More response to Hit & Miss

Nicky Hager put in a big hit on the NZ Defence Force, but so far at least has missed out on getting the inquiry he wanted. He is convinced there has been a major cover up and he appears to be only prepared to accept total vindication of his accusations.

RNZ: PM trusting military’s word ‘a joke’ – Hager

…Mr Hager said it was “a joke” for Mr English to trust the military’s word.

The reality is that the Government has to have trust in it’s military.

“These are the people who are in trouble, so of course they don’t want an inquiry … No experienced minister should fall for that.”

He said the Prime Minister was being “irresponsible” by simply accepting the “selective information” he was shown.

There is no proof that English has fallen for anything, or that he has simply accepted selective information.

Mr English encouraged anyone with further information to come forward, saying the Defence Force would legally have to investigate it.

But Mr Hager said he “would not recommend” that his sources speak out while the military was “obviously in cover-up mode”.

“I hope they will come forward in the fullness of time, but that will be in a professional, independent context – not in the middle of a cover-up.”

No inquiry means that the public is left uncertain about the actions and word of the NZDF over the Afghan attack, but we are also left uncertain about how much solid evidence Hager has. His book raised a storm but lacked compelling evidence.

It is apparent that Hager knew he didn’t have compelling evidence, that is why he wants an inquiry so much, to find the evidence he thinks is being hidden.

Mr English said the footage of the raid backed up the Defence Force’s position. But he declined to release the video, saying it was “classified”.

“All the evidence is that coalition troops followed the rules of engagement to a degree of care that was pretty impressive,” he said.

Mr English described General Keating as independent, because he was not involved in the operation.

Mr Hager said that was “completely ludicrous”.

“Nobody would accept that from any other government agency and it’s actually an insult to the public to come up with that as an excuse.”

The Government relies on the word of public servants, and information that remains secret, all the time.

Labour leader Andrew Little said it was “laughable” for the Prime Minister to call General Keating independent.

“We’re entitled to be reassured that there is nothing being kept from the New Zealand public and that we can have full confidence in our defence forces.”

An independent inquiry was the only solution, said Mr Little.

That just about seems word for word what Hager is saying.

United Future leader Peter Dunne said Mr English’s assurance was not enough to clear up the uncertainty.

“I’ve got no desire to disrespect the prime minister’s assessment. I respect his judgement. And he’s obviously seen information that other’s haven’t seen. But I think it’s probably important for public credibility to get some of that out into the public arena.”

I think that it would help a lot if some information was made public, but that can genuinely be difficult when military operations are involved.

Hager is obsessed with alleging a cover up, and claims that the public needs to know about it, but does the public actually care much about it?

And how much would an inquiry achieve anything useful?

Leave a comment

33 Comments

  1. Blazer

     /  4th April 2017

    if I were Little I would keep out of this…one.

    Reply
    • Brown

       /  4th April 2017

      Ha! Little won’t be able to help himself because he, being far from wise and desperately seeking to be popular, thinks the ordinary Kiwi cares about this because Hager is so reliable that there must be something going on.

      English has grown a pair (small at present) which is encouraging.

      Reply
  2. Gezza

     /  4th April 2017

    “The reality is that the Government has to have trust in it’s military.”

    *Its* military. The reality is that we don’t have to have complete trust in either of them.

    Reply
    • duperez

       /  4th April 2017

      A couple of stories on the news this morning to compare notions of trust.

      The logic of one applied to the other would have had Daniel Carter and Joe Rokocoko saying months back, “Nothing to see here, it’s all okay, there’s nothing untoward,” and Racing 92 president Jacky Lorenzetti saying at the same time, “We’ve checked it out, everything’s all okay, nothing to see here.” (Followed of course by a Gallic shrug of the shoulders.)

      Reply
    • Oliver

       /  4th April 2017

      You mean our military our government. If we didn’t pay our taxes the government and the military wouldn’t exist. The military and English work for us. When we say “jump” they should say “how high sir”

      This isn’t over. I know for a fact that Fairfax media have more compelling evidence. Look at stuff circuit on Twitter. They’re timing it for June/July. So justice is not lost yet.

      Reply
      • duperez

         /  4th April 2017

        Some may be silly enough to be telling the military and English to jump and even sillier to stipulate how high.
        Some voices, apparently sober and maybe dispassionate, suggested in seemingly reasonable terms that an inquiry would answer questions and get rid of speculation. Like the contentions you conclude with.

        Reply
  3. Kevin

     /  4th April 2017

    The Standard is having a major meltdown over this.

    https://thestandard.org.nz/land-of-the-long-white-wash/

    Even poor Penny’s all upset.

    “Penny Bright 3.2
    4 April 2017 at 8:25 am
    New Zealand – now some sort of half-assed, pro-USA military dictatorship, led by useless, gutless Prime Minister Bill English who is obviously not ‘fit for duty’?

    I think so.

    What would PM Bill English do if three year old DEAD Fatima was his little girl?

    What a bloody disgrace!”

    Just pay your rates, Penny. You’ll feel a lot better.

    Reply
  4. Ray

     /  4th April 2017

    The problem is there are no real facts to go on, guess this is why Hager is desperate for an Investigation.
    All his evidence is hearsay, filtered through an interpreter and of course he won’t put anything on the table “protecting his sources ” bull.
    There are still calls from people for an investigation but there is a Twitter poll on the subject that gave 65% against that.
    I think Bill and done the right thing.
    Storm in a tea cup.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  4th April 2017

      Do you got a link to the Twitter poll?

      Reply
    • duperez

       /  4th April 2017

      “The problem is there are no real facts to go on … Hager is desperate for an Investigation.
      All his evidence is hearsay, filtered through …”

      No facts to go on? How do you know? Or is that hearsay filtered though various processes?

      Reply
  5. Well, that attempt at getting a hit in on John Key failed.
    The angry little man is being sued for libel by a dying man.
    Our snow flake media is running clickbait headers in an attempt to distract us from the news

    Reply
  6. Alan Wilkinson

     /  4th April 2017

    Did Fatima’s family help kill a NZ soldier? Enquiring minds want to know.

    Reply
  7. Petulance is the response of a loser who knows they have lost the argument. The good thing that comes out of the whole mess is that once again our troops get a lesson that media attention is there to demean and criticise, not to report accurately what the troops are actually doing in a balanced way. Arm chair critics have no credibility. Listening in a bar or club to the claims of half drunk former soldiers suffering the “wannabe” disease is no basis for proper investigative journalism anyway.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  4th April 2017

      The available evidence seems to be that faulty intelligence is far more culpable in the killing of innocents than deliberate acts by Western forces. That has to be balanced against the success of good intelligence in targeting legitimate enemies. Judging that balance in the fog of war will never be easy and in the end it comes down to the integrity, skill and values of the people involved. I have yet to see a reason to doubt those in our military services overseas even given that individuals may err. That seems the PM’s view too.

      Hager has always been quick to besmirch others. That speaks for his character rather than theirs.

      Reply
      • Nelly Smickers

         /  4th April 2017

        Wayne was saying he had read *that in the years between between 2001 and 2014, something like 26,000 civilians have been killed in war-related violence in Afghanistan, and 29,000 wounded*.

        Surely it raises the question as to why are we caring about these *particular victims* among so many others ❓

        Reply
        • Because some activists think every action taken in the name of conflict management by successive governments is interfering and goes against their principles? Ignorantly they think we will change our own POV when presented with their “facts”. Your Nicky Hager sees nothing heroic in placing one’s life at risk, chasing down murderering terrorists in an organised, supervised manner and being subject to all manner of standards and investigation post operation. He sees political and pecuniary gain in calling out the actions of anyone or group he disapproves of – this year it’s our forces, who he depicts as:

          Liars
          Retributive
          Gung ho
          Trigger happy
          Interfering
          Anything other than what they actually are

          My take is that most people, both here and elsewhere in the free world admire and deeply respect their military. Most Kiwis are not Pacifist. Most will take up arms and ultimately lay down their lives to protect our way of life. Most people recognise that sides need to be taken and that the middle ground is never safe. No Kiwi exalts warfare for its own sake, but we also know that there will always be collateral death of citizens. We are not the cruel and heartless ones, as I see it.

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  4th April 2017

            What terrorism have the afghans unleashed on NZ or any other western nations for that matter?

            Reply
            • Wrong question Blazer delete Afghanis insert Taliban and Al Queda, and there your answer.

            • Blazer

               /  4th April 2017

              @Col…both Western allies at one time.

        • duperez

           /  4th April 2017

          Wayne’s on to it. It’s like road deaths in NZ, they’re a dime a dozen. We’ve had about 5,500 road deaths since 2000 yet people still all carried away about it and concerned about the minutiae of what happened and why in every single one.

          Reply
      • Alan I am still pondering on what the motives were behind the publication in the first place. Hager has spoken on the record as admitting there were social and political reasons behind the publishing of the book. If he were genuinely concerned about NZ Forces being involved in crimes of humanity, why did he not take his complaint to the Police who could have started a legal investigation, if he had witness statements. But no, he and Stephenson chose “ambush journalism”, deliberately avoiding checking with NZDF for a comment about the claims made by their sources. An area of investigative journalism Hager has lectured on as being a professional approach to “investigative journalism”. So much for his integrity.
        The other area that needs questioning is the extent and nature of the anti-NZDF comment that has appeared from MSM supporting in a seemingly orchestrated way, both nationally and off shore, not just reporting his and Stephenson’s claims but also editorialising on ethics in the Defence Force and supporting HS’s unproven thesis. I wonder just how much prior consultation and networking went on before the book was published to orchestrate this discordant noise?

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  4th April 2017

          Pretty clearly it was a meeting of Stephenson’s agenda and grudge with Hager’s network of media sycophants and ideological supporters. A marriage made in heaven that gave them both what they wanted – revenge for Stephenson and publicity for Hager.

          Reply
          • A possibility, if you believe that H&S’s motivations were so shallow. I think that there may be another agenda. I do not believe that it was an attempt to belittle John Key as he was well and truly over being the PM, nor can I see any political ties to the election, other than to distract attention from the absence of Labour policy initiatives so far in the lead up: five months remaining?

            Reply
          • Nelly Smickers

             /  4th April 2017

            Wayne’s mum was saying everybody might be reading a little too much into *Hagar’s motivations*…she reckins “He’s nothing more than a *Media Whoar* ”

            (I just looked it up in the dictionary: ‘Examples of Whoarishness include mapping……making everyone spin countercockwise while firing all weapons….)

            LOL ❗ She might be onto something XD

            Reply
  8. Kevin

     /  4th April 2017

    “These are the people who are in trouble, so of course they don’t want an inquiry … No experienced minister should fall for that.”

    He said the Prime Minister was being “irresponsible” by simply accepting the “selective information” he was shown.

    If someone accused of rape shows a video of the incident that clearly shows no rape occurred then on the basis of that video he is innocent and it doesn’t matter how biased or selective that person is.

    Reply
  9. chrism56

     /  4th April 2017

    Mr Hagar is still spinning the line that he got nothing wrong except the GPS Co-ordinates. BULLSHIT.
    If you look at the photos on P64-67, he has detailed circles and text showing which houses were raided, where the helicopters landed, where the snipers were, where people died, who lived in each house etc. Only problem is, it is the villages 2km north of the ones everyone now agrees were raided. That means every detail in those photos is wrong.

    Reply
  10. St Nicky – can never be wrong. Ever. Accept that premise and move on…..

    /sarc….

    Reply
    • patupaiarehe

       /  4th April 2017

      Wash out your mouth, Dave. The title of ‘saint’ is generally reserved for those who serve others…

      Reply
      • But Nicky does serve others Patu….. most of them are quite hard out lefties or anarchists BUT we have to recognise they are people too now….. ; )

        Reply

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