Tuesday 24th of May 2022

No Fitting Epitath- The Kovco Leaks

I've gotten into lots of trouble over the Kovco scandal.  Days before his body went missing I wrote that I beleived a cover-up was occurring.  Everything I wrote after that landed me in more trouble.  In spite of this I need to write down what follows:

Right now I cant' believe that not one but two officials, including the person who compiled the "accidentally leaked" the report weren't, at the very least, carrying out their actions with subconsiously compelled deliberateness.

Here's the timeline:  Kovco is killied by a bullet.   The body is moved before an MP investigation at the order of the commander in chief of Australian armed forces in Iraq.  Kovco's body goes missing, the wrong coffin sent to Ausralia.  The official version of his death is changed, and  though we're told that he didn't die cleaning his gun, no other explanation is offered.  Then the bullet (or maybe just its casing) goes missing and isn't provded with Kovco's remains to be examined by the NSW coroner.

Now we learn that a laptop containing the ADF's draft report into the farce has been left unattended at Sydney airport , and a CD that was left at Melbourne airport that eventually found its way to journalist Derryn Hinch.

When an extended member of the Kovco family (Shelley Kovco"s brother-in-law said tonight how you would not believe the situation if you saw it in episode of Fawlty Towers, I felt the edge of bitterness in his voice.  It's been bungle after bungle after bungle.

It's not a fitting epitath to somebody who has faithfully served his country.

The fact that the ADF were so quick to apologise today totally changes my mind about many things.  It now appears that everything that has transpired since the discovery of Kovco's death has been a total comedy of errors.

The ADF's speed in disclosing such self-damaging information is to be commended.  However the loss of esteem within the Australian public that the latest revelations will create might be the final catalyst for our society beginning to question why our soldiers are engaged in the debacle of the invasion of Iraq


Was it an unattended notebook PC, or was it a disk left behind in a fixed PC?

Lots of data, across the whole range of sensitivities, is transported around the globe on portable media. The event begs the question of getting a handle on the size of the problem, ie, potential for mistakes or mishaps that lead to information getting into the wrong place. I'd be looking for flash drives lost down the back of taxi seats.

For a highly placed officer to fail to comprehend the risk in mishandling stored data, is about equivalent to an infantryman playing around with a loaded gun.

These events are more about failure of management to take account of psychological black holes, and a top-down system that is in an analytical tailspin in a useless attempt to find excuses by labelling them root causes. If Nelson cannnot find it in himself to call it rotten, or rooted, then he should be immediately elevated to deputy PM.

business as usual .....

Botched cover-up or just ADF
business as usual …. will we ever know Richard? 

Excuse my cynicism but the prompt
public contrition exhibited by Minister Nelson & the ADF has all the
hallmarks of traditional “issue management”, aimed at pre-empting the possibility
of public outcry & media frenzy. 

We’ve glimpsed an example of the
same thing with the AWB, where its management considered the merits of such a
strategy & of course, the classic inquiry “without legs”, the Cole Inquiry,
shows just how manipulative the government can be. 

The harder problem for the
government & the ADF would seem to be that such a strategy is less
effective in the face of chronic ineptitude. 

Up to now they have been “saved”
by virtue of their control of the Senate, an inept media, a feeble opposition,
a short public attention span & the fact that the majority of the public
simply don’t care or are completely cynical about such things. 

In spite of numerous &
lengthy Parliamentary “Inquiries” into every aspect of Defence over the past
decade, there has been no material change to its culture. Why? Well DIMIA gave
us the answer: there is simply no political imperative to change it. Why should
there be when the Australian people don’t demand it? 

The evidence of that is crystal
clear. Just this week we’ve had the billion-dollar Seasprite fiasco, the
horrendous unanswered public allegations of Lieutenant-Commander Fahy on the
7:30 Report, of chronic victimisation of military personnel, perpetrated at the
highest levels of the ADF, as well as the continuing tragedy of the Kovco saga. 

I think the Australian public has
a short memory, is worn out just trying to meet the challenges of daily life
& completely cynical toward our politicians & our institutions. So nothing

After two years of pestering the
relevant Ministers & the ADF, I’m still waiting for a response to my
questions about the continuing 7 year-old ADF investigation into allegations of
torture & murder by members of the SAS in East Timor, back in 1999 – see my
blog - his name was
yani ndun

What hope can Jake Kovco’s family
have of ever learning the truth?

PM "Regrets"...

From the ABC

PM 'regrets' latest Kovco bungle
Prime Minister John Howard says the fact that there have now been two incidents to cause distress to Private Jake Kovco's family is particularly regrettable.

Private Kovco died after being shot in the head while serving with the Australian Defence Force (ADF) in Iraq.

The repatriation of his body was bungled, with the corpse of a Bosnian man flown to Australia instead.
read more at the ABC

The prime Minister is oh so wrong... There has been THREE INCIDENTS to cause distress to Private Jake Kovco's family... The first BIG one is the death of Private Kovco itself which of all the incidents would have to be the most stressful. which so far has had no explanation but being an "unfortunate accident"...

Where the Aussie armed forces playing a game of "soldiers and terrorists" within their barracks using blanks and was one bullet (or several) not the full quid? Where they using live ammos? What really did happen? An accident has a succession of events and malfunctions that is logical. Silence on the original matter won't do, nor wash the angry platitudes of our defence generals and minister.

Just letting off steam

Scene #1

Commanding Officer J.Winston happens across a group of his troops playing around with pistols and teatowels.

JW: "What the hell is going on here?"

PBI: "Just fooling around, Sah!"

JW: "Goodie, I love horseplay, can I join in?"


Scene #2 

(As before, but one of the PBI is filming with a personal handicam.)

JW: "What the ...?"

PBI: "Rehearsing for the annual revue, and the video is to help refine the dramatic gestures, Sah."

JW: "Very well, carry on, but be careful not to over-act."


Scene #3

(As for #2.)

JW: "What the ... ?"

PBI: "Performing for an international competition, Sah! All entries posted to YouTube, the one with the most votes is the winner."

JW: "Carry on, it will divert unwanted attention away from Cousin George's strife over mistreating prisoners. How about a live round, to add a bit of drama?"