Everyone probably has heard of the Brereton enquiry into alleged war crimes by Australian troops in Afghanistan1. A few days ago, Lieutenant General Rick Burr, the Chief of Army, faced the media and when queried about whether he planned to resign because of this debacle, he declined to answer, and later, as the media continued firing questions at him, he cut short the press conference2.
Earlier in the day, Scott Morrison warned the Chief of the Defence Force, Angus Campbell, that he expects the top brass to be held accountable for alleged war crimes in Afghanistan, not just the rogue soldiers who were on the frontline. Morrison’s remarks follow calls by silly Sky News microphone bully Alan Jones that the Prime Minister should sack Campbell, and ignore the Brereton Report’s assertion that the top brass should not be blamed because they were kept in the dark by rogue soldiers. Morrison said “in each case, it’s important that not only is there accountability in the defence forces for individual alleged acts, but also in the chain of command about those who had responsibilities and accountabilities in that chain of command”2.
Morrison has carefully avoided any semblance of accountability in his entire political career. In part, this is because Morrison is a narcissist; everything he does is either to make himself feel superior, or to denigrate all those who would question his ability, whether they be colleagues, political opponents, journalists, bloggers or the twitterati. The prime example of his lack of accountability was that of the travesty that was ‘robodebt’.
Morrison has never accepted and will never accept responsibility for ‘robodebt’ of which he was the architect. Reality is never allowed to impinge on Morrison’s high opinion of himself, unwarranted as that opinion is. During the ‘robodebt’ debacle, over 500,000 debt notices were sent out, including to people with disabilities, carers, students, the aged, the unemployed, the mentally ill, and otherwise vulnerable. This was just asking for trouble and it arguably cost up to 2,000 people their lives by suicide, after they received their ‘robodebt’ notices. Yet Centrelink and its Minister, the horrendously scandal-prone Stuart Robert, “steadfastly continued to defend the indefensible, producing a tsunami of suffering and misery including suicides, depression and marriage breakdowns without a skerrick of compassion and made worse where those affected were current welfare recipients”3.
For Morrison to even utter the words ‘responsibility’ or ‘accountability’ is the absolute pinnacle of hypocrisy.
The murders of innocents in our pointless pro-Yank contribution to ongoing destabilisation of the wartorn Iraq-Afghanistan situation should never have occurred. That is, if someone in the SAS hierarchy had warned soldiers that any untoward firing on suspects just as suspects, would lead to very harsh investigation and potential dismissal from the force. The responsible men who murdered civilians bear the brunt of guilt, but clearly it wasn’t dinned into their macho lax-disciplined heads that killing defenceless foreigners by soldiers is a war crime. Outrageous is the word for what failed to be done way before any of these killings occurred, from the SAS chiefs, to the Chief of Army, who indeed ought to resign. (Regardless of the obvious self-serving statements of the Prime Mongrel Moronsin). As to Robodebt, if an inane, bull-at-a-gate policy could be invented the present mob of unempathetic, born-to-silver-spoon, arrogant bastards in power, that one is the apogee – or should one say NADIR of grossness and insensitivity to those a hell of a lot less fortunate than their sinecured, top-restaurant going selves. As all of us agree, the sooner this crud of a PM and his hyena band are gotten rid of, the better!
The more I see of Morrison, the more I am repelled by him. As I have said elsewhere, he has the morality of a racecourse urger, the lowest of the low of spivs in this country. His appalling photo opportunities when in isolation (with his politburo photographer) are pathetic. I have never seem a PM as vacuous, having lived through the tenure of Menzies, Holt, McMahon, Gorton, Whitlam, Fraser, Hawke, Keating, Howard, Rudd, Gillard, Abbott and Turnbull. As you say, we are now at the nadir.