And it’s only called ‘honesty.’
‘Friendly fire’ death in Iraq deemed unlawful killing
by Phil Hazlewood Fri Mar 16, 2:47 PM ET
LONDON (AFP) – A coroner on Friday accused the US military of a criminal breach of the international law of armed conflict after the “friendly fire” death of a British soldier in the early days of the Iraq war.
Andrew Walker ruled that Lance Corporal Matty Hull was unlawfully killed when two US jets mistakenly attacked his clearly-marked convoy in southern Iraq and criticised the Pentagon for failing to cooperate fully with the inquest.
Hull’s widow, Susan, said she was relieved with the ruling but accused the United States of letting down its main ally in Iraq by failing to explain the exact circumstances.
The US Defence Department hit back, reaffirming its own finding that the 25-year-old’s death near Basra on March 28, 2003, was a “tragic accident” and said it had given all relevant information to its British counterparts.
In a strongly-worded ruling at the hearing in Oxford, Walker said Hull’s death was avoidable and tantamount to manslaughter.
“I find there was no lawful authority to fire on the convoy. The attack on the convoy therefore amounted to an assault. It was unlawful because there was no lawful reason for it and in that respect it was criminal,” he added.
At a news conference, Susan Hull criticised US President George W. Bush, to whom she appealed directly on Thursday to release 11 censored lines from an interview between a ground controller and one of the pilots.
“They were all together serving the same purpose but when it comes to following on from that and supporting each other in situations after that, I think they have been badly let down,” she said of the US-British alliance.
Read all of it here.