British censorship,

I read a moving story to night on my local Newspaper website which invited me to add a comment, try as I might the website wouldn’t let me so I’ve decided to put both story and the email I sent to my local rag on here;


Army officer ‘told of kit shortage’

Saturday, November 15, 2008, 07:54

A heroic officer killed in Afghanistan complained of equipment shortages to his fiancee just days before his death in a firefight, it was revealed.

Captain David Hicks, who received the Military Cross for gallantry, told his partner Nicola Billen his men were "sitting ducks" for the Taliban at their makeshift base. In letters and conversations, he repeatedly spoke of his "frustration" that demands for kit went unheeded.

Miss Billen told the Daily Telegraph Capt Hicks had not specified what they were missing, but said: "I keep asking for things and I’m not getting them".

Blaming a helicopter shortage – which hit supplies so badly that on one occasion they had to stop firing mortar rounds to preserve ammunition – he added: "It is ridiculous that we have to make do."

On several occasions the 26-year-old had asked for a doctor for be sent to the remote Inkerman base, north of the volatile town of Sangin, because they were being attacked twice a day by the Taliban. But it was not until he was killed in a battle with the enemy on August 11 last year that a doctor was permanently stationed at the base.

Earlier this week, the coroner at Capt Hicks’s inquest criticised the Ministry of Defence for forcing troops to "make do".

In a letter to 32-year-old Miss Billen, just two days before he was killed as he tried bravely to locate Taliban positions, Capt Hicks wrote: "It still remains pretty busy at the minute with a few niggling problems that concern me but I won’t go into them now."

The officer, of 1st Battalion Royal Anglians, was in charge of 60 men at the outpost. On the morning Capt Hicks died was he was devastated that a fellow Royal Anglian, Pte Tony Rawson, had been killed the day before. In a final phone call to Miss Billen, minutes before he was killed, he said: "I’m not taking any unnecessary risks but we are being attacked twice a day – it’s just too much, we can’t keep going like this."

Miss Billen said: "Then we started talking about other things and then the explosion went off and he said ‘Sweetheart I have got to go. I will speak to you later I love you’."

Capt Hicks was hit by a shell as he tried to locate enemy position from the top of a sangar observation platform. He could have returned to the UK weeks before his death as he had handed in his resignation, but chose to stay on until his six-month tour was finished.

(perhaps you’d have better luck with the comment section?) this was my email;

Dear telegraph in reference to your story

Army officer ‘told of kit shortage’

Saturday, November 15, 2008, 07:54


It appears your comments section is not working;

This was the comment I would have liked to add & you can forward it onto the twat’s that censor your newspaper for good measure if you like;

9/11 was the catalyst that took our troops to Afghanistan. Our sincere empathy for America’s time of need meant that no matter what we would stand beside her without any question. We have now all questioned the events of 9/11 and we have learnt that the very Taliban our troops were sent to fight wanted to eradicate the opium trade for themselves by throwing their farmers in jail. Since our invasion Afghanistan’s opium production is at record levels and the drugs trade legal and otherwise has never been healthier. The British top brass have been here before with their opium war against China. Our men as well as America’s were sold down the river on a pack of lies. I wish them all a safe return to their rightful homes and public support for a full public inquiry. Perhaps when we’ve sorted out the butchers that sent them in the first place, we could see justice in this world.

Yours sincerely Miss Ann-Marie Smith


Update; the telegraph kindly published my comment in the end. It’s heart warming to know that freedom of speech isn’t totally dead after all. Many thanks to the bravery that still exists in my hometown x



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One Response to British censorship,

  1. Unknown says:

    Good for you Ann in trying to get \’them\’ to air your comment. Sad though it is, you & I know that we will never get to voice the opinion of the masses because of a controlled media. You know that half-wit barrack osama ( thats what i call him), BANNED placards and anyone protesting the illegal war over there, at any rallies where he would be. So using the Police, who are supposed to be a public service, he was basically using them as heavyhanded private security. Makes you sick to the stomach.Cant wait for the revolution.Keep safe and keep writing.Regards  Jim.

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