Spain orders arrest of US troops

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Ord_Sgt, Oct 20, 2005.

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  1. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    From the BBC.

    Spain orders arrest of US troops.
    A Spanish judge has issued an international arrest order for three US soldiers over the shelling of a Baghdad hotel that killed a cameraman.
    Judge Santiago Pedraz issued the warrant for Sgt Shawn Gibson, Capt Philip Wolford and Lt Col Philip de Camp, of the US 3rd Infantry Division.

    Jose Couso, of Spanish TV network Telecinco, died in April 2003 when a US tank fired on the Palestine Hotel.

    Reuters news agency cameraman Taras Protsyuk, a Ukrainian, was also killed.

    The National Court agreed to consider filing criminal charges against three members of the tank crew two years ago, acting on a request from Mr Couso's family.

    'No co-operation'

    Speaking on Wednesday, the judge said he had issued the arrest order because of a lack of judicial co-operation from the US in the case.

    The family of Mr Couso said they were delighted at the news, and that they now hoped justice would be done.

    US officials say the tank crew believed they were being shot at when they opened fire, although TV footage of the incident did not record any incoming fire.

    The incident was witnessed on TV around the world on the day before the fall of the regime of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, as the Palestine was the base for almost all the foreign media crews in Baghdad.

    Earlier on the same day, a correspondent for the Arabic TV broadcaster al-Jazeera was killed when US missiles hit the network's office in Baghdad.

    Following the incident, then-US Secretary of State Colin Powell said a US review of the incident had found the use of force was justified.

    Now I have read several accounts of what happened that day by some people who were there and the overiding fact was confusion. The guys who fired the shot were sure they were shooting at what they thought were bad guys.

    Modern courts second guessing soldiers on the battlefield again. It was a war zone but journalists feel they are immune.
  2. Agreed. If these guys want to be war zone reporters, fine. It must make it very easy to get laid back at national BBC HQ equivalents. God knows, my own mediocre war stories have got me into many a knicker. But, really, they know better than most what they are letting themselves in for. Probably they know it better than the average teenage squaddy. There's no use whining when they get bits shot off, and I wish they'd have a word to that effect with Mummy/Lady Wife prior to getting on the plane.

    That said, if the tank crew in question were just turning lead into brass for the fun of it then they want shafting. Hard to prove though, maybe just keep an eye on them in Iran next year and see they don't do it again.....?
  3. What a load of shoite.
    The US must have been operating under a status of forces agreement whereby the US gov would have been responsible for making any judiciary decisions...then years after, some paella munching surrender monkey's decide to make a weak political point from behind their neat little red skited picadors puffy cape.
    Just where do they think they get the juristiction form to prosecute foreign troops.
    They should stick to spearing weak bulls in village streets and leave fighting oppression to the big boys.
    Jesus......another third world fcuking country pretending to be part of 'Europe'......I fcuking hate the spanish and all the bail out weak willed expats who run for the sun.....................go on......fcuk off!
    I worked with a bunch of these duffers at SHAPE and I wouldnt trust them to check ID's at the NAAFI.
  4. San Miguel for Northern Biff please barman.

    No! Make that a Becks.....
  5. I doubt that usgov are going to give a sh it .Unlike the brit government How much did the pinochet farce cost us ?I guess
    the families want an explanation other than its war . Unfortunatly thats all their going to get it wasn't a conspricy tired stressed
    crew misidentified a target .
  6. I take it the holiday in Costa Brava is off then, Northern Biff?
  7. Does that include Florida as well?
  8. If you want to read the US side of things there is a very readable book called "the Thunder Run" by David Zucchino. This describes this incident in some length.

    Alot of confusion, tired troops, ... think that this was a genuine accident...

    Don't know what the Spanish will achieve other than give the family something to feel happier about..or not , cos the US ain't going to be handing over any troops.
  9. Call me old fashioned but, if you are in the middle of a fire fight, Im afraid that a very nice arm band or window sticker on your car that says PRESS, doesnt making you fukking bulletproof

    Im no tankie but Im sure if you are in contact, and you think its coming from that location, you dont have a switch in your veh that says 'dont shoot, its the fukking press pointing cameras at you'

    Besides that, bit of a high powered tank crew innit? Sgt Shawn Gibson, Capt Philip Wolford and Lt Col Philip de Camp
  10. I have found a BBC report on the arrest orders but nothing from a US news sorce.

    Personally I'm sure that it was a tragic incident, not a crime. But if former American lt.Col. visits the UK then could he be detained? As we remember Spain asked to detain one former general (and even former president) and it was done.
  12. Have to say it old KGB-R that TBliar wouldn't want to see the wrath of GB, so somehow I could see it being blocked by one way or another......must admit that I see the Spanish action as typical of the acts seen by them and the French, lacking in substance but usually full of wind and hot air
  13. With th EU arrest warrant would that not make it impossible for Sgt Shawn Gibson, Capt Philip Wolford or Lt Col Philip de Camp to visit an EU country without fear of arrest and deportation to Spain to face murder charges in a civil court for a decision made in the middle of a war?

    The US might not be subject to the war crimes tribunal but seeing as this is a civil court I don't think there is much they can do.
  14. Of course, something would be invented but more likely these 3 will be advised not to visit the UK at all (as in the case with Israeli generals).

    I dare to disagree. Good judge should be free from political motivations and should make all decisions according to Law (in this case according to Spanish law). On the place of judge I would make the same dicision. I repeat I think that from my point of view these 3 are innocent but anyway they should be present in the Court. Without it, it's impossible to make a fair decision.

    Another example: personally I regard Iraqi war as illegal but on the place of British judge I would call it as legal.