The U.S. is being oh so helpful again youll be glad to hear

#1
Cut and paste from the Beeb.........

Coroner attacks 'inexcusable' US
Breaking news
A coroner has called it "inexcusable" that US authorities failed to release evidence about the first UK casualties of the Iraq war.

Andrew Walker was speaking at the reopening of an inquest into the fatal helicopter crash in March 2003.

The servicemen died along with four US marines in Kuwait.

American authorities would not give evidence or provide relevant videotape to the court despite all efforts by the MoD, the coroner said.

'Strenuous attempts'

Mr Walker, Oxfordshire's Assistant Deputy Coroner, criticised US authorities for failing to provide "vital" information during the controversial Matty Hull inquest last month.

In this latest case, Mr Walker told the coroner's court he had been refused permission to use American evidence that would help his inquiry.

Mr Walker said that despite "strenuous attempts by his office and the Ministry of Defence", the US had again said it would not provide any American witnesses to give evidence at his hearing.

"We are again at the beginning of an inquest without the necessary answers to the questions from the US service personnel," he said.

He said the evidence included infrared tape taken by the air mission command aircraft which he believed held radio transmissions before and after the crash.

In addition, footage filmed by an embedded Fox News crew from Fox News was also being withheld, he added.

Fox News is owned by Rupert Murdoch - who also owns the Sun newspaper, which last month published transcripts of cockpit recordings from a US plane of a "friendly fire" attack on the British soldier Matty Hull.
 
#2
For those two statements to have been made from a Coroner's bench is pretty serious, and damning for the US.

Positive response comes there none . . . Situation entirely normal.
 
#3
It just goes to show that the US can go bigger and better than us.... And there was me thinking there could by no more lothesom politicians than the current bunch at Whitehall and no more lothesom decsion than the Desie U-turn.
 
#4
It shows that Blair was so weak in negotiating British support is taken for granted......he made us pay a blood price, but receive nothing but disdain and contempt in return
 
#6
Which incident is this in referance to? If it was an accident, or even the result of hostile fire, is it really worth displaying the footage? Personally I find it detestable that the media loves showing ghoulish tape at every opportunity for political and ratings purposes.
 
#7
Khyros said:
Which incident is this in referance to? If it was an accident, or even the result of hostile fire, is it really worth displaying the footage? Personally I find it detestable that the media loves showing ghoulish tape at every opportunity for political and ratings purposes.
The entire point of the coroner's court is to officially establish the sequence of events and hopefully the cause of death. Now, we can either take the US findings at face value (or after the LCoH Hull case, Pat Tillman and others where it's been established that US investigators weren't throwing straight dice) we can inject a healthy dose of scepticism, look at the evidence and see for ourselves and, even if it did turn out to be an accident, see what we can do to try and avoid any repetition.

Sounds fair, no?
 
#8
I'd say it depends upon the circumstances of the incident and nature of the court involved. Is this coroner's court part of your military establishment or is it a civilian entity? Are there further politics involved?

I can understand the frustration if there was evidence of a cover-up or suspicious circumstances but as it stands, it seems more like a beaurocrat getting annoyed when he's not getting his way.
 
#9
Khyros said:
I'd say it depends upon the circumstances of the incident and nature of the court involved. Is this coroner's court part of your military establishment or is it a civilian entity? Are there further politics involved?
A Coroner’s Court is a civilian entity with a duty to hold inquests into sudden or unexpected deaths. The coroner is sometimes a lawyer but more usually a doctor of medicine. It is his duty to determine the cause of a sudden death and the events leading up to it.

It is not a criminal court and the coroner has no powers to recommend that anyone be charged of prosecuted in relation to the death.

In the UK, court officials are not political appointees. Coroners are appointed by the Crown.


Khyros said:
I can understand the frustration if there was evidence of a cover-up or suspicious circumstances but as it stands, it seems more like a beaurocrat getting annoyed when he's not getting his way.
No, it’s an officer of the Crown doing his duty.
 
#10
Okay... so that I am clear on the situation, this civilian court is looking into a tragic event that occured during a combat operation and attempting to subpeona personnel who are more than likely either civilians again or still conducting operations right? Did the British military agree with the US Army's findings or were there points of contention? If your military was satisfied, why is your civil system getting involved? Sounds more like stoking the fires for political purposes to me rather than any real interest in uncovering facts but I could be wrong.
 
#11
Khyros said:
Okay... so that I am clear on the situation, this civilian court is looking into a tragic event that occured during a combat operation and attempting to subpeona personnel who are more than likely either civilians again or still conducting operations right? Did the British military agree with the US Army's findings or were there points of contention? If your military was satisfied, why is your civil system getting involved? Sounds more like stoking the fires for political purposes to me rather than any real interest in uncovering facts but I could be wrong.
Khyros, the coroners' is not a court in the sense that you seem to understand it. It is more of an inquiry into the events surrounding the death and happens in all cases where a death is unexpected or sudden. I suggest that you have a look at http://www.dca.gov.uk/corbur/coron02.htm for more detail.

PB
 
#12
Khyros said:
Okay... so that I am clear on the situation, this civilian court is looking into a tragic event that occured during a combat operation and attempting to subpeona personnel who are more than likely either civilians again or still conducting operations right? Did the British military agree with the US Army's findings or were there points of contention? If your military was satisfied, why is your civil system getting involved? Sounds more like stoking the fires for political purposes to me rather than any real interest in uncovering facts but I could be wrong.
Believe me, the Blair government would like nothing more than not to rock the boat seeing as our PM is so far up your CinCs arrse he can bite his tonsils!

Read the initial post again and ask yourself, why aren't the US trying to find the same answers from their own people seeing as 4 of their own bods died in the same crash. Who's hiding what? Hopefully no-one and it was just a tragic event - but I for one would hope that if any lessons could be learnt from this to prevent further loss of life, and that we should take the opportunity to find them!
 
#13
Hmm... did a little research and the CH-46 crash which is the focus of this court was determined to have been caused by mechanical failure... something the MoD accepted. Not a surprise... the Sea Knight airframes are older than most of us posting I'm sure and has an abysmal record of late. I would definately be suspicious were it a matter of pilot error or enemy fire but that does not appear to be the case. My guess is the USMC considers this a clear-cut open and shut case and has little impetus to reopen it to placate civilians.

What are the chances that the coroner in question is using this incident to help his case concerning the fratricide incident rather than because he has any real interest in the accident?
 
#14
Khyros said:
Hmm... did a little research and the CH-46 crash which is the focus of this court was determined to have been caused by mechanical failure... something the MoD accepted. Not a surprise... the Sea Knight airframes are older than most of us posting I'm sure and has an abysmal record of late. I would definately be suspicious were it a matter of pilot error or enemy fire but that does not appear to be the case. My guess is the USMC considers this a clear-cut open and shut case and has little impetus to reopen it to placate civilians.

What are the chances that the coroner in question is using this incident to help his case concerning the fratricide incident rather than because he has any real interest in the accident?
Funny that, mech' failure. I say funny as the version that has been put up here (by the US government) is that it was pilot error due to a failure of spacial recognition (despite there being eyewitnesses who stated that it did a 90 degree nose dive into the ground!).

It troubles me deeply that as 4 US personel were killed in this incident and at least one of the 'versions' as to what happened points the blame at one of them just why aren't there more people wanting the truth?

Unless the truth that one's country sends its sons and daughters to war in Nam vintage aircraft with a well dodgy mech' failure record is something that is better covered up at the expense of the piolot's familiy's feelings.
 
#15
Khyros said:
Hmm... did a little research and the CH-46 crash which is the focus of this court was determined to have been caused by mechanical failure... something the MoD accepted. Not a surprise... the Sea Knight airframes are older than most of us posting I'm sure and has an abysmal record of late. I would definately be suspicious were it a matter of pilot error or enemy fire but that does not appear to be the case. My guess is the USMC considers this a clear-cut open and shut case and has little impetus to reopen it to placate civilians.

What are the chances that the coroner in question is using this incident to help his case concerning the fratricide incident rather than because he has any real interest in the accident?
If it is an open and shut case, what have the USMC got to be concerned about? This is not an issue of a civilian court reopening a previously decided case to placate civilians. It is to do with the US refusing to provide evidence in a UK court or answer questions as to how this accident happened and potentially how similar accidents can be avoided in the future.

The mishandling of events in the LCoH Matty Hull case and the subsequent press leaks and furore makes one wonder whether anything has been learnt.

PB
 
#16
Keep in mind that the USMC staff and certain politicians will go to great lengths to save the fricking Osprey program... CH-46s are still in service because the funding to replace them was shifted to the V--22.

I hope you understand that I have no interest in protecting anyone if there is a cover up occuring but the data I have come across doesn't seem to support that conclusion... also, the US military does not have the custom of answering to civil courts unless a member of Congress or Senate gets involved.
 
#17
Khyros said:
Keep in mind that the USMC staff and certain politicians will go to great lengths to save the fricking Osprey program... CH-46s are still in service because the funding to replace them was shifted to the V--22.

I hope you understand that I have no interest in protecting anyone if there is a cover up occuring but the data I have come across doesn't seem to support that conclusion... also, the US military does not have the custom of answering to civil courts unless a member of Congress or Senate gets involved.
No one is accusing anyone of a cover-up, just of not releasing any data.

To me your last statement is particularly worrying on two counts. Firstly,, the military should always be subject to civilian oversight. Secondly there is a worrying tendency of the US military in particular and the US government in general to refuse to answer questions from foreign courts; presumably this is policy.

Not going to discuss the V-22, as I know very little about it. The aircraft does however get a regular slating from the drivers on this site.
 
#18
This US military is subject to civilian oversight... via Congress. That body is legally required to investigate claims sent their way by their constituants. Good example of how easy the process is and how much a hassle it can be was when the wife of a substandard soldier in my outfit on Ft. Campbell sent a letter to her congressman complaining that her husband was being mistreated. Within three days we had all hell and brimstone circulating around our battalion area in the form of a congressional aide sent to look into the matter. He was given access to every document and allowed to interview at will. End result was the soldier looked pretty bad as the worst he received was a few iterations of push-up/flutter kicks for consistantly failing to meet standards. He was chaptered out of the Army not long afterwards and rightly so. Had there been any iota of wrong doing on our parts as his NCO's I can garauntee we would have been castrated publically as a result.

Our system is differant from yours but there is ample oversite and a system of checks and balances in place... if there wasn't it's a fair bet that very few, if any, of the travesties that have occured (Haditha for example) would have ever surfaced.
 
#20
Khyros said:
My guess is the USMC considers this a clear-cut open and shut case and has little impetus to reopen it to placate civilians.
It's not a question of "placating civilians", it's a matter of British law which requires an inquest to be held. The opinion of the USMC may be of relevence as evidence in the inquest, but it quite rightly has no influence on British legal procedings.

Khyros said:
What are the chances that the coroner in question is using this incident to help his case concerning the fratricide incident rather than because he has any real interest in the accident?
None. Both this inquest and the one into the death of LCoH Hull are being held by the same coroner for the simple reason that he is the coroner for Oxfordshire, which is the county that RAF Brize Norton, the airfield that the bodies of the fallen are repatriated to, is in. They both therefore come under his juristiction, but I have no doubt that he is professional enough to treat them completely seperately.
 

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