Five Royal Marines charged with murder, four released without charge…


“Five Royal Marines have been charged with murder in relation to an alleged incident in Afghanistan in 2011.

The service personnel remain in custody pending court proceedings.

Seven marines had been arrested on suspicion of murder on Thursday, with a further two arrests on Friday and Saturday.

Of the nine that were arrested in total, four marines have been released without charge, pending further inquiries.” Source – http://www.itv.com/news/2012-10-14/five-royal-marines-charge-with-murder/

Congratulations MOD on single-handedly destroying morale in all combat theatres, as i predicted would happen here: http://voiceinthecrowd.org/2012/10/01/natos-rules-of-engagement-and-tactics-are-endangering-soldiers-lives/ and here: http://voiceinthecrowd.org/2012/10/12/natos-rules-of-engagement-cause-seven-royal-marines-to-be-arrested-on-murder-charges/

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.

“I can’t comment on the specifics of this case.

“We are very determined that rules of engagement will be followed, that any abuse will be dealt with through the normal processes of service justice and that is happening now.

Which to me reads: “we’ve taken away your right to self-defence under article 51 of the Geneva convention, and now are going to charge you with murder and war crimes under the self-same Geneva convention” way to contradict yourselves MOD.

And that, i will unashamedly say that that, is complete bollocks.

The MOD want the rules of engagement to be strictly adhered to, but the pen pushing suits who make these rules and have probably never seen combat in their life should realise one thing. The first thing to go out of the window in a contact is the plan. When your’e trying to identify an insurgent and nothing is happening around you, that’s one thing, when you are trying to identify an insurgent whilst returning fire and trying to control a firefight is a very different thing indeed.

The difference between life and death of you or your comrades could be as little as a fraction of a second, and decisions affecting you and those around you have to be made instantaneously. It could be a slight pause between firing that gets your oppo injured or killed. That’s the reality here.

And yet, through pursuing this course of action so publicly, the MOD have now put ALL soldiers in the front line in a position where they must stop and think before opening fire. A decision will will most likely cause soldiers to be injured or worse.

Whilst i agree that every contingency should be taken to ensure civilians are protected as much as is humanly possible, i also think there needs to be some protection for the soldiers on the front line, who lets face it, do a hoofin’ job under difficult circumstances. Whilst murder is not acceptable in any walk of life, a degree of common sense has to be applied when applying that term.

If in civvie street, you are attacked and you hit back in self-defence, it is just that. If that person dies, it isn’t murder, it is involuntary manslaughter. A charge which will very likely be dropped because of the circumstances. A soldier returning fire on someone who means to harm them is no different. Especially if that person firing upon said soldiers is an insurgent, who has PRE-MEDITATED murder on his/her mind.

That is the key to the term MURDER. PRE-MEDITATION. Did those soldiers go out INTENTIONALLY to kill that insurgent, or were they merely defending themselves? If the answer to that is no, then these charges are nothing more than a public witch-hunt to keep Britain in the “good lads club” and so the MOD can be seen to be doing the right thing.

In essence, hang five Royal Marines out to dry to avoid an international incident in a country where Britain is hardly topping the popularity polls anyway. Aye, good one that.

If what the news has been filtering is to be believed, and i’m not sure for a minute it is to be believed, then the Royals opened up on surrendering insurgents.  I don’t believe for one second that if that’s what happened, (and i’m not saying it IS what happened) it was deliberate. I just cannot fathom professional soldiers, much less Royal Marines Commando’s doing that. Clearly though, the MOD believe something different.

That is of course, if they do believe something different, or if they’re just going through the motions to be seen to maintain order and save face.

Either way, whether guilty or not, the Marines in question are going to get fucked. Right royally fucked. In my opinion, the decision has already been made that they are guilty, and i have a feeling their punishment will be overly harsh due to the nature of the crime and the fact there is no precedent in British military law, or even British criminal or civil law for that matter.

The upshot of all of this is not that this will make soldiers follow the rules of engagement and closer, but that it will make them hesitate and endanger more of our service personnel’s lives.

If the MOD wants to save lives, like it is making out, then these charges need to be dropped NOW. More protection needs implementing to protect our personnel from stupid charges like these. You either want them to do their job, or give them a blue beret and send them on a peace-keeping mission.

I suggest these incidents occur not because of the soldiers not following the rules of engagement, but because of the ambiguity of said rules. I also suggest instead of blaming the soldiers struggling to interpret said rules of engagement, NATO, who made the rules should be blamed. NATO needs to look at these rules and re-assess who they are protecting, the civilians? or the insurgents? they certainly do NOT protect the front line troops and make their job almost impossible to carry out with any degree of certainty.

And this case will do nothing to re-assure those still serving out there, or those due to serve out there in future that these rules are anything but detrimental to the soldiers who have to stick to them.

Unfortunately, i fear that for the five Royals, the damage has already been done. The MOD seem certain to try these men as criminals whether the deserve to be or not.

Such an emotive subject has hit the nation hard and support groups have sprung up all over the internet. Protests have been organised both in Plymouth and at downing street and online petitions have been organised, such is the strength of feeling from the public. I urge you to sign the petition and pass it on to all of your friends so they may also do the same.

External Links:

Support The 7 Website 

Support The 7 Facebook

Free The 5 Facebook

Online Petition

London Protest

Plymouth Protest

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11 comments

  1. Cador Pendry · · Reply

    Spot on, you can also add to that sentiment the issue of ‘military Drones’ that have wide spread use in Afghanistan. Does this mean that all Drones will be re programmed to administer first- aid in case they inadvertently bomb a school building, perhaps with the soothing voice of Joanna Lumley to pacify the limbless children climbing out of the rubble? Yes, I thought not! That would be stupid, but not as stupid as arresting British Commandos, for doing their job in the most professional way in the most extreme of circumstances. Let’s hope the jobs worth police mans mother that started this farce is very proud of her son, I don’t see anyone else hip hip hooraying him!

  2. FatBoyGinger · · Reply

    Men in Hats.

    A politician creates a law
    To make the people love him more.
    His rule is Right for everyone
    So money can be made from Wrong.

    He says “Thats Wrong” it can not be
    And sends some men in hats to see
    If they can change the points of view
    Of those who dare to break this rule.

    A politician abroad, now creates a law
    To make his people love him more
    So now he can have his fun
    And sends his men in hats with guns

    As Men in hats now risk their lives
    To change whats Wrong and make it Right
    While both political idiots
    Sit back and rub their tiny dicks

    Those men in hats will be attacked
    And politicians views flown back
    As body parts and empty racks
    Remembered now on tiny plaques

    Fear burns dark holes through every night
    and chokes those minds who had to fight
    Who chose to wear their hats with pride
    To keep their country safe inside

    So men in hats still clash and die
    While politicians stand by
    And make their money from fighting Wrong
    Never willing to change their song.

    And when the people finally bore
    Of paying for this ego war
    And exercise their right to choose
    Thats when they cease to loose.

    Once peace has come don’t blame or shame
    The men in hats who played YOUR game
    The one YOU voted totally sane
    The rule thats Right and can never change.

    Make sure the men in hats aren’t judged
    For decisions made in heat and blood
    Who paid the price and endured a war
    Where Oppos fell to rise no more

    So to the men with tiny dicks
    Who ordered all those foreign hits
    From men in hats and splits with tits
    Who finished all your dirty bits

    Don’t turn your back on those you used
    To keep you popular and amused
    JUST GROW A PAIR OF YOUR OWN
    AND FREE ALL FIVE TO THEIR HOMES

    By FatBoyGinger (Ex Bootneck)

    1. Outstanding mate, mind if I post this on Facebook? I will credit you of course :)

  3. they teach them to kill they teach them to defend them selfs but most of all now days they teach the enemy how to beat us on and off the field of war now before you defend your self basically you must ask are you going to fire your weppon sir get a grip forces dont the forces staff have enough to worry about you look suspicious you dont adhere to any order given or if you look suspicious and dont do as your told the soldiers dont have a choice left so why dont you back your men instead of jailing them

  4. Chris Harrell · · Reply

    I echo the sentiments of the previous posters ex CPO RN 847 at Simbang, Bulwark and Hermes in support of 3rd Commando Brigade.

  5. My son is a royal marine and I dont think he will sign up for another term of service. He loves his job but this has put him right off now. It’s a joke!

  6. Shocking state of affairs, another shambles by this shambolic Government. None of them have a clue how it is to live in the real world. It is stressful enough having family in Afghan. Having them held in custody in the country they are fighting for and for doing the job they love, is a smack in the gob!

  7. Paul White · · Reply

    I dont know who you are but hank you for your blog, I am an ex-marine in Thailand and find your passion very Touching.

    1. Thank you. I don’t write for comments, but it is always nice to hear that my writing has affected someone positively. For the record, there is no such thing as an EX Marine :) Per Mare Per Terram

  8. I’m confused. If you don’t agree with the rules of engagement, or how they’re applied, why would you fight? If you can’t morally or physically do the job you’re paid to do according to the rules of that job, you shouldn’t do it.
    And of course there’s something to be said for change coming from within – especially from the front line – but I would have thought a better way to affect change would be to withhold service, or protest, rather than murdering someone (according, it would seem, to the current rules that everyone wants changed).
    Finally, I don’t see much noble in denying first aid to a person, regardless of background.

    1. They didn’t withhold aid because he was an insurgent, but because it would have compromised their own safety to do so by using their own aid kits…

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