Thursday, January 27, 2005

Not real Aussies maybe

On the day after our self congratulatory day, also known as Australia Day there are a couple of people who can't be really considered Australians. These people were kidnapped by a foreign power.

If this happened to you or I my reader, then I would hope that our Federal Government would move heaven and earth to help us. Even if we murdered someone and were jailed in a foreign country, there is some basic Government assistance that we would expect for ourselves and our society would expect to be performed for us. If you commit a crime on foreign soil, then that country has a right to detain, try and punish you according to the laws of that country. Even so, if the conviction seems dubious or the punishment extreme, Australia will make loud noises and diplomacy will work in it's secret little way.

But the two above mentioned people were detained for a long time by the USA. Very little assistance was given by Australia. One was never charged with a crime and the other charged after a long term of detention. One is now to be deported without charge from a leasehold of the USA.

Australia should have demanded that our supposed world friend, the mighty USA, should hand over our citizens, and if it is thought they committed a crime, then we will deal with it.

I don't care about these two, at best described as idiots, worst trainee or active terrorists. They should have been left for local authorities to deal with or deported back to Australia for us to try and convict. One was in Egypt. I believe they have ways of dealing with such matters expeditiously. It was clearly not a case of not being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But I do care about the principle and the precedent. I don't have a piece of paper to say that I am Australian as I am not required to have it, but my partner does. We are equally Australian and this comes with responsibilities and benefits. We are entitled to consular assistance when we are overseas travelling and should we get into strife, of our own doing or not, the government will attempt to ensure we are treated justly and fairly.

I guess these two just weren't quite really Australian enough or something. I hope it is not the thin edge of the wedge.

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