Skip to comments.SAS Soldier Quits Army In Disgust At 'Illegal' American Tactics In Iraq
Posted on 03/11/2006 5:43:21 PM PST by blam
SAS soldier quits Army in disgust at 'illegal' American tactics in Iraq
By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent
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."
The MoD declined to comment.
Relative of John Kerry?
That seems kind of odd for a member of the SAS.
Next time the British Isles get invaded you are on your own lad. We pulled your country's bacon out of the fire twice and are still trying to pick up the pieces after your empire collapsed.
But probably not for one who intends to enter politics...
I Guess he not manly enough to live up to the SAS motto: He who dares first wins
Has he been reading the NY Slimes? Or reporting for it?
To say the least. I've read several books on the SAS and he doesn't sound like any of them.
If only our administration had a clue how to diffuse a controversy as well as this. Send the guy on his way with a pat on the back and a letter of recommendation! What class!
FYI - I think the dude is off his rocker.
Fine. Better he's out of there rather than undermining efforts from within.
As for his apparently unqualified statements as to the goings-on in Iraq, one has to wonder why it sounds so familiar and similar to the anti-war talking points and comes without evidence to support, or specific instances to be refuted or challenged. Vague assertions of illegal activities are hard to disprove, and the assertions themselves do not constitute proof.
Thus leaving the U.S. to prove a negative.
Benny, will soon be starting as the "catcher" in the sequel to Brokeback Mountain......Brokeback Commandos.
Britain has never been defended from an "Invasion" on British soil by American forces.
Dont mean to be technical, and I dont mean you any disrespect. But I dont like gung-ho blowhard fallacies being touted as fact.
Whether or not American intervention prevented such an eventuality is a different matter.
And the "collapse" of the "British Empire" was a good thing. Indeed the creation of the United States was but a part of that process, and I for one am fairly pleased about it.
This guy's story smells like last week's milk. I don't know what really happened with him, but my BS meter is pegged.
It's called "establishing fire superiority". Basically, you don't let the other guys believe they have a chance to prevail. ;-)
"He said he had witnessed "dozens of illegal acts" by US troops"
And he did not report any of this to his superiors at the time of the alleged acts?
"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."
If this guy knows who is innocent and who is guilty ... I wonder why doesn't he just point out the bad guys who are creating and planting the IED's?
Utter bullshit. When our two countries decide to hand over policy to his sorry ass, I'll listen.
He's an embarassment to Queen and country.
Firing squad at dawn.
That's the 'gung ho', 'trigger happy' thing to do.
I bet something like this wouldn't happen again...
He is a single bad apple the SAS is much better off without him.
I wonder if they will listen equally carefully to the views and opinions of the thousands of other "highly experienced soldiers."
But on November 8, 2005, the London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported: "The Global Islamic Media Front has threatened [the West] on the Internet by means of its new soldier, whom it calls Rakan Ben Williams, and whom it claims is a white Englishman who converted to Islam." 
Interesting they're both named Ben.
I think the chances of what Rush Limbaugh calls "the drive by media" of doing any responsible reporting here are incredibly slim.
"Britain has never been defended from an "Invasion" on British soil by American forces.
Dont mean to be technical,..."
Then leave that last word off such a sentence, because it is only technically true with it.
Hitler had no use for England and wanted the Lion dead. Because an American commander in chief was who happened to be no blow hard and also happened to be gung ho for a fight with Hitler got lend-lease going, England had the wherewithall, long befor American troops entered the fray, to stave off disaster.
That pic that I posted showed up unexpectedly with an advertisement. Sorry.
"Sir,I want to leave the Army!" Commander,"And why would you want to do that,soldier" "Cause everydody's carrying guns,someone might get hurt!"
"If this guy knows who is innocent and who is guilty ... I wonder why doesn't he just point out the bad guys who are creating and planting the IED's?"
LOL.... I suspect a planted/biased story where there is more/less than meets the eye. Either that, or he's a brainwashed leftist.
And you believe that Hitler WOULDN'T have eventually invaded Britain without US intervention??
He certainly looks gay.
Don't you mean "Backboneless Commandos"?
I personally think the Empire reached it's peak during Victoria's rule, long after they lost the U.S.
I can't think of a single country which gained it's independence from Britain in the last 100 years which is not worse off for it.
"he thought the Iraq war was illegal"
Someone please explain how an 'illegal war' differs from a 'legal one'?
He expected to be labeled what he is: A coward.
He sure has a pretty mouth......
So, the Brit is an expert on American tactics after only three months in Bagdad?
And the illegal acts, of which he has witnessed many, were exactly what?
Inquiring minds want to know.
He was probably p.o.'d that our guys didn't want to have tea with him every afternoon.
This article has no specifics. Without specifics, this article is so much sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Tell the Brit thanks for playing. Pacifying Iraq is not for the faint-hearted.
His so-called protest plays right into the hand of the enemy.
"I can't think of a single country which gained it's independence from Britain in the last 100 years which is not worse off for it."
Oh please... other than the 3rd world hell-holes, which were hellholes as colonies anyway, places like Australia, Canada, and India, as well as US, have prospered.
First of all, the U.S. gained it's independence way more than 100 years ago. Canada and Australia are for all intents and purposes another Great Britain. They are not better off than they were before gaining independence. Maybe not worse but no better.
I joined it for the social club, physical fitness, and world touring aspects. Nobody said there would be shooting.
That's it right there. He'll be a hero to America bashers everywhere.
SAS, the sequel to brokeback mountain.
Quoting Nazis. How very interesting.
Hey, Griffin who made you an war analyzer?. Further more in your position as a special ops member, you take orders and execute them, not analyze!
Obviously you forgot how the military operates. It is a benevolent dictatorship and as such you take orders and execute them as ordered (whether right or wrong), period!
Before everyone gets on their hi horse, there is something this extremely well trained individual saw that went against the grain. We do not have all the facts. Considering the extremely high quality of the troops in "The Regiment", I would personally like to know more of the facts before rendering judgement.
The "Pilgrims" are some of the most professional soldiers in the world. There was something that definitely got to him. He was released without dishonor. Consider that!
I am now donning my flame suit.
Ouch, my vagina hurts.