Death of Linda Norgrove 68


There is no cause to doubt that the US killed Linda Norgrove accidentally. My sorrow for her and her family is the same as that I feel for the thousands of entirely innocent Afghan and Pakistani civilians killed in US airstrikes.

Nor do I diminsih the responsibility of her captors. But nonetheless, the most worrying point of thw whole incident is the lie propagated by NATO that she was killed by a suicide vest wearing captor.

The suicide vest is of course a potent symbol of Islamic fundamentalist violence, and by invoking it NATO were not only lying about who killed Norgrove, they were reinforcing the image of her captors as religious fanatics, as opposed to local tribesmen.

Most of the Afghan resistance consists of locals motivated by ethnic and cultural factors defending their own soil. The characterisation of them all as Taliban is a bit of propaganda bought wholesale by the media. These may have been local partisans, or just ransom seekers. They may have been hiding a motivation behind a religious facade. There is no evidence I am aware of that the hostage takers wished to die themselves. That is why the “Linda Norgrove killed by suicide vest” lie is key.

So it is very important that an inquiry establishes not just the truth about who killed Linda Norgrove, but whether there was a suicide vest at all anywhere in the incident. Fabric is seldom destroyed by explosion, rather shredded and partially burnt. If the suicide vest is a complete invention, that would be an outrageous lie by NATO.


68 thoughts on “Death of Linda Norgrove

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  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    The ‘invention’ is ‘par for the course’ and you are right Craig, it is the main issue and another lie on a stack of lies told to the British people to fuel the ‘war of terror’ – We cannot just keep kicking the can down the street on this propaganda – especially now a bill is before the Senate to ‘kill’ the Internet under emergency procedures so we are force-fed main media news and more propaganda.

    It is time to act and I am writing for liberty and justice in all directions.

  • Sabretache

    “There is no cause to doubt that the US killed Linda Norgrove accidentally.”

    Unfortunate turn of phrase that.

    I agree that there is no cause to doubt that the US killed her; but there are good reasons to suppose that it was no accident.

  • Larry from St. Louis

    “Most of the Afghan resistance consists of locals motivated by ethnic and cultural factors defending their own soil. The characterisation of them all as Taliban is a bit of propaganda bought wholesale by the media. These may have been local partisans, or just ransom seekers.”

    Wow. You just completely made that up, didn’t you.

    So, at this point, you’re not merely selecting facts that support your position – you’re actually inventing facts.

  • Yoav

    Whilst I don’t think they killed her deliberately, I don’t think it was accidental either.

    I think that the USA and British governments have a deliberate policy of mounting “rescue missions” against kidnappers as a way of sending a message to these people that they ‘mean business’. If the hostages get killed in the process than so be it. It doesn’t matter to them. They can always apologise afterwards.

    If they really cared about the hostages, they’d negotiate.

    (and why did Obama apologise to Cameron, rather than the woman’s family?)

  • Larry from St. Louis

    MJ, I scanned that article, and it’s crazy town. Oh, sure, Linda Norgrove “knew too much,” so they killed her.

    Thank you for once again demonstrating the Tim McVeigh-type thinking that dominates this blog.

    What happened was a tragedy. You sick people want to use the event to push your own crackpot theories about how the world works, and to feel somehow “in the know” in a world that has mostly passed you by. This really is a pattern, isn’t it?

  • Frazer

    Read that the soldier will be prosecuted. Why. Poor guy was just doing his job and trying to rescue her.

    Not his fault that things went pear shaped in the rescue attempt. If I was in her place I would just be happy in the knowledge that someone was trying to get me out of there, whatever the outcome.

  • Craig

    Frazer,

    Not prosecuted for killing her – which I agree was most likely fog of war – but for failing to report that he had used a live grenade as part of routine post mission reporting. The omission rather makes it look like he was trying to cover up having killed her.

  • MJ

    The key fact appears to be that local negotiators were certain they could have secured her release within a few days. Did the military go in to ensure this did not happen?

    “Poor guy was just doing his job and trying to rescue her”.

    How on earth do you “rescue” someone by chucking a grenade at them?

  • dreoilin

    An Afghan man (unnamed, or else I didn’t see it) said immediately afterwards that there was no real need for the ‘urgent’ rescue attempt as all the kidnappers wanted was money. In that case I don’t think I’d be, “happy in the knowledge that someone was trying to get me out of there, *whatever the outcome*.” I’m afraid the outcome would matter to me. American gung ho forces wouldn’t be my first choice of rescuer, either.

    [Has there been any news lately of the elderly couple kidnapped off their boat by Somalis? It’s ages since I heard anything.]

  • dreoilin

    “How on earth do you “rescue” someone by chucking a grenade at them?”

    Mystery of the month.

  • dreoilin

    The grenade thrower can hardly have been a “rookie” since they were supposed to be ‘special forces’, were they not?

  • dreoilin

    Craig, welcome back. I’m sure many of us would enjoy an update on how the house is going!

    You say “fog of war” but I wouldn’t expect a special forces man to mix up a smoke ‘grenade’ with a fragmentation grenade. Pretty big mistake.

  • Larry from St. Louis

    “”How on earth do you “rescue” someone by chucking a grenade at them?”

    Mystery of the month.”

    How sick. Are you saying that the soldiers went out there and risked their lives just to kill poor Ms. Norgrove?

    In a combat environment, mistakes occur. If you can’t imagine why that’s the case, then you’re simply an idiot.

    You people are far more sick and far more stupid than I thought.

  • Frazer

    Craig, fair point but a grenade does not go off a second or so after you pull out the pin, release the handle and throw it.It would be possible for someone to pick it up and throw it somewhere else eg at a hostage. In the fog of battle, there is not much time to mess around and soldiers rely on instinct and training when under fire.

    As all this was bieng watched through a live helmet camera feed I would be interested to see the footage. That would surely clear things up.

    On another note, what was she doing in the area in the first place ? That region is well known to be very dangerous and many INGO’s do not travel there for exactly the reason discussed in this topic.

    PS. The house looks great.

  • dreoilin

    From Sky News on Twitter:

    ‘Masked gunmen have abducted a British aid worker and a Somali in western Somalia, reports say.’

  • dreoilin

    “You people are far more sick and far more stupid than I thought”

    What’s SICK, Ms Larry, is what Craig already pointed out above: “the lie propagated by NATO that she was killed by a suicide vest wearing captor”.

    Now aren’t you banned here??

  • Anonymous

    Oh yeah, right on Larry from St. Louis.

    Please learn to shut the fuck up. I’m sure Officer Terrance Yeakley really did commit suicide in the manner stipulated didnt he?

    Only a moron like you follow the media bollox the TMv, actually bought the building down…go read something like ‘humpty dumbpty’ its on your level

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    Frazer,

    Special forces are taught to hard throw or bounce a grenade so there is no time for it to be thrown back.

    You cannot confuse a frag grenade which is egg shaped with any other, such as stun, smoke or cs which are cylindrical.

  • chris, glasgow

    “”Most of the Afghan resistance consists of locals motivated by ethnic and cultural factors defending their own soil. The characterisation of them all as Taliban is a bit of propaganda bought wholesale by the media. These may have been local partisans, or just ransom seekers.”

    Wow. You just completely made that up, didn’t you.”

    No he didn’t make it up. As someone who has worked on the reconstruction in Helmand I can tell that this is sadly the truth. The media like to label the Taliban as the root of all evils in Afghanistan but there are many others who are kidnapping and resistance fighting there who aren’t the Taliban, local warlords for one. Like Craig says some do it to defend their own soil but most do it because it is the only job available to them is a very poor and remote area of the world.

    I think where Craig is being a bit Naive is assuming most of them are fighting for cultural and ethnic reasons In most instances they are paid to fight by the leading warlord in that area so he can keep his control. But they are not Taliban.

  • chris, glasgow

    The worst thing about this sad story highlights is that it is simply not safe enough for aid workers to be in Afghanistan at present.

    The whole system of private protection for aid workers is far too corrupt to allow foreign aid workers to be there. Until there is a more reliable and corruption free private security sector in Afghanistan foreign workers will continue to be at risk.

  • craig

    Chris,

    You are probably right that I stated it in too ennobling a way. But remember what Gladstone said of one of our previous invasions of Afghanistan “If they resist, wouldyou not do the same?”

  • MJ

    “You cannot confuse a frag grenade which is egg shaped with any other”

    I don’t think the issue is about individual error or the fog war. It is about why the US was undertaking a military op in the first place. Norgrove’s release was imminent. Negotiators were “100% sure” that a deal had been struck. If the objective was to release Ms Norgrovr then a military op at this delicate time would have been insane.

    Obviously it wasn’t insane. It only seems that way because we do not know the real objective.

  • Frazer

    Mark.

    Actually you cannot ‘bounce’ a grenade, especially in an encolsed space such as a house. (I know cos I have done it, once it hits an object it can land just about anywhere) I am not saying the soldier in question was confused, he is trained to know exactly what type of grenade he is preparing to throw, even in the pitch dark. The question must be as to why he decided to use that particular weapon.

    I still think that this was a tragic accident and that no witch hunt should be focused on the actions of one guy who was, in reality, risking his life to save someone else. And if, as some say, that negotiators were 100% sure that she would be released, who gave the order to attack ? Not, I am sure the grunt on the ground.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    In an emotional statement, agent Cameron promised that there would be a “full US-UK investigation” into Miss Norgrove’s death.

    Rubbish – UK will not be consulted or provide any input to the inquiry. Our own SAS are miffed they were not directed by Cameron to do the rescue mission.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    The ‘suicide-vest’ monicker sounds not unlike the lies which the Metropolitan Police put out, week-after-week, following the shooting-to-death of Jean Charles De Menezes. Perhaps, in the ensuing weeks, we will learn that Ms Norgrove, too, leapt over barriers, sprinted down a tunnel and behaved like one of the captors. Or perhaps they thought she would be hiding inside a large sports bag?

    Over the years people have been held for varying periods of time and then released in various hostage situations in the world. A violent rescue mission, one might have thought, would be a last resort, when there was evidence that the captors were intending to murder their captive.

    I suspect that, as suggested in some of the posts above, the USA/UK are sending a message that they will not negotiate in hostage situations.

    As I wrote a few days ago, perhaps opium is of pertinence in relation to both this case and to aspects of the war more generally. Chris-from-Glasgow, perhaps you could tell us your views on this? Thanks.

    The more troll activity there is on a public site like this, one might posit that the closer one is to uncomfortable issues – uncomfortable, that is, for those in power on whose behalf the trolls engage themselves.

    Let us see what transpires.

  • tony_opmoc

    I See Craig is Still Alive. I have been in contact with a former boss of mine who I haven’t seen for 15 years.

    I am completely shocked at some of the people we used to work with who are now dead.

    But anyway…

    University Education is Close to Craig’s Heart

    tony_opmoc [Moderator] 59 minutes ago

    And in The UK…

    This time last year, one of my daughter’s friends who had started University had to give it up and come home…

    BECAUSE The Outsourced Student Loan / Grant Abortion of a complete derogation of any standard of competence had completely fucked up…

    And she couldn’t afford to eat.

    Sequence of text messages over the last hour…

    “Mum has sent you a cheque for £200 but assuming you are currently totally skint awaiting your grant . .

    If you text me your bank details name sort code account number then I will transfer some money over so you can eat. It may or may not work immediately depending on the bank.”

    “That would be great! Yeah my sort code is XX XX XX, account number is XXXXXXXX and the long one is XXX XXX XXX XXX. Valid from XX/XX to XX/XX. Should work as we are the same bank.

    Thank you! X”

    “When I first tried to send you the text it repeatedly failed and I didn’t know why. I dialed 789 and the Virgin Girl said my credit balance was 3 pence. If it worked you should now have £100 in your bank account so maybe Cinderella can go to the ball tonight”

    “Awesome thank you dad! X X X”

    Tony

  • StefZ

    There’s absolutely no way of knowing for sure what the intentions of the grenade thrower were

    It’s pretty clear though that accounts of the killing were either deliberately deceitful or plain incompetent. Either of which requires remedial action

    It’s also worth recalling the delberately deceitful nonsense that was spouted about Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch when reading the feeble justifications for the Pentagon BS machine that have been posted here

  • ingo

    These were no ordinary soldiers and the mission was planned. They knew exactly were she was and wanted to free her before she was moved.

    The idea behind such an action must surely be to free her, so the focus and concentration is not one of gung ho but carefull swift and coordinated action, silent if at all possible.

    If reports are correct and Linda was able to get away from her captors by some 20 yards, this action by a crack team, specially selected from within the SEAL teams, eihter makes them jittery hot spurts, or they were not trained enough for this action, maybe were too inexperienced.

    What a massive,planned cock up, would the SAS approached it slightly different?

    Have not read anything about her being suspected of carrying information that could bring the US even further into disrepute.

    But it would not surprise me either.

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