2010
16.02

 ‘Exitus acta probat’ – an endless discussion, but here’s Andy’s view on the news…

Torture ruling has raised terror

By ANDY McNAB, Sun Security Expert. Published: 12 Feb 2010

Three judges forced the Foreign Office to publish secret details on Wednesday showing our security services were “complicit” in torturing former UK terror suspect Binyam Mohamed. MI5 sent an officer to Pakistan to interrogate Mohamed, who had suffered sleep deprivation and threats while he was held by the CIA, as The Sun told yesterday. Here, SAS hero and Sun security expert Andy McNab – who was tortured when he was captured in Iraq during the first Gulf War – explains why he thinks the judges’ move was wrong.

“The US security services operation is huge and stunning. Their technology and the spread of their information is remarkable. And, to be frank, we rely on it.

I don’t think there is a concern that the Americans will stop working with us at a senior level, because they understand how the judicial system works.

You have American judges releasing confidential documents as well. But there is a danger there will be a reluctance to share important information at a middle management/field officer level – and that would be worse.

The Americans on the ground might decide it is too risky to involve the Brits.

And often it is the field officers who have crucial real-time information that can prevent imminent attacks.”

Go here to read the full article in The Sun

2010
16.02

Think Andy McNab’s fiction books don’t have a basis in truth? If you’ve heard about the recent killing of a Hamas commander in Dubai, you know covert assassinations do happen, and this video shows just how normal these pros are trained to look and act.

2010
11.02

Despite being quite busy in Hollywood, Andy McNab was kind enough to take what time he could out of his schedule to chat with greymansland.com about Exit Wound, Dropzone, and of course the rumoured ‘Echelon’ movie deal. Transcript below:

GML: Many critics and fans have called Exit Wound the best Nick Stone novel yet. We know that when writing fiction, you are often inspired by real events. Can you tell us more about the background behind Exit Wound’s story-line?
Andy McNab: Great news to hear that Exit Wound is so well liked. The whole idea was based around a story that came out of ‘rumour control’. The story was that Saddam had these two huge golden doors made for his palace in Basra and that they never got delivered from Dubai because of the war. I first heard this story when I was at Basra Palace in 2007. I was visiting 2 Rifles who were the last infantry battalion to stay for the whole six-month tour in the city. The battalion was full of rumours about hidden gold within the palace compound. There were more holes in the ground from the lads digging than there was from the rocket and mortar attacks. After that trip it was really playing with the idea using a people that have spent years talking about how best to rob banks and more importantly how to get away with it. Julian, Red Ken and Dex are based on mates from the regiment that I’ve known for over 20 years. They are just as smooth, stupid and serious as they are in the book.

GML: What places did you visit to research Exit Wound? Usually these places don’t seem to be the regular tourist areas; any interesting anecdotes from your latest trips to the dodgier side of town?
Andy McNab: I was very lucky with Exit Wound as they weren’t too many recces to carry out. I know Dubai quite a while and have spent some time in Russia. In fact I was due to go last summer with my daughter who has become quite friendly with a Russian friend of mine. He called me from Moscow three days before we were due to leave to say he had some bad news. I thought it was about his wife who was due to have a baby within the next month. However he was phoning from his hospital bed after being shot in a Moscow hotel. He was more concerned about my daughter meeting up with his as they were really looking forward to it. Our parting words were ‘maybe next year.’

GML: You are a big supporter of one of our favourite charities, Talking2Minds. What attracted you to Talking2Minds? Do you feel, with the additional publicity of late, things are starting to change when it comes to PTSD?
Andy McNab: I met the lads from Talking2Minds at a PTSD conference where I was giving the opening address. I think the way they are tackling the problem is fantastic and they are getting some great results. Things are starting to change both in the perception the public has about soldiers with PTSD, and the way we are dealing with the problem . I am helping out on a project that is being run by the head of army psychiatry and hopefully the project should be out in the public domain early next year. One thing that is clearly come out this project so far is that the vast majority of soldiers, sailors and airmen who leave the armed services do very well back in the real world. That’s good for two reasons and the main one is that we can concentrate on the minority of people who really need help.

GML: What’s the status for ‘Echelon’, the Nick Stone movie based on Firewall, these days?
Andy McNab: All looking good. What I have learnt during this process is that on average film costing $70m takes about 11 years to get up and running. We’re at the stage now where contracts are signed but there are more Chiefs than Indians running around saying what they want done. However, the script is now finished and so…

GML: Dropzone: Bk.1, your new novel for the youth market, was just released. Your ‘Boy Soldier‘ youth series was written with a co-writer (Robert Rigby). Why no co-writer this time, and what differences might we see with you as the only writer?
Andy McNab: I thought I would just give it a go. Whilst collaborating on the Boy Ssoldier series it became very evident to me that there is no difference between writing adult and teenage fiction. Of course, there are restrictions on profanity, and the fact that a teenager cannot actually kill anybody. But apart from that, there is nothing different, a story is a story. I’m hoping that the style Drop Zone is written in works that adult readers as well.

GML: Finally, Andy, what’s the best joke you ever heard in your entire military career?
Andy McNab: Nope, not gonna tell you!

GML: Thank you very much indeed for your time and best wishes from all of your fans here at greymansland.com

It’s always an honour, a pleasure, and a laugh to hear from Andy. Read more Andy McNab Interviews.

2010
08.02

 

KinoFilm presents: Special Premiere + KinoShorts

Wed 10th February, 7:30 pm

£4, £3 cash on door

As a special & North West premiere we bring you the controversial micro feature documentary Diary of a Disgraced Soldier.

Showing fresh from its premiere at the recent Cornish Film Festival this film is not to be missed and the directors will be present for a Q&A directly after the show.

Greenroom Arts Center (Manchester’s centre for new extraordinary performance)
54-56 Whitworth St West
Manchester M1 5WW

Box Office
Open Mon-Fri: 10am-6pm
Call: 0161 615 0500
info@greenroomarts.org

Go here to see full details

2010
08.02

Rob Dennis is planning an ascent of the highest peak in North Africa in order to raise funds for Help for Heroes, one of the leading charities helping soldiers today (and one of Andy McNab’s favorite charities as well, for good reason). Let’s hear it in Robert Dennis’ own words:
Mount-Toubkal-Rob-Dennis“My name is Robert Dennis. I am 24 years old. My friend Kurt and I are organising an expedition up Mount Toubkal in August/September 2010 to raise money for Help For Heroes. Mount Toubkal is a peak which stands within the Atlas Mountain Range in south-western Morocco. At 4167 metres, it is the highest peak in North Africa. To add to the challenge, we are expecting temperatures in excess of 40’C at this time of the year.

The reason we are raising money for Help For Heroes is because we believe in supporting the brave soldiers who have risked all for their country – most of all those that were not fortunate enough to return home in good health. Help for Heroes was launched in October 2007 in response to the desire of ordinary people to do something practical to help our wounded servicemen and women get the best help, support and futures that they deserve. If you want to help us to help them, please sponsor us on our Mount Toubkal 2010 challenge.

Please visit our online fundraising page www.justgiving.com/mounttoubkal2010 where you can read more about our expedition and make a secure online donation. As we get closer to the event, we will be updating it with news and photos on how our training and preparation is going. There will also be a blog and photos telling everyone how we did on the expedition itself after the event.

You can support Team Toubkal 2010 and Help For Heroes further by posting our link www.justgiving.com/mounttoubkal2010 on your facebook, bebo, twitter or any other networking site. Below is a paragraph you can add in your blog or post on your wall:

In August this year, a team of 8 people are going on an expedition up Mount Toubkal to raise money for the charity HELP FOR HEROES. Mount Toubkal is a peak which stands within the Atlas Mountain Range in south-western Morocco. At 4167 metres, it is the highest peak in North Africa. If you would like to support them please visit the following link where you can make a secure online donation through a registered giving site: www.justgiving.com/MountToubkal2010

Thank you very much in anticipation for your help and support. With your donations, no matter how great or small, we can make a difference to those that deserve it most!!!

Please forward this email to your friends and family. Who will in turn forward it to their friends and family.

On behalf of Help For Heroes and Team Toubkal 2010, thank you very much.

Kind regards,

Robert”

UPDATE: Pro Darts player Chris ‘Mace the Ace’ Mason has joined Team Toubkal 2010! That’s fantastic news for the team and should really help raise awareness of the charity expedition.
A very worthy cause and not a pedestrian climb by any means. Let’s help these lads out, shall we? Help them help our troops at www.justgiving.com/MountToubkal2010.

2010
06.02

Think war isn’t scary? Watch this dramatic battlefield footage of an A-10 Thunderbolt strafing run near British soldiers, and their reactions: