Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Is Captain Robert Semrau being Scapegoated?

Captain Robert Semrau, a Canadian soldier charged with the second-degree murder of a presumed insurgent in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan in October was scheduled to appear today before a custody hearing at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa.

According to University of Ottawa lawyer Amir Attaran, "This to me doesn't pass the smell test," he said in an interview published in the National Post. "The event in question happened in October and nothing happens for over two months until on the 31st of December, the NIS decides to investigate. Either the NIS sat on its hands for two months or nobody spoke for two months."

Attram who has criticized the Defence Department for how it handled the issue of Afghan detainees, said "I wonder if the family (of Capt. Semrau) feels the same way. (about the delay in charging the Soldier) They should."

Many observers have asked, and this is what disturbs me, whether the military had been sitting on the case for more than two months between the alleged incident and the announcement by the National Investigation Service (NIS) of an investigation into the matter. And why the secrecy? The NIS statement says the task force commander in Kandahar was only made aware of the incident on Dec. 27; Capt. Semrau was charged Dec. 31. This seems peculiar to say the least.

The incident in question ocurred on October 19 and the military is refusing to release any details. As reported in the Globe and Mail "Lashkar Gah came up pretty quick; we weren't tracking on it at all," Major Steve Nolan, commander of the Canadian advisers serving with an Afghan kandak, or company, said during an interview in early December. "They called us at 6 o'clock one night and said by 6 o'clock tomorrow morning you need to be in Lashkar Gah."

The small team of Canadian mentors scrambled to prepare about 250 Afghan troops for about two weeks of fighting, something the unit had not previously experienced. The sheer scale of the fighting meant the battlefield grew chaotic."

An Afghan army general who was on hand for the battle of Lashkar Gah said he had heard none of the allegations of “inappropriate conduct” surrounding the presumed insurgent’s death.
Gen. Sher Muhammad Zazai said the Afghan army killed so many Taliban fighters during the fight, it’s impossible to know how they all died.

This only reinforces the curious nature of the delay and secrecy regarding the charges against Capt. Semrau must be given the benefit of the doubt, until he has been heard by a competent and impartial tribunal.

Those wishing to show their support for Captain Semrau and his family can pay their respects at a Facebook site titled "Support the Freedom of Capt. Robert Semrau".


thus spoke said...

....a letter from my brother.."It is the objective purpose of the government- ( and when i say government, i mean to say politicians ) who, by the way, incidentally have no understanding of military tactics; which in turn, should immediately disqualify the shamelessness of these loud mouth buffoons, and their convoluted idealism that doesn't mirror the reality on the front lines from a soldiers perspective- to extend the reach of law & order ( for no better reason for what it really is the desire for: complete control) right into the heat of the battlefield. Is it really beneficial to have our soldiers second guessing themselves with the rules of law & order in the realm of where offensive combat tactics has been initiated? And what General of an Army ( or one that could even call himself a General) support such nonsense pfftt! Combat rules apply; and their nasty!! end of story!!!. And heres another thing; will the taliban follow such rules, or find ways to use it to their advantage-namely, against us. The rules that these idiot politicians are try to impose, not only inter(fears) with the ruthless pragmatism as the critical and necessary pre-condition for instantiating battlefield tactics and military strategy, but outright endangers the mission by trying to psychologically habituate the soldiers condition... that in the end could end up costing him his life!! Why isn't your general speaking out about this abomination!! Where's the support for this hero that there trying to make an example of, for no better reason than to pass legislation that would legitimate their position? Their making him the scapegoat, so as to subtlety introduce their parasitic agenda- ECH! Again, why are your leaders not doing anything about this? Cause their all on the same team, that's why!-ECH!! . WHY are politicians making any instructive decisions whatsoever on what works or doesn't work, especially when pertaining directly to military tactics... who do these clowns think they are? It's a tell tale sign of our times though ( and at this point i find it difficult to repress a sigh ); when the gross incompetence of a politicians faulty sense of entitlement, is allowed to make an imposition in the form of an idea, which comes to nothing other than: an unpragmatic figment of his/her imagination run unfettered and unchecked. And again i ask the question, what General of any Army would support such nonsense! But what do i know eh?

Monty P Marshall said...

I support Captain Robert Semrau. He has done everything Canada has asked him to do. Sadly bleading hearted liberals think that we should be handing out Maple syrup and Tim Hortons coffee. They have to prove that this insurgent was dead prior to getting another shot. Regardless, the wounded Taliban are just as dangerouse as the guy still standing. We are not fighting a traditional war so if Ottawa can not acept this then pull us out. Good luck to Capt. Semrau

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