I still believe in father christmas, the tooth fairy and the the earth is flat.
Get real !! Some afghan druggie warlord will allege something under human rights, fall over and twist his ankle, blame someone by alleging abuse, get millions and a free entry to England, a free house for himself, his wife and 20 sprogs, and all his tribe as well.
That's all well and good, but what does it mean in practice? Are senior officers going to resign if any troops are, in their eyes, unfairly put forward for prosecution? Have the military chiefs managed to convince the power-wielding politicos to wind their necks in? I think that it's a good sentiment and must be of some reassurance to the lads that their boss is going on record with his backing, but I'm not convinced that in practice it's going to make any difference.
Fine sentiments from CO 3 Para but the reality is different. Judge Advocate General is a civvy and if the Solicitor General (politician) says it's in the public interest to prosecute, then the guys will stand no chance.
It's been said many times before, but the problem is that Private Atkin's rights come a long way behind those of our foreign cousins who he has gone to protect.
Our political masters don't understand and don't really care about the whats, whys and wherefores of our armed forces, unless its for a good soundbite.
Poor sod - he's going to end up like Hero today, Horror tomorrow Collins if he really thinks that. Shameful that he even feels the need to say it. The gov'mint will turn on them without conscience or delay if it suits them.
I have no doubt that the OC will do all that is in his power to look after his lads. However, his powers are these days largely irrelevant to the manner in which his soldiers are treated. Very sad but unfortunately true.
Now, if we had a Federation they could all sign up and enjoy free legal advice .... because the MoD will do sod all to defend them. A few prosecutions of these rough violent men will play very well with that part of the electorate the PM is trying to woo this week.
...and as a bonus, will help to distract the rest of the populace from the Government's disastrous management of the economy, paedophiles in schools, education reforms no-one wants, the risble 'respect campaign, peerages for cash scandals, dodgy ministers... (cont p.94)
Wouldn't it be good to hear a statement supporting the troops from POD, or even Sir Andrew Walker, a man rarely seen or heard these days. One wonders if he is so flaccid and obedient, and suits the Government's purpose so well, that he is in fact dead, and just wheeled out occasionally, Brezhnev-stylee, to show he still exists.
The CO says his men will have his full backing if they make an 'honest mistake' when under fire. Surely it will only be seen officially as an 'honest mistake' after a court case and the blokes have already been dragged through the courts? I can see the quote now "Of course my men have my total backing, but it would be wrong to say anything that may prejudice the upcoming High Court Case, and we should await the outcome, blah bloody blah".
A bit different to saying "Prosecute my lads and I'll throw my cap onto the table".
Pox Dr's hit the nail on the head. A CO of any unit shouldnt even have to make a statement like that. British soldiers are professional enough to be deployed anywhere in the world and carry out ops without worrying about 'slotting the wrong bloke'. Mistakes may be made but the legal responsibily lies with the politicians for using force in the first place.
Perhaps 16 AA BDE should have an elite group of PC legal representitives to deploy with the blokes on the ground and offer legal advice during firefights, any volunteers?, no, I didnt think so!
Perhaps if any prosecutions arise that are politically motivated and are not representative then it should not only be the duty of the CO to leave, as he has been unable to protect the men under his command, but the OC, his platoon commander, the platoon sergeant, corpral, lance etc. It could be seen that all these men have neglected their care of duty to protect their men and half the command structure of 3 para offering their resignations would probably make some waves.
Just a suggestion... sure it's not against queen's regs
I seem to remember that we had a "flying lawyer" available in NI whenever one of the players (or anyone else) got slotted by SF. RUC were immediately involved, however the ALS officers did alot to ensure the soldier was looked after when under the legal spotlight.
Given that Tommy seems to be fair game for the courts nowadays, how about a pl of ALS attached to 3 Para?
Sniper punished (link unavailable)
The Army has cleared a sniper in Iraq of violating operational security rules in helping to educate a judge advocate general (military lawyer) about the legality of open-tip bullets used by snipers to shoot insurgents who are killing American and allied troops.
However, the sniper, Sgt. Arthur J. Hushen, is continuing to face retaliation for blowing the whistle on an improper order for snipers to stop using the highly-effective M118LR ammunition in Iraq because it was thought to be an illegal hollow-point bullet. He was recently forced to move to a tent for "outcasts," said his wife, Sherry.
Sgt. Hushen recounted in a statement how he challenged the 4th Infantry Division lawyer, a woman identified only as "Maj. Card," after he obtained information from an Internet sniper forum showing that the bullets had been judged legal for use for years.
"Maj. Card stated that the hollow-point ammo was illegal," Sgt. Hushen wrote. "I informed her that there was a memo put out ... several years ago stating that hollow-tip had been deemed legal."
Maj. Card replied that she had never heard of the memo, but after documentation was presented to her, she reversed course.
"Maj. Card informed me that I was not a lawyer and she did not work for me," Sgt. Hushen said, noting that the lawyer then agreed that in her legal opinion the M118LR was legal and said she would send out an e-mail to the executive officers.
It was after the exchange that Sgt. Hushen was accused of violating security rules for identifying his 4th Infantry Division unit on the Internet. However, he was cleared of that accusation after his statement.
But he is continuing to be punished by senior enlisted and officers for raising the legal issues, we are told.
"I needed the ammo to accomplish my sniper missions," he said. "I didn't quit when I was told the ammo was illegal because I knew it was not."
Sgt. Hushen said he was punished by his platoon leader by being relieved from his sniper duties and removed as a team leader.
"I no longer have anyone to lead and train. I believe that this is the worst punishment that could have happened," he said.
Poor b*stard. I'll volunteer, to go with them, though I can only help if its in torts, contract or public law atm On a more serious note, what are the current ROE? Surely if the paras follow them they should okay, and if they don't....Obviously I realise this a gray area and not done ops myself I can't comment on following them under pressure
Circumstances may cause interruptions and delays, but never lose sight of your goal. Prepare yourself in every way you can by increasing your knowledge and adding to your experience, so that you can make the most of opportunity when it occurs.â