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Posted: 3/16/2006 2:59:54 PM EDT
http://news.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/03/12/nsas12.xml

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.

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.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 3:02:35 PM EDT
It's always a safe bet to blame the Americans.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 4:36:29 PM EDT
I'll bet that "somebody" is going write yet another SAS book soon...

He's one more guy that will no longer be welcome at Credenhill.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 4:41:06 PM EDT
A weenie has been weeded out. That is all.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 4:42:01 PM EDT
nice touch in the article, untermenschen. Wonder if that was the SAS guy's word, the author's, or the American troop's word. It implies it was the US troops words, as if they are closet nazis.

We should encourage the Brits to leave that way we will only have to publish orders in American...
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 4:44:08 PM EDT
Pah, not even fit for the Phrench Pahussies.

And yeah, I'm sure US soldiers look at dipwads who encourage children to blow themselves up in the name of allah as subhuman. I sure as heck do.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 4:44:13 PM EDT
They gonna put a bullet in his skull?
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 4:47:59 PM EDT
Now what was the country that screwed up the Middle East in the first place ???? O yeah, Great Britian.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 4:48:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 13thWarrior:
They gonna put a bullet in his skull?



Tag to see if you can dig any deeper.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 4:49:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gaweidert:
Now what was the country that screwed up the Middle East in the first place ???? O yeah, Great Britian.



Yep, they basically created Irak.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 4:51:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CitizenSoldier:

Originally Posted By 13thWarrior:
They gonna put a bullet in his skull?



Tag to see if you can dig any deeper.



Isn't that what they do when people do shit like this?

I sure as know it would stop shit like this from happening in the first place.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 4:52:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/16/2006 4:52:53 PM EDT by DK-Prof]
One bad egg in the SAS. Even the best of units occasionally get a bad guy. Britain is still the best ally the U.S. has.

I'm surprised they didn't throw the book at him - they really should have, in my opinion.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 4:52:17 PM EDT
This guy did operations in Northern Ireland, and he says US troops are performing illegal acts? Riiiiiigght.....
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 4:54:42 PM EDT
Sounds like someone had second thoughts about his career path.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 4:55:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 13thWarrior:

Originally Posted By CitizenSoldier:

Originally Posted By 13thWarrior:
They gonna put a bullet in his skull?



Tag to see if you can dig any deeper.



Isn't that what they do when people do shit like this?

I sure as know it would stop shit like this from happening in the first place.



Hypothetically but most armies have provisions for conscienous objectors to be removed. Criteria is different from country to country.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 4:56:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Enigma102083:
This guy did operations in Northern Ireland, and he says US troops are performing illegal acts? Riiiiiigght.....



May take one to know one.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 4:56:52 PM EDT
I remember seeing some brits beating the shit out of iraqi kids any of you see that it was in the last month.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 4:58:02 PM EDT
I hope the Brits take care of this in a manner befitting a deserter...



FIRING SQUAD!
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 4:59:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 13thWarrior:
I remember seeing some brits beating the shit out of iraqi kids any of you see that it was in the last month.



Old footage from earlier in OIF. Stuff like that surfaces at the worst possible moment.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 5:21:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Enigma102083:
This guy did operations in Northern Ireland, and he says US troops are performing illegal acts? Riiiiiigght.....



With all due respect, statements like this only serve to reinforce his viewpoint. Could be he sees it the other way around. He's obviously not Regiment material, Northern Ireland notwithstanding.

Don't get me wrong, I don't support this yoyo one iota. It's just that The Troubles have much to do with terrorism in a different land, and we Americans sometimes cannot relate, or simply do not understand, because we are not directly involved. That's an entirely different can o' worms altogether!

Link Posted: 3/16/2006 5:25:02 PM EDT
Mr Griffin later admitted his total abhorance of violence was due to the blood not matching his "pink undies".
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 5:27:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By FITTER:

Originally Posted By Enigma102083:
This guy did operations in Northern Ireland, and he says US troops are performing illegal acts? Riiiiiigght.....



With all due respect, statements like this only serve to reinforce his viewpoint. Could be he sees it the other way around. He's obviously not Regiment material, Northern Ireland notwithstanding.

Don't get me wrong, I don't support this yoyo one iota. It's just that The Troubles have much to do with terrorism in a different land, and we Americans sometimes cannot relate, or simply do not understand, because we are not directly involved. That's an entirely different can o' worms altogether!




Proximity to your own country and being attacked can skew your opinion. He probably views The Troubles with a typically imperial attitude and view them purely as criminals. Since he has no dog in the Iraq fight he is more senitive to US actions. It is best he is no longer serving.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 5:32:44 PM EDT
What a pussy!

I would like to hear his fellow soldiers opinion of him??
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 5:35:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/16/2006 5:38:05 PM EDT by thedoctors308]

"I did not join the British Army to conduct American foreign policy,"


Can't say I disagree with him there.
I can see how he might feel that way.
ETA: This reminds me of the guy who didn't want to wear the UN beret.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 5:37:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Jm03:
What a pussy!

I would like to hear his fellow soldiers opinion of him??



Definitely would be worth hearing. Too bad it will probably never come out.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 5:38:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CitizenSoldier:

Originally Posted By gaweidert:
Now what was the country that screwed up the Middle East in the first place ???? O yeah, Great Britian.



Yep, they basically created Irak.



And that is the irony of mr Griffin's statement.

I think our job should be to break it up into to three independent states based on ethnic lines.

If we did that, presto, no risk of civil war anymore, and we can leave. If three nation states want to fight each other, well not our problem.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 5:38:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By _DR:

Originally Posted By CitizenSoldier:

Originally Posted By gaweidert:
Now what was the country that screwed up the Middle East in the first place ???? O yeah, Great Britian.



Yep, they basically created Irak.



And that is the irony of mr Griffin's statement.

I think our job should be to break it up into to three independent states based on ethnic lines.

If we did that, presto, no risk of civil war anymore, and we can leave. If three nation states want to fight each other, well not our problem.



I agree 100%
However, we told everyone we would not.
The Turks would shit a brick if there was an independent Kurdistan.
Thier own Kurds would try to break away to join the new country.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 5:39:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/16/2006 5:41:06 PM EDT by FITTER]

Originally Posted By CitizenSoldier:
Proximity to your own country and being attacked can skew your opinion. He probably views The Troubles with a typically imperial attitude and view them purely as criminals. Since he has no dog in the Iraq fight he is more senitive to US actions. It is best he is no longer serving.



Correct. I agree.

Not to hijack, but WRT N.I., it's just the IRA who are considered to be terrorists. Their actions alone are criminal in nature, not only as terrorists but in their drug-running to finance their sordid little operations.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 5:41:24 PM EDT
A man of his convictions, a man of honor.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 5:45:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By FITTER:

Originally Posted By CitizenSoldier:
Proximity to your own country and being attacked can skew your opinion. He probably views The Troubles with a typically imperial attitude and view them purely as criminals. Since he has no dog in the Iraq fight he is more senitive to US actions. It is best he is no longer serving.



Correct. I agree.

Not to hijack, but WRT N.I., it's just the IRA who are considered to be terrorists. Their actions alone are criminal in nature, not only as terrorists but in their drug-running to finance their sordid little operations.



Lots of terrorist organizations traffic in drugs. Thankfully it gives more levels of law enforcement an opportunity to be involved with dealing with them.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 5:45:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By FITTER:

Originally Posted By CitizenSoldier:
Proximity to your own country and being attacked can skew your opinion. He probably views The Troubles with a typically imperial attitude and view them purely as criminals. Since he has no dog in the Iraq fight he is more senitive to US actions. It is best he is no longer serving.



Correct. I agree.

Not to hijack, but WRT N.I., it's just the IRA who are considered to be terrorists. Their actions alone are criminal in nature, not only as terrorists but in their drug-running to finance their sordid little operations.



Sorry, but English occupation of Ireland is criminal. Ireland should be a sovereign nation. But, no, England had to play dictator.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 5:50:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/16/2006 5:50:45 PM EDT by _DR]

Originally Posted By thedoctors308:

Originally Posted By _DR:

Originally Posted By CitizenSoldier:

Originally Posted By gaweidert:
Now what was the country that screwed up the Middle East in the first place ???? O yeah, Great Britian.



Yep, they basically created Irak.



And that is the irony of mr Griffin's statement.

I think our job should be to break it up into to three independent states based on ethnic lines.

If we did that, presto, no risk of civil war anymore, and we can leave. If three nation states want to fight each other, well not our problem.



I agree 100%
However, we told everyone we would not.
The Turks would shit a brick if there was an independent Kurdistan.
Thier own Kurds would try to break away to join the new country.



True, however we know the Kurds will separate eventually anyway. They already practically govern themselves, and have since the no-fly zones were established. The more Turkey tries to repress the Kurds, the more they fuel the fire.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 5:50:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Hydguy:

Originally Posted By FITTER:

Originally Posted By CitizenSoldier:
Proximity to your own country and being attacked can skew your opinion. He probably views The Troubles with a typically imperial attitude and view them purely as criminals. Since he has no dog in the Iraq fight he is more senitive to US actions. It is best he is no longer serving.



Correct. I agree.

Not to hijack, but WRT N.I., it's just the IRA who are considered to be terrorists. Their actions alone are criminal in nature, not only as terrorists but in their drug-running to finance their sordid little operations.



Sorry, but English occupation of Ireland is criminal. Ireland should be a sovereign nation. But, no, England had to play dictator.



Neither side of that fight has much to brag about in terms of moral high ground.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 5:51:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By _DR:

Originally Posted By thedoctors308:

Originally Posted By _DR:

Originally Posted By CitizenSoldier:

Originally Posted By gaweidert:
Now what was the country that screwed up the Middle East in the first place ???? O yeah, Great Britian.



Yep, they basically created Irak.



And that is the irony of mr Griffin's statement.

I think our job should be to break it up into to three independent states based on ethnic lines.

If we did that, presto, no risk of civil war anymore, and we can leave. If three nation states want to fight each other, well not our problem.



I agree 100%
However, we told everyone we would not.
The Turks would shit a brick if there was an independent Kurdistan.
Thier own Kurds would try to break away to join the new country.



True, however we know the Kurds will separate eventually anyway. They already practically govern themselves, and have since the no-fly zones were established. The more Turkeys tries to repress them, the more they fuel the fire.



I am waiting to see what the Kurds try. All they need is opportunity and the game is on.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 5:55:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/16/2006 5:56:06 PM EDT by Spade]
Hang him. He took an oath, and now he's quitting. Probably writing a book so that whole quitting thing makes for nice publicity. Probably get a TV interview.

VITO! They still hang people?


Originally Posted By FITTER:

Not to hijack, but WRT N.I., it's just the IRA who are considered to be terrorists. Their actions alone are criminal in nature, not only as terrorists but in their drug-running to finance their sordid little operations.




Either way, English tactics there at times have been, shall we say, less than savory. Assistance to "friendly" terrorist groups, "torture" (well, Amnesty's version of torture), terrorists who died of close range pistol shots to the head, citizens dragged off during the night, etc.

In other words, this guy probably doesn't have a leg to stand on if he happily served in NI and kept serving.

Not condemning the Brits really (except for the collusion with Loyalist terror groups, that's a bit off). You fight the war the way its presented to you.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 5:56:07 PM EDT
I seem to recall ANdy remarking that the SBS are the real professionals. I tend to agree with him.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 6:01:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Spade:
Hang him. He took an oath, and now he's quitting. Probably writing a book so that whole quitting thing makes for nice publicity. Probably get a TV interview.

VITO! They still hang people?


Originally Posted By FITTER:

Not to hijack, but WRT N.I., it's just the IRA who are considered to be terrorists. Their actions alone are criminal in nature, not only as terrorists but in their drug-running to finance their sordid little operations.




Either way, English tactics there at times have been, shall we say, less than savory. Assistance to "friendly" terrorist groups, "torture" (well, Amnesty's version of torture), terrorists who died of close range pistol shots to the head, citizens dragged off during the night, etc.

In other words, this guy probably doesn't have a leg to stand on if he happily served in NI and kept serving.

Not condemning the Brits really (except for the collusion with Loyalist terror groups, that's a bit off). You fight the war the way its presented to you.



I don't think the Tommy's do that anymore.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 6:04:27 PM EDT
I completely agree with the Brit. We should stop the war and start a new program called "Oil for Nuclear Warheads". They give us oil, and in return, we give them Nuclear Warheads.....lots of them.....strategically placed.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 6:07:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By kcobean:
I completely agree with the Brit. We should stop the war and start a new program called "Oil for Nuclear Warheads". They give us oil, and in return, we give them Nuclear Warheads.....lots of them.....strategically placed.



wtf?
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 6:11:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Enigma102083:
This guy did operations in Northern Ireland, and he says US troops are performing illegal acts? Riiiiiigght.....



Exactly.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 6:15:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ClayP:
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.



Not the ones I've talked to.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 6:20:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By C-4:

Originally Posted By ClayP:
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.



Not the ones I've talked to.



Have not seen it either. I bet that "untermenschen" was "literary license"
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 6:24:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CitizenSoldier:

Originally Posted By C-4:

Originally Posted By ClayP:
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.



Not the ones I've talked to.



Have not seen it either. I bet that "untermenschen" was "literary license"



Wouldn't be the first time the press just made shit up.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 6:28:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By thedoctors308:

Originally Posted By CitizenSoldier:

Originally Posted By C-4:

Originally Posted By ClayP:
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.



Not the ones I've talked to.



Have not seen it either. I bet that "untermenschen" was "literary license"



Wouldn't be the first time the press just made shit up.



See it all the time.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 6:29:23 PM EDT
I cant hardly believe a guy like that actually got in the SAS. They dont accept quitters.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 6:30:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By captainpooby:
I cant hardly believe a guy like that actually got in the SAS. They dont accept quitters.



Once in awhile someone gets through the cracks.
Link Posted: 3/17/2006 4:19:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Hydguy:
Sorry, but English occupation of Ireland is criminal. Ireland should be a sovereign nation. But, no, England had to play dictator.



In your opinion, perhaps, but it's not as simple as all that. We are Americans, so it isn't up to us. That would be like the Brits saying whether The South should have been independant from the Northern states here... it shouldn't concern them because they aren't directly involved, and it wouldn't be appropriate for them to make such strong statements. The UK is not in our jurisdiction.

The Troubles in Northern Ireland is a complicated issue, probably too deep to go into here. It's political, true, but it's also about Protestant vs Catholic, and the terrorism conducted against the Protestants by the IRA. Are you saying that it should be allowed to continue? I seriously doubt that you meant it like that.

But back to the topic at hand: I was surprised to hear that an SAS member snapped like that. It's not as if he didn't know what he was getting into when he decided to try out for Selection. I still think that he's going to try to make a name for himself by getting on the Andy McNab/Chris Ryan bandwagon. The thing is, if he's out to embarrass The Regiment, he just might end up becoming a target himself.
Link Posted: 3/17/2006 5:26:50 PM EDT
You join you fight. Simple.

Max
Link Posted: 3/17/2006 5:32:08 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/17/2006 5:46:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/17/2006 5:55:04 PM EDT by vito113]
Link Posted: 3/17/2006 5:55:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:

Originally Posted By CitizenSoldier:

Originally Posted By captainpooby:
I cant hardly believe a guy like that actually got in the SAS. They dont accept quitters.



Once in awhile someone gets through the cracks.





Ben Griffin is anything but 'someone who got through the crack'…

He was working CT and Force Protection up in the Green Zone. That SAS squad who blew away those Iraqi Suicide Bombers in Baghdad last year? Same unit…

He was working 'in the shadows' and it's a very dirty war away from the spotlight…


Revealed: SAS mission to kill a Baghdad suicide squad
By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent
(Filed: 20/11/2005)

The SAS killed three suicide bombers in Baghdad as part of an undercover, shoot-to-kill operation in Iraq, it can be revealed.


The three terrorists were all killed by SAS snipers armed with specialist rifles. Each terrorist was wearing a suicide vest laden with commercial explosives. It is understood that they were intending to target cafes and restaurants frequented by members of the Iraqi security forces.

A 16-man unit of the SAS, acting on intelligence obtained by an Iraqi agent working for the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), shot dead the would-be bombers in a combined SAS and American operation in July this year.

Details of the mission codenamed Operation Marlborough have remained secret until now - primarily because it was launched in the same week that a Metropolitan Police firearms unit in London shot dead Jean Charles de Menezes, a 27-year-old Brazilian electrician, in the mistaken belief that he was a suicide bomber.

It marked one of the most successful counter-insurgency operations undertaken by British forces since the start of the Iraq conflict. It is the first time it has become clear that the SAS is working with American special forces on a permanent basis in Iraq.

The troops were part of Task Force Black, the coalition's special forces unit based in Baghdad. It is composed of a squadron of SAS troopers and members of the Delta Force - the clandestine American army special forces unit - plus other elements of British and American forces. It acts on intelligence gathered by a network of Iraqi spies working for the CIA and MI6.

The unit only undertakes "black", or covert, operations and is one of the few coalition units in Iraq with the specific task of launching attacks against suicide bombers.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/11/20/nsas20.xml&sSheet=/news/2005/11/20/ixhome.html





I would be curious about the part of this story we are not getting.
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