Mohamed Haneef and protecting liberal democracy in the age of terror

Balancing civil liberties with the need to have an effective counterterrorism campaign has long been a difficult issue for liberal democracies. The arrest, detention, release and now detention of suspect Mohamed Haneef has raised important questions about the protection of civil liberties uder Australia’s legal approach to counterterrorism.

Senator Andrew Bartlett was at Dr Haneef’s bail decision this morning. And while there are legal issues to consider in the detention and findings of the court, the importance of civil liberties as a weapon against terrorism is often overlooked. As Senator Bartlett writes:

I believe it is important to show strong support at this time for upholding our basic right to live freely in a democratic society, not cowed by an ever-present threat of being caught up in guilt by association and trial by insinuation.

The Senator is correct. The basic rights of our society should not be rent asunder in a mad dash to emulate Roper and his eagerness to drive a road through the law to get at the devil. While Haneef may have charges to answer, at this stage he deserves the presumption of innocence and a transparent process. Not to be denied justice by Kevin Andrews’ murky political agenda.

One could try to justify Haneef’s treatment by comparing our judicial procedures to that of a repressive regime but one would be trivially wrong. The quality of Australian justice should be rated against the very institutions that represent the values of democracy. Not some bizarre sliding scale of glibness that implies as long as we aren’t as bad as other countries we are doing fine.

An aspect of successful counterterrorism is to win hearts and minds. To show that while in pursuit of terrorists that everyone enjoys equal protection under the law. Otherwise, people will become marginalised and suspicious of claims that freedom is being defended as the foundations of freedom are being undermined. Cooperation between groups seemingly targeted by suspension of civil liberties and the authorities hampers counterterrorism. Valuable sources of intelligence may be shut off. Disunity and distrust are sown in the community when trust and unity are needed the most.

Paul Wilkinson says it well in Terrorism and the Liberal State:

Indiscriminate repression is totally incompatible with the liberal values of humanity, liberty and justice. It is a dangerous illusion to believe one can ‘protect’ liberal democracy by suspending liberal rights and forms of government.

More at Surfdom and Talk It Out.

Update: [by MB] More at Troppo, Polemica, An Onymous Lefty, The Dead Roo, The Legal Soapbox and Ambit Gambit:

But what I’m not prepared to accept is the federal government’s revocation of his visa, for no better reason from what I can make out, than to circumvent the successful bail application and lock him away again. The federal government has his passport. He is not leaving the country, so he can’t avoid facing the charges. A magistrate, after hearing evidence from both sides, has decided that he is not so dangerous that he has to remain in prison. So where is the point in putting him in a federal jail? After the trial is over we will all be in the best position to judge whether his visa should be revoked, whether or not he is convicted.

The only viable explanation that I can see is political, and it is one that ought to backfire on the government. If it doesn’t it will be because the Labor Party has laid down and agreed with their actions. The only opposition at the moment appears to be coming from Democrats senator Andrew Bartlett, and the Greens Kerry Nettle.

More from David Tiley.

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Posted in Authoritarianism, Law, Policy, Terrorism
124 comments on “Mohamed Haneef and protecting liberal democracy in the age of terror
  1. Mark says:

    I’ve updated the post with some links that just came through my reader, Shaun.

  2. Mark says:

    From the post at Ambit Gambit:

    The only thing that must give it some faint hope of an election win is that the Rudd ALP’s “mini me” strategy is so risk averse that it won’t try to differentiate itself by even a millimetre from the government on this issue.

    What’s with the ALP?

  3. Kim says:

    What some people within this liberal democracy should refrain from doing is politicising the justice system, and applauding political interference with it:

    The court does not know everything the minister does, the minister may not be able to release all information and the court could only have evaluated the evidence before it.

    http://kalimna.blogspot.com/2007/07/md-haneef-in-custody-keep-balanced-view.html

    That’s his “balanced view”, obtained “applying cost-benefit analysis”, after an attack on “the deranged left”.

  4. wbb says:

    Australia has just placed Mohamed Haneef in legal limbo. The cracks that have been appearing in our justice system these last six years are now large enough for any of us to potentially fall through.

    Osama, take a bow.

    It is more important than ever that the ALP wins the next election. It is the only thing that will stem the tide that is fast going out on decades of achievement.

    Paradoxically, that result requires that Rudd hold his tongue for the moment. In the meanwhile Bartlett plays a crucial role.

  5. Kim, sometimes the only people who believe in the presumption of innocence are lawyers. Everyone else is dead keen to cut down every law in the land in order to get at the devil. FWIW, this is the advice I’d be giving Haneef now (from Troppo):

    If I were Haneef’s lawyer, I’d be advising his surety to fail to post bail. That way, he has to be remanded in custody, with appropriate legal rights (like access to his lawyer).

    If the Minister insists on locking him up in Villawood after that, we’ve got a constitutional crisis.

  6. Yobbo says:

    It is more important than ever that the ALP wins the next election. It is the only thing that will stem the tide that is fast going out on decades of achievement.

    What would the ALP do differently?

    Sometimes you guys seem to forget that Australian politics is about as important as what Footy team you support.

    ALP and Libs are basically identical.

    I realise you guys hate John Howard, but if you think him being voted out is going to usher in some kind of revolution, you are sadly deluded and are going to be very disappointed.

  7. Yobbo says:

    I must admit though, I really hope Howard wins again, just so I can see how many of the writers on this site neck themselves.

  8. Both very thoughtful points Yobbo.

  9. Tony of South Yarra says:

    My problem with Kevin Rudd’s ‘Howard-lite’ strategy of fiercely aligning himself with government policy on any issue which may be even remotely construed as a ‘wedge’ is that he has failed to reveal whether he is a man of principle or merely another cynical politician who sees electoral victory as his ultimate goal, not as the means to a more noble end.

    Come the election and many swinging voters will (quite rightly) be asking themselves as they mark their ballot paper ‘who is Kevin Rudd and what does he (really) stand for?’.

  10. Katz says:

    If I were Haneef’s lawyer, I’d be advising his surety to fail to post bail. That way, he has to be remanded in custody, with appropriate legal rights (like access to his lawyer).

    If the Minister insists on locking him up in Villawood after that, we’ve got a constitutional crisis.

    Excellent advice SL!

    Dr Haneef’s lawyers would be well advised to prevent their client from disappearing further into the clutches of executive tyranny.

    (Under those circumstances it would be very interesting if “an anonymous person” came forward to post bail just so that Dr Haneef could be transported to Villawood.)

  11. Christine Keeler says:

    My problem with Kevin Rudd’s ‘Howard-lite’ strategy of fiercely aligning himself with government policy on any issue which may be even remotely construed as a ‘wedge’ is that he has failed to reveal whether he is a man of principle or merely another cynical politician who sees electoral victory as his ultimate goal, not as the means to a more noble end.

    That may be so Tony, but from my perspective dead bats all round are just fine. The C*** Rodent would like nothing more that another national security wedge for the flying monkeys over at the GG to beat up.

    Politically, Rudd’s played it exactly right.

  12. curious cow says:

    “An aspect of successful counterterrorism is to win hearts and minds. To show that while in pursuit of terrorists that everyone enjoys equal protection under the law. Otherwise, people will become marginalised and suspicious of claims that freedom is being defended as the foundations of freedom are being undermined. Cooperation between groups seemingly targeted by suspension of civil liberties and the authorities hampers counterterrorism …”

    Is this a claim reported in a scholarly journal of some sort and supported by empirical evidence ?
    Fighting the IRA and it’s supporters – I might buy this as a valid argument but where is the evidence this is valid with other groups and not a worthy but perhaps unrealistic attitude in other cases?
    Our educated ,well travelled and multiculturally experienced doctors wouldn’t appear to be ignorant of the legal advantages available to them in the places where they have apparently chosen to try and kill people.

  13. MorningDude says:

    Rudd is yet again showing how astute he is on this. First he has played the dead bat, but this morning I heard that the Labor are now starting to make small rumblings. They have done this on other rushed together actions the government has taken in the past, and with the steady as it goes build up of opposition until all the facts and deceits are exposed, Labor has usually come out on top of opinion. I suspect this is happening with Haneef as well.

    Not a Howard-lite at all, but a Howard-superior. A new improved model without all the useless bullshit doodads, smoke and mirrors.

  14. Laura says:

    All I can say is, thank cripes for Andrew Bartlett. Labor are going to win this election and if they do intend to govern in a manner that’s consistent with justice and democracy, then it’s high time they gave us a little hint of that. Instead of being quite so fulsome with the praise of the government’s actions. “Acted entirely appropriately” said Tony Burke, of Andrews. Did he need to be quite so supportive? If the ALP is so cravenly frightened of public opinion (which in their current situation, they ought to be attempting to influence, with their mighty lead) that they can’t calmly point out exactly how outrageous the actions of the Immigration minister are, then couldn’t they at least make a less enthusiastic comment?

  15. Katz says:

    Is this a claim reported in a scholarly journal of some sort and supported by empirical evidence ?

    Before we do that, it might be more efficient to scrutinise the logic of your reasoning and to unpack the unstated assumptions behind your reasoning.

    Fighting the IRA and it’s supporters – I might buy this as a valid argument but where is the evidence this is valid with other groups and not a worthy but perhaps unrealistic attitude in other cases?

    How do you justify treating the IRA as different from Islamist terrorism? The IRA let off much bigger bombs than the Islamist bombs in Britain. Moreover, the infrastructure of the IRA was much more sophisticated than anything the Islamists have produced so far. Mad Cow seems to be suffering from an odd form of amnesiac nostalgia about the benignancy of the IRA.

    Our educated ,well travelled and multiculturally experienced doctors wouldn’t appear to be ignorant of the legal advantages available to them in the places where they have apparently chosen to try and kill people.

    Islamists have killed far more people in countries that don’t have respectable rule of law, e.g., Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, etc., etc., etc. There is no evidence that targets are chosen bsed on the existence of a rule of law. The very notion is ridiculous.

  16. Guido says:

    This is a manufactured ’emergency’. This is the ‘I would not want people like that to come to Australia’ Mark 2. Who cares about some vilification if you can get some votes?

    The government is desperately trying to create a security scare, they probably thought that the connection between the British would be bombers and the doctor here was manna like the Tampa which came out of nowhere.

    There will plenty of these wedges attempts from now to the election, and they will become more desperate if the polls don’t improve.

    The fact is that Labor does not need to do anything. The contradictions will come out on their own as it happened with the Aboriginal issue.

    And as long as there is a perception that Andrews acted on information from the AFP, the accusations of Labor being soft on terrorism is always lurking there.

  17. SkepticLawyer, it seems great minds think alike 🙂

    And a further question. How long is he likely to spend in detention before his trial (let’s forget appeals for the moment) is complete? Surely, it wouldn’t be less than six months or so.

    As for Labor and influencing public opinion, I hope wbb and MorningDude are correct.

  18. Shaun says:

    curious cow, if a person in a community sees that those with associations with terrorist suspects regardless of complicity, are trampled by the law, there is a good chance that they will be reticent to come forward with information. Gaining trust and isolating terrorists within their community has long been part of counterterrorism/counterinsurgency operations. I’m am not sure what you hope to achieve by doing otherwise.

  19. Paul Norton says:

    Whilst I realise that Labor’s response is conditioned by the fact that there is an election to be won, I am concerned at the effect that bipartisan support for such a misuse of executive power will have on public understanding of, and attitudes towards, democracy based on the rule of law, accountable government and the separation of powers.

    I teach an introductory politics course at Griffith University to a body of students which – at least as far as the domestic students are concerned – is as typical of the mainstream of Australian society as one can find in a student cohort. They are mainly business students who, for the most part, are taking the course because they have to, not because they have a particular interest in or extensive prior knowledge of politics. Thus their understanding of these matters can be taken as typical of the level of knowledge and understanding which is bestowed on citizens, by the time they turn 18, by our school system, our media and other agents of political communication. Suffice it to say that my colleagues and I are frequently reminded, and have to frequently remind ourselves, of the need not to presume a high level of prior knowledge when teaching these students from the mainstream of suburban south-east Queensland.

    In this light it is extremely disturbing, not only that the current Federal government is prepared to act in a way which violates key principles of democracy based on the rule of law, accountable government and the separation of powers, but that the Federal Labor Party is not willing to point this out, in the process explaining to its actual and potential supporters from the mainstream of society what these key principles are, why they are important and how and why the government’s actions are in breach of them. Instead, Federal Labor’s position is actively contributing to an erosion of public understanding of, and support for, these important principles. It would not be drawing too long a bow to see a potential comparison with with the rise of working-class racism in parts of Europe in parallel with, and partly as a result of, the main left-of-centre parties’ capacity to exercise moral and political leadership of working class people.

  20. Ken Lovell says:

    The court does not know everything the minister does, the minister may not be able to release all information and the court could only have evaluated the evidence before it.

    Jeez poor old Harry’s all worked up eh … the bit about stoning Iranian adulterers was powerful stuff, although its relevance to the matter of Dr Haneef’s visa wasn’t entirely clear. I guess when you’ve got so much incoherent bile to get off your chest, sometimes the deranged left just isn’t a broad enough target.

    It just goes to show how some people still pine for the Cold War and the world of Ian Fleming, when intelligence gathering concerned vast global conspiracies, not a few nutters trying to blow up car bombs … and the only truly trustworthy people were our heroic secret agents. I’m surprised HC’s prepared to allow even the minister to have access to all the facts, after all ministers are notoriously prone to gossip. Safer I reckon to let the intelligence agents control all information on a strict ‘need to know’ basis. And clearly when it comes to locking up foreigners who come from the terrorist equivalent of the Kray family, nobody needs to know anything.

    This is actually an excellent issue to see who the genuine libertarians are in the blogosphere and who are mere libertarian fellow-travellers, using it as a convenient cloak for their authoritarian tendencies.

    OH I just noticed that in comments Clarke made this staggering observation:

    If he is innocent he will walk free and get an apology.

    Gosh, I remember when I had that child-like faith in our institutions … Menzies was prime minister.

    Dump the Ian Fleming Harry … time to read some John Je Carré.

  21. Letmesleep says:

    Please, please tell me that this is not happening. I just cannot believe the government will stoop this low. Where is the fairness in this process? Is Howard thinking that this will improve his electoral standing?
    What is happening to Australia? The government has pretty much ruined a young man’s life.
    Why couldnt they let the justice system run its course and then decided on whether to cancel Dr Haneef’s visa based on the outcome. I heard Julian Burnside this morning and he said that if a person’s visa was cancelled, normally he would be deported immediately. In this case, Dr Haneef is not going to be deported and is going to be kept in limbo for god knows how long.

    I feel a sense of powerlessness and despair I have never felt before. I am disgusted with the Labor party. Shameless and unprincipled.

  22. Robert, good to see that his lawyer’s thinking. I hope he can persuade Haneef’s family not to post bail on his behalf (many immigrant families in my experience find failure to post bail shameful, and hock their houses, family heirlooms, the whole shebang, to get son or daughter out of chokey).

    Then it will be interesting to see if someone posts bail on his behalf, as Katz suggests. Qld doesn’t allow anonymous sureties any more, but this is a federal offence.

    A pity I’m so busy today, otherwise I’d have done a detailed post on it over at Catallaxy. I’ll still try to do something later today, time permitting.

  23. Beppie says:

    All I can say is that I felt ashamed to be Australian when I heard this on the news this morning. No one seemed to be debating it or treating it as contraversial… it’s sickening.

  24. Craig Mc says:

    As the conscience of the ALP, it’s time for Carmen Lawrence to speak up and pressure Rudd over this travesty. Organise some publicity with Julian Burnside and gather wall-to-wall coverage of this issue on the ABC and in Fairfax between now and the election. That’ll teach Howard!

  25. What you are suggesting Craig Mc, will deliver an election victory to Howard.

    The populace spook quite easily on matters of security, getting all Carmen Lawrencey & Julian Burnsidey about it will drive voters to Howard.

  26. Craig Mc says:

    Shh SATP, I was trying to fly it under the radar.

  27. via collins says:

    “The populace spook quite easily on matters of security,”

    SATP, happily that cynical POV seems to have sputtered out of steam. Of course, 40 weeks of polling may yet stand incorrect, but I’d say the majority of the populace have decided they won’t be spooked by manufactured security issues.

    Tiem will tell.

  28. Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews says Gold Coast-based doctor Mohammed Haneef will be deported from Australia, regardless of the outcome of criminal proceedings against him.

    And here’s a former Liberal state attorney-general explaining the legal principles involved:

    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.

    More here.

  29. Katz says:

    The populace spook quite easily on matters of security,

    But the Chicken Littles in their midst need to be much more persuasive these days than CMc and SATP.

    Perhaps Ratty should put Goosey Loosey on the job, because CMc and SATP don’t appear to be up to it.

  30. curious cow says:

    Shaun,
    Thanks for the reply. I’d like to see some evidence , any evidence that winning hearts and minds really makes a significant difference.
    The IRA was successfully infiltrated – it didn’t stop the bombing campaigns but led to splits in the stategies pursued I recall. The general populace seemed to think that killings were unacceptable but the committed gunmen on both sides weren’t deflected from their chosen courses. Overall the bombing campaign seems to have brought negotiations forward but the support the IRA enjoyed was wearing thin at that time .

    Perhaps the main problem I have with this idea is that I don’t think the people you would be tryng to appeal to with your fine and reasonable sense of justice respect that legal system. It may even be considered a suitable tool for them to exploit as they consider further actions?
    Katz, you appear to be arguing with yourself and as that seems to keep you happy I won’t disturb you .

  31. Ken Lovell says:

    Why should Dr Haneef want to extend his visa anyway? If I were him I wouldn’t be staying here one day longer than was absolutely necessary.

  32. Craig Mc says:

    But the Chicken Littles in their midst need to be much more persuasive these days than CMc and SATP.

    Oh I won’t be doing any persuading – the left can do that much better than I ever could. e.g. Jon Faine’s program this morning would have been sweet, sweet music to Liberal Party ears.

  33. Good point Ken. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he decided he was better off in India.

  34. Nicki Lagrange says:

    Hopefully, when we’re all in dentention, the Government will finally be free enough to keep us all safe. Pray that day comes soon.

  35. Katz says:

    Oh I won’t be doing any persuading – the left can do that much better than I ever could. e.g. Jon Faine’s program this morning would have been sweet, sweet music to Liberal Party ears.

    Straw, meet drowning man!

  36. Craig Mc says:

    Katz, I look forward to hearing your call to Faine tomorrow morning. I may even get the ball rolling myself by calling Howard a fascist and saying how ashamed I am to be Australian at 8:55am. No sense letting the tenor of the morning be set by random opinions after all.

  37. Appu says:

    Please please can we set up a sim card collection and start mailing them to Mrs Haneefa in B’lore? Will everyone involved have to be arrested?Will my posting this cause me to be deported? How wonderful to feel a frisson of fear at the thought that expressing my opinion is once again full of risk.

  38. Christine Keeler says:

    The court does not know everything the minister does, the minister may not be able to release all information and the court could only have evaluated the evidence before it.

    Good grief. This little ‘I’ve been given highly imortant and sceret information that I couldn’t possibly pass on for national security reasons’ act that Andrews has going is more vomitous than watching Alexander Downer bang on about knowing more than the CIA.

    If the feds had anything substantial on the bloke it would have been presented in court, end of story.

  39. Katz says:

    CMc Mark I

    Oh I won’t be doing any persuading

    CMc Mark II

    I may even get the ball rolling myself by calling Howard a fascist and saying how ashamed I am to be Australian at 8:55am. No sense letting the tenor of the morning be set by random opinions after all.

    Make up your mind CMc. Which is it to be?

    Wild oscillations between inaction and intemperate action are primary symptoms of panic. Goosey Loosey stuff.

  40. Craig Mc says:

    Katz, that’s not so much persuading as it is laying out the welcome mat.

  41. Oops – looks like Ruddock missed some visas to revoke.
    Or else he has forgotten to declare the Tamil Tigers a terrorist group.

  42. John Greenfield says:

    Shaun Cronin

    You are conflating two things here. One’s rights under the criminal law, and the right of foreigners to come to Australia. The latter are clearly considerably less than the former. As they should be.

  43. John Greenfield says:

    It is more important than ever that the ALP wins the next election. It is the only thing that will stem the tide that is fast going out on decades of achievement.

    What an extraordinary belief! First of all, it was Labor that intoduced mandatory detention. Secondly, Labor has been totally on board with the government’s policies towards terrorism over the past ten years.

    What makes yo think Labor “deep down” does not care about global Islamic terrorism?

  44. John Greenfield says:

    Tony of Sth. Yarra

    he has failed to reveal whether he is a man of principle or merely another cynical politician who sees electoral victory as his ultimate goal, not as the means to a more noble end.

    Be careful what you wish for! Remember, Howard’s most unpopular policies have involved him bucking opinion polls in favour of his own “principles.” On the other hand, many of his policies have involved him denying his principles. For example, he has not dumped Medicare.

    I have said it once and I will say it again. Kevin Rudd’s character is far more authoritarian and ideology-free than Howard’s.

  45. Graeme says:

    The media’s rush to scandalise and judge is the fundamental threat. From it flows hysteria, popular misinformation and then populist law-making.

    Sure governments sometimes enact heavy-handed policies. But at least they do so subject to all-party committee scrutiny, and the voices of the many (mostly small ‘l’) lawyers that festoon each party room.

    For once, I sense generalised concern about the over-the-top aspects of this case. By ‘over-the-top’ I mean there is zilch evidence Haneef is a risk or threat to Australia. Indeed if he’d been a player in the failed plots of any significance, the British would want him tried there.

    Even Beattie, normally a ‘me-too’ kind of politician, has criticised Andrews in unusually strong terms.

    The statement today that he WILL be deported REGARDLESS of the trial is remarkably prejudicial. In effect the Minister has made up his mind in advance and declared it publicly: even if when tested in court it is found that he had no reason to suspect his second cousin and mates were up to something on the other side of the world. They have no idea of due process.

    We’ll see: both the criminal courts and administrative law review may come back to bite the authorities.

    If on the other hand Haneef is convicted there will have been a finding that at a minimum, at the relevant time, he turned a blind eye to terrorist intent. Whilst as a lawyer the charge seems risible, as a citizen one can abhor any such behaviour.

  46. GregM says:

    If on the other hand Haneef is convicted there will have been a finding that at a minimum, at the relevant time, he turned a blind eye to terrorist intent. Whilst as a lawyer the charge seems risible, as a citizen one can abhor any such behaviour.

    It think that is the point of having the legislation. While for Haneef to be convicted there will have to be a finding of a bit more than turning a blind eye to terrorist intent (the charge is reckless assistance) Parliament makes laws on behalf of citizens and not on behalf of lawyers. Most citizens would, I think (some commenters at LP always excepted), think that terrorist acts are abhorrent and that the Parliament should pass laws for their prevention and prosecution even to the extent of prosecuting those who give assistance to terrorists. Whether or not a lawyer considers the charge risible ia irrelevant as it arises from a law of the Commonwealth and the lawyer must deal with it as such.

  47. Ville says:

    Just regarding Labor’s response (or lack thereof), I’m not really sure what other option they have available to them at this time. Assuming the underlying intention is to drive a political wedge through Labor, wouldn’t it be naive of them to walk straight into it?

    The sad fact of the matter is that much of this nation is jumpy when it comes to matters of national security and terrorism. Given the choice between doing the moral thing or submitting to politically generated hysteria, we have a tendency to prefer the latter (witness Tampa). Keeping a low profile and letting the Government dig its own grave is, spineless as it may be, the safest option politically.

    The big trouble with it is that it doesn’t allow us any glimpse into what the ALP might have done under similar circumstances had they been running the show.

  48. Craig Mc says:

    The big trouble with it is that it doesn’t allow us any glimpse into what the ALP might have done under similar circumstances had they been running the show.

    No, but commenters as found here do. It’ll be interesting to see if the left remembers that Howard’s greatest assets in the past have been his critics.

    Rudd does, but his circus mightn’t.

  49. Nabakov says:

    Why not just deport the bugger before the trial? Should save a lot of time and paperwork all round.

  50. “The sad fact of the matter is that much of this nation is jumpy when it comes to matters of national security and terrorism.”

    The Australian people have an aversion for those who would kill them randomly, in wholesale numbers if possible. Gee, who woulda thought it?

  51. Keith says:

    Yet another expertly delivered lesson in How Not to Fight Terrorism. This is Guantanamo Bay-thinking from that clever Howard Government and its cheerleaders. Haven’t they learnt yet that dropping people into legal black holes isn’t a good look?

    I felt ill watching Kevin Andrews pretend that he had top secret reasons for locking Haneef up. Winning hearts and minds is clearly top of the agenda.

  52. Guantanamo Bay was not effective? Like fun it wasn’t. Not popular with the wankocracy for sure. But very effective.

    The prospect of being expressed off to Guantanamo Bay in blindfold & chains had suspects piddling in their pants & more ready to cooperate.

    The opinions of some idle wallies in comfortable western surroundings notwithstanding.

    Kevin Andrews won’t be pilloried by any but the rent a crowd for erring on the side of caution.

  53. Helen says:

    Predictable.

  54. GregM says:

    Predictable.

    Everything at LP is predictable, Helen.

    Which specific comment were you referring to?

  55. Kim says:

    GregM – is it possible for you to comment on this blog without making constant derogatory remarks about the blog itself? It doesn’t suggest a particular willingness to engage.

  56. Pavlov's Cat says:

    Everything at LP is predictable

    Compared to what?

  57. Christine Keeler says:

    The prospect of being expressed off to Guantanamo Bay in blindfold & chains had suspects piddling in their pants & more ready to cooperate.

    Oh yeah SATP? Who exactly?

  58. Keith says:

    The opinions of some idle wallies in comfortable western surroundings notwithstanding.

    One of the reasons that they’re ‘comfortable western surroundings’ is that we don’t have a history of abusing executive power to lock people up on secret information, without judicial recourse (or so the Government hopes, at least).

  59. GregM says:

    GregM – is it possible for you to comment on this blog without making constant derogatory remarks about the blog itself?

    The remarks aren’t constant Kim. Most of my comments are a damned sight more considered, measured and researched than those of many of your punters here, about whom I haven’t seen you make a murmur of criticism. I’m not sure how one can engage with someone who, as one of your commenters did on a recent thread, witout a word of dissent, disagreement or objection from you, make an associatiopn between being white and being (as he supposed, without any evidence) being Christian anbd being a Nazi.

    If you are asking me to lift my game then I suggest you look at your own.

  60. Kim says:

    I’m merely suggesting that you engage without personally reflecting on others. That’s all.

  61. GregM says:

    Compared to what?

    Compared to whatever the punter has ever posted before. You just know that whatever the issue whether it be from to regular Lefties (Katz et al) or the regular Righties (SATP et al) just what they’ll say before you even read it. They don’t disappoint in their predictability, but then Kim criticises me for a lack of willingness to engage. Not a word about their incapacity or refusal to do so but apparently the extent of her knowledge of the word engagement is as meaningless posturing.

    There are in fairness, honourable exceptions; Gummo, Nabs, Brian and Robert Merkel immediately come to mind as people who post with a sense of engagement and a regard for the facts in discussing issues.

  62. Kim says:

    I’m not constantly online by the way, and don’t read all the threads. I happen to be now and am reading this one.

    This is getting far too meta, which is the danger when you start off with these remarks. Back on topic everyone, please.

  63. GregM says:

    I’m merely suggesting that you engage without personally reflecting on others. That’s all.

    My comment which drew your criticism didn’t personally reflect on others. Helen’s comment, “Predictable“, did personally reflect on some other commenter. I asked, for the sake of clarity which commenter she was personally reflecting on. You have criticised me for doing that but not her for personally reflecting on others. Why?

  64. GregM, when you term me a “regular rightie” I hope this is meant as an antonym for “wrongie”?

    Not everything is predictable on this site. Who would ever have thought that the inner circle here would vigorously defend the right of a 457 visa holder to remain in the country no matter what.?

    I shall save this nugget up in case sometime in the future I may require some support to stand up for the rights of a 457 visa holder to remain in the country and continue to take the job of an Ozzi worker.

  65. Kim says:

    GregM, I’ll just point out that you claimed in your last comment that I didn’t know the meaning of engagement. That seems to me to be a personal reflection. I won’t add any more, because our comments policy says we don’t debate moderation publicly. With good reason – it derails discussions. So please go back on topic.

  66. John Greenfield says:

    Ville

    Assuming the underlying intention is to drive a political wedge through Labor, wouldn’t it be naive of them to walk straight into it?

    The only way this can happen is if Labor does not have a position on these issues OR they are in agreement with the government.

  67. John Greenfield says:

    Unlike just about every country on the planet, Australia has not suffered from an Islamist attack. In my book, that means we continue to support the government’s strategy.

  68. nasking says:

    Dump the Ian Fleming Harry … time to read some John Le Carré.

    will go down a treat Ken…particularly w/ this convenient return to ‘Cold War’ politics…i imagine the intelligence officers are excited…much less exacting sitting in a Moscow hotel chatting to some fox, rather than attempting to infiltrate a bunch of swarthy types w/ Highlander tendencies. Just in case Senate investigations derail Cheney’s plan to play w/ his toys in Iran, the military industrial complex can put that little adventure on hold & ramp up the “I’ll show you my nuke-tipped one, if you show me yours” game.

    Lucky us. Best we slim the kids down tho so they can slip easily under the desks when the alarms start sounding. Sorry, but Southern Fried Chook will be right out the backdoor…;)…kinda like Haneef’s Civil Rights.

  69. Unlike just about every country on the planet, Australia has not suffered from an Islamist attack. In my book, that means we continue to support the government’s strategy.

    That reminds me – I’ll have to spread some more elephant repellant on the front lawn tomorrow. We’ve never had a herd of elephants invade the garden yet, so I guess it must be working.

  70. Aha! Gummo has nailed the solution.

    There are no elephants in Australia. Except a few caged samples in zoos.

    If we really want to keep Australia safe from Muslim terrorist attack, then all we gotta do is……..

  71. nasking says:

    If we really want to keep Australia safe from Muslim terrorist attack, then all we gotta do is……..

    ahhh…like the “War Relocation Centers” in America, where they shoved 110,000 Japanese-Americans…I take it you’d like to use Christmas Island and those other infamous Detention Centres?…then Haneef would have plenty of company eh?…Wouldn’t that do wonders for social cohesion?

    Gimme a break!

  72. Michael says:

    John Greenfield: Unlike just about every country on the planet, Australia has not suffered from an Islamist attack. In my book, that means we continue to support the government’s strategy.

    I don’t recall any Islamist attacks on Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, the Baltic states, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Belarus, Ukraine, Austria, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Albania, Italy, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium, Monaco, Portugal, Malta, Canada, Mexico, Guatamala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, any of the smaller West Indian island countries, Suriname, Guyana, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, any Pacific Island country, New Zealand, PNG, East Timor, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Bangla Desh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Mongolia, either of the Koreas, Japan, Taiwan, Iran, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhztan, Libya, Mauretania, Niger, just about any of the sub-saharan African countries with the exception of Kenya and Tanzania (IIRC) in the latter the al-Qaida attacks on US embassies in ’98.

    Indeed, the countries outside of the Arab League and Islamic world that have experienced Islamist attacks are very few: India but that’s complicated by it’s Kashmir problems vis a vis Pakistan, possibly China in the Xinjiang region where such attacks are as much fueled by local Uighur nationalism, Russia of course as a result of it’s Chechen wars, Thailand due to separatist issues in Islamic south, Spain as a result of it’s participation in the invasion of Iraq, UK ditto, France has had terrorist activity not necessarily Islamist stemming from Israel/Palestinian issues and North African/Algerian issues, Germany, also stemming from Israel/Palestine issues and Kurdish issues; a couple of assassinations in Netherlands; and finally the US as a result of its own major political and military involvements in the Middle east.

    Our government has implicated us in the invasion of Iraq and embroiled us consequently in Middle Eastern politics in suport of the US and has adopted laws that are a serious threat to civil rights. The former has set us up very strongly as a terrorist target and the latter has really yet to be found proven as being in any way effective in deterring a terrorist attack. IMHO the main reason we have not experienced such an attack is that the question of distance plus the fact that in Iraq we really make no difference whatsoever to what is going on there

  73. Michael says:

    Michael: Thailand due to separatist issues in Islamic south

    And I should add Philippines ditto

  74. Michael says:

    I recommend Julian Burnside’s article in today’s Age:
    A Case of Justice Denied
    The treatment of Mohamed Haneef compromises Australia’s legal system and puts at risk the way of life the Government says it is fighting to protect

  75. Spiros says:

    “Unlike just about every country on the planet, Australia has not suffered from an Islamist attack”

    Just about every country on the planet?

    Apart from Australia, the following incomplete list countries haven’t suffered an Islamist attack:

    In Europe:

    Portgual, Belgium, Czeck Republic, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Hungary, Estonia, Italy, Greece, Austria, Monaco, Germany, Luxembourg, Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania ….

    In our region:

    New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Nauru, Solomon Islands …

    In Africa

    South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Benin, Equitorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Zambia, Swaziland, Ivory Coast, Uganda ….

    In Asia

    Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos ….

    In North America, Central America, the Caribbean and South America

    Only the United States has suffered from an Islamist attack.

  76. Spiros says:

    Apologies to Michael. Our posts crossed.

  77. Paul Norton says:

    Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam and Laos are listed by Michael as having not experienced Islamic terrorist attacks. Is it drawing too long a bow to suggest that the Howard government is modelling its anti-terrorism strategies on the obvious success of these countries which have given short shrift to bleeding heart nonsense about civil liberties and judicial independence?

  78. Michael says:

    No worries, Spiros. Great minds think alike as they say and said in all humility

  79. GregM says:

    Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam and Laos are listed by Michael as having not experienced Islamic terrorist attacks. Is it drawing too long a bow to suggest that the Howard government is modelling its anti-terrorism strategies on the obvious success of these countries which have given short shrift to bleeding heart nonsense about civil liberties and judicial independence?

    Yes it is.

  80. Paul Norton says:

    The serious point underpinning my previous comment is well made by al loomis and Terje at John Quiggin’s blog:

    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 sortâ€?, are due for a hard education.

    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 goodâ€?. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

    And let us not forget that the original “anti-terrorist” model for Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam and Laos was characterised by its founders, in lnaguage strikingly similar to that deployed in the GWOT, as a set of “emergency measures” including an “Extraordinary Commission” to combat “counter-revolution and sabotage”.

  81. Craig Mc says:

    I recommend Julian Burnside’s article in today’s Age:

    Good old Julian! Now where’s Carmen Lawrence’s press conference? Come on Carmen – you’re falling behind schedule!

  82. GregM says:

    Paul there are three problems with your line of argument.

    The first is that the police are not unfettered. They are subject to the laws laid down by Parliament, to scrutiny by Parliamentary committees and in the case of any detention and charging of any individual to judicial oversight. No suspect can be held indefinitely and when they are charged they have the right to trial by jury. The worthlessness of the comment of al loomis which you quote approvingly is shown through his reference to “the local gestapo” by which he can only be interpreted to mean as having a prejudice against all police forces as gestapos or specifically against the AFP, without having provided any evidence that they deserve that description.

    The second is al loomis’s statement that:

    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 goodâ€?. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

    Leaving aside the obvious point that living in an organised society does involve a compromise of individual rights with collective rights and the responsibility of the individual to the collective he implies, without producing any argument or evidence that the “greater good”, in the current case legislation to curb and punish terrorist activity, is either a misconceived or invalid act of the government. Most people, but apparently not al loomis, would see that it is very much the business of government to pass such legislation but he seems to be in denial that such a terrorist threat exists.

    Third, the examples you cite of Noth Korea, Cuba, Vietnam and Laos having their antecedents in

    “emergency measuresâ€? including an “Extraordinary Commissionâ€? to combat “counter-revolution and sabotageâ€?

    competely misses the point that those measures were put in place by a terrorist organisation, the Bolshevik party, after it had got into power and established a one-party dictatorship with an avowed objective of destroying its class enemies, none of which anyone can say without resorting to lurid hyperbole is what obtains in Australia today where we still have a functioning democracy, regular elections and an independent judiciary.

    Note; I don’t extend my comments to cover the actions of Kevin Andrews which, as I have posted on an earlier thread, I see as an unjustified interference in the judicial process.

  83. FDB says:

    “competely misses the point that those measures were put in place by a terrorist organisation, the Bolshevik party, after it had got into power and established a one-party dictatorship with an avowed objective of destroying its class enemies, none of which anyone can say without resorting to lurid hyperbole is what obtains in Australia today where we still have a functioning democracy, regular elections and an independent judiciary”

    Yes, and it also misses the point that none of the countries mentioned have a big red rock in the middle, and they hardly play AFL at all, and they’re in the northern hemisphere. Therefore no parallels may be drawn with their approach to Laura Norder w/r/t terrorism.

  84. Katz says:

    Predictability is to be expected when one is simply restating canonical understandings of civil society.

    There is not much scope for originality in such discussion.

    The saddening thing is that opponents of canonical defences of civil society demand novelty.

    And it is somewhat disturbing that opponents of canonical defences of civil society apparently believe that there is some virtue in their novel restatements of the boundaries of civil society. All of these restatements appear to involve taking away my rights and legal protections.

    If my concerns appear to be boringly old-fashioned and predictable, then that’s someone else’s problem.

  85. FDB says:

    By the way, GregM seems to have pulled a reverse-Godwin.

    “Sure, we may be invading Poland and gassing Jews, but we’re not Nazis!”

  86. GregM says:

    If my concerns appear to be boringly old-fashioned and predictable, then that’s someone else’s problem.

    Always a pleasure to read your comments Katz, even if they’re boringly old fashioned and predictable. Your aversion to novelty marks you as a true Burkean conservative (post the French Revolution of course).

  87. GregM says:

    Yes, and it also misses the point that none of the countries mentioned have a big red rock in the middle, and they hardly play AFL at all, and they’re in the northern hemisphere. Therefore no parallels may be drawn with their approach to Laura Norder w/r/t terrorism.

    Well spotted FDB. Given the unkind things Lenin had to say about the Australian Labor Party http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1913/jun/13.htm your theory about the absence of big red rocks in the middle and AFL playing in pre-revolutionary Russia may well account for its very peculiar history under the Bolsheviks.

    I didn’t do a reverse Godwin, by the way, although I would have been quite entitled to call Paul under Godwin’s Law for using the gestapo quote, and you too, for your Nazi quote.

  88. FDB says:

    Meta-Godwins don’t count though GregM, so I’m in the clear.

    I’m pretty sure you did pull a reverse-Godwin – and my certainty being founded on the fact that I just invented the term and its definition, I don’t think you can argue with that.

    Reverse-Godwin n:

    The act of asserting that something is not really all that bad because it wasn’t done by actual Nazis (or insert other bugbear where it suits FDB, e.g. TEH COMMIES).

  89. Of course this whole Godwin debate could be bypassed completely if we looked to proven models of combining the appearance of parliamentary democracy with the reality of political repression. Malaysia under Mahathir or Singapore under the continuing rule of the People’s Action Party being two noteworthy examples.

  90. Paul Norton says:

    Now that I’ve got the polemically dogmatic libertarian in me out of my system, I must concur with Gummo. Other – less grievous but still serious – examples could be found closer to home, e.g. the Bjelke-Petersen period in Queensland, or the documented examples of politically partisan excesses by State police special branches at different times. Then agani, at this stage it may be profitable to focus on a point where we agree with GregM, i.e. the specific criticism of Andrews’ action on its merits, rather than by historical analogy.

  91. Katz says:

    There you go again, Greg M. You said:

    Always a pleasure to read your comments Katz, even if they’re boringly old fashioned and predictable. Your aversion to novelty marks you as a true Burkean conservative (post the French Revolution of course).

    Whereas I said:

    And it is somewhat disturbing that opponents of canonical defences of civil society apparently believe that there is some virtue in their novel restatements of the boundaries of civil society. All of these restatements appear to involve taking away my rights and legal protections.

    Please note that you have assumed that I have an objection against all novelty.

    Whereas, it is quite plain that I stipulated that I have an objection against only the novelties of persons with an illiberal mindset.

    In fact, I have a disregard for many traditions that would make Edmund Burke turn over in his grave. I am therefore no Burkean.

  92. GregM says:

    There you go again, Greg M

    Ah, the immortal quote from Ronald Reagan, used so effectively to kybosh Jimmy Carter in the 1980 Presidential candidates debate.

    Well not a Burkean conservative then, Katz, but a Reagan conservative, and there is nothing to be ashamed of about that. He did, after all, bring the Soviet Union down (although, in fairness it was pretty wobbly anyway) and with that bring an end to the Cold War and Russian domination in Eastern Europe.

  93. Katz says:

    Ah, the immortal quote from Ronald Reagan, used so effectively to kybosh Jimmy Carter in the 1980 Presidential candidates debate.

    It was actually against Mondale in 1984.

    No Reaganite ever had such a ready stock of factual information.

  94. GregM says:

    It was actually against Mondale in 1984.

    Somebody should have told Jimmy Carter,and CNN. http://edition.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/reagan.years/communicator/quotes.html

  95. Paul Norton says:

    Actually, “there you go again” was used by Reagan against both Carter in 1980 and Mondale in 1984. The difference is that whilst it was effective against Carter, by 1984 Mondale had a response ready which most commentators thought was highly effective in the debate – not that it did him much good in the election.

    When recently interviewed on the 20th anniversary of Reagan’s “tear down this wall” speech, George Schultz seemed to resile from the view that Reagan’s arms build-up of the early 1980s brought down the Soviet Union. He opined that the events of the 1980s were the long-run result of the policy of containment which was actually the brainchild of liberal Democrat George Kennan and first applied by the Truman administration.

    My view remains that Gorbachev’s emergence as General Secretary, and the fact that glasnost and perestroika ran as far and fast as they did without being reversed by conservatives, were (a) of critical importance and (b) historically contingent. The CPSU could have chosen other options, as Castro and the Kim dynasty have done. The fact that all of them were bad (and some were potentially catastrophic) does not detract from the fact that they were available.

  96. Paul Norton says:

    P.S. Insofar as US policy impacted the eventual outcome in the USSR, I think Schultz’s view is much nearer the mark than the neocon triumphalist reading of the end of the Cold War.

  97. Mark says:

    Reagan’s killer quote in the 84 debate with Mondale was something along the lines of “I won’t mention my opponent’s dangerous youthfulness”…

  98. “… as long as he doesn’t mention my dangerous dementia.”

  99. GregM says:

    “… as long as he doesn’t mention my dangerous dementia.â€?

    LOL. Glorious comment, Gummo.

  100. Question Mark says:

    What was the topic again?

  101. adrian says:

    Good f**cking question, Question Mark.

    I would encourage those who have an interest in the actual topic to read the leaked transcript of the interview with the unfortunate doctor.

    Why The GG thought that it was OK to include e-mail addresses and phone numbers beggers belief, but I suppose it’s consistent with just about every other aspect of this sorry affair.

  102. Ville says:

    John Greenfield:

    The only way this can happen is if Labor does not have a position on these issues OR they are in agreement with the government.

    I would have thought the point of the wedge was to force the Labor Party into disagreeing with Government’s position, a la Tampa in 2001. Anything less than full agreement with whatever is being done to Haneef is soft on terrorism etc etc. I can see why everyone in the Liberal/National parties would acquiesce quietly to any excursions into the moral hinterland – the way the polls are looking, anything with the slightest chance of turning their fortunes around would necessarily require full support. Labor may split on the issue though.

    Unless Labor give it at least qualified support, they may open themselves to political attacks if there are any terrorist events between now and the election.

  103. Lefty E says:

    Bugger it, Im with Rudd’s nod-a-thon.

    Just hold your noses, boys, dont break ranks, keep cool, dead bat and keep marching till election day.

    They’re getting desperate, they stink of fear, like herded rodents before a slaughter – keep smiling, nodding, and take these cynical lowlife coalition shitstains to the fucking cleaners in November.

    Then reform the laws.

    And remember, folks, in Saddam’s Iraq, unreviewable administrative detention trumped judicial determination too.

    And three cheers for Keim. He’s a brave man.

  104. Kim says:

    Good on him. Howard and Ruddock won’t have expected it. It’ll be interesting to see how they react to courage.

  105. Lefty E says:

    I know Keim, Kim.

    He’s not a loose cannon, nor a radical – he’s a bar traditionalist in many ways, and has been an acting judge.

    They wont be able to smear him.

    He’s called their bluff, and they’ve got nothing to counter with, since theyve been leaking from the same document like rusty sieves for political effect all week.

    More broadly, these guys are too interested in the politics of national security to be in charge of it.

    The various Red Armies never put their poliltcal commissars on watch for a reason.

    They werent any good at it.

  106. Kim says:

    He certainly came across as very straight down the line, Lefty E.

    I’m hoping what Ken L is hoping:

    You know to a rank amateur like me, calling a Senior Counsel’s behaviour ‘highly unethical’ sounds remarkably like defamation … unless of course it was unethical, in which case I expect the nation’s first law officer to bring the appropriate proceedings before the Bar Council at an early date.

    And if he doesn’t, I hope Stephen Keim sues and we see the Corpse Who Walks making an abject public apology.

  107. John Greenfield says:

    Ville

    I would have thought the point of the wedge was to force the Labor Party into disagreeing with Government’s position, a la Tampa in 2001

    Well you thought wrong. It is only in YOUR head that a wedge exists. If the Opposition is not capable of having a coherent position on such an important threat as Islamism, it does not deserve to win government.

    Fortunately, as I said, Labor overwhelmingly realizes the reality of the Muslim menace. Opposing these people is the right thing to do.

  108. Shaun says:

    curious cow, Apologies for the late response.

    Wilkinson, who I mentioned in the OP, cites the near breakdown of the police in Ulster as an example of how policing (and intelligence gathering) become difficult without public support. It is an extreme example but serves as a point.

    Related to this, the ANU’s Clive Williams has argued that one historical factor in limiting terrorist attacks in Australia has been the government allowing certain groups to operate openly. Not driving suspect organizations underground has made it easier for law enforcement and other agencies keep tabs on such groups.

    Of course there are many elements to a successful counterterrorism strategy. However, I do think it is obvious that marginalizing groups through a perceived partisan approach to law enforcement is a counter productive to the cause as a whole.

  109. GregM says:

    Thanks for the link, Kim. It’s always good to see the idiocy taking place across the Tasman. It makes us know that we must be doing something right.

  110. Craig Mc says:

    Just hold your noses, boys, dont break ranks, keep cool, dead bat and keep marching till election day.

    Then reform the laws.

    Which is exactly what the electorate thought would happen in 2001.

  111. Lefty E says:

    Yeah, but the government was still credible in those days Craig.

    What if they gave a wedge, and no-one came?

  112. Craig Mc says:

    Well Lefty, they’ve wedged themselves with WorkChoices, so they’ve still got it.

  113. Katz says:

    The wedge is soooo 2001.

    Nowadays Lib backbenchers are muttering audibly about driving a stake through Ratty’s heart.

  114. Nah Katz. Howard and his cabinet are more your pour salt in the mouth and stitch the lips shut type undeads.

  115. Michael D says:

    Does anyone else get the feeling that as outrageous and disturbing as this abuse of power is, in a few years when it finally comes to trial, Haneef is found guilty, gets deported anyway, and also has to cough up for the time in Villawood, most of the australian public will just go:

    “Oh yeah, that guy with the SIM card…”

    This man’s life is ruined well before anyone has shown or proven that he’s done anything wrong.

    and I second the Burnside article.

    (an angry) michael D

  116. Benjamin L says:

    I am outraged, but what could be done?! This poor guy just had his career and reputation destroyed becuase of false accusations made against him. Now, the charges are proven to be false and dropped, yet he just get to be kicked out of our country. What kind of justice system have we got ourselves into now?!

  117. Lefty E says:

    That disgraced idiot Andrews should resign.

    Are any RWDBs out there concerned that our Government’s primary interest in national security questions seems to be the politics of it?

    Outraged when they cant get a wedge out of it – but when it gets down to actual policing – all over the shop, rushed, incompetent, and a complete laughing stock.

  118. Mark says:

    Can we direct comments to this more recent thread, please? Otherwise it becomes confusing with two threads on the same topic running simultaneously.

    http://larvatusprodeo.net/2007/07/27/im-so-sorry-my-wife-has-made-a-mistake/

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