Monday, February 05, 2007

Friendly Fire - Bloody Murder!

Lance Corporal Matty Hull of the Household Cavalry was on duty in Iraq in his Scimitar armoured truck in 2003 when a circling pair of American A-10 tankbusters suddenly opened fire. This so-called 'blue on blue' killing, also know as death by 'friendly fire', happened four years ago. The coroner's inquest is presently under way to finalise and determine cause of death.

Obviously, a tragic accident - or was it?

It now emerges that there is a cockpit recording of the incident which our America allies refuse to allow the coroner to play in court. This despite the tape's crucial importance, as it is said to contain 'incriminating' information, including the line: 'Someone's going to jail for this.'

Alas, our Ministry of Defence is complicit in a cover-up. Not merely because it will not let the Oxfordshire coroner flick the 'play' switch until America gives permission, but because, scandalously, for four years it has denied 'categorically' that any such recording exists, knowing this to be a lie.

If Defense Secretary, Des Browne can't ensure this tape is admissible when the inquest reconvenes later this month, he should be fired, himself, in a manner most unfriendly.

And what of America? It claims the right to try foreign nationals in foreign countries for 'crimes' defined by American law. Yet it requires Britain to extradite suspects to America, while failing to ratify a treaty that would let us try Americans here, such as those who kill our citizens. So often, British ministers plead with this administration to show some slight consideration that would make our support for the Iraq war easier, but, as usual, they are rebuffed.

The sadness is that with a Democrat Congress and - we hope - a less ideological President, American activism and interventionism could become a more consensual force for good in the world once again. But that might be too late for Britain. It certainly is for Lance Corporal Hull.

1 comment:

Jen said...

Point taken. Any way you slice it, it's one more casuality of a senseless war.