Tag Archives: Jon Stephenson

[FUT] There will be an SAS inquiry

Photo via publishers pottonandburton.co.nz

█ Website: HIT AND RUN – https://www.hitandrunnz.com/

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N U T S H E L L S ● S I N C E ● B O O K ● L A U N C H

At Facebook:

### ODT Online Mon, 3 Apr 2017
No SAS inquiry: PM
There will not be an inquiry into allegations an SAS raid in Afghanistan led to civilian deaths. Prime Minister Bill English revealed that decision at his regular post-Cabinet press conference this afternoon, saying there was no basis for an inquiry. It came after formal advice from Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Tim Keating. “After considering Mr Keating’s briefing…and viewing video footage of the operation I have included there is no basis for an inquiry.” Mr English said if new information changed this it would be reconsidered. He said the allegations had caused distress to NZDF staff and their families. […] Hit & Run by journalists Jon Stephenson and Nicky Hager claim six civilians were killed and 15 were injured in the 2010 raids in Afghanistan’s Baghlan province, and those facts have been covered up by the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).
Read more

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### radionz.co.nz 4:17 pm today
From The Panel with Jim Mora
No inquiry into the Afghanistan SAS operation #
Are there gaps in the NZDF account of the SAS operation in the Hit & Run book?
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (6′57″)

### radionz.co.nz 8:35 am today
PM trusting military’s word ‘a joke’ – Hager
By Craig McCulloch, Political Reporter
Investigative journalist Nicky Hager has accused Prime Minister Bill English of joining “a seven-year cover-up” by refusing to hold an inquiry into a 2010 raid in Afghanistan. Mr Hager and Jon Stephenson’s book Hit & Run claims six civilians were killed in a raid on two Afghan villages involving New Zealand’s SAS in 2010. Mr English yesterday ruled out an inquiry after being briefed by the Chief of Defence, Lieutenant General Tim Keating, and watching video footage of the operation shot by some of the aircraft involved. But Mr Hager said it was “a joke” for Mr English to trust the military’s word. “These are the people who are in trouble, so of course they don’t want an inquiry … No experienced minister should fall for that.”
Read more

### radionz.co.nz 12:39 pm on 3 April 2017
RNZ News
Soldiers’ honour hinges on inquiry – Transparency International
By Jane Patterson, RNZ Political Editor
A global anti-corruption group has added its voice to calls for an inquiry into allegations in the book Hit & Run, relating to raids on a Afghan village in 2010. The book alleges several civilians – including a three-year-old – were either killed or injured in the raid, which involved New Zealand special forces. The Defence Force has confirmed Operation Burnham took place on 22 August 2010, that New Zealand had a leading role, and there were fatalities that could have included civilians. However, it said the troops followed rules of engagement and the only people they could definitively say were killed were insurgents. Along with some parties and the book’s authors, Transparency International New Zealand chief executive Janine McGruddy wants an inquiry.
Read more

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The New Zealand Special Air Service was formed on 7 July 1955 and is the special forces unit of the New Zealand Army, closely modelled on the British Special Air Service (SAS). It traces its origins to the Second World War and the famous Long Range Desert Group that a number of New Zealanders served with. The New Zealand Government states that NZSAS is the “premier combat unit of the New Zealand Defence Force” and it has been operationally deployed to a variety of locations, including the jungles of South-East Asia, the Pacific region and Afghanistan. The NZSAS was accorded Regimental status in 2013 and presently has the responsibility of conducting domestic Counter-Terrorism operations and international on request, overseas Special Operations missions and performing the disposal of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive hazards for both the military and civilian authorities. #

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At Twitter:

█ Read more at Twitter #HitandRunNZ

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### radionz.co.nz 8:35 am on 26 March 2017
From Sunday Morning with Wallace Chapman
Jon Stephenson – Hit and Run #
Co-author of the book, Hit and Run, Jon Stephenson, joins Wallace to talk about what he and Nicky Hager uncovered in their book and why there needs to be an official enquiry into what happened in Afghanistan.
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (19′36″)

### radionz.co.nz 7:11 am on Wed 22 Mar 2017
From Morning Report with Susie Ferguson and Guy Espiner
New book claims Govt, NZDF covered up civilian casualties #
Journalist Nicky Hager says it is beyond belief government officials deny New Zealand SAS troops were involved in civilian deaths during a botched raid in Afghanistan in 2010.
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (12′51″)

### radionz.co.nz 8:11 am on Wed 22 Mar 2017
From Morning Report with Guy Espiner
Blanket denial made about claims SAS soldiers killed civilians #
Journalist Jon Stephenson says SAS soldiers involved in a botched raid in Afghanistan have told him and fellow writer Nicky Hager that lies were told to cover up the fact civilians were killed.
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (8′56″)

### radionz.co.nz 8:20 am on Wed 22 Mar 2017
From Morning Report with Susie Ferguson
War crimes specialist says NZ could face problems #
War crimes specialist Alison Cole says Hit and Run contains enough information for International Criminal Court prosecutors to begin an investigation.
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (5′40″)

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S A T I R E

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C I R C L I N G ● T H O U G H T

COOL! Published on Mar 25, 2017
Sia – Blank Page ft. Christina Aguilera (Mashup)
“Blank Page” is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Christina Aguilera, taken from her seventh studio album, Lotus (2012). It was written by Aguilera, Chris Braide and Sia Furler, with production done by Braide. Aguilera had worked with Furler on her previous two albums Bionic and Burlesque, both released in 2010.

Artist: Francis Perreault
https://www.facebook.com/perreaultcreations

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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New Zealand: Salmond on abuse of democratic freedoms

Dame Anne Salmond [stuff.co.nz] 1 ### stuff.co.nz Last updated 10:57 13/01/2015 — Dominion Post
Erosion of democratic rights
By Dame Anne Salmond
OPINION In the wake of the shooting of cartoonists and journalists in Paris, political leaders in New Zealand have expressed shock and horror, and their support for those who uphold freedom of expression in other countries.
What about freedom of speech and thought at home, however?
Over the past decade or so, politicians seeking to uphold their own power have abused democratic freedoms in New Zealand. Journalists including Jon Stephenson (for reporting on New Zealand’s involvement in Afghanistan), Andrea Vance (over a suspected leak of a report about the GCSB spy agency), and Nicky Hager (for exposing scurrilous relationships between senior politicians and muck-raking bloggers) have been intimidated and attacked.
While our leaders do not shoot people, they work with others to try to ruin the lives and careers of those who disagree with them. The means may be different, but the intent is the same. One way or another, their critics (however valid their points of view might be) must be silenced.

It is not just outspoken individuals who are at risk. Institutions that are the bulwarks of our democracy have been undermined. Since the 1980s, the civil service, which is supposed to offer informed, impartial advice to politicians, has been brought under ministerial control, and instead of serving civil society now largely serves its political masters.

The freedom of the press has been compromised, for instance in the wake of the teapot tape scandal, when newspaper offices were raided in an effort to prevent the publication of those recordings, or when improper pressure is brought to bear on journalists and media outlets for partisan political purposes.
While H L Mencken defined good journalism as “afflicting the comfortable, and comforting the afflicted”, much journalism in New Zealand now does the opposite. Read more

█ Dame Anne Salmond is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Auckland. She was the 2013 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year.

Anthony Robins at The Standard says:
“Salmond goes on to cover attacks on “The independence of the judiciary and the rule of law”, “Independent statutory bodies”, “Freedom of thought and inquiry in universities and Crown Research Institutes” and “Radical extensions of the powers of the SIS and the GCSB” […] It’s an excellent article, and a depressing summary of the state of NZ.” Link

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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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