Dead soldier tape accuses general

#1
From BBC News

Dead soldier tape accuses general

Tapes recorded by a UK tank commander killed by "friendly fire" in Iraq have been played at his inquest.
Sgt Steve Roberts, 33, was shot outside the town of Az Zubayr in southern Iraq on 24 March 2003.

The inquest heard Sgt Roberts had to give up body armour three days before his death because of shortages.

In the tapes he accuses General Sir Mike Jackson, then Chief of the General Staff, of telling "a blatant lie" when he said troops were combat-ready.

The tank commander also describes the lack of equipment as "disgraceful" and a "joke".

Wife's tape

The tapes run from 13 March - when the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment were in Kuwait preparing to enter Iraq - until 23 March.

He also recorded a tape for his wife Samantha in the event of his death.

In one extract, Sgt Roberts tells her: "I know now why I am here and what I'm doing.

"Children are walking around with bare feet, completely ill-fitting, tattered old clothes. We're over here to free them from the regime they're under so they can grow up and do whatever they want to do."

'Running out'

The lack of equipment is repeatedly referred to in Sgt Roberts' recordings.

In one he says: "General Jackson said 'we're ready to go', and our vehicles are still in the boat, ready to come into port. What a blatant lie that was."

He said it was "a bit of a joke running out of frontal armour and comnets (radios), interesting to see what armour I actually get - I'll keep you posted obviously."

On 21 March he says preparations were going well but adds: "Still haven't seen my combats yet. Kit we're being told we are going to get, we're not. It's disheartening because we know we're going to have to go to war without the correct equipment."

He also reports an incident in which US planes bombed one of their own tanks, and a moment when his regiment nearly fired on US troops believing them to be the enemy.

Answer questions

Pathologists found that had he been wearing Enhanced Combat Body Armour (ECBA) - meant to be issued to troops before battle commenced - he would have survived.

Former defence secretary Geoff Hoon may not have to answer questions at the inquest about the preparations war after all.

On Thursday, Oxfordshire assistant deputy coroner Andrew Walker called on Mr Hoon to attend to explain why there had been an eight-week delay in authorising the ordering of more body armour.

Ministry of Defence (MoD) lawyer David Evans said its director of capability, resources and scrutiny David Williams would be put forward.

"I am told he is in a position to deal with that eight-week period," said Mr Evans.

The Oxford inquest into the death of Sgt Roberts, of Shipley, West Yorkshire, and originally from Cornwall, was adjourned until Monday.
Geoff Hoon hanging someone else out to dry? Surely not. :x
 
#2
FieldDiscipline said:
From BBC News

Former defence secretary Geoff Hoon may not have to answer questions at the inquest about the preparations war after all.

On Thursday, Oxfordshire assistant deputy coroner Andrew Walker called on Mr Hoon to attend to explain why there had been an eight-week delay in authorising the ordering of more body armour.

Ministry of Defence (MoD) lawyer David Evans said its director of capability, resources and scrutiny David Williams would be put forward.

"I am told he is in a position to deal with that eight-week period," said Mr Evans.
Geoff Hoon hanging someone else out to dry? Surely not. :x
The Coroner should stand his ground. In his opinion it's necessary for Hoon to come before him to be questioned. He should not be in the business of haggling with MoD over who will or will not appear.

Anyway Hoon no longer works (if he ever did!) in MoD so the MoD Lawyer should be told precisely what to do with his own anatomy...
 
#3
You know,it's ironic.Ex amount of people die in a train crash & the senior managers of the rail firm are charged with Corporate Manslaughter YET a Soldier is killed because he did'nt have the right kit & the top brass & Minister concerned get away with it!
Talk about double standards!!!
 
#4
spike7451 said:
You know,it's ironic.Ex amount of people die in a train crash & the senior managers of the rail firm are charged with Corporate Manslaughter YET a Soldier is killed because he did'nt have the right kit & the top brass & Minister concerned get away with it!
Talk about double standards!!!
Not only that, said MoD and Minister swearing blind on the radio that ALL the troops have sufficient equipment and I scan the lads around me to see us all in temperate Cbt 95s and CBA less ballistic plates. Not even a 'little porky' but a big fat stinking wopper of a lie.

If the managers of the rail firm had the ba11s to front so much bo11ox they wouldn't have a job a couple of days later.
 
#5
Bit of a sad effort really - we deploy about a brigade and cannot even equip that. Makes the country look a banana republic when you see how much money Brown sprays around................then againit is also letting Halliburton have the logistics chain I suppose so kit follows soldiers.

I wish Blair could negotiate - he should have stung the Americans for a year's Defence Budget - say $50 billion of theirs - to buy new equipment for the Army - but he must have just swooned when George Bush asked him if he's like to pay a blood price to tag along
 
#6
From lying on the floor of our tent with mortars landing all around us because the government was too cheap to give us korimeks or properly built accomodation, to repairing our warriors in the tank park in 60 degree heat with handheld spanners because they were too cheap to supply us with compressors or powertools, to lying awake in unimaginable heat because they would not provide us with working air con, the government has stitched us up at every step of the way.

All this almost 3 years after the invasion, whilst hearing the government tell the public that we have everything we need and talking about defence cuts.

But these are just a few of the things I experienced.

Young lads have died in horrific ways and families have been put through unimaginable pain because of government penny pinching - Someone needs to be held to account.
 

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