Mainstream Media complaint over Hit & Run


——– Forwarded Message ——–
Subject: complaint against Herald story
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2017 10:32:42 +1300
From: Nicky Hager
To: Steven Price

Hi Shayne,
I am writing to complain about a story and associated comment by Barry Soper relating to our book Hit and Run. The story says that we were wrong about a type of weapon cartridges pictured in a
photo in the book and that this casts a shadow over the accuracy of the the book.

However the basis for the criticism is something that the story says is suggested and inferred by the book when neither of these is what we actually said in the book. It was just someone jumping to conclusions on the basis of an illustration caption. We have been advised there are grounds for a complaint to the press council, however we would much rather sort this out by you adding a comment to the story there and then a follow up story that presents our position on these claims.

Can you please add the following words near the top of the current news story and Barry Soper may like to amend his opinion piece accordingly?

TDB Recommends

“The book does not claim that those weapon cartridges came from the SAS and indeed in another illustration (on page 49) the authors explain that they are Apache helicopter weapons. The illustration in the book shows objects collected by the villagers after the raid and the caption refers only to two drink bottles pictured, which the villagers thought were left by snipers. There was no suggestion that the weapon cartridges were from the SAS. If we had been asked before the story was printed, we could have cleared up this misunderstanding.”

Then a follow up story could present the same points.

The obvious thing to do was to check the story with us, which was after all based on assumption, not anything we wrote in the book. The story says that a reporter tried unsuccessfully to contact Jon Stephenson, but they could have contacted me. Also, the point I make here is obvious and so even without contacting us should have made a reporter wonder whether the story was correct.

We have no problem with critical comment about the book, of course, but it needs to be based on accurate information and be balanced and fair.

best wishes,



  1. Accurate and fair from Barry Soper? That man should paint himself blue and wear a sandwich board reading, “Hooray for National!” If the creaking old relic can’t get basic information correct, maybe he should be put out to pasture.

  2. Why am I NOT surprised it’s Barry Soper?

    I have never considered him a journalist, much less a political journalist.

    It is vitally important that all comments and investigations are based on facts and not fevered assumptions…

  3. The NZ Herald… Why am I not surprised?? especially after the attack on David Cunliffe with the bogus $100,000 bottle of wine story they ran a couple of years ago.

    Perhaps if the msm did their job properly instead of covering up for government, we wouldn’t need books to be written on government and military scandals.

  4. The real test will be when we get some reviews from actual journalists, rather than National Party copyholders. I know that removes around 90% of the workforce but hopefully a few might stand up.

  5. Good for Nicky for taking Barry Soper to task, as well as his bosses at the NZH.

    Barry Soper’s intention, is to feed out misinformation about the book, as a deliberate attempt to discredit both Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson. A sure sign National is desperate, using its obedient servant NZH, to spread the dirt on an issue that is threatening government.

    I hope Nicky is able to receive a positive outcome regarding his complaint.

  6. Yes it does look as if National is desperate MARY_A.

    And a willing accomplice in Barry Scoffer Soper always obliges to carry out the fake press article to deflect the heat away from the National stuff up so what a bunch of low life we have here now.


      See the control of US Government has been under from the Corporates for thirty years and who is railing against the only president who has rejected pressure from the global elite to be controlled by them.

      Obama was controlled and many more as you will see in this video back as far as Ronald Reagan and before.

      trump we all hope “will drain the Washington swamp” as he promised before they kill him off.

      I don’t like some of his policies but he is the first “independent President” we have seen for many years.

      Good for us he killed off TPPA.

      • If you look at Trumps appointments he’s made then it’s quite easy to see that he is beholding to the corporates, just different ones to Obama.

        Obama’s administration pandered to the “knowledge economy” corps e.g. movie indsutry, education, Silicon Valley/Microsoft, while Trump panders to the “dirty” corps – coal, oil, steel. But also education – De Vos who was put in charge of public education has pretty much spent her life trying to privitise public education as a means of funneling funds to religious organisations via tax funded religious schools.

  7. Immensely sloppy, lazy and might I add very stupid reporting by Soper.

    Or done intentionally knowing it was wrong to assist the military and of course the National Party. That altered photo that goes with that smear article tends to suggest that worryingly.

    Take your pick.

    Fair to say though that the Herald is going into bat for the National Party this election.

    • I couldn’t have said it better if I’d written it myself Xray, Soper and Key brothers in arms.

      Always thought old Barry a bit too old for Heather, there is a name for that.

    • Shame on Soper and the herald ….

      Since these wars of false pretenses started ….there has been Thousands upon thousands of innocent Afghan ( and Iraqi ) civilians killed …

      In Thousands of similar raids carried out by ‘special forces’, ‘Commando police’, or other ‘warriors’ …. who our SAS are fighting in combination with.

      Our ‘exposed’ raid was nothing special in terms of callous fuckups ………. shit intelligence combined with near total disregard for the local population being common and deadly for families over there ….. followed by stock standard coverups which ‘vanish our victims into nothing.

      It was special in thanks to the bravery and work of Jon Stephenson with Nicky Hagers help ….. which revealed what is never told to us.

      Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahills 2013 ‘Dirty Wars’ doco shows that there has been a mountain of this night raids killing and terror going on in Afghanistan and Iraq .,,,,, for a long time.

      In Jeremy Scahills exceptional and emotional movie …the military and political cover-up actions are brazen bullshit and bluster denials …. mixed with even more fabrications of high numbers Taliban fighters killed ……just like ours.

      All with attempted character assassinations of journalists who have exposed the dirty truth ….. using smears, slanders and PR slogans that is all but identical… to the muck our dishonest Government with its henchmen are throwing at Jon Stephenson & Nicky Hager.

      The PR language and ‘conspiracy’ attack lines used against Nicky & Jon are looking like very old dishonest shit … . from the mouths of repeated malevolent liars in the Nacts Govt…. and Military top brass.

      Truth is the enemy of war and injustice ….

      Its also why Nicky and Jon are hated by those who act to deceive us

      Rhetorical question ; Who is more Honest? Jon & Nicky ….. or Key English Bennett, the herald etc ???

      Now would be a good time for a real reporter to follow up and ask some questions Regarding Mark Mitchell the ‘dog man’ that came to light in Nickys last book ………………

      In what country did the ‘dog biting’ bragged of in emails regarding Mitchell … and revealed in Nicky Hagers ‘Dirty Politics’ book take place ?.

      maybe Soper could ask Mark about that? …. Or what Browns been doing in Iraq …which is one huge war crime ….

      Instead of writing rubbish attacking the truth.

      • Absolutely correct Reason.

        And everyone mouths off “why do they hate the west?” and “what makes them want to blow themselves up?”

        Simple cause and effect eh…

  8. Unbelievably sloppy – even for Soper. When I saw it on the Herald website early this morning I almost choked.
    From what I’ve read so far, never has it been claimed that attack helicopters were piloted by NZers, but that the whole sorry saga was under the direction of NZDF.
    The charitable thing is that Soper was being sloppy and lazy. Was he desperate to meet a deadline?
    Others must be thinking that this is just another example of spin. Whatever though, this has to be one of Soper’s most pathetic.
    What’s worse, it says a lot about the Herald’s editorial processes.
    Is he allowed to just push any old shit out there without any sort of peer or editorial review – because if he is, it also says a lot about others at the Herald.

    • It’s purposeful tainting of the debate. That story, if you even want to call it that, doesn’t have to stay up for long. Just long enough for sufficient people to read it and have their view of the issues coloured accordingly. In this instance, National Party blue.

      Many people browse news articles with a woefully uncritical eye, and are meekly accepting of any old bollocks their fed by cynical journos with partisan views. “Andrew Little eats babies?!” “He certainly does. That nice man on the telly said so, and he’s a ‘journalist’.”

    • @ Once … re your final statement ….

      “Is he allowed to just push any old shit out there without any sort of peer or editorial review – because if he is, it also says a lot about others at the Herald.”

      Also says a lot about how far NZH and other msm are wallowing well and truly in the putrid cesspit now, along with their Natz brethren!

  9. The “COMMENT:” ….. on the Herald’s website appears to have disappeared up its own arse – as it should have along with Soper’s thought processes and what intellect he has left.
    No apology or clarification (yet) however from what I can see.

    • The establishment, media, government, military, have united as one to bury this story, and/or through slurs and innuendo defame the authors.

      What Soper, Hosking, English, Keating et al, are all doing is guaranteeing that such acts can be committed again.

      They need to be pricked out of their arrogant complacency, if we are prevent more killings of civilians by our armed forces.

      Just removing the offending article is not enough.

      If there is no proper response and an apology, a press council complaint must be the next step.

  10. Hmm. English. Is it a made up language? Can words be used like tennis balls and batted from one opponent to another? Takes us straight to another bloody rabbit hole. Anyone want to go down it? Try Judge Anna von Reitz’s dissection of English (one of many of her examples) and at the same time please remember New Zealand is a corporation:
    The issue at hand Mr Soper and all who come after you is, who did what to whom and why and who gave them the authority in the first instance.
    Mr Hager and Mr Stephenson have made their stand. Thank you both.

    The Cover-Up Continues ….

    “…4. The NZDF has now replied to the allegations in the book: INCORRECT

    The defence force has not replied to most allegations in the book. Most strikingly, Keating’s presentation did not address the deaths and injuries suffered by children, mothers and elderly people who were obviously not insurgents – which are the most important allegations in the book.

    The allegations that the defence force has avoided or answered inadequately to date are:

    * SAS-controlled attack helicopters fired at civilians in Khak Khuday Dad village with many casualties, including the three-year-old child Fatima;

    * SAS snipers appear to have shot at least one civilian, a recently graduated school teacher home on holiday;

    * SAS-controlled attack helicopters pursued two farmers who opposed the Taliban along the valley and killed them;

    * Twelve houses were destroyed despite there being no military necessity to do so;

    * No assistance was given to the wounded at the time, including in houses that Defence now says it knew might have contained civilians;

    * Nor did the SAS go back to render assistance later, despite knowing that civilians were likely to have been injured;

    * The SAS returned for a second raid on the village Naik and blew up a house or houses;

    * A bound and blindfolded prisoner was beaten by an SAS trooper while his colleagues looked on and did nothing;

    * The prisoner was then handed over to the Afghan secret police who were known to have a notorious reputation for torturing prisoners;

    * That prisoner was then tortured by the Afghan secret police and when the defence force learned about this it kept it secret;

    * The SAS arranged the extra-judicial killing of some other insurgent suspects;

    * The NZDF repeatedly denied and covered up what the SAS have done, and continue to do so to this day.”

    • Despair! What monsters we have become! Shame and Shame on the NZ Army.If they kill one of ours then we can obliterate their villages. That’s what the Nazis did! Have we become a rubbish nation!?

        • IMO those keep us in the dark, hide information, cover up their real agenda, do deals with corporations of the U.S. Industrial Military Complex and NATO, aid and abet drug/child trafficking out of Afghanistan/Iraq/Syria/Libya/Africa, etc.etc….are the rubbish. Sadly they are entrenched in our Nation.
          We are not a rubbish Nation but our Nation is belly full with rubbish human beings strutting and puffing with assumed power over others and high on service to self.

    • Afghanis can hardly be insurgents. It is their country.

      The insurgents are obviously the SAS and US occupying forces.

  12. “If we had been asked before the story was printed, we could have cleared up this misunderstanding.” What, you mean like you published a right of reply from those accused in your book?

      • Why would that be a problem? Perhaps because then they might have had to present some actual evidence in Court rather than third hand hearsay, innuendo and rumour to support their allegations?

        • Yeah, there’s a story going around that the National Government has been good for the economy, got us through the GFC and helped rebuild Christchurch however it was only third hand hearsay, innuendo and rumour to support their allegations? None was actually backed by evidence!

  13. Soper wants a big fat cheque.
    And powerful people need a compliant media who will write what they want them to.

  14. They have reinstated the article basically unchanged bar a reply from Nicky Hager . It was a busy day trying to discredit the book Slater had 8 stories running today

  15. There is a piece in today’s Herald regarding a cricket article between Australia and India and how acrimonious it was. They used an analogy of the fact the All Blacks have a “no dickheads policy”

    Clearly the New Zealand Herald don’t have that policy!

    This at 4.10pm yesterdayin the Herald in response to Hagers complaint:

    “Nicky Hager responds:

    “The book does not claim that those weapon cartridges came from the SAS and indeed in another illustration (on page 49) the authors explain that they are Apache helicopter weapons. The illustration in the book shows objects collected by the villagers after the raid and the caption refers only to two drink bottles pictured, which the villagers thought were left by snipers. There was no suggestion that the weapon cartridges were from the SAS. If we had been asked before the story was printed, we could have cleared up this misunderstanding.”

    Ed’s note: Voice and text messages were left with Jon Stephenson before publication of the initial report. No response was received.”

    Note that no response was received, yet Soper and the Herald ran a story with falsehoods anyway. Absolute hypocrites!!!!

  16. We are living through ‘end times’, the period of collapse of the Anglo-American empire which has dominated the world for centuries (and concurrently are living through the collapse of the environment that makes life-as-we-know-it possible).

    We must expect those who gain short-term benefits from the system to cheat, lie and mislead to ever greater extents until the system collapses completely…….a rather nasty scenario which is likely to involve much armed conflict and further death and destruction.

    The mainstream media will continue to do what it has always done: misinform the general populace and make a profit from supplying disinformation…….until the system finally collapses as a consequence of the corruption, lies and destruction.

  17. ”The ISAF investigation into the 22 August 2010 raid was completed in less than a week and did not involve anyone going to the area or talking to the affected villagers. It included a review of attack helicopter weapons system video and concluded that several “errant rounds”, caused by a gun sight malfunction, “may have resulted in civilian casualties”.
    Actions that ‘May have resulted in civilian casualties’ none of our heroes thought to go check on. Gee.
    BIG of you.
    What investigator doesn’t visit the scene of the crime ?
    What investigator doesn’t even interview witnesses ?

    I guess the writers already know this, but, just in case it adds anything to the conversation regarding Habeas Corpus/evidence ; “United States of Amercia[sic] vs Khalid Shaikh Mohammad and 6 others, Military Commissions Trial Judiciary Guantanamo Bay Cuba, AE425 (Mohammad) “Mr. Mohammad’s Motion to Recuse Military Judge and the Current Prosecution Team and for Further Appropriate Relief” 10 May 2016,”

    “Attachment B Appellate Exhibit 425(KSM) (pp.2-3) Overview,” reads: Quote: “In summary, the government (Brigadier General Mark Martins, U.S.Army) sought permission from the Military Commission (Judge, Colonel James Pohl U.S.Army) to DISPOSE of certain EVIDENCE that had important guilt-phase and MITIGATION VALUE (to the Defense: to KSM)
    The defence filed an objection to the proposed disposal, and the Military Judge issued an order directing the government to ensure the evidence was NOT destroyed pending further order of this Commission. As a result, counsel for Mr. Mohammad reasonably understood that timely notice would be provided if the commission decided to alter or rescind the Order and permit the government to destroy the evidence. In direct reliance on the commissions assurances, Mr. Mohammad refrained from seeking further orders to maintain the status quo, to include a stay from the commission, or interlocutory relief or writ of prohibition to prevent the destruction of the evidence. Indeed, unless and until the Commission provided defence counsel further notice, and the defence were able to allege that the order barring destruction had been withdrawn or substantively revised, initiating litigation of an appeal or a writ of prohibition would have been premature as a matter of LAW.
    MEANWHILE, during the period that the controlling order remained in effect PUBLICLY, the government communicated ex parte and in camera with the Military Judge seeking authorization to DESTROY the evidence; the Military Judge, in an ex parte, sealed and classified order, which the defence was NOT permitted to read, GRANTED the government’s request; and the government thereafter DESTROYED the EVIDENCE – all without giving fully-cleared defence counsel for Mr. Mohammad even a hint as to the changes until more that 18 months after the commission’s issuance of the ex parte destruction order, and waiting more than 20 months before disclosing to cleared Defense Counsel a partially-redacted though still classified version of the destruction order.”
    The prosecution further informed the defence and Military Judge (p.7. i ) , that the government NEVER had ANY INTENTION of disclosing the material exculpatory evidence to the defence, and in the future it will not disclose similar evidence to the defence, irrespective of the sanctions that the Military Commission might impose for the government’s wilful behaviour.’

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