Kovco puzzle

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Last updated on August 9th, 2017 at 05:11 pm

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!

UPDATE III. Yobbo in Quiggler’s comments:

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)

Posted by Tim B. on 04/29/2006 at 12:48 PM
    1. Trust the SMH and the Age to lower on the bar on an already squalid display…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 04 29 at 02:27 PM • permalink


    1. 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?

      First we killed them because they had WMD.  Now we’re killing them for not having WMD.  With all this flopping around, well, it’s so confusing.  What’s a bloodthirsty RWDB to do?

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2006 04 29 at 03:29 PM • permalink


    1. Terrible shame on the rememberance of this young man. At least you in OZ don’t have this filth…Fred Phelps.

      Phelps rose to national prominence in 1998 when he and congregants from Westboro picketed the funeral of gay murder victim Matthew Shepard, delivering an obscenity laden sermon (with focus given to graphic descriptions of homosexual sex acts) informing the mourners that Shephard had gone to hell and that everyone in attendance would join him there. Ever since, Phelps and Westboro have remained in the national limelight for their regular pickets of events ranging from gay pride parades to the funerals of soldiers killed in the Iraq War.


      Right Wing Asshat…they aren’t any different then the Left Wing Asshats.

      Let Private Jake Kovco, rest in peace!

      Posted by El Cid on 2006 04 29 at 04:33 PM • permalink


    1. El Cid — The “Reverend” Fred Phelps is a registered Democrat and always has been.  We need take no blame for the maggot.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 04 29 at 05:10 PM • permalink


    1. richard

      Good, thanks for the info, didn’t do to much digging on him…should have, but somehow felt dirty just pulling up what I did…His daughter, from what I’ve heard is just as whacked…an attorney I believe.

      Not that there’s anything wrong that whacked attorneys that is….(courtesy of Seinfeld)

      Posted by El Cid on 2006 04 29 at 05:48 PM • permalink


    1. El Cid,

      Eleven of his thirteen children are lawyers.

      They win when you swing at them.

      Not our best example of American entrepeneurship.

      They were in my neck of the woods when they protested Coretta Scott King’s funeral.

      Posted by VKI on 2006 04 29 at 06:11 PM • permalink


    1. 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?

      I love how the lefties attribute all deaths in Iraq since the invasion, regardless of who they were killed by, to the Americans.

      Its classic leftist thought.  Never blame the person who committed the act, always those who create the underlying conditions that contributed to it.

      The problem is by doing this they set a precedent.  Al Qaeda caused 9/11, forcing the Americans to respond.  Therefore Al Qaeda is responsible for ALL deaths in Afghanistan.  Ditto for Israel’s response to individual acts of Palestinian aggression.

      Even better is that Saddam initiated the Iran-Iraq war and is therefore responsible for the 800,000 deaths.

      Without realising it the lefties have raised the bar in their attempts to realise a death toll in Iraq “caused by the Americans” that exceded the number of people killed by Saddam.

      They’ve still got a looooong way to go.

      Posted by tdw77 on 2006 04 29 at 06:36 PM • permalink


    1. El Cid:

      There is photo of him here wearing a white cowboy hat which is remarkable for its gayness.  Perhaps he has a dose of repression and projection on board.

      Posted by lemmy on 2006 04 29 at 06:45 PM • permalink


    1. VKI

      Eleven of his thirteen children are lawyers

      Regardless in what context Shakespeare, meant this…for that filthy, ghoulish family….“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers”.

      Posted by El Cid on 2006 04 29 at 06:49 PM • permalink


    1. Quiggy’s latest:

      “I offer (with trepidation) an analogy. If your house was burgled and you expressed your desire that those responsible (whoever they might be) should be caught and punished, would you welcome the response that you should wait for the evidence before coming to such a judgement?”

      Like this is really analogous to anything that’s been said on the stupid thread. The man cannot read.

      Posted by JerryS on 2006 04 29 at 07:10 PM • permalink


    1. I hope Judy Kovco settles down when she gets the correct information from the best sources.  She has had a rough time with the coffin problem too.
      She is showing media signs [exploited by them?] of aggressive grief behaviour.

      Let’s hope we do not have another Cindy Scenario here, but I have my suspicions given the footage of her being used.

      Posted by Barrie on 2006 04 29 at 07:43 PM • permalink


    1. I thought Terry Lane had retired for good after leaving the ABC.  Still spouting utterly predictable lefty tripe, I see.
      He was the ‘ABC Adams’ you had Sundays when you’re not having Adams weekdays.
      I haven’t heard his replacement yet.
      Comments anyone?

      Posted by Barrie on 2006 04 29 at 07:47 PM • permalink


    1. Quiggin has apparently got his wish, at least if SBS journo Cassandra Hill is to be believed.  She claimed on a recent bulletin that “the Prime Minister has accepted full responsibility for Private Kovco’s death.”  Of course, this amazing assertion wasn’t supported by anything as mundane as an actual quote from the PM to this effect.

      Posted by cuckoo on 2006 04 29 at 07:53 PM • permalink


    1. cuckoo, we better check if Webdiary has posted another totally real speech by Howard that could be the source for this quote.

      Posted by PW on 2006 04 29 at 08:13 PM • permalink


    1. Latham only knows about shooting yourself in both feet – while they are in your mouth.
      It is always fun to watch journos, like Marr on Insiders, spouting off about the pollies not seeing the AWB kickbacks happening. Journos were the people who failed to see that Latham was a disaster. Said he was an exciting and refreshing new approach, had good ideas etc etc.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2006 04 29 at 08:35 PM • permalink


    1. #12 – Barrie, I have been listening to the new chap. Peter Mears – I think that’s the spelling. Pretty much following in Terry Lane’s footsteps, but one or two stories have led me to think that he’s not quite so left-leaning.

      Posted by SwinishCapitalist on 2006 04 29 at 08:59 PM • permalink


    1. #15 Blogstrop I saw Marr on Insiders this morning, funnily enough. There was a masterful tying in of Pte Kovco’s death to the AWB scandal and how this should rouse the people (paraphrasing here) as the AWB guff didn’t.

      Fave quote from Marr: The public service is not incompetent.

      I nearly fell over laughing.

      I’m also in agreement with the suggestions that poor Judy Kovco is being manipulated a la Cindy Sheehan.

      OF course, the meeja aren’t so callous as to pull the strings of his grieving widow – obviously there are some depths to which they won’t stoop.

      Good to see, guys and gals, good to see.

      Posted by Nilknarf Arbed on 2006 04 29 at 09:14 PM • permalink


    1. With respect to these comments by Pvt Kovco’s mother:

      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.”

      This was in the SMH. Which means that if she didn’t actually see the body, can she be certain?

      Sources said the family chose not to view the body during their 90-minute visit. Instead, Colonel Mumford left the morgue briefly to collect from the car a camera that could be used to photograph identifying tattoos.

      Either way, and this is my point, that it seems that the Government does not want to rush into anything, particularly if they dont know all the facts and definatly if it was a case of suicide which would leave Pvt Kovko’s widow with less of a pension.

      The dummies in the left, all suddenly interested, shrieking about Government cover ups, may well be hurting the widow. Fools.

      Posted by Nic on 2006 04 29 at 10:29 PM • permalink


    1. Marr is really beginning to piss me off. especially with his “public service is not competent” thing.

      He is an opinion writer. He never has to run anything, organise anything,  or do anything in his life that is accountable. He can get facts or whatever as wrong as he likes and nothing will happen to him.

      People in public service have to make decisions everyday that, later, could be second guessed. That is because there is not always one right decision or a clear cause of action at a given point in time.  It will always be able to be shown that some other decision could have been an option. And yes stuff ups do occur.  The public service has over a hundred thousand stuff carrying out millions of services and transactions every week.  What do people expect? Marr is a simpering wet do-nothing whose only talent is sitting on sidelines and carping.

      Rant over.

      Posted by Francis H on 2006 04 29 at 10:50 PM • permalink


    1. oops did i mishear. Just looking at a previous comment. I thought Marr said “not competent” I was only half listening. Damn! If he did say “not incompetent” then my whole rant is undermined.

      How disappointing.

      I’ll go and hide now

      Posted by Francis H on 2006 04 29 at 11:53 PM • permalink


    1. #13, 14 – This ‘full responsibility’ quote business gets stranger.  Unless Howard said the same thing twice, the Australian is using the same quote to mean two different things.  According to which article you read, Howard is claiming responsibility for Private Kovco’s death or for the bungle about the repatriation of his body.  How about our betters in the media giving us the full quote in context and letting us make up our own minds as to what the PM actually said?

      Posted by cuckoo on 2006 04 30 at 12:00 AM • permalink


    1. You know, the hastily put together crap that Richard put together on Webdiary really, really got up my nose. I know it shouldn’t, and that after spending a year and a bit at the place, I shouldn’t have thought that anything better would come out, but I didn’t think that any article would sink as low as that one did.

      Feeding on the dead for political points. At least jackals and vultures simply to it to survive.

      Posted by Stuart Lord on 2006 04 30 at 12:14 AM • permalink


    1. Don’t bother now with those links above: since I posted them, they now both take you to the same article.  Notice, however, that there is still a link in the sidebar to an article headed ‘Body mix-up: PM accepts full responsibility’.  Let this be a lesson to you, kids – always get a screenshot!

      Posted by cuckoo on 2006 04 30 at 12:17 AM • permalink


    1. That poor family.  Don’t put the aggrieved mother in Sheehan’s role yet.  The media may want it that way, but we’ve yet to see what this woman, and this family, is made of.  Right now they all have bruised brains, so they are not to be held responsible as they try to get through this horror, especially as they face the added outrage to their beings of the media vultures swooping about their heads.

      No one can even guess what happened to this man.  There are too many contradictory stories, and the people telling them may have reasons to obfuscate.  No matter what the facts are, they have now been buried under everyone elses agenda.  The actual man, and his actual family, are no longer any consideration.

      Those poor people.  My condolences to them, and my condolences to those Aussies who are saddened to lose one of their protectors.  No matter how he died, he died in a foreign country, doing the dangerous things that we sent him to do.  IF it turns out that he became depressed, I know from first hand experience that that is a type of battle injury, too.  The point is that he died while serving his country, and that deserves respect.

      Posted by saltydog on 2006 04 30 at 12:43 AM • permalink


    1. I’m with you, saltydog.

      Posted by JerryS on 2006 04 30 at 12:49 AM • permalink


    1. Terry Lane: 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?
      Terry should direct this jibe at those who have done most of the killing (for no good reason) – Zarkman & Co. But for them, the last three years would have been well spent fixing up the country to a much greater degree than has been possible.
      Lane has lowered himself even further than I thought possible, with this crap statement.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2006 04 30 at 01:58 AM • permalink


    1. I would love to see that unspeakable arsehole Richard Tonkin stand on the parade ground at Holsworthy Barracks (home of 3RAR, Jake Kovco’s Battalion), and repeat that vile statement about “hired murderer”

      He would soon find out all about “karma”, the disgusting toad.

      Posted by Pedro the Ignorant on 2006 04 30 at 03:22 AM • permalink


    1. I note the Richard Tonkin’s Blog is open for comments about his sly little remark.

      Please be polite.

      Posted by Zoe Brain on 2006 04 30 at 05:56 AM • permalink


    1. The Army does the right thing and says it was all an accident. Compassion! A word that the “mpdern” media equates with dunnies.

      An idiot of a mother, part of the blame the Government and anyone else I can find culture that permeates so much of Australian culture (the cringe underclass and the moronic Lefty subnormal intellectuals, without even traversing the brainless TV journalists) wants a full enquiry.
      Anyone who has had any contact whatever with self destruction, could see from the start what the consequences could be of any such enquiry and where it would lead.
      The gun was in the wrong hands.
      Thank God for a decent Army

      Posted by MarshallD on 2006 04 30 at 05:56 AM • permalink


    1. To be fair, MarshallD, the woman is grieing for her son, and then there was this little problem with bringing him home.  I would imagine it would make most mothers a little unhinged, at least temporarily.

      Give her a few more days, and once she works out the meeja couldn’t give rats how she feels, they just want spectacle, she will probably go to ground.

      Mind you, if she does end up chucking a sheehan, well then that would be different….

      Posted by entropy on 2006 04 30 at 06:07 AM • permalink


    1. 1. Why is Mum and not the wife suddenly the media “mouthpiece”?

      2. Was there an email from Pvt Kovco’s wife just before the “accident”? If “Yes”, then what did it say?

      3. Are there powder burns on Pvt Kovco? If “Yes”, it’s doubtful the firearm fell and discharged “accidentally”.

      The whole story, as it has been presented, stinks.

      Shit that makes me sound callous, doesn’t it? Not meant that way at all. I can’t begin to comprehend the grief the Kovco family is undergoing. My heart goes out to them, as a parent myself.

      I just despair that we’ve not been told the truth (and nor have they).

      Posted by BIWOZ on 2006 04 30 at 07:02 AM • permalink


    1. #17 regarding your comment

      OF course, the meeja aren’t so callous as to pull the strings of his grieving widow – obviously there are some depths to which they won’t stoop.

      Here’s the problem.  The mother created the groundwork for the initial media frenzy when she raised “questions” about her son’s death.  The media love “questions”.

      Being ultra-sleuths the media generated many more “questions” because the further you look the more “questions” you need to find answers for.

      This beast has now turned on the family, and I’m loving hearing their distaste for the media!

      Posted by tdw77 on 2006 04 30 at 01:23 PM • permalink


    1. I’ve been thinking about this question for the past couple of days and I’m still not sure I quite know how to phrase it, but I think it is probably a legitimate point:

      Is there some Australian equivalent to the U.S. Serviceman’s Group Life Insurance (SGLI) and are there any restrictions on what it would pay in the case of suicide?

      What exactly are the benefits that Pvt. Kovco’s survivor’s will recieve?  Would those be lessened or denied if his death were ruled a suicide?

      I understand that the circumstances of his death seem suspicious, but if the answer to any of the above would lead to his survivor’s getting reduced or no benefits then it might be that his mates are trying to do what they think is right by putting forward the negligent discharge story.

      Sorry if that was awkwardly phrased and please don’t interpret what I’ve asked to imply that I think that Pvt. Kovco committed suicide, because like everyone else I have no idea.  But I wanted to bring it up if for no other reason than for someone who understands how these things work in the Australian service to eliminate as a factor.

      Posted by 68W40 on 2006 04 30 at 01:38 PM • permalink


    1. Given the sorry tale of the way those fallen soldiers are totally denied the honors they deserve in the US, it’s hardly surprising that this has unfolded into such a mess. In the US, they arrive under cover of darkness, are interred in the margins of public attention and then are completely forgotten.  Cindy Sheehan was stupid enough to remind the nation of her loss.  Now the same suspicion is aimed at Kovco’s mother.

      It’s perfectly understandable that a parent would want to ask questions, when the official explanation are so inadequate.  Doing so in a public forum usually produces more immediate results than expecting those answers to come to you.  People grieve in different way; some overly and others privately. Both are equally legitimate.

      These critics are the same infernal priests then who have the ‘morality’ and ‘patriotism’ to lecture you about Saddam’s victims or Iranian Penal codes. Warriors all who have that surplus of enlightened compassion for Iranian sex slaves or Iraq’s Kurds, but turn on a mother for being demonstrative about her grief.  It’s axiomatic—if you don’t care about your own people, then how is anyone to begin to believe you care about those who died at the hands of Saddam or the Burka wearing, sexually enslaved women of Iran? Surely, even conservative compassion begins at home.

      As for what the on earth Latham has to do with any of this, it’s very simple: Howard is in office, Latham never was. Case closed.

      Posted by Addamo on 2006 04 30 at 03:31 PM • permalink


    1. What does your disapproval of the US’ handling of its military dead have to do with this, Addamo? Or is this just a continuation of your usual form of ‘argument’ – have nothing to say and veer wildly off into not-even-remotely-related issues about which you think you know something but which in reality reveal your extraordinary ignorance?

      Posted by Crispytoast on 2006 04 30 at 04:22 PM • permalink



    1. 91B30: The troll means “sorry tale” as in “not in a way his side can feed on” so therefore it’s bad.

      Posted by Patrick Chester on 2006 04 30 at 05:23 PM • permalink


    1. 91B30

      Nothing is ignored, apart from verbal assaults, especially from those who present an honest opinion.  I gather you can speak from experience so I am all ears.

      After reading posts 29 and 30, I suspect that there are more than a few waiting on the sidelines, ready to do a hatchet job on Kovko’s mother the minute she gets out of line.  The parallels with the Cindy Sheehan saga are pretty obvious.

      Living in North America, the fact that Bush has refused to attend any funerals of those returning, not to mention that the dead and injured are arrive in the dead of night, sickens me to the core.

      If I over-reacted to that premise, I apologies.  As you said, this isn’t about me.

      Posted by Addamo on 2006 04 30 at 08:16 PM • permalink


    1. They arrive at all hours of the day Addamo, and the President has to be careful about what funerals he attends (attend one and not another and he gives offense).  We’re in a war and he can hardly attend all funerals.  This is not unprecedented behavior by the President in wartime.

      Posted by 68W40 on 2006 04 30 at 08:36 PM • permalink


    1. I must disagree with Yobbo. If something goes wrong at Quiggin’s university, I think he should resign, whther or not he is responsible.

      Posted by Margos Maid on 2006 04 30 at 08:38 PM • permalink


    1. Addamo, note that each line of the post #36 is a link which it is suggested you visit.

      A full, sincere and humble apology to our American friends for you gratuitous and shameful slur is owing.

      I suggest you present one forthwith.

      Posted by MentalFloss on 2006 04 30 at 11:45 PM • permalink


    1. The cover up could go all the way to the top.

      (mind you, are we any different to the Solomon Islands now?)

      p.s. where is the bullet?

      Conspiracy theories here we come…

      Posted by 1.618 on 2006 05 01 at 08:52 PM • permalink


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