PM denies accountability for SAS actions
Prime Minister John Key says he cannot be held accountable if New Zealand SAS troops sent to Afghanistan to help with logistics and planning have broken their rules of engagement.
Mr Key was responding to a claim by Radio New Zealand Afghanistan correspondent Jon Stephenson that a group of SAS soldiers had gone to Afghanistan to stage an attack in retaliation for the deaths of five New Zealand soldiers.
Stephenson said sources from within the US-led coalition in Afghanistan and the New Zealand SAS community had confirmed it to him.
Speaking to media in Auckland today, Mr Key said … “Anyone in the world can break their rules of engagement but that’s no different from saying that anyone in any job in New Zealand can break their rules of employment. I can’t be held to account for that if they’ve done that wrong, but there’s no evidence that they have – there’s no implication that they have, I’ve had no advice from the military that they have and I don’t believe they have.
“I think that they’re doing exactly what we sent them to do, which is to help with logistics and planning.”
“I think that they’re doing” isn’t good enough. Once again – what is the point of a PM who is never responsible for anything?
And if the well respected Stephenson is right (he has crossed swords with Key before), then Key is just getting his denials in early. Is Key seeking his Obama “gotcha” moment, and a political bounce from it?
Update: Since yesterday the Herald piece linked above has changed substantially, to downplay Key’s denial. You can still find it repeated on other web sites – google the first sentence.