An inquiry is to be held into allegations a New Zealand-led raid in Afghanistan in 2010 led to civilian deaths.
Hit and Run, by investigative journalists Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson, alleged six civilians were killed and 15 injured in a raid on two Afghan villages in 2010 by New Zealand’s elite soldiers
The authors of the book claim that the government then tried to cover up the raid] and have always maintained that an inquiry should be held.
Previous Prime Minister Bill English ruled out an inquiry, saying that after viewing footage and seeing other classified information he was convinced the people killed in the raid were insurgents, not civilians.
…that’s right folks, according to National, 3 year old Fatima who we killed was an insurgent…
…National have lied as hard as the NZDF because John Key personally signed off on this SAS revenge attack meaning they gad to do everything to deny any war crime to protect Key signing off on it.
Throughout these war crime allegations, the NZDF have manipulated, lied, falsified and played semantics to hide admitting anything.
Remember, this was the original spin the NZDF tried to use months before the 2017 election…
…turns out that was all a lie…
Now, a year later, the Ombudsman has ordered the Defence Force to release more information, including on the subject of whether the photos in the book were the same location where the NZSAS was operating that night (22 August 2010). The Defence Force has finally admitted that the “three photographs in the book are of Tirgiran Village”, the NZDF’s name for the place where the SAS conducted the raid.
Hit and Run co-author Nicky Hager said the Chief of Defence Force Tim Keating had tried to divert attention away from the issue of civilian casualties by claiming the book was not about a raid the SAS had conducted.
“It was simply a diversion. This seems extremely unprofessional behaviour from a senior military officer,” Mr Hager said. “I believe that the impulse to hide the NZDF’s mistakes led the Chief of Defence Force knowingly to mislead the media and the public.”
The NZDF had jumped on an error in two of the book’s illustrations, which marked the location of the raid incorrectly in the roadless mountains. But the rest of the book – the text, the photos and the lists of casualties – was correct. Mr Hager publicly acknowledged the map error and a new edition of the book was published soon after with the illustration errors corrected. But the Defence Force continued to use the map error to say that the whole book was wrong.
…so the NZDF knowingly misled the public by manufacturing doubt months before the 2017 election for possible war crimes that John Key had personally signed off on.
When the news broke that the NZDF admitted lying, the NZ media were more engrossed in Clare Curran’s coffee date than holding the retiring Defence Force Chief to account.
As citizens who are responsible for our soldiers in Afghanistan, we should all feel shamed by what has been allowed to go unquestioned for so long and our media have once again disgraced themselves and their profession.
The media are watch dogs without teeth or bark and we are citizens reduced to consumers without conscience.