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Army's Top General Attacks Kember For Failing To Thank SAS Rescue Team
London Times ^ | Nick Meo, Michael Evans & Daniel McGrory

Posted on 03/24/2006 8:18:00 PM PST by ConservativeStLouisGuy

Freed hostage will arrive home today amid growing concern, report our correspondents
 
Norman Kember, the freed peace activist, will arrive back in Britain today amid growing controversy over his failure publicly to thank the military forces who rescued him.
 
Neither Professor Kember nor the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) organisation for whom he worked have acknowledged the work of the soldiers who rescued him and two Canadian hostages on Thursday, or of the teams of military and intelligence officials who spent months trying to track them down.
 
General Sir Mike Jackson, the head of the British Army, expressed the unhappiness of the military last night when he told Channel 4 News that he was “saddened that there doesn’t seem to have been a note of gratitude for the soldiers who risked their lives to save those lives”.
 
Before flying out of Baghdad on an RAF aircraft yesterday, Professor Kember and his two fellow hostages released a brief statement that said nothing about the rescue force. It read simply: “We are deeply grateful for all those who prayed for our release. We don’t have words to describe our feelings, our joy and gratitude. Our heads are swirling; when we are ready, we will speak to the media.”
 
It was the third set of comments Professor Kember had relayed to the media that failed to mention his rescuers. A lengthy statement released by CPT after the hostages’ rescue on Thursday not only failed to thank their rescuers, but called on coalition forces to withdraw from Iraq.
 
The only oblique acknowledgement came from Professor Kember’s wife, Pat. In a statement released through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office last night, she thanked “all those who have helped secure his release”. But she, too, made no mention of the British-led unit that freed her husband in western Baghdad. She praised “government agencies and my family liaison officers”, but did not directly refer to the soldiers who stormed the kidnappers’ hideout in darkness.
 
CPT has always made it clear that its members did not want force to be used to rescue them if they were kidnapped or held hostage.
 
But, in the event, the coalition devoted huge resources to securing their release. The SAS, special forces from the US and Canada and military intelligence officers spent months trying to locate them.
 
A force consisting of SAS troopers backed up by about 50 paratroops and Marines spearheaded the task force that rescued them. US and Iraqi troops were also involved in the mission. Relaxed and rested after his 36-hour stay at the fortified British Embassy in Baghdad, Professor Kember was flown out of the green zone by military helicopter yesterday to begin his journey home. He then boarded an RAF military transport at Baghdad airport for the short flight to neighbouring Kuwait. From there he was being flown home.
 
Maxine Nash, of CPT in Baghdad, said that the organisation had not paid for his flight back to Britain. She said: “He elected to go through the Embassy, they arranged it. We did offer to pay for commercial flights for everyone but that can be difficult because it means driving through dangerous areas.”
 
She admitted that the pacifist hostages had mixed feelings about being rescued by the military. She said: “Our mandate is violence reduction so this was a tough call. Before they were kidnapped both Tom and Jim had said they didn’t want to be rescued.” Ms Nash said that the group was now considering leaving Baghdad. “After what has happened we’re going to spend some time thinking about what to do.”
 
Last night British diplomats in Iraq tried to sidestep the row over the apparently ungracious behaviour of the peace activists. Diplomatic sources let it be known that the three men did agree to face further questioning yesterday from intelligence agents trying to hunt down the group who held them for 118 days.
 
An intelligence source said: “They gave what help they could. They recognise that there are other hostages, including Westerners, still in captivity who we believe were taken by the same group.”
 
The source added that Professor Kember had “privately expressed his thanks to his rescuers” though he did not meet them. The activists explained that they could not be of much help with descriptions of their captors as the group kept their faces covered.
 
The three men revealed how, shortly before the SAS burst their way into their prison before dawn on Wednesday, their captors suddenly moved them to a downstairs room.
 
They were tied up and bound together. The hostages heard their captives leaving. British officials insisted that there had been no deal to free the trio.
 
They said that interrogators told the gang member they arrested this week that he must reveal the location of the hostages or face 30 years in jail.
 
RESCUE FIGURES
 
The hunt for Norman Kember and his fellow hostages involved
 
250 men from the Task Force Black US/British/Australian counter-kidnap unit
 
100 men from Task Force Maroon, the Paras and Royal Marines backing special forces
 
15 men in helicopter crews
 
AND tens of thousands of pounds spent on helicopter and transport aircraft flights
 
 
 
 
 


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aidandcomfort; army; christianpeacemaker; collaborators; commiescum; hostages; ingrates; iraq; mentalillness; peaceniks; rescue
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1 posted on 03/24/2006 8:18:03 PM PST by ConservativeStLouisGuy
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To: ConservativeStLouisGuy
Those idiot "peace activist" ingrates!!!
2 posted on 03/24/2006 8:19:15 PM PST by ConservativeStLouisGuy (11th FReeper Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Unnecessarily Excerpt)
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To: ConservativeStLouisGuy

Throw 'em back.


3 posted on 03/24/2006 8:20:30 PM PST by Interesting Times (ABCNNBCBS -- yesterday's news.)
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To: ConservativeStLouisGuy

Let the bastards rot the next time...


4 posted on 03/24/2006 8:23:28 PM PST by Robe (Rome did not create a great empire by talking, they did it by killing all those who opposed them)
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To: ConservativeStLouisGuy

It was probably worth it to make the point that we don't tolerate kidnapping Westerners... but damned if these people themselves seem worth any effort at all.


5 posted on 03/24/2006 8:23:42 PM PST by gondramB (Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is God's.)
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To: Interesting Times
Link to a related FR posting:

THE SNUB: No mention of coalition forces in press release by peace activist group...
6 posted on 03/24/2006 8:23:43 PM PST by ConservativeStLouisGuy (11th FReeper Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Unnecessarily Excerpt)
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To: ConservativeStLouisGuy

This will turn more people against them. I'm glad they're doing this.


7 posted on 03/24/2006 8:24:12 PM PST by Sir Gawain
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To: ConservativeStLouisGuy

Send their frickin' heads back to CPT in dry ice. I'll pony up for postage.


8 posted on 03/24/2006 8:25:57 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: ConservativeStLouisGuy
hey "peace activists"
9 posted on 03/24/2006 8:27:44 PM PST by Flavius (Qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum)
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To: ConservativeStLouisGuy
Their Christianity specifically forbids thanking people you disagree with.

As with Christ's admonition "Blessed are the Peaceniks, for they shall act like spoiled bitches" [/sarc]

10 posted on 03/24/2006 8:29:40 PM PST by keithtoo (It's STILL not safe to vote Democrat)
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To: ConservativeStLouisGuy
250 men from the Task Force Black US/British/Australian counter-kidnap unit 100 men from Task Force Maroon, the Paras and Royal Marines backing special forces 15 men in helicopter crews AND tens of thousands of pounds spent on helicopter and transport aircraft flights

I hope they send Mr. Kember the bill for this.

11 posted on 03/24/2006 8:30:10 PM PST by Zman516 ("Allah" is Satan, actually.)
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To: Robe

That has to be going through their minds.

If not, then they are nuttier than I thought and will certainly get kidnapped again.


12 posted on 03/24/2006 8:30:49 PM PST by dhs12345
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To: ConservativeStLouisGuy

Send em a freakin' bill.


13 posted on 03/24/2006 8:31:15 PM PST by demsux
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To: ConservativeStLouisGuy
The way I see it, if one has to go out of their way to wrangle a simple "Thank-you" out of these alleged pacifists, then the "Thank-you" is utterly meaningless.

These pacifists are so trapped by the illogic of their irrationality, I would suggest next time rescue squads locate hostages, turn the video cameras on, and clearly ask each hostage if he/she wishes to be rescued. For each "no", the rescue squad will leave behind a note for the terrorists, explaining that CPT will be along shortly to "collect" them.

This way, only hostages with a clear desire to live will be rescued.

14 posted on 03/24/2006 8:31:55 PM PST by kromike
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To: Sir Gawain

You make an excellent point. It shows the world what scum they are.


15 posted on 03/24/2006 8:33:11 PM PST by jazusamo (Excuse me Helen, I'm answering your first accusation. - President Bush)
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To: ConservativeStLouisGuy
Why does these guys remind me of this:

Mr. Witt sir... be quiet now will you, there's a good gentleman, you'll upset the lads.


16 posted on 03/24/2006 8:33:25 PM PST by Robe (Rome did not create a great empire by talking, they did it by killing all those who opposed them)
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To: ConservativeStLouisGuy

I hope the only reason this occurred was because it gave the military a chance to kill these criminal scumbags who are kidnapped people. As for as how much I am concerned about the lives of the lilylivered aholes who are impeding our efforts well....


17 posted on 03/24/2006 8:36:55 PM PST by justshutupandtakeit (If you believe ANYTHING in the Treason Media you are a fool.)
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To: Interesting Times

Should have taunted them while they were still tied up. The funny part is that both sides don't want them!


18 posted on 03/24/2006 8:38:19 PM PST by SFC Chromey (We are at war with Islamofascism)
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To: ConservativeStLouisGuy

They are not peace activists. They are appeasement activists. Its that simple. Their actions don't reduce violence....they increase violence...they cause or aggravate war....they create untold suffering for innocenet people make life easy for evil.

They are disgusting in every sense of the word.


19 posted on 03/24/2006 8:39:31 PM PST by fizziwig (Democrats: so far off the path, so incredibly vicious, so sadly pathetic.)
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To: gondramB
It might be even more valuable to make the point that we don't give a crap about traitorous Westerners who naively make themselves easy marks for hostage-takers.
20 posted on 03/24/2006 8:40:34 PM PST by thoughtomator (Symmetry Inspector #7)
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To: Sir Gawain

You are correct, Sir! I'm glad as well. It's much like the Cindy Sheehan thing. The more these loonies talk -- or, in this case, don't talk -- the more the public realizes just how far gone the "anti-war left" is.


21 posted on 03/24/2006 8:42:21 PM PST by JennysCool (Liberals don't care what you do, as long as it's mandatory.)
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To: Robe
I still can't figure out why they made Rev. Witt such a coward in the movie. In real life he was a great help to the troops at the battle. Also the character of Trooper Hook, who went on to receive the Victoria Cross was portrayed as a malingerer throughout the movie. The real Trooper Hook was a hero's hero before the action at Rourke's Drift.
22 posted on 03/24/2006 8:45:01 PM PST by Hillarys Gate Cult (The man who said "there's no such thing as a stupid question" has never talked to Helen Thomas.)
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To: Robe
.....you'll upset the lads

Great stuff. Just before the record number of awards for the Victoria Cross, at Rorkes Drift.1878.

Funny thing though, too many co-incidences for my well being. Kember is stated as being from Pinner, Middlesex. I was from the neigbouring district, as a young lad. Sir (if you please) Elton John, comes from Pinner. I wonder if he put in a good word for Kember? My adopted home town is Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, now loudly touted as the home town of James Loney.(a fellow hostage of Kimber).

A battery of lovely people on our T/V tonight. Ah so happy, praising the Lord. Not a bloomin' peep about our now better known special forces. Nary a word.

An old song comes to mind- Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

23 posted on 03/24/2006 8:49:05 PM PST by Peter Libra
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To: Robe

NO WAY !!!!
Colour Sgt. Frank Bourne...HE'S MY HERO!


24 posted on 03/24/2006 8:49:14 PM PST by TET1968
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To: kromike
They are not "pacifists".
INSHO, they should all have suffered the same fate as their tortured and dead comrades.

War zones should not be considered "alternative vacation destinations".
25 posted on 03/24/2006 8:50:56 PM PST by sarasmom (Care meter pegged solidly on 0.)
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I've come to the conclusion that these people went there specifically to die for their pacifist cause. Religion means very little to them. They simple use it as a means to their end. Literally.

It would have been entertaining to be a fly on the wall while they were being held hostage, though. One group of insane people trying to reason with another.


26 posted on 03/24/2006 8:51:20 PM PST by KurtZ
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To: Robe

Excellent-Zulu bump.


27 posted on 03/24/2006 8:54:04 PM PST by 91B (God made man, Sam Colt made men equal.)
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To: ConservativeStLouisGuy

Trade them back to the terrorists for three hostages to be named later.


28 posted on 03/24/2006 8:56:25 PM PST by Pelham
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To: KurtZ

You bring up an excellent point!

Cops know all about it of course, but ...

Are we now witnessing "Suicide By Terrorist"?


29 posted on 03/24/2006 9:08:39 PM PST by JennysCool (Liberals don't care what you do, as long as it's mandatory.)
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To: ConservativeStLouisGuy

They should be sent the bill for the total cost of saving their sorry you know!


30 posted on 03/24/2006 9:09:51 PM PST by David643
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To: ConservativeStLouisGuy

"Task Force Maroon"

how apropos!


31 posted on 03/24/2006 9:10:59 PM PST by Vn_survivor_67-68
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To: thoughtomator
"It might be even more valuable to make the point that we don't give a crap about traitorous Westerners who naively make themselves easy marks for hostage-takers."

It certainly is tempting... but I think the Romans got it right with the Pax Romana - where a Roman citizen could walk to the ends of the earth and no one dared harm him because they knew the might of the empire would come down on them If we differentiate by whether the citizen is an idiot it lessens the lesson.
32 posted on 03/24/2006 9:13:27 PM PST by gondramB (Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is God's.)
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To: ConservativeStLouisGuy
Welcome to Real Life 101 where some are just pure unadulterated ASSHOLES!
33 posted on 03/24/2006 9:14:27 PM PST by upchuck (Wikipedia.com - the most unbelievable web site in the world.)
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To: gondramB

I wonder what happened to Roman citizens who actively worked to assist any and all of Rome's enemies? Rome must have had its own bleeding-heart libs, what did they do with them?


34 posted on 03/24/2006 9:19:18 PM PST by thoughtomator (Symmetry Inspector #7)
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To: thoughtomator

The Arena...


35 posted on 03/24/2006 9:24:58 PM PST by Old Sarge (My vigor to fight has been renewed.)
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To: ConservativeStLouisGuy

The people of faith are not always the ones who wear their Christianity like a badge; the people of faith in this little story are the ones who lay their lives on the line as a sacrifice, and who walk through fire and lead.

These activists are not worthy of the lives that were risked to save them. The measure of the men who saved them is that they would do it anyway. I wouldn't, but they would and did.


36 posted on 03/24/2006 9:43:47 PM PST by marron
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To: fizziwig
They are appeasement activists. Its that simple

and by refusing to help the rescuers by giving clues that might help them save other hostages, they are aiding and abetting - if the other hostages end up dead - they should be charged as accessories - at least in public- all over the worlds newspapers.

Let them live with the "peace" of that

37 posted on 03/24/2006 9:47:41 PM PST by maine-iac7 ("...BUT YOU CAN'T FOOL ALL THE PEOPLE ALL THE TIME." Lincoln)
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To: ConservativeStLouisGuy; keithtoo; Interesting Times; thoughtomator; upchuck
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

These pathetic creatures aren't Christians, they're filthy, contemptible, hippie scum.

Why we're expending precious resources-and endangering the lives of our country's finest-saving their utterly worthless hides is beyond me.

38 posted on 03/24/2006 9:54:15 PM PST by Do not dub me shapka broham ("The moment that someone wants to forbid caricatures, that is the moment we publish them.")
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To: ConservativeStLouisGuy; Aussie Dasher; Valin; HiJinx; Lady Jag; AZamericonnie
The governments are too kind. The CPT should be very directly and publicly told that since they cannot exhibit common civility nor truly practice what they claim to be their core value; in the next instance that any of the members become fodder for the kidnappers/rouges the governmental stance will be: Tough! We will not not Risk our servicemembers lives for your ungracious souls!
39 posted on 03/24/2006 9:56:45 PM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: thoughtomator
"I wonder what happened to Roman citizens who actively worked to assist any and all of Rome's enemies? Rome must have had its own bleeding-heart libs, what did they do with them?"

Bearing in mind that a liberal back then could be someone who opposed making the Emperor a god ... I'm confident the methods of dealing with them were unpleasant.
40 posted on 03/24/2006 10:01:49 PM PST by gondramB (Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is God's.)
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To: ConservativeStLouisGuy

My deepest prayer and desire is that THEY EACH RECEIVE transport quickly to the nearest Islamic country with ZERO tolerance for dialogue and/or any freedoms and/or any learning and/or any possiblity of openly expressing their ideas, faith, politics (and here's one especially for the gals), their God-given beauty. Yet may God protect them.


41 posted on 03/24/2006 10:39:13 PM PST by foldspace (Tom Delay is NOT a criminal)
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To: Billthedrill

Better idea: Drop them off in downtown Tehran. Lets see em peace those loving Iranians.


42 posted on 03/24/2006 10:42:59 PM PST by pankot
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To: ConservativeStLouisGuy

Really stupid p.r. by hypocrite peace activists. Meanwhile, Rachel Corrie's parents are still trying to sue the manufacturer of the bulldozer.


43 posted on 03/24/2006 10:48:06 PM PST by hershey
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To: ConservativeStLouisGuy
CPT has always made it clear that its members did not want force to be used to rescue them if they were kidnapped or held hostage.

I don't know why we didn't honor this request. The whole CPT organization is worth less than a scratch on an American soldier's ass.

Better yet, let's round up all the marxist peace creeps and drop them off in a convenient neighborhood in Fallujah. We'll be happy, the head chopping Mahometan filth will be happy, and the peace creeps should be happy to get the martyrdom they seem to crave. Everyone's a winner.

-ccm

44 posted on 03/24/2006 11:23:47 PM PST by ccmay (Too much Law; not enough Order)
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To: Interesting Times

No, if they go back to Iraq, send them a bill for the rescue.


45 posted on 03/25/2006 12:08:42 AM PST by GAB-1955 (being dragged, kicking and screaming, into the Kingdom of Heaven....)
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To: thoughtomator
I wonder what happened to Roman citizens who actively worked to assist any and all of Rome's enemies? Rome must have had its own bleeding-heart libs, what did they do with them?

Well, there were always catapults to test...

46 posted on 03/25/2006 12:11:15 AM PST by Migraine (...diversity is great (until it happens to you)...)
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To: ConservativeStLouisGuy

Apparently he has thanked the Muslim Council of Britain, however. What an ass...


47 posted on 03/25/2006 12:46:03 AM PST by wazoo1031
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To: wazoo1031

Do we know what happened to Jill Carroll, nothing from her for weeks. I pray she's not dead.


48 posted on 03/25/2006 1:21:56 AM PST by Patriot from Philly
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To: Patriot from Philly

I do as well. It is a scary thought since she has seemingly fallen off the radar.


49 posted on 03/25/2006 4:36:43 AM PST by wazoo1031
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50 posted on 03/25/2006 4:45:45 AM PST by KneelBeforeZod (I have five dollars for each of you)
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