NZDF admits Hit & Run had photos of village attacked by SAS | RNZ NewsThe revelation directly contradicts accounts of Afghan villagers in the book who have maintained for years that no insurgents were present. Speaking to RNZ, journalist Jon Stephenson said he discovered the conflicting information after the book's release in and had been investigating it since then. But Mr Stephenson said he had since spoken to two insurgent commanders who say they were in or around Naik during Operation Burnham. I always wanted to get their views as part of the book, however my co-author [Nicky Hager] was of the view that the book needed to proceed. That was a legitimate view, I'm not being critical of him.
Hit and Run - Nicky Hager 3/5
Operation Burnham: Hit & Run author backtracks on key claim
Before the launch he works the media into a frenzy, telling them how his latest tome's going to blow the lid off politics, destroy careers and possible bring down the government. The media hoard packs into Unity Books on Wellington's Willis Street, there's literally standing room only. The launches are expertly timed for the nightly television news who by the time they go to air have scant knowledge of the contents, but there are always a few tasty morsels to deliver on what's to come between the covers of the latest masterpiece. That was the case with Dirty Politics, the black ops men in the smoke-filled rooms dreaming up the next conspiracy reaching the highest levels, right to the Prime Minister's office. The latest effort Hit and Run, about unarmed civilians being killed by our SAS in Afghanistan villages, is an appropriate title as it's turned out, although Hit and Miss would have been more apt.
Soper: Put money where Govt's mouth is
It concerns a photograph in the book where the authors say a recently graduated teacher, who they name as simply Islamuddin, was shot. The authors tell us Islamuddin died from bullet wounds rather than shrapnel from helicopter weapons that allegedly killed most of the six civilians. The photo, on page 59 of the book, shows drink bottles and spent weapon cartridges. In my view, the photo and caption suggests the cartridges were fired by SAS snipers during the raid. A weapons expert was asked by NZME to identify the cartridges and he said they couldn't possibly have be fired by SAS troops, who are issued with weapons that fire bullets half the size of the cartridge cases. They're not from a shoulder-fired firearm, they would be almost impossible to fire without injury to the shooter. They are large, they're an anti tank weapon," Richard Munt, from Serious Shooters, in Auckland, said.
Nicky Hager born is a New Zealand investigative journalist. He has produced six books since , covering topics such as intelligence networks, environmental issues and politics. Hager was born in Levin to a middle-class "socially aware" family. His mother was born in Zanzibar part of Tanzania , where her father studied tropical medicine,  and later grew up in Kenya and Uganda. Hager studied physics at Victoria University of Wellington , where he also did an honours degree in philosophy.
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