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Colonel tim collins cleared of war crimes
Daily mail

Posted on 05/26/2003 9:13:43 AM PDT by may18

COLONEL Tim Collins has been cleared of war crimes in a preliminary report by the army’s special investigations branch.

The British officer who became an instant hero for his rousing eve-of-battle speech before the invasion of Iraq, was accused by a reservist American soldier of mistreating Iraqi prisoners, threatening civilians and hitting an Iraqi official with a pistol.

But Major Stan Coerr, a US Marine officer in charge of a unit attached to Col Collins’ Royal Irish Regiment, has claimed the allegations were triggered by spite.

The man who levelled the accusations, part-time soldier Major Re Biastre, was involved in a clash with Col Collins after he handed out sweets to Iraqi children in defiance of orders.

Col Collins feared that Maj Biastre’s actions would cause chaos and endanger the children. He had the American soldier arrested for insubordination and demanded he should be demoted.

Major Coerr described the allegations against Col Collins as "ludicrous" and "spiteful" and said he would serve with him "anytime, anywhere". Major Stan Coerr of the US marines told the investigators he was proud to have served with Col Collins.

Major Coerr in his statement: "This is an absolute travesty. It is obvious to everyone in theatre that it is a vendetta by a weak officer against a hero. I have worked with very few officers of the calibre of Col Collins. He blended tactical knowledge with an abiding concern for the people of Iraq and it was his concern for the children of Rumaila which caused him to confront Major Biastre."

He added: "Col Collins wore us ragged because he was always out and about in town asking what villagers thought and what they needed. He was always firm but fair and his first concerns were opening the school, establishing law and order and getting the economy going with an infusion of cash which he requested from the British Government

______

Our paper today featured interviews with regular US marines who said the cooperation and spirit between the uk and us troops was superb.

Looks like a one off, glad he is cleared,he was a bit of a hero for me!


TOPICS: News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: timcollins
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1 posted on 05/26/2003 9:13:43 AM PDT by may18
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To: may18
I'm happy as all get-out with this vindication of a true British hero.

Praise the Lord and pass the candy!

Leni

2 posted on 05/26/2003 9:17:09 AM PDT by MinuteGal (Last call for fabulous "FReeps Ahoy" cruise. Signing up now means never having to say you're sorry!)
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To: may18
Bizzaro...
3 posted on 05/26/2003 9:23:03 AM PDT by demlosers
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To: may18
Excellent news.

I hope to hear from all of the knee-jerks from earlier threads who were trashing the Colonel in favor of an insubordinate US Major.

Col. Collins is a good man.
4 posted on 05/26/2003 9:27:28 AM PDT by Pukin Dog (Sans Reproache)
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To: may18
Thank goodness. That slob who made the accusations against this noble soldier ought to be nailed to the wall. Bad enough that he caused distress to a fine officer and caused, in addition, all the expenditure of time, energy, and funds to pointlessly investigate. But he has done such damage to the fragile relations between our countries and our our armed forces! It really erodes respect for the American fighting man.
5 posted on 05/26/2003 9:27:57 AM PDT by Capriole (Foi vainquera)
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To: may18
I was sick when this was made public before an investigation. The American got no sympathy from the military vets on this board for insubordination.Thank heavens this is resolved.
6 posted on 05/26/2003 9:30:23 AM PDT by MEG33
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To: may18; MadIvan
But Major Stan Coerr, a US Marine officer in charge of a unit attached to Col Collins’
Royal Irish Regiment, has claimed the allegations were triggered by spite.

The man who levelled the accusations, part-time soldier Major Re Biastre, was involved in
a clash with Col Collins after he handed out sweets to Iraqi children in defiance of orders.


Failing any other substantive evidence to the contrary...that settles it for me.

Besides, even American TV news mentioned (during the push north to Baghdad) that
American soldiers in the convoys were forbidden to toss candy to children
(or food to adult Iraqis)for fear they'd venture onto the roadway and be struck/runover
by military transports.

I wish Col. Collins a further brilliant career in his chosen vocation...
and in giving dinner speechs in the future!

Somebody has to pick up the torch now that Lady Thatcher has earned a good rest.
7 posted on 05/26/2003 9:30:27 AM PDT by VOA
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To: Capriole
no i have full repectt for us soldiers

this was a part time reservist, a social worker full time.

Just a one off, we have some of those in our own forces

whats notable is the real fighting soldiers from the us (the full time marines) were fully supportive of collins, and lambasted the reservist for damaging relations. I imagine he got worse off his own senior commanders.

If a uk soldier had done the same to a us officer id have expected him to be in big trouble bte
8 posted on 05/26/2003 9:30:36 AM PDT by may18
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To: MEG33
The American got no sympathy from the military vets on this board for insubordination.
Thank heavens this is resolved.


Amen to that!
Now the American whiner doesn't get sympathy...he gets active disdain!
9 posted on 05/26/2003 9:31:26 AM PDT by VOA
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To: may18
Col. Tim Collins bump!

I'm very glad he was vindicated.

10 posted on 05/26/2003 9:31:39 AM PDT by dixiechick2000 (Never have so many, been so wrong, about so much.)
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To: may18
Great news, but admit there was no doubt in my mind. This brave, talented man is on my list of heroes.
11 posted on 05/26/2003 9:34:20 AM PDT by katze
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To: may18
Major Re Biastre (what type of name?)
should be hung.
But it will be feted by anti-Americans.
12 posted on 05/26/2003 9:41:27 AM PDT by HuntsvilleTxVeteran (CCCP = clinton, chiraq, chretien, and putin = stalin wannabes (moore is goebbels))
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To: Pukin Dog
I hope to hear from all of the knee-jerks from earlier threads who were trashing the Colonel in favor of an insubordinate US Major.

I just read an article this morning about the accusations, so this was news to me. Do you have a link to any other threads on this? I'd like to see the military haters around here out themselves.

13 posted on 05/26/2003 9:52:09 AM PDT by TomB
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To: VOA
Now the American whiner doesn't get sympathy...he gets active disdain!

Active disdain, hell. He deserves a court martial.

14 posted on 05/26/2003 9:55:32 AM PDT by Bob
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To: may18
A social "scientist". Why am I not surprised that this petty, back-biting, clown is a social scientist?

I hope that all FR community members remember that social science is considered a 'soft science'. Translation: All soft, no science.

What we seem to have here is the inevitable result of sending a student through four years of a soft science taught by socialists. Not surprisingly, behavior ('acting out' to use the groupspeak of the social scientist) such as this reservist exhibited is the all too common result.

May Col. Collins continue to be an example for students. He is a refreshing change from what now lurks in the Groves of the Academe.

15 posted on 05/26/2003 10:02:48 AM PDT by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon liberty, it is essential to examine principles - -)
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To: may18
According to this website, US Army Reserve Maj. Re Biastre is a part-time police officer in the little town of Eden NY near Buffalo.
16 posted on 05/26/2003 10:05:05 AM PDT by beckett
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To: beckett
hmm our paper mentioned he was part time traffic cop, but was a "social advisor" as his main carreer.

Whats a social advisor?
17 posted on 05/26/2003 10:06:39 AM PDT by may18
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To: Pukin Dog
Never mind, I found it:

US slob 'framed' Col. Tim

18 posted on 05/26/2003 10:10:35 AM PDT by TomB
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Major Coerr in his statement: "This is an absolute travesty. It is obvious to everyone in theatre that it is a vendetta by a weak officer against a hero. I have worked with very few officers of the calibre of Col Collins. He blended tactical knowledge with an abiding concern for the people of Iraq and it was his concern for the children of Rumaila which caused him to confront Major Biastre."
What a catty, vindictive POS is Major Biastre!

Even if Col Collings was wrong for making Major Biastre stand in attention for 45 minutes, Col Collings should not have been smeared with flimsy accusations of war crimes.

Major Biastre should have complained to his superior instead of getting involved in such a nasty campaign.

19 posted on 05/26/2003 10:19:42 AM PDT by george wythe
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To: arjay; Bedford Forrest; STD; LaraCroft; katze; muawiyah; Tailback; GATOR NAVY; marktwain; meenie; ..
Here's a follow up to the Col. Collins story.

Looks like he got a lot of support from other American servicemen.

Looks like some of you were WAY off.

20 posted on 05/26/2003 10:20:19 AM PDT by TomB
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To: may18
I am very glad he was cleared.

I didn't like the sounds of this at all. The charges just did not match up with the image of his wonderful speach.

Becki

21 posted on 05/26/2003 10:33:32 AM PDT by Becki (Pray continually for our leaders and our troops!)
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To: TomB
Kneejerk jingoism crashes and burns. Excellent news.
22 posted on 05/26/2003 10:35:42 AM PDT by gcruse (Vice is nice, but virtue can hurt you. --Bill Bennett)
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To: may18
The man who levelled the accusations, part-time soldier Major Re Biastre

Third World valuing the difference of the multicultural diversity alert!

23 posted on 05/26/2003 11:05:38 AM PDT by pabianice
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To: MinuteGal
I just had to post his speech. One of the greatest oratorical works I've ever heard or read. I actually cried. Please forgive the length..

Speech by Tim Collins, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commander of The Royal Irish battle group, Beginning of Iraq War

“THE enemy should be in no doubt that we are his Nemesis and that we are bringing about his rightful destruction. There are many regional commanders who have stains on their souls and they are stoking the fires of Hell for Saddam. As they die they will know their deeds have brought them to this place. Show them no pity. But those who do not wish to go on that journey, we will not send. As for the others, I expect you to rock their world.
“We go to liberate, not to conquer. We will not fly our flags in their country. We are entering Iraq to free a people, and the only flag that will be flown in that ancient land is their own. Don’t treat them as refugees, for they are in their own country.
“I know men who have taken life needlessly in other conflicts. They live with the mark of Cain upon them. If someone surrenders to you, then remember they have that right in international law, and ensure that one day they go home to their family. The ones who wish to fight, well, we aim to please. If there are casualties of war, then remember, when they woke up and got dressed in the morning they did not plan to die this day. Allow them dignity in death. Bury them properly, and mark their graves.
“You will be shunned unless your conduct is of the highest, for your deeds will follow you down history. Iraq is steeped in history. It is the site of the Garden of Eden, of the Great Flood, and the birth of Abraham. Tread lightly there. You will have to go a long way to find a more decent, generous and upright people than the Iraqis. You will be embarrassed by their hospitality, even though they have nothing ...
“There may be people among us who will not see the end of this campaign. We will put them in their sleeping bags and send them back. There will be no time for sorrow. Let’s leave Iraq a better place for us having been there. Our business now, is north.”


24 posted on 05/26/2003 11:10:26 AM PDT by telebob
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To: may18
I really wish that there were news reports that came from somewhere other than these British tabloids. My first reaction was to figure that Collins was a pompous snot who was trying to bully an American soldier of (slightly) lesser rank. But now I figure that this American officer was some leftover Clinton trash. There's just something about the whole story that I can't quite get my hands around..... This whole dispute came from a US officer handing out candy?

Col Collins feared that Maj Biastre’s actions would cause chaos and endanger the children

Bull. Anybody buy that? Gimme a break.
There's more to this whole charade than meets the eye. The whole story stinks to high heaven.

Like I said, I wish news reports about this would come from somewhere other than British tabloids.

25 posted on 05/26/2003 11:20:16 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Bob
Active disdain, hell. He deserves a court martial.

Well, as a civilian...I went about as far as I could.
I try to not be presumptuous on military matters as I can't say "been there, done that".

But yes, in that little martial segment of my brain, the jerk deserves
a court-martial...but I suspect that the adverse publicity and having his
name make known...that will fry him enough.

And if he has an unrepentant spirit...I suspect his fellow soldiers will
make sure he feels the heat.
Maybe that will make him "see the light"!

And if he is a reservist ("part-time soldier Major Re Biastre", as the article says)
and he was my civilian employee, I'd do what I could legally to make his life unpleasant.
(Yeah, I know that's probably a legal issue...but I would not want to have
this sort of jerk in my employ.)
26 posted on 05/26/2003 11:35:03 AM PDT by VOA
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To: Lancey Howard
The Telegraph is not a tabloid...it's one of Britain's papers of record, and has a conservative bent.

Colonel Collins is tough, but he is far from being a "pompous snot", as asserted above.

Col Collins had ordered that candy not be handed out, primarily because doing so places children at serious risk of injury or death when they attempt to approach moving military vehicles in the hope that the troops aboard might toss candy to them.

The story does not "stink to high heaven" for any of us who have been in such situations, nor for those of us who have first-hand experience of the professionalism of officers like Colonel Collins.
27 posted on 05/26/2003 11:43:58 AM PDT by gaelwolf
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To: Lancey Howard
OK how about the The Times

But if you want American defense of the "caring, compassionate" guidence consellor, Here's his hometown paper

And you want to know what stinks to high heaven?

This

Army Reserve Maj. Re Biastre hands out candy to Iraqi children, reportedly in defiance of an order by British Lt. Col. Tim Collons.

Right. the meda just happened to get a snap of the incident. No way, Jose. This carefully posed picture was staged at some other time.

Beyond a shadow of a doubt by Biastre. So what kind of person goes around polishing his image like that?

28 posted on 05/26/2003 12:03:26 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy (Paging Nehemiah Scudder:The Crazy Years are peaking. America is ready for you.)
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To: Lancey Howard
personally i place more importance on the comments of the NAMED US marine fighting men than anything else

If a US marine speaks in collins favour, thats good enough for me.
29 posted on 05/26/2003 12:06:01 PM PDT by may18
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To: Lancey Howard
Bull. Anybody buy that? Gimme a break.

I buy it. Collins was maintaining orderly relations with the Iraqi people in his district. He very sensibly concluded that kids screaming for candy running near moving vehicles could present a danger both for the kids and the troops. Biastre came into Collins's district and behaved in an insubordinate manner when given an order to desist from giving out candy.

But all of that is beside the point anyway. The far more important aspect of this story is that Maj. Biastre has been revealed to be the source of a war crime charge against Collins for acts that he (Biastre) in no way could have seen first hand. Based on rumor alone (and some suspect even the so-called "rumors" orginated with, or were at least enhanced by, Biastre), he deliberately and vindictively sought to blacken the name of a superior officer.

Needless to say, the enemies of United States policy in Iraq both at home and abroad had a field day with Maj Biastre's charges, taking the opportunity to demean and denigrate the integrity of US and British troops and to blacken the coalition effort in Iraq generally. Biastre also caused a breach in US-British relations at a critical moment when Americans had much to be grateful for to our steadfast British allies.

Biastre is a disgrace to his uniform.

30 posted on 05/26/2003 12:07:59 PM PDT by beckett
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To: beckett
beckett

the comments by the Regular marine major spoke volumes

he accused the reservist of single handedly ruining a close alliance.

Yes collins is a tough man, his nickname in his regiment was simple "nails".

But the USA fighting men attached to him had no problem with him

It would be a terrible shame if one "social advisor" soured the feeling between nations that fought side by side
31 posted on 05/26/2003 12:14:38 PM PDT by may18
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To: Lancey Howard
I really wish that there were news reports that came from somewhere other than these British tabloids.

As pointed out previously, the Telegraph is not a tabloid, it is THE conservative paper in Britain. In addition, you have the testimony of a NAMED marine major. Note that there have been no stories in the liberal rags over there with corroborating evidence supporting Biastre, and you can bet they would print it in a second if it existed.

Bull. Anybody buy that? Gimme a break.

I recall hearing over and over during the invasion that soldiers were prohibited from handing out candy and food.

32 posted on 05/26/2003 12:35:45 PM PDT by TomB
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To: beckett
I do not understand how Collins got into a spat with this clown Biastre in the first place. Sorry, the story doesn't make sense to me and I maintain that there is more here than meets the eye.

By the way, contrary to what some posters seem to be asserting, I am not taking sides in this fiasco (although I am tending to agree that this Biastre is little more than leftover Clinton officer trash). I am still trying to figure out how the fiasco started in the first place and then got blown up into an international incident.

And I'm also trying to figure out why Collins lowered himself to getting involved in a dispute with this Biastre....over handing out freaking candy. This was handled all wrong, in my opinion.

33 posted on 05/26/2003 12:38:20 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: beckett
Kids never learn, even after they catch a tin of "ham and lima beans" thrown from a track.

BTW, what does the UCMJ have to say about "false reports"
34 posted on 05/26/2003 12:40:39 PM PDT by ASOC
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To: TomB
I recall hearing over and over during the invasion that soldiers were prohibited from handing out candy and food.

I also recall that. Clear as a bell. In fact, I bet most people who followed the war reports on cable news were aware of the prohibition.

But what were the specifics of the prohibition? Throwing candy from vehicles could clearly present problems, but what about soldiers on foot, in off-road or designated areas? Why was Biastre, who certainly had to be aware of the rules, handing out candy?

35 posted on 05/26/2003 12:49:27 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: TomB
Looks like some of you were WAY off.

But I was WAY on, - I recommended that the insolent and insubordinate major be keelhauled and drummed out, or some such.

36 posted on 05/26/2003 12:52:59 PM PDT by Bedford Forrest (Roger, Contact, Judy, Out. Fox One. Splash one.)
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To: Lancey Howard
I also recall that. Clear as a bell. In fact, I bet most people who followed the war reports on cable news were aware of the prohibition.

It doesn't sound like the major places emphasis on following orders.

Here is an explanation from the other article:

    (After being seen giving out candy...)

    One squaddie said: Col Collins asked him who he was and what he was doing. The major explained himself.

    Col Collins said, ‘This is my area of responsibility. I’ve put a ban on this. It is not good for security and I don’t want the locals treated in this way. They have pride’.

    Word has gone round that the US major was heard to say, ‘You do your job and I will do mine’.

    Majors do not speak to colonels like that. The colonel apparently blew his top and stormed: ‘Do you realise who you are talking to? This is Col Tim Collins of the Royal Irish Regiment. Stand to attention when I’m talking to you’.

    The US major stood up in a sloppy, disrespectful manner while saying ‘yeah, fine,’ instead of snapping to attention. At that point Col Collins got angry and ordered a sergeant major to arrest him for insubordination.

This obviously wasn't just about giving out candy. This was gross insubordination.

But what were the specifics of the prohibition? Throwing candy from vehicles could clearly present problems, but what about soldiers on foot, in off-road or designated areas? Why was Biastre, who certainly had to be aware of the rules, handing out candy?

Considering Biastre was then demoted by his own superiors. He obviously was doing something wrong.

37 posted on 05/26/2003 12:56:32 PM PDT by TomB
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To: may18
Glad to hear you're so sporting and understanding about it. The English-speaking peoples, as Churchill termed us, have to stick together.
38 posted on 05/26/2003 1:21:04 PM PDT by Capriole (Foi vainquera)
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To: may18; MadIvan
Great News!
39 posted on 05/26/2003 1:36:11 PM PDT by TEXASPROUD
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To: TomB
"Looks like some of you were WAY off."

Really? Pls explain your comment.

40 posted on 05/26/2003 2:02:35 PM PDT by katze
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To: ASOC
BTW, what does the UCMJ have to say about "false reports"

Good question. The Army already busted him in rank, but I hope and expect that Army investigators are still investigating to see if a court martial is appropriate.

41 posted on 05/26/2003 2:35:43 PM PDT by beckett
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To: katze
Really? Pls explain your comment.

There were some on the other thread accusing Col. Collins of many things, essentially blaming him for the incident. I believe this exonerates him.

42 posted on 05/26/2003 3:11:15 PM PDT by TomB
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To: TomB
This guy Collins was not exonerated - it was a preliminary report by his own buddies.

There are a bunch of brown-nose ex-officers on the thread who ALWAYS suck-up to the higher rank. Can't think of a single enlisted man posting here who was supportive of either one of these prima donnas.

And, BTW, just because someone was enlisted doesn't mean they hate the military when they are critical of the officer class.

If half of what was said about either one of these guys was true, they should both have been kicked out ~ with none of this stuff about being busted in rank, etc., etc. Nobody in the ranks wants them.

43 posted on 05/26/2003 3:12:25 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah
well with respect, if a british part time soldier had been insubordinate to a us officer, or an aussie officer, or a polish officer he would have been dealt wih severely.


And your views do not reflect the views of the "men within the ranks" in the uk, a number of whom i have spoken to.
44 posted on 05/26/2003 3:24:28 PM PDT by may18
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To: muawiyah
This guy Collins was not exonerated - it was a preliminary report by his own buddies.

Huh? Read the FIRST sentence again:

    COLONEL Tim Collins has been cleared of war crimes in a preliminary report by the army’s special investigations branch.

"Cleared" is another word for "exonerated". And if you are aware of collusion between Col. Collins and "buddies" he has in the special investigations branch, please enlighten us.

If half of what was said about either one of these guys was true, they should both have been kicked out ~ with none of this stuff about being busted in rank, etc., etc. Nobody in the ranks wants them.

Nobody? Apparently there's at least one Marine Major disagrees with you:

    Major Coerr in his statement: "This is an absolute travesty. It is obvious to everyone in theatre that it is a vendetta by a weak officer against a hero. I have worked with very few officers of the calibre of Col Collins. He blended tactical knowledge with an abiding concern for the people of Iraq and it was his concern for the children of Rumaila which caused him to confront Major Biastre."

45 posted on 05/26/2003 3:29:37 PM PDT by TomB
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To: TomB
You could bring in a thousand Marine officers and it wouldn't mean beans as long as that Marine had less time in grade than the Colonel, or was of a lower rank.

It's in the nature of officers to ALWAYS kow tow to the guy of higher rank. That's why their testimony about each other probably should not be allowed in court.

46 posted on 05/26/2003 3:37:04 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: may18
OK, UKian soldiers are different than everybody else on Earth. They welcome the company of busted officers.

I am afraid you missed the point of my post. So, let me make it a little bit more clear. This is a dust-up between officers in circumstances which are a bit unclear. A "preliminary report" is also not a "final report" or a "court martial decision". All the officers and ex-officers are responding to the story the same way officers and ex-officers always do, and that sort of behavior is considered both unnatural and highly offensive to enlisted personnel.

47 posted on 05/26/2003 3:40:53 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah
You could bring in a thousand Marine officers and it wouldn't mean beans as long as that Marine had less time in grade than the Colonel, or was of a lower rank.

When in doubt, accuse him of lying.

If Maj. Coerr had seen the Col. do something that warranted the charge of war crimes, he would have said so. If he had seen something and wanted to keep it quiet, he wouldn't have been so stupid as to issue such a glowing statement. Why would he call him a "hero", when he could have just said "he's a good officer".

But all of this is beside the point. The special investigations branch of the British Army cleared him, and the case is closed.

48 posted on 05/26/2003 3:42:44 PM PDT by TomB
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To: may18
Major Re Biastre

A name to remember...
49 posted on 05/26/2003 3:45:18 PM PDT by VOA
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To: TomB
I see. IMO, he was exonerated before this article came out.
50 posted on 05/26/2003 3:47:55 PM PDT by katze
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