Thursday, February 08, 2007

A witchhunt by any other definition...

News media in the UK today are identifying one of the pilots involved in the incident in 2003 when two American A10 "Tankbuster" aircraft attacked a British convoy of light armoured vehicles, killing one and injuring several others.

Why do we need to know this information ?

Answer is, plain and simple, we don't.

It all started last week when the coroner in Oxfordshire who was conducting an inquest into the death of the British soldier L/Cpl Hull, severely criticised both the UK Ministry of defence and the US military establishments for not releasing a video of the incident which was recorded from the cockpit of one of the aircraft concerned - its the coroners job in the UK to investigate every "unnatural" death, howsoever and wheresoever caused, so reviewing all of the evidence is his job and his call was a justified one.

No video was forthcoming, both the UK and USA military refused at first to acknowledge the presence of such a video and then stated "security issues" in preventing its public release.

Within a couple of days The Sun newspaper had raised enough cash to persuade someone somewhere deep within either military organisations that the video was worth snaffling and within hours it was in the public domain and being shown on TV screens on every news network available.

And from it we could all see that it was simply a tragic accident, the pilots were not trigger happy, they checked several times as to the identity of the vehicles below them and they were told that no "friendly" forces were in the area - so they attacked, as per their training manual.

An accident, an error of identification from someone somewhere on the ground, the pilots were innocent in the affair and were clearly full of remorse afterwards, as the video and audio evidence proves.

End of story, shit happens in wars and no-one understands that more than the combatants.

So why do we now need a witch hunt to identify the pilots involved, why do we need to know their names, their location in the USA and the fact that at least one of them had 20 years service and several bravery awards ?

We don't is the bottom line, its cheap, voyeurism journalism, its dragged a story into the media spotlight that should simply have stayed at the coroners court, the truth of the story has not been compromised, we all knew it was a friendly fire incident, we all knew that during the actual combat phase of the Iraq war more British troops died at the hands of allied forces than Iraqis, thats the way war is, its not a video game and shit happens to people - end of story.

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