Home > Oz Politics > A couple of thoughts on Haneef

A couple of thoughts on Haneef

July 17th, 2007

I’ve been at meetings today, so I haven’t had a chance to keep up with all the commentary on this case. But I have a couple of observations, or maybe questions.

First, it appears that the Minister for Immigration now has the power to seize and detain indefinitely anyone in Australia who is not a permanent resident (or maybe anyone who is not a citizen, or maybe anyone at all). All that is required is to revoke their visa, on the (non-reviewable?) grounds that they are not of good character, and then delay the implied deportation indefinitely. Can this be true?

Second, the evidence that is publicly available goes nowhere near justifying this decision. All we know is that Haneef gave his SIM card to his cousin, and that (as I interpret the charge against him) the government alleges that he ought to have suspected that the cousin was a terrorist. The Minister hints that there is a lot more that he knows and we don’t. But, given this government’s track record, isn’t it equally likely that the decision was taken purely in the hope that Labor could be wedged between concern for civil liberties and fear of terrorism?

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  1. Ian Gould
    July 17th, 2007 at 22:18 | #1

    John,

    It appears the decision is reviewable:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/07/17/1980952.htm

    “Lawyers for Gold Coast-based doctor Mohammed Haneef, who has been charged over his alleged links to a failed UK bomb plot, will lodge an appeal tomorrow against the Federal Government’s decision to revoke his visa.”

  2. jstrocch
    July 17th, 2007 at 23:37 | #2

    Pr Q says:

    it appears that the Minister for Immigration now has the power to seize and detain indefinitely anyone in Australia who is not a permanent resident (or maybe anyone who is not a citizen, or maybe anyone at all)…Can this be true?

    No doubt conservatives should be interested in the maintenance of institutional due process. But in times like these we should err on the side of caution.

    The civil liberties violin gets played endlessly these days by people desperately keen to lay a glove on the govt. What I see is a convicted terrorist and traitor who gets off fairly lightly for his crimes, mentally deranged persons being awarded massive compo payouts and a large and growing NESB immigration intake.

    Hardly a sign of the long dark night of fascism looming.

    Pr Q says:

    But, given this government’s track record, isn’t it equally likely that the decision was taken purely in the hope that Labor could be wedged between concern for civil liberties and fear of terrorism?

    “This government’s track record” on counter-terrorism is to have prevented terrorist attacks on homeland Australia. Its alien selection and induction policies have effectively constrained home-grown terrorism that has plagued other states with more touchy-feely cultural policies.

    If these good policy outcomes happen to play well as politics then so much the better for Australian democracy.

    Pr Q should ask himself why it is that more than 50% of the population appreciate the govt taking a hard-line on some ethnic trouble makers. COuld it be that some ethnics make trouble?

    This is more plausible than the alternative explanation, that the AUS populus is motivated by free-floating malice towards nameless others cynically exploited by bottom-feeding politicians.

  3. Jill Rush
    July 18th, 2007 at 00:55 | #3

    There is definitely an element here which applied to witches in earlier times. If they floated they were witches and should be burnt and if they didn’t sadly they drowned but at least they weren’t a witch.

    Dr Haneef wona legal battle only to have to face a different set of rules.

    Meantime the Australian seems to have an inside run on information – today with claims that Haneef was on his mobile to his cousins frequently. The whole episode is reminiscent of David Hicks trial by media and willingness of the government to leak selective biased information.

    It leaves a bad taste in the mouth. If his behaviour is so awful why wasn’t it presented to a court. Why does Haneef need to be sent to Sydney and separated from his lawyers? It appears to be a kind of double jeopody as even if he is found innocent he is condemned as unsuitable to live in Australia.

    The problem for the government is that it is in the lead up to an election and the voters know that Howard loves to wedge the opposition by “strong but necessary” action against minorities able to be demonised.

  4. July 18th, 2007 at 01:18 | #4

    It is more than just being unsuitable to live in Australia, he won’t get so much as a tourist visa again, for ANYWHERE.

    For all the mild concern the Indian government is showing for his “plight” in Australia, he’ll be lucky to ever be allowed to come this side of the Kashmir black stump.

    That said, I don’t share JQ’s opinion of the federal govt. Kevin Andrews is a hateful piece of work, & is as guilty as you can get of having zero charisma. But I suspect there may be more to our generous sim card loaner than we have so far been told.

  5. jquiggin
    July 18th, 2007 at 06:16 | #5

    Unfortunately, Jack, your response does more to confirm the suspicions noted in the post than to allay them. Clearly, even if it turns out that Haneef is innocent of any crime, and that there was never any justification for holding him, the government can count on your continued support on this matter. And, as you say, you’re not alone in holding this view.

    SATP, I too suspect there may be more than we have so far been told (there had better be, to justify his detention). Unfortunately, I also suspect there may not be more, or not much more.

  6. wise_but_poor
    July 18th, 2007 at 07:09 | #6

    Well, aborginal killer Sgt. Hurley still stays in Australia. Dr.Haneef has been charged with supporting Glassgow terrorists. The case against him has just started. Yet, his VISA has been unfairly revoked. I am not asking that investigators party with Dr. Haneef as they did with Sgt. Hurley(http://johnquiggin.com/index.php/archives/2006/09/29/mulrunji/). I would just hope that he gets a fair trial. And if he is found guilty he should be punished according to Australian law.

  7. July 18th, 2007 at 08:38 | #7

    difficult as it is to believe, many people don’t understand that no terrorist organization can compete with unfettered police as a danger to a nation. even those who imagine the local gestapo will be picking up ‘undesirables’ only, “not our sort”, are due for a hard education.

    oz does not have the national culture, nor character, to resist fascism. you truly are a nation of ‘subjects’: people done to, not doers. but you’are also truly the lucky country: the impetus toward fascism is still small and progress slow.

    one serious economic downturn, and a pauline hanson with a bit of brains-

    and you’re toast.

  8. gordon
    July 18th, 2007 at 08:58 | #8

    Steve at the Pub is right when he says: “…he’ll be lucky to ever be allowed to come this side of the Kashmir black stump.” Dr. Haneef may as well go and join al-Q. now, because he has no chance of doing anything else.

  9. gaddeswarup
    July 18th, 2007 at 09:08 | #9

    July 23rd issue of Outlook,in particular the following article:
    http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20070723&fname=Cover+Story+%28F%29&sid=1&pn=1
    gives some background of the cousins, but I do not much about the particular journalist.
    With the minister only giving hints, it is difficult to make any judgement apart from general principles of ‘innocent until proven guilty’. ‘Guilt by association’ is difficult to discern. Some of my relatives are Naxalites and I visited one of them Dr. M.L. Narayana in jail twice in the seventies. I met some involved in the Black Panther movement in 1970 when I was in Yale. Probably met many others in various countries whom I do not even remember now. I guess that it will be easy to make a similar case against somebody like me.
    Finally here is a report from yesterday. From http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/07/17/1980469.htm
    “Decision ‘politically popular’
    Meanwhile, a former Liberal politician says the Government’s decision to revoke the visa of Haneef will be politically popular.

    Former New South Wales attorney-general John Dowd, who is now with the International Committee of Jurists, says the decision will appeal to sections of the public.

    “This is a vote-winner for the Government,” he said.

    “There’s no doubt that the people, a lot of the people out there – they say ‘yes, well he ought to be kept away’, and how the Government’s got to protect us and so on – this is politically astute.”"

  10. July 18th, 2007 at 09:45 | #10

    I pretty much share all the concerns raised by John Quiggin on this issue. As others have indicated we do have this culture in which we trust government to make decisions for us and we just willingly submit. We willingly tolerate the sacrifice of individual rights in a misplaced pursuit of the “greater good”. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

  11. jstrocch
    July 18th, 2007 at 11:18 | #11

    jquiggin Says: July 18th, 2007 at 6:16 am

    Unfortunately, Jack, your response does more to confirm the suspicions noted in the post than to allay them.

    The only suspicion it should confirm is that Howard and “foaming at the mouth RWDB” support base are determined to not go down the same track as the USA and USE, extending a nervous hand of welcome to all and sundry who may mean us ill.

    We had a generation of easy-come, easy-go alien intake policies which contrived to turn parts of Sydney into war zones. No doubt its easier to miss such goings on when safely esconced in ivory towers. Thankfully Australians do not have to wait until we experience the horrors of Leeds and Paris before someone in authority sat up and took notice.

    The most likely source of terrorist outrages is home-grown or home-made ethnics, who have been let in or led on by loony liberal-Left cultural policies. Howard has put a stop to most of that. Since then things have been looking up in so far as integration of ethnics and disintegration of terrorists is concerned. Whats not to like about that?

    Pr Q says:

    Clearly, even if it turns out that Haneef is innocent of any crime, and that there was never any justification for holding him, the government can count on your continued support on this matter.

    I will be voting ALP the next election, so long as Rudd continues his Howard mini-me act.

    Clearly, unless the govt obtains a 100% conviction record on terrorist suspects you are going to assume that every legal move it makes in this matter is part of a pogrom against “people of colour”. No doubt the bomb plots foiled and gangs broken up count for nothing against the overriding priority of not appearing insensitive.

    The Howard-haters abroad today reminds me of the Capitalist-haters in days gone by. As Schumpeter would have put it:

    [Howardism]stands its trial before judges who have the death sentence in their pockets…The only success victorious defense can possibly produce is a change in the indictment.

  12. swio
    July 18th, 2007 at 11:53 | #12

    Not a very smart way to isolate the terrorists.

    What does someone do if they suspect an acquaintance or friend of being a terrorist?

    Turn to the police because you trust them to find out the truth?

    Or not turn to the police because if it turns out your suspicions are wrong you might ruin an innocent person’s life (and perhaps your own) as they are demonised, gagged from publicly defending themself and locked up by a politician who cares more about the next poll than due process?

    New members of the community are best placed to locate terrorists but less confident of their rights and fair treatment. Making a mockery of the judicial system is not the way to win their trust and support.

  13. July 18th, 2007 at 12:03 | #13

    Jack quoted,
    “stands its trial before judges who have the death sentence in their pockets…The only success victorious defense can possibly produce is a change in the indictment.”

    That seems to describe very well the Govts action on the Haneef case.

  14. snuh
    July 18th, 2007 at 12:28 | #14

    The most likely source of terrorist outrages is home-grown or home-made ethnics, who have been let in or led on by loony liberal-Left cultural policies. Howard has put a stop to most of that. Since then things have been looking up in so far as integration of ethnics and disintegration of terrorists is concerned. Whats not to like about that?

    Clearly, unless the govt obtains a 100% conviction record on terrorist suspects you are going to assume that every legal move it makes in this matter is part of a pogrom against “people of colour�.

    funny story: sometimes white people can be terrorists. incidentally, both jihad jack and david hicks (off the top of my head the only australians since 9/11 to be convicted of terrorism offences) are white. maybe the outrageously racist (not to mention, objectively incorrect) assumptions about “ethnics” you impute to howard might explain some of the howard haters?

  15. swio
    July 18th, 2007 at 12:31 | #15

    Jack, what planet are you living on? The most dangerous events in Sydney in recent years were arguably the Cronulla and Macquarie Fields riots. In both cases the rioters were not “let in or led on by loony liberal-Left cultural policies”.

    “contrived to turn parts of Sydney into war zones”
    Stop exaggerating. Even a full fledged islamaphobe can walk down Haldon St, Lakemba in Sydney and eat a meal without any reason to feel unsafe. Try it one day. “Jasmin” towards the bottom is particularly good.

    “We had a generation of easy-come, easy-go alien intake policies”
    When are the monoculturalists going to notice that Howard has never actually done anything about immigration levels and never will? If you believe Haneef is guilty then why aren’t you complaining about all those 457 visas?

  16. July 18th, 2007 at 13:38 | #16

    terje, not you nor any ozzie is offered a choice between democracy and pollie rule. the only choice we get is: go along with pollie rule or rebel.

    rebellion stunts a professional career, and is seldom chosen by any but desperados, or those not vulnerable to political disfavor. but you don’t have to legitimize your subjection to the government by suggesting there is any element of choice.

    and be more careful with your use of ‘we’. most ozzies i meet have no trust for government, at all. perhaps they meet more used car salesmen than you do. they confine their intellectual activity to the form guide, where they have some chance of profiting from the exercise, rather than political analysis which must always be barren.

  17. wmmbb
    July 18th, 2007 at 14:08 | #17

    “The dog not barking in the night” question: If Dr Haneef is such a serious suspect why have not the British Police organized his extradition?

  18. Razor
    July 18th, 2007 at 14:12 | #18

    I am sure it would make all those wringing their hands about this issue to have all the intelligence on his activities released for all to read. Don’t worry about protecting sources or methods or letting the bad guys know exactly how much you know about their activities, or don’t know for that matter. Don’t worry about the damage this does to the effectiveness of current and future intelligence operations. Just get the information out in the public domain becuase there is absolutely no reason for keeping it secret. In fact let’s just get rid of all security classifications for all information, including privacy, and publish it all on the net for all. I mean – we paid for it!!!

    I am waiting for the good Doctor’s Lawyer to roll out the “it’s the vibe” defence.

  19. July 18th, 2007 at 14:12 | #19

    Al loomis,

    There is a choice even when one is not offered. The idea that we need to wait until a choice is offered is passive submission. Rebellion is one option as you indicate and many people do their small bit every day. However given that we do have a working democratic system change is possible if people raise their consciousness, raise their awareness and raise their voice. We can move from social democracy centred on collectivism and a general disregard for indivduals to liberal democracy based on respect for the individual. It is faulty logic to presume things can not change. History shows that change is the norm.

    Personally I hope to extend the democratic menu on offer (ie create choice) at the next election via the Liberal Democratic Party (www.ldp.org.au). People will at last have a real opportunity to choose the values and principles of individual liberty. Social democracy will still dominate the menu but there will be a choice.

  20. Razor
    July 18th, 2007 at 14:19 | #20

    This is another example that the criminal law, and things such as the presumption of innocence and not wanting to jail ten guilty men in case an innocent man goes to jail, is entirely unsuitable for use in anti-terrorist operations. If there is any whiff of support for terrorists I expect to see doors kicked in at 3 am, phones bugged, non-Citizens being deported without so much as a by-your leave. It ain’t effing shoplifting we are discouraging.

    I heard on AM this morning an Indian Lawyer saying that this case is giving Indians the impression that we have “very, very draconian” anti-terrorism laws. Well – GOOD!!!! That is the idea. And who gives a toss what the Indian public think about our anti-terror legislation or immigration legislation???? Why the ABC gave so much air time to that issue is beyond me – maybe they thought it was balanced coverage of the issue.

  21. Razor
    July 18th, 2007 at 14:24 | #21

    wmmbb – I don’t give a fat rat’s clacker if the Met don’t want to talk to the bugger. If he has links to those terrorists and he isn’t an Australian Citizen then I want him out – pronto. And his family and friends if they aren’t Citizens. If they are upset then tough luck, go and find some other nice benelovent Western Nation to get cozy in. Maybe NZ will have him and he can look after Helen Clark.

    We owe them nothing. We have the right to decide who comes and stays here – it isn’t one big international drop in centre.

  22. July 18th, 2007 at 14:37 | #22

    Razor – do you blindly trust government so much? You are saying that a mere whiff is justification for locking people up? While we are at it why not decide the outcome of murder trials based on a politicians whiff. It would sure save a lot of money if a pollies nose is all that matters. We could call it trial by smell.

  23. Hal9000
    July 18th, 2007 at 14:38 | #23

    The charges in the UK against the cousin to whom Haneef gave the SIM are pretty flimsy too. The allegation is that he ought to have interpreted a SMS message from his brother (the one actually involved in the Glasgow attempted bombing) to the effect that he’d left his will in a named place as constituting information that he was about to do a terrorist act, and told police about it. Note, no accusation that he was in any way involved in planning the act. I can think of a few interpretations of such an SMS other than ‘I’m about to blow myself and others up for the greater glory of Islam’, so this is going to be a pretty difficult charge for the prosecution to prove. So, the known evidence against Haneef is that he gave a SIM card to a relative a year ago, and that that relative received a message on the phone containing the SIM card that might, but well might not, have led that relative to conclude that the sender of the message was in the process of carrying out a terrorist act, and that that relative should immediately have rung the police to put his brother through the very same process Haneef is going though – ruination of life, indefinite detention, etc.

    There must be many others who have objectively provided far greater assistance to the failed terrorists than Haneef, indeed the cast is almost endless – the people who sold them the cars, the people who sold them the bomb-making materials, the people who gave them visas to work in the UK, the government that so under-funded education and health in the UK that they had to import professionals from third-world countries. Haneef looks to be therefore an obvious patsy.

    Meanwhile, Jack’s comments about war zones in western Sydney IMHO are from the Alan Jones/Pauline Hanson school of racism, and I’m surprised to find him making them.

  24. wise_but_poor
    July 18th, 2007 at 15:11 | #24

    Razor,

    Haneef case has just began. If Haneef is found guilty then he deserves punishment under Australian law.

    Would you deport Kevin Andrews to UK if Haneef turns out to be innocent ?

    This is the 21st century. We live in an integrated world in which countries are interdependent. Australian govt must be careful in playing games in an election year.

    Well, if Australia can arbitrarily expel a person, other countries could also do the same to an Australian. Also you must understand that Haneef is not an aborginal man or Iraqi citizen who can be tossed around according to whims and fancies of Australian government. He is an Indian citizen and I am sure Australian government would understand long term consequences of unfairly treating him. If Australia wants to excercise its dominance in the pacific then it certainly does need the cooperation from China and India.

  25. Razor
    July 18th, 2007 at 15:14 | #25

    Terje,

    Having been part the security services of Australia, through my roles in the ADF, and knowing the quality of our intelligence services and Public Servants, Ministerial Staff, Ministers and the Judicary – I can say that I am confident, no matter if it is the Libs or the ALP in power, that they are doing the right thing. If they weren’t it would quickly be found out. Note the support from Rudd for the Goverments actions.

    Murder is a criminal offence and should be tried under the Jury system. the criminal justice system is manifestly inadequate for dealing with terrorism. Terrorism is an Act of War and should be treated as such. Beyond reasobale doubt is not acceptable in prosecuting a war – action needs to be taken based on the available information and interpretation of that available information. Even if Hanneef is innocent under criminal law, the significant questions surrounding his handing over a SIM Card (why onearth would you do that?), hasty attempted departure of Australia on a one way ticket following intercepted telephone conversations about the bombings etc etc, coupled witht he fact that he isn;’t an Australian Citizen means we throw the kitchen sink at him and then turf him out of th country.

    This will give a clear message to potential terrorists that we are playing for keeps, not namby pambying around because of worries about profiling or rules of evidence. If you are an Australian Citizen and you visit a Jihadist website you should expect you activity will be monitored. If you express support for terrorists then you should expect to be woken up at 3 am with a 9 mm diameter rifled barrel pointed at you forehead followed by some very intense questioning.

  26. Razor
    July 18th, 2007 at 15:24 | #26

    Wise-but-poor – WTF??? Why would the Minister, an Australian Citizen be deported for?? Having a bad hair cut?

    As if India gives a toss about one citizen being treated a bit roughly? Ask the low-caste Indians how well they are treated. Do you really think that they are going to jeopardised their diplomatic and trade relations with Australia over that?? In terms of natural resources they need us more than we need them. And there is a good reason why Pakistan and Bangladesh exist and it ain’t because they just like the names and Dr Haneef ain’t Hindu. While the media beat up is nice, this means bugger all in terms of interntional relations. The majotiy of Indians would forgive us because we produced Warne and Steve Waugh. And if you don’t beleive me go to an Indian village and say you know Warnie! You’ll be almost killed in the rush!

    And if other countries want to go expelling Aussies then feel free, although I haven’t heard of too many Aussies being linked to terrorist plots apart from a couple who, suprise suprise, are part of the religion of peace.

  27. rabee
    July 18th, 2007 at 15:29 | #27

    My first impression is that the government could have handled this case better and with less controversy. Does everything they do have to seem so vulgar?

    Surely they ought have withdrawn his visa prior to the magistrates decision. Instead they’ve highlighted that the powers given to the minister of immigration are not consistent with the fundamentals of separation of powers in the Westminster System.

    I’m also surprised and personally upset by Labor’s reaction. Surely the real wedge is between competence and negligence; between legal process and bully boy antics.

  28. gordon
    July 18th, 2007 at 15:45 | #28

    The record of interview (somewhat edited) published by The Australian can be downloaded from here.

    Ruddock is accusing Haneef’s lawyer of leaking the material (which he denies), so I suppose the lawyer will be arrested any minute now. After that maybe Ruddock will arrest the entire staff of The Australian – who are giving about as much support to terrorists as Haneef seems to have done.

  29. July 18th, 2007 at 15:51 | #29

    “Terrorism is an Act of War and should be treated as such.” – Razor

    Hysteria is just what is called for.

  30. jquiggin
    July 18th, 2007 at 16:19 | #30

    Razor, I wonder if you extend your approach to Australians travelling abroad. To give an example, suppose that an Australian going to Hong Kong on business (or even passing through the transit lounge at Hong Kong Airport) was suspected of giving some indirect assistance to a group that supported the Dalai Lama or Falun Gong, and the Chinese authorities picked him/her up for indefinite detention. All hunky-dory with you?

    If not, would you care to qualify your views that noncitizens can be treated as we (the government) sees fit?

  31. jstrocch
    July 18th, 2007 at 16:19 | #31

    swio Says: July 18th, 2007 at 12:31 pm

    Jack, what planet are you living on? The most dangerous events in Sydney in recent years were arguably the Cronulla and Macquarie Fields riots. In both cases the rioters were not “let in or led on by loony liberal-Left cultural policies�.

    Read for comprehension, please. Howard’s cultural policies have been working well “in recent years”, which is why things have calmed down here abit. Of course ten to twenty years ago a different tune was being played by those with their hands on the levers of power.

    Then we were going down the same track as Europe and America, with gangstas, militias and novice jihadists et al. The graffitti was on the wall, so to speak. But Howard’s tough no-nonsense approach and some populist backlash helped to dodge that bullet.

    And get a little perspective. Maq Fields and Cronulla were not all that dangerous. I recall no death or serious injury in those events. Unless you count the next day’s counter-attack on Cronulla, but you seem to have let that one slip down a memory hole.

    The net result of Cronulla riots was good: less politically correct policing and no more life guards bashed, women monstered etc

    Gangstas and militias are dangerous. And that is what Howard has cracked down on, with wars on druggies, terrorists and gun-nuts.

    swio Says:

    contrived to turn parts of Sydney into war zones

    I know the Liverpool area well, as I have worked out of it on frequent occasions. The “war zone” phrase is a description made by police who have had to deal with such matters, like having their station being subjected to drive by shootings.

    Sydney in the early nineties was gradually turning into a decaff version of US inner urbs during the crack wars. This is the comparison I made because I lived in the US (TEX/NY) for some of that period.

    Living and working in the US during that period helped me to shed what was left of my undergraduate liberal illusions. So when I saw a re-run of that movie being played out in Sydney I lurched to the Right.

    As I said, things have noticeably improved over the past ten years or so. But things only work well if trouble makers are quickly identified and penalised.

    swio Says:

    When are the monoculturalists going to notice that Howard has never actually done anything about immigration levels and never will? If you believe Haneef is guilty then why aren’t you complaining about all those 457 visas?

    No. Howard has increased immigration levels and increased NESB ratios. I strongly support his skilled immigrants policy based on economic prosperity, rather than ethnic identity, grounds. So I am not complaining about the 457′s.

    But the skilled intake program is politically sensitive. So it is vital to prevent it from going off the rails. Any abuse should be cracked down on ferociously, to protect the legitimate visa holders. Howard’s draconian response sends the right message to ratbags who think they can slip under the radar.

    I am neither a monoculturalist or a multiculturalist. The frame of the Culture War debate was idiotic from the get-go, based on a category mistake as to what contstitues cultural value.

    I am a modernist, as opposed to pre- or post-modernist. Civic modernity, rather than ethnic identity, should be the criteria of poltical value. Thats to say, I think public institutional and private individual moves should be judged on their contribution to the progress of material and moral values over time. Lots of beneficial objects spread around many benefited subjects.

    I don’t particularly care where people come from or what they look like. So long as they have co-operative attitudes and cognitive aptitudes.

  32. jstrocch
    July 18th, 2007 at 16:32 | #32

    jquiggin Says: July 18th, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    Razor, I wonder if you extend your approach to Australians travelling abroad. To give an example, suppose that an Australian going to Hong Kong on business (or even passing through the transit lounge at Hong Kong Airport) was suspected of giving some indirect assistance to a group that supported the Dalai Lama or Falun Gong, and the Chinese authorities picked him/her up for indefinite detention. All hunky-dory with you?

    Yes, the constitution of the PRC and its orientation towards foreign political malcontents is exactly on a par with the Howard govts relations to foreign problem posers. Absolutely no difference at all between Villawood Detention Centre and the Bamboo Gulag.

    And terrorist suspects are exactly on a par with the Dalai Lama, of course every school boy knows that. Thats why His Holiness’ face is on every “wanted man” list put out by Interpol.

    The liberal-Left runs on high-octane moral indignation, which occasionally causes even the most finely tuned intellectual motor to cough and splutter. And their desperate need to turn Howard into “the bogeyman they had to have” makes for ever-more implausible moral equivalencing.

  33. jstrocch
    July 18th, 2007 at 16:51 | #33

    snuh Says: July 18th, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    funny story: sometimes white people can be terrorists. incidentally, both jihad jack and david hicks (off the top of my head the only australians since 9/11 to be convicted of terrorism offences) are white.

    I bow to no-one in my withering contempt for those two jack-asses. But it usually takes a “sea of people” for terrorist fish to swim in. Thats why I am not so fussed about “white” terrorists.

    snuh Says:

    maybe the outrageously racist (not to mention, objectively incorrect) assumptions about “ethnics� you impute to howard might explain some of the howard haters?

    Pardon? I do not impute racism to Howard. In fact it is false to classify Arabs as non-white. They are Caucasians. But usually not Christians, of course.

    I dont really care what Howard privately thinks or even if he puts peoples noses out of joint with insensitive comments. In fact less apologetic positions are indicated from those in authority.

    What counts is that he keeps the peace. He has done this by removing or barring potential troublemakers from without and disarming or deterring such persons from within.

    This is not an idle boast. Go to the USA or USE for a trial run of the alternative cultural philosophy. In those places civil society is showing some real wear and tear. And the Right has gone more or less feral owing to deranged diversity policies.

    Hence we have Le Pen having a crack at leadership of France (and the USE) and Bush in charge of the USA. Is that the track liberal-Leftists really want to walk down?

    Howard is a moderate Centre-Right politician who has barely harmed a fly during his tenure in office. If you went by over-heated liberal-Left political rhetoric youd think we were all groaning under the jack boot of fascism!

  34. snuh
    July 18th, 2007 at 16:52 | #34

    razor,

    are the australian intelligence services in which you place your trust the same ones that thought saddam had weapons of mass destruction? that did not think militia violence would follow east timor’s independence referendum? that (if the official account is to be believed) didn’t notice that AWB was paying bribes to a dictator?

    i don’t particularly care whether you have been part of the australian security services. you don’t need to have been to know that they’ve been disastrously wrong about all sorts of important things, so it does not seem a good idea to lock people up (or worse, deport them) based only on their say-so.

    As if India gives a toss about one citizen being treated a bit roughly? Ask the low-caste Indians how well they are treated.

    suppose the situation were reversed, and an australian was being treated capriciously by the indian government. and say an indian, seeking to defend his government, made the argument “as if australia gives a toss about one citizen being treated a bit roughly? ask the aborigines how well they are treated.” would you (correctly) think the argument was made in absurdly bad faith?

  35. jquiggin
    July 18th, 2007 at 17:11 | #35

    Jack, you’re going totally over the top in a number of comments above, most notably (though not only) your endorsement of the actions of the Cronulla rioters, and you’re also overwhelming the thread. I’d like you to take a break from commenting on this thread for 24 hours to give you a bit of time to think things over.

  36. wise_but_poor
    July 18th, 2007 at 17:13 | #36

    Razor,

    India is changing big time. India has the second largest muslim population. I certainly agree that discrimination against the lower caste still exists, but the situation is much better than it was 30 years back.

    India is also a democracy like US, UK and Australia. Interestingly US and Australia have never had a women leader. India had a women prime minister after two decade of its independence. India is a secular country. The President is a Muslim, the Prime Minister is a sikh and the leader of the majority party is Christain and Italian by birth.

    Talking of cricket! You must be aware that which country was responsible in chucking Darrell Hair out of the ICC panel of umpires for his shoddy umpiring.

    You must be curious to know which batsmen gave Shane Warne nightmares! http://www.cricketnetwork.co.uk/main/s119/st62164.htm

    YOU must also be interested in know what Don Bradman has to say about one of the best batsmen in world cricket http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/21011851.cms

    Rabee,

    With regards to this issue, Labor is just playing optimal Nash strategy.

  37. Razor
    July 18th, 2007 at 17:15 | #37

    JQ – my answer to your question about “that an Australian going to Hong Kong on business (or even passing through the transit lounge at Hong Kong Airport) was suspected of giving some indirect assistance to a group that supported the Dalai Lama or Falun Gong, and the Chinese authorities picked him/her up for indefinite detention. All hunky-dory with you?” is that you play it as you see it. If you want to go to a foriegn country and upset the locals then accept the consequences. I don’t think China should have invaded Tibet, but I ain’t going to make a song and dance next time I’m in Honkers about it.

    I recall getting a hair cut before going to Singapore because they might have put us back on the plane and I had no issue with that. When in Rome . . .

  38. snuh
    July 18th, 2007 at 17:18 | #38

    jack, reduced to its essentials, your argument is that the browns (“ethnics”) are the most likely source of terrorists in australia, and that howard’s policies in this area follow from this conclusion. that being so, on my reading you are imputing racist motivations to howard. the fact that you can contrive a sense in which arabs can be said to be “white” in the context of australian race-relations is a silly sleight of hand which, to your credit, i do not believe you meant seriously.

    also, to say the cronulla rioters were “led on by loony liberal-Left cultural policies” seems like a very peculiar thing to say about alan jones.

    Read for comprehension, please. Howard’s cultural policies have been working well “in recent years�, which is why things have calmed down here abit. Of course ten to twenty years ago a different tune was being played by those with their hands on the levers of power.

    Then we were going down the same track as Europe and America, with gangstas, militias and novice jihadists et al. The graffitti was on the wall, so to speak.

    were there events like the cronulla riots from the hawke-keating years, please. were there any? also, how is it that howard’s “cultural policies” have prevented riots “in recent years”, but did not prevent macquarie fields or cronulla? what changes to multiculturalism/integration policy did howard make after cronulla or macquarie fields, that would make it fair for you to take credit on his behalf for things having “calmed down here abit”?

  39. jstrocch
    July 18th, 2007 at 17:46 | #39

    jquiggin Says: July 18th, 2007 at 5:11 pm

    Jack, you’re going totally over the top … I’d like you to take a break from commenting on this thread for 24 hours to give you a bit of time to think things over.

    I have been sin-binned.

  40. July 18th, 2007 at 18:39 | #40

    Terrorism is an Act of War and should be treated as such. Beyond reasobale doubt is not acceptable in prosecuting a war – action needs to be taken based on the available information and interpretation of that available information.

    I agree that wars between nations should be prosecuted on a balance of probability approach. However I don’t think terrorism inspired by ideology and pursued by individuals should be treated in the same manner as a war between nations. I think that it should be treated as a crime just as the British treated the IRA bombing attacks in England as criminal acts.

    I can accept that in deporting people that are neither citizens nor permanent residents the government might need to exercise some discretion and a balance of probablity approach. However John Quiggin was making a point about capricious detention not merely deportation. If the courts have determined that there is no cause for detention (ie granted bail) then why does that decision need to be second guessed? The police could have made appropriate submissions to the judge. The courts already have the power to refuse bail if there is a significant risk that somebody will commit an offence. And the policy already have the power to conduct ongoing surveillance if they think that there is a threat.

    In the scheme of things terrorism is not a significant enough hazard to justify discarding basic individual liberties. One of which is the presumption of innocence. We are all safer with a presumption of innocence and the burdan of proof on the accuser than with the opposite.

  41. July 18th, 2007 at 18:42 | #41

    Macquarie Fields, Cronulla, but why does not Redfern get a run on in this thread?

  42. rabee
    July 18th, 2007 at 18:51 | #42

    The Age is now reporting that “Mohamed Haneef will be treated “as a terrorist” while detained in a Queensland jail and subject to special conditions.”

    They have also published the following photo of a person believed to be Mohamed. The picture is of a man in brown-orange overalls with his face down. He is also not wearing shoes.

    If indeed, this is one of the conditions of detention, then it is clear that we are coordinating with the US with regard to the treatment of foreign terror suspects. There are similarities between the picture published in The Age and pictures of Gitmo detainees.

    To what extent are we coordinating the special detention conditions of terror suspects with the US? Is the implementation of these special conditions a state issue. Does any charge related to terrorism qualify a person for this special treatment?

  43. swio
    July 18th, 2007 at 19:42 | #43

    Professor Quiggin,

    I am loathe to suggest how your blog should be moderated, but I do feel Jack’s sin binning is unwarranted.

  44. ajwoulfe
    July 18th, 2007 at 20:26 | #44

    I must say that I amazed at the ‘us and them’ attitude that seems to be growing, not only in this country, but all over the world. When will everyone realise that we are all in this together – Nationalism is a fallacy. Nothing is yours, you never really own anything and the more you hold on to what you think is yours the worse it gets for everyone. You can’t just shut your doors and hide…

    We act so hurt and offended that people should contrive to commit acts of violence against us?? Where have you been hiding? Whether we like it or not, we have all allowed this country to be at war – a coffee table revolution solves nothing. What is worse is that we have been blinded into fighting a war, not against a regime, but rather the whimsical notion of Terrorism. It’s much like the US’s successful push to change global warming to climate change. The correct terminology allows you far more scope to manoeuvre in.

    Haneef is but another example of feeding us that tasty placebo. Terrorism is only successful when it is truly ‘unknown’. By giving the people icons to focus their hate and fear upon, governments gain another tool in their arsenal of control.

    I agree with the original message of this post by JQ. We are creating a way of dealing with this problem that has no boundaries and limitations to its scope. That is the real problem…

  45. July 18th, 2007 at 23:54 | #45

    Nothing is yours, you never really own anything and the more you hold on to what you think is yours the worse it gets for everyone.

    Rubbish. My life is my own and I intend holding onto it for as long as possible. And doing so diminshes nobody let alone everybody. In fact the reason why detention without trial is so appalling is precisely because people do own their own lives and they have every right to hold onto their liberty. To surrender all notion of ownership is to submit to death.

  46. ajwoulfe
    July 19th, 2007 at 00:26 | #46

    Terje, your life is your own and that is a given. The point is more about tangible ownership…there is no ‘us and them’. How do we stand on a beach screaming get of my country when it’s never ours to begin with?
    To live in fear of death is futile though…surrending ownership is freedom from fear.

  47. Jill Rush
    July 19th, 2007 at 09:27 | #47

    The interesting part of this is that the usually conservative legal field has obvious concerns about the abuse of process that has occurred in this case.

    There are those who are quite happy to throw people in jail who are suspected of terrorism without fair process citing that the ends justifies the means. However in this case there has been no suggestion that Australia had the threat of a terrorist attack.

    Our greatest protection is to have every person confident of the integrity of the legal system. The travesty of the actions against Haneef have alarmed lawyers who believe in the rule of law as the best protection of citizens and residents alike. The creation of a police state is detrimental to that confidence.

    We can see many instances of how power corrupts – that is why there is a separation of powers between the courts and parliament. Kevin Andrews has by his actions shown a radicalism which undermines the separation of powers. In agreeing Phillip Ruddock has shown that he will not protect the legal process from governmental takeover.

    We have a radical Government which has shown it is prepared to overthrow long standing conventions of the constitution and the Westminister traditions in trying to hold onto power.

  48. July 19th, 2007 at 09:54 | #48

    Ajwoulfe – Your generalities are absurd. You are essentially saying that Iraqis should not regard their country as their own? That Australians should not feel any connection to their nation. That my front gate has no purpose. Ownership is no doubt a construct. However it is an absolutely essential one if we are to ever have peace with eachother. I agree that nationalism (like tribalism or most isms) can be devisive. However throwing “ownership” out with the bath water is suicidal. We should be creating more ownership not less. Ownership is the essence of responsibility.

  49. gordon
    July 19th, 2007 at 10:37 | #49

    Readers may wish to write to the Fed. Govt. to voice their concerns about the treatment of Haneef. Without implying that readers of this blog can’t write a letter, pressure of time sometimes means that using or modifying an existing form of words is convenient. Since I don’t have a website I append the form of words which I will be using later today in writing to Ruddock, Andrews and my Fed. MHR and Senators – for use/adaptation by anybody wanting to register a protest. The Estcourt quote is from here.

    The Hon. Phillip Ruddock
    Attorney-General

    The Hon. Kevin Andrews
    Minister for Immigration

    cc. [my Federal MHR and Senators]

    Dear Ministers,

    I am amazed and shocked at the Federal Govt’s. treatment of Dr. M. Haneef. He has been convicted of no offence by any Australian court, and no evidence has been presented in court to indicate that this man is either a criminal or involved in any criminal conspiracy. Despite this, he has been detained without charge or appearance before a Magistrate under terror legislation longer than would have been possible under ordinary criminal law.

    Now his visa has been cancelled by action of the Executive Government in a way which leaves no doubt in my mind that the Government is using immigration law to persecute this man for political reasons.

    The actions of the Government in this case are incompatible both with separation of powers and with any ordinary conception of justice. I endorse the comments of Stephen Estcourt QC, President of the Australian Bar Association, as reported in “The Ageâ€? newspaper of 17 July 2007, where he describes the Government’s actions as: “a cynical exercise of the Government’s power because it effectively side-stepped the authority of the courtsâ€?.

    I ask that the Government immediately restore Dr. Haneef’s visa and allow the legal process to proceed without further interference.

    Yours sincerely,

  50. Razor
    July 19th, 2007 at 12:49 | #50

    The Hon. Phillip Ruddock
    Attorney-General

    The Hon. Kevin Andrews
    Minister for Immigration

    cc. [my Federal MHR and Senators]

    Dear Ministers,

    Keep up the good work.

    Yours sincerely

    Razor

  51. Dylwah
    July 19th, 2007 at 13:17 | #51

    Razor
    Of course this place is an international drop in centre, where the bloody hell have you been while our tourism industry has gone gang busters.

  52. Bring Back the Currency Lad
    July 19th, 2007 at 13:21 | #52

    Razor why is it good work.

    A magistrate has stated the case is thin and thought the Government’s case so strong she granted bail.

    Andrews has used powers to revoke a passport when normally the Government would be trying to get rid of the said person post haste. In this case the person is not allowed to leave for unknown reasons.

    Either the Magistrate heard them and rejected them or they were not brought to her which means they were not admissible.

    now we hear the sim card had a $10 credit which would have gone within a month!

  53. snuh
    July 19th, 2007 at 13:45 | #53

    what is stunning about people like razor is that being hunky dorey about this would only be possible if they believed what is happening to dr haneef couldn’t possibly happen to them.

    it’s difficult to know what’s more annoying about this belief: its arrogance, the complete absence of empathy it indicates, or the fact that it’s probably correct. but suffice to say that no australian of muslim and/or indian extraction will share his confidence.

    p.s., it’s a good letter, gordon.

  54. Razor
    July 19th, 2007 at 14:43 | #54

    snuh

    If you lie with dogs, you will get fleas.

  55. Bring Back the Currency Lad
    July 19th, 2007 at 15:50 | #55

    Razor, we do not know he has even lay down with dogs.

    That is your assumption which I might add at this stage has no evidence to support it.

    You are allowing AQ to win by this attitude

  56. AnnaK
    July 19th, 2007 at 15:51 | #56

    This episode really encourages me to find out a lot more about the political opinions of my cousins…

  57. Bring Back the Currency Lad
    July 19th, 2007 at 16:19 | #57

    wow I just found out the doc’s problem was that he was in contact with a person who may have known about the act but did not report no the actual nitwits who tried to blow up cars.

    It makes it look even sillier

  58. July 19th, 2007 at 16:26 | #58

    Bring Back Currency Lad. Magistrates give bail to some of the most undeserving people.

    If there was a requirement that any offence committed by the bailed party would be visited upon the magistrate (eg, if the bailed party promptly beats up their complainant, sherriffs would inflict a similar beating upon the magistrate who granted bail) perhaps bail granting would be more carefully thought out.

    To paraphrase SNUH, Magistrates grant bail in the secure knowledge that anything done by the bailed party won’t happen to them, & if it happens at all, it won’t be the Magistrate who has to physically confront and subdue the offender.

    That notwithstanding, from what we know so far, you’d wonder why Dr. Haneef was charged.

  59. snuh
    July 19th, 2007 at 17:01 | #59

    To paraphrase SNUH, Magistrates grant bail in the secure knowledge that anything done by the bailed party won’t happen to them, & if it happens at all, it won’t be the Magistrate who has to physically confront and subdue the offender.

    yes but, as your comment demonstrates, it will be the magistrate who gets blamed, and i would be surprised if this doesn’t (subconsciously) colour some of their decisions.

  60. July 19th, 2007 at 19:21 | #60

    Snuh: Magistrates in NSW are even more out of hand than they are in Qld, & the thought that they will be blamed for the consequences of their actions hasn’t worried them in the slightest. They are that far up themselves.

  61. zebbidies spring
    July 19th, 2007 at 21:03 | #61

    Magistrates, cultural elites, ethnic minorities all out of hand – the country going to wrack and ruin! The trains not running on time either I believe!

    What a bunch of cowardy-custards you lot are. The West managed to fight the far greater threat of communist dictatorships with nuclear weapons without having to crumble to this level of pant-wetting hysteria.

    And so brave and forthright about giving away the rights of other people . Who’d have thunk you were panicked into it by a mad Saudi on the other side of the world? Who is almost certain to never have any material impact on your life.

    That sort of courage should never go unremarked. They should mint you a bloody medal.

  62. Bring Back the Currency Lad
    July 20th, 2007 at 09:47 | #62

    Steve,

    you miss the point. They maybe undeserving but the prosecution has failed to produce any evidence to keep them off the street.

    In this case this was laso the case. Now it appears the AFP has stuffed up their evidence.

  63. wmmbb
    July 20th, 2007 at 12:43 | #63

    Apparently, despite the statement of the prosecutor to the court the SIM card was not been burnt at the scene of the crime in Glasgow, but was found with Dr Haneef’s relative in London.

    Aside what now turns out as dodgy evidence to the court, it seems that the Commonwealth Migration Act 1958 does not require the Minister to be accountable and transparent in his decisions, and thus has discretion to act contrary to the rule of law, the presumption of innocence and the separation of powers.

    The World Today on ABC carried the story.

  64. July 20th, 2007 at 12:53 | #64

    Steve,

    Bail is given to those that are still presumed to be innocent of any crime. It is not appropriate to detain innocent people on a whim. Detention of innocent people needs to be based on very strong evidence of risk to the community because depriving people of liberty is a very serious matter. The presumption of innocence is no doubt sometimes in some instances a flawed system of thought, but it is vastly better than any other system of justice that has ever been tried.

    The judiciary does not exist to make the job of the police or the job of executive government easy. That is not it’s purpose. It is there to administer justice independent of executive whim and in accord with the law and the specific circumstances of the case. In so far as judges have any role at all in “preventing” crime it surely relates only to the deterence associated with sentencing.

    Regards,
    Terje.

  65. Razor
    July 20th, 2007 at 12:59 | #65

    Terje,

    The western criminal justice system is completely inadequate and inappropriate for dealing with terrorism.

    On the battle field you don’t issue warnings that you are about to shoot someone. If you capture the enemy you don’t read them their rights or give them access to lawyers.

    This is a war, not a criminal justice operation. The sooner this is recognised, the sooner we can start making real progress in winnning it.

  66. jquiggin
    July 20th, 2007 at 14:07 | #66

    “The western criminal justice system is completely inadequate and inappropriate for dealing with terrorism.”

    And yet, it’s somehow managed, for the last 150 years or more, to deal with Fenians, anarchists, syndicalists, fascisti, Provos, UVF, Red Brigades, Weathermen, militias and others, all of whom have resorted to terrorism and who have collectively caused more deaths than our current enemies. But faced with Osama, Razor wants to run up the white flag and surrender our liberties for what has already been announced as an endless state of war.

  67. July 20th, 2007 at 15:45 | #67

    Razor – On whom is this war declared and who amoungst our foes has the authority to surrender? The war metaphor is wrong in so many ways. Like the war on drugs and the war on poverty, the war on terrorism is merely a catch cry for more powerful government. It is not a temporary suspension of normality because the nation is in peril. Terrorism does not threaten Australian sovereignty. Terrorism is a crime. Political in motivation but a crime none the less.

  68. frankis
    July 20th, 2007 at 16:25 | #68

    I wanted to write

    I say your pantywettin’ support for messages of the day from Dear Leader John is doubleplus good, Razor.

    An idea, gang:- as Razor’s terrorists are a danger to us worthy of fullscale war including abandonment of our civilisation (specifically of superseded concepts such as the rule of law, presumption of innocence, Geneva Conventions etc etc), all of which could be messy and might detract from our Foxnews viewing time, why don’t we instead consider ….
    New Idea: We challenge al Qaeda’s greatest champion to a cage match with our own Razor, winner to take all of Christendom and the new Caliphate as spoils for his tribe!

    True Razor’d almost certainly lose it for us but to listen to him our civilisation’s lost already, we’d only be acknowledging the fact then getting on to going along with our new rulers. Surely the idea deserves as much time as Dear Leader’s latest message of the day, anyway.

    but it’s out of persona for Frankis. What JQ, Terje, et al said.

  69. Hal9000
    July 20th, 2007 at 17:05 | #69

    Gun-totin’ Americans kill far more Americans than them terrrists do. But that’s one liberty they sure as hell ain’t gonna ditch.

    If this War on Terror for which Razor wants to jettison every individual liberty won since Runnymede is anything more than a cover for US imperial hegemony over the oil-rich regions of the planet, I’ve yet to see convincing evidence.

    Our current leaders are fond of (usually ahistorical) references to the 1930s and the Anglo-French ‘appeasement’ policy. Yet with terrorism we know perfectly well what the strategic goal of the terrorists is: to provoke states to, in the terrorists’ view, unmask themselves for the savage beasts they really are – at which point the scales will fall from the masses’ eyes and world revolution will usher in paradise on earth. AQ focuses on the middle east, where just as predicted the US and its allies have indeed shown themselves to be beasts of extraordinary savagery, but the game remains the same as it was in Bakunin’s time back when they were assassinating Tsars and Emperors. The terrorist game plan seems to be working pretty well to schedule, with Razor and his co-religionists purblindly in the vanguard.

    For governments like the Howard regime that don’t care too much for the rule of law and the rights of individuals anyway, terrorism is the perfect bogey man. If there are no attacks in Australia, they can say ‘look! It’s all down to us.’ If there are attacks, they can say ‘Our policies are right, but just not violent enough. Let’s jettison some more liberties and legal principles. Maybe criminalise discussions like this one’.

    I live in a part of Australia where it is still possible to leave your door unlocked and not have to worry about being broken into (although as an aside I was in fact broken into a decade back, by a local junkie whom the police caught, having been pointed in the appropriate direction by several other locals). That strikes me as being real security – all the bars, alarms, guard dogs and arsenals in the world don’t get you security, just a heightened sense of insecurity. The response encouraged by Howard and the MSM is like the obsessive-compulsive person who can’t sit easy for a second until an idiosyncratic and fragile order has been imposed by a series of rituals that to the outside observer appear bizarre. End of rant.

  70. July 20th, 2007 at 19:31 | #70

    There will certainly be some red faces if it transpires that the feds had nothing on Haneef.

  71. July 20th, 2007 at 20:36 | #71

    Gun-totin’ Americans kill far more Americans than them terrrists do. But that’s one liberty they sure as hell ain’t gonna ditch.

    And why should they? If I lived in a dangereous country (which is true in parts of America but also in some parts of Australia) I would want the right to own a firearm as a means of defence. An armed population is a good thing on multiple counts. It deters criminals. It provides a ready means of national defence and as such lowers the requirement for a professional standing army and as such potentially lowers the risk of advertureous wars abroad.

    Australias approach to firearm owners is a lot like Australias approach to Haneef. Presume guilt and curtail liberty so that we can all feel protected by our favourite big brother.

    One of the things that the EU has thus far maintained (but the US has lost) is organised milita by the constituent states rather than at the federal level. Such a division of force maintains the deterence effect against invaders but reduces the capacity to wage war abroad. Such a pity that the US failed in the founders quest to keep the centre government weak. Such a pity that persistent forces within the EU long to ensure the same failure there. It is better that the national capacity for defence is distributed amoungst patriots rather than centralised amoungst autocrats.

  72. July 20th, 2007 at 21:10 | #72

    Car driving Australians kill more than them terrorists do. But that is one liberty the Aussies sure ain’t gonna ditch.

  73. July 20th, 2007 at 21:28 | #73

    Maybe we need a war on cars. ;-)

  74. Hal9000
    July 20th, 2007 at 23:36 | #74

    “There will certainly be some red faces if it transpires that the feds had nothing on Haneef.”

    Don’t worry, SATP, they’ll say they had heaps of stuff, but it was too secret to reveal in court… and then deport him. The only concern is that apparently the media has access to India. But then of course, as the Corpse Who Walks has already indicated, the trial can be delayed almost indefinitely, by which time he and the rest of the Howard gang will be as shot through as the last Bondi tram.

  75. July 21st, 2007 at 01:13 | #75

    Hal, it makes constructive discussion difficult when Montana militia conspiracy theorists such as yourself persist with posting crackpot Ludlum scale fantasies in the middle of it all.

    However it is quite a relief to read stuff, which when posted in comments, reveals that no matter what one’s friends & family get up to, there exist people who are even nuttier.

    Thank you.

  76. wise_but_poor
    July 21st, 2007 at 05:30 | #76
  77. jstrocch
    July 21st, 2007 at 13:46 | #77

    jquiggin Says: July 18th, 2007 at 5:11 pm

    Jack, you’re going totally over the top in a number of comments above, most notably (though not only) your endorsement of the actions of the Cronulla rioters,

    Making historical judgements is always a risky business as it leaves one open to the malicious inference, as per this example. But two can play at that game.

    For instance, Pr Q’s opposition to Iraq-attack left him open to charges that he was a supporter of Hussein’s fascist tyranny. This is a logically valid but hardly fair, as Pr Q pointed out at the time.

    Likewise I could argue that Pr Q’s complacency about the status-quo ex ante in Cronulla made him an implicit supporter of the “lifefguard bashing and female monstering” actions of the Cronulla gangstas?

    I am not stooping to that level. Can I ask Pr Q to extend the same courtesy to me?

    FTR I have never supported or engaged in rioting of any kind, unless one counts union picket lines and demos as such. (which some do). I think all ethnic activism is a dead end, whether it be Anglo-Celtic or Islamo-Arabic. If you sow an identity political wind you will reap an ethnic riot.

    As I pointed out at the time, the liberal-Left have no one to blame but themselves for ethnic fracas, they flow naturally from its faulty ideological premises:

    it makes a kind of twisted sense for Anglo-Celtic youths to face-off against Lebanese youths. The Skips are actually practising “multiculturalism with an Ocker face�.

    If that counts as an “endorsement” then we may as well all pack away our irony applicators and blog in semaphore.

    But, Pangloss that I am, I couldnt help noticing that in the aftermath of the bashings/protests/riots there were more police and less gangstas prowling the Cronulla area. Less argy bary all round. Can we call that a silver lining rather than an “endorsement” of the riots?

  78. July 21st, 2007 at 14:11 | #78

    Intersting link Wise_But_Poor.

    The second paragraph, where the journalist states that a magistrate has declared Haneef innocent (& implies the matter is over) is clearly incorrect, causes one to wonder about the quality of information being fed to the Indian public.

    But if Indians are getting wound up over a doctor simply having his visa cancelled in Australia, the treatment of Indian expatriate labourers in the middle east must have the Indian public ready to Nuke the entire Persian Gulf & Arab Peninsula.

  79. July 21st, 2007 at 16:48 | #79

    Razor: “The western criminal justice system is completely inadequate and inappropriate for dealing with terrorism.”

    Wow. Did Razor just admit to giving up on modern western values? Is he so scared of some inconsequential terrorists that he is happily willing to sacrifice our liberties?

    The reality is that terrorists are nothing to be worried about. The amount of terrorism in the world hasn’t changed significantly and the risks from terrorism remain very very small. These are facts. You don’t get to disagree with facts. Crying about a baby on TV is all good and fine… but that doesn’t change the facts.

    That doesn’t mean terrorism should be legal. By all means… use our wonderful modern western system of justice to pursue anybody who would try to deprive us of our life, liberty or property. But it is absurd beyond belief to suggest that we should give up key values of liberal democracy because a bunch of pro-government fanatics are scared.

    The truth is that the biggest threat to our liberty & property is coming from the pro-government fanatics like razor. These people continue to promote an irrational fear campaign to justify the increased power of government and the reduced scope for individual liberty. These are the people who are truly dangerous and the enemy of free people.

  80. observa
    July 22nd, 2007 at 23:57 | #80

    Personally I find Labor’s bob each way attitude to Muslim terrorism two faced and slimy.
    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,22114064-29277,00.html
    Rudd and Federal Labor sit tight, supposedly backing the Federal Govt’s stance, while Beattie plays the clever-dick, insinuating spoiler, just in case this new Hicks turns out to be a largely innocent dupe. Labor is playing politics all over this just like Bracks is playing the spoiler on the Murray Darling, while the other State Premiers play good guys. It’s good cop, bad cop politics and it’s high time the MSM woke up to what sort of underhanded games the ALP is playing constantly here. It’s also high time bloggers woke up to what’s going down too.

  81. observa
    July 23rd, 2007 at 00:38 | #81

    Oh and here’s what happens when our justice system becomes overly concerned with the well being of villains rather than potential victims. http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,22107617-2682,00.html
    Perhaps Jill you’d like to offer some pearls of wisdom and comfort to the woman who was brutally raped in her Renown Park home. For your information, Renown Park is not our most salubrious suburb and she was probably aboriginal herself, if not some other poor needy soul. I’m sure she’d like to hear all about why it was so important to bail her attacker, just in case he might have committed suicide while on remand. Just so we can all be free of any hint of racism in the law naturally.

  82. Ian Gould
    July 25th, 2007 at 21:50 | #82

    JS: “contrived to turn parts of Sydney into war zones�

    SWIO: Stop exaggerating. Even a full fledged islamaphobe can walk down Haldon St, Lakemba in Sydney and eat a meal without any reason to feel unsafe. Try it one day. “Jasmin� towards the bottom is particularly good.

    Yes but any woman walking the streets of Sunderland in a hejab is fair game. I’m sure that’s what Jack had in mind.

  83. Ian Gould
    July 25th, 2007 at 21:54 | #83

    “This is another example that the criminal law, and things such as the presumption of innocence and not wanting to jail ten guilty men in case an innocent man goes to jail, is entirely unsuitable for use in anti-terrorist operations. If there is any whiff of support for terrorists I expect to see doors kicked in at 3 am, phones bugged, non-Citizens being deported without so much as a by-your leave. It ain’t effing shoplifting we are discouraging.”

    ANY suspicion?

    Like say an anonymous phone call to the police accusing you?

    what did you say your real name and address was again?

    As for “discouraging” terrorists, people willing to die for their cause are unlikely to be deterred by the threat of prison or deportation.

  84. Ian Gould
    July 25th, 2007 at 22:03 | #84

    “What a bunch of cowardy-custards you lot are. The West managed to fight the far greater threat of communist dictatorships with nuclear weapons without having to crumble to this level of pant-wetting hysteria.”

    Hear! Hear!

    Why is the same people who urge us to fight fearlessly against terror in the name of freedom are so often eager to surrender freedom fro some supposedly increase in security?

  85. jstrocch
    July 25th, 2007 at 23:17 | #85

    Ian Gould Says: July 25th, 2007 at 9:50 pm

    JS: “contrived to turn parts of Sydney into war zones�

    Yes but any woman walking the streets of Sunderland in a hejab is fair game. I’m sure that’s what Jack had in mind.

    Ian’s notion that Sunderland’s crime rate is comparable with Western sydney must be one of those propositions that sometimes slip through wormholes connecting parallel universes.

    Unfortunately doesnt convey any substantive information about our universe, especially to anyone with knowledge of these matters. I include myself in that class, and no doubt police officers subjected to drive by shootings.

    This is the kind moral posturing and one upmanship designed to show the speaker is a better class of person than the spoken down to. No doubt it makes Ian feel good. I suppose we should all feel glad about that.

  86. snuh
    July 27th, 2007 at 08:53 | #86

    Ian’s notion that Sunderland’s crime rate is comparable with Western sydney must be one of those propositions that sometimes slip through wormholes connecting parallel universes.

    it’s pretty obvious to me that ian is making a point about the presence of racism rather than crime per se.

    As I pointed out at the time, the liberal-Left have no one to blame but themselves for ethnic fracas, they flow naturally from its faulty ideological premises:

    so i guess the participants in said “ethnic fracas” are blameless?

  87. patsew
    July 27th, 2007 at 17:36 | #87

    Many years ago back in the late sixties in England, as a young inexperienced policewoman I was coerced on more than one occasion to
    fabricate evidence to suit the ‘higher ups’.
    That was more than instrumental in killing my illusion about ‘helping people’ and causing me to resing and seek a ‘better life in Austrlaia. I wonder now WHY.
    I’m sure the same thing not only still goes on but is far more prevalent, so let us not forget that the Police department is far from free of personal bias and prejudice. having said that I find it ‘frightening’ that someone can be judged unsuitable to live in this country because of some ‘secret evidence’ that is obvioulsy not sufficient to produce a chargeof wrong doing.
    How long before we are ‘checked for our freedom of speech”

  88. wise_but_poor
    July 28th, 2007 at 13:10 | #88

    This episode shows how the government fabricated evidence to charge Dr. Haneef.

    This episode will make Indian doctors wary of coming to Australia. Australia faces serious shortage of doctors. The White Doctors from Europe alone cannot fill these shortages. Australia needs some colored doctor too, for helping it’s people. But if they(Aus) are overtly rascist then the highly skilled colored people may have to seek other countries to practise their skills(Article on Australia’s doctor shortage:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6914143.stm)

  89. July 28th, 2007 at 13:30 | #89

    “Coloured” doctors who are related to actual terrorists will come under scrutiny in the future. As they did this time. And the problem is what exactly?

    His arrest was not because of his race. Dr. Haneef was not thrown in the hoosegow because he was the “handiest coloured”.

    There should/will be “professional consequences” for the persons who stuffed up, as the erstwhile solicitor-general so obliquely put it.

  90. July 28th, 2007 at 13:32 | #90

    Patsew, anyone who ever fabricates evidence has committed a crime. They should serve serious gaol time regardless of their rank at the time.

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