“Ongoing cover-up” on Operation Burnham

Written By: - Date published: 8:11 am, July 9th, 2017 - 14 comments
Categories: accountability, afghanistan, bill english - Tags: , , , , ,

David Fisher in The Herald, continuing great work on Operation Burnham:

Investigation: NZDF blunders again over NZSAS raid as fresh details emerge

There has been a second embarrassing blunder over photographs taken during the top secret NZSAS raid in Afghanistan called Operation Burnham.

First the NZ Defence Force said there were none – and the NZ Herald showed it was wrong.

Then they said there was only one camera taking photographs – and now the Herald has proved that was wrong too.

The NZ Defence force is blaming an “administrative error” but it has led to further claims of a cover-up. …

Read on for details of the NZDF’s changing story, how metadata in the supplied digital images proved the claim that only one NZ camera was in use to be wrong, and speculation about what the image timestamps mean for the timeline.

The shifting position over the existence of photographs and the one camera which became two cameras also came in for criticism from [Intelligence analyst Dr Paul] Buchanan.

He said there was evidence of a “cover-up culture” in NZDF. “There seems to be at (senior level) a reluctance to admit mistakes happen.”

Hager said it was hard to accept the issues around the cameras and photographs was an “administrative error”.

“It completely lacks credibility to suggest the SAS would go on their biggest and most important raid in their whole time in Afghanistan and take just five photographs.

“The idea on such an important raid they would delete all but five photographs because they would need the space on the cameras just isn’t believable.

“I’m absolutely certain that what we’re seeing is part of the ongoing cover-up.” …

In refusing a full inquiry, Bill English has made himself a party to any cover-up.

14 comments on ““Ongoing cover-up” on Operation Burnham”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    So, would this be cover-up number two or three by this government?

    • YNWA 1.1

      That would be number 3;
      Pike River
      Operation Burnham
      Todd Barclay

      • Muttonbird 1.1.1

        Unfortunately RWNJs don’t have morals and do not care about the Pike River families, innocent Afghanis, or corruption levels in the National Party.

        They are however motivated to vote to protect their, and only their, interests.

      • Incognito 1.1.2


      • Richard Christie 1.1.3

        9th floor black ops and curious disappearance of Jason Ede.

      • Mosa 1.1.4

        Mike Sabin , Foreign trusts Key and his sexual harasment and bullying comes to mind , dirty politics from the ninth floor. Anyone else ?

      • Mosa 1.1.5

        Mike Sabin Foreign trusts Key and his sexual harasment and bullying comes to mind , dirty politics from the ninth floor. Anyone else ?

  2. Anne 2

    It’s time the dinosaurs at senior levels in the NZDF grew up and entered the modern world. Covering up mistakes and even denying their existence is no longer part of acceptable practice in any section of government including the Defence Force. Unfortunately the perception they are able to be a law unto themselves still seems to be way too prevalent.

    That some of their former SAS leaders lied to the public over the outcome of Operation Burnham is a disgrace and heads should be rolling. Someone needs to remind them they are the servants of the NZ tax-payer – not the other way around.

  3. greg 3

    cover up is a standard national operating procedure

  4. adam 4

    When we can’t even be honest about our involvement in Iraq, why the hell are people under the delusion that the military will be held to account over past atrocities?

    Yes I’m using the word atrocities, as it was a raid which effectively targeted civilians.

    Revenge killing done by our military – is a very dark path to fall down.

  5. Rob 5

    How can the NZDF be so stupidly dishonest as to make out that the SAS weren’t equipped with helmet cams? They must have hoards of video footage! Enough to sink them!
    I see that the Brits are being investigated for similar atrocities in Iraq.

  6. exkiwiforces 6

    If you think Op Burnham stinks, then have a read of this from the Australian ABC website.


    I was read an article in the Australian Newspaper in the overseas section about Operation Northmoor in the UK on Monday last week. This about Royal Military Police (RMP or aka the Red Caps) investigating about the British SAS conducting similar operations by the NZSAS Oz SASR.

  7. reason 7

    Very sad Killings of Civilians in your link exkiwiforces ….

    “later they said that when they shot him and discovered that a boy was in bed too and realised that they did kill the wrong person along with the boy, they put some cash with the corpse and left.”

    ‘Decay of moral and ethical values’

    “The ABC has spoken to a decorated special forces veteran of Afghanistan, who said cases like these appeared to underline his concerns about a “culture of recklessness” and indifference to Afghan life that grew up among an influential minority of special forces soldiers.”……

    The poor Afghans have been suffering enormous amounts of these “raids” since the invasion to ‘get Osama Bin Laden’ way back in early 2000’s.

    On top of the ‘raids’ and ‘operations’ …. there is a drone killing campaign https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpzk7OdbjBw
    …. where far less care is taken in identifying the target and dropping a bomb … than is required for a New Zealand firearms owner when shooting a rifle.

    How many gun owners in New Zealand have accidentally fired upon a wedding party? .

    So many innocents have been killed that the lies used in the cover-ups have become like a broken record …. always the same bull-shit

  8. exkiwforcesi 8

    Here’s some articles from ABC on the rogue elements within the Australian Special Forces Command (SOCOM).

    I wouldn’t be surprise if some of the rogue elements within the Australian Special Forces Units are some of the direct entry personal or the one’s that got though when SOCOM lowed the entry standards for both SASR and the Commando’s. I know of 1 or 2 lads who got badged, who should’ve never been badged if SOCOM maintain the their high entry standards.

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