Home > Oz Politics > The Haneef fiasco

The Haneef fiasco

July 28th, 2007

Now that the charges against Dr Haneef have been withdrawn and the urgent need to keep him in maximum security seems to have evaporated, it’s worth thinking about how this mess came about. Everyone involved in managing this case (with the exception of Haneef’s defence counsel) has made an awful mess of it.

In the case of the police, I think it is a case of stuffup rather than conspiracy. One more or less unchangeable characteristic of police forces is that, once they have someone in the frame for a crime, they focus on getting a conviction, and are very unwilling to stop and consider alternative hypotheses. In Haneef’s case, they began with a fairly routine investigation of someone distantly linked to the British terror attacks and found their man at the airport with a one-way ticket out of the country. From that moment, I’d say, the police were collectively convinced of his guilt and unwilling to listen to explanations or alibis. This is not really surprising – police must listen to lots of bogus alibis and false explanations, which it’s their job to demolish. That’s the way the police work and that’s why we have defence lawyers and a legal presumption of innocence.

The Labor Opposition similarly hasn’t covered itself with glory, though in fairness it was faced with what was pretty obviously a deliberate political trap. Still, it should have been possible to make this clear, saying that support was given on the assumption the government was acting in good faith, and withdrawing that support when it became apparent the whole thing was at best, grossly mishandled and at worst, a setup.

The real blame, though, lies with the government and particularly Kevin Andrews. Whatever advice he received on Haneef’s visa, it should never have been used to override the decision, made in a criminal proceeding, to grant bail. As has now become clear, Andrews could have made the same decision to cancel the visa without using it to lock Haneef up. His action was characteristic of a government that’s been in power too long and has become excessively used to getting its own way. And of course his implied assurance, now discredited, that there was a lot more to the case than the initial, rather tenuous charge, is characteristic of a government that’s used to telling lies and getting away with it (children overboard, WMDs, AWB etc). Those who’ve served as enablers and excusers of this behavior (including quite a few commentators and bloggers) share the blame for the latest episode.

Leaving aside the unfair treatment of Dr Haneef and his family, this episode has done grave damage to Australia’s national security, which depends critically on the capacity of ordinary Australians to trust those who make decisions of this kind. Given the ethos of “never apologise, never resign” that governs such matters nowadays, it seems certain that these powers will remain in the hands of people who cannot reasonably command our trust.

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  1. wise_but_poor
    July 28th, 2007 at 14:05 | #1

    Someone from the Australian government should apologise to Haneef’s family for this fiasco.

    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News/PoliticsNation/Dean_Jones_apologised_why_dont_you_Mr_Howard/articleshow/2239750.cms

  2. July 28th, 2007 at 14:45 | #2

    The apology should be to Haneef, not to his family.

  3. July 28th, 2007 at 15:28 | #3

    PrQ,
    Baybers at Austrolabe has made an excellent post on the topic. It well rewards a visit (IMHO).

  4. July 28th, 2007 at 15:44 | #4

    so you have lost your trust in these politicians? better late than never. as long as you still believe in property developers, used car salesmen, and other politicians, you are still a dinki di ozzie.

    don’t worry, there will another one along in a minute with hand over heart saying “wipe yer eyes little man, and put yer faith in me.”

    what a nation of mugs.

  5. Fred Argy
    July 28th, 2007 at 15:48 | #5

    Good analysis, John. Your last paragraph is 100% right.

    The Haneef affair could end up hindering rather than promoting national security. It could do so by making our Muslim communities less eager to cooperate with intelligence agencies, angering the large population of Indian Muslims and their supporters, making India less willing to share intelligence with Australia and above all by undermining the trust of many Australians in the ability of our leaders to manage national security issues fairly and effectively. .

    This risk can be minimised if

    (a) the Government took the public into its confidence and explained as fully as possible the reasons why Andrews revoked his visa and why they have not yet acted to restore it and

    (b) there was an independent inquiry to get to the bottom of the stuff-ups and to explain to a cynical public who and why was leaking all this ‘damaging’ but false information to the Murdochj press on (a) the location of the SM card (b)claims his diaries had the names of terrorists and (c) ) the alleged plot to blow up some Gold Coast building.

    Like many, I fear that crude politics entered into the process (in particular a desire to entrap Rudd – on this see today’s piece by Ramsay in SMH.

  6. Tony G
    July 28th, 2007 at 15:55 | #6

    “a legal presumption of innocence.”

    Do we? It seems like a presumption of guilt to me.

  7. Ian Gould
    July 28th, 2007 at 16:09 | #7

    “The apology should be to Haneef, not to his family.”

    So while you no longer believe he should be convicted on the basis of guilt by association you’re quite happy that the rest of the family should be?

  8. July 28th, 2007 at 17:37 | #8

    Ian Gould. Please cut & paste a copy where I have stated that Haneef should be convicted on the basis of guilt by association.

    Which part of suggesting that Haneef should receive an apology amounts to advocating that his family should be convicted?

    Ease off on the turps mate.

  9. Dai bach
    July 28th, 2007 at 17:46 | #9

    The point that most struck me about JQ’s analysis was where he pointed out that Minister Andrews could have cancelled the visa but the conditions of ‘detention’ that followed could have been as comparatively light as they are now. This suggests that Andrews’ original decision and approach flowed from the now discredited case against Haneef, rather than any yet-to-be-revealed info, held in reserve as a trap for Rudd. This also gives weight to the notion that he was effectively seeking to nullify the decision to let him out on bail.

  10. wmmbb
    July 28th, 2007 at 22:05 | #10

    The curtain falls on our little play, as Dr Haneef boards a plane back to Bangalore – there is no place like home. With a click of his glass shoes, John Howard will soon be back in Kansas – eh Australia. Time to forget this little distraction. Now back to the election.

  11. gaddeswarup
    July 28th, 2007 at 22:15 | #11

    My two cents. May be it is democracy at work. After Tampa and such incidents, thr coalition was not getting any mileage out of it; if at all the reaction from press and public was negative. One hopes that the police would learn from this and wo’nt be bullied by the govt. But at a different time or in a different country, it might have been a different story.

  12. rog
    July 28th, 2007 at 23:49 | #12

    Kevin Rudd also viewed the police file and after doing so supported the govt decision to revoke Haneef’s visa, so there must be more to this than we know.

  13. July 29th, 2007 at 00:10 | #13

    Rog, you imply there is a difference between Rudd & Howard.

  14. rog
    July 29th, 2007 at 07:39 | #14

    There was a file on Haneef, it was shown to both Rudd and Andrews and presumably based on that file they both supported the cancellation of Haneefs visa. Rudd rebuked Beattie’s later criticism saying that;

    “..we believe this matter, complex as it is, has been handled appropriately by the authorities, I mean it. I’ve said it from day one.â€?

    “We have always acted in good faith on the briefing provided�

    It boils down to the evidence provided to the Govt and the opposition by AFP or DPP or both. There could be a problem in how either agency assess their requirements to prosecute the current immigration law and It would appear that this law could conflict with established law in that this immigration law appears to not contain a presumption of innocence.

    Last night Kevin Andrews looked badly shaken by the event.

  15. Paulkelly
    July 29th, 2007 at 11:01 | #15

    John, you make no mention of the DPP. I must admit I see things through prism of Bill Keelty being a fairly honourable person (I’m influenced by his frequent warnings not to alienate Australians Muslims) which may or may not be correct. I know that Howard, Ruddock and Andrews don’t behave honourably in these sorts of situations (the first two, we know, tell lies lies about foreign Muslims without batting an eyelid) and Damian Bugg is the only one I have no opinion on.

    What I’m getting at is the possibility of Government interference and monkeying around in the case through their lackey the DPP, which leaves poor old AFP looking incompetent. But this is just seeing things through my own prejudices.

    As well, we need to note the Qld Police – the country’s most unreconstructed Neanderthal police force – should not be involved in anything like this.

  16. Paulkelly
    July 29th, 2007 at 11:01 | #16

    Make that “Mick” Keelty. (I must proof-read my posts.)

  17. jstrocch
    July 29th, 2007 at 11:59 | #17

    Pr Q says:

    characteristic of a government that’s used to telling lies and getting away with it (children overboard, WMDs, AWB etc). Those who’ve served as enablers and excusers of this behavior (including quite a few commentators and bloggers) share the blame for the latest episode.

    This kind of ideological accountability can be a two-way street. It is grotesque for the Howard-haters to apply their judgement rules with blinkers on the eye and fingers on the scales.

    Should we be blaming those liberal-Leftists “who’ve served as enablers and excusers of this behavior (including quite a few commentators and bloggers)”, for their sundry cultural identity-national security disasters?

    The home-grown terrorism, and unruly cultural practices, now afflicting the UK and US, is the most likely source of violent civil unrest threatening modern states. I dont imagine the liberal-Left will be in any great hurry to fess up to that kind of stuff-up.

    FOllowing Pr Q’s ideological accountability principle we can start giving Howard credit for thwarting terrorist outbreaks of this kind in Australia. His tough-minded and hard-hearted alien selection and induction policies have largely kept the riff-raff and trouble makers out of this country. And those already within have kept their heads down.

    For sure the govt lied about all Pr Q ‘s little shopping list of political horrors. And there were some occasional breaches of the rule of law.

    But there were silver linings of progress on all these cloudy processes. Operation Relex stopped unseaworthy people smuggling mass drownings, ADF Iraq-attack paid the ANZUS defence alliance premium, AWB bread bribes helped to feed Iraqi kids.

    Pr Q says:

    this episode has done grave damage to Australia’s national security, which depends critically on the capacity of ordinary Australians to trust those who make decisions of this kind. Given the ethos of “never apologise, never resign� that governs such matters nowadays, it seems certain that these powers will remain in the hands of people who cannot reasonably command our trust.

    The greatest damage to national security it has done is to make the ministry look like fools. Howard is trusted to do the dirty work that the public want to get done but dont want to know about. In this case he stuffed up.

    The point of Howard’s anti-terrorist politics policy is to send a chilling message to unruly minorities contemplating mischief. And toss some read meat to the law-and-order part of the majority.

    I dont think the ministerial mistreatment of Haneef will be effective in dampening the spirits of terrorist kinship and friendship netorks. It was a bungled hit.

    Machiavellian operators set the most store on effectively and efficiently relating means to ends. If you are going to do a dirty job then do it right. THere is one thing that a Machiavellian cannot be, and that is inept. So I think this case will be Howard’s last bit of dirty work.

  18. snuh
    July 29th, 2007 at 13:05 | #18

    AWB bread bribes helped to feed Iraqi kids.

    this strange statement seems to imply that australia is the only country in the world that produces wheat for export, and that the only means by which we sell that wheat is by bribing foreign governments to take it.

    The greatest damage to national security it has done is to make the ministry look like fools. Howard is trusted to do the dirty work that the public want to get done but dont want to know about. In this case he stuffed up.

    The point of Howard’s anti-terrorist politics policy is to send a chilling message to unruly minorities contemplating mischief. And toss some read meat to the law-and-order part of the majority.

    do you know any muslims? if so, you might ask them whether, following the haneef case, they are more or less likely to assist police investigating terrorism. this might suggest an a different conclusion as to what the damage has been to our national security.

    also, you again ascribe to howard a racist motivation (which you endorse), by describing his “anti-terrorist politics policy” as being directed against “unruly minorities contemplating mischief” (as if white people cannot be terrorists).

  19. Ken
    July 29th, 2007 at 13:25 | #19

    I think for the Howard Gov’t the only failure was one of timing – had the arrest and presumption of guilt been hot news in the week or two prior to polling day it might have won him support for his tough on terrorism policy. A few weeks or months of stormy weather after, with the possibility the media pack will scent blood elsewhere, and it’s business as usual. I find myself cynical enough to think the decision to keep the visa revoked is more about leaving the impression (no evidence required) that Dr Haneef is guilty of something. i.e. we were right. Saying sorry would be akin to admitting a mistake.

  20. jstrocch
    July 29th, 2007 at 14:59 | #20

    snuh Says: July 29th, 2007 at 1:05 pm

    this strange statement seems to imply that australia is the only country in the world that produces wheat for export, and that the only means by which we sell that wheat is by bribing foreign governments to take it.

    snuh you might want to take lessons in logic, or at least take a moments thought, before putting pixel to html to make wild or outlandish claims. I am at a loss to see how you could draw that inference. Perhaps you are just doodling out loud.

    When I say that the AWB bribed the Baathists to buy AUS wheat I am merely stating this as an observation, not a generalisation still less a reccomendation. The bribes were considered an effective marketing option at the time, and not just by DFAT. No doubt the ME tradition of baksheesh has absolutely nothing to do with the trading practices of companies dealing with the ME.

    snuh says:

    do you know any muslims? if so, you might ask them whether, following the haneef case, they are more or less likely to assist police investigating terrorism. this might suggest an a different conclusion as to what the damage has been to our national security.

    I do know Muslims and I approve of them, as a rule. My comment specifically anticipated and agreed with your reaction. Jack said:

    I dont think the ministerial mistreatment of Haneef will be effective in dampening the spirits of terrorist kinship and friendship netorks.

    Please read the words I wrote, then think about them and then write something down that bears some cogent relation to my words and your thoughts. You will find that this “reading”, “thinking” and “writing” thing gets easier the more you practice. There are also people around, called “teachers” who specialise in helping people with difficulty in such matters.

    snuh says:

    also, you again ascribe to howard a racist motivation (which you endorse), by describing his “anti-terrorist politics policy� as being directed against “unruly minorities contemplating mischief� (as if white people cannot be terrorists).

    I do not ascribe to Howard a “racist motivation”. I ascribe his motivations to be anti-”unruly minorities” in policy and a pro-”law-and-order…majority” in politics. The minorities may or may not be Caucasian in race. The majority generally is Caucasian.

    Arabs are Caucasian and therefore the same race as Anglos. The “racism” ascription is therefore literally nonsensical.)

    I dont imply that “white people cannot be terrorists”. Obviously Howard is quite willing to put away white people (eg Hicks).

    Where on earth did you get your logical operators from? They are in dire need of a service, if not total reconditioning. Once again, read for comprehension, then do the thinking and writing thing. (In that order).

    I assert that the focus of Howard’s cultural policy is “unruly elements” within ethnic minorities, who may be white or non-white. I have no doubt that Howard would be as antagonistic towards the IRA as he is towards, say, Tamil tigers. Probably more so.

    Howard is a conservative nationalist, which is not quite the same as a racist. THis requires integration. A true racist wants segregation.

    Most likely the unruly elements come from backward parts of the Southern hemisphere, where tribalism and other such barbarities still abound. I tend to think that geographical region, rather than biological race or theological religion, is a better predictor of terrorist sympathies.

    As for “endorsing racism”, can you point to any statement of mine which actually makes such endorsement? Grinding my comments through your crooked inference-extruding mental pathways to extrude does not count.

  21. snuh
    July 29th, 2007 at 16:04 | #21

    You will find that this “reading�, “thinking� and “writing� thing gets easier the more you practice.

    classy. so, in an australian context, white people are but one of many “minorities”? regrettably i have not read, thought or wrote as much as you, which must be why i have never come across this before.

    As for “endorsing racism�, can you point to any statement of mine which actually makes such endorsement?

    sure:
    http://johnquiggin.com/index.php/archives/2007/07/17/a-couple-of-thoughts-on-haneef/#comment-192594
    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?

  22. snuh
    July 29th, 2007 at 16:20 | #22

    re AWB, you said that as a “silver lining” some iraqis got fed. but that is silly because, had AWB not bribed saddam, they still would have been fed (because other countries make wheat too, and were keen to export it to iraq, although notably not as keen as AWB). that is all i am saying and i don’t see how it contravenes logic.

    also, i agree that the haneef case will be “effective in dampening the spirits of terrorist kinship and friendship netorks.” but it was you who said, irrespectively, that making the government look like morons was “the greatest damage to national security” arising out of this affair. i (obviously) disagree.

  23. rog
    July 29th, 2007 at 16:38 | #23

    Staying with the principle of reasonable doubt, famous bail jumpers include Skase, Trimboli and now Mockbel, a convicted criminal whose human rights lawyer could tie up his extradition for years. Mockbel has made a joke of Vic law.

    In the face of increasing bail skipping Iemma has recently tightened bail laws for major offences and has also increased to 30 days the time suspected terrorists can be held without charge, in line with recent changes in the UK.

  24. July 29th, 2007 at 17:04 | #24

    John, You don’t know what advice Kevin Andrews got. How can you make this unconditional judgement? An Indian newspaper at the time claimed Haneef had received terrorist training – this was, I think, wrong information but how do you know it didn’t bare on Andrews decision. You need to rely on information available then not what you know now.

    Next you turn Andrews’ reponse into a ‘lie’ and link it with a whole set of other ‘lies’ (children overboard, WMD’s and AWB). You know this type of linkage is wrong in logic.

    Kevin Rudd may have simply believed government assurances for sensible reasons. It is simply wrong to assert lying here. Kevin Rudd, like many others including the UN, asserted the existence of WMDs. Again it is wrong to make ex post judgments. Whatever the WMD mistake was it was not a ‘lie’ by the Australian Government.

    What has done damage to Australian security is not the information failures in relation to Haneef but the hysterical overreaction to events by sections of the community.

    Haneef has been found innocent and released. He has been offered his job back and says he wants to regain an Australian visa and again work in Australia. He wasn’t tortured or sent to a gulag – he was held as a suspect in a serious terrorism incident and released in 3 weeks. He has shown much more balance and restraint on this issue than many of the government’s critics.

    I think Fred Argy’s point is valid. Have an inquiry and work out the causes of the stuff-ups. But not one based on another conspiracy theory involving the government with attempts at ‘wedge politics’ and the like – and where the outcome is only accepted if it supports the views of government critics.

  25. jstrocch
    July 29th, 2007 at 18:06 | #25

    snuh Says: July 29th, 2007 at 4:04 pm

    classy. so, in an australian context, white people are but one of many “minorities�? regrettably i have not read, thought or wrote as much as you, which must be why i have never come across this before.

    No. Again, read for comprehension. I said that “the focus of Howard’s cultural policy is “unruly elementsâ€? within ethnic minorities, who may be white or non-white.” Sometimes white people “go ethnic”, for example drunken English backpackers, aggressively Irish provo sympathisers and Serbo-Croatian Balkanizers. Or even Cronullan surfer and surfy chicks, if bashed and molested enough.

    All these “white ethnic” minorities have caused trouble for the authorities from time to time. And they have been properly condemned by Australian conservative nationalists. But eventually, when they go off the grog and get a mortgage, they settle down and fit in.

    At the moment the unruly ethnic minority problem seems to be amongst South West Asian youths, for a number of reasons. One hopes that eventually the penny will drop amongst that lot. It would helpful if they did not have so many pundits “who’ve served as enablers and excusers of this behavior (including quite a few commentators and bloggers)â€?.

    snuh says:

    sure:

    The statement that “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.” is a factual statement, not an “endorsement of racism”. Is smearing your only response to unpleasant facts? You should try factual matter and logical methods, just for a change.

    If pattern recognition of behavioural variations accross different peoples is now considered a form of “racism” then you have obviously reached the end of the road, intellectually speaking. Your serial slurring and lying shows you have long past run off the rails, morally speaking.

    Un-intellectual and immoral. No doubt that is why you hide behind a fake name. Your talents would be better suited to grafitti or poison pen letters.

  26. jstrocch
    July 29th, 2007 at 18:24 | #26

    snuh Says: July 29th, 2007 at 4:20 pm

    re AWB, you said that as a “silver lining� some iraqis got fed. but that is silly because, had AWB not bribed saddam, they still would have been fed (because other countries make wheat too, and were keen to export it to iraq, although notably not as keen as AWB). that is all i am saying and i don’t see how it contravenes logic.

    No. Anyone who wanted to sell anything to Saddam had to bribe him. It is standard cultural practice for Iraq’s leadership class, and not just for the period of the sanctions. Although worse then for obvious reasons.

    No doubt AWB was overly enthusiastic about it “celebrating diversity” of business practices. Thats what you get when you do business in the badlands.

    And of course, if the AWB had not sold wheat to Iraqis they would have turned to more expensive sources. Which means less bread bought and more hungry iraqi kids. Economic theory and all that.

    I can see how you cant see that this contravenes logic because you are obviously not familiar with this intellectual procedure.

    snuh says:

    i agree that the haneef case will be “effective in dampening the spirits of terrorist kinship and friendship netorks.� but it was you who said, irrespectively, that making the government look like morons was “the greatest damage to national security� arising out of this affair. i (obviously) disagree.

    But I specifically said “I dont think the ministerial mistreatment of Haneef will be effective in dampening the spirits of terrorist kinship and friendship netorks.â€? So you cannot “agree” with me on that. Are you functionally illiterate?

    Explaining moderately complex things to you is like trying to explain chess to a particularly nasty junkyard dog.

  27. rog
    July 29th, 2007 at 18:36 | #27

    Beattie has been making a lot of noise over Haneef, you could wonder why after the QLD govt handling of the Patel case, Patel fled the country on a business class ticket paid for by QLD health and is unlikely to be successfully extradited despite the well documented case against him of injuries and death.

  28. wise_but_poor
    July 29th, 2007 at 19:23 | #28

    Andrews’ comments today that Dr. Haneef’s rapid departure from Australia heightened his suspicion of the former Gold Coast doctor, goes on to indicate that the government is not interested in “fairness”, and it wants to give this issue a political dimension.

    Dr. Haneef left the country voluntarily after the criminal charge was dropped. He just wants to see his new born baby, that is why he is making this trip to India. Mr Andrews is either sick and out of his minds or he is using this episode to gain political milage.

  29. SJ
    July 29th, 2007 at 19:32 | #29

    According to tonight’s 7 pm ABC news, Andrews’ department paid for Haneef’s plane ticket. His comment that Haneef’s rapid departure only heightened his suspicions made him sound like a complete raving nutter.

  30. July 29th, 2007 at 19:59 | #30

    It takes one to know one, SJ.

  31. zebbidies spring
    July 29th, 2007 at 21:23 | #31

    Snuh – I don’t know why you bother. Engaging with JStrocch is like trying to get a precocious and argumentative 10 year old to go to bed.

  32. derrida derider
    July 29th, 2007 at 22:13 | #32

    Oh, harry, you really are getting desperate now. Why don’t you stick out your tongue at sj while you’re at it?

    As for the “no harm done” line, I’d like to see you still claim “no harm done” after you’d been held incommunicado in solitary for a few weeks, had your reputation thoroughly traduced by blatant lies, be separated from your new born child and then thrown out of the country.

    I reckon it’s plain as a pikestaff what happened here. Incompetent coppers believed Haneef guilty of “something”, wrote a brief accordingly, and both Andrews and Rudd swallowed it whole.

    Andrews, stupidly but not dishonestly, intervened based on that brief (Howard is reportedly furious at him for this, and rightly so). Now it’s apparent that the brief was a load of shite, but Andrews (and with him the government, the AFP and DIMIA) is backed into a corner. So now he is being dishonest, hinting at “secret evidence” and getting Haneef out of the country as quickly as he can.

    The lessons are old ones. Giving cops, spooks and ministers more power reduces, not increases, their efficiency by reducing their accountability. And pollies should, for their own as well as the suspects’ protection, stay right out of current investigations.

  33. observa
    July 29th, 2007 at 23:04 | #33

    JQ rightly points out the obvious about the initial police view of Haneef in his first couple of paragraphs and then wanders off into the usual diatribe. Here Keelty points out the difficulty of trying to conduct an investigation into a very serious potential terrorist threat, with all and sundry speculating and wanting instant answers
    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,22152794-29277,00.html
    It’s easy to see the pressures they were under, whilst serving the two masters of truth and the public’s right to know, with haste. The DPP and Immigration likewise. That said, there’s no excuse for incompetence and I’d be the last to argue against the sack for it. Oh that the usual suspects would take the same general attitude to industrial relations dismissal law as they seem to on occasions when they want to play boss. There were very solid grounds for using the new terrorism laws to detain and question Haneef. He has fared a lot better than Lindy Chamberlain in that regard so far. For anyone who heard a radio interview with Lindy, within 24 hrs of Azaria’s disappearance, I must say, she sounded like no woman I knew that had just had her baby eaten by a dingo. I guess the police took the same view, incorrectly as an Appeal Court finally pronounced. Yes Haneef has fared far better than Lindy and Michael and is no doubt consoled somewhat by the money Sixty Minutes paid him for tonight’s interview and no doubt the book rights, etc that will follow to help ease his pain. I don’t want to underestimate his nasty experience as a terrorist suspect for 12 days, but compared to the the Chamberlains or the daily victims of Muslim terrorists, he should get over it and move on fairly quickly.

    There is still one thing troubling me about the heart tugging interview with Haneef on Sixty Minutes tonight and as far as I’m aware has not been answered by the media yet. Haneef was on a work visa (presumably a 457 one) and as such was working happily under those rules at a QLd hospital. He was deeply shocked to be arrested at the airport, whilst travelling on a planned and non secret trip home to India to see his wife and newborn. OK, then presumably he applied to the hospital authorities (and immigration?) for special leave to break his working contract and visa conditions? After all he is an intelligent man and as he stated by leaving behind his belongings and car he wanted to return to the job as he says he still wants to. That is the $64000 question that needs to be answered now. Did he or didn’t he and why?

  34. Chris O’Neill
    July 29th, 2007 at 23:41 | #34

    It takes a hysterical person to know a hysterical person, hc.

  35. lesleym
    July 30th, 2007 at 07:02 | #35

    observa, this is what the Agesaid on July 17:

    Queensland Health has dismissed suggestions Haneef was only suspended from work after pressure from Canberra.
    He has been taken off paid special leave and suspended from his workplace at the Gold Coast Hospital.
    His lawyer, Peter Russo, today said he suspected the suspension came after talks with Canberra.
    Mr Russo said he spoke to the Gold Coast Hospital yesterday after his client had been granted bail and was told he had not been suspended.
    Later in the day he was told of the suspension, he said.
    “This is my suspicion: there’s been communication between Canberra and the Health Department here in Queensland, the Health Department has then decided to suspend him,” Mr Russo told reporters.
    But Queensland Health director-general Uschi Schreiber today rejected the claim and said Haneef had been suspended on Saturday when charges were laid.
    She said there had been no contact with the Federal Government relating to the decision to suspend Haneef.
    “The decision was made in line with Queensland Health protocol that staff members charged with criminal offences are generally suspended immediately from the workplace,” Ms Schreiber said in a statement.
    “To suggest that the decision to suspend Dr Haneef was made after he had been bailed and/or after his visa had been cancelled is incorrect.”

  36. lesleym
  37. snuh
    July 30th, 2007 at 08:59 | #37

    No doubt AWB was overly enthusiastic about it “celebrating diversity� of business practices. Thats what you get when you do business in the badlands.

    believe or not jack everything bad in the world is not necessarily caused by multiculturalism. also, i cannot play chess but i imagine it would be a difficult thing to teach a dog. i wonder why you would have attempted it.

  38. Hal9000
    July 30th, 2007 at 09:37 | #38

    I’m afraid I don’t buy the ‘cops behaving badly because of all the pressure’ line. They had 12 days with Haneef locked up incommunicado, most of that time without a legal adviser present. They had a senior copper from Scotland Yard’s terrorism unit (remember her?) there from Day 3. Presumably the AFP also communicated with Scotland Yard by means of modern telecommunications and not surface mail. They had hundreds of coppers on the case in Australia and thousands in the UK – it beggars belief that no-one bothered to check the details of what was the principal piece of evidence. Much more likely – people did know but were too frightened to disabuse their political superiors, who, like kids overboard, did not want to know. Bearers of bad news suffer under the Howard regime, and toilers at the coalface would be well aware of this.

    BTW, I was able to discover from the British media that the SIM wasn’t in the Jeep fully 3 days before the news broke in the Australian MSM (I posted on it at http://johnquiggin.com/index.php/archives/2007/07/17/a-couple-of-thoughts-on-haneef/#comments on 18 July – the Australian ran a ‘scoop’ on it on the 20th). So not only Keystone Kops, but also Keystone Journos.

  39. jstrocch
    July 30th, 2007 at 21:33 | #39

    snuh Says: July 30th, 2007 at 8:59 am

    believe or not jack everything bad in the world is not necessarily caused by multiculturalism.

    But its funny how many of the clashes that emanate from that region seem to be grounded in basic differences in cultural values. No doubt thats why we call it the Culture War.

    also, i cannot play chess but i imagine it would be a difficult thing to teach a dog. i wonder why you would have attempted it.

    I will try to go easy on the sarcasm next time I denigrate your mental operations.

  40. observa
    July 30th, 2007 at 21:54 | #40

    lesleym, I got the bit about the suspension etc after Haneef had been arrested. My question was whether Haneef had applied for and been granted special leave to attend his wife and newborn, before he bought a ticket for home, ie before he was arrested at the airport. It seems to me this is crucial to his claim to be an innocent caring doctor who enjoyed working at the hospital and with his workmates. If he was simply thumbing his nose at the administration, staff and patients to head off without telling anyone (essentially abandoning his employment and presuambly visa conditions) then his whole caring doctor stance begins to unravel. This is not a hard question to answer for the MSM and I’m gobsmacked that it hasn’t been, or are we all to simply assume Haneef is a doctor who just buggers off from hospital, staff and patients and leaves them to sort out his roster. If it is, then clearly Andrews was right to cancel his work visa on those grounds alone. IMO the MSM should be checking this out. If he did apply for special leave to go home, then nsurely it would have been for a fixed time, given he claims he was always going to return.

  41. SJ
    July 30th, 2007 at 22:16 | #41

    Observa Says:

    My question was whether Haneef had applied for and been granted special leave to attend his wife and newborn, before he bought a ticket for home, ie before he was arrested at the airport. It seems to me this is crucial to his claim to be an innocent caring doctor who enjoyed working at the hospital and with his workmates. If he was simply thumbing his nose at the administration, staff and patients to head off without telling anyone (essentially abandoning his employment and presuambly visa conditions) then his whole caring doctor stance begins to unravel. This is not a hard question to answer for the MSM and I’m gobsmacked that it hasn’t been…

    Observa, you already know the answer to this, from your trolling elsewhere.

    The Australian

    Hard to be anything but cynical

    Hedley Thomas, July 19, 2007

    Contrary to some of the early misinformation, Dr Haneef had permission to take leave. He had been granted approval by a hospital administrator.

    Crawl back under a rock.

  42. observa
    July 30th, 2007 at 22:18 | #42

    Here is the critical part of the 60 Minutes interview-

    TARA BROWN: Unfortunately for Dr Haneef, his second cousin, Kafeel Ahmed, was very much thinking about terrorism when he helped mastermind the car bombs that were meant to blow up central London. Even more so when he drove his burning Jeep into Glasgow airport. Police made the link to Dr Haneef when they found his mobile phone SIM card in Liverpool. He’d given it to another cousin, accused co-conspirator Dr Sabeel Ahmed.

    DR MOHAMED HANEEF: He is a family member, he wanted to use it. It’s a SIM card and phone, I mean.

    TARA BROWN: Was it designed to help with a terrorist act?

    DR MOHAMED HANEEF: No, not at all, not at all. Definitely not.

    TARA BROWN: When did you first hear that your cousins were involved in the terrorist acts in the UK?

    DR MOHAMED HANEEF: It was, um, Dr Sabeel’s mum who told me, who had called me and told me there was some problem with the SIM card. And she asked me to clarify this.

    TARA BROWN: So, your cousin’s mother was concerned that your SIM card had got her son in trouble?

    DR MOHAMED HANEEF: Yeah.

    TARA BROWN: What did you decide to do then?

    DR MOHAMED HANEEF: I mean I, this was all happening actually on the way. I had my plans to go home to visit my family because I had a recent baby and my child.

    TARA BROWN: So you didn’t make your plans after receiving the phone call from your cousin’s mother?

    DR MOHAMED HANEEF: No, nothing as such. I had my plans prior and these, there are all circumstantial things.

    TARA BROWN: Because in the early days when you were first arrested and being questioned we heard that you had decided to leave Australia with no notice, a midnight flight, a one-way ticket. Did that happen?

    DR MOHAMED HANEEF: One-way ticket is right, I agree. I completely agree with that but not with an intention of leaving Australia. All my friends knew I was going and there was everything here left over. My car, my laptop, my everything and if I had to abscond like that, why would I do so?

    He’s an intelligent, caring, well travelled doctor. I put it to you all that IF he is the real McCoy he would have applied for special leave to visit his wife and baby. If not he is lying and the authotities and Govt know it. His hospital HR dept(and staff and friends by his own admission) can easily verify his story. What are the MSM doing to earn their keep these days?

  43. SJ
    July 30th, 2007 at 22:31 | #43

    Obseva Says

    If not he is lying and the authotities and Govt know it. His hospital HR dept(and staff and friends by his own admission) can easily verify his story. What are the MSM doing to earn their keep these days?

    What kind of moron are you, obbie? The hospital confirmed it, and the “MSM” reported it 11 days ago.

  44. observa
    July 30th, 2007 at 22:49 | #44

    SJ, I wasn’t aware of that article and statement and it clearly confirms his statement to Tara Brown. All I had heard reported to date was, he had left hurriedly with a one way ticket to India. That of itself was not of critical importance (damning) IMO, because he may well have known he could buy a return ticket to Australia in India, cheaper overall than a round trip from here. That is often the case for Oz travellers who fly to Asia and book further travel from there. Clearly I am not the only one who was not aware that he applied for and was granted special leave from the hospital to travel to India, or it would not have taken nearly 24 hours for someone to answer my question here. We have cleared that particular misconception up for a number of people right here and now. A question for you SJ. Were you aware of that fact before I asked the question here, or did you go looking for the answer as a result of my question?

  45. July 30th, 2007 at 22:49 | #45

    Every air ticket I have purchased has the date of purchase written on it.

    Dr. Haneef’s story will be supported by him showing this ticket. The purchase date on the ticket WILL be a date prior to the Glasgow/London bombings won’t it?

    Anyone care to put their shirt on this being the case?

  46. observa
    July 30th, 2007 at 23:00 | #46

    “What kind of moron are you, obbie? The hospital confirmed it, and the “MSMâ€? reported it 11 days ago.”
    I can tell you now an awful lot of people aren’t aware of that fact and it has been lost in all the commotion and perhaps front page pictures of a dirty flat with the washing hanging about and the dirty dishes lying about probably didn’t help further reading in that regard. I asked the wife the same question tonight and she didn’t know. Interesting how political junkies make wrong assumptions isn’t it?

  47. July 30th, 2007 at 23:03 | #47

    ‘Clearly I am not the only one who was not aware that he applied for and was granted special leave from the hospital to travel to India, or it would not have taken nearly 24 hours for someone to answer my question here.’

    Or alternatively, dude, we get sick of telling people stuff that they could easily find out for themselves.

    Same to you SATP … the circumstances under which Dr Haneef applied for leave, was granted it and had his father-in-law buy his ticket have all been recounted in exhaustive detail days ago. If you’re genuinely interested to find out, I recommend a search engine like Google.

  48. July 30th, 2007 at 23:04 | #48

    SJ, keep in mind the timeline.

    30th June – Glasgow airport attack.
    2nd July – Haneef applies for and is granted “emergency” leave from work.
    2nd July – Haneef arrested at Brisbane airport.

  49. SJ
    July 30th, 2007 at 23:59 | #49

    The trials of a ‘good Indian son’

    David Marr
    July 21, 2007

    Their daughter Haniya was born by emergency caesarean on June 26. That day, Sabeel “chatted” with his cousin on the internet, offering congratulations on the birth. That was their last contact. A couple of days later, the mother and child were readmitted to hospital. The baby had jaundice. Haneef would later claim he was prevented from flying home at this point because there was no cover for him at the hospital.

    Forget the prejudicial “Haneef would later claim” bullsh*t.

  50. lesleym
    July 31st, 2007 at 08:52 | #50

    satp and observa
    Logically speaking, the time at which he (with father-inlaw’s money) bought the one-way ticket is not proof of any guilt. It may bolster a suspicion, that’s all. He didn’t have the money for the trip. There would have been some delay until the father-in-law had coughed up. Remember, the birth was early, a caesarean, and the baby developed jaundice in the days after birth. Seems to me that’s when he decided he was needed in India.
    i can’t see it as evidence at all. Rather, an example of sychronicity, something human beings often set inordinate store by.
    Until and unless the AFP comes up with anything specific- and they don’t seem to have come up with anything out of the 30000 files thev’ve had to trawl through so far, I am prepared to him him the benefit of the doubt.
    I’m more interested in the thinking of his cousin the engineer who thought that he could make a statement with fertiiliser and nails. It hadn’t worked twice. There seems to be an air of desperation about this, presumably made worse by the emotional separation that belonging a “fundamentalist” group usually entails.

  51. July 31st, 2007 at 09:46 | #51

    Imre Salusinszky in The Australian todat gets it 100% right on Andrews and on the hysterical overreaction to the Haneef affair. We apply different standards to those on visas than citizens. Quote:

    ‘On balance, this is one of those no-scandal scandals where the stridency of some commentators only underlines their estrangement from the man and woman on the street.

    Unfortunately, this estrangement reveals a pattern we have seen repeatedly since 9/11. It sometimes appears the Western intelligentsia does not have the stomach to go a single round in the fight against terrorism, but would rather we blamed ourselves.

    Andrews showed common sense in revoking Haneef’s visa, and Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd showed equal common sense in supporting that decision. Both men are in responsible positions and I encourage them to maintain their vigilance over the security of my children, my friends and my fellow Australians‘. (my bolding).

    I agree. The over-the-top and hysterical criticisms of Andrews not flaws in the investigation damage Australia’s security. The Minister acted appropriately given information available at the time and so did Kevin Rudd.

  52. Warbo
    July 31st, 2007 at 10:20 | #52

    It sometimes appears the Western intelligentsia does not have the stomach to go a single round in the fight against terrorism, but would rather we blamed ourselves.

    When all else fails – as it surely has in the case – you can rely on the more hysterical supporters of the Howard Government smearing those they disagree with as cowards and traitors.

  53. Warbo
    July 31st, 2007 at 10:23 | #53

    … in this case …

    Bugger.

  54. Chris O’Neill
    July 31st, 2007 at 11:16 | #54

    “The Minister acted appropriately given information available at the time”

    Why does the phrase “at the time” keep getting mentioned? Shouldn’t it be redundant?

  55. July 31st, 2007 at 11:23 | #55

    Those on the left who have perfect foresight in an uncertain situation have to be reminded that the rest of humanity can only handle the information we have available at the time we make decisions.

  56. observa
    July 31st, 2007 at 12:01 | #56

    That’s the rub Harry. On the face of it and the public information available at present, Haneef is simply a victim of an old adage that your friends you can choose but your stinking terrorist relatives you’re stuck with. Govts/authorities are not going to get it right 100% of the time, just as some here got Hicks wrong. This is what happens when you get it wrong too
    http://www.theage.com.au/news/world/freed-guantanamo-inmates-take-up-arms/2007/07/27/1185339258055.html
    Think also of Clinton letting Osama go when he had him in the bomb sight. yet what would the reaction have been pre 9/11 if he gave the order to take him out? Given the situation nowadays with Muslim terrorists daily blowing up innocents around the globe and now some of them are doctors Govts face a clear choice. Sometimes damned if they do err on the side of caution(eg cancelling Haneef’s visa now) and damned if the let a terrorist get through. Faced with that choice, they go along with the politically popular option. It’s logical that if you’re going to be damned for getting it wrong occasionally, always choose the most popular option to be damned for occasionally. Rudd and Howard and all the State Premiers who lined up behind the anti-terror laws understand that. The Greens and the Dems, etc have the luxury of flipping and flopping, because they’re impotent and pure of course.

  57. July 31st, 2007 at 12:56 | #57

    Observa, That’s a great link. I think that being safe rather than sorry makes sense.

  58. Bring Back the Currency Lad
    July 31st, 2007 at 13:36 | #58

    what a lot of codswallop.

    Andrews only got rid of the passport when the Magistrate decided on the basis of thew case which she said was ‘thin’ allowed the good doctor bail.

    Not only did Andrews subvert the legal process he essentially said the good doctor was so dangerous he was not allowed onto the streets.

    Apparently nothing has changed except for Andrews being shown to be a complete dill in view of his media performances.

    This man is still so dangerous he is now allowed out yet NOTHING has changed.

    If Andrews believes the garbage he spews out then the good doctor should still be in gaol.

  59. July 31st, 2007 at 13:56 | #59

    When it comes to subverting justice, the record of that particular magistrate is not a happy one.

  60. Bring Back the Currency Lad
    July 31st, 2007 at 13:57 | #60

    err Steve,

    She said the case was thin and she was right.

  61. mkoukoullis
    August 2nd, 2007 at 04:12 | #61

    I totally agree that the real blame resides with Kevin Andrews. His decision to subvert the decision of an independent court is the core issue here.

    Secret evidence and the ability of the politicians to detain people does not bode well for a free society.

    The conduct of Kevin Andrews has upset me to the point which I constructed a website to enable the general public to petition for his resignation.

    http://andrewsmustresign.com/

  62. wise_but_poor
    August 21st, 2007 at 13:06 | #62

    Kevin Andrews must step down.

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