The marks around my neck

Tim Dunlop takes aim at that Court Reporter, Gerard Henderson, and his rejection by the Melbourne Age. Poor Gerard can’t understand why someone as well connected and unique as himself has been fired by the “Guardian on the Yarra.”

Gerard, there are places for people like you. Like working for the Howard government. Oh, hang on a minute…

The brave Sydney Morning Herald continues to publish Gerard, obviously enamoured with his particular take on history. Risk takers, that’s what Fairfax wants more of. And they won’t be disappointed, if recent columns are anything to go by. In mid May, Gerard explained why America was a champion of democracy. “So much for the mythology that the Bush Administration is dominated by adventurous and unfeeling ideologues”, he wrote. But wait, where does Uzbekistan fit into this neat puzzle? Or Pakistan?

Incidentally, during last night’s SBS Dateline, General Pervez Musharraf was asked about his country’s use of torture. Let’s not forget that the autocrat is coming to Australia next week to sign a memorandum of understanding to assist both countries in their “War on Terror.” But back to torture:

GEORGE NEGUS: Can I ask you this – I mean I don’t know Pakistan’s procedure or principles on this – but would he have been tortured by your people when he was in custody here?

GENERAL PERVEZ MUSHARRAF: I wouldn’t be able to comment on that. We presume not, but again, I mean – as I see it – leave the torturing aside – are we here to give comfort to terrorists or are we here to extract information? Because he is a part of a terrorist organisation and we should not show much sympathy towards an individual who is a terrorist.

GEORGE NEGUS: Understood, understood.

GENERAL PERVEZ MUSHARRAF: Now when it comes to the methodology, I really don’t know what methods they use, but I believe we should not tie the hands of the intelligence operatives in interrogation. That is all that I would like to say. They have to extract information. The key issue is you must get information out of the man.

GEORGE NEGUS: Does that mean, though, that all the human rights rules are out the window… .for the interrogation of suspected terrorists?

GENERAL PERVEZ MUSHARRAF: If you talk idealistically, yes. If you’re talking of human rights, what about the human rights of the number of people he’s killed and what about the human rights of – he’s attacked, he’s the mastermind in attacking me – what about my human right?

Pakistan. Torturers. Ally. Friend. Mate.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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