[Marxism] "Letting off steam" Australian Army style

Lajany Otum lajany_otum at yahoo.co.uk
Sun Aug 5 04:04:24 MDT 2007


Don't over-react, says Howard

August 5, 2007 - 4:53PM

Army personnel featured in a wild video in which one soldier appears dressed in a Ku Klux Klan outfit were only letting of a "bit of steam'', Prime Minister John Howard says.

The video, posted on the YouTube website, features soldiers at Darwin's Robertson Barracks taking part in drinking games and stunts, with one dressed in a KKK outfit.

Mr Howard today urged the public not to over-react.

"I have some understanding of the disposition of people in these situations to let off a bit of steam,'' he said.

The prime minister said whether or not to discipline the soldiers who featured in the video was a matter for the military to decide.

"Let the military deal with those things in their own way,'' he said.

"I just think people can over-react with these things. People get into a lather and sweat and so on ... let's be sensible about this.

Brigadier Craig Orme, commander of Darwin's 1st Brigade, said the video had been shot by a now former member of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) about three years ago at Darwin's Robertson Barracks.

"Some of the people involved are still serving but a significant number have left the service," Brigadier Orme said.

He said the ADF had been informed on Friday of the video's existence on the website YouTube and immediately did a quick assessment of the situation, which had revealed who was involved and when the video was made.

A broader inquiry would now be conducted to establish what further action would be taken against those involved, he said.

"The inquiry will give us the details we need to take further action," he said.

Brigadier Orme said the behaviour was "not in the least" common in the defence forces, describing it as "abhorrent and inappropriate".

"It's a terrible thing - it reflects badly and we don't tolerate it," he said.

"I don't believe it's behaviour that's current now and even three years ago it was an isolated incident."

The Brigadier said the video had now been removed from the website.

"The individual who posted it, who's no longer serving, has chosen to remove it from the website," he said.

Defence Minister Brendan Nelson said he would wait for the chief of army to investigate the matter.

"Let's just wait until the chief of army and the military investigate the matter before we start jumping to conclusions and start to criticise the men who appear to have been involved," he told ABC radio.

"I suspect a lot of it is letting off steam and a bit of larrikin irreverence and I also suspect some of it has crossed the line and is quite inappropriate and the chief of army will deal with appropriately and I look forward to receiving his report."

The video, titled My Experience in the Australian Army, showed a group of young recruits playing drinking games and vomiting.

Some were in army uniform, and an image of one dressed as a Ku Klux Klansman was flashed repeatedly through the footage, which was set to rock music.

<http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/dont-overreact-says-howard/2007/08/05/1186252523074.html>



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