Friday, July 27, 2007

An International Embarrassment

Weak 'Terror' Charges Against Dr Haneef Dropped

Dr Haneef Set Free

You can have your shoes back now, Dr Haneef. Sorry about the whole 'terrorist' mix-up

Dr Haneef will be given back his passport and allowed to stay in Australia.

So, no great surprise here :

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has dropped the terror charge against Indian doctor Mohamed Haneef.

Commonwealth prosecutors withdrew the charge of supporting a terrorist organisation in Brisbane Magistrates Court this afternoon, following a review of the case by DPP Damian Bugg...
The 'terror charges' being that Dr Haneef had "recklessly supported a terrorist group" because he gave a SIM card to a relative back in England who then allegedly went on to try and launch terror attacks in England.

Of course, the British authorities haven't charged Haneef's cousin with being a part of a terrorist group. So how can Haneef be charged with supporting a terror group that doesn't, at this point, officially exist?

Hence, the dropping of the charges.

A statement from the Director Of Public Prosecutions :
"On my view of this matter a mistake has been made ..."
Understatement of the year. The DPP accepts some responsibility for the "mistake", the Australian Federal Police says it did nothing wrong, and prime minister John Howard still backs the Immigration Minister's very public, and legally damaging statement, that Dr Haneef was "of bad character" and so had to have his visa cancelled.

The blame gaming has now officially begun.

First Draft Of Joint Australian Federal Police/Howard Government Statement Of Apology To Dr Haneef :
Umm, sorry about the whole "You're probably a scumbag terrorist" thing, Dr Haneef.

We realise now that you were telling the truth all along and that you didn't try to make a bomb-detonating call to those supposed car bombs in London, and that you didn't plot to blow up buildings in Queensland and that you don't want to destroy the West and that you don't worship Osama Bin Laden.

But, you know, them's the breaks in the 'War on Terror', mate.

And after all, you are a Muslim. And all terror attacks are done by Muslims....well, except those done by the ETA, and the ones carried out by black ops forces on enemy infrastructure, and the occasional bombings by Mossad and MI5, and the governments of Pakistan, India, Russia, China, the United States and all those trying to fight the War On Terror by using state terror for...look, none of that really matters to you, right?

So, thanks for coming to Australia and helping to fill the shocking doctor shortage. And thanks for being such a good sport about us holding you in custody without charge for, what, it was only 12 days or so, wasn't it?

And thanks for letting us 'interview' you for 12 hour long sessions, and parade you in front of the media dressed like a convicted criminal, with no shoes.

You'll probably want to sue us now, right? Okay. Well, here's the deal : Fuck off back to India, we'll see you in court. And don't forget we'll spend five million of taxpayers money to avoid having to pay you even $100,000 in damages.

By the way, Dr Haneef. Could you pass the word around back home that we're still looking for more doctors? We've still got a pretty bad shortage of them here.

Of course, a lot of Australians are paranoid about Indian or...well, let's face, any dark-skinned doctors now, what with all that 'Those Who Will Heal You, Will Kill You' black propaganda stuff.

Again, sorry about the mix-up.

Thank you, come again. (just a little joke there to show the Aussie sense of humour)

BTW : Even though the charges against you have been dropped, the Immigration Minister still thinks you are "of bad character". Which probably says more about him than it does about you.
I'm not sure the above letter is the real deal. It seems a bit restrained to me.

Naturally, Howard government spin master Tony Abbott got in early this morning, clearly aware that the charge against Dr Haneef would be dropped today :

"If he's a good guy who has done nothing wrong, I suppose, he should be treated like other good guys who've done nothing wrong."

Tony Abbott only supposes Dr Haneef should be treated like someone who has done nothing wrong even though it was abundantly clear he had done nothing wrong. Continues Abbott :
"But whether he is a good guy who has done nothing wrong is the sort of thing that Kevin Andrews, quite rightly, will be seeking expert advice on
Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews hasn't changed his mind :

"I believe that Dr Haneef fails the character test and for that reason I cancelled his visa," Mr Andrews told ABC radio today.

"Nothing that has been revealed to me in the last 24 or 48 hours would lead me to believe that information was inappropriate or incorrect."

Of course not, Dr Haneef is still a Muslim.

Here's but one example of the Murdoch media' s terror scaremongering around Dr Haneef, before even the most basic facts were known or even taken into consideration. Naturally this example comes from the Daily Telegraph's blockhead-in-chief Piers Akerman :
The detention of a Gold Coast doctor shows the alleged sweeping extent of the global links of international terrorism.
The liberal use of "alleged", "seems" and "probably" in the Akerman column of July 4 will presumably protect News Limited and the Daily Telegraph from having to fork over another six figure sum in damages for Akerman's inability to restrain himself from writing such garbage, and trying to smear people long before they are even charged, or not charged, with terrorism-related crimes.

You can only hope that this appalling fiasco does not make Australians less alert to the threat of terrorism, from whichever groups or extreme religious true believers who think they can change the direction of politics or international policy through the killing of innocent people.

But the more often incidents like the Dr Hannef fiasco occur, the more often that terror attack warnings are issued for reasons other than the safety of the public, the more people will tend to believe that the threat of terrorism is overwrought, and that fear campaigns are being used against the public for strictly political reasons.

The terrible irony is that in the case of Dr Haneef the only people who ended up being terrorised was him, and his family.

An Earlier Story From The Orstrahyun on the Dr Haneef Scandal

Howard Tries To Distance Himself From The Collapse Of The 'Terror' Case Against Dr Haneef - Good Luck With That PM

Haneef Will Be Released