In all the fuss about the detention of Dr Mohamed Haneef, in the flurry of indignation at breached principle and flouted rule of law, one point seems to have gone unnoticed.
If Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews is to be taken at his word, if evidence exists that was not led in court that links Dr Haneef to terrorism, if there is more to this than some monstrously overwrought piece of political opportunism, then one thing is clear.
It’s simple: the government’s much vaunted anti-terror laws are not worth the paper they’re printed on. They’re not up to the job. They couldn’t hold their man. They failed at the first test. They are a dead deterrent.