Cartridge challenge to ‘Hit & Run’ claims

The NZ Defence force has been disputing claims made by Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson in their book ‘Hit & Run’, and it has been determined that the book pointed to the wrong location for the attacks. This caused confusion over attack claims.

This was after Hager and Stephenson  made a brash claim on Sunday:

In a statement sent to media on Sunday night, the authors say it’s “actually impossible that the story is wrong”.

Now a gun shop owner is disputing more evidence from the book.

Newstalk ZB: Further doubt cast on Hit & Run allegations

EXCLUSIVE: As calls for an inquiry into civilian casualties in Afghanistan grow, a crucial aspect of the controversial book Hit & Run is being challenged.

Now, Richard Munt of gun shop Serious Shooters in Auckland is contesting a further aspect of the account: a photograph of used shell casings supposedly discharged by SAS snipers who allegedly shot to death an Afghan teacher.

Without knowing the background of the photo, Munt argues the shell casings are too large to come from any weapon the soldiers would have carried, but must have come from an Apache helicopter.

AfghanAttackCartridges

“The SAS are generally issued with something usually no larger than a fifty-calibre Browning machine gun – and that’s a squad support weapon – and that would be approximately one half of the diameter of those cartridge cases.”

Munt believes there’s no way the shells could have come from the SAS.

“I would say they are from some form of large calibre cannon from Apache helicopter. They are not from a shoulder-fired firearm.”

“It would be almost impossible to fire from a shoulder-fire firearm without injury to the shooter. They are large, they are an anti-tank weapon.”

The cartridge evidence has been raised before.

I presume the cartridges are just claimed as evidence and there is no evidence that links them specifically to the attack in question, or the time in question, or the location in question.

And there is certainly no way of linking them directly to the SAS.

I’m not an expert but if the above cartridges are from a helicopter firearm, or if they were even fired from a hand held weapon, they are unlikely to have naturally fallen in a small area like that. Ejected shells usually end up well scattered.

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35 Comments

  1. Nelly Smickers

     /  31st March 2017

    And further from the NZH.

    ‘Perhaps this also gives weight to the theory put forward by Mr Responsible, the country’s most experienced cabinet minister Peter Dunne, who knows how the machinery of government works….

    With every politician outside of the Beehive now calling for an inquiry, including Dunne, he says his coalition cobbers reluctance to call one, could have something to do with the fact that the Americans inflicted the damage, killing the civilians….

    “Does New Zealand want to be the source of exposing that right now, given the unpredictability of the current administration in Washington?” …Dunne asks.’

    INDEED.

    Reply
  2. Blazer

     /  31st March 2017

    the reality from someone who has actually read the book……’This is bullshit. Here is that photo from page 59. It is referring to the drinking bottles u cut out. Book says clearly Apache shells found’…..so in search of an exclusive ,a ‘scoop’ soupy Soper and the NZH get photo shopping and creative either deliberately misleading or just confirming their dual levels of incompetence.

    Reply
  3. Ray

     /  31st March 2017

    And Blazer’s reply shows why an Investigation will be a waste of time and money.
    Apparently the picture shows drink bottles that someone, “snipers ” left and by pure coincidence the Apache cannon cases dropped in a neat heap in the same position!
    And so it will go.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  31st March 2017

      Yes, I wondered about the neat formation, but they are not drinking bottles, they are lipsticks.

      Reply
  4. David

     /  31st March 2017

    Apache’s use a 30mm cannon. It is a trivial matter to get a shell casing and photograph the actual markings that will correctly identify it. Even just some simple measurements will confirm the likely weapon they come from.

    The fact this has not been done is rather telling of the quality of the ‘investigators’.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  31st March 2017

      hey David,I keep forgetting why are we ,the U.S in Afghanistan again?

      Reply
      • David

         /  31st March 2017

        Because someone through it was a good idea to ‘rebuild’ the place. They should have just flattened the place and left.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  31st March 2017

          They should have either just
          1. Accepted the Taliban’s offer to hand Bin Laden over to a neutral third country for trial, or
          2. Gone after Bin Laden alone, like they did in Pakistan.

          All the other shit that flowed from their illegal, unnecessary, invasion of Afghanistan is on the heads of Cheney, Bush, Blair & co, the war criminals.

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  31st March 2017

            I can’t even remember what Bin Laden was found guilty of….he was on ‘our’ side at some stage….wasn’t..he?

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  31st March 2017

              Some months after 911 he eventually released an audioor video tape claiming responsibility for organising and/ or facilitating the operation, if I recall correctly. Initially he didn’t respond to US claims he was behind the attack. Yes, he was on ‘our side’ when the US was rebuffing Russian proposals for a negotiated peace & withdrawal & funding Islamic jihadists to pour into the place & kill Russians, destroy their equipment & knock down their helicopters with stingers. But anyway, by now he’s fed some sea life, & good job too.

            • Blazer

               /  31st March 2017

              @G…just watched that vid,very,very unconvincing ….smacks of a fit up tape to give this War on Terror an identifiable…bogey man.There is no unadulterated sound track,just a ‘translators’ version of what was supposedly said.Not plausible at all.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  31st March 2017

        Blazer. if you wonder why ‘we, the US (are) in Afghanistan’, you are confused as to which country you are in. We are not the US, we are NZ.

        Reply
  5. David

     /  31st March 2017

    Just for fun, here is a comparison of various shells. An Apache uses 30×113.

    Reply
  6. duperez

     /  31st March 2017

    It’s getting all David Bain with the bits of ‘evidence.’

    Reply
  7. Contributing our bit in the war on terror and supporting the Afghani people in their resistance of the Taliban’s jihad, Blazer, in conjunction with the allies we depend upon for the substantive Defence of New Zealand sovereignty.
    Please remember, neither Hager, nor Stevenson have, by their own admission, been into the area of the incident. A local person was given a camera and paid to take photos to be used to provide collateral “evidence” of the incident – after the event. So the photos were staged by assembling bits and pieces of materiel to suggest a theme.

    The photos I have seen (in the whole picture) show cartridge cases from a short range machine pistol and not the large case of the minigun used by the Apache. The damaged water bottle is notable because it is metal unlike the plastic water bottles used by the NZ troops. It has been clearly put in place by the photographer who must have been acceptable to the Taliban leadership who occupied the area in question. The example ammunition provided by NZDEF are 7.62 mm standard NATO rounds. A sniper would use similar cartridges but specially selected powder content to improve accuracy. A good sniper picks up his expended cartridges to conceal where he has been.
    Who was the photographer? Has he made a statement as to when and where the photos were taken and what proof can he provide?

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  31st March 2017

      heres a man after your own heart Col,very interesting,accomplished man with observations of the world you should enjoy.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smedley_Butler

      Reply
    • Nelly Smickers

       /  31st March 2017

      You may know BJ……did the Taliban sign up to the Geneva Convention ❓

      Reply
      • “The Geneva Conventions, which were most recently revised in 1949, consist of seven individual treaties which are open to ratification or accession by any sovereign state. ” Taliban is not a sovereign state as far as I can see and is not on the 200 plus signatories that I can find. So NO!

        Reply
        • Nelly Smickers

           /  31st March 2017

          Okay, thanks sooo much for that BJ! One of the old guys (..a Korean vet) at Ma’s retirement village was asking me when I called in there earlier on…I told him I didn’t have a clue but knew just who to ask.

          Reply
          • He will understand that terrorists are not usually wearing uniforms or other ways of identifying themselves. They do nasty things like riding alongside your vehicle in a motorbike and throwing a satchel bomb at or a grenade. They also use weapons prohibited by the Convention like VX gas, and Chlorine. They also have no rules of engagement, thus have extra advantages over uniformed soldiers like not accepting surrender from a wounded soldier that we are required to do.

            Reply
            • Nelly Smickers

               /  31st March 2017

              I know exactly what you mean BJ. Wayne threw a Chlorine tablet in the pool one day while I was on the lilo….hit me right on the head and hurt like billy-o ❗

            • Griff

               /  31st March 2017

              bjmarsh1
              It is the nature of asymmetrical warfare.
              The yanks have Apaches A10s,Drones,guided missiles .
              You going to attack one of them with an AK47 and a rocket launcher?
              Brrrrrap from 1200m away and you are mince meat .

              You would do what they are doing if it was your country.

              The Russians learned the hard way about warfare in the middle east .
              Maybe the yanks should.

              Let them have their shity theocracy’s and stay in the middle ages.

      • Blazer

         /  31st March 2017

        didn’t sign up for Bretton Woods or the Basel accords either….Nelly.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  31st March 2017

          The old man must be gaga to ask such a question. As must anyone who sees any resemblance between being hit by a chlorine tablet and a grenade or other device. One doesn’t have to be a military expert to know that chlorine is not used in that way in war. Meshuggenah.

          Reply
          • Nelly Smickers

             /  31st March 2017

            A little *respect* for our war vets wouldn’t go astray Catkin 😡

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  31st March 2017

              He must be an idiot if he thinks that there’s any chance of them signing it. Smickers.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  31st March 2017

              A little respect for people who’ve suffered in the Afghan conflict-including the 8 Kiwis who died-would not go amiss. Puerile jokes about chlorine tablets are singularly inappropriate in this context.

  8. PDB

     /  31st March 2017

    http://www.investigatemagazine.co.nz/Investigate/20328/hagers-hit-and-run-takes-another-direct-hit-from-nzdf-fire-as-nzsas-story-takes-new-turn/

    “These two media stars have single-handedly destroyed their credibility in my view by not only getting the location of the alleged crime wrong but the names of the alleged targets on their maps wrong as well.

    Where does that leave us? With Hager and Stephenson wanting a million dollar taxpayer-funded independent inquiry into a shoddily-researched and shoddily written book of theirs as their last attempt to salvage their credibility.

    That’s a million dollars that could be spent on healthcare for children or international aid for starving kids in Africa. Instead, the political and media establishment want to give that money to needy lawyers in this country.

    At best, we will be relying on the testimony of Afghan villagers living under Taliban control who – for all we know – may well be the insurgents by night and goat-herders by day that Afghanistan is famous for.

    Former Defence Minister Wayne Mapp revealed himself as a numpty today on this issue, when he admitted his famous ‘fiasco’ quote used in the book actually came about after he had viewed Jon Stephenson’s now-admitted “confused” documentary a couple of years ago. In other words, Stephenson’s version of events scared him, causing him to remark, then Hager and Stephenson quote his reaction and the hand-wringing Left have used the “fiasco” quote all week as “proof” of the former Defence Minister’s inside knowledge, when in fact it was just the Blind leading the Blind.”

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  31st March 2017

      Wishart with some more free riding publicity for his own fantastic publications.

      Reply
  9. B

     /  31st March 2017

    It increasing looks like Hager simply didn’t do his homework and that must cast doubts on his reliability. To have an enquiry on the basis of the evidence supplied seems a waste of time as facts will remain elusive and Hager will just disagree anyway. I’d like to prove him wrong and charge him with something but suspect the evidence will not support that either. So, as usual, Hager just sprays and walks away.

    Reply
  10. Blazer

     /  31st March 2017

    in a nutshell…..’I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.’

    no slug this man…
    Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940) was a United States Marine Corps major general, the highest rank authorized at that time, and at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history.
    ‘WIKI.

    Reply
  11. One persons view of what was good over a century I refuse to accept that Hager and Stephenson were motivated by altruistic aims. The book should be placed in the fiction section of the library especially given all of the inaccuracies as well as their unethical behaviour of not contacting NZDEF for balance in the reporting before the book was published. If they had, then they may have spared themselves the inevitable loss of reputation. They only have themselves to blame. The lawyers making claims for alleged victims had better get the witnesses to a safe place so that cross examination can occur and the individuals properly identified. They are part of Taliban now.

    Reply

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