"I am satisfied the (visa) cancellation is in the national interest," …Kevin Andrews, Federal Minister for Immigration
Let’s be clear about this. Andrews takes his orders from Howard, and in this case, also from the slowly decaying corpse of Phillip Ruddock. How that man still manages to present to television cameras escapes me, however, as George Megalogenis suggested on the weekend, he is showing signs of wear & tear. For a corpse that is.
Up to yesterday, I was non-plussed about this Haneef-terrorism episode. Lords know we see enough of these things in todays world to become somewhat anesthetised to the whole affair, but when the man eventually winds up being charged with "recklessly providing support to a terrorist organization" through a gift of a telephone sim card to one of those who tried to barbeque themselves in Glasgow, my sense of fair play perked up. Reckless endangerment involving a………..sim card???! Fuck me!
So, here we are a fortnight down the track since this man attempted to leave the country on a one-way ticket to India, and we’re still no more aware of exactly why he had a one-way ticket, when supposedly he had current employment in Australia. We do know that the Australian Federal Police think badly of him. We know also that the Federal government believe he’s a terrorist nasty. We know this latter information because numerous politicians who ought to know better have already accused, tried and sentenced the man through inference in the media. Kevin Andrews just today added insult to injury by claiming that Haneef "had or has an association with persons involved in criminal conduct namely terrorism’’. I’m left aghast at such a broad and sweeping claim. Where’s the proof? Hell’s bells, it took 14 days and a lack of magistrate support for the AFP to finally come up with some reasonably related charge to sting the man with. Yet another thought crime, in fact. ’Hey, I have some credit left on this phone card. I’ll give it to X, rather than waste the money’. Try proving that one wrong in court.
Whether or not Mohamed Haneef is a terrorist nasty, or just an innocent dupe caught up in a web of circumstances, is likely not to be discovered the further down this road of guilt by inference we go. The law has determined that the federal case against the man isn’t strong, hence the granting of bail. So what does a miffed executive arm of government do, but rescind the man’s visa, automatically putting him in default of visa conditions and subject to incarceration anyway. Clearly the legislation much demanded by said government as the be-all & end-all of necessity in protecting we Oz inhabitants, wouldn’t provide more than the great Aussie salute to a summer blowie. In the meantime, yet another probable victim of legislative legalese lies languishing within the brave establishment’s representation of safety & security for all of those who live outside of it.
In short, dear reader, this entire Haneef episode is a joke. The legislation is a joke, the investigative processes thus far are a joke, the government and it’s claims of protection of the average Aussie are a joke but no-one is laughing. Is Kevin Andrews’ imprisoning of Mohamed Haneef because he suddenly doesn’t have a visa, courtesy of a Howard/Ruddock ’fuck you!’ to Peter Russo, supposed to make the rest of us feel somehow safer? Just how can one feel in the least bit safe in an environment where the keystone cops are acting in response to legislation brought down by a bunch of clowns intent solely on retaining that ever more elusive political power called government? How can our legal system ever be held up for examination again and declared untainted, when politicians are permitted to act as judge, jury and prison warder so that their own thin hides can be salved at another’s expense?