From the comfort of your armchair, what would you say if the ‘murdered’ Afghan was a suspected bomb-maker?

In a remarkable piece of sang froid three CDF’s have issued a joint statement declaring their innocence!

Admiral Barrie (a warrior who never saw combat, but who sees climate change as the most serious threat to Oz),

Air Marshall Angus Houston (who flew his desk all the way to the top) & of course,

Lt. General Angus Campbell (who was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross and an Infantry Combat Badge for leadership in action, but who now claims he was ‘too remote from the operations to know what was going on’)

In fact, in a paradoxical twist, their declaration does not matter as they accept war crimes were committed while they were in charge.  This means their ‘I knew nuthink’ while I was in command’ is not a defence, but an confession of guilt.  You can delegate ‘responsibility’ to your operational teams, but you cannot delegate ‘accountability’.  Hence their spurious defence that collectively they were unaware of what was going on among a few hundred soldiers in the only war we had, or that Australia is a signatory to the Yamashita Standard – to which they are subject – is no defence at all.

Let’s joyfully sacrifice one soldier from the time of each of their commands and then apply an equal sentence to each of them.

Lest we forget the key words that cost Yamashita his life:

‘The highest ranking officer is accountable for, and should be prosecuted and convicted of the crimes of every officer and soldier under his command, even if he/she is unaware of that the crime, or was aware and actually gave orders to stop it.  Ignorance of the actions of his/her subordinates and failed attempts to stop them are not a defence.’

Perhaps they will have to apply the tried a true ‘Double Standards’ Defence?


Alistair Pope

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