No ‘Hit & Run’ inquiry

At his post-Cabinet press conference this afternoon Bill English said there will be no inquiry into the SAS attack in Afghanistan in 2010.

So that means the objective of Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson to use their book Hit & Run to pressure the Government into an inquiry and to get the SAS to reveal details about the attack has been unsuccessful. So far.

NZ Herald has some detail: No inquiry into SAS allegations in Afghanistan

Prime Minister Bill English revealed that decision at his regular post-Cabinet press conference this afternoon, saying there was no basis for an inquiry.

It came after formal advice from Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Tim Keating.

“After considering Mr Keating’s briefing…and viewing video footage of the operation I have included there is no basis for an inquiry.”

English said if new information changed this it would be reconsidered. He said the allegations had caused distress to NZDF staff and their families.

“I want to reassure those families that there is…a great deal of evidence that their family members acted consistently with the rules of engagement.”

The Prime Minister said there was the possibility that civilians were killed, but there was no evidence that had actually happened.

“In viewing this I was impressed by the restraint, the care and the repeated assurance that the operation was conducted in such a way that would minimise casualties and the destruction of their property.”

English said the video was classified and he would not enter a process where “all actions” of NZDF were “available for public viewing”.

“I trust the process,” English said, saying he had become more convinced after reviewing material that Keating’s conclusion was right.

He had not spoken to anybody outside the Defence Force in reaching that conclusion.

Asked if NZDF had effectively investigated itself, English said coalition forces and the Afghan Government had investigated the matter and the conclusions were confirmed by the investigation by Keating.

English said Keating was independent, as he was not involved in the operation.

“The CDF…has serious legal obligations around investigating war crimes. If there was any evidence that the NZDF were covering up…that would be an extremely serious matter.

“There’s not any real contest over the facts other than the book…which has got them wrong.”

Leave a comment

46 Comments

  1. Pete Kane

     /  3rd April 2017

    Just at the political level, I wonder if Bill could have given himself a little more time, and without great downside.

    Reply
  2. Oliver

     /  3rd April 2017

    Bill English is playing with fire now. If more evidence comes to light, which it will then he will be in serious trouble. This just escalated up a notch.

    Reply
  3. Kitty Catkin

     /  3rd April 2017

    I hope that little Fatima hasn’t been cynically used by adults for their own ends.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  3rd April 2017

      of course she has one way or…another.

      Reply
    • Little Fatima is like the kid on the beach. Or kids in poverty. Too often, and sadly, kids suffer because of circumstances and again too often, because of the decisions of adults. But using their suffering to induce some kind of emotional guilt-laden reaction is pretty low. Hence I place very little value on Facebook taking of offence and outrage that doesn’t translate into action.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  3rd April 2017

        It’s more likely to be a girl used for such purposes when it’s a generic child, so to speak. Little girls have more pathos than little boys.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  3rd April 2017

          I wonder what a ‘generic ‘..child is..can you elaborate?

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  4th April 2017

            What it sounds like.

            Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  4th April 2017

            Ask yourself. It’s the wide-eyed child who is used for various purposes, charitable and political. I wonder if little Fatima-who exists, of course-was anywhere near the scene or was used for the purpose of vilfying the supposed killers.

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  4th April 2017

              nice side step you’ve developed lately…the Warriors could do with you…badly.

  4. Kevin

     /  3rd April 2017

    Obviously the video was faked, or the NZDF gave Bill a censored copy, or Bill is simply lying, or part of the cover-up. It’s impossible that Hager was wrong because Hager said so.

    Reply
  5. Does Fatima, or rather did Fatima exist? If not, then she would have been invented like the young girl who was paid to run down a road naked so as to become propaganda for the anti-War movement of the 60’s. It was such a success as a scam, it has become the go to image desired by all photographers in any war situation that is unpopular in the home base. Too many people have been sucked in by the emotion rather than the reality!

    Reply
    • Oliver

       /  3rd April 2017

      Next you’ll be say the holocaust didn’t happen.

      Reply
    • Anonymous Coward

       /  3rd April 2017

      “paid to run down a road naked”
      Where’s your proof for that BJ?

      Reply
    • MaureenW

       /  3rd April 2017

      Like the drowned boy who opened the refugee flood-gates in Europe? Flashed around the world via MSM, mission accomplished by the end of the weekend thanks to Chancellor Merkel

      Reply
    • Sarcasm? Satire? That image too real and raw to be faked. Here’s just a little of the story behind it.
      http://amp.timeinc.net/time/4485344/napalm-girl-war-photo-facebook/
      Obviously pictures are great for propaganda. I’ve seen photos of a grieving woman, apparently in a war zone. And then a wider shot of her surrounded by photographers in what appears a setup for the media.
      I’ve seen a video of lines of corpses being laid out, and some inadvertently moved and spoke, totally ruining the desired effect. Of course, that video itself may have been elaborate propaganda.
      But the kid running? I doubt it!

      Reply
      • MaureenW

         /  3rd April 2017

        I don’t doubt there was a little boy, but the way the image was used was propaganda-based.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  3rd April 2017

          Corpses do move and make sounds-and very unnerving it is.An undertaker had the fright of his life when the corpse sat up. They can make sounds for a while, but it’s not speech.

          Why does the fact that the little napalm girl is now a Canadian citizen make her story less credible ?

          Reply
  6. patupaiarehe

     /  3rd April 2017

    Remember the saying, “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t”?
    Let’s imagine that an inquiry went ahead, and it was concluded (as it would be), that the SAS had acted competently, professionally, and within the ‘rules of engagement’, The ‘usual suspects’, would cry foul, & call the investigation biased.
    Or let’s not have one, & they will still cry foul, and call the government biased.
    It is simply not possible, to hold an accurate inquiry, seven years after the fact. Period.

    Reply
    • The difficulty with that type of argument is that it is very similar to Hager’s weasel excuse for not giving his subjects a right of reply. He already knew what it would be and decided to save himself the trouble.
      Choosing to hold an inquiry or not needs to be decided on facts and the balance of probability, not on how you think the authors and their supporters – or Joe Public for that matter – might or might not react.
      There is the deeper issue of right and wrong.

      Reply
      • patupaiarehe

         /  3rd April 2017

        The difficulty with that type of argument is that it is very similar to Hager’s weasel excuse for not giving his subjects a right of reply. He already knew what it would be and decided to save himself the trouble.

        IMHO, his reason for not giving them a ‘right of reply’, was because he was making what is referred to as a ‘pre-emptive’ strike, and putting the NZDF on their ‘back foot’. He knew full well what the response would be, he just delayed it a little.
        Any inquiry held now, will be a big fat waste of time & money.

        Reply
        • It will be interesting to see whether the book-inquiry move was a war or a battle, with some ammunition held in reserve.

          Hager suggests/threatens it will fester rather than there being a substantial follow up.

          Reply
          • patupaiarehe

             /  3rd April 2017

            I used to think that Hager was honestly motivated, in spite of his rather obvious political bias. This last ‘effort’ of his, has disabused me of that notion. Here’s a little ‘perspective’, for anyone who wants an investigation. Those who sit in their armchairs, demanding one, should watch the video below, in order to appreciate, ‘how the other half lives’….

            If you’re still about BJ, thank you for your service.

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  3rd April 2017

              have you read the..book ..Patu?

            • patupaiarehe

               /  3rd April 2017

              Have you…Blazer???

            • Blazer

               /  3rd April 2017

              and they might also be interested in this…how the other half…dies…

            • Blazer

               /  3rd April 2017

              @Patu as stated prior..no.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  3rd April 2017

              If memory serves me correctly Blazer, I posted that very same video two nights back. Are you trying to make a point, or are you just…trolling again…

            • Blazer

               /  3rd April 2017

              this video has been posted many times..it appears today as ..balance to your sympathetic appraisal of invaders in a land where they are ..unwelcome with the ludicrous ..’how the other half lives’ rejoinder.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  3rd April 2017

              Why not make yourself useful Blazer, & find a link to somewhere that I can read it online? Paper is so ‘last century’…

            • Blazer

               /  3rd April 2017

              @Patu ,not sure what you want to know..but start with this posted yesterday…

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smedley_Butler

            • patupaiarehe

               /  3rd April 2017

              It appears that I was correct, regarding your ‘trolling’. Keep trying Blazer, you’re bound to find a willing victim sooner or later. If I were you, Blazer, I wouldn’t waste any more time on me. You are only going to…get upset 😀

            • Blazer

               /  3rd April 2017

              hers the guts of it…

              ‘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.’…this is what U.S hegemony is ..all about….this is why they recruit the poor and unemployed outside Maccas in the rust belt and send them to ..’bankers wars’.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  3rd April 2017

              Well there you go Blazer! A very interesting, & relevant link to the topic. Mr Butler was a brave & honest soldier, with a conscience…
              Based on the quality, & relevance of that link, I am going to take back TWO of the bad things that I have said about you. Post fifty more links of similar quality, and you might just have a… clean slate 😛

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