Former head of British army attacks Colonel over prisoner ab

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by sigman, Jun 8, 2010.

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  1. Former head of British army attacks Colonel over prisoner abuse

    A British commanding officer was yesterday publicly blamed for the death of an Iraqi prisoner by former head of the Army General Sir Mike Jackson.

    The highly decorated Colonel Jorge Mendonca was in charge of 1st Battalion, Queen’s Lancashire Regiment when his men allegedly beat Baha Mousa to death in Basra in September 2003.

    General Jackson told a public inquiry into the death that it was a ’bedrock’ of the Army’s philosophy that a commanding officer is responsible for what happens under his control.

    Mr Mousa, 26, a hotel receptionist, was hooded for 24 out of 36 hours while in detention - despite the ’conditioning’ technique being outlawed in 1972 - and suffered 93 separate injuries.

    Colonel Mendonca was later acquitted of any wrongdoing at a court martial but his commission in disgust after claiming he had been ’hung out to dry’ by his commanders.

    General Jackson, the Chief of the General Staff from 2003 to 2006, appeared to lay responsibility for the mistreatment of Mr Mousa at the officer’s door when he gave evidence to the £3.5million public inquiry.

    He said the incident remained ’a stain on the character of the British Army’.

    Asked at what rank military personnel should have known what was happening to Mr Mousa and his colleagues, he said: ’It is absolutely bedrock to the British Army’s philosophy that a commanding officer is responsible for what goes on within his command.’

    General Jackson agreed that the hooding of Mr Mousa and other Iraqi detainees was inhumane after they were placed in holding cells. But he said there should not be a blanket ban on hooding because in the heat of battle it may be necessary to use whatever comes to hand to stop prisoners seeing sensitive information.

    He insisted that the practice should only be used while transporting suspects to a detention facility, adding that it would ’ better’ if they were deprived of sight by ’less intrusive’ methods, such as blindfolding.

    Colonel Mendonca became the most senior officer in recent history to face a court martial when he was charged with neglect of duty over the abuse of prisoners.

    Giving evidence to the inquiry in February, Colonel Mendonca agreed he was ultimately accountable for Mr Mousa’s death. But he denied knowledge of the abuse of Iraqi detainees, adding that he was ’appalled’ by allegations of mistreatment.
  2. I have never liked call me "Mike" Jackson, now I know why.
  3. Mr_Fingerz

    Mr_Fingerz LE Book Reviewer

    Well, by the General's own argument, he should have be standing along side Col Mendonca. After all, "It is absolutely bedrock to the British Army’s philosophy that a commanding officer is responsible for what goes on within his command". IIRC Jackson was CDS at the time, and therefore in command.
  4. totally aggree but it will never happen.
  5. He does a good deal of speaking out now that he has retired.

    What a complete cunt
  6. Gremlin

    Gremlin LE Good Egg (charities)

  7. CGS surely - therefore out of the CoC, which would have gone through MND(SE) either to MNC(I) or, keeping it British, to CJO, then into the ACDS (something-or-other) organisation?

    Unless, of course, you consider the Defence Council a "command", in which case it might be Buff Hoon's fault or even, stretching it to breaking point, HM the Q's?
  8. Worth it for seeing the most senior para in a hat, though ...
  9. Mr_Fingerz

    Mr_Fingerz LE Book Reviewer

    Stick Buff in the dock as well, might as well get some VFM.
  10. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    Looks like Mendonca was not being paranoid when he said he was 'being hung out to dry' by his commanders.
  11. Gremlin

    Gremlin LE Good Egg (charities)

  12. I wonder if Sir Michael Jackson has similarly forthright views on the responsibility of, oh let's say a battalion adjutant, when the battalion in question is accused of ill-discipline in a crowd control situation?

    I too found him difficult to like when I worked for him but I find him even more difficult to like now he has become a talking head and apologist.
  13. Told me that he was never very keen on you Cuddles. Called you 'The Egg with Teeth'
  14. Luckily he didn't put that in my CR and he recommended me for promotion! Of course he probably did everything in his power to prevent it but failed...