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NZDF changes story on Operation Burnham photos

Written By: - Date published: 12:57 pm, May 13th, 2017 - 10 comments
Categories: accountability, afghanistan, journalism, war - Tags: , , ,

The NZDF’s ever-changing story on Operation Burnham just changed again (David Fisher in The Herald):

NZDF admits it was wrong to say there were no photos from NZSAS raid

The New Zealand Defence Force has admitted it was wrong to claim there were no photographs from the controversial 2010 raid in Afghanistan alleged to have left six civilians dead.

After 20 days checking and then asserting there were no photographs, it has now had to admit it was wrong and there were photographs taken during Operation Burnham.

NZDF also shifted its position on the claims of civilian deaths, saying that “unfounded” meant that it was possible civilians had been killed by coalition air support.

And the only video it has admitted to having was from United States air support, even though the Herald has confirmed the NZSAS regularly wore helmet cameras on missions in Afghanistan. …

The qualifier “it has admitted to having” is an interesting one. The whole piece is well worth a read, but the most devastating observation is saved for last:

He [Intelligence analyst Dr Paul Buchanan] said it was standard practice to photograph, fingerprint and take DNA or dental impressions from those killed to match up with intelligence reports.

Asked what he made of the claim there were no photographs, Buchanan said: “That may be because they didn’t kill any insurgents and the people they did kill, they didn’t want to photograph.”

10 comments on “NZDF changes story on Operation Burnham photos ”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    At this point, I won’t be surprised if the photos they’ve released turn out to have been taken on a completely different raid by a completely different army.

    It’s probably just SNAFU though.

    • Marco 1.1

      Despite your pathetically unending virtue signalling it’s blatantly obvious that you care not a jot for any allegedly killed civilians. All these failed attempts at a hit on the Govt are patently unhinging you – try taking a break from the hate and smelling the roses instead.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1

        Despite your pathetically unending feeble unoriginal off-target pique, the NZDF is not the government, and the defence minister of the day and NZDF personnel have called for an enquiry.

        Try taking a break from projecting your emotions onto other people.

      • Psycho Milt 1.1.2

        Well, it’s pretty obvious that someone on this thread doesn’t care a jot for “allegedly” killed civilians, but I think you’ve misidentified him.

        Also: if giving a shit about the NZDF killing civilians is “virtue signalling,” what the fuck do we call not giving a shit about it? “Sociopathy signalling,” maybe?

  2. ” the people they did kill, they didn’t want to photograph.”

    Didn’t “want” to?

    Instructed not to. Soldiers aren’t trained to “want to” do stuff. They do as they are told, ne ra?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      Critical faculties are quite useful on the battlefield. Training isn’t brainwashing.

      • dukeofurl 2.1.1

        have you been through army training ? The only thinking required is to do as your told.

        Cross this stream ? yes you can ‘think about hows it done’-
        Not allowed thinking – lets go down the valley and find a bridge

  3. Why would they not want to?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      For example, if they were concerned that the nature of such forensic evidence might be problematic in some way.

      “Hey Sarge, should I get photos of these civilian casualties?”

      That sort of thing.

  4. So best not to follow protocols then, if it might prove “problematic”?
    “Critical faculties” – gotcha.

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