I’m disappointed the Government will not pardon or absolve any serving or former ADF member who may be accused of war crimes or breaches of the Geneva Conventions during their service and fight against the Taliban and other Islamic extremists in the Middle East.
We have a secretive and sweeping inquiry into Australia’s elite troops, independent to the Army chain-of-command, including possible breaches of the Geneva Convention – and is being conducted by New South Wales Justice Paul Brereton and the Inspector General of the Australian Defence Force (IGADF).
I have called on the Government for independent Parliamentary oversight of this secret war crimes investigation, because I have received feedback the Army Top Brass is out to get the troops and make some examples – but the Government refused.
Even though there are many Tasmanian members of special forces in our military – and their family and friends – who will be adversely affected by this unusual and secretive Army investigation.
I stand by the question I put to the Defence Minister during Senate Estimates last week: Does the Minister agree that Australian citizens and politicians owe an extraordinary debt of gratitude to ADF members who risked their lives killing enemy who do not follow Geneva conventions or any rules of war? And that extraordinary debt of gratitude could be best expressed by this Government supporting a pre-emptive pardon for any ADF member accused of war crimes during their service in the Middle East?
And I absolutely stand by my statement that because of the Taliban and Islamic state fighters’ sub-human behaviour and vile, disgusting culture and ideology – that they should be exempted from any rules of war or international human rights.