Some idle thoughts on a news item today about our soldiers. Obviously we aren’t being told the full story.
A chat with our Minister of Defence next week might winkle out some much-needed answers.
But what the hell is going on at Defence HQ when a soldier can find himself (or herself in these enlightened times) facing a court martial for planting explosive devices in Afghanistan?
Or allegedly planting such devices.
If the feller who did the planting of explosives was an enemy, the response was simple: we simply should have shot him. Kaput.
If he is one of ours – which it so happens he is – wasn’t it his job to be planting explosives?
Alf accordingly can see no sense in what the Herald on Sunday (here) is telling us today:
The soldier is a member of the ill-fated Crib 20 deployment, which lost five members and was engaged in New Zealand’s biggest firefight since the Vietnam War. The surviving soldiers returned to heroes’ welcomes, but that has been tainted by a subsequent military police inquiry.
The Herald on Sunday has reported concerns about Crib 20’s leadership in the Battle of Baghak, in an exclusive interview with a corporal injured by friendly fire.
Now, after an ongoing investigation by the newspaper, the Defence Force has revealed a soldier has been charged with putting in place an explosive with reckless disregard for safety of others.
The soldier has been charged under the Crimes Act, with an offence that carries a maximum prison term of five years.
He has also been charged with an alternative, less serious, charge of negligence under the Armed Forces Defence Act. The Defence Force won’t name the soldier before the first court appearance, saying that could “prejudice the maintenance of the law”.
That is reasonable.
But on the face of it, something very odd is going on and our soldiers are being turned into panty waists.
What next? Firearms charges to be laid against the poor buggers if they fire their weapons in anger or murder charges if they happen to pop off a terrorist?