Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

Captured Personnel Permitted to Tell Stories for Money

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

Captured Personnel Permitted to Tell Stories for Money

Old 8th Apr 2007, 22:35
  #41 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2005
Location: England
Posts: 175
It's one thing for people who have left the Forces to sell their story but quite another for serving members to do so. I think it's despicable and it's going to reflect very badly on everyone in the Forces both at home and abroad.
Our reputation has been taking some hard knocks recently, this will be greeted with ridicule worldwide. Another propaganda victory handed on a plate to our detractors.
papajuliet is offline  
Old 8th Apr 2007, 22:49
  #42 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Up North
Posts: 801
The rot comes from the top. When former ministers, their spin doctors and senior officers chase six-figure sums when the ink is barely dry on their retirement card, it is not surprising that others follow.
JessTheDog is offline  
Old 8th Apr 2007, 23:28
  #43 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Europe
Posts: 653
If you read the MoD statement - it looks as though the press issue has been driven by the media pressure on families, which in turn has led to some of the 15 seeking permission from the Navy. Hence the MoD appears to be left with little choice - either:
a) refuse them permission - loosing all control of the story that would leak out via families, and have MoD being accused of a cover up! or
b) grant permission for reasons mentioned below.
I tend to agree with the sentiment that this isn't really the done thing though - was a) really an option for MoD?


The Ministry of Defence has issued the following statement regarding the decision by the Royal Navy to allow the personnel who were seized by the Iranian authorities on 23 March 2007 to be allowed to receive payment for media interviews.
MOD Announcement . Opens in a new window.

MOD Announcement

Service personnel must seek permission from the Chain of Command before speaking to the media. Queen’s Regulations for the Royal Navy allow personnel to retain fees paid to them for broadcasting, lecturing or writing for publication under certain circumstances and the Navy’s judgement was that in this particular instance this was such a case.

This decision has been taken as a result of exceptional media interest. It is a fact that the media have been making direct contact with the families and offering them significant sums of money – this is not something that the Navy and the MOD have any control over.

Quite aside from the ‘human interest story’ surrounding these individuals, there are also sensitive strategic issues in play. It was clear that the stories they had to tell were likely to have emerged via family and friends regardless of any decision the Navy took.

It was therefore decided to grant permission to speak to the media to those personnel that sought it, in order to ensure that the Navy and the MOD had sight of what they were going to say – as well as providing proper media support to the sailors and Marines in the same way as would have been the case in more ordinary circumstances.
JFZ90 is offline  
Old 8th Apr 2007, 23:32
  #44 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Button Moon.
Posts: 41
It is shameful that "we" have allowed these personnel to face the judgement of the nation in this way.
Duckandcover is offline  
Old 8th Apr 2007, 23:40
  #45 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 5,197
From the BBC website
PR agent Max Clifford has confirmed some of the group had already approached him for advice.
Heliport is offline  
Old 8th Apr 2007, 23:40
  #46 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: oop north
Posts: 25
coudnt agree more ...lie back open ur legs and something in the mod will fill it up, having being a fundemental part of equal oppertunities in the armed forces ,this kind of mercenerry oppurtunism belittles all of the inroads that we have tried to instill, i read this article ,in particular, and was stunned by the way the individual concerned managed to manipulate a media situation that totally removed any blame, team ethos, concern , ( for the rest of the crew), and an obligation to duty,that she signed up for.......shame on her and for irresponsible reporting.
dogrobber is offline  
Old 8th Apr 2007, 23:54
  #47 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: oop north
Posts: 25
sorry if this sound a bit crude ,but any time money is thrown around, all the moralistic approaches seem to get dumped for a for a papparizi pay day......would we do the same ......i hope there is some honour, integrity, and good leadership left....oh and yes i,m still serving.....remeber when that word meant something..(to serve..and be served)
dogrobber is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2007, 02:14
  #48 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: England
Posts: 964
I dont know how the Mil will legally be able to stand the potential onslaught of ' i have been there, seen it, so print it' stories. There are MANY who have seen and done things that would make for good reading right now, but as serving personnel it is neither allowed or wise, because of opsec etc. This is a dangerous precedent that has been set and i cannot see now why anyone cannot go to print whilst still serving. The lawers will have a hayday. I bet Max Clifford never thought he might have 50 000 serving members of HM forces on his books. A very bad call, that will return to bite with avengance.
Tigs2 is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2007, 06:18
  #49 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 123
Jon nichol

Sorry John - having listened to what you said this morning on BBC, I must say you are wrong. Wrong because all of the people you quoted as writing books or stories either had, or will have left their job or in your case, the war was over. We have a situation here where these people are a: still in the Service; b: we are still operating in the area and c: it doesn't comply with the normal rules!

I wonder having told their story, how many will actually return to their ship!
navibrator is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2007, 07:24
  #50 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Lincs
Posts: 23
As a serving member I cannot comment or discuss in depth about this subject much that I would like, However i am shocked and thorougly appalled at this circus. I am pretty sure these boys and girls would have been trained in what to expect ! but to make large financial gain when many are losing thier lives for less. Thats what they get the operational bonus for ! Enough said.
White Noise is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2007, 07:51
  #51 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: UK
Age: 52
Posts: 379
I've pondered over this for a good few minutes now, and have come to the following conclusions;

1. The hypocrisy of our government is unbelievable - allowing this media circus after criticising the Iranians.

2. Each of the captives is surely subject to the Official Secrets Act and therefore prevented from speaking to anyone outside the service about their experiences - any breach of this could compromise existing operations and should be subject to a severe punishment. The breach would be easily traceable and should therefore prevent loose tongues.

3. I cannot comment on the captives' reactions whilst in Iran as I wasn't there.

4. I think that for the captives, sums up to £150k are a lot of money, and I too would be hard pushed to turn it down if I earned <£20k pa.

5. The crux of this, is that the conflict is still 'live', as opposed to JN and Andy McNab's post GW books/interviews. Our servicemen and women are still dying in Iraq/Afghanistan and their families will not profit in the same way; it does seem unfair.

It's done now.

In the (adjusted) words of Green Day,
Don't want to be a British Idiot,
Don't want to be a Nation under the new media,
Hey can you hear the sound of hysteria ....


The problem, is that we won't. The "British Idiot" will.
threepointonefour is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2007, 09:46
  #52 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: The Smoke
Posts: 59
Only under Labour could this have happened

Must say, when I heard the 'hostages' were to be allowed to sell their 'stories' I made a number of quiet predictions:

1. The female would definitely sell her story.

2. She would end up having to leave the military as a result due to resentment from work colleagues.

3. The Royal Marines would not sell their stories.

Seem to be on the money so far
The Burning Bush is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2007, 12:32
  #53 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Southern England
Posts: 15
Just seen the Naval Officer in the party (FC) interviewed live on Sky. He defended the right of some of the party to sell their story to ensure the correct facts came out and others didn't profit. However, he is doing all interviews for free as he believes the money offered by the the press is unsavoury. Spot on in my view, couldn't agree more.

Have to say that compared with the countless interviews I have seen with politicos and the like, he came over as extremley articulate and down to earth. An excellent advert for the british military which made me proud to be a member.
Nomad72 is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2007, 13:24
  #54 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 1998
Location: wherever
Age: 52
Posts: 1,618
It seems to me that many use the “I blame their leaders, the government, the MoD, their parents, anything but themselves” as an excuse for disgraceful, demeaning and downright cowardly behaviour.
The conduct of most of these service personnel has been appalling throughout this affair. And I include their time in Iran.
No I wasn’t there. No in my time in the military I wasn’t in a similar position. BUT I can categorically say that if I had been I would not have acted in the same manner. I had and still posses self respect, dignity and the balls to live up to the traditions and codes that once made our nation great. It was individuals that made the nations reputation and it is individuals who are now destroying it.
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

Last edited by FE Hoppy; 9th Apr 2007 at 17:36. Reason: spelling
FE Hoppy is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2007, 13:55
  #55 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Just outside England
Posts: 80
I wonder about the media in this whole business.

For 4 years the RN, and lots of other navies, have patrolled the gulf, and boarded shipping, without arousing a glimmer of interest in the press/tv.

It's only when something goes wrong that there's a story worth paying for.
TicketyBoo is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2007, 13:58
  #56 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Retired to Wiltshire.
Posts: 71
Sick That G2 wasn't good enough to foresee such an event.
Sick That they were allowed to operate in an area without top cover.
Sick That once caught they behaved in a manner that cheapened the uniform they wore. What type of employment did they think they were taking up? The Marines would have undergone some form of RTI/CUC training so they should have anticipated the type of treatment they would receive.
Sick That the government once again allowed themselves to be outmanouvered and embarrassed diplomatically.
Sick That the First Sea Lord and the rest of the high and mighty are even considering giving permission for this bunch of lame arses to profit irrespective of the media pressures and eventual outcome of media leaks.
Sick That 35 years of pride in the traditional service ideology of keeping shtum has been wasted. We have all known for some time that keeping a secret isnt in the current handbook for politicians and civil servants but for the military to follow this road is sickening.
(If I had know this was going to happen I would have kicked that ba**ard marine who rough handled me during CSRO training a good one in the goolies.)
We weren't there and dont know what pressure they were put under but after this every serviceman need to rethink their ideas on how they are going to act under capture and the MOD need to rethink what it expects. The phrase " We all know what to expect!" ,or something similar, has just been made a lie.
Sick Of listening to those parents and relatives who are happy to brag about their little boy/girl who is/are in the services who then immediately become the distraught victim of the "unjust war" the second their little Timmy or Tina gets into hot water. Round of appluse for the majority of families who bear their grief stoically (and in private) for it is those who are being let down by this latest farce.
Klingon is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2007, 14:33
  #57 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 118
Just as an interested civvie, I see from today's Sunday Mirror (didn't buy it, just browsed the front page....and I know that's a pathetic excuse) that the guy who sold his story to that paper claims the Iranians knicked his iPod.
Is it normal to carry an MP3 player in action? And no, I don't believe everything I read in the Press.
Guilty as charged of not being there, nor even in the Forces, but deeply embarrassed to be a Brit an the moment.
28L is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2007, 15:11
  #58 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: in my combat underpants
Age: 50
Posts: 1,065
I'm surprised and disappointed that this is being allowed to happen. Some damned spin doctor has said this was a good idea and damned us all with their advice - without thought for those with greater stories / hardship / loss / trouble / strife etc etc.

Another nail in the coffin of retention and standards.
Mr C Hinecap is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2007, 15:14
  #59 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Tx, USA
Posts: 63
John Nichol


Could you please, this once, just once, tell Sky, BBC, ITV, whoever you are contracted with to get your former RAF job correct?!

You were a NAVIGATOR not a pilot.

Barn Doors is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2007, 15:45
  #60 (permalink)  
Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Peripatetic
Posts: 11,513
Excellent article/blog in the Torygraph:

British humiliation becomes disgrace

...........Servicemen and women should be held to a higher standard than civilians, though listening to the six of the 15 who spoke on their return it was hard to believe these were military personnel...

So what should be done about this debacle? First, Tony Blair should step in now and direct that monies any of the 15 receive from newspapers as a result of their "ordeal" should be donated to the Royal Navy Benevolent Trust. Second, a naval Board of Inquiry - leading to possible courts martial for the captain of HMS Cornwall and other senior officers - should be held into the circumstances surrounding the seizing of the two RIBs by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard....

Why is Britain training officers who seem to think that their number one priority is to do nothing that could risk the lives of personnel? Why did they not have the most basic appreciation of how their briefings and apologies in front of nautical charts would be used for propaganda purposes? Why did many of the 15 - with Lt Carman front and centre - believe it was appropriate to greet the news of their release with giddy excitement, grins, waves, back-slapping and grovelling gratitude to President Ahmadinejad ?...

I've re-watched the return press conference (in which Carman, Air, Massey, Batchelor, Tindell and Sperry spoke). Note how Air and Carman refer to LS Turney as "Faye" (Carman: "Faye is a young mother and a wife"; Air: "Being in an Islamic country, Faye was subjected to different rules than we were.") To me, that betrays a lot. Officers should refer to sailors by their rank and surname. To do otherwise is an insult to their professional status. But then look at the MoD website in which Air and Carman are listed as "Chris" and "Felix" - this slack ethos comes from the top. Any sense of a command structure appears to have broken down. Carman stated: "We all at one time or another made a conscious decision to make a controlled release of non-operational information."....

The 15 personnel are not those most at fault here. They were serving their country and trying to do their best and were badly let down by those who trained, briefed and tasked them......

In the meantime, those of us who are proud to have served in the Royal Navy and HMS Cornwall can only shake our heads in disbelief and sadness.
ORAC is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.