Jay Walker, former Australian correspondent for High Times magazine, writes:

no further than the “evidence” used to justify our participation in the
Coalition of the Willing, and by whom and how vigorously it was
presented, and compare and contrast with the utterings from the same
people on this matter to know the intrinsic truth of this statement.

In this Daily Telegraph piece today: Government letter dooms Nguyen to hang Singapore Inc. reveals its rationale for insisting on death by hanging for Van Nguyen.

was caught in possession of almost 400g of pure heroin, enough for more
than 26,000 doses of heroin for drug addicts,” the Speaker of the Singapore Parliament, Abdullah Tarmugi wrote
to David Hawker, the Speaker of the House of Representatives. “He knew
what he was doing and the consequences of his actions.”

are unable to condone Mr Nguyen’s actions. As representatives of the
people, we have an obligation to protect the lives of those who could
be ruined by the drugs he was carrying.”

“We cannot allow Singapore to be used as a transit for illicit drugs in the region,” Mr Tarmugi wrote to Australian MPs.

the context of Singapore Inc.’s cosy relationship with the Burmese drug
baron, Lo Hsing Han, as outlined in Crikey yesterday, the hypocrisy is

According to the United Nations’ World Drug Report 2004 after
taking into account that “the North Shan experienced a severe drought
and the maximum potential yield fell to 8 kg/ha”, ” the potential opium
production … in Myanmar is …370 metric tons”. Applying the UN’s
1:10 formula for the conversion of raw opium into heroin produces 37
tons of heroin. Almost all the heroin in Australia comes from Burma.

If the “almost 400g of pure heroin” found on Nguyen equates to 26,000 doses, how many doses from 37 tons?

on in his letter, Mr Tarmugi said: “The information that Mr Nguyen
provided to the Singapore authorities was of limited value,” which
contradicts the Australian Federal Police’s version of events which in
their letter of support for Nguyen said that he was “a willing
informant” and that information he supplied after his arrest in 2002
“had led to the conviction of a man in Sydney charged with possession
of heroin and ecstasy.”

The fate of Van Nguyen at this very late
stage is in the hands of the same people who sought to convince us that
there was sufficient “evidence” to commit the nation to the war in

But they seem to have already made up their minds, according to this article in yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald:PM loses hope amid legal race to stop hanging which
captured the thoughts of the primary boosters for our involvement in
Iraq: “the Prime Minister appeared to have given up hope, ‘[b]ut
whatever way you look, the road appears to be blocked,’ Mr Downer
said,” and in response to a new optimistic expert opinion on an appeal
to the
International Court of Justice “advice from the department of the
Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, is more pessimistic.”

That opinion came from Professor of International Law at the University of Sydney, Don Rothwell, who told The World Today there is still time to have the matter heard by the ICJ.

“The International Court of Justice can issue provisional measures within 48 hours,” he said.

will be necessary to mount legal arguments in Canberra over the next
few days, to prepare submissions which would have to go to the court.

the submissions were to leave Canberra by Friday evening, to arrive at
the court in The Hague on Friday Netherlands time, there would still be
time to have this action heard by the court on Wednesday or Thursday of
next week,” he said.

So time is of the essence, Mr Howard, Mr
Ruddock and Mr Downer and there just might be a way. What most of the
country would now like to know: is there the will?