Wednesday Forum: October 18, 2017

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1,513 Responses to Wednesday Forum: October 18, 2017

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  1. Rabz

    What’s the deal with Barnaby Joyce?

    He’s Jacinta’s mystery squeeze?

  2. Infidel Tiger

    Ok. I see from tony windsor’s twitter feed that he is accusing BJ of doing a Weinstein.

    This country is a complete mess. We are truly fucked.

  3. Muzzlehatch

    Zyconoclast
    #2528923, posted on October 20, 2017 at 11:49 pm

    Isnt Ted Bundy a serial killer?

    Yup. Rudd had a white plush bear he was calling “Ted”. And “Bundy” because it was gift from the Rum company. Just the two of them. Contrast with the other candidate whos name escapes me. A eye doctor
    ? Who had mustered half a suburb to do a heartfelt and well directed musical number. It oozed enthusiasm and competence. He damn near won the seat off the narcissistic little monster too.

  4. Fisky

    The ruling classes are rotten to the core. The state, the corporations, the military, the churches, the universities, every institution has been permanently discredited and must be toppled at once!

  5. Muzzlehatch

    So long as BJ shows up well rested and doesnt blow numbers. Does day’s graft, with no serious blunders he can go home and stick his old feller in a grandfather clock, provided it consents.

  6. Fisky

    Every institution in every Western country has been debased. It is time to clean house. We should stop listening to anyone claiming to be an authority, hurl abuse at them, and bring the country to a complete halt.

  7. egg_

    ABC24 showing relics from Narryna House in Tas – I’m sure one was a finely polished rosewood dildo.

  8. Bruce in WA

    Isnt Ted Bundy a serial killer?

    Nah, but he should be, with a wife and kid like this.

  9. Bruce in WA

    Re euthanasia

    Dad died in agony; his chest riddled with small cancers (thanks, RAN), his pleural cavity about to be filled with talcum powder to stop the “leaks”. He used to ring me at 2.30 in the morning because he was so “scared”. Of what, he couldn’t say because he also had dementia.

    Mum lived 8 soul-destroying years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She went from a fun-loving, intelligent, literate woman to a dribbling, barely intelligible vegetable, until she finally decided to stop eating and drinking and died after a further two weeks of hallucinations and fears. And we (her family) had to watch every day of it. I’d visit to hold her so she wouldn’t feel alone — and in my 60s I’d leave in tears. God forgive me for letting Mum go that far!

    Do I want that for me … or my kids to see? No effing way. Give me a way out? Yes, please.

  10. Muzzlehatch

    Bruce in WA
    #2528966, posted on October 21, 2017 at 12:49 am

    I hear you. We need to let this aspect of the system, where it needs it, get fixed. There is much levity surrounds this discussion here. It is a serious business that requires serious folks who know what they are talking about, to bring about reform. When I was working in the hospital it was handled informally and quite well. This was a while back.

  11. Top Ender

    VC hero Ben Roberts-Smith: I did nothing wrong in Afghanistan

    TRENT DALTON,RORY CALLINANThe Australian12:00AM October 21, 2017

    Australia’s most decorated soldier, Ben Roberts-Smith, has ­described a new Defence-facilitated history of special forces in ­Afghanistan that questions his battlefield role in the killing of a young Afghan as inaccurate, un-Australian and damaging to the legacy of a hero killed in action.

    The book, No Front Line by celebrated journalist Chris Masters, revisits an incident in the perilous Chora Valley in 2006, during which then lance corporal Roberts-Smith and Sergeant Matthew Locke — a Medal for Gallantry ­recipient killed in action in 2007 — “neutralised” a young Afghan male who threatened to compromise their small and clandestine SAS patrol’s concealment.

    Masters highlights contradictory accounts given by Mr Roberts-Smith years later about the killing, which occurred near an SAS observation post on a mountain overlooking Chora on June 2.

    He cites an interview given to the Australian War Memorial in 2011 in which Mr Roberts-Smith described the incident as involving two men who walked up to within 30m of their position.

    The Victoria Cross recipient, in the interview, said a decision had been made to eliminate the pair and he and Locke “hunted them down and got rid of them”.

    Mr Roberts-Smith explained the inconsistency in correspondence to AWM director Brendan Nelson as stating he had confused the incident due to the fact he had done numerous tours of Afghanistan and it was five years after the fact. Dr Nelson, a former defence minister, said this week he had not read the book but expressed concern about it not being in the ­national interest in tearing down Australian heroes.

    He also said the Defence ­Department had questions to ­answer over what previously ­secret material was provided for the book.

    Mr Roberts-Smith has blamed the contradictory battlefield ­accounts in the book as being the recollections of a “bitter” former SAS member. He also raised concerns that Defence, which organised and screened the writing of the book, may have passed classified documents to Masters to ­assist the book.

    “People are going to think and say what they like (about me),” Mr Roberts-Smith told The Weekend Australian.

    “In regards to what the book means to other people, though, I’m a little bit disappointed. Particularly in a passage around myself and Matthew Locke in 2006, (Masters) is really affecting the legacy of an Australian hero killed in action … His son is in the army now. That’s not fair. He hasn’t spoken to anybody else who was in the patrol except for one guy who has obviously given a different version of events.”

    The incident preceded a deadly firefight that led to Locke and Mr Roberts-Smith receiving Medal for Gallantry recommendations.

    “The person who has given their depiction of 2006 had nothing to do with me,” Mr Roberts-Smith said. “He was disciplined by the patrol commander and Matt Locke, and removed from our patrol, subsequently retested, and then removed from the SAS. And that was the person who is now making claims about what happened 11 years ago and I think that really says it all. There’s an agenda there against Matt Locke and, for whatever reason, because I’ve got the profile, it’s better to throw my name into the mix because you know it’s going to be a headline and that’s essentially why I’m being dragged into it. You can only go off the reporting at the time. It is critical to remember that, 11 years later, no two people will ever see the battle the same way. You just don’t.”

    While Masters was unavailable to comment yesterday, publisher Allen & Unwin defended the book, saying Masters “was a highly professional journalist who ­approached his subjects with both balance and meticulous research”.

    Editorial director Rebecca ­Kaiser said Mr Roberts-Smith “was shown all content relating to him in early July and responses from his lawyer have been accommodated in the final text”.

    “Roberts-Smith suggested to Chris that he read the contemporaneous patrol report covering the Koran Ghar action, which Chris subsequently sighted and quoted in the book,’’ she said. “The book was read and vetted by SOCOMD (Special Operations Command).’’

    Ms Kaiser said Masters had written specifically to Defence seeking contact details of the families. “Defence replied that it would notify the families through the family liaison officers,” she said. “Chris’s email in response, said: ‘Please pass on to AHQ (army headquarters) my willingness to personally background any family members before publication’.’’

    The book will be released on Wednesday, the day Locke’s widow, Leigh Locke-Thomas, will mark the 10th anniversary of his death. “I am not letting someone defame my husband,” Ms Locke-Thomas told The West Australian. “He fought for his country and lost his life.”

    Mr Roberts-Smith said he would not justify his actions that day in the Chora Valley beyond the after-action report filed by the patrol commander that supported Mr Roberts-Smith’s accounts.

    “I’ve never justified my actions from Afghanistan and I make that point because my record has been in the public domain for nearly six years,” he said. “That’s very unusual for an SAS operator. I have been under public scrutiny. You can access everything about my career, on the record. I’ve been under the microscope for the last six years and, you know what, my record is spotless. And I have given 100 per cent … The only thing that matters to me is that people who have served their country in Afghanistan … their legacy is never detracted from, just simply because of someone’s ­attempts at personal gain.”

    Mr Roberts-Smith also took issue with the book being published during an ongoing Ins­pector-General of the Australian Defence Force inquiry into ­rumours of possible breaches of the laws of armed conflict by members of the ADF in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2016. “This book has a serious chance to prejudice that inquiry,” he said.

    The book has already sparked controversy. Fairfax this week published an extensive account of the discrepancies highlighted in the book. A spokesman for ­Defence Minister Marise Payne said Defence had advised that Masters was not provided with access to defence records. He said the minister had no involvement with the book, had not seen a copy and was unable to comment on it.

    He said the IGADF reviewed the manuscript prior to publication and had advised that publication of the book would not interfere with the inquiry.

    Defence revealed that Masters received approval on December 1, 2014, from then deputy chief of army Gus Gilmore to access serving members to support his proposed book, which he advised would detail the operations and achievements of Australia’s ­Special Operations Task Group in ­Afghanistan from 2001-14.

    “Mr Masters interviewed current and former serving Defence personnel, along with many other non-Defence personnel involved in the Afghanistan campaign,” Defence said.

    “Personnel who were interviewed by Mr Masters participated voluntarily as this was not an official Defence project. The ­information in the book reflects the opinions of the author, not the Australian Defence Force. Errors or omission of fact in the book are those of Mr Masters’. Defence did not have any editorial control or influence on the book. Defence’s review of the draft manuscript was confined to issues relating to operational and personal security … Chris Masters was not given access to Defence records.”

    The conflicted reporting on the Chora Valley matter cuts to the heart of a debate about re-­examining battlefield incidents that unfolded in seconds and the difficult choices reconnaissance patrols faced about whether to engage the enemy or remain hidden.

    “Where is the national interest in tearing down our heroes?” Dr Nelson said. “It’s my very strong view that the alleged controversies involving special forces, unless involving the most egregious breaches of the laws of armed combat, should be left alone. What these young, highly skilled and trained men have done repeatedly over the past 15 years in intense combat is something that is rightly the pride of our nation …

    “The average Australian is not generally stupid and they know that things don’t always go ­according to plan in war and that armchair lawyers and others on their sanctimonious thrones should not be shaping our attitude to what in the end are very serious military actions necessary to deal with people that threaten our freedoms and our values.”

    Australia’s oldest VC recipient, Keith Payne, said: “War is a messy business. Once the bloody action starts, everybody’s eyes are looking in different directions to yours … When it’s all over, you say, ‘Christ, how did I get out of that?’. Then you’re counting casualties and trying to work out details of how it all happened, but you’re not dwelling on it too much because it drives you bloody crazy. You stick it in the back of your head and forget all about it.”

    Kerry Stokes — chairman of the Australian War Memorial and Seven West Media, where Mr Roberts-Smith works as Seven Network Queensland general manager — said: “The SAS, the commandos and engineers should be applauded and respected. They deserve our thanks and support for their bravery and services.”

  12. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Top Ender, there’s a new thread. I’ve posted part of the Ben Roberts Smith article.

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