The disgraceful details of the Brit Army’s leadership’s part in the Blair’s government’s indictment of Trooper Williams have emerged. When Brits finally elect decent political leaders, the spineless generals and malevolent politicians should face a reckoning.
Here’s what happened (my ellipsis):
Trooper Williams was on patrol with other soldiers when they discovered six Iraqis moving a cart containing heavy machine gun ammunition. Three of the men were detained. A fourth…ran off, pursued by Trooper Williams and Corporal Jeffrey Blair. When caught, (the fugitive) refused to be handcuffed and, amid attempts to restrain him, was shot by the trooper who…believed he was trying to get hold of Cpl Blair’s weapon.
On the advice of military lawyers, the commanding officer said Trooper Williams had no case to answer. Under military law, this meant he could not be court martialled.
But then the Brit Army’s leaders handed Trooper Williams over for political prosecution by Blair’s hatchet man, Goldsmith (my emphasis and ellipsis):
…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 in (Iraqi Freedom), 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 (Goldsmith) 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.”
Yeah, the B word. So the generals offered up Trooper Williams (my ellipsis):
…the Army Prosecuting Authority…passed the case to the attorney general (Goldsmith) who…referred it to the CPS (Brit civilian prosecution agency), which asked the Metropolitan police to investigate further.
The soldier was charged in September last year and committed to trial at the Old Bailey (criminal court for civilians).
Fortunately, the case was heard by the splendid Mrs Justice Hallett, who:
…commented about the dangers British troops faced.
“The troops worked in dreadful physical conditions, never knowing when, in a moment, an apparently benign situation would turn into a lethal attack.” Her remarks prompted the CPS to review the case. It concluded there was no realistic prospect of a successful prosecution.
She also said:
…there was no suggestion of an army cover-up or of the civil charge being brought because of political pressure.
Now we know she was misled and Brits have an army led by political generals who allow serving soldiers to be persecuted by the pols that sent them to war.
When the Brits finally elect a decent government, all these creeps should be called to account for the damage they’ve done to the British Army.