Wayne Mapp Hits and Bill English Runs

A decision on whether an inquiry or further investigation is needed into allegations an SAS raid led to civilian deaths will be based on advice from the Chief of Defence Force.

Hit & Run by journalists Jon Stephenson and Nicky Hager claims six civilians were killed and 15 were injured in the raids, and the authors have accused Lieutenant General Tim Keating of doing everything in his power to avoid an inquiry.

But Prime Minister Bill English told reporters […] that he was waiting for further advice from Keating – a former commanding officer of the NZSAS – into whether any further action is required.

“He will tell us whether he thinks there is a basis there with any new evidence or any new information,” English said.

“It’s his job to look into these kinds of allegations…the book has turned out to be wrong, pretty fundamentally wrong about events that might have happened but certainly happened somewhere else.”

Keating clearly will not wish for an inquiry to be held.  It will go nowhere, will cost money, chew people’s lives to bits due to the time involved, and in the end it will have the same result as always:  Nothing to see here.  

Wayne Mapp, who as Defence Minister approved the raids in 2010, outed himself as a source for the book […] and called for further investigation to find out if civilians died.

English said as a private citizen Mapp was “free to follow whatever opinions he has”, but said they were based largely on a television documentary by Stephenson that showed on Maori TV in 2014.

“So he doesn’t have any different or more information than anyone else.”

As Defence Minister Mapp was briefed both before and after the SAS operations – called Operation Burnham – in Baghlan province.

Why did Mapp not raise this earlier?

Why did Mapp not go to the police, the NZDF or the current Defence minister?

Why did Mapp go to Hager and his poodle, but wanted it kept quiet?

Why did he decide to out himself?

Why is he defending Hager’s work?

Is Hager’s work mostly based on Mapp’s understanding and recall?

Is Mapp feeling responsible for putting Hager in this position?

This was clearly meant to be a John Key hit before the election.  Why was Mapp contributing to a hit job by cooperating with a known enemy of National and trying to keep it quiet?

After Mapp retired from politics he saw the documentary by Stephenson on Maori TV and said it became clear it was possible there were other casualties from the raids, including a three year-old girl, named in Hit & Run as Fatima.

Mapp confirmed he had previously been interviewed by Stephenson and he “told me enough about what had happened for it to be believable…even if it was not fully proven”.

So the investigative journalist approaches a source and tells the source a story.  The source then admits it can’t be proven but is then happy to be an anonymous source for a John Key hitjob in election year?

Pull the other one.

This smells to high heaven.

 

– NZ Herald

 


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