Immigration Minister, Kevin Andrews, was at it again yesterday - casting aspersions against Mohamed Haneef without providing any details to back his claims.Perhaps it it is a learned reaction, like Pavlov's dogs salivating at the sound of a bell, Andrews and the Howard administration are so used to electoral reward for immigrant bashing they can't help themselves any more.
"I have been provided with no information to lessen my suspicion in relation to Dr Haneef. Any further information I've been provided actually heightens my suspicion," Mr Andrews told reporters.
As usual, Andrews presents nothing to support his allegations, just vague suggestions that he's still holding back some dynamite revelations for the proper time. When that might be, or how allowing Haneef to leave the country fits in with the idea that he is a duplicious, terrorist fiend.
What Andrews doesn't seem to realise is that his continual slanders are becoming counter-productive. People will see through a magicians trick if they watch it done enough times - and the Howard administration has played this trick numerous times. Even the most knuckle-headed - or loyal - Liberal supporter must be wondering why, if Haneef presented such a grave and present danger, he was allowed to leave Australia.
Still, Andrews's latest outburst is instructive. Assuming that it isn't merely childish pique - and my opinion of Andrews is so low that I can't rule this out - it suggests the Howard administrationis going to carry on. Some pretext will be found to refuse Haneef's re-entry into Australia. The judge, while restoring Haneef's visa, offered an opportunity for theat the minister to make a further fool of himself, pointing out that
the visa could have legitimately been cancelled on the grounds that Dr Haneef was a person of interest to British police or based on the fact he had been charged with a terrorism offence (which has since been withdrawn) (2)Hopefully, Andrews will take the bait, and the subsequent challenge to his decision will force the Australian government and police to reveal what they are holding back. Though when they do, expect it to be less than overwhelming.
1 - "The strange case of Doctor Haneef and Mister Hide," by Tom Allard, in The Sydney Morning Herald, 22nd of August, 2007. (http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/the-strange-case-of-doctor-haneef-and-mister-hide/2007/08/21/1187462266217.html)
2 - ibid.