Nicky Hager

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 »

Swing and Miss: New Zealand’s gone barking mad

Since the book’s launch last Tuesday the authors conceded they might have got the location of the villages within the Tirgiran valley wrong after Defence Force chief, Lieutenant General Tim Keating, said on Monday the SAS never visited those villages but did carry out an attack on Tirgiran village, more than two kilometres away.

NZDF on Thursday released maps pinpointing the homes they say were raided, and accidentally set alight.

The NZDF maps also set out different helicopter landing sites.

“None of the houses identified in [Hit and Run] were destroyed by NZDF or coalition members,” the maps note.

“Only positively identified armed insurgents were targeted. No personnel were targeted at any of the locations identified [in Hit and Run].”

Mr Hager and Mr Stephenson maintain that confusion over the location of the villages shouldn’t detract from the civilian casualties.

The NZDF fired two rounds at one person.  He died.  He was confirmed as an insurgent.  He was running at NZDF personnel, armed, and firing at them while doing so.

Why exactly do we need to look any further?   Sadly, the politicians are piling up behind Hager.   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 »

Olivia Pierson’s take on the Hager hit

I have learned with the New Zealand media, that whenever a story gets sprayed out in a one-sided fashion from almost every single media orifice known to man, it is monumentally out of sync with the facts and an attempt at propaganda; eg -“Donald Trump is just a buffoon and could never win the Presidency,” or, “It would be a total economic disaster for the UK if they vote to exit the EU,” and the more recent, “New Zealand is suffering from an embedded rape culture.”

This being the case, when I read this week’s media hype about Nicky Hager’s latest piece of scurrilous handiwork (co authored by Jon Stephenson), I sighed – here we go again!

Hager & Stephenson’s new book Hit and Run about the New Zealand Defence Force’s 2010 “Operation Burnham” security raid into two Afghanistan villages of Baghlan Province, has resulted in a widespread call for an official inquiry to see whether or not our Special Air Service (SAS) is guilty of War Crimes. The book claims the SAS conducted the raid as a ‘vengeance mission’ over the death of Lieutenant Tim O’Donnell in Bamiyan Province at the hands of Taliban insurgents.

New Zealand Forces have been in Afghanistan since 2001 under the wider auspices of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). The New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) operated out of Bamiyan Province until 2013. The SAS have accomplished some amazing acts of heroism against the savage forces of the Taliban, resulting in the much deserved decoration of some of the team.

The Taliban have been a brutal foe, employing all the same tactics as the Islamic State, adhering to an intensely orthodox interpretation of Islam (in other words, taking their Koran and Hadith seriously). They have been, and continue to be, hugely funded by Pakistan & Saudi Arabia drawing many fighters from there, and also drawing from the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan, the Pashtuns (originally of Iranian descent).

That doesn’t matter of course.  We need to treat them properly and ensure everything is done to preserve their human rights, no matter what they do.    Read more »

If Nicky Hager wrote newspaper headlines for a living

 

Hit and Run co-author Nicky Hager has admitted that they got the location for the raid wrong in their book but thinks that their error is okay because they got the name of the village correct. It is just as well that Hager isn’t the kind of journalist that writes newspaper headlines for a living. Imagine the confusion if he did.

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.

Read more »

NZDF Chief told to prove hearsay accusations wrong

Journalist Jon Stephenson has called on the Chief of Defence Force to “put up or shut up” and release camera footage taken during SAS raids in Afghanistan.

Lieutenant General Tim Keating fronted media yesterday after returning from Iraq and almost a week after Stephenson and Nicky Hager released Hit & Run, alleging SAS raids in Baghlan province in 2010 killed six civilians and not insurgents as officials have claimed.

No one is in Afghanistan anymore doing these operations. There is no operational security requirement. The SAS is facing serious allegations. Put up or shut up.

A key part of Keating’s rebuttal of the book is that New Zealand personnel have never been to the two villages named in the book, Naik and Khak Khuday Dad.

Keating told reporters he had seen geo-referenced footage of the raid – called Operation Burnham – that proved both what was fired upon by supporting US helicopters, and exactly where the raids occurred – not Naik and Khak Khuday Dad, which were about 2km away and in very different terrain. Read more »

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Why is Hager’s work beyond critical media review?

The media have pumped Hager up, calling him an acclaimed journalist or New Zealand’s premier investigative journalist.  The media present him and his work as being better than what they themselves are able to achieve.   Whatever Hager writes is treated like gospel, and everyone else by definition, must be spinning, lying or is part of the Great Conspiracy where government is always in the wrong and always covering it up.

Defence Force Chief Lieutenant General Tim Keating also admits it’s possible civilians were killed by shots fired by coalition air forces during Operation Burnham on August 22, 2010.

The operation is at the centre of claims by war correspondent Jon Stephenson and investigative reporter Nicky Hager that SAS troops were involved in the killing of civilians in a revenge attack for Lt O’Donnell’s death in a roadside bomb.

They allege six civilians were killed in raids on Naik and Khak Khuday Dad, but Lt Gen Keating says NZ forces never went to that village.

They do more than allege it.  They’ve committed it to paper in book form, and they are claiming that these are unassailable facts backed by multiple witnesses who all didn’t know exactly where the incident had happened, how many people died or who caused their demise.   But it’s all an NZSAS revenge raid on civilians.  Nicky says so! Read more »

NZDF Statement on Hager/Stephenson book

The NZDF has issued a statement on the Hager/Stephenson book.

Unsurprisingly they have shown Hager and Stephenson to be incorrect.

The central premise of Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson’s book, Hit and Run, is incorrect, says the Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Tim Keating.

NZDF troops never operated in the two villages identified in the book as having been the scene of combat operations and civilian casualties.

Since the release of the book, the New Zealand Defence Force has spent considerable time reviewing the claims contained in it, despite the allegations of civilian casualties being the subject of a NATO investigation in 2010.

Upon review of Hit and Run, it is evident there are some major inaccuracies – the main one being the location and names of the villages where the authors claim civilians were killed and property was destroyed wilfully during a New Zealand-led operation. Read more »