Thousands of “Kangaroo Country” soldiers are now in danger of having their medals removed after a 465-page report said commanders who had seen the atrocities felt they did not deserve to award medals.
Reported Daily Mail On Friday (20/11/2020), footage revealed earlier this year showed an SAS soldier shooting dead an unarmed Afghan man holding a prayer beads. Other soldiers called it “direct execution.”
Footage from the camera of an army dog handler in the village of Deh Jawz-e Hasanzai shows soldiers pointing their rifles only a few meters from the victim.
Previous military investigations suggested the shooting was in self-defense, and the footage caused widespread outrage after it was first shown ABC in March.
The incident is one of many reports of special forces war crimes that have come to light in recent years, but it is not known whether the wheat field shootings were one that Major General Paul Brereton’s investigation has investigated.
Maj. Gen. Brereton investigated the behavior of special forces soldiers between 2005-2016, a period in which more than 26,000 Australian army served in Afghanistan, including 3,000 people in the Special Operations Task Force (SOTG).
His findings include the alleged case of a patrol member shooting dead a prisoner to get his first victim, a practice known as’blooding‘.
The soldiers then orchestrated the shooting to support the false claim that their victim was killed in a shootout.
“What this report reveals is a disgrace and is a profound betrayal of the Australian Defense Force’s professional standards and expectations,” wrote the judge.
A case by case analysis will be carried out to revoke individual rewards such as courage, sacrifice and respect.
With 39 Afghans suspected of having their lives in the hands of Australian soldiers, 19 are likely to be prosecuted for 23 separate incidents.