Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Australia jails another whistleblower

In 2014 former Australian army lawyer David McBride leaked classified military documents about Australian war crimes to the ABC. Dubbed "The Afghan Files", the documents led to an explosive report on Australian war crimes, the disbanding of an entire SAS unit, and multiple ongoing prosecutions. The journalist who wrote the stories, Dan Oakes, was later awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for "service to journalism" for the work.

Today, in revenge, the Australian government jailed McBride for almost six years - a longer sentence than any Australian war criminal has so far received for the offences he uncovered.

The message is clear: when the Australian government commits crimes, the witnesses should keep quiet. Otherwise they will be victimised and persecuted. Its hard to see this as anything other than official government support for war crimes and war criminals. Provided they're committed by Australians, of course.

(And, lest we feel too superior, John Key passed a similar anti-whistleblowing law here, allowing the punishment of those who blow the whistle on the defence - spy deep state, which is yet to be repealed).