Consider what the NZDF have attempted to argue last week and ask how this isn’t a war crime?

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The bewildering incompetence by the NZDF in attempting to explain how and why they covered up 21 dead and injured Afghan civilians during a botched SAS revenge attack in 2010 has been jaw dropping in its audacity.

The convoluted lies and insipid sophistry that the NZDF expect us to believe while they have spent a week stumbling over each other as they stammered and blushed their way through a cavalcade of crude amateur ineptitude masquerading as military precision is so bewildering you wonder how the living Christ they manage to pick up a gun and not shoot themselves in the foot each morning.

Consider what we are being asked to believe...

A Special Air Service (SAS) led raid of Afghanistan villages in 2010 has nine insurgents killed, then possible civilian deaths are confirmed. 

But an SAS commander mistakes an acronym while glancing at a paragraph of a report, and emails headquarters to say everyone is cleared of the possible deaths. 

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The Chief of Defence Force is among high-ranking officers who overlook obvious evidence, and assures the Defence Minister all is well. 

Former defence chief Sir Jerry Mateparae​ has, along with a handful of senior officers, already confessed they gave the defence minister bad advice in 2011 – which led New Zealand to think allegations of civilian deaths were “unfounded” for three years.

But the explanation given by the SAS has hardly convinced the inquiry’s lawyers, who have accused some commanders of lying.

And in moments the masters of this convenient narrative appear almost exposed.

Brigadier Chris Parsons, the highly-educated SAS commander who apparently mistook an acronym commonly used by the New Zealand forces, was forced to make a red-faced admission under questioning on Tuesday. 

“Don’t look at them,” said inquiry lawyer Kristy McDonald, QC, as Parsons turned to the Defence Force lawyers.

He admitted to being primed to recall a detail his written evidence didn’t cover, over the lunch break. 

The question of witness tampering hung in the air, and continues to return when witnesses delete aspects of their evidential statement – prepared with legal assistance – that doesn’t quite fit their knowledge of events.

Most of these witnesses admit a degree of fault, with a patchy memory replaced by confidence they would have taken the right action — “If I knew about the report”.

This International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) report, deemed by witnesses to be “conclusive” despite other evidence that included gun tapes, was clearly hidden from view. Yet no-one will admit this.

Commodore Ross Smith, chief of staff in 2014, said his “stomach dropped” when the report was discovered but couldn’t adequately explain how it got there, or how he later forgot about it. 

Colonel Michael Thompson received the bundle containing the report and placed it in the safe in 2011. From who? He can’t recall.

..we are expected to believe that the NZDF relied on an international report to clear them over dead and injured Afghan civilians when in fact the report didn’t exonerate them, and this report magically disappeared into a safe and was forgotten yet this ‘mistake’ was repeated over and over and over again?

Who the Christ believes this?

Remember when the NZDF immediately attacked Hit and Run?

Remember how they denounced its allegations and conclusions?

Remember how we were all lied directly to our faces and the NZDF did everything to threaten media, warn media, dissuade media that anything close to a war crime had occurred here?

Well, we’ve seen their lies and the hollowness of their defence. I’d say this was a joke, but jokes require structure and skill.

This is beneath the dignity of the 3 year old child we killed, this is beneath the dignity of the 4 others we killed, the is beneath the dignity of the 16 we injured.

We ask those who fight for our national interests to uphold the mana and honour of our nation, this incompetent farce is beneath the honour and mana of those men and women we task with this duty.

The lies, the manipulations, the cover up of this massacre, a military action that was personally signed off by the Prime Minister, is a war crime, and must be prosecuted thus.

 

9 COMMENTS

  1. Wayne Mapp, who was in Kabul with Jerry Mateparae on the night of the first attacks, is quoted in “Hit&Run” describing it as a fiasco. As far as I know, Mr Mapp has neither denied saying this, nor been asked to explain it.

    If the NZDF wanted to ascertain some sort of truth about SAS activities in the Tirgiran Valley they could have read the well-documented fully referenced Hager/Stephenson report. And they probably did.

    “The SAS troopers conducted a search of Naimatullah’s house, breaking open locked boxes and taking papers. They set fire to the room containing his religious books and personal possessions and left with the house burning in the night. About 20 metres away, the house of N’s father, who disapproved of his son being part of the Taliban was also set alight,and was burned completely.”

    Or the NZDF could have read the NY Times report 24/8/10 of 8 civilians dead and 12 wounded. And they probably did.

    I think of this as being like some small South Island town, like Dipton perhaps, and the night’s peace shattered with monstrous Apache helicopters firing on poor humble dwellings, and terrified innocent children with torches running away to the hills in the dark, and men in uniforms thinking them bad guys.

    I look at wee kids in the park here, and the old people hobbling up a reasonably good sort of street, and I imagine the the absolute horror of what we did up in the Hindu Kush to poor subsistence peasants at peace in their sleep, and I ponder writing and apologising to the Afghani govt myself because it is as yet unclear whether our civil and military authorities can be relied upon to do the right thing. And I might.

  2. According to Voltaire, God (and presumably his son by magic to whom you frequently refer) is on the side of the Big Battalions so pleading for understanding from these deities my not be productive.

    Especially as you have taken up a pen as a weapon and that, also to revert to Voltaire, is to be at war.

    A commendable dissertation Bomber but no matter how right you are your might is minuscule and exposes you to retribution of the State which we all respect as I fallible.

    • Kodel – You had better not read James Joyce – nor me – if punctuation idiosyncrasies puncture you.

      In your cosy little dell there, consider, if you can, the degree of differentiation between weapons fired at people asleep in their beds – from an Apache helicopter – and weapons fired at people asleep in their heads – from a keyboard.

    • Oh Kodel. The irony here is a human being more concerned with counting up 66 (I got 65, 67, & 68) words not being punctuated to your liking than innocent people being shot to bits for no good reason more so since writing has moved on since the days of Enid Blyton and to quite a large extent writers can now construct their own rules which I do and the crux of all communications is to convey a message except when one is trying to be deliberately obscure as some politicians work hard at for reasons perhaps not evident even to themselves although they think and hope that they may impress their readers and indeed sometimes can in far fewer words than 66 knowing that so many people take a stubborn stance on everything and are unlikely to be moved by any number of words so that persons such as me who can write two or three hundred words with no punctuation can nevertheless still convey a succinct little message or even a heartfelt message about the savagery and barbarism of brutally sidelining the permanence of premature and painful deaths in a far off land merely to demonstrate what a shallow person one is and that compassion is an unknown quality among those to whom goodness is an anathema and evil has an allure.

  3. yes people need to look at who was in control when this happened oh! thats right it was war monger sir john key who said ‘get some guts’

  4. Afghanistan has been a long running war crime since 1979 when the start of a dirty war was to grow into 100,000 thousand extremists ‘ trained ‘ in Pakistanan and set loose on Afghanistan….. it fucked both countries and ended up with the first modern Islamic State … with the Taliban and their mujahedin / al quada guests … winning.

    What used to be friendly and on the hippy trail ………. is now destroyed and dangerous.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SC_greF3tTU

    Islamophobia and five eyes racisim is the other ingredients in our illegal wars .

    Jeremy Scahill revealed Thousands of night raids …. over a three month period in Afghanistan…. In his doco movie “dirty wars ” … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CEIzgV_85c

    I would be amazed if NZ forces were not involved in other botched killings ….
    I think Afghans are still being killed at the rate of 30 – 50 per day

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