Senior Officers prepared to sell out

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Letterwritingman, May 21, 2006.

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  1. Todays Telegraph has this report about senior officers deciding to offer up for prosecution a junior rank for political reasons.

    In a letter, obtained by Channel 4's Dispatches programme, Lt Gen Sir Alastair Irwin, in charge of Army personnel, wrote to Gen Sir Mike Jackson, the chief of general staff: "With the current legal, political and ginger group interest in the deaths of Iraqi civilians during Op Telic (British military operations in the Middle East), there is a significant possibility that this case, our investigation and subsequent failure to offer for prosecution, could become a cause célèbre for pressure groups and a significant threat to the maintenance of the military justice system.

    "If the Attorney General became aware of it in the meantime, it is possible that he would himself order a review of the case. If, on the other hand, we, the Army, accept that we have made an error, we would reinforce the perception of an organisation that is mature enough to identify failings, and robust enough to regulate for those errors.

    "In the long term therefore, it is in the Service's interest to ask the Attorney General to review the case… Instinctively I think of our duty to Trooper Williams, but that duty cannot extend to covering for him, if he has indeed behaved unlawfully."
     
  2. And this is a surprise to who exactly??

    Its been long known now, that the current crop of senior figures are all feathering their nests for future careers.... they arent going to rock any boats.

    In fact, as this memo proves, although the feel for their duty ... blah blah...

    b*llocks.... all they're feeling for is a potential peerage and life on the outside.

    If you want your back watching by the higher echelons, make sure you remembered to blag some plates for your body armour.
     
  3. Shocking!

    Who would have thought it?

    Senior Officers, political pawns?

    Does that make us expendable? (sarcasm!)

    Funny we dont find the Human Rights lawyers falling over themselves to represent the Soldier.
    The Witch at No 10 could find this very profitable if Sir Alistair's comments are anything to go by.
     
  4. What can one expect from a man who sold his regiment down the river? Must've missed the bit about moral courage being a leadership quality while at Sandhurst
     
  5. I understand the POD retires in July 06, any news on his succesor ?
    john
     
  6. Yes.. Sir Richard Dannatt.
     
  7. At least the legal system worked and that the charges were dropped in April 05. Bad that the lad had to go through the hoops to placate the touchy feely brigade and worse, senior officers.
     
  8. "but that duty cannot extend to covering for him, if he has indeed behaved unlawfully."

    "At least the legal system worked "

    I'm very glad the charges against Tpr Williams were dropped and that the view was that he had not 'behaved unlawfully' - however, that view couldn't have been acted on with any authority if the legal process hadn't been allowed to happen. Whether we like it or not, the military can't be seen to be above the law. Now, whether you think it's good law or bad law is another argument altogether!
     
  9. I think there is a misunderstanding here. The legal dvice was that the CO couldn't deal with the case but he had already dealt with it. The Army Board had two choices: let the unlawful decision stand -i.e., cover it up and hope no one found out; or admit that there had been a fault in the process and that the due process of the law should be followed.

    Which would you prefer?

    Naturally there is a huge personal tragedy involved for those undergoing the process.

    There have been 11 cases referred to covilian courts, all of which have been cleared of wrongdoing: does that mean we shouldn't have had them dealt with by the civilain courts? I do not think so.
     
  10. Somewhere in the mush of my brain produces the word 'condonation'. I may even have managed to spell it correctly. I seem to recall it was the situation where a CO had a bloke up before him and dealt with it. Dismissal or award of punishment. Meant the guy could not again be charged. Sort of WD version of double jeopardy.
    If I'm right - what happened to it? Was it abandoned about the time the dove flew back with the leaf? Would it not have applied in current military law?
     
  11. The point is that most if not all of the legal action has been driven by politics and not justice, the impression being given is that soldiers are immediately guilty even when carrying out their job. Make no mistake, there is a witch hunt going on for any soldier that inadvertantly crosses the line driven from the very top. We are being betrayed by the very people who put us in this unenviable position.
    How can a soldier possibly have a fair trial under the current circumstances? May I suggest a jury of our peers at any Courts Martial? ie ordinary troops who have served in Iraq and who understand the reality on the ground. I would also like to see Senior Officers prosecuted for false arrest etc when the soldiers concerned are invariably found innocent of the usual assortment of trumped up charges.
     
  12. Hmmm. Fair trial by a jury of your peers? If you understood what that meant then you would understand that it exists. You, of course, know that WO2s can sit on Courts Martial, don't you? The idea that Courts Martial are unfair is ridiculous; you have more of a chance of getting off because of the technical idiocy of the lawyers than you have because you are innocent! The boards are invariably fair and understand the context of the situation.

    Hmmm. Prosecution for false arrest? I think you are barking up the wrong tree. What is this usual assortment of trumped up charges you are talking about? Are they the ones that the RMP provide evidence for and the Army Prosecuting Authority frame? Or are they the conspiracy ones directed by the spiders from Mars.

    The Army must be seen to deal with those people who there are allegations against, if it does not then it fails its duty to the individuals and to the Army as a whole. We are under such immense scrutiny from outside the Army that we may lose our internal disciplinary proceedings that we must prove that they work.

    You would of course note that Tpr Williams's case was thrown out and I paraphrase the judge: this should have been dealt with my the Army 'cos they know the context.
     
  13. Solon

    The legal device in the Williams case was actually that the CO could have dealt with the charge and dismissed it, but did not. He chose not to charge Williams with the offence. Had he dismissed it (ie had a formal hearing), there was no possibility of it being reopened (double jeopardy). In fact, because CO did not deal, Attorney General was able to order the case be reinvestigated.

    There were a number of other cases that were dealt with and dismissed by COs, this one was not and remained in play for subsequent political shenanigans.