Monday, September 19, 2005

What is an undercover soldier?

Thanks to the fine Nashville Is Talking blog, we get a link to this story:
BASRA, Iraq (Reuters) - Violence erupted in Basra on Monday after Iraqi authorities said they had detained two British undercover soldiers in the southern city for firing on Iraqi police.

Go read the whole thing, then answer me this...

What is an undercover soldier?

A soldier, out of uniform and conducting operations, British or otherwise, is... a SPY! Subject to summary execution.

So these two blokes were driving along in a civilian car (nothing wrong with that, soldier or no), in civilian clothes (Tommie, contractor, spy, or what?), and get into a gun battle with an Iraqi Police patrol. And get captured! And taken to jail.

That story in itself is enough to make you ask 'What is wrong with this picture?' But wait, there's more, from this Reuters story:
BASRA, Iraq (Reuters) - British tanks smashed the walls of an Iraqi prison to free two undercover British soldiers seized earlier on Monday by Iraqi forces, an Interior Ministry official said.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said half a dozen tanks had crushed the walls of the jail in the southern city of Basra and British troops then freed the soldiers. The governor of Basra confirmed the jail had been broken into

It's going to be interesting to see what really happened in Basra.

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