‘None of this can be excused’: Report helps settle debate within veteran community
The Brereton report’s finding that Australian soldiers carried out alleged killings outside the heat of battle has helped settle a debate among current and former servicemen and women.
Australia Defence Association Executive Director Neil James told Scott Emerson the report provides a clearer, fuller picture than what has been previously reported in the media.
“None of this can be excused as being battlefield action.
“These were all cold-blooded, intentional, premeditated, deliberate killings of people who has already been captured and were unarmed.
“A lot of the scuttlebutt that’s been going around some of the veterans community … has – wrongly – thought these were combat actions.”
In addition to being morally repugnant, Mr James said the alleged crimes committed were “completely counterproductive to our efforts in Afghanistan”.
“Every time … Afghans protested about some of the incidences … the Australians tended to write it off as just Taliban propaganda.
“The fact that we weren’t prepared to listen is part of the problem.”
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