21 Aug. 2007

Quote Of The Day

From the SMH's National Security Editor, Tom Allard:
The antics of Mr Andrews, and the reluctance of the Government to be held accountable in court [for the Haneef scandal], erodes one of the fundamental pillars of national security - the public's trust.
Indeed. If there is no accountability for government "errors", then the public can rightly assume that these are not really errors at all, but intentional strategies. In this case, they do not even pretend the bungled and embarrassing mis-handling of the Haneef case was an error at all.

But if our government is deliberately pursuing strategies which undermine the rule of law (think Hicks, AWB, the invasion of Iraq, and more), then citizens should rightly wonder whether their government representatives are just a pack of untrustworthy criminals.

So we find ourselves in a position where we must choose between respect for our government, or respect for the law, or (perhaps) respect for neither.

Then our government tells us that we are engaged in an epic "war" against terrorists, and that we must trust them to manage this war through secretive, behind-the-scenes strategies, because that is the only way (they tell us) that this "war" can be won.

Furthermore, we must allow them to dismantle or ignore any laws, checks or balances which might impede them in this "war". And we must agree to all this secretive, legally-dubious dismantling of civil rights because (they tell us) our own safety is endangered.

And yet studies show that it is our government's own bungled, incompetent mis-handling of this "war" (which should not even be considered a war at all) which is primarily responsible for increasing the threat of terrorism to our country.