Wednesday 28th of September 2022

what are we doing in afghanistan again?... ah, chasing bin laden in the national interest...

time to leave

Australian special forces soldiers allegedly committed up to 39 murders and 19 current or former soldiers will face criminal investigation, possible prosecution and the stripping of their medals after the findings of an exhaustive inquiry released by military chief Angus Campbell.

The four-year inquiry by NSW Court Of Appeal Justice Paul Brereton found there was credible evidence of 23 incidents in which one or more non-combatants – or individuals who had been captured or injured – were unlawfully killed by special forces soldiers, or at least at their direction. There were also a further two incidents that the report said could be classified as the war crime of "cruel treatment".


For more than four years, the Maj Gen Justice Paul Brereton has investigated allegations that a small group within the elite Special Air Services and commandos regiments killed and brutalised Afghan civilians, in some cases allegedly slitting throats, gloating about their actions, keeping kill counts, and planting phones and weapons on corpses to justify their actions.

Brereton describes the special forces’ actions as “disgraceful and a profound betrayal” of the Australian Defence Force.

The findings of Brereton’s report, released on Thursday, are confronting and damning.

The report found:

  • Special forces were responsible for dozens of unlawful killings, the vast majority of which involved prisoners, and were deliberately covered up.
  • Thirty-nine Afghans were unlawfully killed in 23 incidents, either by special forces or at the instruction of special forces.
  • None of the killings took place in the heat of battle, and they all occurred in circumstances which, if accepted by a jury, would constitute the war crime of murder.
  • All the victims were either non-combatants or were no longer combatants.
  • A total of 25 perpetrators have been identified either as principals or accessories. Some are still serving in the ADF.

In all cases, the report finds it “was or should have been plain that the person killed was a non-combatant”. The vast majority of victims had been captured and were under control, giving them the protection under international law.


Australian special forces allegedly executed dozens of non-combatants while stationed in Afghanistan, an explosive war crimes probe found, prompting a rare mea culpa from the military for “grave” and “deeply disturbing” conduct.General Angus Campbell, Chief of the Australian Defence Force, announced the findings of the 465-page ‘Brereton report' on Thursday, saying “credible information” indicates that 39 Afghan civilians were killed unlawfully by elite special forces troops between 2007 and 2014 in 23 separate incidents.“To the people of Afghanistan on behalf of the Australian Defence Forces, I sincerely and unreservedly apologize for any wrongdoing by Australian soldiers,” Campbell said at a press briefing, calling its findings “damaging to our moral authority as a military force.”


There is "credible evidence" that Australian special forces unlawfully killed 39 people during the Afghan conflict, a long-awaited report has found.The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has released findings from a four-year inquiry into misconduct by its forces.The inquiry investigated 57 incidents and heard from more than 300 witnesses.It had uncovered a "shameful record" of a "warrior culture" by some soldiers, ADF chief General Angus Campbell said.Nineteen current or former soldiers should be investigated by police over the killings of "prisoners, farmers or civilians" between 2009 and 2013, the report found.Afghanistan said it had been assured by Australia that it was committed to "ensuring justice".

In at least one case, it is alleged that an Australian soldier took an unarmed prisoner to a “remote” part of a compound, forced him to the ground, and shot him in the head.

“None of these are incidents of disputable decisions made under pressure in the heat of battle,” the report stated, calling some conduct a “profound betrayal of Australian Defence Force professional standards”.

General Campbell claimed a “toxic competitiveness” had developed between SAS and commando troops, and that “it is alleged that some patrols took the law into their own hands”.———————————————————
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrisson called his Afghan counterpart, President Ashraf Ghani, to apologise and "expressed his deepest sorrow over the misconduct by some Australian troops in Afghanistan".

Chief of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), General Angus Campbell, revealed on Thursday that a war crime report provided "credible information" that some members of the Australian Special Air Services (SAS) were involved in multiple brutal killings of non-combatants, or those who were no longer combatants, "for more than four years".

Shedding light on the report findings, Campbell apologized to the Afghan people on behalf of the Australian army.
Australia inquiry finds troops 'unlawfully killed' dozens of Afghans


Military officials have admitted that Australian forces committed crimes in Afghanistan following a multi-year inquiry. It's the first time the military has accepted allegations of illegal activity during the conflict.

morrison's military lobby culture...

LobbyLand: Department of Defence captured by foreign weapons makers Thales, BAE

By MICHELLE FAHY | On 19 November 2020

The culture of cosiness; the revolving door; and undue influence. The relationship between government and military industrial companies is just one strand of the evidence showing the urgent need for a national anti-corruption commission. “Undue influence” is a noted marker for corruption.

In a recent investigation we examined how the then $50 billion (now $80 billion) submarine contract was awarded to Naval Group, despite it being under investigation in numerous countries over probity issues, including bribery and corruption concerns.

The multinational weapons maker Thales has also exerted influence on successive governments. There has been considerable coverage of how Thales pressured federal Attorney General Christian Porter to censor key parts of the auditor general’s report into the procurement process for the Thales Hawkei vehicle. There is more to that story than the censored sections.

Then there is yet another key supplier to Defence, the UK multinational BAE Systems, which in 2018 won the $35 billion future frigate contract to build the navy’s nine new anti-submarine warships. The new contract was awarded even though there had reportedly been “long-running concerns” inside Defence about alleged inflation of invoices by tens of millions of dollars by BAE for its work on the navy’s elderly Adelaide-class of frigates (now decommissioned). An internal audit by Defence reportedly found BAE’s Adelaide contract “riddled with cost overruns, with the British company consistently invoicing questionable charges”. By May 2019, Defence had launched a fresh investigation.

Thales and the Hawkei: “Extensive industry lobbying”

A 2018 Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) report details the acquisition process for the Thales Hawkei vehicle, which was ultimately selected as the ‘light’ vehicle within a multi-phase procurement started in 2003 to replace Australian Defence Force field vehicles and trailers.

Initially, the decision was made that Australian-based options for a light vehicle were high risk and high cost and that Australia would partner with the US in its new-build joint light tactical vehicle program (JLTV) while also retaining the option of buying a vehicle “off the shelf”. In 2008, following the change of government in late 2007, the overall project became politically contentious, with claims and counterclaims made by new and former government ministers, with various project contracts cancelled and retendered.

Against that backdrop, in December 2008, Thales Australia made an unsolicited pitch to Defence for a new ‘manufactured and supported in Australia’ option for the light vehicle. The pitch was accompanied by what the ANAO described as “extensive industry lobbying”. A key lobbying point was that the Thales Bendigo factory, then manufacturing the medium Bushmaster armoured vehicle, would run out of work when Bushmaster production ceased, putting jobs at risk.

It was decided that Australian options for a light vehicle should be sought after all. Three Australian options, including Thales, were subsequently included.

The Thales proposal was seen as high risk because it was a developmental proposal and therefore also carried high cost risks, particularly given the limited number required. To manage those risks, Prime Minister Rudd requested that the defence and finance ministers jointly assess the Australian industry proposals. The ANAO report says Defence did not carry out this prime ministerial request.

The ANAO report also includes part of a letter (p35) from the prime minister to the defence minister expressing doubt that an Australian developmental option could offer any legitimate competition to the more developmentally advanced US JLTV program. Despite his concerns, PM Rudd authorised $30 million for prototyping activities for the Australian option.

By 2011 Defence was recommending the Thales Hawkei as the preferred option. The government agreed the Hawkei program could continue but directed that the JLTV also continue as a backup. The government directed that the Defence and Finance departments jointly agree the cost estimate difference between the Hawkei and the JLTV. The ANAO report says Defence did not provide its audit with any evidence “that a single agreed cost comparison was undertaken with Finance as requested by the Government” (p40).

In September 2013 the Coalition defeated Labor in the federal election.

In March 2015 Thales appointed Brendan Nelson – Liberal defence minister prior to Labor’s 2007 election win – to its “advisory board”.

Five months later, the Coalition government approved the Thales Hawkei acquisition and in October the contract was signed.



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Morrison should resign. 

cathy wilcox, the political cartoonist of the year...


In a year where horrible news has been replaced by more horrible news, the job of a political cartoonist is more important than ever.

That’s according to the Museum of Australian Democracy, which has named the Herald’s Cathy Wilcox the political cartoonist of the year.

For Wilcox, this year has required a balance between poking fun at the absurd and putting a spotlight on the ugly.

‘‘We’re often here to make light or point out some sort of folly but there are always serious things going on that shouldn’t be allowed to just get away with being seen as ridiculous,’’ she said.

Nobel Prize-winning immunologist Professor Peter Doherty, one of the external judges for this year’s award, said there were parallels between his work and that of cartoonists, in that they ‘‘do their best to tell the truth’’.

‘‘I’ve always had the sense that part of the job of the cartoonist in an open democracy is to provoke us, and maybe to make us a bit angry, so we suddenly have doubts about some entrenched position, some dogmatic idea of how things are, or should be,’’ he said.

Wilcox’s award will be announced today at the Museum of Australian Democracy in Old Parliament House. The Behind the Lines exhibition of political cartoons from the year also begins today, and two of Wilcox’s cartoons have been selected in the curator’s top 10.

Wilcox, who also won the prize in 2009 and 2016, said she was honoured to be awarded for this year’s work. ‘‘I feel like it’s been a hard working year for me, and I feel quite honoured and gratified they noticed,’’ she said.


Read more: SMH 20/11/2020



We approve... Read from top.

from the man who started a little war...

Former prime minister John Howard says the conduct of a few special forces personnel in Afghanistan was “totally at odds with the values, beliefs and practices” of Australia’s military forces.

Mr Howard as prime minister committed Australian forces to Afghanistan in 2001, following the September 11 terrorist attacks.

During the conflict, 41 Australian Defence Force members died, for which the nation should be grateful, he said.

“None of this diminishes the distress that I and so many others feel about the contents of the Brereton inquiry,” Mr Howard said in a statement on Friday.

“Its findings are damning of the behaviour of a small group of special forces personnel who it is claimed, amongst other things, were responsible for the unlawful killing of 39 Afghani citizens.

“The report explicitly states that none of them lost their lives in the heat of battle. Such conduct is totally at odds with the values, beliefs and practices of our military forces.”

He said due process must now be followed.

“If charges are laid against individuals they must be handled in accordance with Australia’s criminal justice system,” Mr Howard said.

“Any personnel charged should enjoy the presumption of innocence.

“A long road lies ahead. In the meantime, we should remember the continuing service of our military personnel and, where appropriate, extend a helping hand to them and their families.”

The four-year investigation by Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force, Paul Brereton, found credible evidence of 23 incidents in which a total of 39 Afghan nationals were unlawfully killed.

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Please note that war is NEVER the option to protect "the national interest"... It sounds a bit like a butcher shooting customers because they're short of a shilling...


And this is the longest war (or is it a training ground?) Aussies have been involved in without any solace, nor solution... Unfortunately, the religious glue in Afghanistan is far too strong to be defeated by the West. When the government in Kabul had decided to go socialist in the 1980s, and got help from the Ruskies to defeat the Taliban, the US supported the Taliban (Mujahideen) who then took over Kabul to impose a religious state, alla Daesh. By then, Bin Laden, who had worked for the US, was declared the instigator of 9/11 without any admission from him on this subject. He became an excuse for the US and Australia to get bogged down in that country for now 19 years and counting... Only one man, Zacarias Moussaoui, confessed to doing the deed AFTER HAVING BEEN TORTURED at Gitmo.


not a bad cartoon...



Not a bad cartoon by Warren... apart from a couple of points:


1 - The Aussie SAS does not look like a SAS operative. Long beards not allowed. (and dare I say, Warren made sure the hat did not look like any "hats" or helmets worn by the Australian SAS...)


2 - They aren't "our" demons. The demons are the warmongers like John Howard et all, including Tony Blair and George W Bush, who went to war illegally — plus anyone who carried on with the charade of war. The despicable acts by the SAS personnel are their own and in the same vein as the destruction of Fallujah by glorious Jim Molan...



100 per cent pure aussie beef... no dual nationality here...


Yes, Jim Molan is famous for being a leading accessory in the destruction of Fallujah, during the illegal war on Saddam... praised by him "in his humble opinion" as the "most impressive operation in accordance with the laws of arm conflict...."


Except for the use of illegal white phosphorus bombs....



See also:






death masks: too arrogant...




NATO demolished the state because...


the real terrorists ...


the prince of thieves...



and many more warmongering exposés on this site... 


See also:


Australia’s defense minister, Linda Reynolds, has said she felt “physically ill” after reading the military report into war crimes which provided evidence that the country’s special forces soldiers unlawfully killed 39 Afghans.

In response to the report, Reynolds revealed she had discussed disbanding the Special Air Service Regiment’s second squadron with the chief of the army over a culture that contributed to criminal conduct, although she urged Australians not to judge the entire military for one section’s behavior.

I was like every other Australian who watched that. I was totally and utterly shocked and mortified. I got the report two weeks ago and it made me physically ill.

The defense minister’s condemnation of the “absolute clear-cut murder and war crimes” added to the long list of criticism from political and military figures in response the publication of the report. On Thursday, Chief of the Defense Force Angus John Campbell described the findings as a serious breach of military conduct, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned citizens that the report would be difficult to read. 


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not a leg to stand on...


Australian soldiers drank alcohol from prosthetic leg of dead Afghan

by Oscar Grenfell

An image published by the Guardian on Tuesday, showing an Australian special forces soldier drinking beer from the prosthetic leg of a dead Afghan, is the latest evidence of the neo-colonial barbarism of the 19-year occupation and pillage of the oppressed Central Asian nation.

According to the Guardian, the photo was taken in the “Fat Lady’s Arms,” an unofficial bar set up by Australian special forces at their base in Tarin Kowt, the capital of Uruzgan province. In another picture, the device is strapped to a soldier’s backpack, and in a third, two soldiers pose with it.

The paper claims to have obtained other images, including one showing soldiers dancing with the leg.

The prosthetic was reportedly taken from a “suspected Taliban fighter” after he had been killed during an April, 2009 Special Air Service Regiment assault in Uruzgan. The evident disability of the man, and the practice of the special forces in deeming broad sections of the civilian population, especially those they have killed, to be “enemy combatants” means these assertions cannot be taken at face value.

In any event, the photographs are proof that in addition to murdering civilians and prisoners, special forces soldiers engaged in the war crime of pillage, defined under international law as taking property from the legitimate owner for private or personal use, without consent.

The response of the political and media establishment to the horrific images has been decidedly muted. Liberal-National Prime Minister Scott Morrison and opposition Labor leader Anthony Albanese have said nothing and nor has any other senior politician.

In comments to the Guardian, Luke Gosling, a little-known Labor MP and former Australian army officer, presented the photographs as scarcely more than an embarrassment. The images were “concerning” and indicated a “problematic culture.” “It’s not the conduct we want our Australian defence force to be getting up to overseas in our name,” Gosling said.

The indifferent response is all the more striking given that on Tuesday, when the Guardian article was published, virtually every prominent political figure in the country was denouncing another image related to the Afghan conflict as “disgusting,” “repugnant,” “sickening,” etc.

The deluge of confected outrage, which continues, was over a tweet by Zhao Lijian, a mid-ranking Chinese official, condemning Australian war crimes in Afghanistan. Zhao was referencing the military-initiated Brereton investigation, which last month revealed “credible information” that Australian special forces murdered at least 39 Afghan civilians and prisoners between 2009 and 2013.

Zhao’s tweet was accompanied by an image, created by a visual artist, showing an Australian soldier with a knife to the neck of an Afghan child. The graphic was clearly based on incidents noted in the Brereton report, including one in which special forces soldiers allegedly slashed the throats of two 14-year-old boys.



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in the frost of battle...

Senator Linda Reynolds, who said she was left “physically ill” after reading the report’s claims that Australian troops had killed 39 Afghan civilians and prisoners, described the incidents included in the report as “alleged cold-blooded murder” outside the heat of battle.

“There are 39 incidents of credible evidence of murder. Not fog of war, murder,” she said.

“That cannot be swept under the carpet … you cannot look away, I cannot unsee what I read.”

Senator Reynolds’ full-throated defence of the Brereton inquiry on Wednesday was a direct response to criticisms from former special forces captain Heston Russell. Just 24 hours earlier, he blasted the report’s key claim that the alleged murders were not in ‘fog of war’ situations.

“What is the ‘heat of battle’?” Mr Russell, an Afghanistan veteran, said in Canberra on Tuesday. He claimed special forces troops had the legal authority to “prosecute, capture and kill” enemies “in any circumstances”.



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up the command ladder...

Australia’s military leadership is responsible for any crimes committed by its troops in Afghanistan, the ex-chief of the country’s armed forces has said, after a report into alleged atrocities cleared it of wrongdoing.

Admiral Chris Barrie, who led the Australian Defence Force from 1998 to 2002, called for a royal commission to investigate allegations that Australian special forces in Afghanistan carried out unlawful killings, and insisted that responsibility for such crimes ultimately rests with the country’s military command.

A four-year investigation, led by Major General Paul Brereton, found evidence that Australian troops committed dozens of murders in Afghanistan. However, the report determined that responsibility for the alleged crimes “does not extend to higher headquarters.”

In comments to the Sydney Morning Herald, Barrie said he doesn’t “accept” the report’s conclusion, noting that command structures exist to ensure that such atrocities never occur.

The purpose of having national command responsibilities in the theatre [of operations] is to make sure that our people are behaving themselves and doing what is right and proper according to the Australian government’s direction.

The retired admiral also expressed support for a probe into the report’s preliminary findings, arguing that “mums and dad of Australia need to know what was going on [in Afghanistan] and what needs to be done about it.” He said that current Defence Force Chief General Angus Campbell shouldn’t be expected to pursue the allegations detailed in Brereton’s report. 

“[Campbell’s] job is running the defence force today – not to sweep up the mess of 12 years ago,” Barrie told the paper.

Critics have accused Campbell of shielding senior officers from responsibility for the purported crimes while using aggressive measures to scapegoat low-ranking service members for the scandal.

His comments coincided with the release of a paper penned by the Australia Institute, a progressive public policy think tank, which argued for a royal commission to investigate the alleged crimes. The analysis also argues that not holding top brass responsible for such matters “overturns a long tradition of command responsibility for the deeds and misdeed of troops.”

Barrie has been vocal about his outrage over the alleged war crimes, saying the purported atrocities “tarnished” Australia’s reputation and the country’s military will have to “do a lot of work” to recover its standing. Last month, he called for the Australian War Memorial Council to be disbanded, due to concerns its members were too close to special-forces soldiers suspected of carrying out the alleged killings in Afghanistan.



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an erroneous one-sided witchhunt against the SAS...

The officer was found dead in the Russell complex in Canberra just a month after the biggest scandal in the history of the Australian military. According to police reports, his death was not suspicious, as he had apparently committed suicide.

An Australian intelligence officer, who was found dead in the car park of army headquarters in December 2020, allegedly had an encrypted hard drive with him, as he was reportedly planning to release classified information on the misconduct of Australian troops in Afghanistan, according to The Sunday Telegraph. 

"It is understood the intelligence officer was going to make the information public because the Brereton Report is an erroneous one-sided witchhunt against the SAS to try to appease the Afghanis", the source told the newspaper.

According to the source, the information on the hard drive "would change a lot of the public stance and opinion on what went on in Afghanistan", if it was published after the Brererton Report made it to the headlines in November 2020.

The infamous document by New South Wales Supreme Court Judge and Army Reserve Major General Paul Brereton suggested that at least 25 Australian soldiers were involved in the alleged murder of civilians and prisoners in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2016.

It recommended prosecuting 19 individuals, some of whom were still serving at the time of release, so the Australian military fired at least 13 troops in connection with the case.

Following the scandal, Defence Force chief General Angus Campbell apologised to the Afghan people on behalf of the Australian Army, saying that the actions of the servicemen involved in the alleged crimes were "disgraceful" and "a profound betrayal" of the Australian military.


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NPR bullshits…...


By Bryce Greene / FAIR


In the first part of a series of reports on Afghanistan, NPR host Steve Inskeep (Morning Edition8/5/22) interviewed current Afghan Defense Minister Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid. In introducing Yaqoob on air, Inskeep referenced Yaqoob’s father, the former head of the Taliban, Mullah Muhammad Omar: “He was the leader who refused to turn over Osama bin Laden in 2001, a refusal that led to the US attack.”

In the online version of the article, NPR wrote: “Omar also sheltered Osama bin Laden, and refused to turn over the Al Qaeda leader when the United States demanded him after 9/11.”

This line that the Taliban “refused to turn over Osama bin Laden,” and that this “led to the US attack,” though part of the commonly accepted chronology of the war, is a gross distortion of history. The truth is almost the exact opposite: The Taliban repeatedly offered to give up Bin Laden, only rejecting George W. Bush’s demands for immediate and unconditional acquiescence without discussion.

‘There are no negotiations’

The series of events leading up to the US Afghanistan invasion were laid out recently in a Current Affairs essay by Nathan Robinson and Noam Chomsky (8/3/22), titled “What Do We Owe Afghanistan?”

Even before 9/11, the Taliban—who already had a “deeply contentious” relationship with Al Qaeda—repeatedly signaled their willingness to work with the US in bringing Bin Laden to justice. Former Taliban Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmad Muttawakil told Al Jazeera (9/11/11) that for years, they had used unofficial channels to present ways to  “resolve the Osama issue.” “One such proposal,” Muttawakil said, “was to set up a three-nation court, or something under the supervision of the Organization of the Islamic Conference [OIC].”

Robert Grenier, former CIA station chief in Pakistan, confirmed US receipt of these proposals to Al Jazeera, but dismissed them as a “ploy” to be ignored. According to Grenier, the US “did not trust the Taliban and their ability to conduct a proper trial.”

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the US demanded that the Taliban immediately hand over Bin Laden. The Taliban responded by offering to put Bin Laden on trial if they were shown evidence of his involvement in the attacks. The US refused to share proof, rejecting any diplomatic option.

Bush announced, “There are no negotiations,” then proceeded to bomb Afghanistan, despite numerous warnings from both humanitarian organizations and anti-Taliban forces in the country that their actions would only hurt the Afghanistani people. Even after the bombs began to fall, the Taliban repeated their offers to give up Bin Laden—even dropping the requirement for actual evidence. The US continued its onslaught, initiating the 20-year odyssey of occupation that unraveled last year.

‘Preponderance on the Eurasian continent’

It’s abundantly clear that US aims in the country transcended capturing Bin Laden and obtaining justice for 9/11 victims. Some, like Chomsky and Robinson, attributed the hasty invasion to Bush’s personal bloodlust.

Others trace US policy in Afghanistan to longstanding geopolitical imperatives for military influence and control of the world’s natural resources. Former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, architect of the “Afghan Trap,” wrote in his 1997 book The Grand Chessboard that “America’s global primacy is directly dependent on how long and how effectively its preponderance on the Eurasian continent is sustained.” The book even contained a map of a proposed pipeline through Afghanistan.