Oct 13, 2010

Rethinking Afghanistan: no place for politics in military prosecution

Australia has an independent process for military justice and a need to comply with international obligations. To suggest that the government should step in, as Tony Abbott did yesterday, is foolish, writes Angela Priestley, editor of Lawyers Weekly.

Australia has an independent process for military justice and a need to comply with international obligations. To suggest that the government should step in, as Tony Abbott did yesterday, is foolish

When the independent Director of Military Prosecutions, Brigadier Lyn McDade, charged three Australian Defence Force members over an incident last year that resulted in the death of six Afghans, she did so following “careful, deliberate and informed consideration of the available evidence”.

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29 thoughts on “Rethinking Afghanistan: no place for politics in military prosecution

  1. The Pav

    Yet again Abbott demonstrates his unfitness for any leadership role and sinks to a new low

    He is wrong on so many counts

    He is either incredibly ignorant or so desperate to score poltical points he will say & do anything. Hang he’s already admitted that he would do this so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised just saddened.

    As for not stabbing the troops in the back he could quite as easily have prejudiced their case.

    I sincerely hope they are found not guilty as this would mean that it was established that in an incredibly demanding situation they acted to the highest standard.

    BTW isn’t Brigadier McDade a soldier so by impugning her character & competence is Mr Abbot stabbing her in the back?

  2. Paul Kenna

    Breaker Morant again

    A decision of another female prosecutor to stir up the debate about the administration of our prosecutorial services.

    Un-named “military academics” are more focussed in process than justice. There are many terrible outcomes of war, these circumstances are not the least. But by following these politically correct approaches we will sacrifice our troops rather than support them.

    Anyone who is stitched up in charges like these needs all the help they can get, even Tony Abbot’s.

    And what’s this attribution about being editor of Lawyers Weekly? Lawyers weekly is a major law firm gossip rag filled with legal headhunters and executive search ads. To promote it as a serious legal journal belies the facts.

  3. Julie

    Thanks for this intelligence on the matter.

  4. michaelwholohan1

    Abbott’s help certainly is needed Paul Kenna but believe me this is not help it is a gratuitous ignaorance based political spray which fittingly was delivered on Alan Jones’s “show”. Any responsible journalist would have questioned the sensibility of this rant.
    There are people following due process in this matter ; it’s their job. Tony abbott is hoping for a job & is not doing the one he presently holds very well. In any thinking circles he woluld be a laughing stock based on these remarks.

  5. John Bennetts

    @ Paul Kenna:

    What’s up, Paul? Run out of argument points but still unable to keep your opinion to yourself?

    Your opening attack on the prosecutor on the basis of gender is really poor form, but you then attacked “military academics” on the supposed basis that they are not focussed on justice (and you are?). What gives you that idea?

    Use of emotional cliches such as “stitched up charges” adds no strength to your accusations.

    To criticise “Lawyers’ Weekly” on the basis that it has a business to run and thus accepts advertising is odd, to say the least. Nobody said that the article was peer-reviewed research, or that it was other than the author’s opinion, prepared for an audience consisting mainly of lawyers. Such an audience would be well-informed on the subjects raised and the principles at foot.

    To attempt to found an argument on stereotyping and obviously uninformed bias says a lot about the commentator and nothing at all about the supposed shortcomings of the original article.

    Your whole contribution is thus worse than no contribution at all to this issue.

  6. Harvey Tarvydas

    Dr Harvey M Tarvydas

    Great work Angela Priestley. The horror of it all is that this basic intelligence education needs to be taught so consistently to the Australia population. But thank you for taking on the challenge.
    It’s that ghastly trickle down effect from the great intellectual leader RS Tony Abbott to the common man. From the budgie smuggling socio-intellectual Neanderthal that’s making an effort in technology by working on the latest bicycle. He has busted the decency limits by declaring to the world that HIS Prime Minister is a bitch and a bastard. He is turning common decency into a budgie smuggling game to assist his stroking fetish quite probably. It would be almost impossible to find a sensible psychological explanation for his weirdness. Maybe there’s a psychological scientific ‘discovery in waiting’ attached to this man who would be PM. Or it may be his diet or even the Pell effect.

  7. kennethrobinson2

    I would like to put it to “Lawyers Weekly”, if these three soldiers are being charged, over the incident, why are not, John Howard, Julia Gillard, and Angus Houston, and the relevant Defense Ministers on trial, after all they are guilty of invading another country, and intentionally killing many thousands of people, who have or had no intention, of invading us.
    It certainly smacks of Breaker Morant revisited, but we cant blame the Poms for this one, its home grown, the whole war is a crime.
    We are not going to FIX Afghanistan, its their problem let them fix it, just like we should fix our own problems, if the Yanks are bent on conquest, leave them to it, Do you really think that if we were attacked, they would rush to our aid, because of a treaty, they would only come if it was beneficial to them.

  8. John

    Justice needs to be done. Military justice, via Brig McDade needs to be supported, as do the diggers. Due process.

    What is Abbott complaining about?…they poodle-faked around with the military justice system and destroyed it’s credibility.

  9. shepherdmarilyn

    Well, our “troops” murdered hundreds of “talibs” in the first weeks and Robert Hill gloated about it. Too bad he didn’t have an ounce of sympathy for the AFghan refugees our navy had just transported to Nauru for daring to escape.

    They have gunned down governors, cops, kids, whoever. They don’t get charged, they pay bribes. They watch the poppies grow, they train corrupt cops and pretend they are building things.

    They claim they built one school in Oruzgan, yet 360 Afghan kids are jailed here for months without being allowed to go to school.

    Hypocrisy if the name of the game here in OZ in Wonderland.

  10. Barbara Boyle

    A silly rabbit, even if a desperate one.

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