from: Frank Macskasy <email@example.com>
to: Listener <firstname.lastname@example.org>
date: 4 April 2017
subject: Letters to the editor
.The editorThe Listener
On 3 April, our esteemed Prime Minister, Bill English, announced that there would be no independent commission of inquiry into allegations of civilian deaths, injuries, and deliberately destroyed homes in a SAS-led raid in Tirgiran Valley in 2010. It was also alleged that a prisoner was handed over to Afghan security forces where torture was a well-known interrogation technique.English’s excuse;
“After considering [that] briefing, [General Keating’s] letter to [Defence Minister] Gerry Brownlee and viewing video footage of the operation, I’ve concluded there is no basis for ordering an inquiry.”
I trust the facts as presented.”
English’s explanation for refusing an impartial inquiry defies credulity.
In effect, an instigator of an alleged crime – the NZ Defence Force – was asked to provide a reason to avoid an inquiry. The NZDF duly complied.
What did English expect, a full admission of wrong-doing by New Zealand forces in Tirgiran Valley? A written, signed confession?
Is this to be the new standard of accountability from National? That any allegations of impropriety is put to alleged offenders; they deny wrong-doing; and English accepts said denials without question?
Let us not forget that on 21 March, the NZDF responded to allegations of civilian deaths and injuries at Naik and Khak Khuday Dad with a flat-out denial;
“The investigation concluded that the allegations of civilian casualties were unfounded.”
Six days later, Defence Force chief, Tim Keating admitted “possible” casualties;
“Subsequent information, received after Operation Burnham indicated that civilian casualties may have been possible […] The investigation team concluded that civilian casualties may have been possible due to the malfunction of a weapon system.”
Both statements are currently viewable on the NZDF website.
By resisting calls for an inquiry, English has implicated himself in a possible cover-up.There is no other way to interpret his words.
[address and phone number supplied]
Email addresses for newspapers for other budding letter-writers wanting to express their demand for a Commission of Inquiry. (Maximum word-length stated in brackets)
Daily Post (250 words)
Dominion Post (200 word limit)
Listener (300 word limit)
NZ Herald (200 word limit)
Otago Daily Times (150 words)
The Press (150 words)
Southland Times (250 words)
Sunday Star Times (150 word limit)
Waikato Times (200 words)
Radio NZ: ‘No basis’ for Afghan raid inquiry – PM
New Zealand Defence Force: NZDF Response To Book
New Zealand Defence Force: Speech notes for Press Conference on Operation Burnham (p6)
Previous related blogposts
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