tip off

Who stopped Robinson? The inhibition of responsibility

Twenty four hours on, we now have a clearer idea of the circumstances in which Australian human rights lawyer Jen Robinson was stopped at Heathrow Airport on her way home to Australia, told she was on an “inhibited persons” list and that she would not be permitted to board her flight without approval from the Australian High Commission.

But not why she was stopped and on whose authority.

Robinson touched down in Sydney this morning and was looking forward to seeing Attorney-General Nicola Roxon at the Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association conference, where both are speaking.

Robinson, who has spent most of the last day in the air, has clarified that she understands no call was made from Heathrow to Australia House before her check-in was approved, despite Virgin Airlines staff and a security guard insisting she was an “inhibited person” who had evidently done something “controversial” and that approval was required before she could be checked-in.

So what is an inhibited person? It’s not a term used by Australian agencies. But Dean Procter on Twitter directed me to an agency that does use it — the Department of Homeland Security. According to one of DHS’s operating manuals for airlines,

Travelers receiving an inhibited response must be further vetted prior to receiving a boarding pass authorization. The response message returned will provide a contact number that must be called to determine if a resolution can be accomplished.”

That sounds exactly like what happened to Robinson. Another DHS document says:

‘Inhibited status’, as defined in this rule, means the status of a passenger or non-traveling individual to whom TSA has instructed a covered aircraft operator or a covered airport operator not to issue a boarding pass or to provide access to the sterile area.”

In March, as part of the US government’s seemingly remorseless attempt to impose its laws on the rest of the world, the UK agreed to new rules that required airlines to provide the Department of Homeland Security with details of passengers even if they weren’t travelling to the United States, but to countries near the US, such as Canada, Mexico and Cuba.

Robinson, plainly, was going to none of those. But it raises an interesting scenario for when Robinson next seeks to travel to the US.

DFAT yesterday said it knew nothing of what happened. ABC journalist Jeff Waters last night contacted a spokesman for the UK Border Agency, who denied that they had stopped Robinson.

Which leaves the airline, Virgin. But the only circumstances in which an airline would stop a passenger in the manner Robinson was stopped is if she was not a citizen of the country she was flying to and there was a risk the airline would have to return her to her point of origin if she was refused entry, costing the airline money.

Plainly a government agency is either lying or knows far more than they are letting on.

But because of the tangled web of responsibility for international travel, it’s impossible to do more than speculate. Different agencies within government, different government, and private companies all have different but related functions. It’s a particularly egregious example of how governments can deflect responsibility and scrutiny because decision-making is outsourced into a nebulous mix of systems and separate decision-makers, leaving no one person or agency ultimately responsible. And international air travel has long since become a Kafkaesque mix of security theatre, institutionalised paranoia and irrational bureaucracy in which any semblance of logic is not merely dismissed but might even be considered a threat.

This outsourcing of responsibility enables governments and politicians in particular to operate with complete deniability. Ministers, who used to be considered responsible for what happened in their portfolios, can place their hands on their hearts and swear they know nothing, that they have sought advice and that it is nothing to do with them.

Meantime, lawyers, activists… hell, let’s call them what they are, troublemakers — get harassed without anyone with any authority having to front up and accept responsibility. It’s all part of the constant process of delegitimising dissent.

48
  • 1
    Chess C
    Posted Friday, 20 April 2012 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    BK - thanks for your analysis and decoding of this important issue.

  • 2
    Stiofan
    Posted Friday, 20 April 2012 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Plainly a government agency is either lying or knows far more than they are letting on.”

    No, there is at least one other possibility.

    Robinson, who has spent most of the last day in the air, has clarified that she understands no call was made from Heathrow to Australia House before her check-in was approved”.

    Clarified”? Yesterday, you reported such approval was given. Was that an accurate report of what Robinson had said? How does Robinson know that no call was made to Australia House?

    Still unanswered is the question of what actually happened at Heathrow:

    * why and in what manner did Virgin and the “security guard” change their minds?

    * did Robinson see any phonecalls being made?

    * who was this “security guard” - airport security, a Virgin employee, a UK Government official, a man in a dark suit and sunglasses?

    * was Robinson actually stopped from boarding a flight, or merely delayed (and, if so, for how long)?

  • 3
    kennethrobinson2
    Posted Friday, 20 April 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    If Jen Robinson thinks that she is going to get an answer from the AG, she will have to wait for approval for the AG to say anything without the permission of her US controllers.
    This really stinks and shows how treacherous our political (both parties) are treating us peasants, and the big question is how much they cant, wont tell us about what looks like a subserviant bleak future.

  • 4
    zut alors
    Posted Friday, 20 April 2012 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    This incident is chilling.

    And, hey, what a surprise that the ‘inhibited’ terminology is endemic in the Dept Homel@and Security. Who would’ve guessed, none other than our close ally the USA.

  • 5
    Pamela
    Posted Friday, 20 April 2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Well said.
    We take off our shoes, surrender our hand lotion, give up our water, remove our belts, get lined up and down and God help us if we joke about it.
    Surrender all reason at an airport while we submit to some senseless BOYS OWN CHARADE. Refuse at your peril.
    We have had beefy boys armed on our domestic flights without any evidence that Al Quaida have infiltrated Tasmania en route to the Gold Coast.

    As I stepped out of a plane at Cooloongatta last week, it was to a reception committee of 4 big burly cops at the doors and a phalanx of same lined up inside.
    Surely they would better serve the public interest out on the roads and streets than standing around watching weary travellers struggle on by with bags and kids in tow.
    REDICULOUS or as a 4 year old says DICULOUS DICULOUS!!

  • 6
    davidk
    Posted Friday, 20 April 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Just one more example of why we need Wikileaks. It represents our best hope of ever getting the truth about anything.

  • 7
    Andybob
    Posted Friday, 20 April 2012 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    So glad to know my homeland is secure from inhibited persons

  • 8
    SBH
    Posted Friday, 20 April 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Free from inhibitions, I spent Wednesday also free from the constraints of pants. Should I ensure access to Virgin aircraft with a similar approach in future?

    And how on earth did kennethrobinson2 get in here? He’s got the kinda name I don’t trust.

  • 9
    mikeb
    Posted Friday, 20 April 2012 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to disagree with earlier commentators but if it takes a 100 burly guys in sunglasses to ensure I get to my destination in 1 piece then I’m happy to take on any inconvenience. The question is how did Robertson become a potential inhibited person - not the actions afterwards.

  • 10
    lindsayb
    Posted Friday, 20 April 2012 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    the question is “what can we do about it?”, when all the major parties in our bastardised western pseudo-democracies support the introduction of increasingly authoritarian control over our lives. The Occupy movement looked like it might have some chance for a while, until it disappeared in a shower of capsicum spray. Our governments seem determined to crush all forms of legitimate peaceful dissent, rather than address our legitimate concerns, making the appearance of less desirable forms of protest almost inevitable.

  • 11
    Frank Campbell
    Posted Friday, 20 April 2012 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    As I said yesterday, it’s the yanks. The British are, as usual, sucking Uncle Sam.

    Where’s Gillard? Gillard the Assange-hater…ask Ms Moving Forward who Inhibited Robinson…

  • 12
    Gareth
    Posted Friday, 20 April 2012 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    MikeB,

    It -doesn’t- take 100 burly guys in sunglasses to ensure you get to your destination in one piece. It’s theatre.

  • 13
    Harry Rogers
    Posted Friday, 20 April 2012 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Bernard,

    It’s all part of the constant process of delegitimising dissent.”

    This is by far the best reporting I have seen for a long time. The “spooks” are well and truly alive and well in Australia and like the sands on the beach they are stealthily eroding our rights on a daily basis with govern,ment kowtowing on a sickening level.

    Makes you give serious consideration to whether its time to think about moving somewhere else or like this young lawyer confront them face to face. Unfortunately the general population has a very strong history of ” well if you’ve done nothing wrong why are you concerned about a new law”. Very serious stuff.

  • 14
    Harry Rogers
    Posted Friday, 20 April 2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Mike B

    in 1 piece then I’m happy to take on any inconvenience”

    Throughout history Mike theres never been any shortage of people with your view and I suspect as usual when someone comes knocking on your door then theres a problem but only then.

  • 15
    mikeb
    Posted Friday, 20 April 2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    @harry - ageed, but read the last sentence of my original post.

  • 16
    Stiofan
    Posted Friday, 20 April 2012 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    All that the comments here show is that Crikey readers cannot distinguish between reportage and editorialising.

    C’mon Bernard, I’ll make it easy for you. Just start by answering my first question.
    Yesterday, you reported that approval had been given. Was that an accurate report of what Robinson had said?

  • 17
    Stiofan
    Posted Friday, 20 April 2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Yesterday - “Australian human rights lawyer and WikiLeaks supporter Jennifer Robinson … was prevented from leaving the UK this morning until approval was secured from the Australian High Commission.”

    Today - “Robinson … has clarified that she understands no call was made from Heathrow to Australia House before her check-in was approved”.

    The only source, in both cases, appears to have been Robinson. So:

    * did she yesterday say that she had been prevented from leaving the UK until approval was secured from the Australian High Commission?

    * if not, what was the source of your report that approval was obtained?

  • 18
    Harry Rogers
    Posted Friday, 20 April 2012 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Stiofan

    I think you miss the whole point. This particular episode whether it turns out to be false or not just highlights how far down the road we as a so-called democratic society are prepared to surrender our rights and take such incidences as “par for the course”.

    Iwould guess if the current situation continues to dvelop that if you contest anything at an airport as “Pamela” correctly reports that you will be held in custody .

    I presume you consider it’s just fine that your personal details are surrended to faceless men in the US if you fly to Canada or somewhere close to the USA. I guess you think it’s no problem if “you’ve got nothing to hide”?

  • 19
    mattsui
    Posted Friday, 20 April 2012 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Bernard Keane is clearly not planning an o/s holiday this season!
    The point, MikeB, Stiofan, is that anyone could find their name on a foreign Governments list of ne-er-do-wells for any or even no reason. Activities that are aparently harmless and totally legal, are looked askance at by the increasingly paranoid and excessively funded security agencies who are supposedly here for our own good.
    How would you know if your name is on one of these lists? How could you find out? The very act of requesting such information is, surely, in itself suspicious.
    The facts of this case may eventually turn out to be benign enough. I, for one will be very interested in the follow up questions (and who, if anyone is wheeled out to answer them) if it doesn’t.

  • 20
    Michael de Angelos
    Posted Friday, 20 April 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Every time I return from Asia Customs go over me with a fine tooth comb but annoyingly, they photocopy my credit cards etc. I have to cancel them and get new ones each time and every complaint I’ve made has been ignored. Customs even looked shocked when I tell them how annoying it is as though they should have access to my financial details at their discretion.

    Big Brother is a bitch.

  • 21
    fractious
    Posted Friday, 20 April 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    stiofan:
    The only source, in both cases, appears to have been Robinson.

    Given she may well have been at the customs/ immigration checkpoint and any non-flying third parties would not have been allowed there, who else do you think would have reported it? UK customs? Virgin? Her carry-on luggage?

    Since when did an affected party reporting their being so affected remove the legitimacy of the report?

  • 22
    fractious
    Posted Friday, 20 April 2012 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Frank

    As I said yesterday, it’s the yanks. The British are, as usual, sucking Uncle Sam.

    Regrettably, yes. Ably assisted by…

    Where’s Gillard?

    Indeed. In the same vein, where Abbott? Where those noble defenders of integrity and the right to free speech, the journalists (present company excepted)?

  • 23
    Greg Jones
    Posted Friday, 20 April 2012 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    (* who was this “security guard” - airport security, a Virgin employee, a UK Government official, a man in a dark suit and sunglasses?) Stiofan

    Get Smart?..no, Get Robinson.

  • 24
    Greg Jones
    Posted Friday, 20 April 2012 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    @Harry
    ( Unfortunately the general population has a very strong history of ” well if you’ve done nothing wrong why are you concerned about a new law”. Very serious stuff.)

    That’s the problem Harry, 99.9% of folk are totally fkin dumbed down to their arses. The general answer when put to people regarding the airport security and xray scanners is..”oh, we don’t have anything to hide”..sigh!..FFS!

  • 25
    puddleduck
    Posted Friday, 20 April 2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    I’m feeling a bit, well, inhibited. Must be all the carbs I’ve been eating.

    Whether or not our agencies (and Ministers of the Crown) knew what happened to Ms Robinson or not, haven’t they a responsibility to find out, and to explain. Does it not concern our Members of Parliament that person/s unknown in the UK have put tabs on one (or more) of its citizens, that our passports are despoiled thus?

    Oh, of course not. Silly me.

  • 26
    Mike Shaw
    Posted Friday, 20 April 2012 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to BK for having the Chutzpah and effrontery to follow through. Keep it coming.

  • 27
    Harry Rogers
    Posted Friday, 20 April 2012 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Greg

    That’s the problem Harry, 99.9% of folk are totally fkin dumbed down”

    Yes depressing isn’t it however like most sheep in society you just have to come up with some way that they are “embarrassed” into action.

    Don’t expect them to support you because its right , they only respond to something that they feel will make them acceptable to their mates and of course if it there are real changes they will be the first that say

    Yeah! I always thought that was wrong!”

  • 28
    Andybob
    Posted Friday, 20 April 2012 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Spot on Puddleduck. Whatever happened to “without let or hindrance” ?

  • 29
    AR
    Posted Friday, 20 April 2012 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    she may well have been at the customs/ immigration checkpoint
    A small point, when leaving the UK usually one no longer has to go through Customs/Immigration - their procedures take place entirely behind the scenes, overseeing the airlines databases. If deemed necessary then Customs would intervene.
    It seems that Robinson was stopped ONLY by the airline personnel (until photographed and surveilled, discretely/covertly of course) so it is clearly Virgin obeying US rules.
    Co-incidentally, yesterday the EU caved in to the Hegemon’s demands that the full details of ALL air travellers (no matter their destination) be forwarded instantly to Big Bastard.
    An on the ball reporter should ask her whether she thought there was any unusual delay when entering Oz - the same thing would have occurred here when presenting her passport. A short delay, automatic swivelling of the camera in those big black bubbles on the ceiling, her card marked differently to other passengers and further checks & pics on who met her, rego. etc.
    The intrusive “checks” to which ordinary passengers are subject are purely theatre, intended to convince the public that they are being safeguarded but it is worse than useless. Someone trying to kill themselves by blowing up a plane of inncoent people is not going to try to carry through a couple of hundred grams of explosive when they can pack 20ks in their hold luggage which goes on unchecked by man, beast or xray.
    The bum bomber passed through Schiphol, one of the most secure in the world.
    Only one terrorist has ever been stopped at checkin in the last 40yrs, a befuddled Irish woman attempting to leave Israel as she was caught the usual way, INTELLIGENCE. Not pantomime.

  • 30
    botswana bob
    Posted Saturday, 21 April 2012 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    In spite of the usual suspects nitpicking and muddying the water, the issue remains both clear and disturbing: on what basis was an Australian with a valid passport initially denied boarding on a flight to her home country? It certainly seems a matter to me that the Australian government should investigate and make public the findings.In practice, I expect any investigation to take longer than the Fair Work Australia inquiry into the HSU and if ever completed not released due to The Public Interest.

  • 31
    kennethrobinson2
    Posted Saturday, 21 April 2012 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    For those interested, there is some information on Wikileaks, and free speech on the GUARDIAN site, apparently government control is being challanged.

  • 32
    Julian Fitzgibbon
    Posted Saturday, 21 April 2012 at 4:07 am | Permalink

    You know that is what I like about Australia - its small enough that people still take notice.

    Jacob Appelbaum has been spent years tweeting about his horrific experiences at airport and no one in the USA makes any response at all. Jen Robinson sents one tweet and the ABC, the Attorney General and DFAT all treat the issue seriously (more seriously than it deserves, but hey).

    Come on guys, she’s a former Rhodes scholar for Gawd’s sake. Not a class of people that the elite usually mistreat. As a former Rhodes scholar she will be protected from being complete exposed on her ditziness, but suffice to say I don’t think we will see any more tweets from La Robinson complaining about uniformed Inhibitors at Heathrow.

  • 33
    Julian Fitzgibbon
    Posted Saturday, 21 April 2012 at 4:21 am | Permalink

    And as for those State Department Cables…..
    You know what the Department of Defence need are some of those brilliant IT guys that work for Australian banks. I mean those guys are absolute geniuses. Can you believe it, they have actually figured out a system whereby a normal user can have read access to every single database entry, but an ordinary user like a teller can’t walk off with the entire database?

    I mean this is pure brilliance, mind-blowing stuff. If only the Department of Defence had had access to this cutting-edge, state of the art IT security, then Bradley Manning wouldn’t have been able to walk off with 250 000 records (unless he listened to an awful lot of Lady Gaga)

  • 34
    Youthy
    Posted Saturday, 21 April 2012 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    I can see at least two alternatives to what happened.

    1. The border security/immigration/check in officer’s actions were a red herring. The officials on the front line of a border are usually trained to ask a couple of verifying questions when a traveller departs/arrives as a quick test to see if the person matches their passport, questions that they can see the answer to, such as what’s your name, where do you live, what are you doing here. Making comments about being on a watch list could be an extension to this to see the traveller’s response. Someone who is guilty is likely to respond differently to someone who is innocent, and the border security officer will investigate further a guilty response. Robinson may have responded in the right way, and was let go on her merry way.

    2. It wasn’t the Australian high commission the officer was referring to. Most people don’t know the difference between a high commission, embassy or consulate. (Most of the media reporting on this has been switching between calling the Australian Government office in London the high commission, the embassy, or Australia House; it’s a high commission, not an embassy, and the building is called Australia House which accommodates other offices besides the high commission). It’s possible the person simply said “embassy” and Robinson assumed this to be Australia, whereas it may have been the US.

  • 35
    Harry Rogers
    Posted Saturday, 21 April 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Youthy,

    of a border are usually trained to ask a couple of verifying questions when a traveller departs/arrives as a quick test to see if the person matches their passport”

    Oh now I understand that these “front line security” (Americanism) people are so intensely trained. I must say Ive met a few in my travels who clearly come from the same school.

    Duh ! Whats yer name? Duh where have ya been”

    This is said with a lot of due respct to the ones who resigned from Customs when it all became black jackets and squat teams.

  • 36
    Gary Johnson
    Posted Saturday, 21 April 2012 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    @ Frank Campbell (As I said yesterday, it’s the yanks. The British are, as usual, sucking Uncle Sam.)

    I agree with most of the comments here Frank, and especially yours. But it does run deeper.

    What we are dealing with here, is a many-headed-beast and the US, although a major head of that beast, is just another sacrificial pawn in the many-headed-beasts quest for global hegemony.

    They use the US and a myriad of global intelligence networks to force their foreign policy on any nation/country/peoples that remain independent of their system of world governance.

    But strangely, this many-headed-beast does not have total control of the US internally.

    I am personally anti-gun or any weapon for that matter, but it’s a great paradox and very ironic, that the American Gun Lobby, whether we like it or not, is single handedly and probably unknowingly the only obstacle standing in their way. The legislators can’t do zilch about it, they have a thing called a constitution.

    Expect more false-flag Columbines and similar incidences in the US for certain, as they push forward to dis-arm it’s people.

  • 37
    Karen
    Posted Saturday, 21 April 2012 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    This is an outrage. How can one of our citizens be labelled an “inhibited person” (by whom?) and have their liberty restrained in this way. All because this person happens to be one of Assange’s lawyer. Give me a break. What action is the Australian govt taking here?

    If the shoe had been on the other foot, and a US/UK citizen was affected in this way, the US and UK govts would have been demanding “please explains” from all and sundry here.

    The US Govt really needs to get over its own anger and embarrassment with respect to the cable releases. Big deal. Move on. Its not as if the cables revealed a lot more than what the Australian public, if not the American public and the rest of the Western world, already knew or surmised about America’s foreign policy initiatives and its thoughts about various heads of State. In fact, the latter made for quite refreshing and amusing reading because of the aptness of US opinion, in my view.

    Indeed, I had a lot more respect for the Americans following the release of the cables because it demonstrated to me that the Americans were very clued in, perspicacious and frank about discussing their observations across a whole range of subject matter, albeit amongst themselves. Pity they weren’t more publicly candid about some of their views to start with. Directness and candour are qualities most Australians, if not most people around the world appreciate.

    Finally, as we’ve been led to believe, Assange was prepared not to disclose or reveal the details of intelligence gatherers and other operatives, for obvious reasons, so how has America, ultimately, been damaged in this? It hasn’t.

    Going after Assange really reminds me of a sledgehammer being taken to a chestnut. The US really needs to reconsider its position here and while they’re at it review their treatment of Bradley Manning. He’s done his time and deserves a life.

  • 38
    Harry Rogers
    Posted Saturday, 21 April 2012 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    More recently 250,000 requests in a year in Australia by police intelligence agencies and foreign agencies to Telstra and other ISP providers for information about peoples ISP etc etc.

    New trade agreements put to Australia between Europe and USA lowering the bar for sharing information.

    The UK has 4.2million closed circuit TV cameras , one per every 14 people, China has 1 for every 472,000 citizens.

    You can be certain that youre being watched . East Berlin had nothing on whats ahead of us.

    Great place to live now isnt it.

  • 39
    Peter Bayley
    Posted Saturday, 21 April 2012 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Note the likely perpetrator of this arrogant injustice, the US Department of Homeland Security recently ordered 450 Million rounds of pistol ammunition.

    http://articles.businessinsider.com/2012-03-28/news/31247765_1_atk-rounds-bullet

    Quite excessive when you consider their only remit is the internal United States. The US is starting to feel quite pre-revolutionary

  • 40
    Julian Fitzgibbon
    Posted Sunday, 22 April 2012 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    If worse comes to worse Ms Robinson could always try the line that it is not safe for her to say what happened to her. Implausible? It worked for Appelbaum
    “We speak with Jacob Appelbaum, a computer researcher who has faced a stream of interrogations and electronic surveillance since he volunteered with the whistleblowing website, WikiLeaks. He describes being detained more than a dozen times at the airport and interrogated by federal agents who asked about his political views and confiscated his cell phone and laptop. When asked why he cannot talk about what happened after he was questioned, Appelbaum says, “Because we don’t live in a free country. And if I did, I guess I could tell you about it.” A federal judge ordered Twitter to hand over information about Appelbaum’s account. Meanwhile, he continues to work on the Tor Project, an anonymity network that ensures every person has the right to browse the internet without restriction and the right to speak freely.”

    In fact, under protection of anonymity, I can reveal I was water-boarded last time I flew. Plain-clothes goons kept asking me, in between spluttering out water, about my Crikey comments.

    Its a miracle I still made my flight, then again I am a bit of nervous Nellie about flight departures and I always turn up early enough to fit in a quick water-boarding

  • 41
    Liamj
    Posted Sunday, 22 April 2012 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    @ Julian Fitgibbon: how easy it is to ridicule dangers that one suffers no risks from oneself.

  • 42
    Julian Fitzgibbon
    Posted Sunday, 22 April 2012 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    I don’t either Ms Robinson or Mr Appelbaum stand in much risk of waterboarding, but we live in hope.
    Meanwhile I am just happy that both individuals always managing to successfully board their flights despite the terrors they encounter.

  • 43
    Harry Rogers
    Posted Sunday, 22 April 2012 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Amazing how the practice of water boarding is now a joke to some people. Well nothing surprises me anymore.

  • 44
    AR
    Posted Sunday, 22 April 2012 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    oh t’rffic, other brainless troll in JulFitz - what I can’t understand is WHO their paymasters think will be influenced by invasion on spaces such as this.
    As with Rusty, unPiered, mad McCranky & unDevine, they are only preaching to the already sclerotic, braindead moral myopics so why are they fed, ever mind paid big buck$?

  • 45
    Julian Fitzgibbon
    Posted Sunday, 22 April 2012 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    are all wikileaks tragics this miserable?

    Want to hear a real joke then?
    Swedish police forensics were unable to detect any human DNA from the inside of the slightly torn condom submitted by one of the complainants in the molestation allegation.

    Perhaps if Ms Robinson was a little louder in bringing such issues to the attention of the court and the public and a little less narcissistic in terms of own personal air travel trauma, this ridiculous farce would have been brought to an end.
    And then Assange could return to what he does best, roaming the world being delightfully pompous and utterly humourless

  • 46
    willybach
    Posted Monday, 23 April 2012 at 1:01 am | Permalink

    We will all feel much less safe when a practicing lawyer is no longer free to represent us and when they are no longer able to speak at conferences where government Ministers recite their lines written for them in Washington (Nicola Roxon).

    If an Australian citizen like Jennifer Robinson is to be anonymously labeled an “inhibited person” by the USA’s so-called Homeland Security we should be asking ourselves several questions. The first question is what do we really get for our investment of Australian military personnel, whose lives are risked in the US’s wars of dominance, illegal wars of aggression and now covert wars in Africa, in which Australia is some minor mercenary paying an insurance premium on a policy on which we can never claim. US President John F Kennedy made it clear that the ANZUS Treaty was only for the purpose of getting Australians to fight for the US, not for the US to protect Australia (perhaps just the uranium mines).

    The second question is this: in order for a few pubs in Darwin to sell alcohol and sex to an occupation force of 2,500 US Marines, do we have to abandon democracy and become a police state just like the USA? With all this doubling the figure you first thought of additional ‘security’ expense, are we actually any safer? Will there be any money left for education?

    Why delay Jennifer Robinson if you are then going to allow her to fly? This kind of stupidity is the hallmark of a police state that has no brains. She now knows for certain that public money is being squandered in an effort to ‘inhibit’ her capacity to carry our her nonviolent and peaceful pursuit of law. I wonder if water-boarding advocate, law professor John Yoo would have any trouble flying to Australia. He’s a likely “uninhibited person”, wouldn’t you say. Different laws apply to advocates of torture and lawyers who try to keep governments honest and innocent people free.

    Straighten up Nicola.

  • 47
    Harry Rogers
    Posted Monday, 23 April 2012 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Perhaps if some people would strain their intelligence a bit further to understand that the Wikileaks saga has very little to do with personalities and overwhelmingly to do with the violation of long held rights.

    Perhaps if those people actually had a look at what certain countries around the world are trying to enforce on the sovereign rights of others with little resistance from immature spin ridden politicians.

    Now if you find this all acceptable and deserves no protest or argument then you deserve the outcome but of course you will probably only consider this wrong when it affects YOU.

    Sweden is just a minor accomplice in the dereliction of rights.

    The Swedish prosecutor has offered no charges and just wants to interview Assange..in secret and…in Sweden.. for as long as she likes and as long as her political party allows her. When she’s finished she may then proceed to a lay court which is held in secret and outcomes determined by lay people and she will will either lock him up or send him to the US . This will be all at her ….whim.

  • 48
    Julian Fitzgibbon
    Posted Tuesday, 15 May 2012 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    at 17:30 on radio national on 15/5/12 Jennifer Robinson told another version.

    She maintains she was told they would have to ring Australia House, but that before any phone call was made her boarding pass printed out. Presumably the string pullers also control Virgin airlines computer system and remotely from their bunker caused the boarding pass to print. She says no phone call was made to anyone.

    Mr Keane claims that on the Sunday, Virgin Airlines sent him a email confirming the incident. Would it be possible to provide a facsimile of this correspondence in pdf?

    the.little.grey.rabbit@gmail.com

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