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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

the ADF's Skype sex scandal « Previous | |Next »
March 11, 2012

It's good to see Stephen Smith, the Defence Minister, taking on the Australian Defence Force (ADF) hierarchy by standing up for Kate the woman whom two of her fellow students filmed her having consensual sex and then broadcasting it on Skype. Kate was then subject to abuse and vilification for going public about the incident.


Senior Defence officials are still circling their wagons to protect one of their own---Commodore Kafer, the commandant of ADFA, who allowed a separate disciplinary investigation into Kate to continue while her claims of sexual misconduct were investigated. The military bureaucracy seem incapable of dealing with the embedded sexism of the ADF. Their reflex reaction of this the culture is to close ranks against outsiders and civilian criticism. of its behaviour.

Kafer now presides over an academy which is still home to five of the six young men who allegedly took part in or watched the sexual encounter last year. The sixth male cadet has quit. Two of the six were charged and have pleaded not guilty. Kate remains in Defence but far from the academy, her career on hold.

Stephen Smith should be applauded for his efforts to modernise the obstinate culture of the Australian Defence Force that traditionally explained the sexual violence and misconduct towards woman as the conduct of a few bad apples, when it is the military culture that is the problem.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:17 PM | | Comments (3)


As with the police... the military's prime loyalty... is to the military.

What Leunig said ... volunteer soldiers in peacetime are likely to have certain personality types heavily over-represented compared to the general population. I don't know that much can be done to change that, frankly. The ADF is blatantly a tool of violence applied for geo-political ends; nobody can seriously pretend it is confronting genuine security threats to Australia and Australians. I'm sure some people have perfectly honourable motives for thinking a career in the ADF is desirable, but it's all too easy to think of numerous other explanations of why people volunteer.

Good Grief Ken_L... you took the words right out of my mouth.

I'd bet my last dollar that those signing us "to serve the country" are just a tiny minority of the volunteers. Most likely it's a bunch of other reasons...

Sorry, but I don't think I owe those in uniform anything. They are not protecting me or my way of life. They are just blunt instruments used by the rich and powerful.

BTW. I thought that all the screeching and outrage over the Roberts-Smith comments was absolutely ridiculous.