A couple of thoughts on Haneef

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?

91 thoughts on “A couple of thoughts on Haneef

  1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. “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.

  9. “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?

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

  12. 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”

  13. 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)

  14. “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.

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