Much more interesting than the al-Megrahi news story, today the BBC’s Today programme reports that the military top brass have known about weaknesses in the processes for investigating air accidents. A report identified these problems in 1986 – junior staff undertook investigations and senior officers interfered with the findings. This lack of independence remains a problem, it is suggested. It is described as ‘introverted, parochial and lacking objectivity’. But senior RAF officers ignored the recommendations and the report was filed away.
In recent years, over 30 lives have been lost in accidents in Iraq and Afghanistan, some of which might have been prevented if proper air accident investigations had taken place, it is suggested. So what are we to make of the senior military figures who have claimed to be so concerned about the quality of military equipment and the lives of serving officers and men? They can’t always blame politicians and, in this case, appear to have questions to answer themselves.