27 Aug 2023 - British Inquiries - Establishment Coverups Protecting the Guilty 

British Inquiries - Establishment Coverups Protecting the Guilty
by Anthony C Heaford

Along with the majority of the population I’d never bothered to follow parliamentary inquiries, relying instead on the mainstream media reports on such matters. As well as my lacking expertise in the particular topics, I made the general assumption that such inquiries were professionally run by those most qualified in the relevant subject matters. My view changed after becoming involved in (by trying to submitting evidence to) the parliamentary inquiry of 2013/14 titled “Afghanistan - Camp Bastion Attack”. My evidence / testimony submissions were withheld from the inquiry by two British government ministers, the Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Mark Francois MP, and Defence Secretary Philip Hammond MP (who’d decided the inquiry result four months before the inquiry had concluded).

I’ve subsequently become aware that that inquiry coverup wasn’t a one off, it is the standard operating procedure for every inquiry I’ve studied since. And so I am documenting four inquiries that have been / continue to be self-serving exercises in deception of the British nation and wider world by the British Establishment. Here’s a summary of events surrounding the Camp Bastion Attack inquiry coverup, with three further summaries to follow shortly.

British parliament’s Defence Select Committee inquiry: Afghanistan - Camp Bastion Attack

14/15 September 2012 - Fifteen heavily armed Taliban attackers dressed in US military uniforms breached Camp Bastion’s defences and attacked the NATO Main Operating Base’s airfield. In the ensuing six hour battle two US Marines were killed-in-action, sixteen men were wounded, an entire squadron of Harrier Jump Jets were decimated and the total battle damage they inflicted was estimated at $400-million. Link to my detailed reports on the criminal and professional failures of British commanders leading up to the Taliban’s attack (including secondary testimony from the most qualified of British military contractors).

01 October 2013 - In an almost unprecedented move by the US Central Command, and in contrast to the British refusal to even perform an investigation, the Americans declassified their investigation into the attack ten years early, a report originally scheduled to be declassified on 19 August 2023. Link to the US Central Command’s declassified report.

15 October 2013 - After having the US investigation reviewed by his headquarters, British Lieutenant-General David Capewell advised Britain’s most senior commander, General Nick Houghton, that “it shed no new light on events in terms of lessons identified, and there was no culpable failure on the part of UK forces at Camp Bastion” and hence negating the need for a formal British inquiry. Link to Lt-General Capewell’s testimony to the Defence Select Committee.

24 October 2013 - The Independent newspaper published an open letter from the mother of Lieutenant-Colonel Christopher Raible, one of the two US Marines killed in the attack. That open letter was titled “Dodging blame is the only concern of British military leaders”. Link to report.

25 October 2013 - The Independent newspaper publishes a report titled “MPs* may launch inquiry over Britain’s culpability for deadly Camp Bastion attack”. *MPs - Members of Parliament on the Defence Select Committee. An inquiry was subsequently initiated and although the exact date it was launched remains unclear, that inquiry later stated: “Members of the Committee were able to view the location of the attack during a visit to Camp Bastion in October 2013”. This information, combined with Lt-General Capewell’s advice to General Houghton on 15 October and The Independent newspaper reports of 24 and 25 October and suggests the parliamentary inquiry was initiated immediately and in direct response to the open letter from the mother of Lt-Colonel Raible. Link to report.

30 November 2013 - Over four months before the British inquiry’s results were published the Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Mark Francois MP, stated that Defence Secretary Philip Hammond “remains content with our earlier assessment that no UK personnel are culpable, that no further UK action is required, and that we have identified all significant lessons and acted upon them”. Mr Francois’s statement was in response to my testimony of catastrophic British security failings on the airfield in the months prior to the Taliban’s attack of 14/15 September, submitted to him via my MP ‘Sir’ Graham Brady. Link to correspondence.

16 October 2014 - Following the April 2014 publication of the Defence Select Committee’s ‘Afghanistan - Camp Bastion Attack’ inquiry’s findings (which was a blatant coverup) I emailed every member of that committee. I highlighted just a few of the security failings, specifically those that the inquiry had been deceived about by Lt-General Capewell. After initially being ignored I reiterated my concerns and received a reply from James Rhys, the Clerk of the Committee. Mr Rhys said that my email “was considered by the Committee who noted its contents with considerable interest”, but then added “We have not treated this as formal evidence to the Committee and do not intend to publish it”. This to my mind makes every MP on the committee complicit in the coverup of catastrophic British failings and crimes in Afghanistan. Link to correspondence.

28 October 2015 - I received the Defence Select Committee’s final correspondence on this subject from committee member Bob Stewart MP. He dismissed my testimony out of hand and repeatedly accused me of failing my duties while serving with the British army in Helmand. Link to correspondence.

Conclusion: After initially refusing to investigate British culpability in the security failings that led to the deaths of two US Marines and the destruction of $400-millions of equipment inside Camp Bastion, the British government was shamed into performing a perfunctory inquiry by the open letter authored by the American mother of one of those US Marines. 
· The Minister of State for the Armed Forces Mark Francois MP’s correspondence of 30 November 2013 prove that the Defence Secretary Philip Hammond had decided the results of the inquiry over four months before that inquiry published its findings, and that my testimony was withheld from the inquiry by those government ministers. 
· My subsequent correspondence with the committee clerk James Rhys and member Bob Stewart prove that a) the committee is aware of my first-hand testimony contradicting the evidence they had heard from Lt-General Capewell, and b) the committee has failed in its duty to investigate my extremely serious testimony that would prove they were repeatedly lied to by Lt-General Capewell.
· It is therefore beyond any reasonable doubt that British generals, government ministers and multiple MPs were absolutely complicit in the establishment coverup, protecting the guilty and endangering the nation by their refusal to address the criminal corruption, fatal incompetence and professional dishonesty of British military commanders.

Inquiry analyses to follow shortly:

The 2014 Decision-making in Defence Policy Inquiry by the Defence Select Committee

The 2021 Independent Review of Prevent, the UK’s strategy for protecting people vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism, reporting to the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Priti Patel MP

The ongoing Independent Inquiry relating to Afghanistan, focused on the alleged systematic extra-judicial executions of prisoners-of-war by British Special Forces in Helmand, reporting to the Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace MP

Truly, for some of us nothing is written, unless we write it 
© Anthony C Heaford - The Quiet Mancunian