The Daily Telegraph
February 17 2016
AUSTRALIAN of the Year David Morrison said this week that he refuses to be “defined by his critics”. Unfortunately, that is not his decision.
He also said he would make no effort to reach out to the troubled former Lieutenant Colonel he unjustly sacked over the so-called Jedi Council affair.
The most senior officer caught up in Morrison’s purge, known simply as “Ken”, knew nothing about the Jedi Council sex ring and never opened the emails.
He has twice attempted suicide since the scandal broke.
Today he writes an open letter asking Morrison to set the record straight. It’s the least he should do.
Dear Lieutenant General Morrison,
Congratulations on winning Australian of the Year, but I write to inform of the humiliation, injustice and betrayal you showed me by publicly stripping me of army unit command on August 21, 2013.
That was when you acknowledged I was not a part of the Jedi Council but that you were removing me from command because I “failed to remain aware of issues and events affecting me, my unit and the army”.
You determined that I was accountable for inappropriate and unsolicited emails from a civilian that I had not read.
You were a late starter on this matter, claiming you were unaware of the Jedi Council, even though I informed my chain of command on March 28, 2013 that NSW Police had contacted me to ask what I knew of the Jedi Council. My answer was “nothing”.
In June 2013 you told the Australian public that a group of 17 personnel were “in production and distribution of highly inappropriate material demeaning women”. You told the media “there is one Lieutenant Colonel that is part of this group”.
Perhaps my anonymity could have been preserved if I was a private but there were not many Lieutenant Colonels in Townsville subjected to an Australian Defence Force Investigative Service (ADFIS) office raid and interview on June 5, 2013. Within hours I was fielding calls from friends asking why I was locked in my office.
Then on July 11, 2013 my name and image were released in the media. Despite knowing I had done nothing wrong, you made no effort to protect my name. Indeed, ADFIS told me two days before that I would be named nationally.
As Chief of Army, you failed one of your commanding officers.
On July 4, 2013 I attended a meeting in Townsville to look you in the eye and tell you I had nothing to do with the Jedi Council. You looked at my nametag and fobbed me off. I was then amazed when you stood and spoke about the Jedi Council, saying: “These alleged individuals, and I use the term alleged because I have to, I will have them removed from the army.” I knew then that, despite the evidence, you would let me down. And you did.
So now you are the Australian of the Year and I am unemployed. I won a bravery commendation and have three masters degrees, a loving wife and two beautiful children.
But none of this matters because my Chief of Army has not told the public that “the Lieutenant Colonel was not a part of the Jedi Council”.
I have a letter that states that fact but it will only count to my family, friends, and colleagues if you say it publicly. Please tell Australia what you told me on August 21, 2013, so that I can be at peace.