SAS allegations of empowering torture will not go away
Normally the National Government wouldn't care too much about allegations over our SAS handing civilians over for torture in Afghanistan because it's only the dirty pinko lefties who love unicorns and rainbows who complain. That makes National Party types smile because they know nothing pulls the cruel sneer of redneck contempt like liberal do gooders protesting against war.
Normally this wouldn't worry National. Normally.
Normally National wouldn't be too concerned either about Amnesty International pointing out that our Human Rights are eroding because it's the same type of dirty pinko that wind their redneck voting rump into fits of foaming talk hate radio calls to denounce the politically correct nanny state dykeocracy.
Normally this wouldn't bother National at all.
But this time it is different. This time that great saggy flapping jowl of middle class pretension, Metro, has woken from it's preoccupation with sending the kids to whites only private education alongside food porn and style wankery to publish the most damning indictment on what our SAS are actually being asked to do in Afghanistan.
Journalist considers legal action over SAS comments
The journalist who raised concerns about the SAS's handling of prisoners in Afghanistan is considering legal action over comments from the Defence Force and Prime Minister John Key.
Metro magazine last month published an article by journalist Jon Stephenson that claimed prisoners were tortured after New Zealand's Special Air Services (SAS) handed them over to other forces.
Defence Force chief Lieutenant General Rhys Jones last week disputed the allegations, saying they were "founded upon a number of factual inaccuracies, especially concerning NZSAS operations".
Mr Key last week stood by the Defence Force's review of the allegations and said Mr Stephenson's assertions were "wrong and unfounded".
He hit out at Mr Stephenson's credibility, saying the journalist had once impersonated TV broadcaster Duncan Garner to get Mr Key to call him.
"I hung up on him because when people impersonate someone else I don't take them seriously," Mr Key said.
"I just don't think he's credible. If you look at the assertions he's made in this article they're actually not supported by the investigation from the New Zealand Defence Force."
Mr Stephenson said the comments from Lt Gen Jones and Mr Key were incorrect and defamatory, Radio New Zealand reported today.
He said he wrote to Lt Gen Jones yesterday to ask him to apologise and withdraw his comments.
Mr Stephenson said he would not take the matter further if Lt Gen Jones did so.
This isn't pinkos who are now asking angry questions about our role in enabling torture, these calls are coming from shocked leafy 'Listener Subscribing' suburbs, and the leafy 'Listener Subscribing' suburbs are not happy thinking their brave boys are actually handing people over for torture.
As Keith Locke points out, that number of torture empowerment's has now jumped to 35...
NZSAS Present 35 Times When Prisoners Taken
SAS present 35 times when prisoners taken, but minister dodges any responsibility for their welfare.
Denials that our SAS troops could be handing Afghan prisoners over to torture are getting less and less credible.
The government claims that on joint operations with the Afghan Crisis Response Unit our boys don’t take any prisoners. Last year, when I asked the NZ Defence Force about this – during a Select Committee hearings – I was told the SAS had been “in the vicinity” on 22 joint operations when prisoners were taken. On May 3 Defence Minister Wayne Mapp told me in the House that there were now 24 occasions where our SAS had been “in support” when prisoners were taken. Four days later, in response to my Written Question (03022), he upped that figure to 35.
...so that's 35 separate times we have empowered torture to prop up a corrupt regime?
The Government keeps denying we need an independent inquiry to find out if we are actually handing civilians over to known torture units and if so, whether we have breached international law and if war crimes have been committed by NZ troops. Such allegations demand answers, and not just to those the Government write off as 'lefty liberals', increasingly many sections of NZ are angrily demanding to know just what the hell our SAS are doing in this immoral war.
Thank God Metro has become relevant again.