Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


NZDF's key evidence in Operation Burnham issue

NZDF's key evidence in Operation Burnham issue is not what it was made out to be

News release 28 June 2019

Important new evidence relating to the allegations of civilian casualties during the 2010 SAS raid was released at lunchtime today by author Nicky Hager in a media briefing in Wellington. The information came from requests to the US military under the US Freedom of Information Act by the lawyer for the villagers, Deborah Manning and Nicky Hager, followed up by a Washington court case that secured the information.

NZDF had claimed the information was impossible to release to the public.

The evidence includes reports and exhibits of a US military inquiry held into civilian casualties, an inquiry that NZDF has never even admitted the existence of, which gives a detailed picture of what went wrong during the New Zealand-led operation.

“This material gives a graphic and upsetting picture of a US helicopter gunship firing into a civilian village in which frightened woman and children were seen running and huddling in groups”, Nicky Hager said.

“The NZSAS, which led the raid and authorised all air attacks, knew about the presence of large numbers of civilians and their injuries immediately or soon after but it has never admitted to this nor offered medical assistance.”

“The material also shows photos and pieces of video taken from the US aircraft weapon systems. Former CDF Tim Keating called this “compelling evidence” backing up the NZDF position on Operation Burnham. NZDF has used these photos and videos in secret briefings for politicians and the Operation Burnham inquiry – but said it was impossible for them to be seen and scrutinised by the public. It turns out that they do not seem to show what NZDF said they show.”

“The supposed 'armed group' turns out to be two people with weapons. This is not what it was made out to be. They do not look or act like insurgents, more like farmers helping to hide two weapons left in the family home of a real (but absent) insurgent. They then climb a hill without any cover (and any sign of the main weapon) and are killed by the roaming US helicopter gunships.”

“In response to NZDF statements about a group of insurgents gathering weapons to launch an attack on the NZ-led forces, I had written under the OIA to ask how many armed people were seen on the video. I grew increasingly suspicious because no matter how I asked the question, they wouldn't give an answer. They gave replies like “a number”. Now we know why. Because two people isn't an armed group and certainly isn't enough people to launch an armed attack on the SAS and the US airforce from the side of a bare hill.”

“Thus one of the remaining mysteries about the SAS raid seems to be solved.”

A US helicopter gunship gunner who fired exploding cannon rounds into the village appears to have used the call sign (for himself or Apaches): “Angry 22”. Another call sign that day was Slasher 02.

Nicky Hager's full briefing and all the released materials can be seen at www.nickyhager.info/foia. Some of the video is excluded because of concerns about putting video of people being killed onto the Internet. But it all was shown to the media briefing.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

RNZ Live Blog: Eruption At Whakaari / White Island

An eruption has occured on Whakaari / White Island in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, sending a huge plume of smoke and ash into the sky.More>>

Police Update
While it was initially believed there were approximately 100 people on or near the island at the time of the eruption, we now believe there were fewer than 50.

Some of those people have been transported to shore, however a number believed to be on the island are currently unaccounted for. Of those transported to shore, at least one has been critically injured. More>>



Big, Bold, Permanent Change Needed: Children's Commissioner On 2019 Child Poverty Monitor

“I want to see family incomes dramatically raised by increasing benefits and making the minimum wage a living wage. And the Government needs to move much faster at increasing the supply of social housing..." More>>


RNZ Live Updates: Weather Mayhem Strands Tourists; Major Roads Closed

Hundreds of tourists are stranded on the West Coast, and on the other side of the South Island a flood-damaged bridge has closed State Highway 1, after a weekend of torrential rain... More>>


Policing: Armoured Specialist Police Vehicles

New Zealand Police has taken delivery of three Armoured Special Purpose Vehicles. The vehicles are unmarked and look like standard Toyota Land cruisers... They will not be used for patrol. More>>

Single Use PVC And Polystyrene Out: Next Steps On Plastic Waste

The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. More>>


Faafoi Statement: Minister's Suspicious Immigration Texts

I have apologised to the Prime Minister and understand I have let her down in regards to my dealings with Jason Kerrison over an immigration matter concerning his family. More>>


NZ First Conflicts Of Interest: New Details Around Timeline

New information has emerged showing it was the New Zealand First chief of staff who identified potential conflicts of interest between a forestry company and two senior government ministers, sparking a series of declarations. More>>



Five New Cancer Meds In Six Months: Pharmac Funds More Cancer Medicines, Faster Assessment

PHARMAC has confirmed that two new medicines – olaparib for ovarian cancer and fulvestrant for breast cancer – have been approved for funding... Rituximab and bortezomib, which are already funded, have also been approved for widened access following successful commercial proposals from new suppliers. More>>






InfoPages News Channels