Aussie soldiers ‘racist, sexist and hate-filled’ Facebook page exposed

MELBOURNE, Australia — The Australian Defense Forces (ADF) Army Chief David Morrison has vowed to take action against any serving soldiers who posted racist and sexist comments on a private Facebook page.

Messages that referred to Muslims as "ragheads", and described women as "filthy, lying whores" were exposed by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's 7.30 Report who were given access to the "RAR (Royal Australian Regiment) Buddies" site.  

When the Australian Defense Minister Stephen Smith announced last year that more women would go into combat, one member posted: "Let's face it, the RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force) get the best-looking ones, the Navy get second dibs, and the Army as usual get what's left. Vote 1, Ugly chicks in every diggers gunpit!!"

The report said that the Facebook group is used by more than 1,000 former and current members of the Royal Australian Regiment and features hundreds of "sexist, xenophobic and hateful" messages "too crude to be published".

Lieutenant General David Morrison said the army's attention had been brought to the site, The Australian newspaper reports, and warned that members of the group would be found and disciplined.   Morrison is described as being "angry, disappointed and frustrated" by the messages.

According to a follow-up from the 7.30 Report, several angry responses were posted to the Facebook page after the piece was aired.  One message read: "Mystery leak man, pray we never find out who you are you gutless f***. Enjoy the rest of your life looking over your shoulder wondering if any of us have worked out who you are."

However, The Canberra Times says that the identity of the whistleblower has already been revealed.  It says that documents to the Defense Minister used in the broadcast and posted online show him to be the former soldier, Dr Ben Wadham who is now an academic at Flinders University in Adelaide.  The newspaper says he has been threatened with retribution by other members. 

Hundreds of members have reportedly left the site in recent days.

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