Killing of Briton by U.S. Pilot Was ‘Criminal,’ Coroner Rules – New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/17/world/europe/17britain.html

There is a Stumble currently making the rounds of WWII posters created by the US Army, which identify the headgear and uniforms of the Allied forces with the message, “This man is your FRIEND.” Apparently friendly fire deaths at the hands of American soldiers are a longstanding tradition. Since the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, there have been several incidents involving killed or wounded Canadians, Brits, and Italians. While such experiences are to be expected in a fog of war situation, it’s distasteful to see the Pentagon going to such lengths to thwart investigations when criminal wrongdoing is evident. Canada got a taste of this in 2002, when four of our soldiers were killed by a US pilot who was made unavailable by the Pentagon, and later cleared by them of all charges. Britain, it seems, is having similar frustrations now. Maybe some new posters are in order.

What we have here is a tragedy that occurred during a time of war,” said the spokesman, Sean McCormack, Reuters reported. “We have conducted an investigation into the matter – our military has – they have come to their own conclusions. We certainly would not agree with any conclusion that categorized this as a criminal act.”

Mr. Walker’s ruling does not mean anyone will face charges in Lance Corporal Hull’s death. But it does provide a resolution of sorts to a high-profile case in which the American military has come under sustained criticism for the shooting and for the Pentagon’s failure, in the view of the soldier’s family and of Mr. Walker, to cooperate with the British investigation.

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