouse at Basra Palace.

'On patrol: British forces in Basra'

 
#7
His career was in bits after the incident and rightly so. What did he do to the perpetrators and their seniors? SFA. If he had the moral courage that he was decorated for then he would have shopped himself and his batallion.
Now he is able to "speak out" no doubt he also looks forwards to receiving large wads of cash. The best thing he could do is publically forward this to The Iraqis killed or injured whilst he was in command.
TB
 
#8
I'm afraid he joins the ranks of other ex-Colonels who dominate our media. Bonking Bob, Tim Collins and now Mendonca. Perhaps they can start a supergroup or something. Is an ex-Colonels Pension so insignificant? I suppose they all need to make a living.
 
#10
i was attached to his battalion during that tour. He bears the responsibility for the actions of his men pure and simple. all commanders whatever their rank know this.

there were things going on with that battalion that will come out eventually, hopefully when we are long gone from that shi t hole, that made me ashamed of the uniform i was wearing.
 
#11
fusilier50 said:
i was attached to his battalion during that tour. He bears the responsibility for the actions of his men pure and simple. all commanders whatever their rank know this.

there were things going on with that battalion that will come out eventually, hopefully when we are long gone from that shi t hole, that made me ashamed of the uniform i was wearing.
I have taken Col Mendonca's side during various debates on ARRSE but you are not the first person attached to QLR who I have heard say that. I have changed my views accordingly.
 
#12
slipperman said:
I'm afraid he joins the ranks of other ex-Colonels who dominate our media. Bonking Bob, Tim Collins and now Mendonca. Perhaps they can start a supergroup or something. Is an ex-Colonels Pension so insignificant? I suppose they all need to make a living.
Quite right, I refer to it as the 'Sacked Colonels Club'. I was a little surprised that this happened now because I thought that he had gone the go quietly with dignity option rather than follow those who can not get away from hearing the sound of their own voices. When will the media wake up to the fact that these individuals displayed potential and when they were at the most testing point in their career performed in a manner in which their employer decided to dispense with their services. Hardly the foundation for 'Expert Opinion'. I think that Biscuits is probably right, there's a book on the way and no the profits won't be shared with the rest of the Bn.
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#13
Dilfor said:
fusilier50 said:
i was attached to his battalion during that tour. He bears the responsibility for the actions of his men pure and simple. all commanders whatever their rank know this.

there were things going on with that battalion that will come out eventually, hopefully when we are long gone from that shi t hole, that made me ashamed of the uniform i was wearing.
I have taken Col Mendonca's side during various debates on ARRSE but you are not the first person attached to QLR who I have heard say that. I have changed my views accordingly.
Believe me, when they came back, there were one or two phones which never stopped ringing.....and one or two arrses which haven't stopped twithcing since. By dragging this up, The Daily Hate runs the risk of opening the can of worms, which it really and truly does not want to open.
 
#14
Biscuits_AB said:
Dilfor said:
fusilier50 said:
i was attached to his battalion during that tour. He bears the responsibility for the actions of his men pure and simple. all commanders whatever their rank know this.

there were things going on with that battalion that will come out eventually, hopefully when we are long gone from that shi t hole, that made me ashamed of the uniform i was wearing.
I have taken Col Mendonca's side during various debates on ARRSE but you are not the first person attached to QLR who I have heard say that. I have changed my views accordingly.
Believe me, when they came back, there were one or two phones which never stopped ringing.....and one or two arrses which haven't stopped twithcing since. By dragging this up, The Daily Hate runs the risk of opening the can of worms, which it really and truly does not want to open.
I was in the same boat as Dilfor. Very disturbing.
 
#15
I'm afraid to say that I also heard equally bad stories from peers who served with the QLR on that tour.

I know that it was a difficult deployment and that I wasn't on it. I don't doubt that much is open to interpretation & misunderstanding and that judgements made with hindsight & in comfort can be unfair.

But I, and many others, served in Iraq. We know what standards our officers and soldiers must work to. I think there is strong evidence that elements of the QLR fell beneath them.

I can't really think of an appropriate forum for the anecdotal criticisms to come out. But the failure of the trial - the most appropriate and legitimate forum - to account for Mr Moussa's death has handed a weapon to all opponents of our Army and our involvement in Iraq.

A man was beaten to death in our custody, with no justice for his family or recorded for history. The word "shameful" is often bandied around, especially by those who were against our involvement. I can think of nothing else about our involvement which deserves that description, and so badly.

The point is - Colonel Mendonca was responsible for every aspect of his regiment. One of the hardest things to get used to as a commander is that authority can be delegated, but never responsibility. He was the Battalion - and so has to shoulder all praise and criticism of it. He seems to have accepted the former, but not the latter. I don't doubt that he has suffered in career and personal terms, but these are the consequences of his command.

I've no doubt he feels hard done by but he must be intelligent enough to realise that his wound will not heal with celebrity. He doesn't need the money, or to explain his side. It has been represented, at length. He should get on with his life. I only wish Mr Mousa could too.

Charlie
 
#16
Didn't believe it either until I read the court martial transcripts in the press. Too many unanswered questions as to why the provo full screw was allowed to do what he did apparently unsupervised. Where, for instance, was the badge? - responsibility for PoW/CIVPOP? - no excuse for him not knowing what was going on in his nick.

If there was a breakdown in discipline in that bn we all know where, under the regtl system, who carries the can. Whole thing stinks and, yes, the dead Iraqi's family should be adequately compensated.
 
#19
Dilfor said:
fusilier50 said:
i was attached to his battalion during that tour. He bears the responsibility for the actions of his men pure and simple. all commanders whatever their rank know this.

there were things going on with that battalion that will come out eventually, hopefully when we are long gone from that shi t hole, that made me ashamed of the uniform i was wearing.
I have taken Col Mendonca's side during various debates on ARRSE but you are not the first person attached to QLR who I have heard say that. I have changed my views accordingly.
Dilfor,
Like you I have mostly taken Col M's side during the various debates. It did seem unreasonable that he was in the dock when it was quite clear that he did not directly order his soldiers to beat some poor unfortunate to death. However, there is a fundamental here; some blokes from his Regiment decided to give Basa Moussa (wrong spelling probably) a thrashing which ended in one dead Iraqi. These blokes have never been held to account and this should be fixed. I agree with one of the previous posts which says that everyone is happy to receive medals and honours for the hard work of thier blokes but quick to disown those same blokes when they fu*k up. Sadly no-one really comes out of this well; the QLR, Col M or the British Army.
 
#20
This may sound quite crass, but he never mentioned he was writing a book.

Neither did Tim Collins


I do think he was screwed over but you would think that the army would learn from previous mistakes such as Stanovick or Collins.
 

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