Sunday, June 22, 2008


"A Few Good Men" is a terrific movie IMO. It tells the story of a Marine who is killed by his comrades while carrying out an unofficial internal punishment. This was ordered by the Colonel of the regiment Nathan Jessop ( Jack Nicholson ) who is questioned in the military court by young Naval Lawyer Daniel Caffey ( Tom Cruise )
The climax of the film sees Cruise thundering at Nicholson "you ordered a 'code red' didn't you, and Nicholson roaring back "you're god damn right I did, I'd do it again" The "Code Red" is the unofficial internal punishment inflicted on marines by their comrades, in the movie it leads to the death of Pte. William Santiago. It's just a movie though !

British Army Pte. Gavin Williams age 22 on July 3Rd. 2006, died due to an informal Army punishment known as "beasting"

His 'Comrades' Sgt Russell Price, 45, Sgt Paul Blake, 37, and Cpl John Edwards, 32, all deny manslaughter.
During the punishment Pte Williams pleaded with his tormentors that he was "cooking up", to no avail.
Beasting it was explained was "a form of summary justice" used by the Army, designed to humiliate, push to the limit and hurt the recipient,
Sgt Price, supervised this, he said he regarded Williams as "a disgrace to the regiment"
He also said he was 'willingly' assisted by Edwards and Blake
The jury heard how Sgt Price said in a police interview that his job was to stamp out ill-discipline in the battalion.
Price boasted later to a fellow corporal in the mess that Pte. Williams had got 'the best beasting of my/his life'."
A soldier who saw the beasting taking place said: "I heard the soldier (Williams) say 'I can't go on, I've got to stop'." Sgt. Blake carried on.

Marine Pte. Willie Santiago's death was in a movie, Pte. Gavin William's death was not.

These things go on in the Army, it's a badly kept secret, it is also a disgrace, it is met with a shrug and the phrase 'it's the Army what do you expect' it leads to a complete disregard for people and that in turn leads to the behaviour of some soldiers in action who show no respect for their enemy or the people of the country that they are in.

Who is to blame ? is it Pte. Williams tormentors ? they have probably been 'beasted' when they were young soldiers, it's part of the macho Army culture, they are about to find out exactly what they are worth to the Army.
My guess is that some 'brass hat' will publicly bluster that these things are discouraged and it will carry on, think about "Deep Cut Barracks"
I have shouted often enough about our military leaders and this, along with other incidents shows IMO that the top of the Army tree is rotten, they are the guilty ones not the three vigilanties who carried it out.

I have deliberately not mentioned the reason that Pte. Williams was killed by these events, that is because there is nothing that he could have done that remotely justifies such institutionalised barbarism.

We continue to show the world how to behave the British way, as our soldiers bring civilisation to Afghanistan and Iraq.


Jackart said...

What's your point, Terry? That the army has a "macho culture". Well their job description is to "close with and kill the enemy" And in this case, the individuals concerned are being punished. In a large body of people there are always a few bad apples.... Labour councillors, for example...

Your anti military prejudice is staggering in its ignorance and spite.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Jackart) 13:56
You make my point for me, being in the army means you can get away with anything, significantly you don’t condemn what happened.

That is no surprise, you being such a tough guy.

David Duff said...

Well I condemn the action of those NCOs, too, assuming they have been found guilty, because it was a monumentally stupid and negligent action on their part. However I do not condemn the practice of 'beasting'. I will not attempt to explain why, Councillor, for I fear it would be a waste of time for both of us.

On the whole, though, my advice to you is to steer clear of military matters. True, your occasional remarks on the subject do produce enormous hilarity, especially amongst ex-soldiers, but, alas, your reputation as one of the greatest thinkers in, er, North West Paisley is thereby placed in jeopardy.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(David Duff) 17:35

“On the whole, though, my advice to you is to steer clear of military matters”

I will never steer clear of military matters, they are too important and they are so badly run, there is so much that could be improved if we let someone with more sense become the top brass, like the Marx Brothers.

Anonymous said...

Mr Terry ..before you comment on matters you know little about at least get your facts correct!
It was NOT Price that boasted about the beasting.People like you and the media have jumped on this story for self gratification and money but as the truth and other factors have come out you choose NOT to comment on them as there is nothing personally to gain!!
One of our basic rights in this country is innocent till proven guilty but people like you and the media have selfishly taken away this fundamental right.
I suggest you spend less time watching Hollywood films and more time in the real world.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 05/07/08

I haven’t said anything that was not already in the public domain, these crimes will continue as long as fantasists like you refuse to tell the truth.

Anonymous said...

Oh Mr Terry but you did get yourself confused when quoting what the Media said.
Why am I a fantasist??
Anyway they are not Guilty so you will have to source another film to compare them to, I'm sure you will somehow find the time.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 15:43

The Army is guilty, and corrupt. Who will pay for this young man’s death ? These three heroes were “just obeying orders” now where and how often have we heard those weasel words before.