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AUS investigation into e-mails, sexual impropriety

The Bread Guy

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Seventeen Defence personnel, including officers, are under investigation in relation to explicit emails and photos that denigrate women.

In announcing the investigation at a press conference in Canberra, Chief of the Army, Lieutenant-General David Morrison, said the allegations being examined were "disgraceful" and "worse than the Skype scandal" that hit Defence in 2011.

General Morrison said he had already spoken and apologised to four of the women who were victims of the emails and imagery. He said there were several other victims ....
Brisbane Times, 13 Jun 13

OVER 100 defence force personnel have been embroiled in a damning new scandal over the distribution of thousands of derogatory and explicit emails using defence computer systems since 2010.

Army chief, Lieutenant-General David Morrison, today said there were at least several female victims who were the target of "demeaning, explicit and profane" emails sent by male army personnel based all over the country, some with over ten years experience.

"The imagery, as is the text, is explicit, derogatory, demeaning and is repugnant to me," he said.

General Morrison warned the actions of the men involved undermined the "heart of the army's ethos" and its "contract with the nation".

Three army personnel have already been suspended from duty as a result of an ongoing investigation between the Australian Defence Force Investigative Service and NSW police into the email network.

General Morrison said civil charges could be laid against the three men by NSW police and warned a further 14 army personnel intimately linked to the scandal were also at risk of suspension.

General Morrison said the suspensions related to the misuse of defence computer systems, the distribution of visual and textual material that was denigrating to women as well as illicit drug use.

The outcomes of the investigation by ADFIS could lead to the discharge of the individuals from the army.

General Morrison also warned that over 90 defence personnel, the majority from army, may have been on the "periphery" of the group's e-mail exchanges and could also be investigated.

"There is no place for this type of behaviour in our army," General Morrison said. "It brings the Australian Army into disrepute." ....
The Australian, 13 Jun 13

ADF Info-machine (1)  "Statement from the Chief of the Defence Force"

ADF Info-machine (2)  "Chief of Army addresses allegations of unacceptable behaviour"
From "The Week" and shared with provisions of The Copyright Act
(watch video at link)

WTG  :salute:

WATCH: Australia's army chief demonstrates how you address sex abuse
Why have no American generals been this bold?
by: Harold Maass  13 Jun

Like the U.S., Australia is faced with a scandal involving women in the military. That's where the similarities end, however. While American generals have been criticized for their handling of an epidemic of sexual assaults, Australia's army chief, David Morrison, is getting rave reviews for a blistering video he released this week demanding, through clenched teeth, that sexists in his country's military mend their ways or find another place to work.

Morrison this week revealed that 17 military personnel, including high-ranking officers, were under investigation for allegedly creating and exchanging "explicit and profane" emails and images that were demeaning to women. Three of them have been suspended.

"Those who think that it is okay to behave in a way that demeans or exploits their colleagues have no place in this army," Morrison says in the video. "Female soldiers and officers have proven themselves worthy of the best traditions of the Australian army... If that does not suit you, then get out... There is no place for you amongst this band of brothers and sisters."

Morrison also promises to be "ruthless" in rooting out sex abuse in the ranks, and urges all soldiers to do their part if they witness abuse. "Show moral courage and take a stand," he says.

Commentators in Australia and the U.S. say the withering message was exactly what everyone — victims and abusers alike — needed to hear. "Holeeee. Efffing. Crap," says Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon. "It's brilliant."

The words are powerful. But the utterly credible fury is what nails it. It is a validation of the frustration and anger a whole lot of people who have been on the receiving end of that 'toughness' have been enduring for a very long time. And it says, yeah, you're right. This is goddamn outrageous. [Salon]

Morrison's direct, unflinching attacks on abusers have left observers slack-jawed. "Er, hang on," writes Sean Power at Mamamia. "Where are all the weasel words, the evasive language, and the spin?... This bloke is the real deal."
"The standard you walk past is the standard you accept."

Info-machines everywhere, take note of how this is being done.  :nod:
The Australian Army has suspended five more members in relation to allegations of unacceptable behaviour announced by the Chief of Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison, AO, on Thursday, 13 June 2013.

The five members are the subject of an ongoing major investigation by the Australian Defence Force Investigative Service (ADFIS) into alleged military disciplinary offences.

The offences relate to allegations that a group of Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers of the Australian Army produced and distributed highly inappropriate material demeaning women, across both Defence computer systems and the public internet.

The suspension of the five members follows the earlier suspension of three members in relation to the allegations.

The three members suspended previously remain persons of interest for the New South Wales Police Force, who have finalised their investigation into potential civilian criminal offences and presented a brief to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecution.

Pending the outcome of the ongoing major ADFIS investigation, the Army may consider further suspension decisions against others if the circumstances warrant. 

Those personnel suspended will have access to the range of support measures available within Defence.

ADFIS is also investigating a further 90 individuals, predominantly Army members, allegedly identified as peripheral to the group’s email exchanges. 

As the major investigation by ADFIS is ongoing, there is also the possibility that the number of individuals allegedly involved may change ....
ADF Info-machine, 1 Jul 13
I find this very interesting. Firstly, I am always amazed at what folks will render to writing. Email is being seen as something akin to personal texting ( but I am confident this is the topic of many separate threads). Secondly, I have long given up trying to change people's values, outlook, and opinions. I was told that I needed to conduct harassment awareness training in order to change people's outlook, etc. I replied that at best I wanted folks to be aware of what constitutes harassment, the consequences, and the penalties. In short, think what you like, just keep it to yourself.  So to have folks engage in this banter (insert your better word here) drives me crazy. What did they think would happen?  Thirdly, it was not that long ago (10 years?) that I was hanging with the RAF and saw porn mags in the office space (both the ladies and the gents).  While I admittedly had to inspect the products to ensure they were as I thought, it was just not a sight I would have seen in a CF Orderly room.  So this was an eye opener that we (militaries) were not always on the same page despite what we think are commonalities.  I am not condoning by any means this story, and I agree that the boss was correct to hit it on the head ASAP.  Despite his personal beliefs, you cannot be perceived as sexist, etc in a fiscal climate where the public has a say in how funds are allocated.