Apr 22, 2014

An Australian killed, to the studied indifference of his government

An Australian has been killed overseas. But the federal government is strangely incurious about it, and has nothing to say about it. Its ideology is getting in the way.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

Why was Christopher Harvard of Townsville killed in Yemen in November by a American drone strike, along with a dual New Zealand-Australian citizen known as “Muslim Bin John”, and three other “militants”? Why was he the victim of an attack that left so little of him that only DNA from his family could help identify his remains?


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20 thoughts on “An Australian killed, to the studied indifference of his government

  1. T2

    I see that you said the government was “uninterested” in Harvard, which, of course, is very different from Crikey’s headline which said it was “disinterested”.

  2. mikeb

    Let’s not get too cute here. Christopher Harvard was not in Yemen as an innocent bystander. We all know that even though no “fair” trial has taken place. If you lie down with dogs you get fleas.

  3. Hugo Armstrong

    Could not agree more! Crikey subs, PLEASE look up disinterested and uninterested. Our Government may well be uninterested, but disinterested they are NOT!

  4. Bill Hilliger

    One day the other side will also have drones and target suspected American war mongers and drone operators, what then?

  5. Mark out West

    @ T2 & Hugo


  6. Mark out West

    @ Bill


    When would it be okay for Americans to bomb Australians like they do elsewhere??

  7. Phillip Monk

    @ mikeb

    True, but the article is about the government’s behaviour, not Harvard’s. We should be holding our government to a higher standard of accountability than it has displayed so far on this matter.

  8. David Hand

    It has become very fashionable to criticise our government for keeping secrets that it believes are in the country’s interests. Snowden and Assange have become folk heroes for leaking highly sensitive information that has aided people who wish us harm.

    In the pages of Crikey, the US government has become the enemy. Christopher Harvard has become “an English teacher”. The AFP “fabricates evidence”. The government must be wrong not to talk because John Key has public (with the dang awkward statement that the Kiwi was indeed part of Al Quaeda). The government is guilty because it won’t provide us with information it has.

    You guys have been watching too many “Evil military-industrial corporation” movies.

    Who do you think is protecting you from a bomb going off at Town Hall Station?

  9. AR

    Can we start a porgrom on the meme, put about by the one-eyed, and one handed in David’s case,Snowden and Assange have become folk heroes for leaking highly sensitive information that has aided people who wish us harm..
    Untrue, not then, or now. Ever.
    As to his “raping sister” question, those with nowt to hide got nowt to fear. And dulce decorum..,/I> the old, vile, lie.

  10. dcparker

    I am not a defender of our Government, and it certainly seems that the NZ government has provided its public with more information, which has only shown that the New Zealander concerned chose to go to a combat zone for a particular military, quasi-military or military support purpose. It seems likely that the Australian was the same. Whilst I think the his government should be equally open as that of his co-combatant, it was his choice to embroil himself in a war. The consequences may be unfortunate, but it was ever thus.

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