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. Dylwah
    July 19th, 2007 at 13:17 | #1

    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.

  2. Bring Back the Currency Lad
    July 19th, 2007 at 13:21 | #2

    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!

  3. snuh
    July 19th, 2007 at 13:45 | #3

    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.

  4. Razor
    July 19th, 2007 at 14:43 | #4

    snuh

    If you lie with dogs, you will get fleas.

  5. Bring Back the Currency Lad
    July 19th, 2007 at 15:50 | #5

    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

  6. AnnaK
    July 19th, 2007 at 15:51 | #6

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

  7. Bring Back the Currency Lad
    July 19th, 2007 at 16:19 | #7

    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

  8. July 19th, 2007 at 16:26 | #8

    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.

  9. snuh
    July 19th, 2007 at 17:01 | #9

    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.

  10. July 19th, 2007 at 19:21 | #10

    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.

  11. zebbidies spring
    July 19th, 2007 at 21:03 | #11

    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.

  12. Bring Back the Currency Lad
    July 20th, 2007 at 09:47 | #12

    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.

  13. wmmbb
    July 20th, 2007 at 12:43 | #13

    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.

  14. July 20th, 2007 at 12:53 | #14

    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.

  15. Razor
    July 20th, 2007 at 12:59 | #15

    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.

  16. jquiggin
    July 20th, 2007 at 14:07 | #16

    “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.

  17. July 20th, 2007 at 15:45 | #17

    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.

  18. frankis
    July 20th, 2007 at 16:25 | #18

    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.

  19. Hal9000
    July 20th, 2007 at 17:05 | #19

    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.

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

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

  21. July 20th, 2007 at 20:36 | #21

    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.

  22. July 20th, 2007 at 21:10 | #22

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

  23. July 20th, 2007 at 21:28 | #23

    Maybe we need a war on cars. ;-)

  24. Hal9000
    July 20th, 2007 at 23:36 | #24

    “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.

  25. July 21st, 2007 at 01:13 | #25

    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.

  26. wise_but_poor
    July 21st, 2007 at 05:30 | #26
  27. jstrocch
    July 21st, 2007 at 13:46 | #27

    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?

  28. July 21st, 2007 at 14:11 | #28

    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.

  29. July 21st, 2007 at 16:48 | #29

    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.

  30. observa
    July 22nd, 2007 at 23:57 | #30

    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.

  31. observa
    July 23rd, 2007 at 00:38 | #31

    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.

  32. Ian Gould
    July 25th, 2007 at 21:50 | #32

    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.

  33. Ian Gould
    July 25th, 2007 at 21:54 | #33

    “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.

  34. Ian Gould
    July 25th, 2007 at 22:03 | #34

    “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?

  35. jstrocch
    July 25th, 2007 at 23:17 | #35

    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.

  36. snuh
    July 27th, 2007 at 08:53 | #36

    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?

  37. patsew
    July 27th, 2007 at 17:36 | #37

    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”

  38. wise_but_poor
    July 28th, 2007 at 13:10 | #38

    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)

  39. July 28th, 2007 at 13:30 | #39

    “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.

  40. July 28th, 2007 at 13:32 | #40

    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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