Confusion over Private Jake Kovco’s death continues:
Speaking after the formal identification of her son’s body in Sydney, Judy Kovco rejected claims that her son had committed suicide while alone in his barracks in Baghdad, Iraq.
“My son did not die in a room on his own by his own hand,” she said. “That is 100 per cent crap. He died in a room with his mates.”
At the Daily Telegraph, Ian McPhedran—with whom I’ve worked, and whose military contacts are exceptional—reports that Kovco was alone at the time he was killed:
The revelation, which contradicts information from the military and the Federal Government, was made by soldiers angered by what they see as a disgraceful cover-up.
Troops in Baghdad said the 25-year-old father of two had been under enormous emotional pressure.
Defence and the Government had said Pte Kovco was in a room with two comrades when he was shot. But a source close to the troops said: “His two mates were in the next room and found him after the shot went off.”
The Sydney Morning Herald suggests that soldiers themselves are involved in a cover-up:
Serving soldiers in Iraq have told families and friends back home that Private Kovco was killed while the three soldiers in the barracks were playing a risky game. The troops report that one or two other soldiers were in the room with him when the gun went off and that they had tried to cover up what had happened.
It could take up to six months until a board of inquiry delivers a finding …
UPDATE. The Age’s Terry Lane finds an anti-war angle:
Should we not be regretting the deaths of all the Iraqis who have been killed by the invaders for not having weapons of mass destruction?
UPDATE II. Academic John Quiggin demands accountability:
It would be good to think that somewhere in the chain of command, someone will step forward to say “This happened on my watch, and whether or not I personally did anything wrong, I’m responsible. I offer my resignation”. So far, there hasn’t been any sign that anything like this will happen, but there’s still time.
Oh, Quiggy! Your insane biscuit-IQ requests delight us all!
Maybe you should resign your post next time anyone in your university (or any contractor working for your university) makes an error.
UPDATE IV. Lefties who’ve suddenly discovered a new respect for Australia’s military in the wake of Kovco’s death and his bungled return to Australia might recall Mark Latham’s views on our servicemen:
I detest war and the meatheads who volunteer to kill other human beings.
Would’ve been interesting to see Prime Minister Latham’s handling of this.
UPDATE V. Webdiary columnist Richard Tonkin:
Right now I’d like to see a report of the Iraqi people who Private Kovco, in his capacity as Guardian Angel of Baghdad, took careful aim at and ended their lives … This story may not be that of an accidental death of a saint. To some it may already appear to be one of a hired murderer encountering karma.
(Via Harry Heidelberg)
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