Thursday, June 14, 2018

An "investigation"

Last year, Stuff published The Valley, an in-depth investigation into NZDF's actions on Afghanistan. It alleged that, among other things, SAS soldiers had deliberately abused civilians in order to provoke "insurgents" into combat, and that a "very senior officer" had given illegal orders to set booby-traps, and then had the resulting prosecution quashed by the top brass. The allegations were disturbing and criminal. And now, it seems, NZDF is finally investigating them. But not openly or transparently, of course:

Outgoing Defence Force Chief Tim Keating has revealed there is an investigation under way into allegations made in The Valley documentary.

The Stuff Circuit series looked into the 2004 SAS raid in Afghanistan which led to the awarding of a Victoria Cross to Willie Apiata.

In 2017, Keating said he would respond publicly but had failed to do so.

On Thursday morning, when asked by Stuff Circuit why he hadn't, he said because of the seriousness of the claims, there was a legal investigation under way and he would not give a timeframe.

The "investigation" is being done in secret, and kept tightly in the hands of Keating. Which suggests that its not an actual investigation, but the usual NZDF coverup. Its clear by now that we can't trust NZDF to investigate itself. As with the Hit and Run allegations, we need a full independent inquiry into NZDF's actions.