Some have dubbed Dr Mohamed Haneef’s dilemma as Kafkaesque but they are wrong.
His treatment is typically Howardesque, as many an anguished caged asylum seeker can testify.
This was the first use of Australia’s shoddily drafted and hurriedly legislated Anti-Terrorism Act of 2004 to detain a terror suspect without charge.
The Haneef "case" demonstrates that these laws - like the whole "war-on-terrorism" schtick - are dangerously flawed and subject to manipulation by insidious political opportunists as extensively demonstrated by the Monstralian Government of Joh W Horror PM.
Dr Haneef was in custody for almost four weeks, charged a fortnight ago with “recklessly” providing support to a "terrorist organisation" by leaving his no-longer-needed sim card with second-cousins he had visited in London a year ago, but before court proceedings got underway, Monstralia’s Immigration Minister jumped in and canceled Haneef's visa on “character grounds”, and suddenly Haneef faced imprisonment as an illegal immigrant pending deportation if he accepted the Brisband Magistrate's Court bail adjudication.
Through the belated decision of the asleep-at-the-wheel Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions to review the “case”, all federal charges were subsequently dropped through lack of evidence but no lack of political interference, spin and incompetence. Not to mention remarks that demonstrate the Government’s contempt of court.
The 'Mig Minister's coy release of selective out-takes of an apparent on-line chat between Haneef and his brother in India only highlight the dubiousness of this shoddy exercise in political opportunism camouflaged as national security. Lazy news reporting on the issue doesn’t much help either. Nothing is proven but all sorts of possibilities are insinuated. Yet again, the Horror Government demonstrates its predisposition for innuendo and slur, muddying the water – indeed, pissing in it – rather than seeking the truth.
What’s more, far from trying to dodge the cops, we now know that after the bungled bomb attacks in London and Glasgow Haneef repeatedly made unanswered calls to British police from Australia to alert them to the fact that he had left a SIM card with a cousin implicated in the attacks.
Really, none of this makes much bloody sense. If the Feds believed they had the goods on Haneef – that he was in fact linked to the fluffed car bomb in Scotland etc - why the hell did they choose to deport him? Is this another case of the Hicks thing: hoping out of public sight would be out of mind? Talk about fucked-up!
What chance, do you, reckon, of seeing the full “chat” transcript? Yes, Minister? Zip, Minister!
Given the ongoing barrage of slur and suspicion on migrant communities by this wretched government, Xenox News readers can expect to see heaps more of this divisive bullshit before the bastards get dumped at the next election.
The shrill chorus of smear and fear aimed at Haneef was all part of the same simplistic comic opera. Although most of the singing was done by Immigration Minister Kevin Android (aka Creepy Jesus), Attorney-General Phillip Ruttock of the Undead (Ghost Who Walks) and Foreign Mistress Dame Alexandra Clowner (she of the dirt-eating grovel), the conductor of this strident, gut-busting choir was – as always – Lord of the Slings and Arrows, the Prime Sinister himself, Joh Winston Horror.
Android and Ruttock should, of course, resign, but so should our compromised, politicised Police Commissioner Mick Feelty, whose independence and credibility by now are hanging about as low as a geriatric Rottweiler’s balls.
Some have claimed that the moment Android nobbled Haneef with a visa ban that circumvented the Brisbane Magistrates Court decision to release Haneef on bail pending trial, the whole affair became blatantly and thoroughly politicised…
Wrong again, because – as any Aussie with a memory span longer than the four quarters it takes to watch a footy match will know – since coming to power on the coattails of an electoral backlash against the incumbent “out of touch” Keating, the Horror Government has concentrated on politicising all aspects of government bureaucracy.
Our Defence Forces, our intelligence and spying agencies, the Commonwealth Public Service, the Federal Police, all have been tainted by the deadly touch of Prime Ministerial complicity in one dirty scandal after another.
And even as the Federal Police case against Haneef – always tenuous, never obvious – fell apart in their hands like a Two-Dollar-Shop toy, the Horror Government stuck to its tried and true methodology of fear and smear…Even as Haneef flew out of Monstralia to see his anxious wife and newly born daughter at long last, Android kept the blatant bullshit spinning by proclaiming that Haneef's decision to travel to India after having his passport returned "heightens rather than lessens my suspicion".
Never mind that, just days earlier Creepy Jesus had declared that, should charges be abandoned, he expected to deport Haneef "as soon as practicable".
Never mind that Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vague, referring to the visa revocation scam, admitted "It was a decision that (Immigration Minister Kevin Android) took to ensure that the individual stayed in Australia."
What the fuck are these shifty shameless buggers playing at?
As with David Hicks, Dr Muhamed Haneef was tarred and feathered by political talking heads and their media poodles long before any facts could be established about their supposed offences. But then, FACTS were never the point, were they!
And what else could you expect from the mob that spent $55 million of YOUR taxes propagating the false benefits of the Horror Government’s WorkChoices laws and then, rattled by the public backlash and realising how deeply unpopular the discriminatory WorkChoices agenda was, instructed its apparatchiks never to mention the word again and instead changed the branding and all references to WorkChoices to “workplace relations". The so-called WorkChoices Hotline telephone service was renamed the Workplace Infoline and the publicised new propaganda line is once again being paid for with YOUR money.
So, denied a honest hearing, after 5 year’s of torment, Hicks agreed to plead “guilty” to something or other just to get the hell out the Amerikkkan gulag in Guantanamo Bay. There was no trial - fair or otherwise - no presumption of innocence or evidence presented or tested in a court of law, and no legitimate court decision. It was, by the admission of insiders, a farce, a show trial more appropriate in a dictatorship than a democracy.
The most recent comments come from a bloke called Lt. Col. Stephen Abraham, a military intelligence officer, working in the Department of Defence office that reviews the government's cases against detainees. He confirmed what most us already knew about Bush’s black hole (no, not the orifice so assiduously sucked upon by our PM): the Guantanamo sshow was and remains a system of sham trials to "to lend a veneer of legitimacy to the detentions, to launder decisions already made."
In a separate report, the Law Council of Australia concluded that the Hicks trial "was a charade" that produced no benefits but corroded the rule of law. And our putrescent Australian Government supported these fraudulent proceedings.
At Guantanamo, Australian citizen Hicks - whatever his background - was prevented from challenging his detention, a denial of habeus corpus, and the Bogus Administration argued he was beyond any legal jurisdiction… until the US Supreme Court later found otherwise. Hicks was denied the rights and protections of the Geneva Convention, an act that the Supreme Court later ruled was illegal. The military commission fabricated to try him was also illegal. The Joh Horror cabal cheered it on. Bin Laden chalked up another point.
For more than two years, Hicks was not charged, was denied access to a lawyer and is still denied access to the “evidence” against him, which is admissible even if obtained under duress, something our good friends and allies in honourable democracies like Syria, Jordan and Egypt would be proud of. Hicks has no right of appeal, a betrayal of the oh-so-sacred values that our soldiers are supposedly defending in Iraq... all 12 of them.
Even Bush’s castrated poodle Blair understood this outrage by demanding the repatriation of British detainees. But no, not Joh Horror, the Suckhole of Steel, the Mendacious Midget, the infamous Deputy Sheriff of the Pacific… And doesn’t he just love it! Those White House dinners must be really well catered!
And so, with great glee poorly disguised by his self-righteous faux gravitas, the targeting of Dr Haneef was an opportunity to good to refuse.
Hoping to squeeze some of that good old Tampa-9/11 juice out this scandalous mess, Prime Sinister Joh Horror went into his slippery, slimy but by-now well rehearsed act:
"I will make no comment at all on the substance of the allegations … I will compliment the police on their assiduous work. I will say that Dr Haneef is entitled, like any other person, to a presumption of innocence," the puffed-up PM declared, before purring: "All of this is a reminder that terrorism is a global threat. You can't pick and choose where you fight terrorism. You can't say I'll fight it over there but I won't fight it here. It's also fair to say that the anti-terrorism laws that this Government has enacted are all, to their very last clause needed … If we need to strengthen them, we will … But I am not going to make any comment about Dr Haneef's case."
No, of course you wouldn’t COMMENT, would you, you devious old cane toad! You’re just demonstrating that good old Aussie value of a fair go, right, mate?
Yes, the Malignant Dwarf just wants to keep the mug punters agitated and misinformed and his steaming cauldron of fear-mongering bullshit simmering.
The anti-terror advertisements plastered everywhere, for example, provide no sensible information or suggest any useful action in case of being caught in an actual if unlikely terrorist incident. All they do is imply a general and continuing sense of emergency, a climate in which an aggressive and extremist conservative political agenda becomes easier to push... or putsch. The fact that you’re more likely to die choking on a pretzel than in a terrorist attack don’t come into it, do it!
But let me state the bloody obvious yet again for all you ratbag Hanson… oops, sorry, ratbag Howard supporters: The Haneef case – like that of Hicks and far too many others – is not primarily a matter of sympathy for individuals or a particular belief in their guilt or innocence. This is about the rule of law which defines the difference between relatively free states like Australia and the dictators, demagogues and vicious all-sorts who have no regard for laws or rights or lives… Oh, right, and then there’s the world’s greatest genuine threat to peace and stability: Mutated Snakes Presidense George W. Bogus, he of the mightiest, most expensive armed force on earth… currently sinking in the blood-soaked sands of Mesopotamia. The thought of the compounding blowback resulting from that gruesome farrago is enough to keep me bunkered in my barn cellar forever!
The federal government claims that the so-called “character test” that Monstralia’s Immigration Minister used to withdraw Haneef’s visa has nothing to do with the failed Federal Police case is clearly just more of the usual slippery, steaming shinola so beloved of this mean and tricky government.
The fact is, Android used his powers to sabotage the Court’s decision to grant bail to Haneef pending his trial. The Brisbane Magistrate’s Court, in other words, had based its decision on evidence presented by the Australian Federal Police themselves and found it did not warrant locking Haneef up. That’s called due process. What Android did was – at the PM’s behest – immediately nobble the legal process that may or may not have found Haneef guilty or not of… what? Having angry, incompetent arseholes for cousins? Say what? Do YOU know what YOUR second-cousins are up to these days? For fucksake whatever you do don't visit or talk to them! And if association with dickheads was a crime the entire country would be jailed… especially during footy or cricket season.
No, folks, whatever Haneef’s offences, real, alleged or fantasised, this is yet another case of the Horror Government attacking the defenceless victims of its self-serving policies and shows once and for all that the so-called Anti-terror laws rushed through Parliament – aided and abetted by a nutless Opposition – not only fail to protect us from terrorism but are a can of insidious worms for anyone unfortunate enough to be singled out by opportunistic, fear-mongering political mobsters intent of clinging to power at any cost to the democratic institutions upon which this country is supposedly based.
Prime Minister Joh Horror reckons harassed Dr Haneef should not expect an apology for his odious mistreatment, adding that when it came to preventing terrorist attacks, it was better to be safe than sorry.
And we all know the PM has difficulty in pronouncing that particular “s” word!
So, how SAFE then were we in October 2002 when the Horror Government ignored intelligence warnings that Indonesia – Bali included – was a likely site for terrorist attacks against western interests, including Australia? No worries mate, DFAT’s travel advisory gave our favourite Aussie getaway the all clear, specifically stating that "tourism services elsewhere in Indonesia are operating normally including Bali."
Subsequent to the murderous bombings, a Senate committee report on threats to Australians in the lead-up to that gruesome tragedy found that official travel advisories “did not adequately reflect ASIO warnings that Australians had become terrorist targets throughout Indonesia”. Safer? Or sorrier?
Joh W Horror also apparently ignored FBI intelligence warning of planned bombing attacks on Bali, ordered by a certain notorius Hambali. In a 2004 BBC documentary, the FBI confirmed the Australian government received the intelligence. Two days prior to the blasts which killed 202 people, including 88 Australians, the US issued a travel warning to avoid bars, restaurants and nightclubs on the island. And Australia?
The Australian government told its tourists that Bali was doing "business as usual".
So much for the PM’s security concerns for his “alert but not alarmed” constituents.
But, like his slack-jawed sicko mentor George W Bogus and 2001’s September 11 king-hit by Saudi extremists on US icons, our esteemed PM has never had a problem with milking the Bali atrocity and the whole “global terrorism” beat-up for his own mean and tricky purposes.
So pardon my effulgence if I am less impressed with the sneaky, scandalous, slanderous, manipulative, pitiless and strictly party political manner in which the PM operates on this as on every major national issue of concern. Thesaurus! THESAURUS!
And besides, if you want to honestly talk about unprecedented levels of ongoing terrorism and atrocities committed on civilians and innocent bystanders, just pay a visit to http://www.iraqbodycount.net/ where the number of civilian victims of the consequences of the US-led invasion of Iraq currently stands at between 68009 and 74403 dead… but who’s counting, right, George? Right, Joh?
Relaxed and comfortable? More like uncomfortably numb! And I for one trust little old Joh Horror with national security about as much as I trust his sudden concern for aboriginal kids’ welfare in the outback: the PM’s primary concern always was and always will be protecting his own narrow, nasty parochial interests.
And as for the (gasp!) Top Secret revelations Kevin Android chose to reveal to justify his attack on the court ruling, and to show why Haneef's visa should not be reinstated despite the fact that terrorism-related charges against the Indian doctor were dropped... well, it turns out that it’s just much TOO SECRET to reveal more than a cherry-picked trickle. Trust your mechanic? More likely the truth would simply expose the Minister’s misuse of his powers.
Blame Scotland Yard? Blame anyone but yourself, right Joh?
And for Creepy Jesus to poo-poo Opposition calls for a full judicial review of the Haneef case by claiming that "This process has been overseen by the judiciary at every step" is more obvious shite, given that Android’s actions as Immigration Minister – calculated to imprison if not incriminate Haneef - overrode the court’s decision to grant the man bail.
In fact, according to barrister and human rights lawyer Dr Jocelynne A Scutt: “…since the 1990s the Australian Parliament has, to its shame, infected the Migration Act with provisions seriously breaching individual's rights to natural justice in decision-making, ignoring international treaties and conventions Australia has ratified... ” confirming the degree of reeking scum at the top polluting the highest authority of this nation (the latter according to me!).
Just for the hell of it, here’s a telling time-line of events in the Haneef scandal, as appeared in the Melbourne morning broadsheet, The Age:
JUNE 26 - Haneef's daughter, Haniya, born in India.
JUNE 29 - Car bombs found in London.
JUNE 30 - Attempt to drive vehicle bomb into Glasgow airport fails. Haneef's second cousin Kafeel Ahmed is badly burned and captured. Another second cousin, Sabeel, is arrested hours later.
JULY 1 - Sabeel's mother rings Haneef from Bangalore to say British policeman Tony Webster had rung her looking for him because someone was misusing his mobile phone.
JULY 1 - Haneef asks his hospital for leave and asks his father-in-law to arrange ticket home for him the next night.
JULY 2 - Haneef has chat room conversation with brother Shuaib in India. According to Minister Andriod, Shuaib tells him: Nothing has been found out about you... Tell them that you have to (leave) as you have a daughter born. Do not tell them anything else; Aunty told him that brother Kafeel used it (the SIM card). He is in some sort of project over there.
JULY 2 Haneef tries four times to call Webster between 3.08 and 4.32pm, but does not make contact.
JULY 2 Haneef arrested at airport as he waits for evening flight with one-way ticket to Bangalore.
And that’s if you believe quotes based on the faultless Federal Police translation from Urdu.
Bottom line? It’s a bloody no-brainer, people! I’m not saying Haneef was not a legitimate person to question under the circumstances, but these entire proceedings were an absolute bloody disgrace, with the Feds attempting to once again milk political mileage. In a genuine democracy if you’re accused of a crime you’re entitled to be charged, arrested and brought before a court of law where those charges are heard, the evidence presented and then ruled upon by judge and/or jury. There’s either a sentence or you are freed. And there is always the initial presumption of innocence. To suggest otherwise shows not only contempt of court but a complete bloody indifference to and abrogation of the fundamental principles of transparency and accountability upon which our knackered democratic society is structured. Achtung!
And despite the current AFP cock-up, political interference and the glaring dangers exposed by these excremental “anti-terror” tactics to the Australian way of life, police and security agencies are about to get unprecedented NEW powers to search the homes and computers of “suspects” without their knowledge. Them being you! And quite possibly me.
Horror legislation to go before Federal Parliament next week will authorise Federal Police to monitor communications equipment WITHOUT an interceptions warrant, to execute "delayed notification warrants", and allow them to undertake searches, seize equipment and plant listening devices in anybody’s business or home, anytime, anywhere. The better to EAT you with, my dear!
There’s no bloody end to this 21st Century neo-Stalinist crap, people!
Kidnapped David Hicks was denied his day in court in the Guantanamo Gulag. So was bushwhacked Mohamed Haneef in Joh W Horror’s increasingly rancid, morally fly-blown Monstralia. But perhaps, like Cornelia Rau and Vivienne Solon-Alvarez, Dr Haneef may eventually make a few bucks out of this appalling mess by suing this disgraceful, deceitful government… too bad its taxpayers that end up footing the bill for the sociopathic antics of the Horror, the Horror!
And how did we get into this sorry… oops, I mean relaxed and comfortable… state of affairs? How DID Australia become Monstralia?
Well, as one worthy contributor to the letters section of a Xenox News’ mainstream competitor astutely put it (and I paraphrase slightly here): back in 1996, stupid fucking voters elected stupid fucking politicians to implement stupid fucking policies!
I’ll l finish this epic XN spiel by popping another can of Guinness and quoting the apt and immortal words of the captain of the heroic Iraqi soccer team who, against all odds, have just won the Asia Cup:
“I just want the Americans to get out of Iraq.”
And given Oxfam’s latest report confirming once more that hunger and disease are rampant, spreading unchecked in ravaged, US-occupied Iraq as violence envelops an intensifying humanitarian crisis, all I can say is bring on the polls, Yanks... as if Obama or Hillary or any other of those pampered, moneyed political corporate hacks would change a goddamn fucking thing!
This was mad Max Gross for Xenox News… under suspicion, over the wall and into the Guinness. Cheers!