Sunday 26th of June 2022

the value of convenience .....

The Editor

The Australian                                                                                     July 11, 2005


As usual, Attorney-General Philip Ruddock wants it both ways (‘May be terrorists here: Ruddock’, Australian, July 11).


Our nation’s chief law officer argues for the extension of ASIO’s ‘coersive’ powers because a number of Australians have allegedly received terrorist training & this points to the possible existence of ‘sleeper cells’ in Australia. He then quite deliberately cites David Hicks & Mamdouh Habib as examples.


The government has acknowledged on numerous occasions that neither Hicks nor Habib have broken any law. In spite of this fact, Hicks has been abandoned by our government whilst being detained & tortured at Guantanamo Bay for more than 31/2 years. 


Whilst Ruddock argues that it’s ‘inconvenient’ to have to continually justify ASIO’s coersive powers & that this detracts from the ‘war on terror’, his government has repeatedly failed to uphold the human & legal rights of Australian citizens.


The Prime Minister has pledged that terrorists will never succeed in destroying our ‘values’.


Perhaps his government could start by protecting & upholding the ‘rule of law’, rather than conniving to find convenient ways to undermine it?

Burning questions

So, what is a "sleeper"?

The usage of 'sleeper' and 'sleeper cells' is taking off like a new meme. It seems to be favoured in the US media, and the local White Bread and Cornflakes echoes, eg.,

A defiant city shows no fear

What are these people? Are they zombies, programmed some time ago, behaving normally but waiting for the secret signal to awake and carry out their assigned tasks?

Washington, DC Probe launched for Al-Qaida sleeper cells "A sleeper cell can become operational in the blink of an eye," he told NBC's "Meet the Press."

Will the ABC hand on the unexamined usage, as though we all know what it means?

I reckon the Prince of Darkness will be instructing ASIO to get after this tasty morsel of redneck bait, like a rats up a drainpipe. *Anyone* could be a sleeper.

Peter Costello, or any other Pentecostalist spruiker, could be a sleeper!