Second army officer quits to reveal ‘human cost of Afghanistan’

 

A second Army officer has resigned his commission so he can publish an eyewitness account of the human cost endured by the British Army in Afghanistan.

Former reserve Captain Christian Hill has written a book on his experiences with the Media Operations Group, where his main role was to “promote” the war to the public back home and give the appearance everything was under control. The reality, he claims in the book, was often very different.

The Ministry of Defence was sent a copy of Combat Camera in December, when it told Mr Hill that his book, due to be published on 20 April, was subject to a 35-working day clearance review which has to be passed up the chain of command and its publication could be blocked. His request for clarification on any possible national security breaches went unanswered, so he quit his position.

Earlier this week, Dr Mike Martin resigned his position as a Territorial Army Captain to enable him to publish An Intimate War, his own heavily critical account of British operations in Helmand.

Mr Hill told The Independent: “The fact that Dr Martin has had to resign in order to go public with his research does not surprise me in the least. Given that he waited for about a year without MoD feedback, I feel I’ve made the right decision in leaving now.”

Mr Hill, who kept a diary throughout his tour of Afghanistan in summer 2011 and is now a BBC broadcast journalist in Nottingham, said: “My job was to promote the war and make it look like things are under control and getting better.

“By the time I arrived it had got to the stage where each soldier dying in Afghanistan garnered just a line or two in the newspapers or a brief mention on TV. But the same day a soldier died, I might see half a dozen guys coming back to camp with limbs blown off having being caught in an IED-explosion. That was never something we were going to shout from the rooftops to the press but I grew uncomfortable with the fact people back home were not really being made aware of this.”

He continued: “We would never outright lie but there were ways of conveying information while sticking to the key messages and provide information that the Army wanted to get across. ‘Lie’ is too strong a word for it. Our key message was that we were in the process of helping Afghanistan. I wasn’t exactly Goebbels but I was conscious of seeing a number of guys getting badly injured – you never heard so much about that in the press.”

A spokesman for the MoD said it was reviewing Mr Hill’s book when the department heard he had resigned so ended the process.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling will not be releasing a 'romance' novel anytime soon
books
Life and Style
tech

Of all the computers Apple has ever made there’s only one that Steve Jobs had to sell his car to finance

Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
One of the 'princesses' in the video
videoYouTube reinstates sweary video after takedown for 'violating terms'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Intelligence Consultant - Central London - £80,000

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Intelligence Consultant - C...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£70 - £85 per day: Randstad Education Group: SEN Teaching Assistants needed in...

Year 4 Teacher required for 2 terms

£21500 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education ar...

Accounts Assistant - Sales Ledger, Sage Line 50 - St Albans

£20000 - £22000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A highly successful and w...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?