'Cover-up' fears over Iraq deaths

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by babiesarm, Oct 20, 2003.

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  1. I believe the families fears, however well founded or otherwise, are going to play well with a media who have recently sold many an advert / paper reporting on family grief, alleged military incompetence and conspiracy theories.

    That there is an inquiry is not, in itself, enough. For it to have any credibility in both the eyes of the grieving families and the publice at large, it ought to be a public inquiry.

    To those of who you who disagree, I would remind you of the MOD's alleged treatment of Dr Kelly. The public now believe the MOD set Dr Kelly up as a scapegoat for the Foreign Affairs Commitee. Add to that the widely reported shortages at the start of Op Telic, recent adverse publicity concerning military procurement in general (Bowman and Eurofighter to name but two) and the ongoing sporadic speculation about a conspiracy or cover up at Deepcut and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to realise that if the MOD want to conduct an inquiry that will be believed outside of MOD, they cannot run it themselves.

    As strange as that might seem, that is, I believe, how it will play in the public mind. Consequently, the media will be only too happy to rake up whatever they can to make the MOD appear either incompetent or to appear to be trying to sweep the inquiry under the carpet by dragging it out.

    I can't help but agree with the families who feel their loved ones lost their lives due to incompetence from somewhere in the command chain above them, regardless of where it was. Clearly, they were neither expecting nor equipped to deal with the situation they found themselves in and nor were they able to call for help from other units. A tragedy, to be sure and in the current climate, if the pressure builds up, one that will claim the careers of someone (maybe more than one) somewhere eventually. But then, they will at least be able to give their side of the story, which is more than the 6 unfortunate RMP's will be able to do.
  2. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    I saw this special last night (the Truth Report?) and it featured the families talking about their fears of a cover-up including one father (civ ambi paramedic) saying that he insisted that the coffin be opened of his son for him to check and was 'relieved' that there were multiple gunshot wounds rather than a single one to the head.

    You'd be a hard bastard indeed not to feel for this man.

    Unfortunately, everything that was then said (why were they sent in without radios, why were there only six, why didn't they have an armoured car etc) seemed to me to come from 3 things, RMP's went where Para's had been causing problems the previous day, RMP to Para relationships aren't probably the best of brothers and where their reporting lines intersect..... RMP's had no radio's. RMP's had one soft skinned vehicle.

    Pure conjecture but it'll come down to the radio's, the MOD will point at the bowman sets and promise more for the RMP's, the government won't pay for any more so some other poor corp will go without and the real cause, which is lack of funding from years ago because people hardly ever die and more voters need firemen than soldiers.... will never be blamed. Or some CO somewhere won't get his Colonelship because some of his trainset went somewhere he didn't get a briefing on and he only had one working vehicle and the spares were still at sea because the MOD could only afford one boat.....

    Blah blah fcking blah.
  3. I would be very interested to find out how many rounds the RMP were issued. With the total lack of ammunition available to corps troops and reports of some troops only getting 10 rounds each I just wonder if they actually had little or no chance of getting themselves out of this due to essential equipment shortages.
  4. Those wanting a public enquiry have got it all wrong.

    As we have seen with Deepcut, soldiers dying in less than kosher circumstances don't warrant the spending of significant sums on all the lawyers, judges and assorted civil servants needed to hold an enquiry. That sort of spending is reserved for cases involving the covering-up of government lies, as in Hutton's inquiry into the Kelly case, or where terrorists need to be appeased, as in the Bloody Sunday charade.

    No doubt that lying cnut Hoon will say that they had all the necessary equipment etc., but bear in mind that this is a government that couldn't even give our guys proper boots, desert kit and body armour, so what hope was there of radios?
  6. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    You/we shouldn't feel that these things will always happen no matter what you do. The death and murder of 6 RMP's was a particularly bad result and might well have been avoidable if we had the US level of resources. I recognise that the UK is one of the largest spenders on defence after the US (amazingly!) and that we do more with less but sometimes, we might be biting off more than we chew. INT reports from the Para's may make it plain that the town was a no-go area or they may not, but were they seen and circulated? And if the Para's had to use rubber bullets to extracate themselves from the town the day before this would indicate it was a dodgy place. And if it was a dodgy place, why did anyone not tell the RMP's?

    All questions are expect to be answered in the report and I am very sure they will be.

    The fact remains however that once there, they had nothing to get out of 'dodge' either in or call up the cav. with. The report I saw said no radio's. 1 X Pinzgauer, 5 X SA80 and 1 X LSW.
  7. Plant Pilot, you can't seriously be having a dig at the RMP who died, surely. Some of the comments you have made are pretty high handed and not a little callous.

    The Sgt was more than probably concerned as to the standard of his comms. His bosses were more than probably concerned about them as well and a few other things. But in the larger picture which many in the Army fail to see, RMP are the poor relations when it comes down to kit. They are required to do a front line job with rear echelon levels of kit, which include no Sp weapons, only 3 mags of ammunition and shit or bust bean can radios.

    Perhaps, and only perhaps, the rest of the Army realised what these people do (and you only do now as 9 of them are dead), then these incidents would never happen. They would be better prepared equipment wise. How the f*ck could you hold them responsible for their own deaths? You check your kit before you go? What the f*ck do you mean by that you f*cking clown? You're the same kind of numtpy that shouts about how adaptable the Brit squaddie should be when he hasn't got the gear and you pillory those who complain as to the standard of their kit and you've probably never seen an angry man let alone had to defend yourself.

    How the f*ck could any of them have refused to go out with what little kit they had? Would you have refused to go out? Would you f*ck as like.

    Unless it can be attributable to direct enemy action, there bloody well should be an enquiry into how they and every other soldier died out there.
    None of these incidents and I include the murderr of two from your own cap badge bear any resemblence to Deepcut.

    How can you blame the Toms when the Int can't provide warnings as to where they can and cannot go.

    You cannot hold any of those men responsible for their deaths

    You and people like you should shut the f*ck up, you insenstive twat.

    And as a parting comment, I knew Hamilton - Jewell and in my opinion and that of many others, he was as professional as it got. Ex PARA ex 21 SAS..........I'd like to think his soldiering skills were up to the job.........unlike your own.......you f*cking navvy.
  8. My comments weren't directed to blame any of the unfortunate soldiers who died, but to point out that things don't always go the way we would like and endless inquests and enquirys won't guarantee that that changes.

    Even though there have been 'independent' investigations about the deepcut incident the families insist on more. They will probably want more until someone is 'balmed'.

    If an investigation ends up stating that a series of unfortunate events ended in the death of 6 RMPs and the system should be changed..... there is no guarentee that the same will not happen again. A series of investigations until someone is diciplined won't change that.

    That is what I meant and if I didn't put it across very well then it's only because I'm not perfect like you.... something I don't feel I need to apologise for.
  9. Well said Ma...

    Too many people guessing here... and a couple of them sound like potential "Jurno's" fishing for titbits.

    "Mr Happy" Do you really think that those RMP lads were stitched up by their own Brigade, and the Paras? Dont you think that had the Paras had any idea that fellow soldiers were stuck in that police station that they would have moved mountains to save those guys? Dont talk crap mate, those of us still left at the tail end of the Op Telic war fighting phase were well aware of the risks and saw the "terrorist front" as the next obvious threat to us. It started with the two major enemy actions in Al Majaar and has continued since. The RMP patrol and I Para half platoon were taken on in well planned and conducted attacks with the intent of wiping them out. They managed this with the RMP and almost got away with it against the Paras. The MOD is playing its usual trick of releasing bugger all info. Those of us around at the time know that the RMPs and Paras fought for their lives against overwhelming odds in actions that have yet to be made public. Low ammo scales, crap radios, all played their part, and heads will roll, but dont blame the men on the ground.
  10. Oh how easy it is to sit back in your warm safe houses/rooms in Blighty judging the actions of others. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and a great distorter of facts - as were the media reports flying around at the time.

    The only people that knew what went on in Al Majaar are those unfortunates who were there. Similarly the only people that know the background to the C2 calls, the kit shortages (or otherwise), the support, comms, firepower etc. in the incident are the ones that were there. They too are the only people who can understand what it was like, what difficult decisions had to be made in the heat of the moment (remember there was a simultaneous incident going on) and how they felt when they first heard of the RMP deaths.

    If I were a relative I would certainly want to know as much as possible about how my son/brother/husband died. I would want any investigations to be thorough and honest. And I certainly wouldn't want armchair judges throwing random accusations based on nothing but rumour, hearsay and media reports. At best it helps no-one, at worst it can cause serious harm to individuals.

    Nuff Zed :evil:
  11. What kind of sad justification is this? I sincerely hope that no relatives of any soldier killed in Iraq reads this. Yeah, you're right mate......you're not perfect and yes, you probably don't feel the need to apologise for anything which you have written.

    You're not alone though...............every unit has someone like you in it. Ill informed, quick to judge and self opinionated.

    Do the decent thing mate and remove your post. You're not being controversial, you're being disrespectful.

    For future reference, if you don't know the facts of the matter, be like the rest of us and keep quiet until you do.

    You've embarrassed yourself here today.
  12. I am firstly very sorry for those that died that day and for those killed in other incidents since.

    Those actually aquainted with the full details of the day (and there are a few here) will tell you that nothing could have changed their fate that day except not being there. The families should rest easy knowing that they DO know pretty much all the details (certainly anything of consequence) and that their sons were brave men. When I look at the hurt on the faces of the parents caught up in the nonsense created by the conspiracy theorists it saddens me. A public inquiry will only keep these theories boiling over, let the families have peace. Are you really trying to tell me that an RMP inquiry into the deaths of their own will be covered up??

    These brave men were caught in a situation they were never going to get out of, and they did their best. They make us all proud to be British soldiers, let's remember them and move on. There is no cover up here. Don't allow the ignorant and those who without access to the full facts to spin sensationalist rubbish or talk up incompetencies and conspiracies.
  13. Right then,
    Here's as much of the facts that I know (Just returned Op Telic2)
    All the lads killed had 120 Rds, except the LSW gunner (1 per Sect) who had 360. If it was the commanders wagon (HJ's) It would have had 1 x 321 and 1 x353. No manpack, although issued to the commander it usually went with the admin veh to give it comms. Hj's section was the Para section and therefore had all completed P Coy or were about to. On issue they would have had combat handbags, and their webbing would have consisted of CBA, belt, yolk 1 x ammo pouch 1 x water bottle pouch and 1 x pouch utility, however they would have probably bought more kit. Every RMP does. As to the last three murders, all the guys were wearing CBA had their rifles and helmets to hand and at least 2 had pistols. They were in white fleet because they were picking up more vehicles, and the back of the L/R following was full, so they had to travel in the one vehicle. For a number of years now RMP have going out with the infantry (Conco, RIS, WIS, Spotter Sect etc) whilst still being equiped as clerks (AGC(RMP)!), They have to rely on getting Int from the BG they are attached to, whoever they are, if the information is not forthcoming or is delayed, the RMP can't do anything about it they have their own tasks to perform, however, as they are in the line of fire I have yet to see an RMP fail to book out and let someone know where they are.

    So to the real questions:

    Would more firepower have made a difference? Of course it would if you thought you had the backing of higher up to kill a number of civilians.

    Would a manpack have made a difference? Yes, If it had the range (Bowman ?).

    Would the QRF had got to them if they knew they were in trouble? Of course they would have tried to get there if they knew.

    Did someone confuse the calls for help (if there were 2, or did they forget there was 2 callsigns on the ground)? That one nobody knows apart from the ops room staff, and they have to live with it.

    Oh! and whilst were on the subject of questions:

    Where is the ECM kit? Cos that's what is needed now.

    So no-one knows what they would have done had they had the knowledge or foresight to have been attacked as they were, but quite frankly with their kit and numbers, would any of us fared any better. On the eve of rememberance day, It goes without saying that however they died, they died as soldiers, each and every one a hero.