as you don't have to look over your shoulder while you're at it.
The good colonel is former commanding officer of the Queen's
Lancashire Regiment. Seven of his chaps have been in a spot of bother
over an Iraqi named Buha Musar who was kicked to death on September
15, 2003 whilst being detained by the regiment in Basra, Iraq.
Things turned up splendidly though. The last two lads of six charged
with war crimes were acquitted yesterday on orders of a Court Martial
judge at Bulford Camp in Wiltshire, England.
Colonel Black cheered the result saying "Our Boys needed to be able to
work without looking over their shoulders inhibited by the fear of
such actions by over-zealous and remote officialdom².
The court martial had heard how hard the work had been. The Boys had
tied up and hooded staff from a Basra hotel where they'd found some
guns then kicked them for 36 hours back at their base near Basra.
But the squaddies were in fact both musical and sporting about it.
Kifah Taha Musa Mutairi, one of a the Iraqi civilians detained told
the court how the soldiers gave them nicknames such as Van Basten and
Gullit, after two Dutch players. "If a person had fallen asleep, they
would wake them up and ask them for their nickname," he said "If we
were not able to recite our respective nickname we would be kicked and
Another soldier Corporal Donald Payne provided the lullaby.
Prosecutor Julian Bevan QC said: "Cpl Payne plainly enjoyed conducting
what he called 'the Choir', and he conducted the Choir for the
enjoyment of those who visited the detention facility.
The Choir consisted of Cpl Payne systematically assaulting each of
these Iraqi civilians in turn, either by hitting them in their
stomachs or on the body, causing each one to shriek or groan in pain -
their various noises constituting music."
It was tiring work - particularly for the musically inclined Corporal
Payne. He admitted to inhumanely treating the prisoners and so has won
the Nuremberg prize as Britain's first bona-fide convicted war
criminal. He is awaiting sentence.