Evolving Thoughts

The Haneef washup

Readers will know that I got very angry about the Haneef Affair, in which a muslim Indian doctor was accused of being a terrorist and deported by the improper abuse of power by the minister for immigration of the previous government [here, here, here, here, here and here].

Now his lawyer has been cleared for “leaking” the Australian Federal Police transcript of interview, which basically showed that Haneef was innocent and the AFP had nothing. And of course the head of the AFP is upset. He wanted the AFP to remain under the rose, free from public scrutiny.

I’ll say it again. Whenever a government instrumentality or administration wants to be free from oversight, the motivation, whether they are aware of it or not, is empire building and control. No government activity, not even those pertaining to that hold-all of rights denial, national security, should automatically be free from supervision. Democracy only works when government is done in the open. Otherwise it simply becomes a matter of who can rort the system most effectively, as we see with the Bush administration today.

No special powers are required to prevent terrorism, just good old fashioned police work. No special acts of parliament are needed to prosecute them, for insurgency and murder are already crimes. And no special politicians are needed to “lead us out of this mess”, because either every political authority can do this, or we have no hope. And a democratic government, legislature or judiciary knows this already, and will act to protect our rights in a time of stress.

Comments

  1. #1 John Morales
    February 1, 2008

    You’ve articulated the way I feel.

    I consider the Haneef affair was a disgraceful event exemplifiying the results of our previous Government’s vigorous yet short-sighted and vote-seeking use of the terrorism issue.

    It made me realise anyone could be arrested for no substantive reason under the justification that it was “in the national interest” under current law.

    I would have felt safer than I do now had we merely enforced or strengthened existing law when terrorism became an issue.

  2. #2 lurian
    February 2, 2008

    One for the quotation books:

    No special powers are required to prevent terrorism, just good old fashioned police work. No special acts of parliament are needed to prosecute them, for insurgency and murder are already crimes. And no special politicians are needed to “lead us out of this mess”, because either every political authority can do this, or we have no hope. And a democratic government, legislature or judiciary knows this already, and will act to protect our rights in a time of stress. — John S. Wilkins

    Very well said.

  3. #3 efrique
    February 4, 2008

    Thanks John.

    I wish the mainstream media were a bit stronger on this.