Skip to comments.OFFICERS WHINE BY EXAMPLE (British Hostage Behavior)
Posted on 04/07/2007 4:26:42 AM PDT by SkyPilot
April 7, 2007 -- A SOLDIER'S law in the U.S. Army holds: "The maxi mum effective range of an excuse is zero meters." Yesterday, the two officers on a panel of former British hostages delivered nothing but excuses for their disgraceful conduct.
(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...
The right answer would have been: What we did was wrong. We're ashamed. Instead, we got repugnant swagger and hair-splitting over qualifying adjectives and adverbs - We didn't really say what we said.
And then there's the ring kissing thing, and the nuggies while they waited for their transport...
“Maybe this is an indictment of having women, or at least moms, in these situations.”
No kidding! Not to mention that the woman in the group was pregnant with another child! I do have a certain amount of respect (not much, but a little) for the men who were with her.
The enemy should NEVER get the gear, even if it costs some crew.
I don’t know when that changed. But it looks like it did.
Its a hard fact in that outfit. And in the past, and in one famous case, it cost the whole crew.
His first priority was to ditch the plane at sea. If he lost some crew, it would be a tragedy, but that’s the mission.
Failing that, he had other options that he did not take.
The chicoms should never, ever have gotten into that plane
I agree. Sadly we have not heard much criticism of this relevantly new phenomenon in war fighting. It obvious leads to the feminization of the remainder of the group.
There are more recent examples. Look through the archives for pictures of our hostages taken during the early part of the Iraq war. Pay special attention to their eyes. Then compare with how the Brits looked in their videos, and at the presser.
I saw the news conference yesterday (well, only part of it- I HAD to turn it off)...and called him to ask what he thought about it all. He’s medically retired from the army- and yet remembers The Code of Conduct exactly- he began to recite it in answer to my question.
In the battle between the ghosts- Neville seems to be beating Winston- and handily.
I agree with this part...you having read my post, I still stand with what I said. Remember, you and I were not in that particular situation, even though we have had substantial military training (an assumption because I don't know you), we may or may not have acted differently.
The truth is that the pilot did not voluntarily fly the plane into Chinese airpace. A Chinese plane collided with it in international airspace seriously damaging the plane. It took the great physical strength of the pilot, a former Nebraska lineman, just to land the plane. And it was far from being intact. The crew was very lucky to survive.
I was in that squadron. I worked on that very airplane. I know the mission, I know what SOP is. Without going into detail, they violated it. The plane could have and should have incinerated itself on the tarmac. The hardware was available, it needed only the will of the pilot to use it.
If that is true, why wasn't the pilot court martialled? Were you part of the squadron at the time of the incident? Is it conjecture on your part or specific knowledge of that incident?
From the Report:
"Defense Department spokesmen have stated that the EP-3 crew had about 15 to 20 minutes from the time of the incident until they made an emergency landing on Hainan Island and some 20 minutes more on the ground before they left the aircraft. According to the pilot, Lt. Osborn, the emergency destruction plan was activated well out, well offshore. In his April 13th press conference, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld noted that the crew went through that [destruction] checklist and did an excellent job of doing everything that was, I believe, possible in the period of time they had. Rumsfeld did not indicate that destruction of classified documents and equipment was complete, noting only that the crew completed a major portion of their checklist. Other Pentagon spokesmen have declined to provide additional details of the extent of the destruction completed.
The PRC has investigated the EP-3 that landed on Hainan Island and may have removed some electronic surveillance equipment. Although EP-3 aircraft have been operational for many years, a recent major upgrade known as the Sensor System Improvement added an array of new hardware and software to track, monitor, and process targeted radar and communications signals. The new systems are designed to collect a wider range of signals and to move data faster to sites where more detailed analysis can be undertaken.105 Equipment is designed, according to media accounts, with features by which software can be readily erased or zeroized in emergencies.
If the PRC obtained intact surveillance devices, attempts at reverse engineering could be made to create replicas for Chinas own reconnaissance effort. This would not be an easy or rapid process, however, even though much information about surveillance equipment has been discussed in electronics trade publications. Observers speculate that the chief benefit to the PRC from its inspection of the EP-3 would be to gather information about U.S. targets and degree of success that could enable the PRC to prepare countermeasures, hindering future U.S. surveillance."
I am tired of this debate, I have been in it since the incident occurred.
Regardless of how the incident occurred, his primary responsibility, in that squadron, is to the equipment, NOT THE CREW.
Sorry, its a fact of life. In the military, some THINGS are more important than some PEOPLE.
And this is one such case.
I know this isn’t penetrating peoples logic. It bounces off.
But if people are a commanders FIRST priority, hadn’t we just all surrender now and save all our troops?
Please, think this through a little.
It’s ok to be scared while blindfolded but how do you explain all the smiles and sweet disposion while on television...sure did not look like motivated by fear.
They looked like stupid weak little teenagers kissing butt after being caught doing something wrong.
The final display of cooperation with the the little monkey was disgusting.
At least the girl looked a bit scared but as far as the men...in the words of Ann Coulters...Faggots! not that there is anything wrong with that :)
Al gator, I just read the beginning of the thread, and will differ to your military training that I had assumed.
Who are the guys wearing Blue and who are the guys wearing the combat fatigues? Is there a difference?
Read the book called The Mark of the Lion. It details the courage of Charles Upham, a New Zealand soldier in WW II who earned TWO Victoria Crosses.
That's a good question and to answer it honestly, I simply do not know. What I believe is this, it was the first real test of 'W' as commander in chief.
In the touchy feely PC world before 9/11, I think he just wanted the plane back, (I don’t know why, closing the barn door after the fact)and the crew home, since the chicoms had already trotted them out for propaganda.
The whole thing was handled wrongly, the only reason I can think is that too many upper brass had gotten too mushy headed after the Clinton admin had them.
But your point is valid and really would like to know the answer too. So would the crews of the other plane who took the opposite approach.
I was in the miltary, I served in the Pacific fleet.
I don’t know about the training part though, I was always referred to as a Civilian Under Naval Training. I can’t write out the acronym without getting blasted by the moderator.
But I was in that squadron as ground crew maintenance. I worked on Pappa Romeo 32 and other planes in the outfit. I did that for over 2 years.
Lips get tired? Please don't give me any more of your armchair general view of events that you have no specific knowledge of. Yes there is a SOP, but you are just opining without knowing the specific details of the incident.
Regardless of how the incident occurred, his primary responsibility, in that squadron, is to the equipment, NOT THE CREW. Sorry, its a fact of life. In the military, some THINGS are more important than some PEOPLE.
I spent 8 years as a naval officer. That's true up to a point. If the pilot went through the destruction list and accomplished most of it, he has a responsiblity for the men under him as well. This was not a suicide mission.
I know this isnt penetrating peoples logic. It bounces off. But if people are a commanders FIRST priority, hadnt we just all surrender now and save all our troops? Please, think this through a little.
I have. Everything is not black or white. The OIC must make the best decision given the circumstances and facts at hand. If the pilot is as culpable as you say he is, why hasn't he been court-matialled?
I attended SERE in ‘67 on the way to VN. Our E&E was in the Phillipines was a blast. Being chased by Negritos through the jungle/mountains, bug/snake/root eating, was informative but fun. The resistance portion, on the other hand, was NOT.
Being rousted out ot the barracks at 2AM, being hooded and taken to the camp, stripped, de-loused, stress positions, beatings, boxes, sleep-depravation via the incessant interrogations and the continuous screeching from the camp’s PA system. Living with your waste until such time the guards allow you to clean your cell. Wore a hood and restraints whenever out in the common area. I swore that when it was over I would find this ‘one’ guard, whom I could only recognize by his voice and boots, and beat the living snot out of him. But when it was over, I was glad to have been able to see how much I could endure. I shook the guy’s hand.
Then you should know that intelligence/reconnaissance of the Q’s level is considered “front line” 24/7
“If the pilot is as culpable as you say he is, why hasn’t he been court-matialled?”
See my post 67. No armchair general here Kabar, just a guy who knew the inner workings of the outfit and question, like you, why he was’t court martialled.
Things have changed since I was in. I don’t know if some of those changes are for the better.
I usually look beyond “conventional thinking” and try to get at the problem.
What would it have looked like to the MSM (that wasted no time beating ‘W’ over the head) had he gone ahead and court martialed the pilot?
I think it would have been politically bad.
“Yes there is a SOP, but you are just opining without knowing the specific details of the incident.”
I did not opine on the incident. Only on the SOP and overall mission responsibilities of the commander of the plane.
You can call me all the names you like and impugn my character ad nauseam. I still question his decision and think he should have been brought up on charges.
Royal Marines=Fatigues (these guys were a bit steadier)
Navy=Blue (They were mostly the wavers-especially if you look at the expanded picture thats been posted)
I feel funky nailing these guys with the off handed, keyboard, coffe cup protection way that is happening on these threads. I do think they seem to have wussed out a bit-but then again-who the hell knows. A point that will be jumped on by the knee-jerkers-We are not technically at war (i know, I know-relax)with iran. I firmly believe these guys would have man-upped from the get go if the attackers were a defined enemy.
In the press conference the Marine mentioned that when surrounded the Iranians were acting erratic-up to that point-It could have been a standoff or one of those probing incidents. They were then overwhelmed. This is the problem with shadow wars-Rules of Engagement would have been different if they Iranians were the everyday enemy. I hope I’m explaining this correctly-waiting for coffee to kick in.
Bottom line-I was not there and the Iranians are not our up front enemies in the sense of seek and kill. I believe they will soon be. If they were captured by a declared enemy I would hope they would have held out better...who knows-some wussed and some did not...
This is what 50 years of feminism has brought the West to. The feminist are trying like hell to do the same to the American military also.
They had to relieve the guards of our POW camp not long after we left. They started playing their roles too realistically and enjoying it too much. The rules were revised later about the amount of violence they could mete out to the "prisoners." I wish we could have retaliated against some of the more sadistic ones. Still, a worthwhile experience.
True, but it seems like at least 12 of the 15 were quick to capitulate. If that is a fair sample of Britain's military (and these were forward-deployed sailors and marines, so they should be among the best), then approximately 75% of their best troops are not very well-trained or well-prepared to defend their country's honor. It's a poor statistical sample size, but it is alarming nonetheless for such a long-term and reliable ally.
I don't question that you were assigned to the squadron or worked on the aircraft at one time. I am questioning your knowledge of the specific details of what happened during that incident. As I asked you without receiving a response, were you assigned to the squadron at the time of the incident? Do you have specific knowledge of what was related during the debriefings in terms of what was destroyed? If not, you are just expressing an opinion.
I usually look beyond conventional thinking and try to get at the problem. What would it have looked like to the MSM (that wasted no time beating W over the head) had he gone ahead and court martialed the pilot? I think it would have been politically bad.
He wouldn't be the first. Maybe he wasn't court-martialed because he did not commit an offense prosecutable under the UCMJ. Is that even a possibility in your mind? Or is he guilty until proven innocent?
You can call me all the names you like and impugn my character ad nauseam. I still question his decision and think he should have been brought up on charges.
You are entitled to your own opinion. We will agree to disagree. I think the pilot, Lt. Shane Osborn, was a hero who did a remarkable job of landing a badly damaged aircraft and saving the lives of his crew. So did the USN.
"Upon release, Osborn and his crew were honored as heroes for their bravery and courage in the face of absolute danger in the course of their duties. For his actions, Lt. Osborn was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism and extraordinary achievement in flight as well as the Meritorious Service Medal. His crew all received the Air Medal."
The sign on the left misspells "aggressors" and the sign on the right doesn't make sense: "Crush of the Authority"
What is that supposed to mean? The Palestinian Authority is endorsing Orange Crush?
No, I was not in the group at the time of the incident. So in that sense you are correct. I am basing my opinion on SOP and general mission responsibilities.
I know how the Navy treated him aftwords.
I don’t think him guilty until proven innocent, nor am I suggesting he committed any crime other than poor judgement.
I am not the only one with this point of view, nor are you the only one with yours.
Civil discourse and disagreement are the norm here.
LOL, After all, I did overlook your major flaw of being a “zero”!
The SERE program was very tough...physcologically and physically, and I came away with bruises and lost 5-pounds...and was not overweight. Good training, and apparently the Brits do not have such a program.
They should be embarrassed.
America has few heroes. I just don't like seeing them trashed.
Iran got terrorists released from U.S. custody, now have great propaganda footage, got their own way in every particular, and still look “magnanimous” for releasing them.
Touche! BB, how dare you call out an internet commando.
There was no disgrace here, only questions of judgment.
I question John effin Kerry’s judgment too. And Johnny Benedict Murtha’s judgement too. And in Murtha’s case, I’ll call him a disgrace.
But you have to admit, their being accorded hero status for no other reason than we are slim on heros, is not good military practice and can be counter productive.
And in this case, no trashing of the man, just the decisions that lead up to what, in my opinion, is a solidification of a decline in standards.
Just an old sailor’s opinion, discount it any way you see fit.
It has been a good debate, I have seen your posts before, and there is more we agree on than disagree.
Have a good Easter.
Thanks for reminding us of the heroic acts of Lt Shane Osborn.
The British troops were doing a UN-sponsored Coast Guard-type function of ship inspection. I think that they were not in any mental frame of mind to consider themselves POWs in a Geneva Convention style.
I still am heartsick at what their behavior might tell us about Brit mental attitude today.
I cant believe that they would agree to give up their uniforms, for example.
First, I have to agree with 'gator. I know of no AC commander, no Recon driver (I knew several quite well), and no policy that puts "land at the enemy's airfield" on a par with "use parachute" (I did that also), "ditch", or simply "destroy the darn thing".
Way back when I DO remember a rumor that in many instances U2 drivers didn't have a choice regarding the last option.
I was also impressed by the official report offering (1) an AC too damaged to remain in the air but (2) buzzing the airfield before doing a 270 turn and landing, intact, on the same airfield.
Aside from that;
What struck me in the recent instance were the several comments about the military 'being their job' - well, yes and no.
It's frequently said the the military's job is breaking things, killing things, etc. But if it's only a job you can expect just what we got from the employees in this case.
The news people were incredibly easy during the interview and got what they wanted. I'd have loved to hear someone ask if any of the troops could recite any part of a code of conduct for them. (Why were there only six in the presser...was there some disagreement within the team?).
Regarding information given to one's captors, there is a reasonable time period after which some information is no longer critical. However, handing over confessions, propaganda films, letters, and later justifying it with 'solitary confinement', blindfolds, and three meals a day (and ciggies, don't forget the ciggies), after only a couple of days is just downright lame.
Even their account of the capture sounded limp. "They bumped us", "trained RPGs on us", and "they couldn't be reasoned with" would sound fine for a bus driver, not for an officer in the Royal Navy and damn sure not for an officer in anybody's Marines.
The Navy Lt. went so far as to say that "The Iranians are not our enemy"...
What else to you call someone pointing a gun at you and representing a country that arms and supports the guys who were busy killing four of your countrymen during the same period?
And, note, IIRC, the Brits killed most recently in Iraq included two women. If you insist on sending women into harm's way you'd better get over that "mommy" thing and make sure they are soldiers.
Long rant, sorry, and, no I don't know what I'd have done in their place but I pray it would have been different.
What Osborn did was amazing, which is why he was awarded the the DFC for "for heroism and extraordinary achievement in flight." His aircraft was heavily damaged and it was a remarkable feat to land it. The Chinese pilot died in the collision. He didn't "buzz" the airfield. Once again with feeling,
On this third pass the Chinese pilot apparently miscalculated; either trying to stop closure or as a result of being too slow, the F-8s right wing came up, hitting the EP-3s No 1 propeller. The tailfin of the F-8 then drove the EP-3 port aileron full up, causing the US aircraft to snap-roll near inverted at three to four times the aircrafts maximum roll rate using maximum aileron. Lt Osborn said his initial thought at this point was: This guy just killed us. He said he could look up through the aircrafts windshield and see the ocean.
The nose of the F-8, meanwhile, had suffered an impact with the EP-3s radome and the Chinese fighter had broken apart, although a parachute sighted by the EP-3 crew suggests that Wang Wei had managed to eject.
Meanwhile, the EP-3s No 1 engine was flaming out due to the damage it had sustained, the radome had exploded due to the F-8 impact and the aircraft had depressurized. All airspeed and altimeter information had been lost due to damaged or lost probes, and the aircraft was vibrating violently due to damage to the No 1 and No 3 prop and the tailplane. The aircrafts high-frequency radio wire had separated and was wrapped around the elevator trim.
By now, such was the extent of the damage to the EP-3 that it was taking maximum effort from both pilots to bring the aircraft level and still took cherry lights (maximum power, or red-lining, on the three remaining engines) as well as full right aileron to initially hold the wings level. The EP-3 had rolled to a 130 degree angle of bank with 30 degrees nose down, finally recovering at an estimated altitude of 15,000ft but still having a 3,000ft/minute rate of descent despite maximum power.
The flight crews greatest concern at this point was separation of the No 1 propeller due to high vibration, despite their attempts to feather it. Lt Osborn apparently ordered the crew to prepare to bail out until he had finally recovered control. He then commanded the crew to prepare to ditch before assessing the extent of damage and the question of to what degree he could control the aircraft. The aircrafts descent was finally arrested at around 8,000ft.
Having regained (relative) control of the aircraft, Lt Osborn and his flightcrew selected an emergency landing at the nearest field as their best possible option. This turned out to be Lingshui airbase on Hainan Island since the nearest allied fields were over 600 nautical miles away. The option of ditching, given the level of damage the aircraft had sustained and the tenuous degree of control maintained, would almost certainly have led to a number of the 24 crewmembers losing their lives.
On the approach to the airfield Lt Osborn made 10 to 15 guard (emergency VHF channel) calls outlining his intentions and predicament but was unable to hear any response due to air noise in the cockpit caused by holes in the pressure bulkhead. Being careful not to overfly land until he had Lingshui airfield in sight, Lt Osborn then overflew the runway at a perpendicular angle to check it was free of any obstacles and to make his intentions clear. He then turned the aircraft through 270 degrees and made a 170 knot ground speed, no flap, high gross weight (49,000kg), no trim, no KIAS landing with a damaged left aileron, damaged elevator, high drag due to the unfeathered No 1 propeller and full right aileron.
LT Osborn achieved his hero status the old fashioned way, he earned it.
Have a good Easter as well. Cheers.
Throat cutting was not simulated. One of the men vomited when they were facing the wall..others thought maybe a throat was cut when they heard vomit hit the ground.
Ok. Still pretty awful to endure that.
It was scary but they should have kept their mouths shut and their hands in their pockets.
They should have beat the crap out of themselves in confinement to at least make the Iranians seem to have abused their rights. They should have done something... anything... but instead they wet their british panties.
Union Jack with no balls to play.
Good point. My understanding is that such considerations made the Israelis change their policies about service women. Nature will out!
I'm not ready to condemn all 15 until I know exactly which ones cooperated with Iran and which ones didn't. I'd have to say that a series of three photos posted here on FR:
show a definite division in cooperation among the group. I'm hoping that there were at least a few sailors/marines who chose not to go with the flow. And I'm guessing, that those that did cooperate willingly, will be shunned and ignored by the bulk of their fellow sailors/marines. At least one can hope they will be.
The fact that these three are standing together and behaving quite differently is evidence (to me) that they were the only smart ones. They knew what a disaster that "Beverly Hillbillies End of Show Waving Shot" was.
I recall something like that. I think it was in Col George "Bud" Day's book Return With Honor. He recounts how an American Naval Officer did something like that when he knew he was going to be used for propaganda purposes. As the French film crew was setting up, he put the side of his face into a corner wall. It immediately swelled up. 20 minutes later, the French and North Vietnamese came to drag him to the propaganda conference and were livid.
Here's my comment on another thread about a real hero who fought hard to keep himself and others from being taken captive in Iraq in 2003:
"All I can think of is the incident in March 2003 involving the group of soldiers from the 507th Maintenance, who took a wrong turn and ended up being ambused by Iraqi soldiers. That was the group that Jessica Lynch was originally a part of. I recall the story of Pfc. Patrick Miller, who fought back against his would-be captors, killing at least one or two before being taken prisoner.
According to Miller's info on Wikipedia, "Prior to his capture, Miller had stood his ground firing at the Iraqis with a malfunctioning weapon, feeding bullets into it by hand to protect two wounded comrades. A U.S. Army press release said Miller jumped from his vehicle and began firing on a mortar position that he believed was about to open fire on his convoy."
It goes on to say: "After he was captured, he was repeatedly questioned about radio frequencies that were written on pieces of paper inside his helmet. "Thinking on his feet, Pfc. Miller told his captors that they were prices for water pumps," the release said. "Disgusted, the captors threw frequencies and his helmet into the fire."
From my own recollection, I believe it was Miller who stated after being rescued that he would drive his captors crazy by singing the song "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue." Pretty gusty if you ask me.
Besides the Purple Heart and Prisoner of War medal, he received the Silver Star for his actions. He is quoted as having said: ""It's good to know that you actually did something to save other people's lives," he says. "But for me, as far as people saying that I'm a hero, I don't feel that I'm a hero. Because I feel that I was doing my job as a soldier."
It was a good rant, and I agree with everything you posted.