Shocking picture emerges of Australian soldier drinking out of dead man’s fake leg

Shocking pictures have emerged purporting to show an Australian soldier drinking from a prosthetic leg of a dead man in Afghanistan.The Guardian has published the pictures that are reportedly taken at an unofficial bar known as the Fat Lady’s Arms, inside Australia’s special forces base in Tarin Kowt, the capital of Uruzgan province, in 2009.
Fairfax had reported two years ago that Australian troops had been using the prosthetic leg of a prisoner from Afghanistan as a drinking vessel at SAS headquarters in Perth, after it was brought back as a souvenir in 2009.
However pictures of the incident have not been published until now.
Another picture appears to show two soldiers performing a dance with the leg.
In the Brereton Report, the Fat Lady’s Arms is mentioned as a place that was unauthorised, but that was resupplied with booze.
In a section of the report by Dr David Whetham, Professor of Ethics and the Military Profession at King’s College London, he said troops would go there to unwind.
“There was supposed to be no alcohol, but there was a pub in the base – the Fat Lady’s Arms – ‘somewhere there where we can do certain stuff but we’re not going to get caught and it’s not going to be regarded as misconduct because that’s who we are and that’s what we do’,” he wrote citing a source whose name has been redacted.
The Department of Defence has been contacted for comment. However the agency told the Guardian that all credible allegations of wrongdoing will be investigated, either through the Brereton-linked Inquiry or otherwise.
“It is critical that all matters are considered carefully, and any actions are undertaken according to the ADF’s longstanding and well-established processes, ensuring the rights of individuals to due process and fair hearing are protected,” a spokesman said.
The images come amid immense scrutiny of Australian troops and their behaviour in Afghanistan.
Last month, prosecutors launched an investigation into 19 ADF members over alleged war crimes committed in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2016.
The alleged crimes have been seized upon by the Chinese government, amid a tense trade stand-off with Australia.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian sparked outrage in Canberra on Monday when he posted a staged image of a man dressed as an Australian soldier holding a bloody knife to an Afghan child’s throat.
Scott Morrison had called the tweet “repugnant”, holding a virtual press conference from quarantine to demand Twitter take it down and China apologise.
On Tuesday, China issued a blistering response to the “rage and roar” of Australian politicians, accusing Mr Morrison of “overreacting”.
“We would like to further stress the following: the rage and roar of some Australian politicians and media is nothing but misreading of and over-reaction to Mr Zhao’s tweet,” a Chinese Embassy statement said.
“The accusations made are simply to serve two purposes. One is to deflect public attention from the horrible atrocities by certain Australian soldiers. The other is to blame China for the worsening of bilateral ties. There may be another attempt to stoke domestic nationalism.”