'Too much' info given over SAS mission
Thu, 20 Sep 2012 6:01p.m.
By Political Editor Duncan Garner
The Government has sent back four SAS troops to track down the killers of five Kiwi soldiers who died in Afghanistan, but Labour says the operation should not be public knowledge.
Prime Minister John Key denies they are looking for revenge killings, but he confirms the United States may launch an attack if the intelligence stacks up.
New Zealand lost five soldiers to IED attacks – roadside bombs – over two weeks in August. They were Corporal Luke Tamatea, Private Richard Harris, Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker, Lance Corporal Pralli Durrer and Lance Corporal Rory Malone.
The Government confirmed today it has sent SAS troops back to Afghanistan to track down their killers.
“They are working on trying to get better intelligence on the bombers that took those IED attacks against our people," Mr Key says.
The Prime Minister has confirmed that four SAS logistics officers left last week for Kabul and are now based there. He says the officers are gathering intelligence on the killers of the Kiwi troops, preparing for what appears to be a retribution attack. If it goes ahead, the attack will be undertaken by US Special Forces.
“In the event we can build a case, because you have to go through quite a legal process, that would allow essentially an action to be taken against those people, but it would be taken by American special forces,” Mr Key says.
Mr Key said last month that SAS soldiers would return to Afghanistan.
However Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says the Prime Minister has given too much information away.
“I think he has put our troops and our coalition partners at risk through an action which is nothing more than big-noting.”
The Greens say the operation should not be happening at all.
The Government has been involved in retribution killings in Afghanistan before when SAS troops were involved in the tracking down and killing of 12 insurgents believed to have been responsible for the death of Kiwi solider Lieutenant Timothy O'Donnell in 2010.
The Government denies these attacks are revenge killings, but former SAS troops whom 3 News spoke to today say that is exactly what they are.
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21/09/2012 6:33:30 p.m.
So the plan is to find some people who we "think" did it, using only info from informants and gun them down? So we are condoning extra-judicial execution of suspects. This is pretty dodgy behavior for this country.
21/09/2012 5:29:51 a.m.
What a Dumb thing for Labour to say, I can see this comment coming back on them in the house, Maybe National have found the leak and fixed it in one go.
21/09/2012 5:02:50 a.m.
Mr Key has made the same mistake that george w bush did by announcing the 'secret' mission... and he is playing al qaeda's game. cant he see that? mr key now has blood on his hands and as a result he has made nz a target for terrorists. any further deaths and damage are his responsibility and he should be held PERSONALLY responsible in the future and NOT allowed to leave office until the war is over,m same with tony blair and mr bush. to quote black sabbath. "politicians hide themselves away, they all started the war. why dont they go out too and fight? they leave that up to the poor"
20/09/2012 10:43:03 p.m.
Key should have said where exactly the NZ SAS in Kabul were stationed. Hey 'Mr Tally man tally me banana, daylight come and I wanna go home. The public didnt need to know NZ had sent the special armed services off shore be it Afghanastan,Pakistan,Iraq and so on. Grandstanding Keyevents for all the know-all Natty votes.
20/09/2012 9:55:03 p.m.
This is war, not a world police operation. If those SAS soldiers meet those insurgents in the conflict zone then gun them down but don't waste resources trying to locate them and hold them "responsible" for the killings. Those NZ soldiers were legitimate targets; they are enemy combatants in a conflict zone. What do you expect when we're at war?
20/09/2012 8:59:30 p.m.
Typical labour. 6 lonths ago they were demanding we be told when the SAS were deployed now they are moaning because we, are make up your mind. Although I dont think anyone should be told what they are up too.
20/09/2012 8:58:50 p.m.
Lawl, how far will labour go to catch the 'dumb' vote, civil unrest? What next!
20/09/2012 8:49:27 p.m.
OMG how stupid can he be such school boy tactics what role model is this kind of behaviour. ITs there job they died doing it move on FFS!!!
20/09/2012 8:24:42 p.m.
Local Intelligence (Free Report) wrote:
IED's have only been planted to defend local properties from occupation by foreign troops and spies. If occupying troops and intel' collectors left, the cycle of revenge attacks would end. If we engage in another "revenge" attack and attempt to make such a "revenge" appear legal, we only justify improvised attacks carried out against our troops in exchange (or revenge) for the proportionally higher number of local casualties and much greater loss experienced by the Afghanistan population.
In simple language, our SAS should not be there. We should be unsurprised that we have become unwelcome. There is no need to go to Afghanistan to carry out work supporting this report. It has already become self-evident.
20/09/2012 8:19:54 p.m.
What an arrogant ass, self serving as always.
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