Prime Minister David Cameron told the public this week that British aid worker Linda Norgrove may have been accidentally killed by U.S. forces during a rescue mission in Afghanistan. He attributed the death to the possible use of a grenade by U.S. forces in the rescue effort.
Cameron emphasized that the rescue mission had his full support and that of the family since they believed that Norgrove was in “grave danger”.
There is an investigation pending.
We discussed such cases in class recently and how, under the common law, such alleged mistakes do not result in liability under the public necessity privilege. Even when countries waive sovereign immunity (which in our country originated in the English rule that “the King can do no wrong”), public necessity normally does not create a duty to compensate. The case of the bombing of Coventry is often cited in this area. In that case, the British declined to warn Coventry of a planned bombing attack to hide the fact that the English and Americans had broken the German Enigma-based code under Operation Ultra. Later claims were denied by English courts.
The tragedy of Norgrove’s death (particularly at the hands of our own forces) is incredible. She was clearly a wonderful person who cared more about others than herself. She was a force for love and charity — a force that was destroyed by extremists who viewed her as little more than an object in their hateful crusade. If this report is true, it is important to keep in mind that every U.S. soldier in this operation was willing to lay down his own life for Norgrove in participating in this mission. It is of course little solace for this family who lost an angel and an inspiration to the whole world.
50 thoughts on “English Prime Minister Suggests U.S. Military May Have Killed Linda Norgrove”
Given that I have years of martial arts training, I’m going to call “bullshit” on that. Killing is indeed easy. Humans are fragile. Trite is not the equivalence of false. Disabling or dissuading further attacks from them with minimal damage to them and yourself is difficult. Feel free to disagree if you like.
It sounds like a tragic (and likely stupid) error by a SEAL killed the hostage. The report is quite detailed regarding the logistics of the rescue and it appears that all of the kidnappers were down and likely dead from gunfire when the remaining kidnapper dragged the hostage out of a tent. The hostage broke free and moved a short distance away and then went to the ground in a fetal position. A SEAL on a rooftop then tossed a fragmentation grenade between the hostage taker and the hostage. Why the grenade was tossed was not stated. The grenades were provided so the rescuers would have options when dealing with opposition going to or returning from the rescue site according to the article. The rescue was being watched real-time through a satellite feed. A review of the discs led to the inquiry that the details of the encounter in the article are based upon.
Sad, sad, sad.
Killing is easy.
It isn’t and to say so is trite.
I thought we were off to the free will vs determinism races but then I saw it….’Nothing real is threatened, nothing unreal exists, therein lies Peace’
J. Brian Harris,
Fantastic post. Good show.
J. Brian Harris, Ph.D., P.E.
I am going to cut and paste and study your post off line before commenting
Being autistic and never having learned to think in words, I sometimes do not translate meaning into words as I plan. The third paragraph from the end of my prior post contains a typographical blunder, one I was unable to avoid making, yet one which I did recognize, and the correction is below. That paragraph was intended to convey, in its final six words, “there cannot not be absolute truth.”
As for the making of unavoidable errors, Quod Erat Demonstrandum?
Were there no truth, “There is no truth,” would be truth; there cannot not be truth. Were there no absolute truth, “There is no absolute truth,” would be absolute truth; there cannot not be absolute truth.
Why bad things happen to good people is a question I have long understood, and, every time something bad happens to me, I understand why even more. However, that is not the puzzlement which most interests me.
Methinks, “Why do good people intentionally do bad things to themselves and others?” may be a more useful question, and I have long understood that, also.
It is one thing to understand something and quite another to share such understanding with other people. Why good people deliberately do bad things is a direct consequence of what I have named, “The Fundamental Error of Social Reality” in my Ph.D. dissertation, “Mental Health and Mental Illness: Cause, Purpose, Cure, and Prevention; A Bioengineering Perspective” (University of Illinois at Chicago, 1998).
What, in simple terms, is the fundamental error of social reality? I find it to be of the form of a mistake made about the nature of mistakes which evidently happened long before the beginning of written historical records. This mistake about mistakes has taken upon itself thousands, if not millions, of seemingly diverse forms within the structure of global human society, and yet it is also terribly simple.
Said fundamental error is any belief which contradicts the directly observable fact that no mistake ever made either could or should have been avoided. Within my Ph.D. dissertation is a simple demonstration that no mistake ever actually made either could or should have been avoided, and that this is true regardless of the nature of the mistake or its consequences.
No person can ever truthfully describe any mistake actually made and also truthfully describe any achievable process through which the mistake made could actually have been avoided; because, to know without significant error how to have avoided making any infima species mistake, the person making the mistake has to have already made it, by which time the mistake has become unavoidable because it already happened.
All truthfully avoidable mistakes are avoided, and we never know for sure what the were because they were not. All truthfully unavoidable mistakes happen, and we can learn about them as they happen.
When a child, at typically 18 months of age is subjected to the lesson(s) of the traditional infant-child transition, supposedly to learn how to tell right from wrong, the process of such teaching is of the form of brain damage in the form of neurological trauma in consequence of being coerced, even to the extent of terror, into believing that something the child was told something about yet had not done is equivalent to having done it.
Neurologist Robert Scaer (in “The Trauma Spectrum,” W. W. Norton, 2005) describes the nature of this brain-damaging traumatic process, particularly at the beginning of Chapter 3.
There may be a valid reason why the infant-child transition is sometimes called, “the terrible twos.” It is my observation that children are often truly terrified when tyrannically coerced into the ways of learning effective lying. See U. Mass. Amherst psychologist, Robert Feldman’s “The Liar in Your Life” (Twelve, Hachette Book Group, 2009), especially pages 258 and 73.
Good people deliberately do bad things because that is the way people actually learn what doing bad things are, and eventually, methinks, will plausibly learn how to avoid doing bad things.
Bad things happen to good people because humanity has not yet evolved the knowledge, familiarity, and understanding needed for avoiding bad things.
Perhaps I properly mention that I have a really unfair advantage as compared with most other people in sorting out why bad things happen. I am autistic in such a way as to never have gone through the infant-child transition. I have never found, observed, or believed, that I, or anyone else, can ever do anything other than as the nature of nature requires. Therefore, I never find myself or anyone else guilty of anything, no matter what happens or how it happens.
I live according to the following variation of the six questions of journalism:
Moment by moment, whatever happens, wherever it happens, however it happens, is both necessary and sufficient; and whatever does not happen, wherever it does not happen, however it does not happen, is both unnecessary and impossible.
The six questions of journalism, who, what, when, where, how, why, are somewhat out of sequence, and some may wonder where “who” is.
Who is everyone, what is whatever happens, when is moment by moment, where is wherever, how is however, and why is because of being necessary and sufficient or being unnecessary and impossible.
I am not a private person; my personal and public (they are the same) theory of life espoused and theory of life in use are the same theory. I am not divided against myself or against my life, or against anyone or anything else.
Whatever happens in my life is both necessary and sufficient and I merely adapt to what happens according to my practicable ability to adapt, and my ability to adapt is always sufficient for my life to be what is is as it becomes what it becomes.
Were there no truth, “There is no truth,” would be truth; there cannot not be truth. Were there no absolute truth, “There is no absolute truth,” would be absolute truth; there cannot be absolute truth.
Existence exists because there is nothing outside the entire possible and impossible realm of existence to prevent existence from existing. And here we are. Existence creates itself, for there is nothing else except nothing outside existence, and nothing is impossible because existence is.
Perhaps philosophy (the science of understanding) is making real progress. As from Hillel the Elder, “If not now, when? If not here, where? if not us, who?
It is always hard to save everyone, especially in war-time, but it is usually the enemy who is at fault for the deaths of innocent lives, not us. I’m not saying that the soldiers are responsible for Norgrove’s death as she knew the risks when she went to Afghanistan. I’m saying that there should be some apology by the U.S. for the mistake they made. Even if they are not punished for it, they should at least carry the guilt. They should admit they made a mistake and let the family know that they are sorry for what happened. It would mean a lot to people if they knew that the government does care about the lives of innocent people.
I agree that the desire….the ‘love of’…the loss of sense and sensibility regarding the acquisition of $$$$ at all costs and despite consequence to others is the root and cause of evil….those are human acts.
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