Highlighting the coalition’s hypocrisy by contrasting its response to Hick’s detention at Guantanamo is a good example, but surely Dr Haneef’s case is a better one.
To read much of the Judge’s decision and the media comment about it, you could get the impression that this is all about the detention of Haneef and the excessive use of anti-terrorism powers.
Rudd’s job now is to stop boring the nation on how drunk he was four years ago.
The equivocal response of the press gallery reflects their increasing defensiveness as many of the assumptions built up during the Howard ascendancy have been undermined over this year.
These anti-terrorist powers, and the Ministers responsible for them, are not the main issue in this debate. This is less about Haneef’s civil liberties than a fight between the government and the judiciary over who uses these powers.
The problem with the Magistrate’s ruling was a political one, because it added to the impression that Haneef was being held on no evidence and undermined the credibility of the government’s use of the anti-terror laws. That was why the Minister was compelled to intervene with a political response.
Tuesday, 31 July 2007 The Australian state Comments Off
Anti-terrorism legislation that brings in special powers to deal with what look like nihilistic amateurs, as though they were a paramilitary organisation like the IRA, was clearly introduced by the government for political, rather than operational purposes.
The election campaign is now being littered with dead issues that were escalated by the government for political purposes but have since gone nowhere.
The government is apparently intent on bedding down between now and the election and just focussing on its economic strength. Well, that’s one way of putting it.