Whitehall and the Government are in shock tonight after a leaked recording alleged to be of a British RAF Officer - identified only as "HRH" - torturing an Afghan civilian was released by Welsh whistle-blowing website Wikileeks. It has sparked demands for a forces-wide review, and for the officer in question to be sharply rebuked.
The true horror of the acts can only be appreciated in transcript:
HRH Ya! Like totally hit him in the balls. Use the hammer. Just imagine you're playing polo, ya?
HRH: Ya! Like totally look at his eyes bulging. He's not liking that. Gosh! They did say being in the RAF would be like school.
HRH: Hey. Surely it's my turn with the hammer now? Gosh! It's heavy... Right, I'm, like, only going to ask you this once, Father Christmas. (general laughter) And then I'm going to hit you in the sack. (laughter). Now where the bloody hell is our dry cleaning? No answer?
HRH: Er, like, guys? He, like, does speak English, doesn't he?
A spokesman for the MOD said, "If this recording is genuine then this is clearly unacceptable behaviour, and the officer involved will be sternly instructed not to be recorded doing this kind of thing again."
Attention has been drawn to another passage, where HRH telephones a senior naval officer -identified only as HRH -for advice. The recording only contains half of this terrifying conversation.
HRH: Hey, Granddad... No, it's me (Name obscured)... Ya! Weather's bloody brilliant. Haven't actually found the sea yet... Ya! Well tell her she's not my mum and she can't tell me what to do... Ya. Need a favour, Grandad. Just trying to get some information out of a little Pashtun fellow... A kind of Raghead... Really? We used to do that at school for fun but... you're sure? Thanks Pop. Love to Granny... Ta ta. Right, sergeant. Help me get the old kecks off. Turns out this lot don't like it up 'em. Santa, you're not going to like this one bit.
In a completely and utterly unrelated story Kate Middleton's parents have written to the palace urging that "Nothing Unnatural" should occur on their daughter's wedding night. "She was just given a precious ring, but we also care about the one we gave her, and don't want it broken or bent out of shape as part of some high jinks."