It looks like Angus Campbell’s collective punishment of Afghanistan veterans has been rolled by the political class.
Scott Morrison has publicly rolled Defence chief Angus Campbell over his decision to revoke meritorious service awards for Afghanistan veterans, declaring the actions of a small number of alleged war criminals “do not reflect on the many thousands of others” who served.
When he released the Brereton war crimes report, General Campbell said he would write to the GG asking him to strip the citations from 3000 special forces veterans to reflect their “collective responsibility” for 39 alleged murders by up to 25 soldiers.
But, amid a public backlash over the edict, the Prime Minister declared on Monday that “no decisions have been made on that”.
In any event, the very first person who should have any medals revoked is the good general himself.* Followed by David Morrison, who was so busy promoting affirmative action he didn’t seem to notice alleged war crimes occurring on his watch. He has an Order of Australia that should be relinquished. Over and above his Australian of the Year Award.
I couldn’t resist quoting Jacqui Lambie on the topic:
Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie has also issued a blunt warning to the Defence Force Chief Angus Campbell to get his “head out of his arse” over his call to strip 3,000 soldiers who served in Afghanistan
“If General Campbell has not felt the bitch-slap from all those millions of Australians out there, he needs to pull his head out of his arse,’’ she said.
Senator Lambie was one of the first MPs to question the decision to strip the meritorious citation from all soldiers when the Brereton report was released on November 19.
That is so funny – “he needs to pull his head out of his arse”. So many more politicians and public servants need to be told that.
*To my mind the biggest problem is that we are invited to believe that very junior people in the military, non-commissioned officers, were organising and committing war crimes, and their officers simply did not know. Maybe they did commit those crimes – I have no doubt any prosecution will fail – maybe they didn’t. The military, an organisation that prides itself on hierarchy and following the chain of command, have already admitted that they did not know what was happening.