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AU soldiers don Ku Klux Klan-style hoods for a photograph

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posted on Nov, 11 2004 @ 10:13 AM
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Soldiers face disciplinary action
By Maria Hawthorne, Denis Peters and Roberta Mancuso
November 11, 2004

FRESH disciplinary action may be taken against a group of soldiers who donned Ku Klux Klan-style hoods for a photograph with Aboriginal colleagues, defence chiefs promised today.

1RAR
Caught ... the photo was taken shortly before the unit was deployed to East Timor.
But the man who took the photograph said the image was a joke, not a display of racism.

Several of the soldiers have already been forced to undertake special anti-discrimination training after an initial investigation into the photograph, which was taken at Townsville's Lavarack barracks in September 2000.

But a second inquiry has been ordered after the photograph and further claims of racism at the barracks were leaked to newspapers today.

Prime Minister John Howard and Opposition Leader Mark Latham both condemned the photograph as being in bad taste.

The defence inquiry is due to report back by Christmas and army chief Peter Leahy said further disciplinary action was possible.

"On behalf of the Australian army, that photograph that appeared on the front page of a newspaper this morning is just deplorable," Lt Gen Leahy told reporters after a Remembrance Day ceremony at the Australian War Memorial.

"We are appalled by the behaviour that brought this photograph about.

"We're disgusted to think that soldiers can still think that behaviour of this intolerable nature, they can get away with.

"This, particularly on a day like today, is totally unacceptable."

Soldiers have also claimed that the armour was removed from a dark-skinned soldier's flak jacket while serving in East Timor, and that offensive messages were scrawled on non-white soldiers' equipment.



News.com.au



What the heck is going on in Australia?



The photograph is the latest in a string of unsavoury incidents involving soldiers.

Earlier this year, a group of soldiers at Lavarack was convicted of animal cruelty offences after torturing a litter of kittens to death.

Last week, photographs emerged of soldiers hanging a sign from a helicopter saying "Show us your tits" above a Gold Coast car race.


Is this some 'bad apples, or a widespread problem? A 'joke' gone awry? Maybe some Australians could describe how much of an impact this picture is causing?


If they feel this why towards their own brown countrymen, how are they going to treat innocent, or guilty, Iraqis?




posted on Nov, 11 2004 @ 10:19 AM
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That's very disturbing, There is almost no way they could NOT know what the KKK is. Sick Sick joke.


*edit* spelling messed up, up way to late.

[edit on 11/11/2004 by Huria86]



posted on Nov, 11 2004 @ 10:21 AM
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I think you will find this is just Australian humour. In actual fact they are poking fun at the KKK (and yes, i agree, it is a lame joke).

Racism is widespread throughout Australia, and especially throughout outback Australia, where the Army gets most of its recruits.

the second example you gave involved two soldiers who were subsequently punished. And the last example is just an example of a couple lads having a joke.



posted on Nov, 11 2004 @ 10:45 AM
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Here's the transcript of Lateline.

Racist Army photo published
www.abc.net.au...

Racism rife in Army, mother says
www.abc.net.au...

Lateline home page. Video/Audio links available.
www.abc.net.au...

At the moment, the Defence Dept' is in media damage control.

Sanc'.


TPK

posted on Nov, 11 2004 @ 11:01 AM
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Originally posted by Volkgeister
I think you will find this is just Australian humour. In actual fact they are poking fun at the KKK (and yes, i agree, it is a lame joke).


I don't think that this is 'just Australian humour'. It's a poor reflection on the rest of the country, is what it is.
Maybe it's time to move to New Zealand!
But seriously, there seems to be a total lack of discipline in the Australian military, what with this, and the few other things mentioned above (the kittens
, and the helicopter stunt), but there has been a string of claims of rape in recent years, of drunken soldiers/sailors going beserk, and before that those bizarre 'initiation rituals'. Some recent reports of drug use to boot, though I think that was fairly isolated (for all we know).

Sadly, it does seem that racism to some degree or another exists around the country, and it would in the military too. Maybe all of this though is just the Australian way - none of us have any respect. At least I hope that these idiots get a decent ass-kicking.

Any ex-Oz military on these boards who could set the story straight about discipline in general?



posted on Nov, 11 2004 @ 11:04 AM
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It may be a poor reflection, but it is an exact reflection.



posted on Nov, 11 2004 @ 11:07 AM
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Originally posted by Volkgeister
I think you will find this is just Australian humour. In actual fact they are poking fun at the KKK (and yes, i agree, it is a lame joke).

Racism is widespread throughout Australia, and especially throughout outback Australia, where the Army gets most of its recruits.

the second example you gave involved two soldiers who were subsequently punished. And the last example is just an example of a couple lads having a joke.


Ermmm....im not sure to be honest.
If this is a joke, its a really sick one.


TPK

posted on Nov, 11 2004 @ 11:09 AM
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I refuse to believe that the majority of the country is that stupid. Like any country, not everyone is as idiotic as the lowest common denominator. Or am I just living in a cave refusing to see the truth?



posted on Nov, 11 2004 @ 11:11 AM
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Are you suggesting that the brave men and women of the Australian military are the lowest common denominator?

Perhaps in cosmopolitan Melbourne, racism isn't so intrinsic, but as you go North it begins to become much more obvious...



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