Bartlett's Blog

Andrew Bartlett has been active in politics for over 20 years, including as a Queensland Senator from 1997-2008. This blog started in 2004 and reflects his own views, independent of any political party or organisation.

Don’t be so Reckless – Terrorist sim cards and terrorist peace activists

News has come through that after being held in custody for nearly two weeks, Gold Coast based Doctor, Mohammed Hanef has now been charged.

According to this report,“he has been charged with recklessly supplying a mobile phone sim card to a terrorist organisation.”

The offence carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison (originally reported as 25 years).

Of course, it will take a long time for the case against him to be brought to trial and heard. It will not be determined until well after the election, but in the meantime any mention of the story will carry words along the lines of “Muslim doctor charged with terrorism related offences”. History has already shown us that throughout that period, there are plenty of people in the media willing to report leaked allegations and ‘evidence’ that show him in the worst possible light and fuels a perception of suspicion. History also shows us that even if he is acquitted by the courts, the government will ensure he will never be really cleared of suspicion.

If there are sufficient sureties, he may be released on bail while all this goes on. Anyone who assists him runs the risk of not only being smeared – that’s a given – but of coming under suspicion of breaching the law.

We can also stand by for more calls for immigration restrictions against Muslims, even though they have been part of the Australian community for well over a century.

Yep, I’m feeling safer and relaxed.

I would invite people to study the relevant laws – most of which was passed into law by both major parties before the Coalition gained control of the Senate for itself – before commenting, and in particular the legal effect of the term “reckless”.

In related news, I’ve been told the federal government is planning to appeal against the ‘leniency’ of the sentence handed out to the nonviolent Christian peace protesters who (openly and with pre-warning) entered the Palm Gap intelligence facility to show their concern against war. They were the first ever to be charged under a cold war era law, on specific decision of the Attorney-General, which carried a jail term of up to seven years. An army of QCs were deployed (at taxpayer expense of course) to ensure they were convicted and that the evidence supporting their position was not able to be heard, let alone considered, by the jury. The government’s prosecutors were specifically directed to argue for a jail sentence, but the judge sentenced them to a range of fines.

Clearly the government believes we will all be safer if these nonviolent peace protesters are behind bars, and it is important that government legal and financial resources are directed towards making that happen. After all, we can’t have people opposing the government, that is far too unsafe.

(Click on these links to read more details about the government’s appeal and what the original case was about)
UPDATE: According to the Australian Federal Police Commissioner, as quoted in the updated ABC website report, the Australian government have had more than 300 lawyers and police working on the investigation. One can imagine the cost of that, financially and in the diversion of focus and energy. The bottom trawling of information has been so vast that they have reportedly pulled together the equivalent of 36 000 four draw filing cabinets of material.

If you think things might be better after the election, here is Kevin Rudd’s politically correct response.

“My message to the Australian people is this: that when it comes to terrorism, terrorists and those who support terrorist organisations, this country must continue to adopt a hardline uncompromising stance – there are no alternatives,” Mr Rudd said

Got that? There is no alternative approach that governments and their agents – indeed our country – can take on this issue. Not one.

Have a nice day. I’m off to Pig City, where we will all reminisce about the terrible police state of the Bjelke-Petersen era.

Advertisement

39 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Evil Pundit

    How does committing a crime “openly and with pre-warning” make it less of a crime?

  2. paul walter

    Andew Bartlett:
    “Clearly the governemt beleives we will … be safer if these… peace protesters are behind bars”.
    Actually, the government would only feel safe if we were ALL behind bars. Like Stalin they would no sooner get rid of one lot than they would feel edgy about the next. Think “Macbeth”.
    What a disgraceful low the country has sunk to in its brutal treatment of this hapless doctor from India. Brought there to act as a solution to our own incompetence and miserliness with our doctor training programs from a desperately poor contry that needed him more than us, then this! Where are you, “Amnesty International” Philip Ruddock?
    Will Dr.Hanef be compensated for his time in jail? Or the stupid style of questioning he was no doubt subjected to, btw they apparently still haven’t even compensated Solon-Alvarez and Rau, so what hope here?
    Will his trashed flat, buggered computer and lost wages be paid for, along with any other expenses that were incurred by him for this vulgar, egregious and naked attempt at a Pre-Election Stunt?
    As for ” 25 years for recklessly giving out his mobile number”, by these lights shouldn’t former minister Reith be doing LIFE, if we remember his massive mobile phone rort involving his son?
    “Fabulous” Phil Ruddock, you have fallen to the level of a seedy check-jacketed used car pan-handler with this one.
    I think the half-decent reputation we must have once had in Asia is now all but in ruins.
    Your post was great, Andrew and we wonder at the Hicks-isation of the traumatised doctor ( and Bryan Law and co ), and the future implications for ourselves in a dictatorship.
    Nonetheless; a little nitpick. You might be giving you readers the wrong idea as to why many are dubious about increased immigration. Over fifteen years we have seen work involved in nation-building environment and social infrastructure come to a dead halt in this country. How can we call for increases when the country has not been made ready?

  3. Lynette2

    I laughed coffee all over myself when I read “recklessly supplying a mobile phone sim card”. Once again, Australia goes out of its way to demonstrate to the rest of the world that we’re a nation of paranoid juveniles.

    But you’re probably right about how this will be treated by the media and the gummint. We finally got ourselves a real live terrrrist – you get the rope and I’ll go find the tallest tree.

    Haneef’s life is over regardless of what he did or didn’t do. What have we become?

  4. al loomis

    i think i can defend the proposition that australia is drifting into some kind of quasi fascist state. there is no safeguard in the constitution, and it suits the politicians to have ever greater power. but i don’t see any purpose in arguing this case.

    the australian people are frozen in their heritage of submission to authority. the most active rejection does not rise above ‘protest’, the politics of the powerless. i can outline a simple way to bring australia to democracy from here, but it needs a large number of people wanting democracy.

    there is not 1 in a hundred that wants democracy. many can’t understand it, some can and are terrified by the responsibility. a great many understand that the rule of political gangs is ineffective, unjust, and undemocratic- but they see profit in it.

    so the drift to fascism will continue. and i’ll continue nagging. with luck i’ll last long enough to say ” i told you”- could happen quite soon.

  5. I didn’t say acting “openly and with pre-warning” makes it less of a crime, EP.

    What it does is that if the government authorities had actually wanted to stop them, they easily could have (or else they are so incompetent that if Bin Laden phoned ASIO to say “car bomb, 12 noon tomorrow, Opera House” they may or may not get around to checking up on it – and i do not believe they’re that incompetent).

    It also means that – regardless of whether you think they are idiots or not – that they were and are no security or safety risk at all. (once you combine it with their well known long standing and consistent record of nonviolent action, which again the government, ASIO, police etc would be well aware of). Locking them up does not make anyone safer, it just intimidates everyone who is thinking of expressing opposition – it is hard to see how there can be any other motivation, other than perhaps some notion that it will win them votes looking tough (not that there’s anything tough or difficult beating up on nonviolent protesters – one of the easiest most cowardly game in town if a government wants to do it)

  6. Evil Pundit

    Maybe the authorities allowed the activists to commit their crime so they could be caught — in the manner of a ‘sting’ operation. It’s a commonly used police technique: wait until the burglar has his fingerprints all over the jewelry and then make the arrest.

    But the threat to national security doesn’t come from the childish grandstanding of the ‘activists’. It comes from the attitude, promoted by them and perpetuated by yourself, that Australian society and Australia’s elected government are the “real enemy”.

    When you defend terrorists and attack those whose job it is to protect Australians, you are taking sides in a strufggle. And you are on the wrong side.

  7. red crab

    well it seams as though the powers to be have charged this man with whatever .
    but its been a greate diversion for the govt away from the real problems at the moment.
    housing ,hospitals ,transport ,food prices,etc etc etc .

  8. thordaddy

    Mr. Bartlett,

    You say,

    What it does is that if the government authorities had actually wanted to stop them, they easily could have…

    Are you claiming that your government was wrong because it didn’t stop the “peace protestors” while they were in accordance with the law and they were also wrong when they arrested them for breaking the law?

    Now we know why you think there is something wrong with your government.

    Then you say,

    It also means that – regardless of whether you think they are idiots or not – that they were and are no security or safety risk at all.

    Which is the same as saying that these “peace protestors” went and broke the law for nothing.

    Lastly,

    Locking them up does not make anyone safer, it just intimidates everyone who is thinking of expressing opposition – it is hard to see how there can be any other motivation, other than perhaps some notion that it will win them votes looking tough…

    It certainly made the lives of those who are in charge of enforcing the law safer as they may now be freed from putting their lives in danger when confronting law breakers such as these “peace protestors.”

    And certainly their intentions are not without real consequence and no one can claim that all potential consequences will be good. In fact, when “peace protestors” such as these convince Australians to stand down in the face of a cunning enemy that is known to behead, suicide bomb and self-ignite, they put the entire Australian nation at risk.

    Perhaps Mr. Bartlett, you could assume that the “good” doctor wasn’t so good afterall and understand that a SIM card is an awfully handy tool for a jihadist in waiting. Why are you so reluctant to think in such a manner?

  9. philip travers

    And I visited a American news site,a Uncle Rupert site, suggesting the Americans are going to get Osama within the borders of Pakistan ,and the government there wont raise a finger in protest,thus insuring more depleted uranium weapons spill over the Pakistani soils.My old friend if he is still alive Muhamed Yasin a scientist who visited Australia in the sixties and worked in the forestry areas of science in Pakistan is I hope able to resist the American need to blunder forever on soils not of its own.I dont mind being seen at this website agreeing with Andrew on this, whatever,Yaneef has done,,a worked up charge like the one against him,really means the law is Puerile.I cannot understand the Police for getting this up.. why dont they just stop doing their work..this is hopeless.

  10. Regardig the media, I have already made comment on my blog at:

    http://truepolitik.blogspot.com/2007/07/haneef-on-terrorism-charges.html

    Watch out for:
    1) trial by tabloid media

    2) “conservative” commentators spinning the facts to “prove” terrorism, in a way that courts would not necessarily allow.

    John

  11. Marilyn

    A card given to his cousin a year ago because it was useless to him in Australia?

    Keelty’s Kriminal Keystone Kops ride again.
    Sinking refugee boats, setting up phoney smuggling operations, using the INP to do their dirty work in Indonesia.

    Turning the Bali 9 into the corrupt INP to be put on death row.

    Truly, truly stupid – 300 or so Keystoners to “charge” the poor bugger with giving his sim card to his cousin – what was he supposed to know a year in advance that his cousin might leave the phone in a parked car in London?

  12. jan 1

    Sen. Bartlett,

    For the first time that I can actually remember, I feel totally ashamed to call myself Australian with what has gone down regarding this person for the last nine days. This sim card issue was raised by the media on the Tuesday that it all went down. Not a big issue then, but suddenly it’s forming the core picture, with charging now over. I am told that giving a simcard away is a regular occurance all around the world, so we need, obviously to consider the only difference to be that of ‘guilt by association’. As already stated, where have all the so-called human rights lawyers and organisations been? Certainly not standing at the side of this man’s lawyer! And also, where have we been with our quiet voices, because I am believing more and more that this man has become the ‘guinea pig’ for the testing of these new laws. Mr. Keelty from AFP certainly didn’t look too comfortable at the press conference.

  13. paul walter

    I think the charge thing demonstrate just how stupid the government and secret police are feeling just now. Like Lynette 2, I was utterly irritated waking up today to this after the announcements of Friday night.
    They use the trumped up charge to keep Haneef and his lawyers occupied, along the lines of Gunns trumped up legalistics to stifle Greenies in Tasmania. It means the commentariat can abuse him, a la EP; e.g. guilty ’till proven innocent. It means that Dr.Haneef can’t yet launch compensation claims or sue for government incompetence, along the lines of Rau and Solon Alvarez, conveniently delaying for the time being even more embarassment for a government in trouble for its shonkiness with the electorate.
    The government thus retains the skerrick of plausible deniability, until after the election, a la Kids Overboard 2001 or interest rates in 2004.
    To NOT press the trumped up charge would have been to admit just how wrong they were and they wouldn’t put themselves at risk, as long as someone like Dr.Haneef was there to suffer FOR them!

  14. Marilyn

    Jan you need to look around more – Amnesty, law council, council for civil liberties and others have been yelling out loud and being drowned out with the use of the stupid word “terror”.

  15. In response to thordaddy’s distorted assertions:

    Are you claiming that your government was wrong because it didn’t stop the “peace protestors” while they were in accordance with the law and they were also wrong when they arrested them for breaking the law?

    No. Govt officials knew when the protesters were going to enter the centre and could have been there to stop them. If the people refused to desist from trying to enter under threat of arrest, then they could have been arrrested – as has occured any number of times in the past with protesters at Pine Gap.

    you say,

    “It also means that they were and are no security or safety risk at all.”

    Which is the same as saying that these “peace protestors” went and broke the law for nothing.

    No, it isn’t the same – your assertion is arguable, but it has nothing to do with my statement, which is – to repeat – that they were and are no security risk.

    (locking them up) certainly made the lives of those who are in charge of enforcing the law safer as they may now be freed from putting their lives in danger when confronting law breakers such as these “peace protestors.”

    No, it didn’t. For starters the protesters weren’t locked up (yet), and secondly the notion that any law enforcement person had their lives put at risk by the protesters is frankly laughable and probably defamatory.

    Perhaps Mr. Bartlett, you could assume that the “good” doctor wasn’t so good afterall and understand that a SIM card is an awfully handy tool for a jihadist in waiting. Why are you so reluctant to think in such a manner?

    Because I would prefer to live in a liberal democracy, which means people are innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around. If we were to adopt your curious idea of risk analysis and guilt by association, we would have to ban SIM cards (and probably many o ther things too)

  16. my god ill have to watrch myself now if i dispose of an old mobile. By putting it say into a Planet Ark Box.. Who knows a terroist organisation mike pick up the phone and the SIM card.. & ther I go 25 years of porridge. Welll at least i like porridge especially with maple syrup in winter,,

  17. al loomis

    i would have thought that someone would have noticed by now, that if both wings of the party are agreed on totalitarian dictatorship, there’s no legal recourse.

    folks, parliamentary rule is not democracy. if you don’t get off your knees soon, ‘1984’ will happen.

  18. Stuart

    You KNow I sit and Listen to what the AFP have charged Dr Mohammed Hanef with and I just laugh….12 Damn day’s to come up with that!!!!!common Mr keelty ,, You held him for 12 day’s extention after extention was requested to the Judge and granted whilst you go on a witch hunt scrambling all your best men to find “something ” Anything you can get him on …Then you apply for another 3 day’s ,,it was declined and then in one day you come up with these what appear to be trunp charges…You’ll have to do better then that to convince me that he was actually part of the Terrorist Group in London and Glasgow !!! I smell a very large Rat surounding this case..I honestly think its just another ploi by beurocracy to try to spark fear into the general Public that we have Terrorist cells thriving in Our Country… People need to listen to a guy By the Name of Alex Jones and see what used to be classed conspirousies that are now fact due to the freedom of information …Open Government Documents from former CIA and FBI Agents who have gone Public in the United states that show clearly that governments of the world want us to believe that organisations such as Alqeda are a threat to the western world …They sure are but thier controld by the Leaders of Our Nations …If you dont believe me go to infowars.com and have a read for youself how it all works and you tell me if (Bonsi), Sorry ,,Mr Howard and his marry men aren’t following in the footsteps of Tony Blair and good Old George W … Dr Mohammed Hanef has been used as a scape goat for the AFP ,ASIO and Our Government to create fear ,,If we let them continue to do this and they will ,,we wont be game to even go to our local Corner store for the fear that someone may take us out in a car bomb before we even get there ..
    Dont be fooled ….

  19. I see another cousin has been charged in the UK because he allegedly had information that he “knew or believed may be of material assistance in preventing the commission by another of an act of terrorism”.

    I wonder what the police would do if everyone actually took these laws at face value and started to report any and every item they noticed that they ‘knew or believed’ might be related to a terrorist act. Presumably anybody who ever notices someone else acting ‘suspiciously’ and fails to report it will be caught by the legislation, along with anyone who buys anything that can be used to make explosives, or buys a car … the list goes on forever. There’s no limit to the things that ‘may’ be of material assistance, it’s impossible to know for sure until after the event.

    The intriguing question is why these kinds of laws are restricted to terrorism offences. Why shouldn’t we all be required to disclose information that we know or believe may prevent the commission of any criminal offence? It might put a strain on a few family relationships but what does that matter in the War on Crime?

    Dob in a crim today … it would make another good TV campaign.

  20. it might be useful for u* iff u got some of the ideas & strategy from some of work of any one u-TRUST?

    chomsky, 2007 might be a good place to stART?

    so, i hoPE u had a nice trip to palm island

    thank u for u time, & good bye.

  21. LJ

    The report on the Brisbane court proceedings in this case in the newspaper today states that:

    1) A relative of Sabeel and Kafeel Ahmed phoned Haneef and told him that they had been arrested over the London and Glasgow terrorist attacks.
    2) That same day – AFTER that phone conversation – Haneef’s father-in-law booked him a one way ticket to India.
    3) AND – Haneef’s brother phoned him and said there was some ‘difficulty’ with the card he ‘left’ in the UK.
    4) Haneef (knowing his one-way ticket had already been booked for him) said ‘I think I’ll get home. I think I’m going to be ok’.

    Who is daft enough to still think this was just an innocent gift of an unwanted SIM card? Or to still believe that it was his desire to be with his ‘sick child’ that was his motivating factor in wanting to urgently leave Australia? Or to believe his claim that he intended to return to Australia?

    Not his defence – they haven’t even tried to deny it – their argument is that -yes, he’s up to his neck in it but he was just a ‘foolish dupe’. That’s the best they can come up with.

    But it sounds like he was far from a ‘foolish dupe’ considering he was in such close contact with the terrorists and their other associates and being informed at every turn. He played with the big boys and he got caught. Give the AFP some credit for intelligence.

  22. CORAL

    Why don’t we just allow everyone to break the law at will?

    Why bother putting ANYONE behind bars when we can just let them do whatever they like -without anyone ever being investigated for anything?

    Let’s allow bombmakers to run amok in our schools.

    Let’s take large groups of sightseers into Pine Gap.

    And while we’re at it, why don’t we get rid of the Department of Defence and the Australian Federal Police? We don’t need them for anything, do we.

    Let’s complain about a man receiving too short a jail term for murdering his girlfriend, and then expect people who threaten our national security (every Australian life) to be let off the hook.

  23. LJ

    Too right. Sabeel and Kafeel Ahmed & co. cared nothing about the civil liberties of the innocent people they intended to kill and maim.

    Why are all of the ‘civil libertarians’ more concerned about the rights of a man being detained and subsequently charged under the letter of the law than the intended victims who were sentenced to death with no trial? I for one am so glad that the ineptness of the culprits meant there were no innocent lives lost.

  24. Aron

    Wake up people, we are ALL of us already behind bars! Didn’t you know Australia is just one GIANT PRISON? ie. penal colony, and doesn’t it just show in our political culture?

    Basically, under the law as it is at present, everyone posting here is probably a terrorist by reckless association. So called ‘law and order’ nuts need to rememebr that laws don’t drop from heaven – the GOVERNMENT makes laws. And we, the people, need to keep an eye out for when governments and oppositions make laws that increase the power of the executive, ie. government at the expense of us, the people.

  25. philip travers

    I think it is a bit unfair to suggest that the Senator,others here and myself,consider the intelligence of Federal Police as low.These journalistic reports of the Doctor,and family,The Federal Police etc are not the case against the Doctor.We have a problem in Australia that keeps showing up at this web site and others..the difference between official actions and any number of alternative sources of what it all means.It is plain to read and understand The Senators statements above reflect a point about money costs,human time costs,and a charge about a commercial material that is used as a process in telephony.Some obvious realities about that,and other comparisons here,in my non legal opinion, seems a somewhat strange weapon of assistance to terrorism.Seeing it has been reported also that his family doesnt think any of this is real,the whole case against him at this point,in a cultural milieu unfamiliar to senior police, are telephone intercepts which are evidences in a pending court case.How often these commercial cards change as telephony itself changes have already been through the courts but not as in terrorism related laws comes to my mind.It is a flimsy case in more ways than one.They have stooped to conquer.

  26. Juan Moment

    Come on Coral, you can’t be serious. After quickly applying the BS180 tool to your comment, I end up with this:

    Why don’t we just allow everyone to break the law at will?

    Why don’t we just change the law to make everyone a criminal?

    Why bother putting ANYONE behind bars when we can just let them do whatever they like -without anyone ever being investigated for anything?

    Why not put everyone behind bars so no-one can do nothing, and investigate them for ever?

    Let’s allow bombmakers to run amok in our schools.

    Let’s close all schools as there could be a bomb maker running amok sometime.

    Let’s take large groups of sightseers into Pine Gap.

    Let’s close Pine Gap for good and wipe the name of any Australian map or dictionary.

    And while we’re at it, why don’t we get rid of the Department of Defence and the Australian Federal Police? We don’t need them for anything, do we.

    And while we are at it, why don’t we legislate a draft for all military aged Ozzies into DoD or AFP, one can never have enough officers.

    Can you see your comment’s futility?

  27. If LJ (comment 21 above) is correct about the points listed then surely we can’t argue that “giving away the sim card was a harmless and everyday act that we all may take” because that phone call about there being “some kind of problem with the sim card you left in London” pretty much says he knew what it was going to be used for.

    300 lawyers is ridiculous no matter how you look at it, but also irrelavant, unless he was not able to mount a defence due to lack of resources, which I haven’t heard.

    As for the Pine Gap protestors, they knowingly broke the law and now have to face the consequences. They have noone to blame but themselves on that one. I can’t believe people [on here] are defending that one. Sure they may not be terrorists, but they did comit a crime. It’s like saying if I get caight for speeding I shouldn’t have to pay a fine because at least I was not committing terrorism. Puhlease!

  28. Adele

    Symolie wrote:

    As for the Pine Gap protestors, they knowingly broke the law and now have to face the consequences…. Sure they may not be terrorists, but they did comit a crime. It’s like saying if I get caught for speeding I shouldn’t have to pay a fine because at least I was not committing terrorism.

    Uh, no. It’s saying they should not have to go to jail because they were not commiting terrorism. They have already received fines.

    If you were going to be jailed for your speeding offence, you might have a comparison. Although speeding is far more dangerous to other people’s personal safety than making a non-violent protest, so even that comparison is pretty weak.

    As for LJ’s selective reconstruction (comment 21) of a newspaper report which was based on selective leaks from the government. Well of course this guy is guilty. I mean who could ever believe that a Muslim would want to go back home to visit his ill, newborn baby? Everyone knows they don’t really have the same emotions as the rest of us.

    And Coral, who are these people you say “threaten our national security (every Australian life)” who people are asking to be let off the hook? I presume you can’t mean the protestors, as the notion that protesting threatens our national security is too silly a notion to contemplate. Are you refering to our government? They’ve certainly threatened the security of every one of us, and taken away plenty of our freedoms to boot. And they’ve certainly been let off the hook by the electorate, so far at least.

  29. Bryan Law

    All I know abour Dr Haneef is that he’s been held in custody for two weeks while Police investigated a fairly minor charge from scratch. While he was so disadvantaged, the government leaked selective material against him. The hysteria being generated around terrorism proceeds apace. Haneef will now face difficulty in getting a fair trial.

    As one of the Pine Gap activists I’m also interested in why the government has decided to pursue our imprisonment for a transparent act of nonviolent civil disobedience.

    I know the Prosecutor claimed in his submission on sentencing that our actions “struck at the heart” of “national security”. Therefore, he argued, a prison sentence with actual time served was the only appropriate sentence.

    Judge Thomas found there was no evidence that our actions seriously disrupted Pine Gap’s operations. She noted that the prosecution had led no evidence about this. She also noted that our actions had been planned to avoid any injury or trauma to any person, and that we had never been violent in any regard. These were key factors in her decision that a prison sentence would not be appropriate.

    The argument also turned on Attorney-General Ruddock’s decision to use the Defence (Special Undertakings) Act 1952 against us. Why did he do that?

    It’s clear to me that the Howard government is using security legislation both to pursue its own fear-mongering political aganda, and to stifle dissent. It’s called the emergence of fascism. I’m planning to resist. See Webdiary article http://webdiary.com.au/cms/?q=node/1944 for a contemplation about how this might be done.

  30. ken

    I agree with most of the sentiments expressed about Dr Haneef, particualrly as they relate to the paradigm and life beliefs we all grew up with. I havenet lost a relative or friend in any of the recent “attacks” nor for that matter in any of the “legitimate” actions in any arena – so I am loathe to be so scathingly condemning as the majority of the know all judgemental posters here.

    As for the perennial protesters and the like, they are boring childish underachievers, they were boring and childish in the 70’s and remain so today, having in the main contributed nothing to the betterment of the soicety they are so priveleged to have been nurtured by.

  31. About 10am today a Brisbane magistrate decided to release Haneef on bail pending his trial on charges of breaching anti-terrorism laws in connection with the recent bombing in Glasgow.

    But as Haneef’s legal team started making arrangements to meet the bail conditions, including raising a $10,000 surety, Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews found another way to keep the Indian doctor in custody.

    At 2.45pm in Canberra Mr Andrews announced he had decided to cancel Haneef’s visa because the medico had failed the Migration Act’s requirements for immigrants to be of good character.

    The upshot of this decision is that the Indian doctor will now be held in Sydney’s Villawood immigration detention centre until his trial on the terrorism charges is finalised.

    And even if Haneef is eventually acquitted by the Australian courts, Mr Andrews decision would allow the Government to then deport him from the country in any case.

    Civil libertarians attacked the minister’s decision as a way of circumventing the Brisbane court’s decision to release the doctor on bail and said it prejudged the issue of Haneef’s guilt or innocence.

    Mr Andrews insisted the legal process he had invoked under the Migration Act was separate to the criminal proceedings under way in Brisbane.

    Under section 501 of the act, a “character test” applies to people seeking visas to enter the country.

    A person fails the character test if, among other things, he or she has an association with another person or group whom the minister suspects is involved in criminal conduct.

    Mr Andrews said he had considered information provided by the Australi

  32. Zen

    thordaddy
    The guy who ran a military tank through the streets of Sydney, and ruined some mobile towers causing $8 mln damage, was refered to a psychiatric testing/treatment. What would have happened to him if he were a Muslim on a 457 visa????

  33. CORAL

    Juan Moment:

    Surely you don’t expect anyone to take your ridiculous parody seriously?

    I recognise the futility of trying to get the message across to you as an individual.

    Adele:

    The people who threaten our national security are those who interfere with our war planes and go into places like Pine Gap.

    Perhaps if you worked in one of Australia’s top secret facilities or needed to fly a plane in Iraq, you might understand both the risk and the wrongdoing somewhat better.

    As someone said to me this morning, nothing is bad, and no one is in the wrong anymore. I thought it was very well put.

  34. The threat to national security doesn’t come from the childish grandstanding of the ‘activists’. It comes from the attitude, promoted by them and perpetuated by yourself, that Australian society and Australia’s elected government are the “real enemy”.

    Well said EP !!!

  35. Can we all just remember the public is not privy to all information given to federal police.
    Remember this person was living in a unit in liverpool with his cousin.
    No – That does not make him guilty in this country.
    What it does do is asks the question- Would he have some idea as to his familes attiutde towards terrorism.?
    Maybe- maybe not.
    The police probably dont know for sure either.
    Which is why they might prefer this DR away from the public until more enquiries are made.
    I cant see anything wrong with keeping the public safe to be honest.
    If he is innocent I am sure he will understand and direct his anger towards his cousin.
    We should let the authorites do their job.
    Cant you imagine the public if they let somebody go who then committed a act of terrorism?
    Really the police cant win with some people.

  36. CORAL

    Only a day or so ago, a police officer was shot dead in his tracks outside a house at Keperra (Brisbane) as he tried to deliver a summons.

    I’m tired of rubbish being dished up to the police instead of a bunch of criminals.

    If we don’t like the government, we can vote them out.

    If we don’t like a particular policy, we can take it up with our parliamentary representative. Better still, we can give them quite a bit of bad PR in the papers.

  37. red crab

    i think you are missing the point pale
    although you think that the govt is protecting us un armed australians who cant protect ourselves.
    the point that most ppl are realy worried about as i am is that this could be any one of us now .
    all that one has to do is accedently ring a wrong number on a mobile to a person of interest to the police or just mabe say the wrong thing in a joke to the wrong person.
    it could mean a holiday to the christmas island prison for an in depth interview by someone who is looking for brownie points from there bosses.

  38. Haneef is another Mamdouh Habib and David Hicks. I’m sure he did nothing wrong. John coWARd and his clan, incl ALP want somebody to play the roll of their ‘terrorists/terror suspects’ that they made up.

    Check and learn so many facts about 9/11 to begin with,
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Aus911Truth/links
    And you’ve gotta listen to this interview
    http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/january2007/290107rockefellergoal.htm

    Also learn about our own 9/11 called
    Port Arthur Massacre.
    http://www.shootersnews.addr.com/snportarthur.html

    I know some will call me ‘conspiracy theorist,’ but you know, all these are THEIR(those in power’s) conspiracies. Not mine or ours.

Mini Posts

  • Rhetoric vs reality

    I’ve had a break from writing for a variety of reasons, but the reckless approach the new Queensland government is taking to their spending decisions – and the straightout nonsensicality of some of their claims – roused me enough to pen a piece for New Matilda. Time will tell whether the Newman government will start trying to ensure their statements have some connection with reality – I suggest the way they respond next year to the findings of the inquiry into child safety which they’ve established will be a significant test.

  • End of LP the end of a blogging era

    Back in October, I wrote here about the decline or re-defining of blogs, at least in the Australian political arena.  The relatively few posts I’ve done on this blog since then shows how much less useful I find it to do my own blog than I used to, and as I mentioned back then, a big reason why I don’t read many of the blogs I used to is because the valuable links to many interesting stories, ideas and pieces of information can be found more easily through Twitter or Facebook, sometimes with comment threads which are also at least as good.

    The recent announcement by the Larvatus Prodeo blog that they are ceasing to operate is quite a significant one. I don’t suggest it means the end of independent commentary online – as the last post on LP indicates, many of those involved will continue to do similar things in other ways. But, whilst not quite the end of an era, it is a significant signpost in the evolution of independent political blogs.

    (I know my headline to this post does say it’s the end of an era –  was going to say it’s the end of a blogging phase, which is probably more accurate but frankly makes a pretty lame looking headline)

    http://larvatusprodeo.net/archives/2012/04/10/larvatus-prodeos-last-post/
  • A final comment on Labor’s leadership laments

    Fundamentally, I don’t greatly care about the outcome of Labor’s leadership travails. As my previous post indicates, the bigger issue is that the ALP is being fundamentally damaged by the toxicity of this brawl, and the fact that the brawl is happening in this way is a sign of some much greater problems within Labor. Whatever the immediate outcome, I think those problems are likely to continue.  The outcome of the leadership contest (including the size of what will surely be a Gillard victory) will shape how those problems play out, but they will still be there.

    Not surprisingly, I see this as presenting an opportunity for the Greens to build some support, but more importantly it presets extra responsibility and obligation for the Greens to be a stronger counter to what is a seriously reactionary Coalition.

    But seeing we’re all pundits now, and despite having little inside knowledge, my prediction is that there will be no ‘third candidate’ in tomorrow’s leadership ballot.  Julia Gillard will win comfortably. The instability will not disappear. It’s quite possible there will be another leadership ballot before the election but Kevin Rudd will not become leader then either. No matter how good Kevin Rudd looks in the polls, that polling lead would disappear very quickly if he was back in the PM’s job.

  • The Ups & Downs of Ups & Downs – interview with Greg Atkinson

    I’ve mentioned before my liking for the 80s Brisbane band Ups and Downs. I got a chance to interview their lead singer Greg Atkinson on 4ZzZ FM a few weeks ago. They’ve released a compilation CD of 20 of their best tunes and played a gig in Brisbane earlier this month to promote and celebrate it.

    It was a fairly long interview, but I found it very interesting to hear the views of someone who has been active in the independent sphere of the music industry for so long about what has changed and what is the same.

    You can listen to the interview at this link.

  • Speeches to refugee rally + SIEV-X exhibition

    A local activist helpfully recorded speeches given by myself and by Julian Burnside at a refugee rights rally held in Brisbane last Saturday.  You can listen to them here and here. The rally was held to mark the tenth anniversary of the sinking of the SIEV-X.  353 refugees drowned when that refugee boat sank on the way to Australia on 19 October 2001.  There is a beautiful exhibition at The Studio on the ground level at the State Library of Qld this week, commemorating that anniversary. It finishes this weekend – I strongly recommend you try to get along for a look if you have a chance. The Library also has a screening of the documentary Hope on Friday October 28 – this film tell the story of Amal Basry, one of the few survivors of that tragedy.