We cannot leave the reporting of the A-10 "friendly fire" incident without noting the front page story in The Telegraph today, headed, "Pentagon will not discipline 'friendly fire' death pilots".
This is the offering – better described as the "dropping" – from Thomas Harding, defence correspondent, Richard Savill and Alex Massie in Washington.
The inference of the story, of course, it that these pilots should be subject to disciplinary action and that the Pentagon is somehow remiss for not taking such action. Thus writes the Harding-led team:
Despite the leaking of graphic cockpit video and voice transcript evidence of the 2003 strike, Washington said the officers were cleared in an inquiry held within months. It did not have to re-evaluate its position.Are these issues related? Because The Sun leaks the cockpit video and the media go into feeding frenzy, this is a good reason why the pilots should be subject to some further action?
If I was Mr Harding or any of his sad little crew, I would be looking very hard at the words printed under my name today and be feeling very ashamed. British journalism, the Daily Telegraph included, has reached a new low.
Perhaps the most appalling thing about this whole episode though is how these people, who do their own jobs so badly, can be so critical of other who put their lives on the line to do far more arduous and dangerous jobs. There is not one of these journalists fit to polish the shoes of those A-10 pilots.