Letter to the ABC
Reporters Mark Willacy, Alexandra Blucher and Dan Oakes.
– on behalf of November Platoon, 2012.
Over a year ago, on 20 October 2020, the ABC published an article based on the account of a US Marine who alleged that November Platoon of the 2nd Commando Regiment had executed a “prisoner” in Afghanistan in “mid-2012”.
In this story, the ABC stated that, “A United States Marine Corps (USMC) helicopter crew chief says Australian special forces shot and killed a bound Afghan prisoner after being told he would not fit on the US aircraft coming to pick them up.”
This is an appalling and preposterous lie. The ABC should be ashamed of this failing of basic journalistic practice.
The entire story is based on the account of one man who insists on using a pseudonym yet, bizarrely, agrees to have his face shown.
This ‘former Marine’ claims he saw members of November Platoon “tackle and hogtie” seven prisoners then, upon being told that a US helicopter only had room for six prisoners, “And you just heard this silence and then we heard a pop. And then they said, ‘OK, we have six prisoners’. So it was pretty apparent to everybody involved in that mission that they had just killed a prisoner that we had just watched them catch and hogtie.”
The impact of this story has been immense, particularly given that it was published on the evening of October 20, 2020, dominating the news cycle on the following day.
That day, 21 October 2020, was the eighth anniversary of the death of Corporal Scott Smith, who was a member of the November Platoon Group, and therefore one of the accused in your article.
This story was based on the unsubstantiated claims of one US Marine whose account cannot form the basis for the assertions made by the ABC. In the following 12 months there has been no follow up or correction to the published story.
November Platoon is calling for:
- A request a written apology from the ABC and the reporters to the men and families of November Platoon.
- A call for an independent review of the ABC story published on October 20, 2020.
- A call for the ABC to publish a full correction to this story including an unqualified, genuine apology to the members of November Platoon.
To view the full letter click on the file below or click here.
5th November 2021
We finally heard from the ABC and it was less than encouraging, let alone what we would expect. They informed us that the ABC’s internal review policy required complaints to be raised within 6 weeks of the story being published.
Despite our 10 page letter (above) we were asked why any additional consideration should be given to warrant such a review.
Here is our response to their lacklustre efforts as we continue to seek accountability – Click here
Would you like to support the Petition? Click here.
19th November 2021
Update – continue reading below for ABC’s excellent #fakenews story and the real response from Defence.
Is this now the journalistic standards accepted within our taxpayer funded media?
The ABC came out with an article implying that they received a specific response that November Platoon is under a criminal investigation, but per the Defence response, this could actually mean that the release of the requested information could impact on another or any other allegations under investigation.
It says that there is “a current investigation of a possible breach of law” without naming any platoon and as per the ongoing OSI investigation into all allegations in general.
To read the Defence Response Click here.
We can now reveal the evidence that proves this story has been manufactured or at the bare minimum, not investigated anywhere near the required level of accuracy or integrity.
Please watch and share the video below to show your support in achieving the truth and justice our Veterans deserve.
6th December 2021
ABC Media Watch on November Platoon – CLICK HERE
2GB’s Ben Fordham has been a huge supporter in the truth – for his latest comments listen here.