Dear Joe Aston,
I am writing in response to your recent article in the Australian Financial Review titled “Defamation runs in the Roberts-Smith family”. It is evident from your piece that you have chosen to join the chorus of those attacking good people, seemingly to gain favor with the former President of the Melbourne Press Club.
I must express my disappointment with the gratuitously spiteful tone of your article. Is it supposed to make you feel brave or educated to attack a woman while she is down? Your lack of decency and absence of journalistic integrity are apparent in your words. Did you bother to meet with staff members at Swan Valley Anglican Community School who worked alongside Mrs. Roberts-Smith? Or did you simply feel entitled to write venomous click-bait without any factual basis?
The origins of this ongoing situation can be traced back to MAJGEN (Ret’d) Len Roberts-Smith RFD, QC, who, as the Chair of the DART, shed light on the pedophilic abuse of school cadets and other criminals. In response, his family has faced a horrific campaign of hatred.
Many veterans who bravely came forward to give evidence to the Taskforce have experienced the chilling reality of being discharged from the ADF, while their abusers were promoted. Roberts-Smith addressed this issue in his report, highlighting that over 1,100 alleged abusers are still serving in the Defense Force. This is possible because many instances of abuse were never reported or were ignored. The failure of the system to take appropriate action has allowed these individuals to continue serving.
One would hope that morally-upright and intelligent Australians would recognize the lengths to which our leaders will go to protect themselves and their institutions from scrutiny. However, it appears that you, Joe, and your journalist colleagues have chosen to side with the pedophile protectors in the top brass. By doing so, you have failed to see, let alone report on, the real story here. MAJGEN Roberts-Smith struck a nerve with his report, and you are playing the role of one of the hornets, rather than fulfilling your duty as a journalist to tell the whole story.
I implore you to reevaluate your approach and consider the impact of your words and actions. There is a greater truth to be told here, and it is crucial that accurate reporting takes place to ensure justice and accountability. It is my hope that you will approach future articles with greater integrity and sincerity.
Former SAS Doctor