I was aware at the time that it was the documents I had supplied them. I was included in the picture.

The investigative reporter who authored those pieces in 2017 is named Dan Oakes.

His seven-part series The Afghan Files provided previously unheard-of information into the actions of Australia’s special forces, including claims of war crimes.

The journalist has never spoken publicly about the whistleblower.

“I’ve finally decided after all this time that it’s important that people know the truth about what happened,” Oakes says.

“It’s a much greyer and murkier and messier story than people appreciate.”

McBride and Oakes haven’t talked to each other in over six years. They fundamentally disagree on the kind of story Oakes should have told.

A lot has happened since their lives first collided.

Federal police investigated both men, then raided the ABC’s headquarters. The drumbeat of reporting and official investigations into war crimes has intensified. McBride’s become one of the public faces of a fight for whistleblower protections, as he faces the prospect of years behind bars.On the first day of his trial, McBride speaks to the media and his supporters outside the courtroom.
However, the males deal with the human consequences on a daily basis.

“My employment ended. My marriage ended. I’ve been harassed,” claims McBride.

“It nearly took my life.”

The consequences have been eerily similar for Oakes.

He claims, “It had a huge impact on me morally, mentally, and even physically.”

“I doubt I’ll ever be completely honest about what I did and the repercussions.”

Getting to know McBride
The journalist met the military lawyer eight years ago.

McBride’s existence was disintegrating. He felt enraged.

I was consuming almost half a bottle of vodka every day, which amounted to roughly three quarters.

By Fafa T

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