HERALD EXCLUSIVE ON HIT AND RUN shows they haven’t read it

Written By: - Date published: 7:44 am, March 31st, 2017 - 57 comments
Categories: afghanistan, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, war, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , , , ,

Breathless Barry Soaper in The Herald this morning – Exclusive: Another shadow cast over accuracy of Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson book

But a weapons expert, asked by NZME to identify the cartridges, said they couldn’t possibly have been fired by SAS troops as they are issued with weapons that fire bullets half the size of the cartridge cases.

“I would say they’re from a large-calibre cannon, from an Apache helicopter,” Richard Munt from Serious Shooters in Auckland said.

Take a look at the Hit and Run website, with a photo of cartridges and the caption:

Empty shell casings were scattered throughout the villages, each stamped ‘30MM HEDP M789’: Apache helicopter high explosive cannon rounds.

That’s quite an “exclusive” you’ve got yourself there Barry.

And by the way, there is no “Tirgiran Village”.

Update (r0b): To their credit, as of 11am this piece of nonsense seems to have vanished from The Herald website. The above link is dead.

57 comments on “HERALD EXCLUSIVE ON HIT AND RUN shows they haven’t read it”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    It doesn’t necessarily mean Soper hasn’t read the book. It could indicate that he lacks the mental capacity to understand it, or that he’s lying deliberately.

    • JanM 1.1

      My experience of him is that he is unlikely to let the truth interfere with a good story

      • roy cartland 1.1.1

        Well that’s “journalism” nowdays, innit.

        (Who’d’ve thought turning it into a corporate entity would lower the standard?)

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1

          The NZHerald has always been a corporate entity but it used to be held to the truth when we had decent public news sources. Since those are now also corporate profit making ventures it’s no longer held to any sort of standard and neither is our public news.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.2

        Having read his article I have to say I’m going with option b: it’s a comprehension issue.

        The evidence that Ilsamuddin was shot by sniper fire is the nature of his wounds.

    • mary_a 1.2

      @ OAB (1) … definitely the latter. He will be dancing to the Natz tune, trying desperately to discredit Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.1

        The photo shows spent weapon cartridges, and suggests they were found at the scene and infers that’s where NZ Special Air Service (SAS) snipers were located during the raid.

        Yeah you may be right. The photo suggests nothing of the sort and the inference is Soper’s (he should probably look it up in a dictionary).

      • Jordan 1.2.2

        No one has to help Little Nicky discredit himself – he’s more than capable.

        • Johan 1.2.2.1

          To Jordan: Sounds like you are just a RWNJ. You add nothing to the above topic, you would be more suited on Whale Oil.

          • adam 1.2.2.1.1

            Johan, it’s called trolling and Jordan is just another in a long line of sycophant’s who try it on, on this site.

            Have noticed though, they are getting lame, a bit like this government really.

        • mary_a 1.2.2.2

          @ Jordan (1.2.2) … you state …
          “No one has to help Little Nicky discredit himself – he’s more than capable.”

          Evidence to that effect would be appreciated. Thanks.

        • Penny Bright 1.2.2.3

          OPERATION BURNHAM –
          The Cover-Up Continues ….

          http://pundit.co.nz/content/operation-burnham-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.”

      • Anne 1.3.1

        He’s still in hissy fit mode over “The Hollow Men”.

        These righties don’t like it up em do they.

  2. Incognito 2

    I’m afraid it is the headlines that do most of the (collateral) damage nowadays. This is one mechanism by which fake news also is so pervasive and persuasive; the tone is set, the issue is framed even before you start reading it (or decide to not read it at all!).

    Our brains work in weird but predictably associative ways. For example, a few days ago I was scrolling the NZH front page and saw a headline about cats, most likely this one http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11826104

    Next I saw a headline, I thought:

    Cat meows down London pedestrians

    I had images of a furry feline up a large tree or something.

    The real headline was much more sinister:

    Car mows down London pedestrians

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11826156

  3. Cinny 3

    Regardless of the military ‘puff’ piece in the Herald by Soper, the fact is this isn’t going to go away. It’s now been in the media for near on two weeks, I remember someone on here saying the story would be dead in days, they were so wrong, this issue is important to NZer’s.

    Meanwhile the Herald has also published another piece about the NZDF by David Fisher.

    Questions over New Zealand military’s ability to care for those who fall in battle, or die abroad

  4. Carolyn_nth 4

    Maybe better to check what the book actually says rather than the website. Here is a tweet that purports to have the whole picture from the book, not the cropped one used in the NZ Herald photo. Tweet says:

    This is bullshit. Here is that photo from page 59. It is referring to the drinking bottles u cut out. Book says clearly Apache shells found

  5. Andre 5

    Since the feeds sidebar isn’t updating: Nicky Hager responds to the NZDF press conference over at Pundit.

    http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/operation-burnham-the-cover-up-continues

  6. Keith 6

    Hang your aging head in shame Barry Soper, that was an absolute shocker.

    Even the photo is misused by Soper and or the Herald because it excluded/photo-shopped out the bottles which was the photo’s purpose in that book. Nasty stuff NZ Herald!

    But just to help Barry, because I assume given the misinformation you wrote that you haven’t read the book, page 56 explains the photo and if you want to get really exact, the last paragraph explains how the villagers found “two unfamiliar drink bottles” in their search for their people , no shell casings from an Apache helicopter. And on page 59 is a photo of what they found during their search and it says quite clearly “Villagers found strange drink bottles at a lookout position on a ridge about the village” NO MENTION OF APACHE SHELL CASINGS IN THAT CAPTION!

    Either Soper is living proof that when you get old your brain switches off and your body coasts until it stops on autopilot. And when getting out of bed becomes such a struggle you cut corners, and making shit up is easier than researching what you are about to write about as a “journalist”.

    Or his employer and right wing publishers NZME are doing “their bit” to put out annoying little fires for their National Party and Barry happily chimed in with this abysmal misleading article. Even tarted up “Mr Responsible”, Peter Dunne is quoted as a supporter of Sopers magic. Can’t have that benny lose his seat now can we?

    Soper loves National, too old to teach a dog new tricks for him and so I stopped reading or listening to him years ago. But the headline grabbed my attention and I am now left wondering, did he read the book and if so Hager and Stephenson should tear him apart and if he didn’t then its time to retire, you broken old man!

  7. ianmac 7

    Went to write to Soper asking him to correct his column. His email address says
    “This author is not currently accepting any emails.”
    Funny that?

  8. Sacha 8

    Who fed Soper this ‘story’?

    • Anne 8.1

      His old mate Tim Keating? Soper is the sort who cultivates friendships with people in high places. Cos… its not wot ya know that counts, its who ya know. He’s been operating at that level since time immemorial. A human snake in the grass.

  9. mauī 9

    This is quite amazing, Apache helicopters are now firing coke bottles along with their normal ammunition… Sloppy Sloper could have at least cropped the bottles totally out of the picture too.

    Edit: And isn’t there agreement that the raid was commanded and planned by the SAS, so they would still bear responsibility for any US Apache caused deaths anyway.

  10. reason 10

    Sopers go at smearing Nicky H and Jon S is probably how a crap old hack like him stays relevant ….. he helps with the Nacts PR attack ….. and later on they throw the old dog some bones.

    We should not underestimate the risks journalists like Jon Stephenson take to tell us the truth about what is happening in war …..

    http://www.africanews.com/2016/12/19/74-journalists-killed-globally-in-2016-53-were-targeted-rsf//

    http://fair.org/press-release/is-killing-part-of-pentagon-press-policy/

    To sum up the Herald ……………… attacking the truth when not telling lies.

    • Adrian 10.1

      Maybe Barry is just trying to dodge a bullet.

    • McFlock 10.2

      I was at a conference years ago when Jon Stephenson faced down a withering tirade by a US national security apparatchik who took offense at some of his comments in a presentation.

      The guy’s got guts. Literally spoke truth to power, and stood by it.

  11. Wensleydale 11

    As soon as I saw the name ‘Soper’, I thought, “Right, well, no surprises here then.” Reading anything by Soper, for some time now, has been akin to reading a National Party press release.

    • tc 11.1

      Like the rest of ZB especially mikey.

      Granny does her bit publishing it though, good old granny never mind the high profile nature and facts get that dog whistle in.

  12. esoteric pineapples 12

    Here’s a fun activity. Check out the “Pyramid Debate” on this website that explains “logical fallacies” and then see which one(s) you think the Defence Department is using. Excellent for pretty much everything this Government’s ministers say as well

    http://www.krisconstable.com/logical-fallacies/

  13. repateet 13

    “Update: To their credit, as of 11am this piece of nonsense seems to have vanished from The Herald website.”

    You mean they perpetrated a hit and run?

  14. Soper thinks the “small entry wounds” in the two bodies claimed to have been killed by SAS snipers were actually made by an Apache helicopter’s 30mm cannon? That’s some top “journalism” there, Barry…

  15. Muttonbird 15

    Story taken down after Nicky Hager made a complaint to the Herald.

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2017/03/31/breaking-mainstream-media-complaint-over-hit-run/

    Go Nicky!

  16. Keith 16

    Hager has written to the Herald asking for their “story” to be corrected. I bet hell freezes over before they admit to this smear. Dirty Politics is still alive and well.

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2017/03/31/breaking-mainstream-media-complaint-over-hit-run/

  17. mary_a 17

    Isn’t it frightening that the likes of Barry Soper, Duncan Garner et al are being passed off as the “professional” faces of msm journalism?

    Both Garner and Soper represent very sloppy tabloid media!

    As posted in the links above, it seems Nicky Hager might have put the frighteners on NZH for Soper’s disgraceful column today. Could well be the reason the piece has been pulled. Well done Nicky.

    • ianmac 17.1

      Well done Nicky indeed! Does anyone read the hard copy of the Herald? Was Soper’s false truth in that as well?

      • Anne 17.1.1

        Yep.. reads as follows:
        Another shadow has been cast over the accuracy of Nicky Hager and jon Stephenson’s book Hit & Run.

        It goes on to report the findings of a weapons expert who claims the bullets on the ground could not have been fired by SAS troops. The photo appears to have had the top portion removed which included two empty [foreign] drink bottles on the ground.

        Reading from the piece immediately below the photo in the book and I quote:

        “In the morning’ said a local, ‘when we were trying to find him [Abdul Qayoom] we saw some [empty] bottles of water… and we understood that security guys had been there and they shoot from there… I think Abdul Qayoom was killed as a result of a soldier shooting him.”

        In other words, Hager and Stephenson were quoting the words of a local resident from the village involved. As far as I can tell they made no definitive assumptions about whether it was a soldier who killed ‘Abdul Qayoom’.

        At the end of the piece Soper reports Stephenson did not return calls for comment last night. You bet he didn’t. He would have known whatever he said would have ended up twisted into meaning something different.

  18. Keith 18

    “To their credit” the Herald have taken this bullshit down from their website.

    Sorry no credit, the Herald knew exactly what they were doing, David Cunliffe can atest to that, $100k bottles of wine smear stir up any memories of the shit that company is capable of?

  19. taxicab 19

    Seven stories today on whaleoil probably more than half of their output today dedicated to bagging the book and authors assisted by quotes from Soper and his other half , wishart even referencing Rosemary Mcleod . Looks like a personal vendetta or maybe they are still in the employ of the National Party . Best effort to shine a light on the NZDF’s obsfucation is today’s cartoon in the Dom from Tom Scott priceless!.

    • Skeptic 19.1

      Yep Taxicab, you’re spot on mate. Soper, Wishart, McLeod are in the same boat as Hoskins when it come to Nat propaganda. Anything these people publish is automatically suspect as outright lies or at best well and truly spun. Likewise any cartoon from Nisbett is guaranteed to be a Nat spokespiece. I think we on this site are wise to pretty much who’s trustworthy and who’s not.

      • Mrs Brillo 19.1.1

        What was the Rosemary McLeod reference? (Damned if I am going to pollute my eyes reading Whaleoil to find out.)

        I am astonished because, although in some respects she may be socially conservative, she is on record as saying she has never once voted National, and is rather left leaning.

        Has someone twisted her words or opinions?

        • Skeptic 19.1.1.1

          I initially thought she was one of those journalists and opinion makers who didn’t repeat spin without checking, however!! I’ve been following her columns in the Press on and off for about a decade and she’s definitely changed. Her centre-left stance has more or less evolved into a centre-right – in my opinion. You have to read her closely to follow her train of logic, but once you do so, you can spot the Tory easily. I thought, about two years ago, that a wolf in sheep’s clothing was apt.

          • Mrs Brillo 19.1.1.1.1

            Sorry Skeptic I meant to ask the question of Taxicab who first referred to it. What did Wishart say? He and McLeod are poles apart on nearly every issue I can think of.
            Taxicab?

            • taxicab 19.1.1.1.1.1

              Mrs Brillo , the article from Rosemary McLeod was in the Dom on the 30/3 regarding Wishart he was dick swinging , making out that he was the only true investigative journalist and Hager was crap at it . All I have to say to that is “Sounds book” about Watson . On another note I see Slater has no fewer than 5 attempted hit stories on the subject today .

  20. Cinny 20

    Fake News by Barry Soper c/o the NZ Herald … SHAME !!! If I were them I wouldn’t be printing any more pieces by Soper.

  21. Ovid 21

    It appears to be back with a paragraph outlining Hager’s response at the bottom.

    • McFlock 21.1

      So apparently Soper thinks the apache crews were throwing coke bottles at the village, too

    • Keith 21.2

      Barry, Barry, Barry, now that is not a very contrite retraction now is it?

      But its great to see MOST of the photo now, so almost well done Baz!

      Trouble is, it still looks like a hit job on Nicky Hager based on, well…. nothing.

      It still looks like you are Mr Thicky by writing what you wrote if you never bothered to read the book.

      And as for your editor who left messages with Jon Stephenson. Why not ring Hager? Or even better why did you not bother reading the book either? Would have saved the messages because then you would not have approved such a baseless story.

      But I still assume you all read this book. And I still think there is an awful lot of misplaced loyalty toward the National Party because of it.

      Still and over all it looks like a bad attempt by the Herald to muddy the waters on behalf of the Commander in Chief. And the thing is with such amateur attempts like this is it makes the military and by default, the government and its ministers look even more dodgy.

  22. taxicab 22

    As ovid has said above the story is back with a new link http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11829546 I wonder how many back and forth calls to 9th floor or Barry having a tantrum and threatening to walk before the editor gave in an reinstated the story . To the editor here it may pay to amend the story above to account for the new development ..

  23. Richard Christie 23

    The story is back, complete with asinine excuses and justification
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11829546

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