Regarding the A-10 attack on British friendlies in Basra.
The story claims this footage was CLASSIFIED by the military after the incident.
I can remember seeing that very tape SEVERAL times right after the incident. It's been on the Web since the day it happened, but they are acting like this is some just-released Pentagon tape. It is a very sad incident, and it's clear the US pilots are literally sick about it, but this is not new video.
I am AMAZED at how many little 'mistakes' I find in MSM on a daily basis!!! Anyone with any experience covering the Pentagon has seen that video.
1. The US military was basically ordering the Brits not to use such a tape
in an inquiry into the deaths of their soldiers. Like good allies, the UK government wouldn't air it without the US' approval. Now whether that's the exact same tape or not, I'm not sure from what you're saying, though it seems likely enough. At any rate the audio is what was relevant to the inquiry either way... but anyway, you know better than I do apparently.
Someone leaked the tape to a tabloid and that was that. I'm not sure that the usual papers there cover the Pentagon like you mention here. So for whatever reason it was news to the UK, in some sense or another, if for no reason other than the US officially renouncing the use of the tape until the leak to the British media.
12. I am really not gonna sit here and second guess the judicial process
This is not the Libby case - I am not seeing anywhere near all the evidence presented so I can only make vague speculations. And at any rate, what the tapes say as reported is pretty clear.
- Pilots see vehicles with reflective orange strips on top indicative of friendlies. - When asked, air control says, no friendlies in the area, period. - Pilots start shooting the enemy up. - Air control says, oh wait, wait, there might be British light tanks in the area. - Long, awkward pause. - "Oh s#^!."
No, I can't really say I can blame the pilots in a criminal sense... they had every intention of happily shooting up the *enemy* and displayed the aggression desired by the USAF.
7. You'd think that there is killing and then there is killing.
Edited on Tue Feb-06-07 08:52 PM by patrice
And that the perceived difference would be based on the sacrifices the guys on "our" side make to do what "we" think needs done, not just whether the dead are wearing the "right" uniform. Maybe I'm wrong and killing really IS just killing, but then I don't think so when I hear about how sad our troops in Iraq are.
The inquest into the death of Lance Corporal Matthew 'Matty' Hull is more than the tale of a man killed by people who were supposed to be on the same side. His death at the hands of American pilots who ignored British army pleas to stop shooting has led to strained relations between both sets of soldiers and frayed diplomatic ties amid fresh fears of an increasingly lopsided relationship between Britain and its closest ally in the 'war on terror'.
The refusal of American authorities to discipline US servicemen who have killed British troops bolsters a perception among UK soldiers that the Pentagon has little regard for the sacrifices made by the British army in its support of the US-led coalition. But the inquest into Hull's death has also raised questions over the Ministry of Defence's attempts to ensure that soldiers' families are told how and why their sons died. Particularly damaging are claims that MoD officials ignored calls to install a system that could have saved Hull's life and that, despite the frequency of 'friendly-fire' incidents, also known as 'blue on blue', the government still has no central database of the killings.
Most serious, though, are suggestions that the British government misled Hull's wife and family amid claims that it kept secret knowledge of vital evidence into the failures of the US pilots who mistakenly fired upon Hull's convoy.
Hull's widow, Susan, was 'categorically' informed that no recorded footage from the cockpit of the two A-10 aircraft from which the shots killing her husband were fired was available. Then, unexpectedly, the tape arrived at the coroner's court last Thursday. Only then did it emerge that the MoD might have known about the vital evidence for years. It was the moment that relations between the US and UK over the treatment of British soldiers mistakenly killed by US servicemen began to unravel. Senior British defence officials asked the US authorities to declassify the cockpit recordings so its allegedly 'incriminating' footage could be screened at the inquest. The Pentagon refused, a reaction that surprised no one who has monitored its attitude towards Britain's inquest system.
8. Under the rule of engagment at the time, they would be Weapons Hot
Edited on Tue Feb-06-07 08:41 PM by Rick Myers
Meaning that with a go from control they could fire on anything. The A-10 that fired used a 30mm chain gun after being told there were NO FRIENDLIES where they were flying. It's hard to tell from the tape, but one of them mentions seeing orange markings, but it's unclear if they saw orange before firing. One of them mentions the orange panels looking like orange rocket plumes... In the 'cleanest' version of the tape, you can see that the target was NOT a typical Iraqi APC, it looked like a a US M-113 at a distance. I never noticed 'orange' in the image, but I'm sure the pilot's eyes were better than the cameras.
This is really a horrible incident, and I hope they lives of the aircrews will not be destroyed because of it. Friendly fire is a terrible thing, and it doesn't help anyone to make it some sort of public trial.
on edit: There is NO reference to 'friendly' radio contact until after the shots were fired. The Britich may have been speaking to FAC (Forward Air Control) but it was not relayed to the aircrews until after the incident.
Not to say they aren't at fault, just it would be easy to make mistakes, even if you aren't under fire. Someone did tell them there were no friendlies down there. I was just noticing their reaction to the mistakes.
16. I thought the WIA/KIA report came very quickly, relative to my experiences.
I monitored a few of these horrible FF incidents in Viet Nam, and even found out my crew had recorded them in the normal course of our extremely broad-spectrum radio frequency monitoring (broad-spectrum for the day). In a couple of cases those records were used in investigations.
"Friendly-Fire" (and I agree, the term is egregious) was ALWAYS unintentional, but perhaps careless. If not, it was a "fragging."
18. I heard yesterday the pilots are Idaho Air Guard and still flying
The Warthogs are a pretty common sight over the Boise sky. I'm never going to be able to see a pair of them flying wingtip to wingtip without wondering if they were the jets or pilots involved in this terrible incident.
"A video showing how a British soldier was killed by American warplanes in Iraq was finally released by the US last night - four years after the fatal attack, and only after it had been leaked to the media."
I'm finding this hard to square with your post, Rick Myers, but I'm hardly faulting you, I just obviously am not seeing the whole story. Wouldn't be the first time reporters were late to the party either.
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