Kevin Andrews, good grief!
Mr Andrews — who cancelled Dr Haneef’s visa soon after he was bailed — said the doctor’s swift departure after his release from detention only made him look more suspicious. “If anything, that actually heightens rather than lessens my suspicion,” he told commercial television.
Kevin Andrews, has your brain been turned on at any point during this debacle?
Dr Haneef was held in custody for what? 3 weeks call it. He’s heard how the evidence against him is a scrambled mess. He’s seen how his detention has become less and less about catching real terrorists and more and more about politicians and politicised public officials scrambling to protect their jobs. He’s had to experience the feral media pack. His reputation is now shit.
He has just been through what was probably the most frightening time of his life, and he wants to see his wife and newborn daughter.
If you were in Dr Haneef’s shoes, wouldn’t you be on the very first flight out of the country that put you through this nightmare?
No? You think this is suspicious? Exactly which parallel universe do you live in, Kevin?
OK, you have “secret information” that will justify your actions — but you have “one arm tied behind your back.” Exactly who tied it there, Kevin? Because everyone else involved in this case is leaking like a sieve. You’re not leaking — but you are sinking.
By any measure, the arrest and detention of Dr Mohammed Haneef on terrorism charges turned into a debacle. Much has already been written about it — and there’ll be a lot more to come, rest assured. The question that interests me right now, though, is who’ll wear the blame?
The new poll on my website asks a simple question: Who should be sacked?
- Federal police commissioner Mick Keelty? News today is that he’s blaming everyone else — but his organisation was in charge of the investigation, wasn’t it?
- Damian Bugg QC, Director of Public Prosecutions. While he did step in eventually, you’d have thought that in such a politically-sensitive case he’d have been involved from the start.
- Kevin Andrews, Minister for Immigration. Dear dear dear, Kevin, first WorkChoices and now this. Last week’s poll suggested you’d be first voted off the island, and it’s looking even more likely now.
- Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock, for sticking his oar into the mess.
- and I’ve made some other suggestions too.
If you vote, also feel free to post some comments here explaining your choice.
Yesterday the Snarky Platypus and I passed the usual gaggle of socialists set up outside the Dendy Cinema on King Street, Newtown. “Sign the petition. Release Dr Haneef,” they cried.
Oh dear. Silly, silly people…
Now you must understand that I’m not playing that right-wing commentators’ game of always prefacing “left” or “socialist” with “loony” or “silly”. That’s just name-calling and a very old propaganda technique indeed. That’s why I think Christian Kerr should grow up and stop using it in Crikey — calling his publication’s commentors shrubhuggers and Stalinists really is childish. After all, would we take a left-wing commentator seriously if they always referred to people anywhere to the right of themselves as Nazis or Fascists?
No, I’m calling these people “silly” because collecting signatures on a petition to release Dr Haneef is politically stupid and a waste of time.
- What happens to petitions to Parliament? Nothing, really. A functionary announces that a petition on [insert title] has been received with [insert number] of signatures. And then it’s filed away. In nearly every case, that’s the end of the story.
- The next sitting of federal parliament doesn’t even start until 7 August. It’ll be at least 10 days until your petition is tabled. If you really cared about Dr Haneef being in a cell, how about trying something quicker?
- The government really doesn’t care what people in Newtown think, because it’s the left-wing heartland. “Good heavens,” John Howard quakes, “folks in Newtown don’t like what we’re doing! We’d better change tack immediately!” Erm, no. Now if you collected signatures in Penrith or Ryde or Parramatta or some other marginal Liberal electorate then maybe they’d care — but I’m guessing that doesn’t have the same appeal as spending a sunny afternoon with your mates on King Street, eh?
But my fourth point is the crunch…
- Dr Haneef had already been released the previous night, charges dropped! While the Newtown socialists were collecting signatures calling for his release, Dr Haneef was already at home watching TV with family and friends.
Gawd, people! If you’re going to play politics, at least try to stay in touch. Perhaps even use that Internet thing!