Once Braunias turns on you, you’re stuffed

Nicky Hager

Every word in the new book I wrote with Jon Stephenson is 100 per cent absolutely correct.
Our central claim in Hit & Run is that the New Zealand SAS launched a revenge raid on a village in Afghanistan, and killed innocent civilians.
There is no room for error.
It’s more than a book; it’s an immaculate object, something to gaze upon with awe, and to be received as gospel truth.
I call it The Book of Nicky.

Jon Stephenson

I call it The Book of Jon.
But Nicky’s right, of course. The book is 100 per cent absolutely correct – and bear in mind that’s a modest estimate.
It follows that any criticism of the book is 100 per cent absolute bollocks.
There’s actually no point in the New Zealand Defence Force [NZDF] criticising the book, because everything they’ll say about it is wrong, and they’re going to look foolish.
Very, very foolish.


Jon and I stand by everything in the book, although we concede that it appears the location of the raid and the villages is indeed slightly different to what our local sources told us.
But not by much.
Only two kilometres, give or take.
Now that’s not a very long distance by any stretch.
Indeed it takes a healthy person about 10 minutes to walk one kilometre at a speed of six kilometres per hour, and we’re all aware of the SAS and their level of fitness, so at a sprint they could cover the two kilometres in, say, five, five-and-a-half minutes, and still have time to reload.


Nicky and I will now clear up any confusion about the villages that were attacked by simply saying Tirgiran is not a village, and therefore Tirgiran Village does not exist. Tirgiran is a valley area.
Naik and Khak Khuday Dad Villages are in fact located within the red rectangular box in the NZDF map. The identified Objectives 1 and 2 are located in Naik Village. The most northern village (incorrectly named Khak Khuday Dad in the NZDF map) is in fact a village named Khakandy. The northwestern village (incorrectly named Naik Village in the NZDF map) is in fact a village named Beidak.

Photo / Mark Mitchell, NZ Herald


Furthermore, we will now pinpoint the exact co-ordinates of the village with a simple demonstration.
You will see Jon holding an Oxford Maths set supplied in a traditional Helix designed tin box. It’s ideal for students at school, university or in the home, and indeed for two investigative journalists.
Jon will now open the set.
It includes a 15cm ruler, a 180-degree protractor, a 45-degree and 60-degree set square, a self-centring compass, a sharpener, eraser and pencil.
But something’s missing.


I have conducted an investigation of the contents and revealed that it’s missing a protractor. A protractor would come in handy right now, so I’ll just pop down to Warehouse Stationery and buy one.


Steve Braunias, NZ Herald