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Prime Minister Scotty From Marketing has today taken a break from his quarantine photoshoots to address all the stuff that’s been in the news about those blokes that Kerry Stokes makes him sit next to at those big Christmas parties in Perth.
This follows a week of inconvenient headlines for a government solely reliant on nationalism and misplaced military nostalgia to maintain public approval each election cycle.
The PM says he is distressed and disturbed by the damning report into war crimes allegedly committed by Australia’s special forces but warned against a “media trial” ahead of the justice system dealing with the findings that have been repeatedly covered up and muffled by people who did not want the media anywhere near them.
This is the first time Morrison has publicly acknowledged the report, and the possibility that some of the allegations that started as rumours with the Defence Force could actually be true.
After years of injunctions and gag orders, several embattled journalists were vindicated last week, with the publishing of the Brereton War Crimes Report that alleges Australian special forces soldiers allegedly committed at least 39 murders in Afghanistan, and 19 current or former soldiers will face possible prosecution and the stripping of their medals after the findings of an exhaustive defence inquiry exposed a culture of cover-ups and deceit.
Stopping short of condemning the culture of ‘blooding’ soldiers by making them kill innocent people – Morrison was quick to tangent into a soundbite about how concerned he is that the media coverage of something no one wants to talk about might result in people knowing what happened.
Many in the media believe the report was lucky to see the light of day the unprecedented Federal Police raids on media outlets last year.
The ABC raid by the AFP over a series of articles that the public broadcaster ran in 2017 into the clandestine operations of Australian special forces in Afghanistan came just one day after the AFP raided the underpants draw of a female NewsCorp political editor over articles she published in 2018 on proposals to expand Australia’s domestic surveillance capabilities.
Both raids took place presumably to stop these constant ‘trials by media’ that seem to hold very important people accountable for doing bad things.
However, it seems not all news outlets are at risk of taking these alleged war crimes to ‘trial by media’ – with some obviously desperate to paint this ‘dark chapter’ in Australia’s military history as a unAustralian beat up.
Mr Morrison also said he was “puzzled” by criticisms levelled against Australian War Memorial chairman Kerry Stokes who has vowed to support members of the Special Air Service Regiment accused of war crimes by using a special fund set up two decades ago to bankroll legal costs, and broadcasting reality TV shows that further mythologises the warrior-hero culture.
MORE TO COME.