Murder by a British Soldier in Kenya

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Martin Y
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Re: Murder by a British Soldier in Kenya

Post by Martin Y » Sun Nov 14, 2021 7:14 pm

The regiment's Wikipedia page makes grim reading. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke_of_L ... s_Regiment

A couple of sentences describe what the unit is, then straight into accusations of war crimes by its soldiers in Iraq followed by the Wanjiru murder and its coverup. And that just about wraps it up, aside from a rather hollow listing of the many battle honours of the various old regiments which merged to form it in 2004. Imagine having to try to uphold morale and discipline in a unit with a f.cked up reputation like that.

It looks like the military police are now going to get to investigate but I wonder whether they will even be able to pin the murder on "soldier x" let alone discover how far up the chain of command soldier y's report of the killing got before some individual ordered it hushed up.

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Re: Murder by a British Soldier in Kenya

Post by plodder » Sun Nov 14, 2021 8:00 pm

sheldrake wrote:
Sun Nov 14, 2021 3:06 pm
JQH wrote:
Sun Nov 14, 2021 2:58 pm

How about soldiers who murder prostitutes to face trial for murder?
There’s already an RMP investigation on this murder. We prosecute soldiers for things going back to bl..dy Sunday in the UK
No, we don’t prosecute soldiers for things like bl..dy Sunday. That’s the problem. I thought the army was all about discipline - is it f.ck. We have a massive standing army, no war to fight, and ridiculous apologists like you all over the place essentially saying ‘boys will be boys - there’s nothing to be done’. Pathetic.

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Re: Murder by a British Soldier in Kenya

Post by sheldrake » Sun Nov 14, 2021 8:12 pm

plodder wrote:
Sun Nov 14, 2021 8:00 pm
sheldrake wrote:
Sun Nov 14, 2021 3:06 pm
JQH wrote:
Sun Nov 14, 2021 2:58 pm

How about soldiers who murder prostitutes to face trial for murder?
There’s already an RMP investigation on this murder. We prosecute soldiers for things going back to bl..dy Sunday in the UK
No, we don’t prosecute soldiers for things like bl..dy Sunday. That’s the problem. I thought the army was all about discipline - is it f.ck. We have a massive standing army, no war to fight, and ridiculous apologists like you all over the place essentially saying ‘boys will be boys - there’s nothing to be done’. Pathetic.
'ridiculous apologist' would be an appropriate thing to say for somebody who thought: -

a) nobody should be punished for this, b) the british army never did things like this or c) it was actually okay for soldiers of any nation to do this

I have said exactly none of those things, so I think you are getting very, very carried away with some kind of ill-judged and incoherent self-righteousness now. If you want to do more of that, take it to the pit. Your comments are offensive and stupid.

We do not have a massive standing army. It's got a little over 80,000 full time staff.

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Re: Murder by a British Soldier in Kenya

Post by Woodchopper » Sun Nov 14, 2021 9:01 pm

I've moved some posts containing general discussion on military bases and exploitation of women over to this thread.

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Re: Murder by a British Soldier in Kenya

Post by lpm » Sun Nov 14, 2021 9:05 pm

All militaries are built for secrecy.

They have a cosy relationship with the press and wield a club when necessary. They deny operations are taking place. They cover up civilian deaths. They hide accidents.

There's often good reasons why they cover up incidents, e.g the murder of a wounded combatant: they can't disclose the SAS is operating in an area.

Probably hard to switch off the normal secrecy mode for other incidents. They knew this murder in Kenya could damage their standing and reacted with muscle memory. Military transparency is unlikely for any country.
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Re: Murder by a British Soldier in Kenya

Post by Fishnut » Sun Nov 14, 2021 9:12 pm

Martin Y wrote:
Sun Nov 14, 2021 7:14 pm
The regiment's Wikipedia page makes grim reading. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke_of_L ... s_Regiment
From that Wikipedia page:
Shortly after its formation, the regiment was widely reported in the media to have recruited soldiers involved in war crimes, including multiple cases of beating to death civilians, torturing civilians, and for sharing videos of the prisoners they had tortured screaming in pain.
That sentence is a pretty decent summary of the £13 million Baha Mousa Public Inquiry that published its 3 volume report in 2011.

On 14 September 2003 Baha Mousa, a 26 year old receptionist, was arrested as part of a raid on a hotel in Basra as part of Operation Salerno, which aimed to find people who had been, or had been helping former regime loyalists (FRLs). Weapons, ammunition and false identity equipment were found during the search. One of the hotel's co-owners fled and "the decision was taken to detain the Hotel's other workers and owners as suspected FRLs" [p5, volume 1] despite there being no evidence that they had any connections with the former regime. Seven men were detained and taken to Camp Stephen and then to the Temporary Detention Facility (TDF) where they were held until their transfer to the Theatre Internment Facility (TIF) two days later. Baha Mousa was not among those transferred to the TIF as he died on 15 September.
In the course of their detention, they were hooded with hessian sandbags for lengthy periods of time and made to assume stress positions...There can be no doubt that in the course of this detention the Detainees were assaulted by a soldier or soldiers, resulting in injuries being inflicted on them. [para 1.25, p5, volume 1]
A post mortem of Baha gave initial cause of death as ligature strangulation but it was later changed to postural asphyxiation. The pathologist also found 93 separate surface injuries on his body. He then examined some of the other Detainees and found they too exhibited injuries.
Save for injuries to one of the Detainees, these injuries were neither as numerous nor as serious as the injuries sustained by Baha Mousa, although some of the injuries were nevertheless significant. The Detainees also suffered varying levels of psychiatric injury as a result of their mistreatment. [para 1.28, p6, volume 1]
Part 2, Chapter 7 of volume 1 of the inquiry report details the physical and psychological injuries incurred by each detainee. There's photos. It's horrific.

Court martial proceedings were brought against seven members of the regiment. Four had their charges dismissed, two were found guilty and discharged and one, Cpl Donald Payne, was "was sentenced to twelve months imprisonment, dismissed from the Army and reduced to the ranks." [para 1.30, p7, volume 1] The reason for the lack of convictions were, in the words of the presiding judge,
a result of a more or less obvious closing of ranks [Source]
The detainees were tortured while at the TDF. They were forced to maintain stress positions, they were made to think they were about to be set on fire, they had urine thrown over them, they were beaten by multiple soldiers. Some of the beatings were termed "the choir",
A guard demonstrated to Crosbie “the choir” by kicking the Detainees on their backs causing them to make some noise such as a cry or groan. [para 53, page 1295, volume 3]
The abuse was filmed.

I'm only skimming the report - it's massive - but everywhere I stop I see people being criticised for their actions or, more often, their inactions. Take paras 110-112 of volume 3 (p1303),
110. Father Peter Madden was the padre for 1 QLR. He was unable to remember whether he visited the TDF when the Op Salerno Detainees were there. Stacey stated that Madden had visited the TDF on Sunday morning, and Rodgers said he visited on Monday morning, as did Pte Hunt. Aspinall said Madden visited the TDF during Monday.

111. I found Madden to be a poor witness, particularly in relation to inconsistencies as to whether he felt any responsibility for the welfare of detainees kept at BG Main, and whether, before Op Salerno, he had seen detainees being forced to maintain set positions.

112. I find that Madden did visit the TDF on Monday. Whether this was in the morning or afternoon, it follows from my findings that he must have seen the shocking condition of the Detainees, and the deteriorating state of the TDF. He ought to have intervened immediately, or reported it up the chain of command but, in fact, it seems he did not have the courage to do either.
Or para 125 a few pages later,
I find that Peebles must have become aware of the shocking state of the Detainees by Monday. I also suspect that Peebles did know of the physical abuse of the Detainees by Payne and other soldiers. Even if he did not know of that, he must have understood the serious adverse effects of hooding and stress positions in the significant heat for a period of around 36 hours. Peebles ought to have ordered the cessation of hooding and stress positions long before Baha Mousa’s death. He also ought to have reported to the Battlegroup second in command, Suss-Francksen, or the Commanding Officer, Mendonça, what he had seen.
A sub-heading titled "Loss of Discipline and Lack of Moral Courage" (p1316, volume 3) says,
My findings raise a significant concern about the loss of discipline and lack of moral courage to report abuse within 1 QLR. A large number of soldiers, including senior NCOs, assaulted the Detainees in a facility in the middle of the 1 QLR camp which had no doors, seemingly unconcerned at being caught doing so. Several officers must have been aware of at least some of the abuse. A large number of soldiers, including all those who took part in guard duty, also failed to intervene to stop the abuse or report it up the chain of command.
While the report states,
the evidence does not demonstrate disciplinary failures so widespread as to be regarded as an entrenched culture of violence within 1 QLR. [para 199, p 1315, volume 3]
it acknowledges that,
the events of 14 to 16 September cannot be described as a “one off” event. There were other incidents of abuse and mistreatment of Iraqi civilians by soldiers of 1 QLR.[para 199, p 1315, volume 3]
Given the thoroughness of the report I find the conclusion that there is not "an entrenched culture of violence" surprising. I also find it surprising that there no discussion (at least not one I've found yet) of the closing of ranks that was referenced by the judge in the court martial. But I think there's a clue as to why this is the case in one of the opening pages,
when writing this Report, I have been very conscious that criticisms made may seem to some, not only those in the Armed Services, particularly ungrateful and insensitive when set against the sacrifices and bravery of the vast majority. It must be stressed that the faults of some should not tarnish the image and reputation of the many [para 1.34, p7-8, volume 1]
It's the "one bad apple" defence all over again.

Maybe if the culture of violence and culture of cover-ups had been acknowledged and addressed, if the soldiers who took part in the torture of detainees had been properly punished and those who looked the other way had been punished too, if there had been a clear demonstration that civilians lives matter and are not just there for the amusement of soldiers, maybe Agnes would still be alive.
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Re: Murder by a British Soldier in Kenya

Post by sheldrake » Mon Nov 15, 2021 12:22 am

lpm wrote:
Sun Nov 14, 2021 9:05 pm
All militaries are built for secrecy.

They have a cosy relationship with the press and wield a club when necessary. They deny operations are taking place. They cover up civilian deaths. They hide accidents.

There's often good reasons why they cover up incidents, e.g the murder of a wounded combatant: they can't disclose the SAS is operating in an area.

Probably hard to switch off the normal secrecy mode for other incidents. They knew this murder in Kenya could damage their standing and reacted with muscle memory. Military transparency is unlikely for any country.
This and the fact that violent behaviour is basically a job requirement for combat soldiers. They can't really completely tune this out.

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Re: Murder by a British Soldier in Kenya

Post by Millennie Al » Mon Nov 15, 2021 2:08 am

It's for the Kenyam authorities to investigate crimes in Kenya. We no longer believe in the White Man's Burden.

Compare with the death of Harry Dunn in the UK. British authorities investigated, and an American spy, Anne Sacoolas, was whisked away by the Americans once it seemed the investigation was getting close to her. It is clear that the Americans are not going to extradite her and are going to frustrate any attempt at justice. We do not expect the Americans to take the lead in investigating crimes in the UK comitted by their personnel.

The difference from that case should not be that the UK investigates abroad and takes charge, it should be that the UK cooperates with legitimate foreign investigations and is willing to extradite personnel who have acted in a personal capacity (I think it is too unrealistic to expect any country to hold its own forces to account in their professional capacity). Cover-ups should not be tolerated.

Given that the entire purpose of the military is to kill people, it's hardly surprising that some enjoy it. It's like keeping a vicious guard dog and then being surpised when it bites a guest. As they say this time of year, lest we forget.
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Re: Murder by a British Soldier in Kenya

Post by lpm » Mon Nov 15, 2021 8:53 am

The list of WW2 war crimes by British military on wiki claims "Looting, rape, and prisoner executions were committed by British soldiers in a smaller scale than other armies throughout the war."

Seems like a lot of them though:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allied_wa ... ed_Kingdom
It's not a great article - in muddles up war crimes committed in the heat of battle, f.ck ups in the fog of war, and post-combat rapes and murders by British soldiers garrisoned in occupied territory.
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Re: Murder by a British Soldier in Kenya

Post by sheldrake » Mon Nov 15, 2021 10:16 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Mon Nov 15, 2021 2:08 am
Given that the entire purpose of the military is to kill people, it's hardly surprising that some enjoy it. It's like keeping a vicious guard dog and then being surpised when it bites a guest. As they say this time of year, lest we forget.
We don't always see eye to eye Millenial, but this succinctly captures what I've been trying to explain for the rest of the thread.

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Re: Murder by a British Soldier in Kenya

Post by plodder » Mon Nov 15, 2021 10:37 am

sheldrake wrote:
Mon Nov 15, 2021 10:16 am
Millennie Al wrote:
Mon Nov 15, 2021 2:08 am
Given that the entire purpose of the military is to kill people, it's hardly surprising that some enjoy it. It's like keeping a vicious guard dog and then being surpised when it bites a guest. As they say this time of year, lest we forget.
We don't always see eye to eye Millenial, but this succinctly captures what I've been trying to explain for the rest of the thread.
What an extraordinary revelation. Many thanks for removing the scales from my eyes. I will now write a strongly worded letter to Help for Heroes.

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Re: Murder by a British Soldier in Kenya

Post by sheldrake » Mon Nov 15, 2021 11:21 am

plodder wrote:
Mon Nov 15, 2021 10:37 am

What an extraordinary revelation. Many thanks for removing the scales from my eyes. I will now write a strongly worded letter to Help for Heroes.
Given the weird fictions you've been constructing about how armies work, I would not say it's obvious to the casual reader that you actually do know these basic things.

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Re: Murder by a British Soldier in Kenya

Post by plodder » Mon Nov 15, 2021 11:32 am

lpm wrote:
Sun Nov 14, 2021 9:05 pm
All militaries are built for secrecy.

They have a cosy relationship with the press and wield a club when necessary. They deny operations are taking place. They cover up civilian deaths. They hide accidents.

There's often good reasons why they cover up incidents, e.g the murder of a wounded combatant: they can't disclose the SAS is operating in an area.

Probably hard to switch off the normal secrecy mode for other incidents. They knew this murder in Kenya could damage their standing and reacted with muscle memory. Military transparency is unlikely for any country.
And this is called "being an apologist"

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Re: Murder by a British Soldier in Kenya

Post by sheldrake » Mon Nov 15, 2021 11:41 am

plodder wrote:
Mon Nov 15, 2021 11:32 am
lpm wrote:
Sun Nov 14, 2021 9:05 pm
All militaries are built for secrecy.

They have a cosy relationship with the press and wield a club when necessary. They deny operations are taking place. They cover up civilian deaths. They hide accidents.

There's often good reasons why they cover up incidents, e.g the murder of a wounded combatant: they can't disclose the SAS is operating in an area.

Probably hard to switch off the normal secrecy mode for other incidents. They knew this murder in Kenya could damage their standing and reacted with muscle memory. Military transparency is unlikely for any country.
And this is called "being an apologist"
LPM is one of exactly two people in the thread to propose a realistic way of stopping these things happening in future. You were not the other one.

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Re: Murder by a British Soldier in Kenya

Post by plodder » Mon Nov 15, 2021 12:27 pm

Was that the post where we needed to first achieve nuclear disarmament or the one where we didn’t have a military oversees?

This is why the term ‘apologist’ was invented. It describes hand-wringing that unless the impossible problem is solved then a whole raft of b.llsh.t just needs to be accepted. I love the laboured way people dress up their own failure to think of imaginative solutions as being wise, somehow. Very good, grandad, stroke your beard and look serious.

There are clearly other solutions - the main one being that ‘military secrecy’ is an anachronism and typically cover for piss-poor management. So get rid of the management. Shine a light on it. Hire native people and promote them. Sack a few generals. Open up files to the Kenyan authorities. Grapple with the problem instead of carefully stage manage an enquiry. Deport the murderous c.nt.

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Re: Murder by a British Soldier in Kenya

Post by sheldrake » Mon Nov 15, 2021 1:01 pm

There arent ‘clearly other solutions’, thats the point. Militaries have to be secretive and have to ingrain violent physicality in people. Thats why LPMs proposal to curtail the times we station them near vulnerable populations is one sensible solution.

UK troops are there to train Kenyans. If they didnt need or want us to train them we wouldnt be there; suggesting Kenyans deliver this training is kind of an oxymoron.

Look, you sometimes interpret disagreement as hostility or some moral failing on the part of people disagreeing with you. Chill out ffs

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Re: Murder by a British Soldier in Kenya

Post by plodder » Mon Nov 15, 2021 1:25 pm

I’ve just listed some other solutions, many of which are very simple. By claiming otherwise the term ‘apologist’ is clearly appropriate. If you feel judged or whatever then, you know, whatever. Don’t be one if you don’t like the term.

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Re: Murder by a British Soldier in Kenya

Post by sheldrake » Mon Nov 15, 2021 1:51 pm

plodder wrote:
Mon Nov 15, 2021 1:25 pm
I’ve just listed some other solutions, many of which are very simple. By claiming otherwise the term ‘apologist’ is clearly appropriate. If you feel judged or whatever then, you know, whatever. Don’t be one if you don’t like the term.
As I’ve pointed out, some of those solutions are very impractical and the others are contingent on An RMP investigation thats already happening. Calling people ‘apologists’ for the sexual murder of a young woman just because they dont agree with your cranky imagination-based version of how militaries work is wildly unreasonable and really beneath you.

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Re: Murder by a British Soldier in Kenya

Post by lpm » Mon Nov 15, 2021 2:28 pm

Clearly we need system change, not merely specific action on one individual case.

Equally obviously, it's going to take decades and none of us have a quick fix. A woman is killed by a man every 3 days in the UK, alongside the violent assaults on women. We need long term education and change in society.

It's not "apologist" to point to the huge scale of a problem. What Plodder is doing is worse - downplaying it by zooming into a narrow instance of one brutal murder. That's playing into the hands of our enemy: they would like nothing better than to sack a general, extradite the murderer to face trial and then stamp CASE CLOSED on the whole issue.
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Re: Murder by a British Soldier in Kenya

Post by plodder » Mon Nov 15, 2021 2:34 pm

Yeah you know I'm not quite sure how you read that into what I wrote. But you're right, ending all the big bad things is clearly a pre-requisite for ending any of the small bad things.

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Re: Murder by a British Soldier in Kenya

Post by lpm » Mon Nov 15, 2021 2:44 pm

No, you're right, ending a small bad thing ends all the big bad things.
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Re: Murder by a British Soldier in Kenya

Post by plodder » Mon Nov 15, 2021 2:45 pm

lpm wrote:
Mon Nov 15, 2021 2:44 pm
No, you're right, ending a small bad thing ends all the big bad things.
1) Unlike you, I'm not generalising.
2) Ending lots of small bad things does indeed erode the big bad things. It's called "progress".

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Re: Murder by a British Soldier in Kenya

Post by lpm » Mon Nov 15, 2021 2:46 pm

No, it's not called "progress". It's called "not enough progress".
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Re: Murder by a British Soldier in Kenya

Post by plodder » Mon Nov 15, 2021 2:53 pm

lpm wrote:
Mon Nov 15, 2021 2:46 pm
No, it's not called "progress". It's called "not enough progress".
Define "enough", or perhaps just accept that you're riled because you've been silly and you got caught - we don't really need to end the risk of thermo-nuclear war in order to ensure that fewer women are murdered by British squaddies.

Sheldrake has also been silly agreeing with you although he is typically caught in a forest of psycho-dramatic thorns, whereas you ought to know better.

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Re: Murder by a British Soldier in Kenya

Post by Martin Y » Mon Nov 15, 2021 3:57 pm

Curious mirror image case I had been unaware of: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-59291119

Four Kenyan police jailed over the 2012 torture and death of a British man in custody, in 2012, which was covered up at the time and blamed on a drugs overdose. Not jailed because they did it, jailed because they failed to seek medical help after it was done. They know who did it and won't say due to the code of silence within the police.

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