The gallant defenders of Fort Fumble, AKA Defence HQ in Canberra, have heard the bugle call and trained their guns on a new enemy. Stephen Smith, they cry, is unfit for office and must resign as Defence Minister.
Smith has refused to apologise for accusing the Commandant of the Australian Defence Force Academy, Commodore Bruce Kafer, of an error of judgement during the so-called “Skype Affair”.
Andrew Kirkham QC, a barrister hired to inquire into the matter, disagreed with Smith’s characterization of the Commandant’s actions, so of course the minister is deemed to be wrong.
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It’s a pretty special set of circumstances when a tax-payer-funded body releases a series of reviews exposing decades of cultural problems, including 775 allegations of sexual assault, and the Minister is the one facing questions over why he won’t apologise for standing down one of the people in charge.
Last night on the ABC’s 7.30 Defence Minister Stephen Smith was asked in numerous ways why he wouldn’t apologise to Australian Defence Academy Commandant Bruce Kafer, who has been reinstated this week, 11 months after being stood down over the so called “Skype” scandal.
When the scandal broke, involving an 18-year-old woman cadet being filmed without her consent having sex, and the vision broadcast via the internet to some of her classmates, Smith went in pretty hard and fast.