While the government does its best to avoid an independent investigation into the 2010 SAS raids on two villages in Afghanistan in which six civilians were killed and the Defence Force does its best to sow confusion and avoid accountability there are several other aspects to the situation which are deeply disturbing. One directly involves the SAS in targeted killings.
Here is a quote from “Hit and Run” by Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson (P. 91) concerning two people suspected of taking part in the August 2010 attack on a New Zealand patrol in which a New Zealand soldier was killed:
“The first man targeted was Alawuddin…. A secret provincial reconstruction team report said the New Zealanders tracked Alawuddin to his home in a town called Turmush in Tala wa Barfak and launched the operation against him on Friday, 20 May 2011. Helicopters flew to his home, and foreign and Afghan troops – including, said a provincial reconstruction team source, the SAS – surrounded the house. Alawuddin escaped into the garden where he was either shot dead or killed by an air strike.
Three days later the SAS organised the killing of another suspected August 2010 attacker and JPEL target, a man named Qari Musa. ….. There was no effort to arrest him. SAS and allied troops tracked him and several colleagues to a house on 23 May 2011, then called in a US air strike that killed all the men in a large blast.”
In New Zealand’s name the SAS carried out these killings of suspects – no arrest, no trial.
Whether it’s called a targeted assassination, an execution or cold-blooded murder – these are unjustified, cowardly killings carried out in the name of New Zealand.
It’s common knowledge the US uses targeted executions by drone strikes as a matter of course despite the breaches of international humanitarian law and the killing of hundreds of innocent civilians.
When the US did this to a New Zealand citizen, Daryl Jones, in Yemen in 2014 Prime Minister John Key excused the US military. Keeping favour with the US was more important to Key than the murder of a New Zealand citizen.
Our own SAS is now implicated directly in the same practice against Afghanis suspected of defending their country against foreign occupiers.
We should all feel a profound sense of shame.
These reported targeted assassinations must be included in the terms of reference for an independent inquiry into our out-of-control SAS.