Floating Life 4/06 ~ 11/07

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Good news from The Rabbit; update to Haneef post

He has not shut down his blog. He is in fact renovating and will launch it later on with a very large Menindee entry. 🙂

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Written by Neil

August 25, 2007 at 1:07 pm

Posted in blogging, Current affairs, Personal

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Great Wall of Sydney, Haneef, the newsagent and The Bill

According to The Daily Telegraph the dubious honour of hosting APEC (a kind of evil twin of the 2000 Olympics — thanks, John!) is going to lead to mega-disruption, some of it physical.

A HUGE reinforced concrete fence will be built across much of Sydney’s CBD during next month’s APEC meetings to stop attacks from demonstrators.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal the 2.8m high “ring of steel” is meant to protect businesses which police believe could become “soft targets” for protesters prevented from taking aim at world leaders. Business leaders have told The Daily Telegraph police hold fears well-known operations such as McDonald’s and Starbucks could be hit during next month’s APEC summit. Leaders from about 100 large businesses including Coca-Cola, the Australian Stock Exchange, major banks, Myer and shopping centres were given a two-hour private briefing on the radical security arrangements on Monday.

The Daily Telegraph has learned that cranes will be deployed to help install the cage-like fence, reminiscent of the Berlin Wall which divided the European city for much of the post-war period, over five days from August 31.

Police refused to say which streets the fence will occupy but it is understood work will commence around the Hotel Inter-Continental at the corner of Bridge and Macquarie Sts. An area from Macquarie St across to George St and down to Circular Quay has been identified as a no-go zone.

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Not just about Dr Haneef: some terrorism and civil liberties questions

Years ago when The Red Dragon became the secretary of the South Coast branch of the Communist Party she rang me in Glebe to warn me that ASIO was listening to her conversations, including of course any she had with me. She knew her phone was bugged because one night a voice cut into one of her conversations thus: “Hey Fred (or whoever), would you take this one? I want to take a leak…” Subsequently she often apologised to the bug for how boring her phone calls were, mostly about Bridge and recipes, since the Dragon was an avid Bridge player and had done a cordon bleu course. “As if I would plot revolution over the phone,” she said.

I doubt ASIO bothers with the Dragon nowadays, but she still cannot enter the USA.

Today, as Lexcen points out in his comment on Jim Belshaw’s Haneef case…, things are different. For a start we have at our disposal rather more channels of communication than we had in the 1980s, and while extremist Muslim terrorism did exist it had not come home to us as it has this century. My concern, and I think Jim’s also, is the degree to which we sacrifice our own liberties in the interests, or perceived interests, of security, or in other words how far we compromise what we are meant to be defending.

Last night SBS ran the PBS Frontline documentary Spying on the Home Front which raised such issues very dramatically.

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Sirdan in The Shakespeare, Dr Haneef on the box, Andrews and Howard up the creek…

Perhaps inappropriately, Sirdan and I were tucking into an excellent $10 roast pork lunch at The Shakespeare Hotel as we discussed the matter of Dr Haneef yesterday. Apparently The Empress and Kiwi Nick had almost come to blows on the subject at The Shift during the week, The Empress complaining about government incompetence while Nick tended to think Haneef was indeed a “person of interest”, as they say nowadays instead of “guilty party”. Come the weekend and Kiwi Nick was apologising; the government has not followed suit.

When Sirdan told me Dr Haneef was giving a paid interview on TV I tended to doubt him. You see, I have been without TV ever since the communal antenna and booster was knocked out of action some time Friday night. All I can watch is DVDs (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon last night) so I missed Sixty Minutes.

He was evil — a dangerous man. If he wasn’t a terrorist, his mates were. And he was helping them. Or so we were told.

For more than three weeks, the Haneef affair dragged on. And let’s face it, on the strength of the so-called evidence, the Gold Coast doctor certainly looked suspicious.
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About the Haneef case

I was just looking at the Big Archive and found There will be injustices (Sep 28th, 2005).
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Written by Neil

July 29, 2007 at 8:48 am

Ministers accused of ‘driving’ Haneef case


Civil libertarians say any inquiry into the bungled prosecution of Dr Mohamed Haneef should focus squarely on the actions of Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock and Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews.

The terrorism-related charge against Dr Haneef was dropped yesterday after prosecutors abandoned their case amid revelations of mistakes in the case against him. In announcing the decision, Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Damien Bugg QC admitted his agency had made two key errors as it built its case against Dr Haneef.

But Australian Council for Civil Liberties national secretary Cameron Murphy has told AM it is clear there was political interference in the case.
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