The news that seven British Marines had been arrested on suspicion of murder a couple of days ago caused a mixed bag of response in the UK. As soon as the news was released A support group was set up on Facebook and a large number of people rallied to their cause. The death of a captive insurgent in unknown circumstances will need to be investigated however. Should the reverse happen we would all have plenty to say. Unlike the USA who appears to have tried to bury many such incidents we should want to address any wrong doing. It could be that nothing happened, or an isolated incident but it could be a sign of a worrying disregard for life and the rules of "engagement" by our military serving abroad.
The Facebook page information reads, "This page is set up to show support for the seven Royal Marine Commandos arrested for murder for an event which happened in Afghanistan 2011 where no civilians where injured and one gunman killed which shot at them FIRST' (sic)" It is full of praise for the men and the military in general. We would have thought that decent members of the military fraternity would want to know the truth. The creator of the page claims to be a member of the British armed forces.
If nothing else news of this kind endangers those still serving in Afghanistan. It is foddr for the Taliban. Remember too that without boundaries foreign troops could run amok. No armed force is without its rogue elements.
The men accused are believed to be from 3 Commando Brigade, a company that served in Afghanistan between April and October 2011.Today there have been further developments.
A total of nine men were arrested. Four have now been released with no charges levied against them. Five of the Royal Marines have been charged with murder. The case was referred to the SPA, Service Prosecuting Authority, who have decided there is a case to answer and have started legal proceedings.
This morning on the BBC Andrew Marr show Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said, "Everybody serving in theatre knows the rules of engagement, they carry cards in their uniforms with the rules on them in case they should need to remind themselves."" That in many ways for once leaves us speechless.
Funny how they think by using words such as Theatre for War or engagement for killing makes it all sound better. Carrying a card and referring to it before you decide whether to pull the trigger or not, I ask you?
The MoD has said the men charged will "remain in custody pending court proceedings". They went on "It would be inappropriate to comment further on this ongoing investigation."
Time to let justice run its course, hopefully.
Based in Yorkshire, in the middle of the UK, almost, this blogger offers her own unique perspective on life in GB
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