Home » Posts tagged 'Piers Akerman'
Tag Archives: Piers Akerman
The opinion piece by Gerard Henderson in to day’s SMH reminded me of the brief piece that I had previously seen about how Habib faced a huge legal bill after loosing his case for defamation against Piers Ackerman and his paper. The figure of one million dollars has been mentioned. This story promptly sank from view and none of the usual suspects have even given it the most cursory mention. Seems like a good example of journalists and bloggers self censorship to me. Anyway Over to Gerard for a quote
Early in his judgment, the judge said he had “formed an adverse view of Mr Habib’s credit and veracity of many answers he has given …”. He found inconsistencies in statements Habib made to the court, to interviewers in Islamabad and Guantanamo Bay and to Katie Wood (Amnesty International), Bronwyn Adcock (SBS Dateline) and Tara Brown (Channel 9 60 Minutes).The only way to ascertain the extent of McClellan’s decision is to read his judgment in full. At times, he expressed sympathy for Habib’s predicament. Nevertheless, the finding was devastating. The judge said that he could not “accept the allegations of mistreatment in the detail which he gave evidence in this court” and concluded that “the plaintiff has knowingly made false claims”. In the end, he found that The Daily Telegraph’s imputation that Habib had made false claims about his treatment by authorities in Pakistan and Guantanamo Bay was “substantially true”.
There was another significant finding in Habib’s case. Significant, that is, in that recently the testimony of Australian police and intelligence personnel has been questioned in some hearings. McClellan accepted the evidence given by one AFP operative, three ASIO officers and a member of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – in the face of Habib’s claims.
The court’s decision was disastrous for Habib. Especially since he has become something of a media celebrity. He has been seen at demonstrations against Australian foreign policy and is something of a hero to the Green Left Weekly set. He has also had sympathetic media coverage: Tara Brown’s soft 60 Minutes interview on February 13, 2005, is a case in point. And his allegations have been given plausibility at an international level – including by Raymond Bonner in The New York Times. Put simply, many journalists wanted to hear that Habib was mistreated, even tortured, when held in captivity in Pakistan and/or the US.
So many of those who raise objections to our actually standing up to the threat of Islamic inspired acts of terror do so with an intellectual foundation based on the teachings of Marx Lenin and Trotsky. They find sympathy with the Islamaists because they share the desire to see our society torn down and remade in an ideologically pure form. They are I suspect more in love with the romantic vision of the heroic revolutionary manning the barricades than they are with any real idea of how to make a society function better. But perhaps their biggest tragedy is that the individuals that they end up championing are so very often rogues and men of no veracity like Habib or Hicks.
By way of a conclusion I just love Gerard Henderson’s suggestion that various members of the civil liberties lobby should stump up for Habib’s legal costs .
It has been reported that he now faces a legal bill of $1 million. The best way to prevent Habib from feeling increasingly victimised would be for 100 or so well-heeled members of the civil liberties lobby to kick in $10,000 each to cover his considerable legal expenses. Don’t hold your breath.