A New Year for Sgt Blackman

I don't usually comment on miscarriages of justice especially as many of these so-called injustices often appear to be little more than an excuse by no-win no-fee lawyers to turn a deal.

But there is one current injustice that has become a national itch. An itch that will not go away. An itch that if not addressed will develop into a running sore. We have enough of those already in this country.

To stay silent makes me a part of the injustice, a part of the problem. So forgive me this brief foray out of the usual track of this blog. But I must state where I stand on the case of Sgt Blackman.

Sgt Blackman is a Royal Marine with an exemplary service record. He has served with distinction in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afganistan. To put it simply, Sgt Blackman and his colleague have been the folk fielding the shit while successive ego-centric governments have pranced about on the world stage in order to show us what super-dynamic politicians they are.

Actually I'm not arguing with that. I don't suppose Sgt Blackman would either. After all, that was his job.

What I am arguing with is that Sgt Blackman is today in jail serving a life sentence for the murder of a seriously wounded/dying/dead Taliban insurgent he shot on the battlefield.

Basically Sgt Blackman and colleagues were on an active battlefield. An air strike has killed a number of insurgents. There was one left who was either dying from his wounds or died as they arrived on the scene.

Sgt Blackman shot the insurgent. He was then charged with murder.

But what really caused Sgt Blackman to be tried for murder was a stupid little diatribe he spoke after he fired the shot. This diatribe was recorded and used against him.

Sgt Blackman had good cause to be resentful of the Taliban, as do very many of the service personnel who have served in Afghanistan. Many of their friends have been killed and seriously injured by underhand attacks. The Taliban have regularly used children or villagers as human shields. IEDs are usually laced with dog faeces and any other poison the Taliban could lay hold of.

The Geneva Convention never really featured in Taliban combat philosophy.

While out there on that day, Sgt Blackman (and his comrades) must all have been aware of the immediate possibility of losing limbs or life to a cruel and ruthless enemy.

It is hardly surprising a modicum of spite featured in the now notorious speech.

Remember this was an active battlefield. It was not a base camp. Neither was it a peaceful village. Nor was there any doubt that the dying Taliban was a combatant. The dying Taliban had presumably, (until taken out by the air strike) been doing his very best to kill Sgt Blackman and his comrades.

To suggest from the comfort and safety of the Home Counties that Sgt Blackman committed murder is a palpable nonsense.

Maybe Sgt Blackman broke military discipline and needed a dressing down by his commanding officer. Maybe he needed to see a shrink about stress and the pent-up anger he expressed at the enemy.

But should he have been charged with murder? Seriously?

Charged with murder for a decision made in a life threateningly hostile and stressful combat situation? Really?

I suppose there is a class of people in this country who would actively support the conviction of Sgt Blackman. All I can say to them that nobody has the right to demand rules applicable to Surbiton or Hampstead be applied to such dangerous situation.

The conviction smacks of a political convenience. A sacrificial appeasement to those who view this country with disdain and would rather side with the Taliban than their own countrymen.

Personally I believe Sgt Blackman should not only be released, he should be fully restored into the Royal Marines (If that is his wish). Then he should be paid a considerable sum as compensation for this politically motivated miscarriage of justice.

Sgt Blackman is at this time a hostage to political correctness. A sacrifice to appease the harridan demands of those who wish to see (or at least imagine) the worst of the UK and its faithful servants. 

Whether it is this year, next year, or the year after that, the running sore that is this injustice will have to be addressed. In the end this will not be allowed to stand.

The longer it goes on the worse it will be for everyone.


Helen said...

Strangely, the Geneva Convention didn't feature in the prosecution's case against him either... so why did he say it, maybe he broke it when he desecrated a dead body by shooting into it, in anger at the loss of the young men under his care.
This is an absolute travesty and the MOD and judiciary desperate to throw a soldier to the wolves to appease a foreign enemy.

Danny said...

Well written, you have said what so many ex-servicemen and currently serving members of our Armed Forces feel. Injustice has been done to Al Blackman and his family, which also strikes at the core of our society and the freedoms fought for by our forefathers.