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 »

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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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.



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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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 »


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 »