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Operation Burnham: A disorganised cover-up?

Written By: - Date published: 9:03 pm, July 31st, 2020 - 13 comments
Categories: afghanistan, defence, war - Tags:

A justified operation, no organised cover-up, but serious failures in senior defence personnel’s denial and misrepresentation, and serious failures by the intelligence agencies in handing over a suspect to torture. The Inquiry called for a review of Defence administration, an Inspector-General of Defence, a Defence Force order on dealing with allegations of civilian casualties, and an “effective detention policy.”

The issue was about NZDF denial of civilian casualties in Operation Burnham, in particular the killing of a female child. Some media reports have it that this killing was “justified,” although the report does not say this exactly, rather saying that “TF81 personnel had a proper basis for clearing the engagement in which the girl was most likely killed.” Shoot first, and cover up the consequences later is probably fair comment on what happened.

Attorney-General David Parker commissioned the report and considers that Hit and Run authors Nicky Hager and John Stephenson have performed a valuable public service. He also stated that the Government will accept the recommendations of the Inquiry.

NZDF will have some serious work to do to improve their performance.

13 comments on “Operation Burnham: A disorganised cover-up? ”

  1. Treetop 1

    For those in command in the NZDF it is not to much to expect them to work as a functioning unit. They need to get their shit together fast.

    • Morrissey 1.1

      They need to get out of Afghanistan fast.

      By the way, where's our friend "Wayne"?

      • Gerald 1.1.1

        Our friend Wayne has forgotten to remember to front up, the National Party of his day were often very forgetful, which is very convenient.

        [Please stick to one user name here. I’ve asked you this before and if you want to keep your commenting privilege here then I suggest you pay heed to requests by Moderators – Incognito]

        • Incognito

          [Please stick to one user name here. I’ve asked you this before and if you want to keep your commenting privilege here then I suggest you pay heed to requests by Moderators – Incognito]

  2. TootingPopularFront 2

    Not sure if they talked to the former PM who green-lighted the vicious revenge attack that was Operation Burnham…maybe it doesn’t matter if there were only probable civilian deaths…sigh

    • Tricledrown 2.1

      Our Forces in Afghanistan are under the control of the US.Our military are not independent.

      That's why they have spun their way through this alleged War Crime.

    • Treetop 2.2

      Key would have been told through Five Eyes. Five Eyes does not report to Mapp. I need to read the report and find out what the official who spoke to Mapp in 2011 said about telling Mapp probable loss of civilian life occurred.

      Key and Mapp could have had a discussion and Mapp could have been told by Key do nothing.

      Maybe Operation Burnham is why Key resigned because he could not out smart Hager and Stephenson and Key knew high command in the NZDF could out Mapp and that Key was not sacking Mapp as Key would then be the focus.

  3. I Feel Love 3

    "I don't remember" ffs.

    • Treetop 3.1

      Mapp looked up his diary entries and there was an entry that he had an oral discussion with a NZDF official which prompted his memory.

      Why did it take many years (I would need to look up how many years) for Mapp to check to see if he had made a diary entry of the meeting with the NZDF official.

      And then to keep misleading everyone as the minister B.S.

  4. Anne 4

    Shoot first, and cover up the consequences later is probably fair comment on what happened.

    And there-in lies the hub of the problem – be it an actual shooting or a term used in a metaphoric sense. In other words, act first and face the questions later. If the questions become too awkward and penetrating then deny, obfuscate and distract in the hope that the questioner/questioners give up.

    • +1

      par for the course sorry to say ……….. STILL. And given all that's happened, do you reckon much will change? A little bit of self-reflection maybe, and some baby steps towards change but it won't be transformational.

      • Anne 4.1.1

        Born of personal experience sorry to say. What's more, a particular arm of the Defence Force was part of the problem. cool

  5. Peter t 5

    An interesting parallel with UK special forces?


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