The Blair government’s latest prosecution of soldiers they sent into battle has collapsed – let’s hope that’s the end of this disgraceful episode in Brit governance.
The collapse (my ellipsis):
The Attorney General (Goldsmith) was criticised last night over the decision to prosecute troops in Iraq after the most expensive court martial in British history ended in acquittal.
After more than three years of investigation and at a cost of £20 million, the case against a group of soldiers allegedly responsible for the killing of an Iraqi while in British custody ended after the last two defendants were acquitted.
A former commanding officer of the regiment involved – the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment (QLR) – and lawyers for the soldiers said the prosecution was flawed and should never have been brought.
That still leaves one soldier who confessed jailed as a war criminal.
The succession of prosecutions has been a dreadful breach of trust. These soldiers were part of the little band of just 600 attempting to police and contain an insurgency in a city the size of Manchester where all civil authority had collapsed. Manchester has 12,000 cops to do an infinitively easier job.
Our soldiers had to make judgments in real time and under constant threat of death and mutilation.
The politicians that placed these mortal men in this position committed an act of depravity to treat them as war criminals like Saddam or Hitler.
Blair and Goldsmith should resign now.