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Marine A
December 16, 2016

Joined: May 12, 2014
Posts: 685
Marine A

December 16, 2016

A/SSGT Alexander Blackman is currently seeking bail pending his appeal against an 8 year sentence for killing a wounded Taliban fighter in Afghanistan during operations there. Blackman admitted the killing, he admitted contravening the articles of war, the Geneva Convention et al in his actions. There can never be any excuse for British soldiers, in their right minds, cold bloodedly shooting dead a wounded, helpless enemy. To condone such actions make us as bad as those we seek to eradicate. BUT; the keywords are, "in their right mind." I have read a great deal about this matter, I have studied interviews and reports written by his former CO and other high ranking officers. I have read the report of the Colonel who resigned his commission over what he considers to be the disgraceful omissions of evidence at Blackman's trial. I have read the reports of MOD bans on certain people giving certain evidence that would probably have influenced the court's finding and sentencing. Blackman and his soldiers were hung out to dry in an explosive combat scenario. Left unsupported and virtually alone in a savagely hostile outpost, they were ordered to patrol daily to draw enemy fire upon themselves. They lost a high number of friends through wounds and death. They were almost abandoned if we can believe the testimonies of his troops and several officers. Blackman and his men were supremely courageous, they endured hell on earth, he led those men with courage and tenacity and was likely in line for a bravery award before the killing took place. No account was taken at his trial of his mental state, he was likely suffering from PTSD, depression and battle fatigue. None of those factors were discussed at his trial. Blackman shot and killed a helpless wounded enemy fighter. But it wasn't the brave, cool under fire, outstanding SNCO who undertook that crime, it was a shell of a soldier whose mental health at the time was for all intents and purposes destroyed. Blackman should either have been found not guilty by reason of temporary insanity or at worst guilty of manslaughter with extreme mitigating circumstances. We can never condone the slaying of wounded adversaries in battle, not even when, as in this case, they had committed unspeakable atrocities upon our own troops. That said, I would bet anyone a pound to a penny that countless other Taliban murderers have suffered similar outcomes by troops wearing a variety of different countries' uniforms. I heard similar stories from the Falklands. Blackman was caught because some idiot filmed the incident on a mobile phone. As the news filters through that two almost 70 year old former paras are to be dragged into court for shooting a wanted member of the IRA over 4 decades ago, as the despicable IHAT debacle continues to gather steam, as the PSNI inquiry gets underway, I ask again, who on earth would want to join the British Army these days. Who  on earth would encourage their children to do as we did and swear to defend our Queen and country knowing those same institutions would allow many of us who survived into old age to be thrown to the wolves and abandoned to the vagaries of ambulance chasing lawyers and weak kneed politicians who swore to look after us. We are the sole, the only, the single western nation to allow these vultures to receive tax payers money to hound our serving soldiers and old comrades to a prison cell or worse. The inequity, the unfairness and the travesty of it all is breathtakingly disgusting.

 

December 16, 2016

Joined: May 5, 2014
Posts: 557
Marine A

December 16, 2016

Regarding SSgt Blackman, I totally concur with your views David, but am genuinely not surprised at the influence these ambulance chasing lawyers have exerted on the case, and of the total lack of backbone our military & Government have shown in supporting the fella. If any of them had a fraction of the bravery, pure guts, and loyalty to his country he has displayed during his service, then the outcome would have been much different in the courts. Maybe that's the problem these days - are there ANY serving Ministers who have ever worn the uniform of any of the Armed Forces, & in particular, endured any active service ? If they had they just might understand how SSgt Blackman arrived at the decision to shoot the Taliban when he did. The two Paras now standing accused ? Words fail me - the dead guy was a renowned IRA member, happily posing in their "uniform" with a rifle just a short time earlier, proud of his connections to the IRA, was shot whilst fleeing from the security forces having refused to stop, and yet now, some 44 years later, the police want to prosecute ! I gather there are literally hundreds of other cases being investigated - should we all dread the knock on the door, or the letter of summons dropping through the letter box ? I thought ex PM Blair had drawn a line under previous events during the Good Friday Agreement, or did that only apply to the IRA's atrocities ? As I said, words fail me, apart from just one more ; disgust. John (JKW)

December 16, 2016

Joined: May 8, 2014
Posts: 1205
Marine A

December 16, 2016

Here living in Ireland as I do and married for 50+ years to an Irish lass ,I still has yet to get my head around the psychic of this land . They venerate the rebel or the republican ,no matter what they do or kill as long as it's a Englishman ,or which law they break as long as it's against the English. The English have been painted into a corner (,something Sturgeon is trying to in Scotland ) so when one of their rebels gets wasted all logic goes out of the window. Over the last 3 decades the family of an Irish prison officer murdered by the IRA in the Republic on his way to work ,have been wanting Gerry Adams ( remember him from the Kesh) now president of Sinn Fein to give up the gunmen ( which he has said were involved) to the Garda for prosecution ,but NO ,not a dickie bird . So these 2 ex para's from 44 odd years ago are honey for the bear (IRA) and now they have British soldiers to take the spotlight of Gerry and co . Personally to go after these soldiers after 44 years is farcical ,what is needed like the IRA man who got off for the Hyde Park bombing of the Horse Guards ,a letter excusing prosecution from the M.O.D or Downing Street ,if it's good enough for killers it's good enough for men who were doing a dirty job for the failed politicians of this country .

December 19, 2016

Joined: May 14, 2014
Posts: 977
Marine A

December 19, 2016

Bob, spot on again, my great friend. Why do the politicos not see the truth, as we do?. No, they try to blame the people  (us), who know the truth, and yet we are never given the platform to get these situations rectified once and for all. Perhaps it is because if we get these problems sorted out now, what would the accusers have to play with instead of actions of long ago. Get over it, it is in the past, let us sort out the world of today, not play devil's advocate with a past nobody can sort out, and get on with life and activity relevant to today. Before Trump starts banging his big drum and creates mayhem and death to this fragile world of ours. They never learn........ and we will be the victims......

December 19, 2016

Joined: May 14, 2014
Posts: 977
Marine A

December 19, 2016

I am now going to watch the other battle, LFC v The Toffees......( The Everton Mints ) Exciting times>> maybe not, but entertaining...)

December 21, 2016

Joined: May 5, 2014
Posts: 557
Marine A

December 21, 2016

Entertaining !?!  Nail-biting more like, but made all the sweeter with a winning goal deep into "Fergie" time ! I almost (but not quite) wish I'd been back at work the next day to gloat over the Toffee's loss !! John (JKW)

December 21, 2016

Joined: May 5, 2014
Posts: 557
Marine A

December 21, 2016

To get back on track though, S/Sgt Blackman's hope for bail until his Appeal is heard was rejected today, but apparently the presiding Lord Chief Justice said " the practice of the Court is to expedite appeals, rather than release on bail, and despite the unprecedented nature of this case the Court can see no reason to deviate from what is that practice". Bah humbug, BUT, all is not lost yet for the guy, the real test will come when his case comes before the Appeals Court hopefully early next year. If my experience as a Prison Officer is anything to go by, Alex Blackman, as a former squaddie who committed a crime whilst under battle stress,  will be well looked after by the Prison Staff, who will go out of their way to ensure he gets a decent job "inside" (ie, Wing No 1, a respected  inmate position of responsibility) with attendant privileges, such as more time out-of-cell and extra food, so he'll get a decent Christmas dinner ! John (JKW)

December 21, 2016

Joined: May 14, 2014
Posts: 977
Marine A

December 21, 2016

If the Taliban guy was dying, and therefore suffering, then this Staff Sgt. was not at fault when he put the man out of his misery. Another incident, where RMP members WERE MURDERED by their enemies, in a calculated and criminal action, shows that cold blooded murder WAS done to these RMP members. But nobody involved with the act of murder went through what this Staff Sgt has, and still is, going through. Besides, his family are also being punished by this case which is still going on and will be going on for some time to come at this rate. WHY are our lawyers stretching this case out for so long, maybe for years to come. This country should be defending him, not persecuting him. Shame on our so called LEGAL Lawyers, they are acting more like murderers themselves.  How would THEY feel if it was their family suffering from all this drawn out persecution???? They would no doubt shout "FOUL, FOUL", and cry their eyes out. Morons...

December 21, 2016

Joined: May 14, 2014
Posts: 977
Marine A

December 21, 2016

PS... Why do we not put these lawyers in Blackman's position, and see how THEY would react, probably wet their pants and cry for their mum. Useless bar stewards, the lot of them.

February 10, 2017

Joined: May 12, 2014
Posts: 685
Marine A

February 10, 2017

The High Court appeal regarding former RM SSGT Blackman is currently being considered by 5 Law Lords, an unusual number that underpins the importance the judiciary apportions to this case. The prosecution, in the face of overwhelming medical evidence, now concur he was suffering from battle stress induced mental health issues. Sadly, they contend that his mental health issues were insufficient to have influenced his actions when he shot the Taliban insurgent. His first trial was a farce, a travesty of justice. How could the MOD and Blackman's superiors have allowed his defence to be so poorly prepared and presented? How could the presiding judiciary and his own lawyers not have  appraised him of the man slaughter option? Blackman contravened The Geneva Convention, he contravened the Articles of War, he broke the law. But, the contention is, it wasn't the normal highly regarded, well balanced, brave and diligent SNCO who shot that insurgent, it was a shell of that person. A shell created by the circumstances Blackman found himself in. Dumped miles from anywhere in a poorly defendable compound with low walls and containers for shelter. Metal  containers in the 45 degree heat of the Afghan dessert!! Ordered to undertake 'hearts and minds' patrols twice daily with a depleted section, these patrols became target practice for the Taliban. Blackman and his men were left unsupported for weeks on end as evidenced by his later CO who castigated Blackman's Company Commander and CO of that time. These men lost 6 of their comrades KIA and many more wounded. They witnessed the amputated limbs of their captured dead comrades hung in the trees by the Taliban. And then, and then there is bemusement and bafflement as to how a British SNCO could react in such a way. Bemusement though that is almost universally contained to those who have never been in the position Blackman was, never had to face what he faced. What he did was wrong, whether or not that Taliban fighter was in fact dead when Blackman shot him and regardless of whether Blackman thought he was dead or not that shot should not have been fired. But neither should this country have left Blackman and his men to suffer the atrocities of that situation unsupported and virtually abandoned. Blackman does not deserve to be in jail. He should have received a medical discharge and help three years ago. Let's hope that happens now.    

February 10, 2017

Joined: May 5, 2014
Posts: 557
Marine A

February 10, 2017

Fingers crossed for the guy, and his family, that common sense allied to justice prevails. I note the Iraq "hanging brigade" of British soldiers have had their wings clipped, and at a cost of £60million of wasted tax payers money, have  been told the inquiry is to finish - about time too, but why is it taking "a few months" to wind the "slur operation" down ? Surely, "Get out by lunchtime" would suffice.  Shame on all those involved in persecuting the very people who put their lives on the line 24/7 in the most hostile and inhospitable of environments - if they have ANY conscience, they'll be unable to sleep at nights, but I doubt it will affect them in the slightest. John (JKW)

February 10, 2017

Joined: May 12, 2014
Posts: 685
Marine A

February 10, 2017

Not holding my breath John, there has been a lot of ministerial hyperbole about the NI witch hunt with very little change. IHAT has been disbanded as you say but I am sure I heard that the RN Police are taking over some of the outstanding cases. We must be the only country going which allows this sort of farce to happen and persecute our own troops.

March 15, 2017

Joined: May 12, 2014
Posts: 685
Marine A

March 15, 2017

Manslaughter by diminished responsibility. A just verdict that reflects the situation Blackman found himself in. He did wrong, no doubt about that. But his courts martial was a travesty insofar as it pointedly failed to represent the full position he found himself in, it failed to state the lack of support he received from his superiors, it failed to highlight the stress and pressure he was under and the almost daily firefights and mortaring he and his men were subjected to. There are numerous armchair generals pontificating about the new verdict, left wing liberals who have not the slightest idea what it means to be in Blackman's shoes.  I believe justice within the strict parameters of the law has now been done, let him now return to his family, he has more than paid his dues for his actions, let him now receive the help he should have been given several years ago.

March 16, 2017

Joined: May 5, 2014
Posts: 557
Marine A

March 16, 2017

Hear hear, & well said David. Sometimes the wheels of justice can be (too ?) slow, but at least this time they did turn eventually. John (JKW)

March 16, 2017

Joined: May 8, 2014
Posts: 199
Marine A

March 16, 2017

what a total waste of resources, by that I mean the training + experience that this man had, binned by, as previous posts have shown the liberally minded idiots who pontificate from their safe offices, with much wringing of soft lily white hands, and gnashing of teeth, and wailing with their mealy mouths, they make me sick. As for the respective governments in power over  the past few decades, they either cannot read, or do not comprehend what they are reading, or worse still are ignoring the military covenant, Sadly I think it is the LATTER. It has been pointed out that yes he did transgress against the rules of war ( that the Taliban completely ignore) and must and did stand for those charges, this man has my respect; which I would refuse to those involved in the bringing of this case.


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