Hit and Run

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, March 22nd, 2017 - 59 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, afghanistan, journalism, Media, military, war - Tags: , ,

The press release for Hit and Run, giving a synopsis of the book and answering questions on its importance. More resources at the Hit and Run website.

__________________________________________________________________

New Hager-Stephenson book reveals tragic and disastrous SAS actions in Afghanistan

Author and investigative journalist Nicky Hager and war correspondent Jon Stephenson have teamed up, in a book released today, to tell the story of a dark and guilty secret of New Zealand’s recent history. The book is about what the New Zealand military – and especially the Special Air Service (SAS) – did in Afghanistan in response to the first New Zealander dying in combat in August 2010.

The book, called Hit and Run, was released this evening at a book launch at Unity Books in Wellington. It was written by Nicky Hager following a long collaboration with Jon Stephenson, who brought the majority of sources to the project. For more than two years, they gradually gathered and pieced together the evidence.

The book describes a series of operations which proved to be ill-conceived, tragic and disastrous. These included an SAS attack on two isolated villages in Afghanistan’s Baghlan province where they mistakenly believed they would find the insurgents who’d attacked a New Zealand patrol 19 days earlier in neighbouring Bamiyan. SAS officers commanded and led the attack, supported by US and Afghan forces.

The insurgent group wasn’t there. Instead, at least 21 civilians were killed and injured – many of them women and children – and the SAS and US forces burned and blew up about a dozen houses. The SAS also failed to help the wounded. The defence force and government then tried to keep the whole thing secret. They have never admitted nor taken responsibility for what they did.

In a second raid on one of the villages about 10 days later, the SAS destroyed more property. When they eventually caught one of the targeted insurgents in Kabul he was beaten before being handed to the Afghan secret police and tortured.

Fragments of the story have reached the public before but the vast majority has remained secret until now. It is much worse than anyone knew. As former chief human rights commissioner Margaret Bedggood says, there needs to be a full, principled and independent inquiry into the actions described in this book, which, if confirmed, would seriously breach international law.

Hit and Run is based on numerous and extensive interviews with people involved in these events, including New Zealand and Afghan military personnel as well as residents of the villages. All wanted this story told to recognise the dead and the injured. “This story also needs to be told to ensure our military is held to account for its actions,” says Hager.

“Whether or not the public agreed with New Zealand sending troops to the US-led war in Afghanistan, there is no doubt that what the SAS did was wrong and betrayed the defence force’s core values of courage, commitment and integrity.”

Q&A

What, where, when, and who?

The events in the book occurred in 2010, mainly in an isolated and mountainous area of Baghlan province known as Tirgiran valley, about 50 kilometres across country from the then-Kiwi base in neighbouring Bamiyan province. New Zealand SAS troopers, supported by Afghan commandos and US helicopters, raided two villages in the valley early in the morning on 22 August 2010. The SAS believed, based on flimsy intelligence, that they would find a group of Taliban fighters who’d attacked a New Zealand patrol 19 days earlier. But the group wasn’t there, and the 21 people killed and wounded in the operation were all civilians – mostly women and children. The campaign continued over the following two years.

How do you know 21 people were wounded or died?

The book contains details of each person: their name and family connections, and injuries, as well as details of precisely where they were when they were wounded or killed. These names have been officially confirmed by the district governor and by numerous other sources; they were all civilians. Each name on the list has a human story: the recently graduated school teacher home on holiday who was killed behind his parents’ house; the three-year-old girl killed by exploding munitions as her mother was trying to carry her to safety; the farmer who lay without medical assistance for nine hours, with a piece of shrapnel lodged in his body, before he died. (See chapter 4)

The New Zealand Defence Force has claimed on multiple occasions that only insurgents were killed in this raid. Is this possible?

No. The defence force knew very soon after the raid that none of the fighters they were targeting had been found during the raid. The claims about killing insurgents, made then and later, were simply false. Indeed, within a day of the raid, an Afghan informer gave our defence force video footage that had been taken on a mobile phone showing the whole insurgent group arriving alive and well at the funerals for the dead villagers. (See chapter 5). It was common in Afghanistan for US-led forces to claim that civilians killed during military operations were “dead insurgents”.

Who is responsible for the events described in the book?

Most of all, people in the SAS. They gathered the intelligence, planned the raid and commanded and led the operation. The authors believe that the deaths and injuries of 21 civilians, the destruction of homes, and the beating and torture of a detainee were due in large part to their actions and inactions, and that they led the efforts to keep it quiet afterwards. Next there are officers in the defence force who were responsible for overseeing the SAS and who should have investigated more responsibly when news of civilian casualties emerged. This includes the then-chief of defence force Lieutenant-General Jerry Mateparae, who was in Afghanistan at the time, and who watched on the screens at the SAS operations room in Kabul as the operation unfolded. Then there are the political leaders. Most government decisions are made by individual ministers or by Cabinet as a whole. However in this case, as Chapter 2 describes, the prime minister John Key was briefed by phone from the SAS compound in Kabul and personally gave his approval for the raid.

How did you get the information for the book?

This book would not have been possible without the assistance of present and former New Zealand, Afghan and US military personnel, who spoke to the authors on the condition that their names and identities would not be revealed. These interviews allowed the facts gradually to be assembled and cross-checked. At the same time, people from the Afghan villages that were raided assisted enormously, describing in detail what they experienced and where and when each part of the event occurred.

Why should New Zealanders care?

New Zealanders were told that their military was in Afghanistan to bring peace and reconstruction and that they treated the locals with empathy and respect. But when a New Zealander died in the attack on a New Zealand patrol, our military response was reckless: innocent people were killed and wounded, houses were blown up or burnt down, and our soldiers did nothing to check on or assist the wounded. All this happened in New Zealand’s name, in an operation commanded by New Zealanders, by people whose salaries are paid for by the New Zealand public. Our soldiers’ actions, and those of their US allies, alienated locals and led many to join or support the insurgents and was a key factor in the Taliban gaining complete control of the area.

Surely bad things happen in all wars?

Even in wars and conflicts, people must behave legally. It is vital for the world that they do, or there would be chaos. This is why we have international agreements like the Geneva Conventions and the Convention Against Torture which New Zealand has signed and is committed to observing. The New Zealand Defence Force prides itself on obeying international law and acting with integrity. Its core values and Code of Conduct lay out the principles and rules. What is seen in this book goes against much of what the New Zealand military stands for.

Is this book an attack on the troops?

Not at all. Many people in our defence force will be appalled by what is revealed in the book. It was kept secret from most of them as well. Indeed, there would be no book now if there had not been professional New Zealand personnel who were upset with what happened, believed the story needed to be told and helped the authors. Most criticism in the book is reserved for the senior staff and politicians who made the decisions, failed to stop abuses and then, later, when news of the tragedy began to leak out, did nothing about it and joined in the cover up.

Have parts of this story come out before?

Yes. A few of details have emerged in the past, thanks to the efforts of journalists. But the vast majority of the story has remained secret, and what the authors have discovered is much worse than anyone knew. As the book reveals in chapter two, the defence minister at the time, Wayne Mapp, has privately called the raid on Tirgiran “our biggest and most disastrous operation. A fiasco.” (Chapter 2.) But the military decided to keep it all from the public.

Is the SAS responsible for casualties and destruction of property caused by US helicopter gunships or the torture of a detainee by the Afghan secret police?

For a number of reasons, the answer is yes. Under military law, the commander of an operation is responsible for the actions of the subordinate personnel. This was an SAS-led and commanded operation, with a dedicated radio network linking the various New Zealand, Afghan and US components. The SAS collected the intelligence, decided the targets, and led the raid on the ground. That ground commander reported to SAS operations staff at their compound in Kabul. The SAS had requested the use of US helicopters for the operation and were responsible for briefing the pilots. During the operation, US attack helicopters made numerous attacks in two different villages while the SAS commander was present at the scene, yet the SAS on the ground did nothing to help the people caught in the heavy fire. In addition, some of the deaths appear to have been from bullets, not helicopter weapons. An inquiry is needed to determine if any of those deaths were caused by SAS snipers who were reportedly involved in the raid. (See chapters 3 and 4.) Later, when one of the fighters was captured in Kabul, he was beaten by an SAS trooper and handed to the Afghan secret police, where he was tortured. It is not good enough to say that our Afghan allies were responsible for the torture; the SAS knew the people they were handing him to were notorious for mistreating and torturing detainees, yet they transferred him anyway (Chapter 6). When they learnt he had been tortured, they did nothing.

Does the book undermine the safety of the troops by talking about secret SAS operations?

No. And it is very important that “security” isn’t used as an excuse for the military and government to evade responsibility for their decisions and actions. The events in the book occurred when New Zealand was running a military base in Bamiyan province and an SAS contingent in Kabul, but both groups returned to New Zealand several years ago. This is the time to face up to wrongdoing. In fact, international law requires countries to investigate their own breaches, including potential war crimes. The government and military have failed to do this. It’s fallen to others to get the story out.

Are you saying there were war crimes?

War crimes are a highly technical area of law and the authors will leave it to experts to determine whether they have been committed. What we are saying is that there are grounds to suspect that war crimes were committed and it is vitally important that these are taken seriously and investigated in an independent way. We asked human rights lawyer and former Chief Human Rights Commissioner Margaret Bedggood to read the book before it was published and her response is printed on the back cover. She says the alleged actions and decisions described in the book, “if confirmed, would seriously breach international human rights and humanitarian law and could amount to war crimes.”

What do you expect the defence force and the government to do in response to the book?

We hope they will order a full and independent inquiry into the raid at Tirgiran and other operations and incidents outlined in the book. We also hope they’ll consider immediately offering an apology and reparations to the affected people in the Afghan villages. What do we expect? Based on their actions to date, there is a chance they may deny and dodge, running the dishonourable line that if anything bad happened – which they won’t admit – it had nothing to do with New Zealand. The whole country will be able to watch how they respond. It will be an important test of the military’s avowed core values: courage, commitment, comradeship and integrity.

Is this all too old to worry about?

Not at all. Things as serious as potential crimes of war fester away, sometimes for decades, until they reach the public and are dealt with. It took six years in this case until enough of the people involved felt ready and willing to help reveal the guilty secrets.

What needs to happen?

First, there needs to be the independent inquiry into all these events, with the power to gather all the relevant information and compel witnesses to appear. Besides the SAS’s own secret reports on their various operations, there may be radio communications and weapon systems video recorded during the raids. There will also be reports and official paperwork relating to the handover of the detainee to the Afghan secret police, and the reports the defence force received describing his torture and interrogation. Finally, there will be defence force and SAS documents showing how much the SAS tried to keep the story secret – even from the rest of the defence force. Chapter 7 documents years of cover-up and it is now time for the SAS and defence force to front up about this.

The government also needs to give the apology and reparations to the villagers. But perhaps most important, there need to to be changes to the SAS and defence force to make what occurred in Afghanistan less likely to happen again. The public should have been told about the SAS action within days of it happening – not years later. The public should not have had to rely on insiders being willing to be whistle blowers. The defence force needs a culture change to be more open to the kind of accountability and democratic control we expect from other government organisations.

59 comments on “Hit and Run”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    Hmmmm, for some time I have been gaining the impression the SAS operate as an army within the army, an independent fiefdom only subject to thier own rules and laws. They can pick and chose what weapons and equipment they want individually, for example. The idea that a sub-set of hyper-warriors who feel they are answerable to no one operates at the heart of our military frightens the bejesus out of me, and it should scare the politicians shitless as well because if they ever decide to go rogue, getting rid of them will be painfully bloody and expensive.

    • Anne 1.1

      The message is simple. They buggered up then covered up! They will pay a price for being so stupid.

      I have much admiration for the SAS soldiers who told Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson what really happened. It must have taken a great deal of courage to do so. I sincerely hope they are – and will remain – safe.

  2. RedBaronCV 2

    I read the book last night and I feel deeply ashamed of us as a country. I would expect us to make appropriate recompense immediately.

    I would also expect that we undertake some real soul searching as to how we as citizens expect our military to represent us and how we keep them honest and accountable to us.

  3. Redgenz 3

    War is hell.
    I don’t believe a word Hagar writes, but if it is true I don’t have a problem with it at all.
    Hagar has made a big mistake by insulting our Defence forces, this will quickly fade away as no one cares.
    Civilians die in war, that is nothing new.
    Anyway, it’s Afghanistan so I don’t see the big deal.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      The soldiers who supplied Hager with the story insulted themselves, did they?

      Nah, you are just another cowardly racist right winger making excuses for war crimes. Why don’t you change your name to Slobodan and have done with it?

      • Redgenz 3.1.1

        I doubt any soldiers from the SAS gave Hager this information. He has gained this info by illegal means again. These actions if true do not constitute war crimes.

        [BLiP: – Provide evidence of your accusation that Nicky Hager used illegal means to obtain the data for his book in your very next comment – or take a week off from posting here. Up to you.]

        • Paul Campbell 3.1.1.1

          Jon Stephenson, Nicky’s coauthor, spent a lot of time in Afghanistan embedded with NZ troops – I suspect most of the background, and the contacts with participants and people in the know came through him – not ‘illegal’, simply journalism well practised

        • Fred H 3.1.1.2

          Having dead children on your conscience is always a good motivator

    • Cinny 3.2

      Redgenz, So you are ok with innocent people being killed as long as you don’t know them, and as long as it’s in the name of war?

      It’s far easier to deny such things happened than face up to the truth and the feelings that it brings.

      I don’t see people rushing out to sue the authors, and the authors would have made sure there were no lies in their book to avoid being sued.

      Redgenz prove your claims, the authors have proven theirs.

      FYI… Examples of war crimes include intentionally killing civilians or prisoners, torture, destroying civilian property, taking hostages, perfidy, rape, using child soldiers, pillaging, declaring that no quarter will be given, and using weapons that cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering.

      • Sam C 3.2.1

        “Prove your claims, the authors have proven theirs”.

        The authors haven’t proven jack. They’ve made a whole lot of allegations.

        And yes, I have read the book.

        • weka 3.2.1.1

          Made allegations, presumably backed up with evidence. Just in case you were implying that there is no evidence and the allegations are baseless, in which case you would need to make that argument rather than making a baseless assertion yourself.

        • BLiP 3.2.1.2

          No. The authors haven’t made allegations. Rather, the authors have accurately reported and, as far as possible, fact-checked comments made by people who were there at the time and/or had some knowledge of the events. That sort of work is called “investigative journalism”. Both authors have a track record for accuracy which almost makes the New Zealand defense force look as dishonest as John Key. In fact, last time Jon Stephenson reported on similar matters, the Defense Force was defeated in court.

          • Sam C 3.2.1.2.1

            You may call it “investigative journalism”. I call it an allegation.

            Until it is proven in court, which it clearly hasn’t been, it is an allegation, no matter how you may wish to dress it up.

            • BLiP 3.2.1.2.1.1

              Depending on semantic gynmastics, perhaps you have a tiny point. But, all the same, “allegations” (to use the misnomer) made by people who were there and/or know something about what happened. Not allegations made by the authors.

            • Psycho Milt 3.2.1.2.1.2

              You can call it allegations supported by evidence if you like, but just calling it allegations is dishonest. It’s the “supported by evidence” part that is why these particular allegations need investigating.

            • Greg 3.2.1.2.1.3

              I fought it be a mz court more likely Icc justice will not be done by the natz that is impossible

          • Mordecai 3.2.1.2.2

            The authors have only ‘accurately reported’ allegations. Thus far they have proven nothing. I was very impressed with both Little and English earlier in Parliament. Little’s questioning was constrained yet probing. English’s answers showed a willingness to ask tough questions before deciding a course of action. Well done to both.

        • Cinny 3.2.1.3

          Sam C

          Wayne Mapp just came clean and admitted there were civilian deaths, after denying it in the past.

          Authors must have proven something, maybe Mapp doesn’t feel good about it either, maybe he does not want to go down with the rest of them, so has decided to be truthful.

          http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2017/03/wayne-mapp-does-not-deny-hit-and-run-afghan-raid-claims.html

        • Johan 3.2.1.4

          Sam C: Just like Shonkey, who to many people is seen as ponytail pulling pervert. To you however, this is merely an allegation since there hasn’t been a court case or trial on this matter, despite all the available video clips showing Shonkey’s unacceptable behaviour.

    • Civilians die in war, that is nothing new.
      Anyway, it’s Afghanistan so I don’t see the big deal.

      It’s funny, but you could translate that into German and swap out “Afghanistan” for Poland, Serbia or Russia, and you’d have the typical German citizen of WW2’s thoughts on German war crimes. Of course, most of them eventually realised what a fucked-up philosophy they’d been operating – open to question whether that’ll happen in your case, though.

    • straightup 3.4

      You dont see the big deal??? That tells me a lot.. If that was your family getting killed you wouldnt care also?? Hmm narcissistic and no empathy your a class act. If it was our war or they were attacking our homeland you would have my attention.. Could you please name one instance when afghanistan has invaded anyone?? just one other nation. I think you will find they have been invaded in EVERY instance.. So yeah I see your point. How dare they try and live in their own country

    • Draco T Bastard 3.5

      Anyway, it’s Afghanistan so I don’t see the big deal.

      And RWNJ proves just how callous and sociopathic they are.

    • Anno1701 3.6

      “War is hell.”

      so trite it hurts…..

    • Smilin 3.7

      If you’ve been to a war as a nzer or you wouldnt hold that view .And if you have you bring the integrity of yourself as a soldier into serious question
      Ive never heard such arrogance in my life from any soldier Ive known who was in the SAS or in WW2 some of whom suffered terribly with PTSD from the collateral damage of civilian casualties that they were part of inflicting .

  4. Keith 4

    I cannot help but think that what is described and its cover up could only have happened with THIS very government.

    And sadly it will take a change of government to deal with this. National’s well worn standard of doing something for appearances sake will not tolerable. Because based on all other “enquiries” with this government it’s hard to believe that there will ever be an inquiry (pending polling of course) much less a proper inquiry.

    The best that this lot are capable of is either a John Key super narrow perameter find nothing wrong pre ordained type or using one of their fave’s, the foregone conclusion finding next to nothing wrong, the public are idiots type, using a patsy to head it but ensuring the investigation is fully neutered and disempowered from the get go.

    Its just another fire to out out with all the rest. What could possibly be the bigger picture?

    • Carolyn_nth 4.1

      According to Alison Cole on RNZ this morning, the International criminal Court will investigate if one person forwards the book to them and asks for an investigation – but only if the country responsible (in this case NZ) has not done its own inquiry. But the ICC will then decide if it was a credible investigation by NZ. If the ICC decides it was not a good enough investigation by NZ, then it will take up the case against the NZDF.

    • SpaceMonkey 4.2

      I hope for New Zealand’s sake that you are wrong… but I fear that, with this Government in particular, you may very well be right.

    • McFlock 4.3

      The Berrymans might disagree (ISTR they were the farmers with the NZDF mis-constructed bridge that collapsed, and NZDF culpability was covered up for years).

      It’s interesting how the cover-up always makes things much worse. Let’s assume the summaries of Hagers work match 100% of the facts as they occurred: raid on village, civilians killed, and I get the impression many of the casualties were from helicopter-launched weapons.

      So the commander gets to face the music about the decisions they made on the basis of what information. Did they know about the wounded farmer? Why didn’t they provide him medical assistance? The helicopter pilots face responsibility for their actions: what information did they have at the time? Any soldiers who fired their weapons at civilians have the same isues. All of this is arguable in court, after an investigation. Heck, it’s entirely plausible there are good and legal reasons for all of the thinly-described occurrences in the above paragraph, and all involved would be exonerated or face procedural correction but nothing serious.

      But as soon as the chain of command does the “nothing to see here” routine, the stench of shit starts to get powerful.

      • Psycho Milt 4.3.1

        Yes. It’s entirely possible that civilians were killed and their houses destroyed in a NZ SAS operation and none of the people doing the shooting committed a crime, odd though that might sound at first glance. Lying about what happened so it doesn’t get investigated, though? There’s no explaining that one away, it has to come with unpleasant consequences.

  5. ianmac 5

    Paula Bennett said on Morning Report that she will not read the book. Sound familiar?
    Also on Morning Report was a woman Cole(?) who explained how the International Criminal Law Commission works. She said that they could investigate on the strength of the book. NZ would be expected to investigate it though but if they wouldn’t, the Commission could.
    Melai Massacre anyone?
    Edit: Snap Carolyn

    • Carolyn_nth 5.1

      Alison Cole. Here’s her article on Vice about Hit and Run.

      Her background from the bottom of the article:

      Alison Cole is a New Zealand international human rights attorney and an international criminal law investigator. She has worked at the International Criminal Court and UN tribunals on Rwanda, former Yugoslavia, Cambodia, Sierra Leone and special tribunal Lebanon. Alison is an adjunct professor at New York University.

  6. Carolyn_nth 6

    David Fisher’s summary of what happened. Many people seem to have read the book fast over night.

    Some sources apparently blamed bad intelligence. But bad intelligence doesn’t explained what the SAS did after things started to go wrong.

  7. ianmac 7

    The activities of the SAS are kept secret. This is for security reasons. I guess that is reasonable especially when soon after action.
    But what if the secrecy allows a culture of “we can do much knowing we will not be exposed?”
    The test of man is what he would do if he knew he would never be caught. Is that the Key principle?

  8. Cynical jester 8

    If the allegations are true and key has signed off on a war crime, we need a major investigation and this needs to end up in court.

    The ammount of people who don’t care that our defense force committed a massacre against civilians is truly staggering.

    Our reputation demands a thorough and truly neutral investigation immediately.

    What we’ll get however is more benificary bashing as a distraction.

  9. Cinny 9

    Just picked up my copy of Hit and Run, the ladies at paper plus told me it had been embargoed until 9am this morning.

  10. Tracey 10

    How come the Herald got an exclusive trip with our Defence Minister. It just seems to me a democratic govt shoudnt be playing favourites with major news outlets. Espesh in election year. I mean is there a prid quo pro?

    • dukeofurl 10.1

      yeah. It stinks. Brownlee goes for a ‘grip and grin’ in Iraq and the Herald fawns all over it. Secrets and all that .
      Peter Fraser in WW2 didnt do secret tour to North Africa

  11. Skeptic 11

    Contrary to what Redgenz and SamC have trolled, the precedent of soldiers being accountable for their actions was set in 1945 & 1946 at Nuremberg. There is no such defense as “I was only following orders”. That principle is upheld and enshrined in International Law today and prosecutions at the Hague’s War Crimes Tribunal is proof that untoward behaviour by soldiers – no matter what rank – and politicians who approve or are complicit in such actions or cover-ups, follow as surely as night follows day. Our own Military Code and Law has similar principles. Eventually, the truth of what happened, who ordered, who approved and who covered what up will come out, because NZ national reputation is at stake. No matter how high this reaches, I don’t think anyone who was involved is going to weasel out of it – they will pay the price – just like Goering, Hess and all the others paid.

  12. bwaghorn 12

    When a nz pm ok’s a military action ,would the be aware of everything that was planned , like the destroying of homes ?

  13. dukeofurl 13

    Another NZ combat death that wasnt what it seemed at the time
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10755155

    ‘Dutch investigative journalist, Bette Dam, told Radio New Zealand Afghan authorities had told her the soldiers may have been caught up in a family feud.

    She said she was told the SAS and the Afghan allies were incorrectly told by one family that the home was occupied by Taleban bomb-makers.’
    Aged in his early 30s, Lance Corporal Smith is the fourth New Zealand soldier to die in just over a year.

    ‘A foreign policy analyst at the University of Auckland says the SAS soldiers appear to have moved from their mentoring role.
    Associate Professor Stephen Hoadley said two deaths in two months showed the unit was involved in frontline combat.
    “The two deaths is certainly an indication that the SAS is no longer leading from behind, but is now leading from in front.”

    Professor Hoadley said there was a “slight disjunction” between what the public was being told and what the SAS was doing in Afghanistan.
    “It appears that the SAS is doing a bit more than mentoring and training – and that may lead some to question whether the Government is telling the whole story.”

    Sorry for the cut and paste

  14. One Anonymous Bloke 14

    Does anyone know whether digital copies are for sale and if so, where, please?

  15. Cinny 15

    “Former Defence Minister Wayne Mapp has conceded that civilians were killed in the 2010 Afghanistan raid that is the focus of Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson’s new book.”

    Wow, Wayne Mapp just came out and said there were civilian casualties. Wonder who else is going to come clean?

    “Dr Mapp denied civilians were killed when the raid became public in 2011”

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2017/03/wayne-mapp-does-not-deny-hit-and-run-afghan-raid-claims.html

    • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1

      The defence force was doing too many things the defence minister didn’t know about? All the more reason for an inquiry.

      Mapp and Mateparae should have known better than to trust the decision to John Key.

    • mary_a 15.2

      ” Cinny (15) … and I think Dr Mapp resigned from Parliament the year following the 2010 raid. A hint of conscience maybe?

      Now we wait to see who stands up and takes responsibility for the botched raid. I can tell you right now, who won’t!

  16. mary_a 16

    https://www.hitandrunnz.com/home/

    I haven’t read the book yet. But I intend to. However there is plenty of well researched documented evidence on the new Hit and Run website to begin with, obviously from the book, giving the names of the victims, the villages involved, maps and timelines.

    Looking at the picture of little 3 year old Fatima, who was killed during the raid, described as a happy intelligent child, smiling with her life ahead of her at the time, is somewhat heart wrenching!

    Then there is the newly qualified young school teacher, wanting to make a difference …. also a victim of the raid ….

    I am ashamed to be a NZer.

    • Isaiah 5:20

      Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
      Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
      Who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

      The killing , the murdering , the lying ,.. All of it!!!

      I / We , … are all so sick and tired of it. This demands an inquiry , some gumption and some basic honesty and integrity. Enough of all this pretense and this sheltering of wrongdoers !

      If we as a nation cant even have the basic courage or virtue to deal honestly with these sorts of issues then we as a nation can only claim we are nothing more than skulking , lying , treacherous cowards.

      • mary_a 16.1.1

        @ Wild Katipo (16.1) … your final paragraph brilliantly sums up how John Key’s dark, toxic leadership has tainted NZ. That will be his legacy.

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