hit and run

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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We don’t ban anything, but we do try to help

Here at Whaleoil, we refrain from banning the things we don?t like, unlike the snowflakes and social justice warriors who seek to regularly Tiso retailers over what they can and can?t sell.

However, we aren?t above trying to educate our nations retailers and manufacturers when they get something wrong, so they can do the right thing and make changes as they see fit. ? Read more »

Hit and Run turning into a Choke and Flop

Political commentator Peter Wilson predicts the slow death of Hager’s latest swing and a miss.

On the face of it, the Defence Force has refuted claims the villages of Naik and Khak Khuday Dad were attacked, and has discredited the book’s account of civilian deaths in those villages.

But it too has a problem.

The authors, and lawyers representing the villagers, say there is no village called Tirgiran. It is the name of the valley where the operation took place.

The Defence Force maps simply have the name Tirgiran on them in the Operation Burnham area.

That gives the authors some room to move.

They’re saying that surely the villagers who were attacked know the names of the places where they live – and those names are Naik and Khak Khuday Dad.

Meanwhile the clamour for an inquiry goes on, with Labour being the latest party to again demand one. Read more »

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 »

The NZ Herald articles by Barry Soper about Nicky Hager’s Hit and Run that disappeared

Talk about Hager having power… whatever happened, this is what he managed to get removed from the NZ Herald web site


An examination of the cartridges shows they couldn’t have possibly come from the SAS, if they’d fire them they at the very least would have dislocated their muscular shoulders.

Barry Soper

Barry Soper is Newstalk ZB’s Political Editor

Barry Soper: More dents in Hit & Run?

Friday, 31 March 2017By Barry Soper

It’s been a week of claim and counter claim over whether civilians were killed during an SAS raid in Afghanistan in 2010, to allegedly avenge the death of our first casualty there, Lieutenant Tim O’Donnell.

Put all you think about Nicky Hager to one side, and for many that’s hard to do. It’s true he’s become something of an election year explosive device which generally has everyone running around chasing their tails, which of course includes the media.

Hager and his war correspondent cobber Jon Stephenson have taken on the might of the military in this country and they’re a lean, mean machine with all sort of resources at their disposal. When you take on that battle you’ve got to make sure you’re on solid ground but unfortunately some of it’s turned to liquefaction.

The authors’ claim about where the attacked villages were located in the remote Tirgiran Valley were a few kilometres out gave the Defence Chief an in, suggesting the whole yarn wasn’t worth the book it was published in.

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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 »

Our Afghan source speaks up

Whaleoil was approached by someone with on-the-ground experience living and working in Afghanistan:

I was in Afghanistan many years before the current conflict, and one of my colleagues had the misfortune to run into a woman who tragically stepped in front of his vehicle while carrying a baby.

Both mother and baby were instantly killed.

He stopped, and there was no concern from the local people until it was discovered that the baby was a male.

It was previously thought to have been a female.

Then there was a problem, and my colleague was imprisoned in Kabul Prison (a most unpleasant place) until blood money was paid, but paid only for the dead male child.

Not the mother.

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