Afghanistan

A “wildly inaccurate piece of journalism”

Bill English has been brutal in his assessment of Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson:

Mr Hager says he’d hoped Mr English would have taken “a different line… because he was neutral.”

Asked what he thinks about the Prime Ministers calling the book a “wildly inaccurate piece of journalism,” Mr Hagar shrugs it off.

“Every reasonable person knows that apart from one essentially irrelevant little map error, which is similar to the one Defence made themselves about where the location was, nothing else in the book was found to be wrong.”

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Another error from Hit and Run, but it is impossible Hager was wrong

Nick Hager has told us that is “impossible” that he and Jon Stephenson could be wrong over the content and story that is Hit and Run.

Of course we have seen them locate the villages in the wrong place, some two kilometres out. This is apparently just a small error.

Then we have been told that the villages they named exist, and the Tirgiran village doesn’t exist.

Here is their rebuttal of the NZDF claims:

The defence force claimed that the SAS raid occurred in a village called Tirgiran, not the villages of Naik and Khak Khuday Dad named in the book. This is not true. The locals know the names of their own villages and they are called Naik and Khak Khuday Dad. The raid occurred there.

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Hooton on Hager and Stephenson

Matthew Hooton’s NBR column is a cracker:

As well as their alleged sources in the SAS and New Zealand military, Mr Hager and Mr Stephenson say they have been able to confirm their story with sources in the Afghani military. They also say they have spoken to and remain in contact with people who live in the two villages, even though they – and the New Zealand human rights lawyers who now claim to represent the Afghani villagers – have not been able to visit the actual settlements as they are now under the control of the Taliban.  This has contributed to disagreement between the Defence Force and the authors even over the names and locations of the villages.

In fact, nobody involved in this battle by media here in New Zealand claims ever to have visited the two villages, Naik and Khak Khuday Dad.   

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Hey Nicky, diddums

Yesterday Nicky Hager had a wee meltdown because a journalist didn’t agree with him.

Barry Soper called into question one of the photos and the caption from the book that Hager has described as “impossible” to be wrong.

Except the book has many wrong things about it. The location and the maps are wrong, the cover is wrong, who approved the raid is wrong…and now the captions are wrong.

Nicky Hager, though, thinks that errors such as these are small beer and his undies got ripped so he wrote a letter to Shayne Currie, who promptly caved, took down the article and then put it back up later.

The complete irony and hypocrisy is the email Nicky Hager sent to Shayne Currie.   Read more »

Rosemary McLeod on Hager and Stephenson

Rosemary Mcleod, it appears, doesn’t really like Nicky Hager or Jon Stephenson:

Reluctant heroes of their generation, they fought fascism and returned with memories they’d rather bury than share. I don’t think anyone imagined they had never seen war crimes, or doubted they occurred on both sides of the war, but it would have been churlish to ask. You can’t give people lethal weapons and tell them not to use them, or have a war without a body count, much of it innocent civilians, who we call collateral damage. Killing people is what war is.

Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson’s book, Hit & Run, accuses our Defence Force of a cover-up after civilian deaths in Afghanistan seven years ago.

Stephenson previously produced a documentary about it, and has been involved in extended libel action with Defence which was settled out of court. Hager has several books to his credit, all of them, I gather, springing from the idea of cover-ups and the public’s right to know everything it has a mind to.

Some books are released to media in advance of publication, giving the opportunity to follow up allegations. This book was not, a guarantee that it would receive saturation coverage, while anyone who doubted its claims would look as if they were trying to hide something. Hager knows how to play the media, which laps up his every utterance.

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The value of little Fatima (daughter of the prophet)

Young Afghan girl

Little Fatima’s life had value. Certainly, Nicky Hager and his co-author thought her life was important and that her death should be brought to the public’s attention. We in New Zealand shed a tear at the thought of a very young little girl being caught in an adult’s war. A true innocent who lost her life because of the decisions of others. Her name means daughter of the prophet, a good Muslim name. How much value did Fatima’s life have to her family and to the people of her village that communicated with Hager and his co-author? What value did Fatima’s life hold to her community?

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Misleading from cover to cover

This is the cover of Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson’s book. It is designed to be emotive, especially considering they accuse the NZSAS of war crimes and killing children.

But what we have learned over the past week is that material facts as stated by Hager and Stephenson are in fact wrong, or deliberate lies.   Read more »

Another lie exposed by one of Nicky Hager’s own sources

When Nicky Hager released his latest book he made several emphatic claims.

One of which was that John Key personally approved the raid in Afghanistan. That was the reason he chose the day before John Key made his valedictory speech to parliament.

Here was how Fairfax reported it:

The authors said the raid – in response to the death of Lieutenant Tim O’Donnell from a roadside bomb – New Zealand’s first combat death in Afghanistan – was given the green light by Prime Minister John Key in person but it was based on flimsy intelligence.

Except, like the locations of the villages, that wasn’t remotely true. We know it wasn’t true because one of Nicky Hager’s sources for his book has outed himself, and then revealed who it was who personally approved the raid.   Read more »

Hager/Stephenson Allegations against the NZSAS: Analysis of available information

A reader has submitted this analysis of the Hager/Stephenson allegations.


Background:

Overview

The NZSAS forces were operating in Afghanistan as part of an international Coalition following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Prior to the invasion by the Coalition, Afghanistan was governed by a jihadist organisation, The Taliban, who governed via a literal and jihadist interpretation of Islamic law.

Amongst their beliefs:

  • Subjugation of women – treated as slaves.
  • Harbouring of terrorists – Al Qaeda, Bin Laden and co.
  • Hatred of the west and non-Muslim countries. (NZ included in the wider scheme of things)

Underneath the top layer of Taliban rulers Afghanistan also has a large number of tribal leaders/war lords who rule local areas by force of arms.

Many of these tribal war lords also have similar beliefs to the Taliban – extreme Islamism etc.   Read more »

Does Nicky tell the truth when he is in court? Or in his books?

Over the past couple of days we have seen Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson admit they got the location wrong.

They insist everything else is correct though. We shouldn’t worry that despite claiming they fact checked and double checked and cross referenced everything, they still got the location of the village wrong.

It matters not that in every single book he’s written there have been material mistruths, there were multiple ones in Dirty Politics.

However, now a number of people are raising some rather pertinent questions about the veracity of anything Nicky Hager says.

Jim Rose has revealed via an Official Information Act request that Nicky Hager never put his rather serious allegations to the Ministry of Defence, the Minister or indeed the Army or the NZSAS themselves.

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