A letter to Joe Aston, AFR, from former SAS doctor Dan Mealey

Dear Joe Aston,

Australian Financial Review  

I refer to your gratuitously spiteful AFR article “Defamation runs in the Roberts-Smith family“, where you join in a national anthem of attacking good people, presumably to score a few points in the books of the former President of the Melbourne Press Club.

Joe Aston, reporter from Australian Financial Review siding with the paedophile-protectors in the top brass

Does it make you feel brave, or educated even, internationally attacking a lady while she is down? You have revealed the quality of your “journalism” by your bizarre absence of decency.   Did your “journalism” include meeting with staff members at Swan Valley Anglican Community School who worked alongside Mrs. Roberts-Smith? Or did you feel you were entitled to tap out vitriolic click-bait, with a personal assessment devoid of information?

All of this started when MAJGEN (Ret’d) Len Roberts-Smith RFD, QC, as Chair of the DART shone a disinfectant light upon the paedophilic abuse of school cadets (and other such criminals), and the retaliatory campaign of hatred for his family has been horrific.

MAJGEN (Ret’d) Len Roberts-Smith RFD, QC, with wife Sue, parents of Ben Roberts-Smith. Pic – AFR

A consistent experience of countless abused veterans who gave evidence to the Taskforce, was that “I was discharged from the ADF and my abusers were promoted.” Roberts-Smith discussed this phenomenon in his report, and elaborated on it in an interview on November 26, 2014, on ABC’s 7:30:

Leigh Sales: “Your report notes that more than 1,100 alleged abusers are still serving in the Defence Force. How is that possible?”Len Roberts-Smith: “Well, it’s possible, Leigh, because in many instances the acts of abuse which occurred were never reported at the time. In many instances where they were reported, nothing was done about them. In other instances, there may be things which were done about them, but not appropriate things, and as a result, they’re still serving.”  

What this ought to have revealed to morally-upright and intelligent Australians, are the lengths that our leaders will go to, to protect themselves and their shady institutions from scrutiny.   This wasn’t the outcome though was it Joe?

You and your smug journalist coterie have literally sided with the paedophile-protectors in the top brass, who in turn weaponised the endemic envy in ranks toward the Commonwealth’s most highly decorated soldier – all to protect our Defense Force leaders from scrutiny.  

And all of you have catastrophically failed to even see the real story here (let alone report it).   To spell it out for you, Joe, MAJGEN Robert-Smith stirred the hornet’s nest.   And you are behaving like one of the hornets.   Do your job, and tell the whole story.  

Dan Mealey

Former SAS Doctor