Sky News host Alan Jones says the pile on following the release of the Brereton report is “betrayal of the worst kind” which turns Australian soldiers and veterans into “pariahs, if they weren’t already”.
His comment comes after Judge Paul Brereton’s report detailed evidence of 23 incidents allegedly committed by Australian soldiers – including the alleged killing of 39 Afghan civilians.
Mr Jones said nine serving and former Defence personnel had taken their lives over the past three weeks; eight men and one woman, aged between 20 to 50 years.
He said the prime minister’s comment ahead of the release of the report that the nation would have to confront “brutal truths” saw all who served our nation proclaimed “guilty” before one chapter of the report was read.
“These are allegations yet to be tested in court. All because of an ABC program,” Mr Jones said.
“The public won’t readily forget those responsible for the pile on against our troops who serve and sacrifice.
“And do you know what happens when they leave the cause, after 16 or 18 years of service.
“Not a brass razoo. No pension. Nothing. Anonymity and social oblivion.
“No one from politics, the Defence Department or Veteran Affairs ever picks up a phone.
“The pile on following the release of this report turns these fine and selfless Australians into pariahs, if they weren’t already.
“This is betrayal of the worst kind.”
Any serving or former member of the ADF or a relative in need of support can contact the following organisations:
OPEN ARMS: 1800 011 046
DEFENCE FAMILY HELPINE: 1800 624 608
LIFELINE: 13 11 14