So when they were up they were up
and when they were down they were down.
But when they were only half way up,
the politicians stitched them up again
'British sniper investigated for not shouting warning in Iraq'
Veterans group expresses outrage at unlawful killing investigation despite fact that lethal shot prevented insurgent firing rocket propelled grenade at British base
It describes how a British base was subject to attack by an Iraqi armed with an RPG after Friday prayers over a period of weeks. Soldiers were told not to return fire for fear of hurting bystanders who gathered to watch after they left the local mosque.
Then one Thursday a patrol returned without a sniper team – either by accident or design.
The following day, the same insurgent is spotted preparing to launch his weekly attack.
“The round flew almost 1200 metres across the face of the crowd missing them safely. The RPG jumped unfired into the air and the insurgent’s body briefly flew across the ground having been hit by a veteran of long military service, a graduate of the Army Sniper School.”
• 'I’d rebuilt my life, I don’t want this dragged up again by unfair Iraq investigation'
The distance of the shot ruled out a shouted warning, says the pressure group.
“Duty done, eventually, the sniper returned home to the UK and a happy civilian family life, with the respect of those who know him.”
Yet now it says the sniper is the subject of an IHAT investigation for unlawful killing.
The IHAT team was set up by the Ministry of Defence in 2010 after dozens of claims from Iraq were submitted by British lawyers.
Initially, £57 million was set aside to investigate 152 allegations of unlawful killing and abuse. Since then the number of cases has passed 1500, provoking anger among veterans and their families who say they are being treated unfairly after putting their lives on the line for Queen and country.
UK Veterans One Voice is planning a series of marches next month to highlight the issue.
“Let the Government know we will not go away until full responsibility is accepted for allowing the mis-management of persecuting and prosecuting members of the Armed Services,” it said in a message to supporters.
“We ask for a stop to the current trend of ‘bash a soldier’ that is making a mint for lawyers, but ruining lives of individuals.”
Michael Fallon, the defence secretary, recently criticised "ambulance chasing" law firms, which he said were inhibiting the effectiveness of British troops abroad.
He told the Telegraph: "We don’t need these ambulance-chasing British law firms. It is not only extremely expensive but it inhibits the operational effectiveness of our troops because they start to worry about whether they will end up in a court or not.”