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Wrong body sent home

The body of the first Australian soldier to be killed in Iraq was scheduled to arrive in Melbourne this morning, but in what the Defence Department said is a "terrible mistake", the wrong body has been returned.

The body of Private Jake Kovco is due to be given a service in Gippsland with full military honours, but the coffin that arrived in Melbourne this morning contained the wrong body.

The 25-year-old private accidentally shot himself while cleaning his weapon in Baghdad on Friday.

He was a member of the 110-strong security detachment in Iraq's capital to protect Australian officials.

The Defence Department said the return of Private Kovco's body to Australia "has been delayed".

It said in a statement that an error occurred in Kuwait and the incorrect casket was despatched.

The department said Private Kovco's body will be flown to Australia immediately, by private charter if necessary.

It said the cause of "this unacceptable, terrible mistake" will be the subject of a thorough investigation, and "no stone will be left unturned" to get to the bottom of the mix-up.
 

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mstrand_68 said:
Shot himself while cleaning his weapon?!?! Lets hope he didn't have any children so the stupidity ends there.



-M-
mstrand_68, you are an a***hole. this guy was serving in Iraq, fighting your stupid war, and he has left a wife and 2 kids. your insensitivity is unbelievable!!!
 

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Hi aussier6-

Cleaning a weapon without safely removing the magazine and ensuring the chamber is clear is what is unbelievable.

As far as "our" war is concerned...the fight against terrorism is being waged by all civilized nations of the globe against maniacal murderers killing in the name of religion...but thanks for participating anyway. :rolleyes:

~ Blue Jays ~
 

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Blue Jays said:
Hi aussier6-

Cleaning a weapon without safely removing the magazine and ensuring the chamber is clear is what is unbelievable.

As far as "our" war is concerned...the fight against terrorism is being waged by all civilized nations of the globe against maniacal murderers killing in the name of religion...but thanks for participating anyway. :rolleyes:

~ Blue Jays ~
i agree the magazine etc. should have been removed/cleared , but mstrand_68 waas pretty low in saying what he said. who knows what his situation was, what he was thinking/feeling. i feel that a little more compassion could be shown for his family and not making some flippant remark regarding his children (of which he has 2 and thankfully they probably wont be reading any of these posts.)

as for the war against terrorism, again i agree that something has to be done, but i feel the focus in iraq has been lost. it appears, in my humble opion, that it was to hard to track down bin laden and so the focus has been shifted away from him and onto a war that if things arent brougth under control soon the situation will develop into another viet nam.

and as for rolling your eyes at me, belt it up your ars*!
 

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mstrand_68 said:
Shot himself while cleaning his weapon?!?! Lets hope he didn't have any children so the stupidity ends there.



-M-

Bye strand, not nice to know you. You continued to push the ban line, now you crossed it. So long, have a crappy one.
 

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Hi aussier6-

Military service is voluntary in most countries of the world and I imagine this young man was in Iraq because he took a job as a soldier. His death and the entirely avoidable accident that killed him are tragic...but it doesn't lessen our need to bring the fight to the violent terrorist monsters.

If decent and free countries didn't have a military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq, the frontlines would be in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, and Canberra instead. Not to mention New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, London, Berlin, Madrid, Rome, Paris, Budapest, Warsaw, Vienna, Stockholm, Dublin, and a bunch of other cities where generally sane people reside. Hey, at least they're not beheading Christians in Vienna like they are in Baghdad.

Thanks for the offer to "belt things up my ars*" for me, but I'll stick to debating with words and ideas.

~ Blue Jays ~
 

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Jester said:
Bye strand, not nice to know you. You continued to push the ban line, now you crossed it. So long, have a crappy one.
And good riddance to dead weight.
 

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aussier6 said:
i agree the magazine etc. should have been removed/cleared , but mstrand_68 waas pretty low in saying what he said. who knows what his situation was, what he was thinking/feeling. i feel that a little more compassion could be shown for his family and not making some flippant remark regarding his children (of which he has 2 and thankfully they probably wont be reading any of these posts.)

as for the war against terrorism, again i agree that something has to be done, but i feel the focus in iraq has been lost. it appears, in my humble opion, that it was to hard to track down bin laden and so the focus has been shifted away from him and onto a war that if things arent brougth under control soon the situation will develop into another viet nam.

and as for rolling your eyes at me, belt it up your ars*!

Ah, f*ck all that. You agree that trend has a point, but feel offended by how he said it. Get over it. I'd see you point if he said something like that to the widow, children, or friends. But he didnt. Lets not push the "respect for the dead" thing too far. No one here knew the guy, no one knows what he was like, dying doesnt make someone perfect, and it certainly doesnt take away our free speech. As far as I'm concerned your "up yours" comment is considerably more offencive, considering it was directed at a live person that can actually be offended by it. Lets not censor humanity in the name of political correctness.

As for your iraq comments do some research before you start running your mouth. Which country gave $10,000 to the family of every palestinian suicide bomber? Which country built a nuclear program? which country used chemical weapons on its own population? Which country expressed interest in cooperating with al-quada? Iraq. Or did you think if we just catch bin laden all the rest of the jihadis would put away their bombs and go drink some java at starbucks?
 

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Vash said:
Ah, f*ck all that. You agree that trend has a point, but feel offended by how he said it. Get over it. I'd see you point if he said something like that to the widow, children, or friends. But he didnt. Lets not push the "respect for the dead" thing too far. No one here knew the guy, no one knows what he was like, dying doesnt make someone perfect, and it certainly doesnt take away our free speech. As far as I'm concerned your "up yours" comment is considerably more offencive, considering it was directed at a live person that can actually be offended by it. Lets not censor humanity in the name of political correctness.

As for your iraq comments do some research before you start running your mouth. Which country gave $10,000 to the family of every palestinian suicide bomber? Which country built a nuclear program? which country used chemical weapons on its own population? Which country expressed interest in cooperating with al-quada? Iraq. Or did you think if we just catch bin laden all the rest of the jihadis would put away their bombs and go drink some java at starbucks?
+2

There are also political leaders over there that beleive that 1/4 of the worlds population must die before the next messiah will appear, and one of the major ones, I dont remember his name, says he beleives it will happen in his lifetime even though he is 50. I wonder what he was hitting on with that comment?

Sepias
 

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Originally posted by Vash As for your iraq comments do some research before you start running your mouth. Which country gave $10,000 to the family of every palestinian suicide bomber? Which country built a nuclear program? which country used chemical weapons on its own population? Which country expressed interest in cooperating with al-quada? Iraq. Or did you think if we just catch bin laden all the rest of the jihadis would put away their bombs and go drink some java at starbucks? [/B]

So, you buy into the "Iraq : 9/11" myth and you tell HIM to do some research before running his mouth??? Hoo boy. That's good. Pass the kool aid.
 

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you know what bro, go spend 5 years on the west bank, and then you can tell me about koolaid. How much time did you spend in bomb shelters while iraqi scuds were falling on you? thats what I thought.
saddams own document detail his relation with al-quada, what more do you want? But hey, just for interests sake, lets take the al-quada link out entirely. What do we have left
Was saddams regime hostile to the US? Yes
Was saddams regime hostile to its own people? Yes
Did saddam posses chemical weapons? Yes, he used them on his own population, and on Iran
Did saddam try to develop nuclear weapons? yes, and if it wasnt for israel destroying Osirak nuclear reactory he probably would've succeded.
Was saddam manipulating the UN program set to keep him in check? Yes.
Was saddam supporting other terrorist groups? Yes, he funded Hamas
So we got a regime that is hostile to us, hostile to their own people, and at least trying to acquire the means to harm our interests, but you say that we should just let that go and not do anything?

Hey, let me pre-empt your next argument, for I'm sure I've heard it all before. "We created this situation by selling weapons to iraq and who knows what else, so its all our fault". Suppose thats all true as well, are we suppose to lie down and die now?

Sepias: you're taking about Iran.
 

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Homersapian said:
So, you buy into the "Iraq : 9/11" myth and you tell HIM to do some research before running his mouth??? Hoo boy. That's good. Pass the kool aid.
Its wasn't Iraq, it was Al-quada. Conspiracy theorist always seem to draw conclusions without looking at the facts.

Sepais
 

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Vash said:
you know what bro, go spend 5 years on the west bank, and then you can tell me about koolaid. How much time did you spend in bomb shelters while iraqi scuds were falling on you? thats what I thought.
saddams own document detail his relation with al-quada, what more do you want? But hey, just for interests sake, lets take the al-quada link out entirely. What do we have left
Was saddams regime hostile to the US? Yes
Was saddams regime hostile to its own people? Yes
Did saddam posses chemical weapons? Yes, he used them on his own population, and on Iran
Did saddam try to develop nuclear weapons? yes, and if it wasnt for israel destroying Osirak nuclear reactory he probably would've succeded.
Was saddam manipulating the UN program set to keep him in check? Yes.
Was saddam supporting other terrorist groups? Yes, he funded Hamas
So we got a regime that is hostile to us, hostile to their own people, and at least trying to acquire the means to harm our interests, but you say that we should just let that go and not do anything?

Hey, let me pre-empt your next argument, for I'm sure I've heard it all before. "We created this situation by selling weapons to iraq and who knows what else, so its all our fault". Suppose thats all true as well, are we suppose to lie down and die now?

Sepias: you're taking about Iran.
Oh excuuuse me. I didn't realize you'd been shot at by Iraqis. That obviously makes you a qualified expert on the Middle East.

OK. let's take out 9/11. (Might as well since it's irrelevent to Iraq)

So, Iraq was hostile to us. No shit. Most Islamic countries are. We invaded because they were supposedly an imminent threat, which wasn't true. Now we're supposedly there to convert them into a democracy (which ain't gonna happen).

So Iraq was hostile to it's own people. Again, if that were a reason to invade, they'd have to take a number and wait in line.

Nobody said Saddam Hussein was a good guy, but that doesn't justify our going in to fix the problem. It wasn't a good enough reason to take Baghdad in the first Gulf War. We even sat on the sidelines after setting up the Kurds for reprisals. Whatever you think about Bush Sr, he wasn't stupid enough to "adopt" Iraq.

If you think we should invade countries in order to do good, then check out Sudan. We could stop an ongoing genocide there tomorrow with just a few troops.

Saddam may not have been cooperative with the UN program, but apparently the program was doing what it was supposed to do. If you want to go after a country who is actually responsible for the proliferation of nuclear weapons technology (to Iran), look at our "ally", Pakistan.

Whatever support Iraq gave to terrorists was minimal compared to other countries like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Heck, most of the 9/11 terrorists were Saudis. And they have given millions to radical Islamic causes.

Why haven't we invaded Saudi Arabia? Could it be because of the ties between the Royal Saudi family and Bush? (Who wrote the checks to bail out Jr's oil business when it kept going under?)

I support the invasion of Afghanistan. The gov't there was harboring the people who attacked us. And if we had focused on that action and not diverted our attention to Iraq, we'd probably have Ben Laden's Saudi scalp on the wall now.

Iraq is a huge tar-baby. Invading was a strategic mistake at best. At worst, it was a cynical use of the 9/11 attacks to justify an action taken for completely different (neoconservative) reasons.

People who insist the two are linked do so because they WANT to believe it. That's the way good propaganda works. This is like debating our civil war with someone who believes it had nothing to do with slavery and it was a war of Northern aggression attacking state rights. I am an idiot.:rolleyes:
 

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so you know all about islamic finances.. wow thats great.

Fine lets follow your argument. Saddam was a bad boy, and he was a threat. So was the rest of the islamic world right? we should confront threats right? so we gotta start somewhere right?
but we should've started with sudan not iraq. why? would sudan be any easier to accomplish than iraq?

Here is what I support. Dealing with every country that has the intent and ability to do us harm. I really dont care what order, just so long as it gets done.

btw, civil war was about economy. the slavery issue didnt come in untill 2 years into the war, and even then the emancipation proclamation only freed the southern slaves not the northern ones (which was a great PR move if you ask me). I dont pick sides in that war.. its been too damn long ago.
 

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I realize I was talking about Iran, which is why I said "over there". I was going more for the middle easts general outlook on politics and their beleifs. Anyways the entire area is a friggin hot spot of radicalism that will all need to be delt with in some way or anouther, we all seem to agree on that. We just dont agree on the "how" of dealing with it or the order in which its being done. No matter how we go about it there is going to be dissagreements amoung us, the fact of the matter is that we are there and we can't just leave. We have pulled the legs out from under their "government" and if we dont re-establish some form of political control over there then its going to crumble into the hands of the terrorist groups that are currently there.

Sepias
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Let's not lose focus. Here's an update...

Excuse me for hijacking my own thread. :twofinger

Day of dishonour

Private Jake Kovco's grief-stricken parents claim authorities are covering up how their son died and have been left shattered by the mix-up that left his body stranded in Kuwait.

"My son is dead and there's a big cover-up," Judy Kovco said yesterday after learning the body of a Bosnian man killed in Iraq was flown to Melbourne instead of her son.

Amid contradictory statements from the Government and the Australian Defence Force on how the 25-year-old Victorian father died, Defence Minister Brendan Nelson yesterday retracted his earlier comment that Pte Kovco shot himself while cleaning his pistol.

Dr Nelson now says the specialist sniper wasn't holding the weapon but died when he was "fiddling" with other equipment and the gun – sitting on a table or bed – went off as a result.

But Dr Nelson and the ADF fuelled confusion and family grief by refusing to detail exactly what happened, saying they didn't want to pre-empt an inquiry into Australia's first military death in Iraq.

An angry Mrs Kovco said: "He was highly trained in guns. There is no way known that my son accidentally shot himself."

"My son is dead and there's a big cover-up. What the hell is happening here?"

Prime Minister John Howard was awoken late on Wednesday night to apologise directly to widow Shelley Kovco when it was revealed Private Kovco's coffin had been left in Kuwait and the Bosnian man's body was mistakenly flown to Australia.

As the controversy raged:
• Mr Howard said the ADF should not be blamed for the wrong body being returned and it was the fault of a private mortuary in Kuwait contracted to transport Pte Kovco.
• Private Kovco's body will now not be flown back until tomorrow, further delayed because of a religious holiday in Kuwait today.
• Defence Minister Nelson vowed the mistake would never be repeated and said a private jet would be hired to bring the soldier home if necessary.

Opposition Leader Kim Beazley demanded contractors not be used to repatriate Australian casualties, saying it was the job of the military.

ADF operational procedures in Iraq allow loaded firearms to be carried within the Australian compound, but mystery surrounds why the safety catch on Private Kovco's gun appears to have been off in his barracks.

Shelley Kovco and her two children, Tyrie, three, and Alana, 11 months, were being supported last night by comrades from the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment, her husband's battalion.

A defence source with access to the incident report said it still stated Private Kovco was cleaning his weapon when it discharged.

The source said he had no idea where Dr Nelson's information had come from.

Martin Kovco also believed the army's version was a fabrication.

"It didn't happen in a room where no one saw anything, that just doesn't happen," he said. "We had been asked not to say anything, but that's now changed."

Private Kovco's cousin, Adam Backman, said the ADF and the Government should be ashamed.

"It's an absolute disgrace them losing the coffin. They promised that he would have someone with him all the time," Mr Backman said.

"It's shocking, it's a disgrace, the government and the Australian army should be ashamed of themselves – John Howard, you're nothing but a shocker.

"We're never going to be told the truth about what happened to him. The story changes and changes and changes."

Friday afternoon's shooting happened after Private Kovco's return from patrol as part of the 110-strong Security Detachment team stationed at the Australian embassy compound in Baghdad's Green Zone.

It took place in Private Kovco's barracks and two fellow soldiers were present.

Dr Nelson said yesterday: "He was doing something other than handling his firearm and in the process of fiddling about with the other equipment he had, it would appear, that in some way he's knocked his gun and it's discharged.

"There was obviously a live round in it which there should not have been, and that's as much as I should probably say at the moment.

"There is no suggestion it was anything other than an accident."

An Australian soldier who has served with the security detachment in Baghdad said fellow ADF personnel were at a loss on how the shooting occurred.

"There is not the complete story being made available," he said.
 
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