Saturday, March 01, 2008

Ben Griffin: Former SAS, Banned speech to Anti-War Rally



Hats off to former British soldier Ben Griffen for speaking to truth to power, corrupt, evil power, which is now trying to shut him up, but I think the Genie is too far out of the bottle. The Iraqi war has been one long, sadistic orgy of violence and cruelty perpetrated by delusional psychotics, liars and thieves. Shut these creatures of darkness down soon, arrest them and imprison them, or hundreds of thousands more humans may be slaughtered.


If you are a member or ex-member of the military who has witnessed war crimes against humanity, crimes against your own conscience and wants to speak out, or at least watch others speak out, go to http://ivaw.org/wintersoldier. Learn about the open testimonies the Iraqi Veterans Against the War are going to be broadcasting during WINTER SOLDIER in a few days and how you can help in some way. It may not be too late to sign up to testify. One IVAW contact is: Emilie Surrusco, 202-253-7298 or emilie@ivaw.org.

9 comments:

Cargosquid said...

While I disagree completely with the IVAW (along with anyone else that promotes the fragging of officers and fellow soldiers), will your side at least confirm that those testifying are actual veterans this time, unlike the last Winter Soldier. And If these vets saw all these war crimes, why weren't the crimes reported? Its not as if there is a news/blog blackout over there....Where is the media that is so eager to report this stuff?

Cargosquid said...

You know, until he started spouting off about "invading Iraq for oil" I thought he was sounding quite reasonable. I didn't agree with him, but, he did not sound crazy or false.

Afterwards, he sounded like every other conspiracy nut.

Oh, and you can't get mad at the US if he is silenced. The Brits have different rules to play with....

Cargosquid said...

This guy spent an entire 3 months serving with US forces in Baghdad and now he's an expert on Americans....Why doesn't he explain why the Shias arrested British soldiers down in Basra? Why is it that Sunni and Shia are getting along better with Americans than the Shia/Brit relations in Basra? He may have seen things that he thinks were illegal. But I taking his statements with a grain of salt since his starting premise predisposes him to be against the US and the Iraq campaign.

First: He resigned:"But most importantly, I didn't join the British army to conduct American foreign policy."
So, it wasn't about torture.

He said he had witnessed dozens of illegal acts by US fighters who viewed Iraqis as "sub-human". Mr Griffin said: "I saw a lot of things in Baghdad that were illegal or just wrong.
Then its reported: He said he had not himself witnessed torture or mistreatment. But he added: "I have no doubt in my mind that non-combatants I personally detained were handed over to the Americans and subsequently tortured."
So, he never saw any actual mistreatment. Ever. It was all in his mind. Because he disagrees with US policy.
He thinks that every prisoner from transfer from brit authority is illegal.

It doesn't help when the British press lie to their own people, slandering their own troops. Both the Times and BBC headlines announce torture and executions by troops but then, in the body of the report, admit that investigations and testimony by Iraqis found no proof of allegations.

Just because Griffin is ex-SAS doesn't mean that he actually has anything meaningful to say from a military point of view. He is biased.

Cargosquid said...

Just read everything. Sorry for such a long comment.

Mac said...

Well cargosquid, you raise a lot of issues here:

First,

That is one wild allegation that the IVAW has endorsed fragging officers. Nowhere have I seen this, and it makes no sense. That would immediately compromise their entire organization for any of their officials to say such a thing. Are you mixing things up with the Vietnam War? There have been several possible fragging incidents in the entire Iraqi war at best, while in Vietnam there were hundreds, to the point where many officers were scared shitless of their own men.

Secondly, the original Winter Soldier was immediately attacked by the Right Wing with all kinds of propaganda and wild allegations, none of it true. The Winter Soldier committees (there were several)went to great lengths to verify every witness's credibility. They allowed, I think, nine civilians who had been in Vietnam to testify out of over a hundred witnesses total. For a good history of the entire original Winter Soldier evolution, go to
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_Soldier_Investigation

Why haven't charges of torture been
reported before? They have, in bits and pieces most of the time, for quite some time, both in Iraq and Afghanistan. The mainstream media has never seriously covered most of this, for various reasons, including cheer-leading the war, except when it becomes overwhelming, such as with Abu Graib and Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, where court-martials have developed. It is also not easy for individuals in the military to speak out against abuses, and never has been. Those that do often can only find outlets through the alternative media. The Winter Soldier event is going to be an opprtunity to focus on all these allegations in a big way.

There is a media blackout in many ways, by the way, in Iraq. Embedded journalists are under pressure to tow the military line and have to sign agreements to allow their reporting to be censored if deemed necessary, which put a damper on things from the start. There are very few American journalists actually doing their own reporting over there; they are mainly hunkered down in hotel rooms, waiting for Iraqi reporters working for them to bring them back news. Something like 150 or more journlists and cameramen have been slain in Iraq so far. It is very dangerous to do much investigative work. The best reports are coming from the few independent journalists like Patrick Cockburn, who has risked his life countless times. Vietnam was much beter reported than Iraq in my mind.

I think you are a little to eager to discredit Mr Griffin. I don't fully agree with him on some of what he says, but I certainly think part of the reason we went into Iraq was the oil, not the only reason, but a key reason. After all, that's the first thing we rushed to guard, the oil fields. Oil has always been the prime concern of every president dating back to Eisenhower. And the Bush Administration Executive Branch, including Bush himself, is riddled with oilmen.

Here is the original UK Telegraph article about Griffin. You are taking things out of context too much. He has multiple complaints against the Iraqi War:

SAS soldier quits Army in disgust at 'illegal' American tactics in Iraq
By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent
Last Updated: 11:51pm GMT 11/03/2006



An SAS soldier has refused to fight in Iraq and has left the Army over the "illegal" tactics of United States troops and the policies of coalition forces.

After three months in Baghdad, Ben Griffin told his commander that he was no longer prepared to fight alongside American forces.


Ben Griffin told commanders that he thought the Iraq war was illegal.

He said he had witnessed "dozens of illegal acts" by US troops, claiming they viewed all Iraqis as "untermenschen" - the Nazi term for races regarded as sub-human.

The decision marks the first time an SAS soldier has refused to go into combat and quit the Army on moral grounds.

It immediately brought to an end Mr Griffin's exemplary, eight-year career in which he also served with the Parachute Regiment, taking part in operations in Northern Ireland, Macedonia and Afghanistan.

But it will also embarrass the Government and have a potentially profound impact on cases of other soldiers who have refused to fight.

On Wednesday, the pre-trial hearing will begin into the court martial of Flt Lt Malcolm Kendall-Smith, a Royal Air Force doctor who has refused to return to Iraq for a third tour of duty on the grounds that the war is illegal. Mr Griffin's allegations came as the Foreign Office minister Kim Howells, visiting Basra yesterday, admitted that Iraq was now "a mess".

Mr Griffin, 28, who spent two years with the SAS, said the American military's "gung-ho and trigger happy mentality" and tactics had completely undermined any chance of winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqi population. He added that many innocent civilians were arrested in night-time raids and interrogated by American soldiers, imprisoned in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison, or handed over to the Iraqi authorities and "most probably" tortured.

Mr Griffin eventually told SAS commanders at Hereford that he could not take part in a war which he regarded as "illegal".

He added that he now believed that the Prime Minister and the Government had repeatedly "lied" over the war's conduct.

"I did not join the British Army to conduct American foreign policy," he said. He expected to be labelled a coward and to face a court martial and imprisonment after making what "the most difficult decision of my life" last March.

Instead, he was discharged with a testimonial describing him as a "balanced, honest, loyal and determined individual who possesses the strength of character to have the courage of his convictions".

Last night Patrick Mercer, the shadow minister for homeland security, said: "Trooper Griffin is a highly experienced soldier. This makes his decision particularly disturbing and his views and opinions must be listened to by the Government."

*******
Griffin is not the only one charging the Brits with torture. There has even been actual video footage of British soldiers abusing kids. Here is one example of torture allegations.


UK troops accused of executions and torture in Iraq
Reuters
Published: Friday February 22, 2008


By Luke Baker

LONDON, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Lawyers for five Iraqis have accused British soldiers of mass executions and torture and called for a police investigation into an "atrocious episode" in British army history.

Phil Shiner and Martyn Day, who have brought several cases against the British military for its actions in Iraq, produced statements on Friday from five men who say they were detained by British forces after a battle in southern Iraq in May 2004.

The men, who were blindfolded and bound, said their captors repeatedly beat and abused them, including forcing them to strip naked. While detained, they said they heard the systematic torture and execution of up to 20 other detainees.

"On the basis of the evidence currently available, we are of the view that our clients' allegations -- that the British were responsible for the torture and deaths of up to 20 Iraqis -- may well be true," Day told a news conference.

"Whether or not there is enough evidence to prosecute individual soldiers, it will only be by an open public inquiry that this question will be answered."

The military has already conducted its own investigation into the events surrounding the intense, two-hour battle between British troops and Iraqi insurgents, in which it says 28 Iraqi fighters were killed, and concluded there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

INVESTIGATION

Shiner and Day say, on the basis of the witness statements and other evidence, that 29 people were detained, of whom 20 were killed in detention and nine were later freed.

A second investigation, also by Britain's military police, was opened last December after the families of some of the victims called for a judicial review. It is not known when that investigation will be concluded.

As well as the witness statements, Shiner and Day produced photos, video footage and death certificates signed by Iraqi doctors that they said together painted a picture of violent, deadly abuse perpetrated by British troops.

They said there was evidence that two detainees had their eyes gouged out, one had his penis cut off, several were strangled or mutilated, some were shot in the back of the head and others had body parts systematically broken.

"What went on whilst UK forces had the custody of Iraqi civilians is a disgrace, a stain on our nation, and a terrible stain on the reputation of all the good soldiers who have operated in Iraq," Shiner said.

However, the lawyers acknowledged there was a vast gulf between the British military's account of what happened and the witnesses' accounts. They also said they did not know which regiment of the British army was most likely responsible.

"For the Iraqi version of events to be true, soldiers and officers from the British army would have to have conspired to cover up one of the most atrocious episodes in British army history," Day said.

As well as a public inquiry, the lawyers called for the investigation to be handed over to Britain's regular police force, rather than the military police investigating its own. (Editing by Alison Williams)

I would like to comment more on what you have said, but I simply don't have the time right now.

Mac said...

You'all will have to forgive my spelling in the above comment. As soon as I submitted it, I remembered that I hadn't checked for spelling.

Star Womanspirit said...

Great video Mac. The British Government never tried to get out of honoring the Geneva Convention so it's going to be a surprise to many British citizens to realize that some of their top government officials are guilty of violating the Geneva Convention and are war criminals just like Bush and Cheney....

I as an American refuse to offer support to terrorists or war criminals. I say that Bush and Cheney (and their other guilty minions) should stand trial for their war crimes. IF, I am wrong and they are innocent then a legal trial will show their innocense or seal their fate.

I'm willing to bet it's not innocense that will be exposed.

Think about this...why would the British Gov. go to court to silence a wingnut conspiracy theorist? I don't think they would. It makes more sense that they'd go to court to keep eyes off of their wrongdoing.

:)

Thailand said...

Americans and British are illegally occupying another country for their own gain...Yes it is oil..Oil is power...The British set up Iraq in the beginning, for oil. It makes me angry when I hear the news of Iraq and Afghanistan wwhen they say we were attacked by insurgents and terrorists...They are none of these things, they are fighting to get rid of foreign invaders!!!ITS THEIR COUNTRY, SO LEAVE

parachute regiment t shirts said...

great article i love anything military great respect to you mate top reading love it