Friday, June 28, 2019

So that's what they were trying to hide

Nicky Hager has released the previously classified US video footage of the Operation Burnham raid, and it shows that civilians were shot at by American helicopters the SAS called in for air support:

The video shows three men - said to be described as insurgents, but not visibly armed - being shot by exploding rounds while climbing a hill above village Khak Khuday Dad.

Another clip from earlier showed two men were visibly carrying weapons - a rifle and a rocket propelled grenade launcher - when emerging from a building that is said to have included a woman.

The building was the home of an insurgent being targeted by the NZDF which claimed it was a weapons cache, Hager said.

Hager asserted the presence of a woman seen leaving the building showed it was a home to unarmed civilians.

The first is simply murder. As for the second, NZDF's rules of enagement are clear that merely carrying a weapon is not proof that someone is directly participating in hostilities. US-style policies which classify all "military-aged males" as "hostile insurgents" to be murdered are neither legally nor morally acceptable.

And then there's this bit:
Among the release was a report by US 'initial assessment team" that found a video taken by an Apache helicopter had been altered to remove 12-seconds of audio, in which the presence of a woman among a huddled group 200 metres in front of the ground patrol is relayed to the New Zealand officers.

He said the Defence Force had not admitted the existence of this inquiry.

I guess this is what NZDF wanted to hide: evidence that there has already been a coverup, and that they knew they were attacking civilians.