Incompetence is the hallmark of the Blair administration – that’s bad for the victims of the criminals it releases to prey on society, but good for persecuted soldiers.
Cleared at last, the soldiers in ‘show trial’ over Iraqi looter’s death
The Army’s attempts to prosecute soldiers over actions in Iraq failed again yesterday as three guardsmen were cleared of the manslaughter of a teenage looter.
The three soldiers are from the fabled Coldstream Guards and Irish Guards, and Blair & co went after them because, struggling to restore order a week after the fighting ended, they chucked a looter in a river and he drowned. The court dismissed the case after hearing this:
The Irish Guards experienced some of the toughest fighting in Basra during the invasion and post-war disorder. Major Peter MacMullen, the defendants’ company commander, said there was an epidemic of looting that was close to “destroying the infrastructure of the state.”
He added: “One of my priorities was restoration of law and order. We had the burden of doing it, but no direction as to how to achieve it.”
He said he knew of looters being put into the canal and was asked by Mr Pownall if he thought that was fair and humane. He replied: “In the context, Sir, yes.”
His former second-in-command, Capt Niall Brennan, said: ” I saw looters thrown into the Shatt al-Arab river. I viewed it as the method the commander on the ground considered to have the effect he wanted. In the grand scheme of things there were a lot more dangerous things going on.”