Order is anti-democratic

Your report, Haneef documents to remain secret (The Age, 29/7) reveals that the role of the Australian Federal Police – providing questionable  ‘evidence’ that resulted in Dr Haneef being arrested and detained for 12 days – will never be examined in an open court of law because the material they provided to the current inquiry carries a self-declared, "in the national interest" security classification, which means that it cannot be made public.

This anti-democratic "protective order" mechanism is similar, although in a minor way, to that of the CIA refusing to reveal if it was involved in the 40-odd interrogations spread over seven years of Osama bin Laden`s driver, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, claiming it also was acting in the interests of national security. 

Accountability and the upmost openness by our country`s police and security agencies, willing to admit violations and errors in their complex field of operations, will only enhance the success of their vital mission as they gain the trust and co-operation of people at home and abroad.

Keith McEwan, CLA member, Bendigo

The Age 30 Jul 08

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