Pen Farthing flees Kabul saying Prince Harry’s confession to killing 25 Taliban put him in danger
An ex-Marine who has worked to rehome some 170 stray cats and dogs from Afghanistan says he has had to flee Kabul over fear of attack after Prince Harry admitted to killing 25 Taliban fighters.
Pen Farthing, 53, called Prince Harry an ‘idiot’ and said he had not thought through the security implications of his revelations in his new autobiography.
In August 2021, Farthing made headlines when he desperately tried to get stray animals that his charity had rescued in Afghanistan out of the country as UK forces pulled out of Kabul.
In his controversial autobiography ‘Spare’, the Duke of Sussex wrote that he had killed some 25 Taliban fighters while serving as a helicopter pilot in Afghanistan, and that he did not think of those he killed ‘as people’ but as ‘chess pieces’ that had to be taken off the board.
Several high-ranking military veterans and experts have also blasted Prince Harry for his comments, with one former British Army Commander, Colonel Richard Kemp saying that what the Prince has written will be ‘seized on by lawyers who want to prosecute British soldiers’ for war crimes.
Pen Farthing, 53, called Prince Harry an ‘idiot’ and said he had not thought through the security implications of his revelations in his new autobiography. Pictured: Farthing with dog Nowzad in Afghanistan in 2006
Prince Harry sits atop a Spartan armoured vehicle in the Helmand province, Southern Afghanistan, February 18, 2008
Pen Farthing, who had been in Afghanistan for the past 18 months as part of his Operation Ark campaign to rescue animals from shelters in the country, said the ‘badly judged memoir’ had created grave security concerns for him.
In ‘Spare’, the Prince said that he flew on six missions that resulted in the ‘taking of human lives’.
This is the first time Prince Harry has specified the number of insurgents he personally killed during his time in Afghanistan, where he went in both 2007-8 and 2012 and flew an Apache attack helicopter during his second tour.
Farthing took to Twitter to share his disgust and anger at the book, writing: ‘Well I was a Royalist until today…. Cheers #PrinceHarry You have been very badly advised I would probably say. And glad you thought through the security implications of those of us still out in #Afghanistan trying to bring about some good. #idiot #notmyprince.’
His Tweet was seen hundreds of thousands of times by users, with many voicing their own opinion, both in support of Farthing as well as the Prince.
One user told him to ‘get off the bandwagon’ and that the Taliban would not be ‘unaware that he dispatched some of them’.
But Farthing explained that it was only after his revelations in the new book that he ‘had to bail from Kabul’, having previously been in Afghanistan ‘working with the new government’ in his Operation Arc.
Pen Farthing called Prince Harry an ‘idiot’ and said he had not thought through the security implications of his revelations in his new book, Tweeting January 6, 2023
Pen Farthing explained that he had to evacuate from Kabul because of the risk of attack on ex-forces sparked by Prince Harry’s new book, Tweeting January 6, 2023
Pen Farthing had been in Afghanistan for the past 18 months as part of his Operation Ark campaign to rescue animals from shelters in the country. Pictured: Farthing in Pakistan, September 12, 2021
Pen Farthing shows the Nowzad donkey sanctuary in Afghanistan to his Twitter followers, January 6, 2023
Farthing asked his followers to keep their donations coming in so that the donkeys and horses from the streets of Kabul could be looked after, January 6, 2023
He later Tweeted again after some Twitter users suggested that Prince Harry’s book would not have caused any further risk than there already was.
Farthing said: ‘To the idiots who made dumbass comments in support of #PrinceHarry in my tweet below, know I have had to evac from #Kabul tonight in case of potential reprisal attacks on ex-forces people like me in the wake of his badly judged memoir.. the animals suffer not me. You happy?’
In his 2021 mission to rescue animals in Afghanistans shelters, Farthing drew both support and criticism from the Operation Arc campaign. Defence Secretary Ken Wallace labelled the campaign as distracting and said it was diverting attention from a humanitarian disaster.
He became one of the very last Brits to leave the country as the Taliban regime took back Kabul.
Prince Harry has also drawn criticism from other military veterans and experts.
Former British army Commander Colonel Richard Kemp said ‘publicly announcing that he had killed 25 Taliban fighters in Afghanistan is like shooting himself in the foot’, he wrote in the Express.
He added that it would ‘rekindle jihadist animosity’ and would ‘incite some who want to take revenge’.
In ‘Spare’, the Prince said that he flew on six missions that resulted in the ‘taking of human lives’. Pictured: Prince Harry at the British controlled flight-line in Camp Bastion southern Afghanistan, October 31, 2012
Prince Harry has also drawn criticism from military veterans and experts over his book’s revelations. Pictured: Prince Harry at Camp Bastion in southern Afghanistan, where he served as an Apache Helicopter Pilot, September 2012
Prince Harry to scramble his Apache helicopter with fellow pilots at the British controlled flight-line in Camp Bastion southern Afghanistan, November 3, 2012
Col Kemp also said that Prince Harry saying he saw Taliban fighters as ‘chess pieces’ to take off the board would be ‘seized on by lawyers who what to prosecute British soldiers on allegations of unlawful killing and ill-treatment of prisoners.
He said in his Express column that the Duke of Sussex’s comments ‘paint a picture of a military that indoctrinates its troops to act against the Geneva conventions requiring enemy dead, wounded or captured to be treated with respect’.
Rear Admiral Chris Parry, retired Royal Navy officer, also criticised the Duke of Sussex for saying that he had killed 25 Taliban fighters.
Speaking to Sky News, he said: ‘Over 35 years of service myself, I’ve never heard anybody in the Armed Forces say what their score is. I think it’s highly unusual and I think, if we’re going to be kind, it must be the ghostwriter which has put these words into Harry’s mouth.
‘I’m afraid to say that it’s clumsy, tasteless and doesn’t afford respect to the people who have been killed. 25 is a suspiciously round number as far as I’m concerned and I just wonder if this is some of the hype associated with the book.’
He added: ‘You don’t have to itemise what you say you’ve done. I think there are enough descriptions of what life is like in combat, there’s enough good people around to actually tell you what goes on. You don’t have to get down to the individual deaths.’
Colonel Tim Collins (left), known for a pre-battle speech he made in Iraq, thundered: ‘Harry has now turned against the other family, the military, that once embraced him, having trashed his birth family’. Ex-Army chief Colonel Richard Kemp (right) called Harry’s comments ‘ill-judged’ and said soldiers are not trained to regard their targets as ‘subhuman’
Major Chris Hunter, a decorated former army bomb disposal officer who served in Afghanistan, told GB News: ‘Very rarely will any soldier, sailor or airman, serving or a veteran, talk about numbers of kills.
‘I think that, coupled with the fact it uses terms like chess pieces, dehumanises them, I think that could very, very easily cause some serious repercussions.
‘Not just for his own security, but the wider security, to the Royal Family and actually to the servicemen and women on operations across the world at the moment.
‘The comments are sad and very much a betrayal. Everyone in the Army swears an oath of allegiance to the monarch, he’s betrayed his own family for money. It is just truly sad. I’m very, very disappointed.’
Colonel Tim Collins, known for a pre-battle speech he made in Iraq, told Forces News: ‘Amongst his assertions is a claim that he killed 25 people in Afghanistan.
‘That’s not how you behave in the Army; it’s not how we think.’
He later added: ‘Harry has now turned against the other family, the military, that once embraced him, having trashed his birth family.’
He also accused Harry of taking a path that is ‘alien’ to those in the UK and the Commonwealth, adding that the duke is ‘pursuing US identity politics and casting slurs or racism around where none exists’.
‘I wonder whose path he has chosen? In the end I see only disappointment and misery in his pursuit of riches he does not need and his rejection of family and comradely love that he badly needs,’ he said.
Speaking to ITV’s Good Morning Britain, ex-Royal Marine Ben McBean said that his revelations could have significant security repercussions
Prince Harry meeting former Royal Marine Commando Ben McBean, who he called a ‘hero’
Ben McBean tweeted: ‘Love you #PrinceHarry but you need to shut up! Makes you wonder the people he’s hanging around with. If it was good people somebody by now would have told him to stop’
Ben McBean, who Harry hailed as a ‘hero’ after he lost an arm and a leg in a bomb blast, urged the Duke to ‘shut up’.
McBean told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: ‘To bring it back and speak to civilians about it… they don’t need to know what you’re really up to out there.’
Major General Jonathan Shaw, previously an assistant chief of the Defence Staff, became the most senior British officer to condemn Harry’s remarks.
Speaking exclusively to the Mail, the former SAS commander said: ‘Soldiers don’t talk about killing for good reason. Harry’s comments break an unwritten code. I suspect this is motivated by his PR people’s drive for money.’
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11609489/Pen-Farthing-flees-Kabul-saying-Prince-Harrys-confession-killing-25-Taliban-danger.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Pen Farthing flees Kabul saying Prince Harry’s confession to killing 25 Taliban put him in danger