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Australian war veteran loses defamation lawsuit over Afghan killings

25 Comments
By Byron Kaye

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© Thomson Reuters 2023.

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Acts of wanton murder in times of war are not rare, but are usually brushed under the carpet by higher ups in the military. But what is the definition of wanton murder? Surely all pilots who bomb civilians and destroy whole towns and villages are guilty of the same. They know what they are doing, and their sole purpose is to kill.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

curious how there was a lack of evidence to proceed with a criminal trial but the defamation case was found to show the journalists accusations were true.

If it is anything like the US, the standard of proof in a civil case is ridonculously low.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If people have the time, there's an excellent podcast (3 parts IIRC) called 'Ben Roberts-Smith vs the Media', which I felt covered the story objectively.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

He lost the court case.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Service personnel are not required to think or question

Yep that’s what he did for six combat tours, after which he got an award from the queen.

only for a bunch of 2023 wokesters to go back 10-15 years and try to second guess/criticize him.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Roberts-Smith, 44, was seen as a national hero after winning several top military honors, including the Victoria Cross, for his actions during six tours of Afghanistan from 2006 to 2012.

There is no such thing as a war hero! This just proves the point. Or "substantially proves" it, to quote the court rulings.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

War zones like in Afghanistan are not free zone and for all anything goes.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Blacklabel

You send your own people to kill people they don’t know and have nothing against.

Service personnel are not required to think or question. They are trained to carry out legal orders to the best of their abilities and according to rules like the Geneva Convention.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Many social media platforms have been deleting videos from war places, like Ukraine, that could be used to prove war crimes.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is quite apart from the fact of what business did Australia have in Afghanistan anyway? Or do you always tend to favour the aggressors?

Australia enacted the ANZUS alliance when the US was attacked by terrorists based in Afghanistan. Australia and NATO alliance entered Afghanistan with the US to route the terrorists responsible. Australia will stand by its alliances no matter where in the world it takes them. We make no apologies for our involvement in Afghanistan. We would not have been there if the US had not been attacked.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

this character actually did,

supppsedly did.

Roberts-Smith has not been charged with any offenses.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

You send your own people to kill people they don’t know and have nothing against.

then you expect them to kilL with compassion and sensitivity? Then judge them when they come home after successfully doing as you asked?

the compassionate and sensitive dudes come home in a box with a flag on

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Have you read about what this character actually did, Blacklabel? Should psychopaths be on the lose coldly terrorising farmers and even his own soldiers? This is quite apart from the fact of what business did Australia have in Afghanistan anyway? Or do you always tend to favour the aggressors?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The majority of people who serve do not commit crimes but there will always be cases of those who do especially on the battlefield. You do not have to follow any unlawful order.

Is Roberts-Smith guilty of a crime I do not know.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I dont know why anyone would even be interested in joining the military anymore.

thankless and dangerous job, woke leadership sell outs, social justice experimentation is the top priority over training or executing a mission. no thanks. If I had the decision to make in this day and age, nope.

thats super sad because military service used to have a lot of positive benefit to help prepare discipline and other attributes suited for achieving lifetime goals.

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

So, we can expect his extradition to the ICC in the Hague soon, eh liberals of JT?

Is this some kind of sly dig at liberals, whatever you mean by the term? As a liberal in the classical sense, I firmly believe that, as Peter14 so eloquently explained, if there is a case made by the ICC to try him, he should be handed over.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Yes a civil defamation case.

No criminal charges.

So little chance of being tried by International entities.

Now Australia will no doubt intensify it's investigation.

Peter14 sums it up well.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

MoonrakerToday 03:29 pm JST

Will he get handed over to the International Criminal Court and tried for war crimes now?

No, because the ICC has not brought any charges against him. This was a civil case requiring less proof for a guilty verdict. The Australian government is investigating and will eventually press charges if the available proof is sufficient to gain a guilty verdict.

If the ICC does issue an arrest warrant he would be handed over for trial. The ICC would only do so after an investigation of its own and where it deems it has the evidence to prosecute.

This will be a long process no matter if guilty or innocent. Typically these things can take over a decade.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

So, we can expect his extradition to the ICC in the Hague soon, eh liberals of JT?

If there is real evidence and a case. Unlike your Fuhrer, Roberts-Smith hasn't admitted to war crimes.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

The case against Roberts-Smith, a Victoria Cross recipient, has put a spotlight on the secretive wartime conduct of Australia's elite SAS troops.

Just delete the 'A' from 'SAS' and it would be a more apt moniker for these people.

So, we can expect his extradition to the ICC in the Hague soon, eh liberals of JT?

-11 ( +5 / -16 )

Will he get handed over to the International Criminal Court and tried for war crimes now?

0 ( +7 / -7 )

I can not be an easy thing to be sent into a war where you are expected to kill the enemy. Doing so for years at a time so that it becomes second nature and "no big thing". The lines can become blurry after a time and an enemy that wears no uniform can be virtually anyone.

Australian soldiers are trained to treat prisoners according to the Geneva conventions, and provide them protection once disarmed and under your control. Having said that there were occasions when I served with NCO's that were so "Gung-ho" you wondered what you would do if they gave an illegal order to kill an unarmed enemy, (at least I wondered).

Every army must have them, those who get by the psych evaluations designed to weed out undesirable types. There is no doubt this man did heroic deeds in the fighting, but it is the bad or illegal things that are the issue. Any soldier who ends up enjoying killing people is good at his task but becomes a danger to others no matter who they are, and even outside of war zones will remain a dangerous individual with his past of taking lives for his country.

This man has been turned into a killing machine and once activated is difficult to turn off. It would be better for all if wars were outlawed and nobody needed to kill in the name of their nation.

I do not know if he is guilty or not, only he and those who served with him, and any victims would know for sure. This is a shame not just on him but on us all who allow wars to happen and sit in our homes reading the news and doing nothing to lobby governments and UN to get better and to stop all conflict, which at the end of the day comes down to disagreeing on something so much that war is the outcome. Find a way to compromise or educate so that disagreements are not based on lies or misconceptions of truth, and ensure there are consequences that are universal and unavoidable for the individuals (leaders) who begin wars. No matter which country they belong to.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

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