From the BBC:
The US will continue to refuse requests for its personnel to appear at inquests into the "friendly fire" deaths of British troops, a report says. The MoD has sent written guidance to coroners across England and Wales over the holding of military inquests.There have been other inquests into US on British friendly-fire incidents (there have been no British on US incidents, as far as I am aware) over the last five years and in every case the Bush administration has given the cold-shoulder to requests for U.S. witnesses to testify.
According to the Times, its letter says the US "confirms categorically" it will not provide witnesses for inquests.
It comes six days after three British soldiers were killed by US "friendly fire" in southern Afghanistan.
The Times reports that the letter to coroners states: "The US have confirmed categorically that they will not provide witnesses to attend UK inquests.
"While coroners may continue to ask for US witnesses to attend... they should be aware that there will in all cases be a refusal."
And conservatives in the U.S. wonder why the British people no longer wish to support Bush's war of choice. These British servicemen were good enough to die at the hands of their allies but not worth enough to have a couple of witnesses turn up to testify to the accidental nature of their deaths? F**k that for a game of soldiers, as the saying goes. If it weren't that Afghanistan was actually important, I'd say as a Brit that Brown should tell Bush where to stuff his transatlantic alliance until the next president comes along.
This is an opportunity for a Dem candidate to make some domestic hay and repair international bridges in advance. Let's see one of them stand up and put alliances built on mutually shed blood as higher than the current CYA mentality. And while we're at it, how about some of the ex-servicemen on the U.S. rightwing standing up for fallen British comrades and their families, who only want the truth. Or are the lessons of Pat Tillman's death entirely unlearned?