Without any apparent appreciation of the irony of his comments British Junior Defence Minister, Bill Rammell, has told a Welsh newspaper that more needs to be done to help troops returning from war zones deal with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
However, as Rammell was expressing this view to a reporter from the Western Mail a military court in Colchester, Essex, England was handing down a nine month sentence to a British soldier diagnosed with PTSD who had gone AWOL from his unit after service in Afghanistan.
It was also revealed at the court martial hearing that Lance Corporal, Joe Glenton, was subjected to bullying and intimidation when he expressed his concerns about returning for a further tour of duty in Afghanistan and also questioned the morality and legality of the conflict there.
Speaking after the hearing Joe Glentons legal representative said:
“What we have seen here today is the (British) Ministry of Defence and the Government refusing to take account of the fact that thousands of soldiers are suffering from PTSD,” he said.
“It is quite obvious that the judge decided that Joe Glenton should pay for showing courage and speaking out to the media against an illegal war.
“It was his responsibility to hand out weapons that were killing innocent civilians, and he spoke against that.
“It is an outrage. We will be appealing.”
A spokesman for the Stop The War Coalition said:
“Joe Glenton is not the person who should be facing a jail sentence. It should be the politicians who have led us into disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The fact that they are not brings shame to justice in this country.”
The Glenton case highlights the pitfalls of the Army as a career for those young people who are encouraged to join at an impressionable age.
It also re-emphasises the concerns of the Celtic League and education authorities and teaching bodies that campaign against British armed forces recruitment.
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