Thursday, 8 September 2011

Hearing the truth

Pulling the Wool
Nicky Hager on Sir Bruce Ferguson on
Media 7 - 8 Sept 2011
Investigative author Nicky Hager is one of New Zealand's most internationally acclaimed writers. His 1996 book, "Secret Power", which probed global intelligence systems, was described as a masterpiece of investigative reporting. It won a US journalism award and led to a year-long European Parliamentary inquiry.
Hager's 1999 book, "Secrets and Lies" exposed unscrupulous PR campaigns. In 2002, "Seeds of Distrust" caused a political furore with its revelations of the political management of the genetic engineering issue. His fourth book, "The Hollow Men" which exposed the internal workings of the NZ National Party, prompted the resignation of the Parliamentary Leader Don Brash on the day that the book was released.

All these books were best sellers and John Pilger has described Hager as, "quite simply one of the world's best investigative journalists".
But when Nicky Hager's latest work, "Other People's Wars" was released late last week, the former Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force, Sir Bruce Ferguson was heard to remark on National Radio that he "wondered what Nicky Hager had been smoking". The Prime Minister John Key and Labour Leader Phil Goff were equally dismissive. None of these gentlemen had read the book but they were anxious to dismiss its account of New Zealand's role in Afghanistan, Iraq and the War on Terror as a load of fanciful rubbish wrapped up in a conspiracy theory.
The theme was taken up by several high-profile journalists who have been taken on the carefully managed, PR tiki-tours of the NZDF Provincial Reconstruction Team. They all lined up to rubbish Hager before they even had the chance of a cursory read of the book.
It appears that Nicky Hager fills the biblical description, "A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household."
"Other People's Wars" is a dense 439 page investigation which is cross-referenced by more than 1400 footnotes. It contains allegations and proof of a systematic attempt by a political, military and foreign affairs elite to pull the wool over the eyes of the NZ media and the public.
This week on Media7 Russell Brown (who has read the book) will be interviewing Nicky Hager, Jon Stephenson and David Beatson who have been chasing down the same topic.
It seems no coincidence that he and Jon Stephenson have both met with the same official hostility and derision from the military hierarchy and the politicians of both Governments who were charged with running New Zealand's longest war.
Media7 has also invited Air Marshal Sir Bruce Ferguson (Retd.) who was Chief of the Defence Force in the when NZ forces were committed to the War on Terror and managed the deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan until his retirement.
Media7 is recorded in front of a live audience in the TVNZ Auckland Television Centre and is first broadcast at 9.05pm on Thursdays on TVNZ 7.
The show is replayed several times during the week. (Friday 9.05 am and 1.05 pm, Sunday 11.05 pm and Monday 10.05 am and 2.05 pm)
Media7 is broadcast both on FreeView and on Sky Channel 77. It is also available on demand from TVNZ's website , can be downloaded as a podcast and is available on YouTube .
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