Skip to comments.OFFICERS WHINE BY EXAMPLE (British Hostage Behavior)
Posted on 04/07/2007 4:26:42 AM PDT by SkyPilot
April 7, 2007 -- A SOLDIER'S law in the U.S. Army holds: "The maxi mum effective range of an excuse is zero meters." Yesterday, the two officers on a panel of former British hostages delivered nothing but excuses for their disgraceful conduct.
(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...
Peters went on to say this:
No matter how codes of conduct for prisoners of war are worded, none countenances voluntary collaboration with the enemy. A POW doesn't have to engage in daily violent resistance, but he's obligated to avoid providing active support to his captors.
The Brit hostages failed the test, and theirs was a failure of leadership. Perhaps the enlisted sailors and Royal Marines can be redeemed, but their officers need to be cashiered. Another ironclad military rule - not always fair, but generally wise - runs that, "An officer is responsible for everything his subordinates do or fail to do." While the two Brit officers, held separately from their sailors and marines, obviously couldn't control every subordinate's actions, the speed with which some enlisted personnel complied with what their captors asked says a great deal about the atmosphere prevailing in the unit.
Queried as to why they agreed to do propaganda broadcasts for the Iranians, neither officer behaved as officers should. The right answer would have been: What we did was wrong. We're ashamed. Instead, we got repugnant swagger and hair-splitting over qualifying adjectives and adverbs - We didn't really say what we said.
Good officers don't whine and dodge.
They accept responsibility.
Oh, no. Not that!
By their own admission, none of the hostages was tortured. While held in solitary confinement early on, they consistently got three meals a day, plenty to drink, blankets and toilet privileges. It's stunning that officers would be so morally weak that, under such mild circumstances, they caved in to their captors virtually overnight. They shamed their country and their services - and encouraged our mutual enemies to believe they can act with ever greater impunity.
I know a few Brits in the military - One navy commander and my Sensei - former SAS. They would both be appalled and hang their heads in shame and disgust.
I don’t have a lot of sympathy or respect for the way these hostages handled themselves. They certainly didn’t look like they had been coerced. I know the the Code of Conduct that we have in the US military expects you to resist to the best of your ability but it also doesn’t expect you to sacrifice your life. You can ask people like Senator McCain what terrible torture they endured. I read a book about the POWs in North Vietnam and the treatment our POWs got would definitely break a person but they resisted as best they could. For all the outrage about Abu Gharib and Gitmo the treatment they receive pales in comparison to the treatment our POWs received at the hands of the North Vietnamese. By all appearances, it looks like their treatment didn’t even reach that level. They have to live with it though. It definitely is not a shining moment for the British military. It does not live up to the proud history of their military.
For the life of me, I cannot fathom why this gang couldn't act with 1/100th of the honor of the men in the British military I know.
Also, I have a feeling the British public feels the same way. There are no parades for them, nor should there be.
The pink "goodie" bags from Iran and the ill fitting shark skinned suits should be their only reward.
“The pink “goodie” bags from Iran and the ill fitting shark skinned suits should be their only reward.”
Yep. Their badges of shame.
We hear from British commentators often that the British military thinks the U.S. is crude and coarse and doesn’t know how to work in the Middle East. My response? Our men are not cowards.
But, it taught me a lot. They teach you how to resist.
I cannot imagine why these Brits succumbed so quickly. Mock executions? Some friends of mine went through that in Panama. They were captured before JUST CAUSE by Noreiga's thugs. They were taken out in the jungle, stripped, and empty pistols unloaded into their heads. Afterwards, none of them agreed to make a statement denouncing the US.
I suspect the officers’ careers are over, don’t you?
You can ask Senator McCain just how long he was in captivity before he was disclosing the location of our ships!
They should be.
Did any of you read about how these soldiers were blindfolded in front of a firing squad? How their captors simulated the sounds of a throat being cut?
I’m not excusing them. But I think that part of the dynamic here had to do with the fact that there was a mother among them, and none could bear the idea that the Iranians would kill her.
Maybe this is an indictment of having women, or at least moms, in these situations.
Why be heroic? The antiwar movement has denied heros their due in this age of relativism when anything goes.
I can’t imagine what the training is like. I’m lucky that I don’t have that requirement for my job. It probably wouldn’t hurt that everyone in the military be given some training because you never know when you might get grabbed. Just because you’re not on the front lines or a pilot doesn’t mean you couldn’t be grabbed. At least those that get the training are given some tools to help them resist. I would have to hope that I would be capable of resisting if I ever were captured.
That is an excellent point. Society no longer wants to raise boys with what it takes to become war heros.
Unfortunately, this motely crew just demoted their military to the level of the French. I can imagine there are many in GB’s armed forces who want this to go away as soon as possible.
The Brit sailors and marines are nothing more than a reflection of the lib majority in their own government. This incident also points out the problems when you have women in the front lines. Winston Churchill i turning over in his grave.
Do they still do that part?
I worked with a former F14 Navigator who went through the same training.
Thank you for your service sir.
But if that is the case, they should state it NOW.
If they will not even come clean about that being the prime motivator in their quick capitulation to become Lord Haw Haws for Iranian television, then they deserve even more contempt. It would be more PC grist for the mill.
Someone should have told Faye Turney that denouncing her government in "Dear Mum and Dad" letters wasn't the smartest thing to do.
The Iranians are now more emboldened than ever - and the British hostages behavior contributed to this.
As for the officers who were at that press conference, they should have released a statement saying: "Valor is a casualty of war."
“Maybe this is an indictment of having women, or at least moms, in these situations.”
In all the posts i’ve read on this, this is the statement that stands out among others...............
I still remember that part. I had tears in my eyes.
It was a very difficult experience. We had an inept officer who was our highest ranking "POW" in the camp. He was terrible. The Resistance Training guards had enough of him because he was such a terrible example. They took him away and said he as being "executed" - in reality they took him away from the camp and said he was finished with the scenario. They put me in charge as the next highest ranking. I was singled out for abuse, harsh interrogations, and trips to the commandant's office - and I worked for 2 days to play the game. I did OK, and I was glad when it was over.
1) I am an American fighting man. I serve in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.
2) I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender my men while they still have the means to resist.
3) If I am captured, I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.
4) If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information or take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me, and will back them up in every way.
5) When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am bound to give only name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies, or harmful to their cause.
6) I will never forget that I am an American fighting man, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.
what a statement..........!!!!!!!!!
It takes hundreds of years to be demoted to that level.
This ‘motley crew’ demoted themselves to the level of the French, not the military as a whole. British soldiers are still dying on the streets of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan.
So, when you doing your next tour in Iraq or Afghanistan?????
Perhaps this is one small reason why the length of time that United States military personnel 'enjoy' much longer stays at the hands of enemy forces when held hostage.
This is a big disgrace.
So was the pilot who flew our EP-3B Pappa Romeo 32 into chinese space and handed the plane, intact, to the chicoms.
Funny how things get distorted.
No telling what the Brits would of done if the Iranians offered them I-pods.
And yet, our society here in the US continues to produce men of honor, courage and faith.
Even from states like Massachusetts and California.
It is men like these that we need to get into our highest levels of government and purge the weenies and the lawyers.
Which is probably why the Iranians released them when they did: They Iranians won this battle without firing a shot and so, they released the Brits when the risks of further captivity outweighed the benefits.
They showed the emotions of the "freed prisoners" when the Star Spangled Banner was played as they turned around to see Old Glory.
Hell, I'm getting goose bumps typing it in.
I’m sorry that Ralph Peters had to write this article but someone had to do it. Those Brit officers are the opposite of everything we believe about conduct becoming, etc.
No matter how they were treated offcamera, their behavior on camera was disgraceful.
Despite the controlled conditions, thrree out of our group of 72 were broken, signed confessions, and read them from the guard towers. The reason they broke was claustrophobia. The couldn't stand to be in the small box, which was very confining and hot. I literally was numb from the waist down and had to be helped out of the box. I could understand why someone with claustrophbia would have a hard time enduring it.
Anyone can be broken eventually. The key for the enemy is to find that fear that marks the tipping point. I don't fault the UK boarding party for surrendering and being captured. As more and more information comes out, I do have a hard time with their conduct while in captivity. They appeared to put up no resistance at all and didn't even suffer "torture" that would be administered in a training program.
I’ll excuse them, the rules of engagement are so messed up,
what can we expect?
Iran is killing our Troops in Iraq,
and we can’t even shoot at them before they approach
our side in Iraqi waters.
I am a bigger chicken than all these British Troops,
and I would need more ammo and a big weapon that kills anything
that moves if I were in a war zone.
They did? How? They let the prisoners go and not a shot was fired. How come?
Y'all act like there is a code of chivalry and prisoners these days are accorded their Geneva convention rights. Grow up.
You have your facts wrong.
By janes.com editor Peter Felstead
An inside account of the 1 April collision between a US Navy EP-3E surveillance aircraft and a Chinese J-8 interceptor over the South China Sea, recently unearthed by janes.com and corroborated by the US Navy, sheds new light on the event and further vindicates the actions of the EP-3 pilot, Lt Shane Osborn.
Combined with details released by the US Navy in press briefings, the new account - determined to be accurate by a source in the US Navy Office of Information - fully explains why Lt Osborn was forced to land at a Chinese base rather than ditching the aircraft along with its highly sensitive equipment fit.
Pooling the various accounts, a fuller picture of events can be described as follows:
Lt Osborns EP-3E (aircraft number PR-32) was flying straight and level, on autopilot and heading away from Hainan Island in international airspace when the aircraft flown by pilot Wang Wei, one of two intercepting Chinese F-8 fighters, embarked on a series of harassing manoeuvres.
Having already made two passes on the EP-3, during which the Chinese jet came within 3-5 ft (0.9-1.5m) of the US four-engined turbo-prop, Wang Weis F-8 attempted to join the EP-3s left wing for a third pass. At this point the EP-3 was doing 180 knots indicated air speed (KIAS) at an altitude of 22,000ft. Such an airspeed is uncomfortable for the F-8, approaching as it is the aircrafts stall speed, leaving it much less manoeuvrable than at its normal cruising speed (an F-8s design maximum level speed is 701kts).
On this third pass the Chinese pilot apparently miscalculated; either trying to stop closure or as a result of being too slow, the F-8s right wing came up, hitting the EP-3s No 1 propeller. The tailfin of the F-8 then drove the EP-3 port aileron full up, causing the US aircraft to snap-roll near inverted at three to four times the aircrafts maximum roll rate using maximum aileron. Lt Osborn said his initial thought at this point was: This guy just killed us. He said he could look up through the aircrafts windshield and see the ocean.
The nose of the F-8, meanwhile, had suffered an impact with the EP-3s radome and the Chinese fighter had broken apart, although a parachute sighted by the EP-3 crew suggests that Wang Wei had managed to eject.
Meanwhile, the EP-3s No 1 engine was flaming out due to the damage it had sustained, the radome had exploded due to the F-8 impact and the aircraft had depressurized. All airspeed and altimeter information had been lost due to damaged or lost probes, and the aircraft was vibrating violently due to damage to the No 1 and No 3 prop and the tailplane. The aircrafts high-frequency radio wire had separated and was wrapped around the elevator trim.
By now, such was the extent of the damage to the EP-3 that it was taking maximum effort from both pilots to bring the aircraft level and still took cherry lights (maximum power, or red-lining, on the three remaining engines) as well as full right aileron to initially hold the wings level. The EP-3 had rolled to a 130 degree angle of bank with 30 degrees nose down, finally recovering at an estimated altitude of 15,000ft but still having a 3,000ft/minute rate of descent despite maximum power.
The flight crews greatest concern at this point was separation of the No 1 propeller due to high vibration, despite their attempts to feather it. Lt Osborn apparently ordered the crew to prepare to bail out until he had finally recovered control. He then commanded the crew to prepare to ditch before assessing the extent of damage and the question of to what degree he could control the aircraft. The aircrafts descent was finally arrested at around 8,000ft.
Having regained (relative) control of the aircraft, Lt Osborn and his flightcrew selected an emergency landing at the nearest field as their best possible option. This turned out to be Lingshui airbase on Hainan Island since the nearest allied fields were over 600 nautical miles away. The option of ditching, given the level of damage the aircraft had sustained and the tenuous degree of control maintained, would almost certainly have led to a number of the 24 crewmembers losing their lives.
On the approach to the airfield Lt Osborn made 10 to 15 guard (emergency VHF channel) calls outlining his intentions and predicament but was unable to hear any response due to air noise in the cockpit caused by holes in the pressure bulkhead. Being careful not to overfly land until he had Lingshui airfield in sight, Lt Osborn then overflew the runway at a perpendicular angle to check it was free of any obstacles and to make his intentions clear. He then turned the aircraft through 270 degrees and made a 170 knot ground speed, no flap, high gross weight (49,000kg), no trim, no KIAS landing with a damaged left aileron, damaged elevator, high drag due to the unfeathered No 1 propeller and full right aileron.
No surprise, then, that far from berating Lt Osborn and his crew for leaving a valuable surveillance asset in Chinese hands, his superior officers praised their airmanship, teamwork and conduct upon their safe return. Rear Admiral Michael L Holmes, Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Force, Pacific, stated he was sure that the only course to have kept all the EP-3 crew alive was the course that Lt Osborn took. He also announced that Electronic Countermeasures Squadron One (VQ-1, from which aircraft PR-32 hails) had won this years Pacific Fleet Battle E award.
Secretary of Defense Donald H Rumsfeld, speaking at a press conference after the repatriation of the EP-3 crew, stated that this incident was not the first time that a US reconnaissance flight had been subjected to that type of aggressive contact from interceptors, as footage released by the US Navy of an encounter on 24 January certainly proves. According to Secretary Rumsfeld, there were 44 intercepts of US reconnaissance flights by the Chinese air force in recent months prior to the 1 April collision: six involving Chinese interceptors coming within 30ft (9m) and two involving encounters within 10ft (3m).
Oh, I don’t want to read all that crap.
I was in that squadron. I worked on that very airplane. I know the mission, I know what SOP is.
Without going into detail, they violated it.
The plane could have and should have incinerated itself on the tarmac.
The hardware was available, it needed only the will of the pilot to use it.
This “story” is a good story. But the truth is another matter.
The "confessions" make the Iranians look like heros in the Muslim world, and the "excuses" make the Brit soldiers look like undiciplined whiners in the western world.
Yes, the infantry is still trained at Benning.
And yes, the Chicoms did get valuable info, but the crew lives to fly another day. Much more expensive training a crew that a P-3 Orion costs.