Sunday, April 08, 2007

Captured Sailors given exceptional permission to sell their stories

Having heard this news some hours ago I am still having trouble coming to terms with this story. It seems that The MOD, in a daring bid to make the Home Office look well managed and competent has given permission to the captured Sailors and Marines (also Naval personnel) so sell their stories to the media.

According to the Sunday Telegraph Faye Turney, the only woman amongst the group has already sold her story for a "life changing sum" to ITN and a tabloid newspaper. There will be a broadcast interview tomorrow with Trevor MacDonald.

The Sunday Times reports the fury at this deal. The BBC has this.

Is there any one in the MOD with a brain cell? Captured without a fight gets a life changing sum, dead on active duty gets a pension for a widow maybe.

What sort of a message is that sending out?

Then there are Colonel Bob Stewart's observations. Even at the press conference there were inconsistencies between the stories. If examined over a period of time and in detail the press will find stories in any ambiguity and inconsistency.

This story should be yesterdays fish and chip paper already and it is clearly madness to allow it to run and run. It was not after all our finest hour.

24 comments:

Marquee Mark said...

Hope they don't embarass their commanding officer too much by confirming that at the time of their capture, he was otherwise engaged recording a puff-piece - for the BBC! (according to today's Telegraph).

Benedict White said...

Marquee Mark,He was doing what?

It just gets worse!

Maggie Thatcher Fan said...

The whole thing sucks. Over 100 soldiers have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, and you can bet your bottom dollar their families will have got a lot less than the disgusting sums allegedly being offered by the media. It makes me want to vomit just thinking about it.
I guess it's New Lab's way of letting the soldiers "attack" Iran without the Govt implicitly doing so itself. It's called spin.

Benedict White said...

Maggie Thatcher Fan, I fear you are being too kind.

fr said...

On the other hand,the soldiers etc. are earning far less money than the smug politicians, journalists and "experts" who are sitting in their comfortable offices commentating on it.

We are not at war with Iran. We are not "all in it together". Should they have risked trial and execution whilst the patriotic people back home either speculate on its significance for Lab's poll rating or wonder what's on the telly.

fr said...

?

Benedict White said...

Fr, It may well be the case that they did what they did in Iran because they felt they were not going to get any backing back home, but selling the story is just wrong.

Maggie thatcher Fan said...

Benedict, Do we know who made this disgusting decision?

Benedict White said...

Maggie thatcher Fan, No i don't think we do, and what is more I expect as it hits the fan it will be blamed on civil servants.

fr said...

I bet if one of the group offered your blog info. on the qt about the mission you would post it.

Benedict White said...

Fr, Interesting question. Firstly I would not offer money for it, so if that was the deal then no I wouldn't.

That said I don't have the money, so the question is academic. It is clear that some are only talking "in depth" because large amounts of money are being waved under their noses.

I am not sure how I would feel about that.

fr said...

Oi, you are supposed to be talking to me, not Witan !

Benedict White said...

FR, ? I am confused by your last comment.

fr said...

One should never explain jokes, especially weak ones ! However, as I have left you perplexed twice recently I will explain that theater is an American spelling. O/T, congratulations on the blog which I think is going from strength to strength.

Benedict White said...

fr, I see. So what is the English spelling?

BTW,what is the reference to Witan?

Your blog seems to be down as well!

Thanks for the compliment on the blog.

fr said...

Admiral Sir Alan West, First Sea Lord till 2006 has just said on BBc News24 that he was sure the decision was taken by ministers. On reflection I think you are right about all this.

Maggie Thatcher Fan said...

It's still a disgraceful decision whoever took it. And when large amounts of money are being waved about,isn't there a temptation that the truth and fiction might get intermingled?

Benedict White said...

Thank you FR, and yes I agree Maggie Thatcher Fan, I suspect that this decision will come back to haunt those who made it.

It is spinning beyond the spinnable and it is bringing our armed forces and country into disrepute.

Anonymous said...

From my Son serving in Basra.

" Dad is it true that the Navy and Marine personnel who capitulated and then grovelled in front of the World's Press are now going to sell their MOD inspired and directed stories for 6 figure sums?"

Words fail me. You couldn't make it up.

Contrast their disgraceful action with the grieving loved ones of those killed in action and their quiet dignity.

Benedict White said...

Anonymous, Words don't fail me, though I suspect you can tell. Yes this is both shameful and bizarre.

The contrast is there for all to see.

It is one thing having hero's who have won the VC or similar getting all the media attention, but these people?

Anonymous said...

Benedict

This is a spectacular own goal and one which the MOD and its minions will come to regret. The Naval 15 have brought shame upon the Country and their Service. No longer the Senior Service, the Judas Service.

Now sit back and watch the back tracking and the pathetic attempts to right this unbelievable wrong as one by one they all say that they will not take the money or will donate it to Forces Charities. Damage done Boys and Girl. Try explaining your actions to fellow Marines slogging their guts out in Helmond. Career over Captain Air in the eyes of true Green Beret wearers.

Benedict White said...

Anonymous @ 9:47 PM, I could not agree more!

This is not a good day in the history of the British armed forces.

carol42 said...

Just wonder what bad news is getting buried tomorrow, but after seeing todays polls maybe I know.

Benedict White said...

Carol, who knows? Stephen Byers and his special advisor making a comeback?