Wishart on the latest Hit and Run failure

The battle front shifted decidedly this week when Lt Gen Tim Keating, head of NZDF, put his neck on the chopping block and showed how Hager and Stephenson had named two villages – Naik and Khak Khuday Dad, that NZSAS had never actually been to and which were actually two kilometres north of the village the SAS hit, across a couple of mountain ranges. Ergo, whoever was killed in those villages, including three year old Fatima, it cannot have been the fault of NZSAS.

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Hager spat the dummy, telling the NZ Herald he was “100% certain” that the info he had published in his book was correct, and that NZDF were wrong.

Luckily, there are still some journalists in the media capable of reading a map without the assistance of the nice woman from Google Navigate. Heather du Plessis Allan is one of those, and she dug out a previous documentary by Jon Stephenson where he never mentioned the two villages named in his book, and instead named the Tirgiran village that NZDF insist the raid took place in.

“Hang on,” said du Plessis Allan and her husband Barry Soper, “what gives? Why are the names different?”

“I spoke to Jon Stephenson a couple of minutes ago,” Soper told Newstalk ZB, “and he admitted that he might have been ‘confused’ about the villages.”

Du Plessis Allan was even more blunt: “It is very, very sloppy journalism by Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson,” she told ZB. “Very sloppy journalism”.

And with that, Hager’s “100% certain” boast started to fall apart and his crotch began to itch.

To be honest Ian, he’s protected by his Shield of Sanctimony.  He genuinely thinks he is sent from above to do God’s work.  

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.

The scary thing is that Bill English has gone from “No”, to “I wouldn’t rule it out”.  He’s done that before, and I cringe at the thought of him giving in.

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. …

So again, Mapp didn’t know for sure that Fatima had been killed in the operation, but he trusted Stephenson and believed him. Shame he didn’t know in my view how geographically challenged Stephenson and Hager turned out to be. Mapp should have listened to his instincts…the insurgents were hiding among the villagers, who brought the risk of death upon themselves. The Middle East has a long history of insurgents deliberately hiding behind civilians.

In my mind, Wayne Mapp has committed treason.  He’s siding with Taliban-friendly Afghani against our well-respected New Zealand Defence Force.

To think that English is keeping the door ajar for an inquiry is literally sickening.

 

Ian Wishart, Investigate

 


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