MoD Accused of Cover Up over Casualty Rates

#1
On a day in which the British Army suffered another sad loss in Afghanistan this report appeared in Sunday Telegraph concerning injured troops.

MoD accused of covering up casualty rates
By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent

(Filed: 20/08/2006)

Defence chiefs have been accused of covering up the number of soldiers injured while fighting Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan.

Senior officers have revealed that up to 40 soldiers may have been injured in a series of bitter battles with militants in the southern province of Helmand since the arrival in May of the 3,600 strong British task force. Many have life-threatening injuries and are being treated in hospitals in Britain.


Dr Liam Fox: Policy smacks of political motives
Despite the growing casualty rate, however, the Ministry of Defence has no figures for combat injuries on its website - despite promises by John Reid, the former defence secretary, earlier this year that details would be made public.

The MoD's website, which is supposed to update casualty figures every month, reports fatalities but states that no figures for combat injuries are currently available. No reason is given.

MPs and senior officers have accused the Government of trying to "cover-up" the sacrifices being made by the British troops in Afghanistan, and one senior officer claimed that the MoD's policy of not releasing full details of injured soldiers was for "purely presentational reasons" because of the negative messages it would send to the public.

The officer added that there was a great deal of "bad feeling" within the military over the treatment of casualties, many of whom believe they have become the forgotten victims of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

One of the injured soldiers, a ranger in the Royal Irish Regiment, was shot through the head by a sniper 10 days ago and is fighting for his life in a Karachi hospital. Two weeks earlier, two members of the Parachute Regiment were seriously injured in an ambush during which one soldier was shot in the stomach and another received severe shrapnel injuries to his leg.

In June, three soldiers received gunshot and shrapnel wounds in an ambush that left one officer, Captain Jim Philippson, dead. This newspaper has been given details of several other soldiers injured in battles with the Taliban.

Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, told The Sunday Telegraph that the MoD's policy smacked of political motives.

He said: "Ministers have given us assurances in the past that they will make casualty figures and details of casualties available… any attempt to suppress information of this sort will only serve to undermine public confidence in what's happening in Afghanistan and that would be a tragedy."

A spokesman for the MoD said last night: "There is no attempt to cover up casualty figures. It is our intention to publish casualty figures for Afghanistan in the near future."
 
#3
It really is time for the opposition (what ever colour they be) to hold the government accountable for their shocking treatment of service personnel, and the blatant hiding of the truth from the public.

Come on Dr Fox. Go for the throat!
 
#4
Just take a trip to the RCDM in Birmingham and you'll see how many of our boys are there (or have been)...........or, you could just ask some of the senior officers wives who visit the troops there every week!!!
 
#5
GeneralMalaise said:
Just take a trip to the RCDM in Birmingham and you'll see how many of our boys are there (or have been)...........or, you could just ask some of the senior officers wives who visit the troops there every week!!!
And why do these women thibnk they have any qualification or right to visit?
 
#8
I was speaking to one of the bereaved parents of the Hercules crash the other day. He was angry that repeated attempts to meet with the PM had been denied and yet at the drop of a hat Blair agrees to meet community leaders upset about UK foreign policy. Says a lot for this Govt whose PM and Ministers appear reluctant to face up to the consequences of their decisions. I wonder how many times injured troops have been visited by representatives of the Govt.
 
#9
muzzleflash said:
Outstanding you really are a bell-end. Clearly it's beyond your single brain cell to understand that those women are doing it because they care.
Absolutely spot on. A bellwhiff of the highest order.
 
#10
Bellthrob , well said.

They all care as much as each other, it is their loved ones after all.

However Lcpl Smith's wife can not really say to her husband

"Paul, I really want to visit the wounded in hospital X."

but Lt Col Smith's wife can and does or should that be they do?

Well done and keep it up.

Just hope to see Mrs Bliar there soon.

As a bed pan.
 
#12
What's really needed, of course, is better facilities for the families of those visiting the wounded, as well as better financial help for those who find it beyond their means.

As far as the wives of senior officers visiting are concerned, the individual patients should be asked whether they wish to be visited by them or not, and their decision should be respected.

I have mixed feelings about these visits - they are rather reminiscent of 1950's 'us and them' culture, but on the other hand they can be useful, as the wives can do some quality ear-bending.

However, there is no substitute for the friends and families of the wounded being able to visit, and this should be facilitated whenever possible.
 
#13
Outstanding said:
So why are they singled out as Senior Officers Wives, Junior NCOs wives care as well you know
Because they take care and consideration in the affairs of the lower ranks eveb when they have no official or moral obligation to. Can't say the same about the government who sent these guys out there. :evil:
 
#14
Agent_Smith said:
Outstanding said:
So why are they singled out as Senior Officers Wives, Junior NCOs wives care as well you know
Because they take care and consideration in the affairs of the lower ranks eveb when they have no official or moral obligation to. Can't say the same about the government who sent these guys out there. :evil:
Spot on Agent.
Be interesting to see ex (Or is he) Commie Reid visiting the wounded. Wonder if he carries a Tokarev to do a Patton slap on those with less worthy wounds......................
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#15
nigegilb said:
I was speaking to one of the bereaved parents of the Hercules crash the other day. He was angry that repeated attempts to meet with the PM had been denied and yet at the drop of a hat Blair agrees to meet community leaders upset about UK foreign policy. Says a lot for this Govt whose PM and Ministers appear reluctant to face up to the consequences of their decisions. I wonder how many times injured troops have been visited by representatives of the Govt.
Well said Nige.
Individual constituancy MPs or wife's of senior officers are OK but where are the members of the cabinet or members of the Army Board. I can't believe they are keeping a low profile, if they visited the spinners would be briefing like mad.
 
#16
This report is a few months old, apologies if it has been posted here before, the report was written before the deployment to Afg.

The SNP leader, Alex Salmond, said: "This situation is a damning indictment of a failing Prime Minister who is refusing to confront the horrific consequences of his own actions. While he is happy to go on triumphalistic media-friendly tours of Iraq, the fact that he has failed to meet those soldiers who have put their own lives on the line for his unjust cause, speaks volumes for his lack of honour and integrity."

http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=2458732005
 
#18
What winds me up is the Lord of the Manor / Serf relationship. The visit of a senior officers wife is fine - but what does it actually achieve? Shows she cares? well of course she does, Shows he cares? well of course he does. So what does it do? Now if the same facility was laid on to allow family and friends to visit ie,. staff car door to door and if as said above Senior politicians and their wives visited, the effects might be mor significant.
 
#19
I think Outstanding makes some valid points.

It also occurs to me that these visits are at least as much to do with PR as they are with a desire to care for soldiers.

No senior officers wives visit soldiers at my hospital, nor did they at the previous MDHU I worked at.

I'm not completely against these visits, but I don't think too much value should be placed upon them - it's much more important to make sure that family and friends can visit easily and regularly, and that there is good regimental support, neither of which is always the case, unfortunately.
 
#20
Outstanding said:
GeneralMalaise said:
Just take a trip to the RCDM in Birmingham and you'll see how many of our boys are there (or have been)...........or, you could just ask some of the senior officers wives who visit the troops there every week!!!
And why do these women thibnk they have any qualification or right to visit?
Does it matter who visits them? Wives of officers or not, it's not as if Des Browne, Phoney Tony or anyone from the government is visiting them are they!! There is nothing to stop caring wives/girlfriends of OR's visiting the guys in Birmingham if the patient has no objection anyway.
 

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