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Are we defending incompetence?

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posted on Feb, 2 2007 @ 06:44 AM
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Anger has erupted here in the UK at the inquest into the 'friendly fire' death of L/Cpl Matty Hull near Basra in March 2003.

The anger is not so much over the nature of his death, after all friendly fire has been done to death as a subject and as a childish source of Yank-baiting on the internet. The anger is directed towards both the British MoD and the US administration over previous claims, now shown to be lies, that no video footage of the incident existed. A video of the incident, cockpit footage from the A-10 that carried out the attack, was anonymously given to the coroner but he is now being denied the opportunity to show it to the family of Matty Hull because it is 'classified'.

The coroner has launched a stinging attack on the authorities over this and on the face of it, it appears, an incompetent pilot is being protected rather than military secrets.

It has been reported on the BBC tneedless hat the A-10 attacked despite coalition orange markings being clearly displayed and civilians nearby waving white flags. Upon attack the British vehicles gave out the red smoke signal that is the standard warning in cases like this and yet the A-10 came around and attacked for a second time. A voice is then heard on the soundtrack saying that 'someones going to jail for this'.

If the mistake was genuine then lets have it investigated as such, if the pilot was gung ho and incompetent then let him be prosecuted for it. The Lies of the MoD however are the most difficult to understand.

The public anger raised over this centres on the fact that three UK bankers were extradited to the USA amid much publicity over a pension fraud a few months ago and yet here, when a needless death is involved, the shutters come down and it appears that America is not prepared to co-operate with its 'closest ally' when the boot is on the other foot.

What is needed here is full disclosure and co-operation, otherwise it just confirms in many peoples eyes that America does not care and does have something to hide.

The main thing here is that the family get closure and learn the truth of what happened that day.

[edit on 2-2-2007 by waynos]




posted on Feb, 2 2007 @ 07:01 AM
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I agree Waynos, full disclosure is needed. The very fact that this video has had its existence denied and has been hidden from view is disgraceful. It smacks of some kind of a cover up.

Sadly I don't think the full disclosure will ever be forthcoming. I hope for the families sake that it is.



posted on Feb, 6 2007 @ 08:58 AM
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I'm bumping this thread up because of todays shameful events.

The US attache to the UK still says the video of the pilots commiting these acts should not have been shown - and yet it clear from the tape thats now been shown on British TV that there is a considerable case for incompetence here.



posted on Feb, 6 2007 @ 12:02 PM
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Originally posted by neformore
I'm bumping this thread up because of todays shameful events.

The US attache to the UK still says the video of the pilots commiting these acts should not have been shown - and yet it clear from the tape thats now been shown on British TV that there is a considerable case for incompetence here.



Absolutely, and thanks, I was going to do it too.

I was astonished to hear the statement from the US Ambassador on radio two today (Jeremy Vine show, available to listen to on www.bbc.co.uk... (click 'tuesday' button, until this time next week) in which he was angry and disgusted at the criminal act of revealing these tapes!!

WTF?


How about the act they depict? Isn't that MORE worthy of anger and disgust?

I can't help feeling that if it had been an RAF Harrier and a US vehicle things might he worked out differently.

Interesting titbit, which I cannot verify, on TV this morning was that no US personnel have died in these blue on blue engagements but several Brits and civilians have. Now, why is that?

One of the pilots can be clearly heard to say 'we're in jail dude' immediately after the attack, and yet there has been no investigation and no action taken against either of them.

The main reason given for not releasing the footage is that it reveals classified secrets. In the cockpit of an A-10??? Are they sure?

The death of Terry Lloyd was also handled in a similarly shoddy manner and it does nothing to inspire trust and confidence between allies.



posted on Feb, 6 2007 @ 04:23 PM
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Waynos I'm with you all the way.

There is nothing in that footage that compromises the aircraft, its systems or the operating procedures of the crews.

No names of pilots are given or used.

In short, the ONLY reason this has been classified is because its embarrasing to the US, because their people really screwed up, and people died because of it.



posted on Feb, 6 2007 @ 04:56 PM
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In this particular case I can't blame the pilots involved.

If you read the transcript, the pilots not once but repeatedly ask their ground controllers for confirmation that there are no friendly units in the area.

Repeatedly they are told that there are no friendly units in the area and to begin their attack.

Also the reaction of the pilots makes it clear that these are not people that take killing friendlies lightly. One states he is going to be sick, another is weeping into the mic.



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 02:39 AM
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That is true xmotex, I am not suggesting for a minute that these guys didn't care about what happened, their obvious remorse can be clearly heard in the snippets you can hear in the first couple of minutes of the radio show I linked to. As indeed can the instruction from the ground that there are no friendlies in the area.

Nevertheless, SOMEBODY screwed up badly and NOTHING has been done about it, other than to try to hide what happened, to the extent that the existence of this tape was denied, for years. That is a disgrace. A disgrace not just on America, but on our own MoD too I might add, who were in full possession of this footage right from the start.

Although you say you don't blame the pilots, I do. Here's why. Friendly vehicles are clearly marked with bright orange panels, the pilots clearly refer to these orange panels, not once, but FIVE times! Thats apart from twice more when they say they look like orange rockets and then again when they refer to them after the attack.

Another established signal is red smoke to abort a blue on blue attack. The vehicles gave this signal yet neither pilot noticed, or commented, on it. Instead they all go a bit gung ho , for example "it looks like he is hauling ass. Ha ha" is the sort of unprofessional , cowboy comment you will never hear on an RAF transcript of an actual attack - fact.

Does this mean that US pilots are robotic, do as you are told, don't think for yourself types? This was the popular image portrayed for decades of Russian pilots and was said to be a great advantage to NATO crews during the cold war. Yet here we have US personnel doing exactly that despite the clear and obvious evidence in front of their own eyes. They are right on the scene, the controller is not, technology is not perfect.

Yes, they are squarely to blame, and whats more, from their reaction, they know it. The controllers error is only that he was not in full possession of the facts, there was clearly a breakdown in communication between US and British forces and that too is something that needs to be addressed, the pilots themselves however have no excuse, the transcript makes that quite obvious.

[edit on 7-2-2007 by waynos]



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 11:16 AM
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Hi, as to the MoD not releasing the tapes, would american presure not have something to do with that? Also apparently they switched radio frequencies whilst attacking so the FAC could'nt reach them, weird no? The pilots were national guard - not trained in IFF apparently?!?! And the video was still censored by the pentagon. But seriously - who has luminous orange rockets in the desert????


[edit on 7/2/07 by C ROBERTSON]



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 11:29 AM
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Originally posted by waynos

Although you say you don't blame the pilots, I do. Here's why. Friendly vehicles are clearly marked with bright orange panels, the pilots clearly refer to these orange panels, not once, but FIVE times! Thats apart from twice more when they say they look like orange rockets and then again when they refer to them after the attack.

Another established signal is red smoke to abort a blue on blue attack. The vehicles gave this signal yet neither pilot noticed, or commented, on it. Instead they all go a bit gung ho , for example "it looks like he is hauling ass. Ha ha" is the sort of unprofessional , cowboy comment you will never hear on an RAF transcript of an actual attack - fact.


[edit on 7-2-2007 by waynos]


I am not defending what happened at all, just who to blame... Since it appears to be common knowledge about orange panels and red smoke, if I was the enemy, I would sure have orange panels and red smoke (common sense to me). DONT blame the pilots as much as the FAC or Intel guy or whomever is supposed to KNOW if friendlies are in the area.



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 11:53 AM
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Except there is no instance of Iraq doing this, at the time it was only known to the allies, it has only become general knowledge since then.

I also chose not to mention that Warrior's look nothing like flat bed trucks, a very strange error I have not yet found an explanation for.



[edit on 7-2-2007 by waynos]



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 12:02 PM
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Originally posted by waynos
I also chose not to mention that Warrior's look nothing like flat bed trucks, a very strange error I have not yet found an explanation for.
[edit on 7-2-2007 by waynos]


They wern't warriors mate, scimitar cvrt's - light tanks
Still look nothing like flatbed trucks though



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 12:35 PM
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you know, even as I posted that I knew I was making an error but was too keen to post rather than check. Thanks for the correction. Lucky I wasn't shooting at a target.

At least the point stands. Shame I spoilt it by making a silly mistake.



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 01:08 PM
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Originally posted by waynos
you know, even as I posted that I knew I was making an error but was too keen to post rather than check. Thanks for the correction. Lucky I wasn't shooting at a target.

At least the point stands. Shame I spoilt it by making a silly mistake.

LOL - sorry to all the yanks for this one but: hahahhahahhahaa


[edit on 7/2/07 by C ROBERTSON]



posted on Feb, 8 2007 @ 12:59 PM
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Glad you liked it


The reason for me adding to this thread however is the shocking display of ignoprance I have just witnessed on the News.

Firstly, the pilot responsible for this tragedy proudly proclaims that his actions in the A-10 are the highpoint of his career (what, has he never previously managed to get anything up off the ground???) and then just to rub salt into the wound it is revealed that he recieved a medal and a promotion! He also delivered this quote "your actions go with you through your life so make them ones you and your family can be proud of". Er, quite.

As if that display of insensitivity wasn't bad enough one of the guys neighbours trotted over to the interview (by a British news crew) and opined that (again, I quote)

"Sure, this guys a hero, we have to do what it takes in the war against terror and you guys had better get used to it, your whole damn country had better get behind us instead of sucking your thumbs like you did in world war two!"

The sheer level of ignorance and stupidity on display beggars belief!

I will agree on one point though. Where guys like him are concerned, if you're carrying guns we had better get behind you, because standing in front of you is far too dangerous.


[edit on 8-2-2007 by waynos]



posted on Feb, 8 2007 @ 01:13 PM
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Well, it's only words, but I'm sorry. I wish I could say you're probably wrong, but I'd be deluding myself. Our government has been lying for years. I don't think that will change any time soon.



posted on Feb, 8 2007 @ 01:20 PM
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I appreciate the sentiment but I am not out to vilify America as a whole and nor would I expect any other American to apologise on someone else behalf. I know the opinions are not representative of your country as a whole, its just very sad that some people do think along those lines, and try to spread their idiocy with the absolute conviction that they are right.



posted on Feb, 8 2007 @ 01:32 PM
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I'm glad you distinguish between the government and its citizens. Unfortunately, many of its citizens side with the government, which boggles me.

You may not want to vilify America, but I can. I'm a citizen and I'm growing increasingly disgusted with the land I grew up in. It's lost sight of the values that once made it great.

Don't get me wrong. I love America. I just don't like what the people in power are doing to it and I don't like the citizens who support everything that is wrong for it.



posted on Feb, 8 2007 @ 01:58 PM
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Waynos,

I would submit that the death of this individual, while regretable and possibly preventable, is a classic example of wartime fracticide which is almost completely unavoidable in military operations, especially in one with the scale and complexity of Gulf War II.

Many, many more British soldiers have been killed in Iraq due to road accidents or accidental aircraft crashes. As you silent on these topics because there are no handy American scapegoats at which to direct you ire?

It's clear you personally blame these pilots. It's also clear that you are not a pilot yourself, nor have you ever flown a combat mission at night, nor are you personally initmate (or even familiar) with the level of training and experience required to even qualify to fly an A-10 in night combat. There is an old American saying that states "Never judge another man until you have walked a mile in his boots". You might do well to remember that.

And if you don't care to digest the "ignorance and insensitivity" of the pilots and their friends, then I would suggest that you refrain from shoving cameras in their faces and stop asking sensationalist questions. I mean, what do you really expect to get in response? Why do you think the military goes to such great lengths to keep these people's identities confidential? Because nobody will ever be 100% satisfied with the responses, or feel that the pilots were contrite or sorry enough. Nor are these people trained to be media-savvy, and more often than not, are adept at putting their feet in their mouths.

You really need to be less emotional about this. You say the pilots are "squarely to blame", yet at the same time you state that "there was clearly a breakdown in communication" and that "technology is not perfect". I believe that latter is much more true than the former.

I think you are being roped into this controversy due to the efforts of nationalists and media sensationalism. Professional military men and women understand that fracticide is a real threat, and will occasionally happen. Although they do not accept it, they learn to deal with it, and do not vigorously look to place blame (unless truely warranted by negligence), because ultimately it could have just as well been any other military man or woman pulling the trigger against another friendly. It seems to me that the only people crowing incessantly are the "armchair quarterbacks" at this point.....



posted on Feb, 8 2007 @ 03:50 PM
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Hello pyros,


Many, many more British soldiers have been killed in Iraq due to road accidents or accidental aircraft crashes. As you silent on these topics because there are no handy American scapegoats at which to direct you ire?


Not at all, an RAF Tornado was also shot down by US operated Patriot missiles, but I am not screaming about that incident either. I know full well that accidents happen, I also know that friendly fire incidents happen, and always have, for instance the first aircraft the RAF lost in WW2 was a Blenheim bomber shot down by a patrolling Hurricane, far be it from me to try to pretend that we are better or cleverer than anyone else. However, I do not need to be a fully trained combat veteran to note that despite mentioning the clearly visible orange markings five times, the attack was still pressed on. Am I being stupidly naive to be disconcerted by this? Had they failed to notice them, maybe as a result of sand being thrown around or whatever then there would be a case for this being just another tragic and regrettable incident. Maybe you could set my mind at rest over this specific?

That is not even the main cause of British Ire however, it is the lies and deceit of the US DoD that followed it that really annoys. The claim that the footage was classified does not hold water. There is nothing in it that gives away tactical secrets, the A-10 is the most austere and unsophisticated attack aircraft around (and deliberately so) so what is it that is classified?

Could not it have been said that the footage existed, was being reviewed as part of an investigation (which is surely what did happen, albeit behind closed doors) but that it contained military secrets? That might have been believable at the time, but now merely smells of cover up and backtracking after denying the tapes existence for so long. This betrays utter contempt for the relatives of L/Cpl Hull, and to a lesser degree, for all of us.

I find it astonishing that you can defend the utterly crass comments broadcast tonight. This was NOT an opinion weedled out under pressure, this was an opinion freely given, and so heartfelt that the person who gave it came across to the interview and butted in! He wasn't even asked a question, he stuck his own face in front of the camera.



Because nobody will ever be 100% satisfied with the responses, or feel that the pilots were contrite or sorry enough.


This is true, however they were not contrite or sorry at all, see the quotes above.

Yes I did say there was a breakdown in communication, there clearly was. somwhere between the British forces and the pilots vital information was not passed on. Was it our fault, or was it the Americans? We don't know because nobody seems to have checked, or if they did, they're not telling. Again, a cover up.

Yes I did say technology is not perfect, we both know that to be true, esp in battle conditions. Again I come back to the point I made earlier about the orange panels and red smoke, in the heat of battle (which they were not anyway, they were stooging around looking for tartgets) the pilots ability to read the situation and make a decision is vital. If this is too hard for them to do in the slowest of warplanes and facing no opposition whatsoever are they deserving of the promotion that followed?

I apologise for having an opinion on a subject related to a field I have only studied for 35 years without actually being there on the spot at the time. However I will continue to do so.

You don't need to lecture me about sensationalist media, I form my own opinions from various sources and haven't bought a tabloid for over 20 years.

Neither am I crowing, whats to crow about?



[edit on 8-2-2007 by waynos]



posted on Feb, 8 2007 @ 03:56 PM
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Pyros,

I would respectfully suggest that you read the actual posts before you launch into the crock of whatever that is that you posted above, including rather blatant and particularly personal comments about whether Waynos actually knows what he is talkign about.

The problem here is not necessarily one of the actions of the pilots or the ground controllers - although a fair amount of incompetence is show on both parts.

The problem is to do with the shameful actions of the US DOD and the British MOD.

The US DOD said no such tape existed initially, then released it to the MOD as classified material only, so that it could not be made available to the coroner carrying out the inquest into the death of a British Soldier.

Only after the tape was leaked - did the US DOD admit its existence, and even then the US Attache to the UK was more concerned about how it came into the public realm rather than dealing with the fact that the US DOD were lying through their teeth.

So, whilst the subject - and opinions on it - may upset your sensibilities, I suggest that you ask yourself the following question - what would you do if you were the parent of the soldier that was killed, and you found out that people had been lying to you about evidence pertaining to how he died?

Furthermore, wouldn't you be asking yourself why a pilot in the USAF flying several million dollars of A-10 attack plane is incapable of identifying and recognising friendly forces on the ground? Or why the ground controllers apparently had their information wrong.

And then, wouldn't you be asking yourself why your supposed closest ally was acting in such a decitetful manner?




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