Independent JLN Senator for Tasmania Jacqui Lambie during Estimates Committee questioning of the Defence Minister today has called for the Government to agree to support legislation which allows a pre-emptive pardon for any Australian soldiers who may be accused of War Crimes or breaches of the Geneva convention while fighting against Islamic extremists.
“I’m disappointed that 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 Convention during their service and fight against the Taliban and other Islamic extremists in the Middle East – but I will not give up on this issue,” said Senator Lambie.
“The military today has confirmed that media reports are accurate - and a secretive and sweeping inquiry into Australia's elite troops, independent to the Army chain of command and including possible breaches of the Geneva Convention, is being conducted by New South Wales Justice Paul Brereton and the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force (IGADF).” said Senator Lambie.
“I’m also disappointed that the government refuses to support my call for independent Parliamentary oversight of this secret War Crimes investigation. There are many Tasmanian members of special forces in our military – and their personal morale and the morale of their families and friends will be adversely affected by this unusual and secretive Army investigation. The feedback I’ve received is that there is a feeling among the troops that the Army Top Brass is out to get the troops and make some examples.” said Senator Lambie
I stand by the question I put to the Defence Minister this morning, namely: 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?” said Senator Lambie.
I also made the point to the Minister regarding War Crimes - that the parliament was never consulted – before ADF personnel were sent to war in the Middle East, that the people who are ultimately responsible for any so-called “War Crimes” which occurred while killing Taliban and Islamic state fighters – would firstly be the politicians who authorised the deployments to the Middle East.
And I absolutely stand by my statement / question I delivered to the Defence Minister – that because of the Taliban and Islamic state fighters’ subhuman behavior and vile, disgusting culture and ideology – that they should be exempted from any rules of war or international human rights.” said Senator Lambie.