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‘Stain on Australia’s reputation’: War crimes whistleblower jailed

David McBride news
David McBride. Australian troops were deployed to Afghanistan between 2001 and 2021.

David McBride, a former military lawyer, has been sentenced to five years and eight months in prison for leaking classified documents that exposed alleged Australian war crimes in Afghanistan.

McBride, who pleaded guilty to stealing and sharing military secrets, felt a moral obligation to reveal the information, despite the personal and legal risks.

McBride’s leaks formed the basis of the 2017 ABC report The Afghan Files which detailed unlawful killings of 39 Afghans by Australian forces. The case has ignited a national debate on whistleblower protections and the slow pace of prosecuting those accused of the crimes.

At 60, McBride admitted to providing the documents to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) due to concerns about military commanders and perceived excessive scrutiny of troops. However, his leaks instead unveiled deep-seated issues within Australia’s elite special forces.

Prosecutors claimed McBride acted out of a desire for personal vindication, arguing that his actions jeopardised national security. Despite this, his defense sought leniency, emphasising his honorable intentions and sense of duty.

During sentencing, Justice David Mossop acknowledged McBride’s good character but criticised his ‘lack of contrition’ and ‘obsession with his viewpoint’. McBride, who will be eligible for parole after 27 months, received support from the public, including loud condemnations of the verdict in court.

McBride has maintained that his actions were justified, insisting he upheld his oath to the Australian people and the soldiers. His decision to leak stemmed from his experiences during his two tours in Afghanistan, where he believed a ‘line had been crossed’ by military commanders.

Suffering from undiagnosed PTSD and substance abuse, McBride secretly copied sensitive documents over 18 months. After internal complaints and appeals to authorities failed, he turned to the media, hoping to expose the ADF’s alleged scapegoating of soldiers to protect the chain of command.

The resulting reports revealed grave misconduct, including the unlawful killing of unarmed individuals and children, such as a six-year-old boy in 2013. These revelations highlighted a troubling ‘warrior culture’ within the forces.

Following the leak, McBride fled to Spain but eventually returned to face charges. The ABC journalists involved were not prosecuted after public outcry, though the police raid on ABC’s headquarters in 2019 garnered international attention.

The Brereton report, published soon after, confirmed credible evidence of war crimes by Australian soldiers. Despite this, McBride remains the only individual convicted in relation to these crimes, a fact that critics argue underscores the inadequacy of Australia’s whistleblower protections.

Advocates and parliamentarians have decried McBride’s conviction, calling for stronger protections for whistleblowers to ensure they are not penalized for exposing wrongdoing. His case has underscored the need for urgent reforms to support those who risk their freedom to speak the truth.

‘It is a stain on Australia’s reputation that some of its soldiers have been accused of war crimes in Afghanistan, and yet the first person convicted in relation to these crimes is a whistleblower not the abusers,’ said Daniela Gavshon, Australia director at Human Rights Watch.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. Australia regains its prison nation status.
    Run by preconvicts.
    Truly sickening to see this gross injustice.
    More sickening that most Australians dont gaf.

  2. This is an example of why Israel is continuing to commit war crimes, as the whistleblower (Al-Jazeera) has now been banned from Gaza and the West Bank for uncovering Israeli War Crimes live on the air..
    The rulings of the ICC and ICJ are being ignored by the controlled media, justice systems / due legal processes, and the UN as the Deep State (controlled by Israel and their supporting nation / state Zionists…) continues their war crimes without being hindered.
    Only the students at the Universities are making a difference in trying to stop the war crimes against the Palestinians; and the Israeli-trained U.S. and Western Nations Police are beating them to the point of serious injury; kinda like the Wellington Protests of 2 years ago when the NZ Police committed open assault on the taxpaying protestors who were there to challenge the illegalities of lock-downs, forced vaccinations, and the Zio/Communist Globalist shill government of Jabby Ardern (who went to Uni on Masonic Scholarships…).
    But- this is typical of Australia nowadays, mirroring both Israeli and U.S. policies in the oppression of the citizenry. Australia has never actively pursued legal action to stop the U.S. & U.K prosecutions and persecutions of both Julian Assange and the *Aussie Cossack! (*now 500+ days of living in the Russian Embassy due to the deliberate targeting by ASIO and the Oz Cops…as a ‘Security Threat’ for exercising his civil rights in Australia…).
    Kim Dotcom is now being harassed by the U.S. Justice Department over a civil matter (NOT a criminal charge either) while the NZ Courts ignore Kim’s human, legal and civil rights, also coming from a change in NZ Government where the Nazional Party platform and agenda is to continue to oppress the citizenry via denial of sickness benefits, cutting jobs, and selectively boycotting and disenfranchising those who stand up to the globalist, Zionist tyranny, with the Nazional Party platform to further minimize those ‘troublemakers’ who demand accountability and representation from government.
    Anti-human and anti-liberty and freedom activities from the Global Cabal will accelerate exponentially in 2024.
    Come 2025, expect a die-off from Covid vaccines, a new plandemic, civil wars, and possibly from nuclear weapons being detonated ‘up north’ and across the Tas in Oz.
    Mad Max is behind the curtain, and the Interceptor is fully serviced and fuelled for the coming hell on Earth!
    The Gyro Pilot has his Samurai sword sharpened-up as per several other Aussie Whistleblowers who witnessed other crimes against children on Oz soil-many of them being Australian actors & actresses.
    NOTE- WE WILL NEVER HOLIDAY IN OZ EVER AGAIN!

  3. Read about this widely. Utterly disgusting. When you start treating witnesses to a crime as criminals, you are being ruled by said same. Australia is officially a corrupt, dystopian police state. I see a few human rights groups have down graded them in terms of respect for human rights.
    I wont be supporting this kind of behaviour and plan to boycott Australian produce and wine. No tourism either. Hope more people do the same.

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