High Court To Decide Fate Of Democracy In Australia, Commonwealth.
It is of the utmost importance that the story of Major David McBride be told outside of Australia, where it is currently unfolding. It is of interest to the citizens of every democratic nation across the globe, in particular Australia’s Commonwealth cousins. It demonstrates the vital role that whistleblowers play within a democracy, and that democracy cannot truly exist without them.
This case will also be a test of Australia’s secrecy laws, said to be the strictest among any democracy. There are some down under who now view their country as being a police state, where whistleblowers now face the prospect of a lengthy prison term rather than the protections they ought to be afforded in a democratic society.
There are certain things that by necessity governments must keep secret, things that would jeopardize the security and interests of their nations should this information be made known to others. When the information is of an embarassing nature to the government or, evidence of wrondoing or criminal activity on the part of the government or its officials, this information is exempt from being classified as “Secret”
The secrets they keep – The Australian Wednesday, January 29, 2020
What The Case Is About.
In previous articles I have laid out what this whole thing is about and how it has been mishandled by the Australian press, but I will go over the important points with you.
The Aussie Files: Scandal Of Criminal Proportions
When Is A Secret Not A Secret?
- Major David McBride, a Legal Officer in the Australian Defence Force was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 and again in 2013.
- While he was in theatre during his first deployment he began to notice some things that seemed irregular to him. They had to do with the Rules of Engagement (ROE) under which Australian troops were operating while in Afghanistan.
- He was concerned that the restrictions being placed upon frontline troops were placing them at high risk, so much so that he wrote an article about it that appeared in August of 2012. (http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/AUYrBkIntLaw/2012/3.pdf)
- When he saw the very same thing happen when he deployed in 2013 he knew it was being done intentionally. He would gather evidence that showed the government of the day was acting in an illegal and unethical manner, and that as a result Australian troops were losing their lives in Afghanistan.
- According to McBride, the evidence pointed to government officials making decisions that were of no strategic value, and that were intended to create better press and higher public opinion ratings for politicians. It was the creation of an “Instagram War” as McBride would put it.
- Over the course of the next two years McBride took what he found to a half dozen agencies including the Australian Federal Police, and while all agreed that there was evidence of criminal activity, none were willing to pursue the matter. “What do you want us to do, charge the government?” was the response he would usually get.
- Having exhausted all other options, McBride had no other choice but to leak the documents to the press and he was bound by law as an officer of the court, and by his code of ethics, when he did so.
- After receiving the documents the press did not report on the government’s misconduct, instead making the story about war crimes committed by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan.
- McBride is arrested and charged with one count of theft of commonwealth property, three counts of breaching the defense act, and one count of unauthorized disclosure of information.
- Due to the “Top Secret” classification of some of the evidence some portions of the trial will be conducted in camera and only those people with that level of clearance can be in attendance. Because no other legal officers or defence attorneys in Australia hold this level of clearance McBride will be forced to defend himself.
David McBride’s YouTube Channel
On the 27th of January McBride started a YouTube channel called “David McBride’s Trial” and it will offer you insight into the trial from David McBride’s perspective (well, what he’s allowed to talk about that is), and it will give you the opportunity to get to hear him for yourself.
Lt. Gen. (Ret’d) David Morrison Subpoena Being Challenged By Lawyers for Att’y General.
Just because senior officials break the law, that’s no reason to be a whistleblower.Paraphrase of statement made in court by lawyer for Attorney General
Despite being served with it in December, David Morrison is only now challenging the subpoena to testify that he was given by McBride and will be in communicado at the bottom of the world for the next two months.
The argument being made by the Attorney General’s office is that having evidence of criminal misconduct by government officials is not a valid reason for being a whistleblower.
Well then, just what exactly would constitute a valid reason? This is EXACTLY what a whistleblower does and is supposed to do in the given set of circumstances, to blow the whistle on government wrongdoing. They are in effect attempting to nullify the whistleblower, permanently silencing anyone looking to do right by the public, and the law.
People in democracies everywhere need to take note of what is going on here, because if the government wins it’s case against David McBride, the people of Australia will have lost their democracy.
Follow along on David’s YouTube channel David McBride’s Trial and stay tuned for updates.