In his first comments
yesterday, incoming defence chief Air Marshal Angus Houston vowed to
stamp out bastardisation in the military. He told the media gathered at
Russell Hill that responding to the unanimous recommendations of the
Senate’s military justice inquiry would be a priority:

One of the early challenges will be to respond to the
military justice inquiry… The chiefs and I will not tolerate any form
of abuse in our system. We will eliminate bullying and all forms of
harassment and we take that very, very seriously. That is something
that involves not only the military justice system, it also involves
the way we treat our people. So, clearly, we’ll be very focused on that
and we have a big team working on analysing that military justice
inquiry at the moment.

Which leads to a provocative suggestion – but one in keeping with the Defence Service Charter
– that the perfect person to work with that team would be Air Vice
Marshal (Retired) Peter Criss AM AFC. He was considered good enough to
command Australia’s air forces during the East Timor intervention in
1999. Since then he’s had personal experience of the miscarriages of
military justice and the culture in defence that protects those
responsible for its failings.

Oddly enough, a response to the suggestion has not been forthcoming.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey