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Any commentary or reference to the contribution by Heston Russell on 10th March (Moral Injury) may seem somewhat belated. Fact is that this whole disgusting witch hunt makes me so furious with anger that I find it difficult to put words together coherently, rationally or civilly. Civility really has no place in this discussion because the discussion does not deserve it.

I have followed, among others, Heston’s site, Voice of a Veteran, since its inception. I am not a veteran myself. I was a Nasho during the Korean War which ended hostilities during the time I was conscripted. At the time I was under 21 and the law then was that persons under that age could not be conscripted for overseas service unless they had parental consent. My mother would not give consent. I remained in the CMF as a volunteer after my 2 year conscription was finished. By the time the Vietnam War started I was married and too old anyway.

This purge on our most elite soldiers is a matter of national shame because it rejects the notion that these men have put their lives on the line in defence of our nation and our way of life. This is a matter that we should all be eternally grateful for but instead, we have a collection of little nobodies who think that they are on a higher plane than the rest of us and sit in judgement of those who have volunteered to defend us.

The leader of the band is difficult to identify, there are too many of them. At the head though is an outright pretender by the name of Brereton. Brereton is a judge of the NSW Supreme Court. Just another civilian. He, coincidentally also holds the rank of Major General in the Australian Army. A titular rank given but not earned. This pretender has never fired a shot in anger and, I suggest, has never fired a shot at all. Why then does a person with no battlefield experience presume to sit in judgement of those who have been under fire.

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No doubt he would justify his position by telling us that he has extensive academic credentials, has sat on his benchin judgement of many real criminals, has the experience to examine and sift evidence and has a deep knowledge of precedent. There we have the key to his dilemma. Precedent. The fall-back position of all of these wise men who sit in judgement of us. In this scenario of the non-doers sitting in judgement of the doers two precedents come to mind.

First and foremost is the well known story of Breaker Morant and his execution together with his comrade Peter Handcock by the British Army during the Boer War. Two Australian soldiers used as scapegoats to salve the conscience of British Army officers just for doing their job; killing the enemy.

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Another was the Court Marshalling and demotion of Clive “Killer” Caldwell, DSO,DFC & bar, the top RAAF fighter ace in WW2 After an outstanding career with the RAF in Europe and North Africa he was sidelined to a training position back in Australia and late in the war returned to active duty as a fighter pilot.

In 1946 he was court marshalled for the heinous crime of using RAAF aircraft to ferry grog back to Morotai and selling it to US forces in his area in 1945. For this he was demoted in rank and resigned from the RAAF. In 1945 he had been the leader of an incident known as “The Morotai Mutiny”, a protest against the RAAF being reduced to a subsidiary role in the closing stages of SW Pacific campaign. A number of officers resigned in protest but no charges were laid. Instead, after the heat of battle had subsided in 1946 the seat warmers decided to charge Caldwell with this dreadful crime of using RAAF planes to carry grog.

Both of these incidents and the current purge against the SAS have all been brought on well after the heat of battle has subsided and the soldiers no longer required to do what they had been trained to do, ie., kill the enemy.

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In all wars, the enemy does not necessarily wear a uniform. In the case of the Boer War and Afghanistan there were, in fact, no distinguishing uniforms worn by the opposing armies and I use the word “armies” advisedly. In Afghanistan, the enemy consisted of bands of brigands. The national army was supposedly on our side but not to be trusted. Now, years after the event the worms reposing behind their desks in Canberra have invented a new enemy; our own troops who did an outstanding job in the field. These parasites are not content to just consider the evidence available to them, they actually are now soliciting our former enemies to come forth and bring previously unknown evidence to enhance their cause.

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All of this has been condensed into a document now known as The Brereton report. It has been greeted with a general reaction by those who wallow in its reflected glory of “How Shocking”. Yes, shocking it is indeed. Shocking that our elite troops are now subjected to personal vilification either by direct accusation or implication without redress. Not only that, the whole despicable process has dragged on for years imposing itself on the accused men a form of death by a thousand cuts.

If the impact on morale is not bad enough some units have been officially disbanded and thereby embracing all of these members as accused murderers.

 Who has come to their aid? Nobody in real authority. We have the grandiose Major General whose first loyalty should be to the troops under his command. As a Major General, all those of lower rank are under his command. Close behind we have the most useless Chief of the Defence Force ever, General Angus Campbell. A former SAS officer with service in Afghanistan who would be well aware of the pressures our troops were under dealing with a subversive population of supposed allies. A pathetic apology for a real soldier. Then we have the hapless Minister of Defence, a woman of no consequence who once held the exalted rank of Brigadier in the Australian Army. What a joke she is. She has the power to stop this rot but in keeping with her parliamentary performance has done nothing at all. Then we have the back stabbing former SAS officer who now aspires to take over the role of Defence Minister, Andrew Hastie adding his six pennyworth to the chattering throng of do-gooders who want to kick these men when they are down. Finally, we have the arch imposter, Morrison, who could stop this rot with the stroke of a pen but is too lily livered to do other than to add his voice of condemnation when real leadership is what is required.

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What do these people hope to achieve from this witch hunt? Self satisfaction? Some altruistic goal to cleanse the heart of our nation and restore our national reputation in the eyes of others?

One could also add to the above list of faggots our national media. The protestations from the press have been deafening in their silence. There is the occasional burst of support for the accused but it soon passes until the next stanza of this drama unfolds.

If we are looking for traitors in our midst then one needs to look no further than the collection of impotent individuals I have identified above. They make me feel ashamed to be an Australian and they defile the great traditions and reputation of our fighting forces.

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