English Prime Minister Suggests U.S. Military May Have Killed Linda Norgrove

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.

Source: here

Jonathan Turley

50 thoughts on “English Prime Minister Suggests U.S. Military May Have Killed Linda Norgrove”

  1. why blame money? It is the human actor that has the will for good or evil. Money is an inanimate, amoral object. Money is nothing more than a tool, a hammer can build a house or bash in a skull. It is the conscious mind that makes the tool a force for good or evil.

  2. This “war” continues to take the lives of valuable people and it is just another reason why reason needs to be used in deciding whether this is a conflict that we need to be part of at all.

  3. @Mike S: It is hard to tell.

    My sister is a sociologist, and has told me that actual multi-millionaires (she was talking about famous actors, musicians and writers) stop increasing their expenditures once they hit about $100K a month, not out of any sense of economy but because their desires (in housing, food, staff, etc) are satisfied. The annual real returns (about 2%) on about $60M in investments will therefore set somebody forever.

    Yet people with ten or fifty times that much money, from all parties, still seek office, which tells me their money, enough to let them to buy or do whatever they want whenever they want, isn’t giving them the power they crave.

    Also I want to make clear that I am talking about money being the root of *corruption* in government; which I see as an abuse of public power for private gain. Most national politicians in office are millionaires, but most have not hit the $60M mark either.

  4. Tony C.

    A friend of mind has a slightly different take on what you said:

    “Bad people also project, and see exploitation even where it doesn’t exist. This makes them tougher prey for other bad people. Intentionally bad acts happen to good people because they are easier prey.”

    His take was on people in general,he would like to say:

    “the young become the old and the old become the prey”

  5. “The root is money.”

    Tony C.,
    I like most of your analysis with this small quibble. To me it is not about money, but about the power that money brings. Human
    beings in all societies throughout time have always been corrupt since we insist on running thing in a hierarchical basis. With that comes the struggle for one’s place in the hierarchy and with that comes the corruption, violence and general evil that surrounds us.

  6. Tony C. – “…the **discovery** of corruption is at an all-time high.”

    yes, I think you are absolutely right on there.

  7. “Why do bad things happen to good people?”

    From the atheist point of view, there are two main reasons:

    1) Many bad things are just the laws of physics or random chance. If a man dives into a raging river to save a child, the act doesn’t change his physical strength or lung capacity or the tensile strength of his skull meeting a rock.

    2) Psychological projection. Most humans presume, to a significant extent, that other people think like they do. Both bad people and good people do it, and this makes good people easier for bad people to exploit than are other bad people to exploit. Many bad people rely heavily on the often unconscious presumption of good intent given to them by good people. It is why people “cannot believe” the embezzler, murderer, drug dealer or serial rapist next door was such a bad man.

    Bad people also project, and see exploitation even where it doesn’t exist. This makes them tougher prey for other bad people. Intentionally bad acts happen to good people because they are easier prey.

  8. ‘Not everything is a “contest”, but all situations have actions and outcomes.”
    Buddha, over my head at the moment and I have to go so i’ll try to decipher it later…that said…nothing in real life happens in an ideal controlled environment…and we mere mortals can never know all of the contributing factors….so what, in a civil and civilized society is most important to ensuring a positive outcome?

    …or maybe it’s like this…

  9. A tragic end to a brave attempt to save the woman. I do have to echo Prof. Turley in that our soldiers put their lives on the line in the failed attempt to save her. I only wish the result could have been better for the family of Ms. Norgrove.

  10. Blouise:

    “The next inevitable question rises, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” For that I still have no answer.”

    I think that is something that we will never know.

  11. @Woosty, on corruption:

    I have thought about this a great deal, from the evolutionary standpoint (I have a lot of experience there), and somehow you have to get the money out of government.

    More specifically, I think it would be sufficient to get the “General Fund” out of government; i.e. to make taxes extremely specifically targeted to fund certain programs, and not let any tax exceed something like 1/1000 th of the budget for the entity taxed (city, county, state, or federal), and make the program it funds independently elected and with open books.

    I am not religious, but I do believe the aphorism “Money is the root of all evil.” Well, most evil; some people get off on “control” without any monetary benefit.

    Corruption, however, is monetary. The Federal Elections Committee basically condones almost any shady practice of using donations for personal use or gain, and there is no limit to the amount of money politicians can direct to companies owned by friends or business associates or corporations.

    I cannot be sure corruption is at an all time high; what I think is that, due to technology (the Internet, ubiquitous video and audio taping, computer search capabilities, online posting of bills and proposals and drafts, leaks of emails and memos) the **discovery** of corruption is at an all-time high.

    Our problem is that discretionary control of hundreds of billions of dollars, that can be done without full disclosure, lets our lawmakers (and corporate leaders and almost any large organization’s leaders) to divert money to buddies in return for a commission or other personal benefit, or pass regulation as favors, or witthold regulation as a favor, or kill laws as a favor. If it is possible they will sell to the highest bidder.

    Note that no laws need be broken in this process. A company can speculatively donate without any promise from a pol, and the pol can note that and, because he wants a bigger donation next year, rule favorably for the legislation to benefit the company. If the company loses its bet, no big deal, large corporations can afford to have every possible bet covered every time; and once they see they have an unspoken “understanding” with a politician, they will each move up the corruption ladder one rung at a time.

    The same goes for post-political positions when elections are lost; rewarding those that were political friends with cushy jobs and big expense accounts is not illegal, and serves as an example to other politicians that you (the corporation) do take care of your friends when they need it.

    The root is money. When we get control of money in government much of the corruption will be curtailed. The only way I know how to do that is with relatively small, open-book programs funded by targeted taxes.

  12. W=c,

    Because not all situations are capable of a win-win outcome.

    In game theory, your possible outcomes are these: 1, 0 and -1.

    This renders a matrix of possible solutions in a two participant game thus:

    1:1 (win-win)
    1:0 (win with no impact on the opposition)
    1:-1 (win-loss)
    0:0 (a true zero sum game)
    0:1 (loss-win)
    0:-1 (zero sum victory, a meaningless victory)
    -1:1 (loss-win or true defeat)
    -1:0 (loss, defeat with no change to opponent)
    -1:-1 (mutually assured destruction or Pyrrhic victory)

    Not everything is a “contest”, but all situations have actions and outcomes. Game theory, despite what the name implies, is concerned with outcomes. The optimal outcome is 1:1 of course, but in any given situation (all situations being equal) you only have a 1 in 9 chance of being able to attain that answer/goal. While optimal, 1 in 9 is not the equivalent of 1 in 3 as a matter of probability or from a strategic and tactical standpoint.

  13. “Victory with minimal damage (to either side keeping in mind the maxim that every attack leaves an opening) is difficult.”
    yes, but take the ‘victory’ part out and it becomes more tenable….not everything is a contest …and if it is, what if the goal is ‘win-win’….?

    …..why is that such a foreign approach in these times??????

  14. Aw shoot … now I have to agree with Buddha too as he also makes sense… I’m a rudderless nincompoop ….

    I really hate these situations that impact so tragically on other people’s lives ….

  15. W=c,

    “Restraint vs. the possibility of uncontrolled destruction should always be held in consciousness.”

    This is the essence of traditional martial arts training – control of the situation and proportionate response instead of just going in for the kill.

    Killing is easy.

    Victory with minimal damage (to either side keeping in mind the maxim that every attack leaves an opening) is difficult.

  16. I find this situation as difficult to sort out as Tony C does and I must agree with his reasoning and his conclusion.

    The next inevitable question rises, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” For that I still have no answer.

  17. yes, what Tony C. said…tho force should be a last resort, not a pre-emptive deterrent and this illustrates that point. Force is like trying to control chaos, by definition it is impossible. Restraint vs. the possibility of uncontrolled destruction should always be held in consciousness.

    Tony C., what is your take on the high levels of corruption we are experiencing right now?

  18. It is difficult to sort out the proper response in any hostage situation. This is only slightly mitigated by her personal choice of risk. But I think the same of bank hostages in harm’s way, they weren’t knowingly putting themselves in harm’s way.

    I guess if negotiations fail I don’t see how the military or police can do anything else but reclaim hostages by force. It is a mistake to think their goal should be to preserve life at all costs, that thinking leads directly to the erosion of all of our civil liberties and privacy.

    The goal should be maintaining law and order because in the long term that preserves more lives than it costs, and better lives without an oppressive state monitoring your every action and recording your every utterance.

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