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November 2018

Vindictive Fairfax has another go at defamation litigant Ben Roberts-Smith VC MG

This morning the Sydney Morning Herald and other Fairfax rags published another disgraceful chapter in Fairfax's catalogue of efforts to bring down our most decorated war hero, Ben Roberts-Smith VC MG.

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Fairfax provides this statement from the AFP as confirmation of its story:

In a statement to Fairfax Media sent on Wednesday evening, an AFP spokesperson said: "The Australian Federal Police (AFP) received a referral to investigate allegations of war crimes committed by Australian soldiers during the Afghanistan conflict."

Note the plural - soldiers?

That's it so far as anything like official confirmation is concerned.

However that didn't stop the headline

Police investigate Ben Roberts-Smith over alleged war crimes

Note the AFP statement doesn't mention the name(s) of any suspect(s).

It simply confirms there's been a referral.

But Fairfax knows better:

The Australian Federal Police has launched a major investigation into Australia’s most decorated former soldier, Ben Roberts-Smith, over allegations he committed war crimes in Afghanistan.

Fairfax says it's " of the most secretive investigations in the nation", and it's "the most serious inquiry ever conducted by the police into alleged war crimes".

Yet in the next sentence, Fairfax acknowledges, "The AFP.....declined to provide any details of its probe".

Fairfax then rehashes old stories about defence enquiries into the Afghanistan allegations - before we get to the guts of this shoddy effort produced in the dying days of the Fairfax brand.

Mr Roberts-Smith has claimed a series of articles published this year in The AgeThe Sydney Morning Herald and The Canberra Times are defamatory because they portray him as a war criminal and also allege he punched a woman with whom he had an affair. Mr Roberts-Smith denies all the allegations.

Fairfax does not concede that it made all the claims that are alleged by Mr Roberts-Smith. If the court decides otherwise, however, Fairfax says it can prove the claims are true.

In support of its truth defence, Fairfax alleges Mr Roberts-Smith was involved in six unlawful killings in Afghanistan, including an alleged incident in 2012 in which he is said to have kicked Ali Jan, an unarmed and handcuffed Afghan man, off a cliff before directing a soldier under his command to shoot him.

Mr Roberts-Smith has said the defence filed by Fairfax was "baseless" and "purports to imply" that a list of 17 people, whose names have been redacted in the document, "will be witnesses in support of the Fairfax claims against me".

Mr Roberts-Smith said he was "confident that witnesses who will be called in this case will say that Fairfax Media’s allegations are untrue".

Last week, Mr Roberts-Smith issued a fresh statement denying all wrongdoing after the woman who alleges he punched her in the face in March outlined her claims in a sworn affidavit lodged in the Federal Court defamation proceeding launched by the ex-soldier.

The woman told the ACT police about the alleged assault in May, but later told officers she did not want to proceed with a criminal complaint, leading them to cease their inquiry. In the woman’s affidavit, she alleges she withdrew her complaint because she didn’t want her and her family’s identity exposed via any potential prosecution.

ACT Police has said that it ceased its investigation due to “insufficient evidence to support any prosecution.”


A disgraceful effort.  

Lest We Forget.


Obama wants you to thank him - this clip says it all.

OBAMA: We did not adapt quickly enough to the fact that there were people being left behind. And that frustrations were going to flare up and that all of these changes that were happening were happening really quick, and you had to address them and speak to them.

In those environments, you then start getting a different kind of politics. You start getting politics that’s based on, that person’s not like me. And it must be their fault. You start getting the politics based on a nationalism that’s not pride and country, but hatred for somebody on the other side of the border. And you start getting the kind of politics that does not allow for compromise because it is based on passions and emotions.

BAKER: It’s identity politics.

OBAMA: Which is why, by the way, when I hear people say they don’t like identity politics, I think it’s important to remember that identity politics doesn’t just apply when it’s black people or gay people or women. The folks are really originated identity politics were the folks who said, three-fifths clause and all that stuff. That was identity politics. That’s still out there. Maybe that was a little too controversial for Houston, but Jim Crow was identity politics. That’s where it started.

So, part of what’s happened is that when people feel their status is being jostled and threatened, they react. What I would agree with is that the Washington consensus, whatever you want to call it, got a little too comfortable with — they are looking at GDP numbers and looking at the Internet and everything is looking pretty great, particularly after the Cold War. After what you guys engineered, you had this period of great smugness on the part of America and American elites thinking, “We got this figured out.” … That came back to bite us.

Front page of The Australian today with some telling photos

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And this one from me - with apologies to Barry Humphries and Sandy Stone.

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UPDATE - and now for his next trick, right on cue - please welcome the Miserable Old Ghost, MOGgy Malcolm!


Miserable old ghost Malcolm Turnbull on The Australian's "Orwellian" editorial writers

This is Malcolm Turnbull leaving politics, not being driven by hate and not being a miserable old ghost.

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A work of fiction, satirical and Orwellian to say Turnbull loyalists are blowing up the Morrison Government?

Exhibit One - Turnbull leaves Wentworth, his family actively campaigns against Liberal Party and celebrates when independent Kerryn Phelps replaces him plunging Morrison into minority government.

Exhibit Two - Turnbull loyalist Julia Banks leaves the Liberals, damns the party in her speech to the Parliament while praising and pining for Turnbull - Morrison plunged into very very minority government.

Exhibit Three - Turnbull loyalist Julie Bishop promotes Shorten's energy policy based - cynically - on Turnbull's NEG.  She campaigns for a deal to get the Shorten/Turnbull policy up.

Here's Turnbull's Orwellian editorial.  I'd say it's spot on.
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