Sunday, July 29, 2007

Last word on Haneef?

Md. Haneef has now left Australia. He has been cleared of the charges levelled against him. This does not mean that the charges against him and his possible terrorist links should not have been investigated. On the basis of information available at the time (and in the absence of the ex post wisdom so beloved of the dishonest, ratbag left) he needed to be investigated.

As The Australian remarked yesterday:

‘There is absolutely no doubt that Dr Haneef's connections with alleged terror suspects in Britain had to be investigated. The scale of the task the AFP faced was daunting, sifting through the equivalent of more than 30,000 pages contained in Dr Haneef's laptop, most of it not in English. There is also no doubt that the AFP required the time made available to it under terror legislation to investigate Dr Haneef before laying charges. The AFP also has an important task to fulfill in continuing to investigate Dr Haneef's connections with alleged terrorists in Britain and other people of interest in Australia.’
That Dr Haneef was arrested at Brisbane Airport trying to board a flight on a one-way-ticket to India was also suspicious given its proximity to the attempted bomb attacks. The reports from an Indian newspaper that Haneef was associated with a terrorist training cell also needed study.

Given the evidence available at the time a plausible counterfactual - had he not been arrested - could have been that a suspect, who was suspected of being involved in terrorism, was allowed to flee Australia because suspicions, not backed up by very definite evidence, were not investigated. This would have been unacceptible.

As it turned out two pieces of information given to the AFP and Minister Andrews were false – that the SIM card Haneef had given one of the British terrorists was not in the Scottish bomb attack vehicle and Haneef had not recently lived with the terrorists. An investigation should occur to determine how these errors of information occurred – the source of one error seems to be that the AFP gave the DPP the wrong address for Haneef in Britain. The claim that AFP officers wrote addresses in Haneef’s diary are now revealed to be a lie. Even people who should know better are getting caught up in the frenzy of criticism.

Now charges against Haneef have been dropped although he is still being investigated. The whole process from his arrest to the charges being dropped took only a few weeks and he has even been offered his former job back. He was not been tortured, sent to a Gulag or jailed indefinitely. As Peter Beattie said yesterday - the system works. Haneef himself left Australia with a smile on his face and the stated intention of seeking a new visa and returning to work here. A bitter man whose life has been destroyed as the gutter press claims?

The hysterical response of the left and sections of the Australian media – not the regrettable initial mistakes themselves - damage Australia’s security and its ability to investigate and prosecute terrorism. The main complaint seems to be that:
(i) the charges have now been dropped and
(ii) that an innocent person could have faced charges in a court.

These are toally ridiculous claims since these events are part of the normal processes of law.
The Age’s headline this morning ‘Farewell from the’ land of the fair go’’ hits a new low for what is rapidly becoming the most dishonest and biased newspaper in this country. The accompanying page 2 article by Jason Koutsoukis is just propagandist, anti-Howard politics. It is as disreputable as anything I have seen in this rag. Moreover, it is written up as a straight news story - not described as commentary:


‘THE disgraceful treatment of Mohamed Haneef has all the hallmarks of a typical Howard Government political play'. ('typical'?)

Nasty, divisive, cynical and, of course, no involvement of the Prime Minister himself'. (Good to see a journo who can leave aside his personal moral judgements to give us the facts!)

'Remember children overboard? The whole Commonwealth bureaucracy knew this was nonsense, yet somehow Howard's office did not get the message that no children were ever thrown overboard'. (Judge Jason made this judgement?)

'The $300 million in bribes paid by AWB to Saddam Hussein? Everyone in Canberra seemed to know AWB was up to no good — except Howard'. (Judge Jason again - not the Inquiry which exonerated the Government).

'That his workplace relations laws would make some people worse off? The newly published biography of Howard reveals that this was actually explained to Howard in cabinet — but the Prime Minister cannot remember that'. (He was told something therefore Howard should believe that? Note the sneaky use of the word 'some' - there is 4.5% unemployment and growing real wages.)

'Then there was the terrible mess Howard got himself into in May by trying to deny the existence of a planned climate-change advertising campaign, on the grounds that the ads did not exist until they had got the ministerial tick'. (Judge Jason again)

'With Mohamed Haneef now out of Australia, guilty of nothing more than having a relative who is a suspect in a terrorist case in another country, we have the Prime Minister again saying he knows nothing'. (Judge Jason ignores all early claims believed to be true and acts on the basis of his ex post wisdom).

'When will Howard take responsibility? This time the fall guy is Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews.

The very idea that Andrews would cancel Haneef's visa without deep and protracted consultations with the Prime Minister's office is preposterous. Yet, according to Howard, none of the key decisions were made by him'. (A series of conjectures - no evidence. Not preposterous to me. Andrews is the Minister.)

'Mohamed Haneef's character has been trashed by a Government prepared to do anything to cling onto power'. (Not trashed by the Government but the press did its bit. The press also trashed Australia's reputation and damaged Australia's ability to fight terrorism).

'Yet despite the collapse of the case, no one in the Government has the decency to apologise or even admit that Haneef has been treated unfairly'. (He has not been treated unfairly. Actions were taken given information available. Not the apology nonsense again!)

The Howard Government is beginning to take on all the characteristics of a Government that has lost control. (No Jason you have lost control on this occasion - whatever happened to responsible journalism?)

If John Howard is going to pull off another federal election victory, he must find the discipline that has been the hallmark of his political successes.’ (I think Judge Jason should find a new discipline! Writing fiction or being a left-wing shock jock!).

This is an unsubstantiated stream of allegations that pursues The Age’s ongoing campaign to attack John Howard. It is all about Howard. Almost worse still, Seamus Bradley, in another piece titled ‘Deemed an issue of race and politics’ provides evidence citing exactly the opposite to his title. None of the Indian media make the claims Jason alledges. Never let the facts get in the way of a good headline!

The alternative claim by others on the left that Minister Andrews acted incorrectly under the Migration Act in withdrawing Haneef’s visa is false. He acted without the benefit of ex post wisdom and made a call on the basis of the information available to him. With new information and the decision of the DPP to drop charges against Haneef he may change his view. I don’t know all the facts and neither to the nitwits heaping abuse on Andrews.

The hysterical overreaction to the events surrounding Haneef are being promoted by linking Haneef’s fate with that of the terrorist David Hicks. I hope Haneef sues them – there is no evidence at all that Haneef trained with Al Qaeda anywhere but there is evidence Hicks did. There is no comparability between the cases. The claim of moral equivalency is a disgusting slur on Haneef but it shows where the sympathies of these critics do lie.

Hicks’ father has fostered these distortions:

‘In the wake of Haneef’s release, the father of convicted terrorism supporter David Hicks on Saturday told an anti-war forum in Brisbane that the Indian doctor's case was similar to that of his son's in some ways.’
Innocent people are found innocent and charges are dropped because evidence is found to be flawed. This is a part of the criminal justice system we have. Haneef at this stage looks like he is innocent. The significant damage is not that he was investigated held for a short-period and then released. The problem is the hysterical overreaction to these events. We are becoming a nation of instant know-it-alls, ex post wisdom experts and hysterics.

Our hypersensitivity on these issues is fostered by the idiot left and the sensation-seeking press and promotes anti-western biases. The deeper malaise is that while we react to the slightest infringement on liberties in Australian we are blind to the atrocious treatment of those prosected for crimes in other countries.

In India itself it may have taken months or years for the Haneef case to be resolved. In Iran and Syria there would be no question that a person in Haneef’s position would be tortured and convicted. This is not to say the Australian system is perfect. Wrong information was acted on. But an apparently innocent man was quickly released once imperfections in information were known.

21 comments:

Appu said...

Harry, you said some weeks ago, "It’s the mad left and some (who should know better) on the right who seem to underestimate the scale of the horror associated with terrorism and who, without a scrap of evidence, are labelling the move by Andrews as political, while frothing at the mouth in anticipation of yet another conspiracy-theory-driven scandal."

So you agree now that the minister has "secret information" that justifies the cancellation of the visa and of Haneef as late as today being labelled someone of bad character?
No trial, No day in court no review?

The sham of asking the Solicitor-General's opinion on the decision that seems to have been swallowed up holus-bolus needs no detailed explanation. The Solicitor-General has confirmed what we all know, the minister for immigration in this government has the right to unilaterally decide who comes (and stays) here and under what circumstances - subject to no review, no appeal to anybody.

There need be no public airing of the reason at all - ever.

Haneef may well be guilty of all sorts of stuff we don't know about, and rightly don't need to know about. If these are serious matters
he should have been charged in a closed proceeding, his name and identity withheld and awaited his day in court. Kevin Andrews actions lays the government open to the accusation that it had decided to play judge, jury and in this case propagandist all in one.

So we then get back to this quaint notion of yours that Dr Haneef should be grateful this isn't that great ally of the Australia he is dealing with - Pakistan or some such like. Harry, the whole point of this being Australia is that it isn't Egypt!
Amazing I know , diificult as a concept I understand but rule of law is not the strong forte of most of this planet. So little brown people should be grateful for incarceration and release in 25 days because in their own countries it would be much worse?

And the cherry on the icing on the cake is your let's get on with real stuff attitude in saying
"Wrong information was acted on. But an apparently innocent man was quickly released once imperfections in information were known."
Haneef is probably in hock up to his eyeballs for debts taken to see him through his physicians training. He has to support an extended family and will need to get a visa out of India in order to work overseas and earn the multiples he needs. With the cancellation of his Australian visa he is no longer going to be able to get a visa from any english speaking developed country as he will be immediately stamped an undesirable. This is the ultimate outcome of Andrew's call.

Anonymous said...

FuzzFlash sez...

"Last word on Haneef?"

'Fraid not, Harry.

There's a bunch o' them Leftist Habeas Corpus-Lovers linin' up, and they're all lookin' at you.

I'm both flummexed and fascinated at your hero worship of Howard. I can't fathom how truth and accountability could mean so little to you while Dr. Haneef was held a political prisoner, and his character and reputation trashed.

And for what? How do sell yourself so short, Harry, defending a desperate PM in search of a wedge?

hc said...

appu,

There are costs to anyone found innocent in an investigation. The alternatives which avoid this are never to charge anyone or to convict anyone who is charged.

I am interested in constructive alternatives that improve on the current way of doing things.

Under the Migration Act the Minister does have the right he exercised.

I think there should be an investigation into the origin of the misinformation and the outcome of that should be public.

Appu, Again I strongly object to you referring to 'little brown people' and inferring that I am a racist. You don't know me or my background and you have no reasons to make this insinuation. It is completely inaccurate.

Appu said...

Harry

I am certainly not saying you or any one else involved in this is racist. What I want people to look at (in addition to all the rest of the you beut stuff) is the impact on people. Yes he is lucky to have been held in the Australia of 2007 as opposed to say the Australia of 1907 or heavens forefend 1807 - but so what. As an Australian I would expect this to be due to any fellow human.

Would you make the same argument for a fellow citizen caught up in Iran and say he/she should be happy it could be worse they could have been in Zimbabwe? The argument that things are worse somewhere doesn't really mean much.

Why has his visa been cancelled? The cancellation of his visa on charachter grounds now makes it impossible (unless there are more twists in the story) for him to go about his plan of earning money by working in a rich economy. If he is guilty of a crime - charge him; if he is not what is the argunet?
This can't be lightly dismissed.

Sean Bedlam seanbrk@yahoo.com.au said...

How unsurprising! The Right is keen on developing amnesia about Haneef.
Because you know it's wrong. Gutless.

Bring Back CL's blog said...

Andrews cannot release the informationj afterall it wouldn't be a secret then!!

Who is giving this secret information. The same people who got the previous information so badly wrong!!!

lesleym said...

I've just heard some government mouthpiece (whose name I missed) saying that it was suspicious that Dr. Haneef left the country so soon after he was released from custody. My godfather, this government is insufferable! The man has his first child whom he has not even seen yet, and who is not completely through the perinatal period safely, a wife who has also undergone an unexpected operation, both in another country, and this apology of a human being wonders why the father is so anxious to get to them.
Harry, you and I both are represented bv this government. My skin crawls. Why doesn't yours?

Sir Henry said...

Ten reasons why Harry Clarke should apologise to leftist blogs:

1. “Md. Haneef has now left Australia. He has been cleared of the charges levelled against him. This does not mean that the charges against him and his possible terrorist links should not have been investigated. On the basis of information available at the time (and in the absence of the ex post wisdom so beloved of the dishonest, ratbag left) he needed to be investigated.”

True. He should have been investigated. But then you blunder into amateurish fallacy of the excluded middle followed by the straw man. There exist a number of options that flow from an agreement with the general premise that Haneef should have been investigated. But not treated with all the fanfare of a pending show trial such as being driven to pokey in a security motorcade dressed in an orange jumpsuit and barefoot. This is argument by gibberish Harry.

2. “ The scale of the task the AFP faced was daunting, sifting through the equivalent of more than 30,000 pages contained in Dr Haneef's laptop, most of it not in English.”

Well, they sure had enough coppers on the job, including 200 state ones. The absurdity implicit in your dishonest attempt to obfuscate and complicate the issue here is that these were not paper pages but files on a computer and these can be read with search software. A corollary is that you search through millions of pages in minutes whenever you do a Google search on the www. For example, I just put in “harry” into the search engine and it took less than a second for my PC to tell me: “Results 1 - 10 of about 260,000,000 for harry”. Did I just search through 260 million pages in less than a second? What rubbish!

I actually read the transcript of the record of an interview conducted by two Fed Mr Plods with Haneef. And the answers to questions #1091 to #1122 form the basis of the charges against Haneef. It took me about 45 minutes. It is clear there in the transcript that Haneef had no case to answer. I made my views known to you on July 16 on your blog. I am neither a trained investigator nor a legal eagle yet my view has been proven right. The coppers constructed a case entirely from Haneef’s admission about a SIM card, the last pathetic gambit by desperate feds trying to pin something, anything on the hapless medico. The funding of terrorism was pursued with vigour but foundered on the fact that Haneef was simply paying back a loan.

3. “There is also no doubt that the AFP required the time made available to it under terror legislation to investigate Dr Haneef before laying charges.” This is another howler. It begs the question that they had to lay charges, unless there was a political imperative. This means that it is an argument by half-truth: we do not know but it is reasonable to suspect that the AFP were under some sort of imperative to come up with the charges to validate the terror laws and give the government a leg up in the coming election. By not canvassing this issue you suppress evidence central to this argument.

4. “The AFP also has an important task to fulfil in continuing to investigate Dr Haneef's connections with alleged terrorists in Britain and other people of interest in Australia.” Non sequitur, argument to authority and special pleading, Harry.

5. “An investigation should occur to determine how these errors of information occurred – the source of one error seems to be that the AFP gave the DPP the wrong address for Haneef in Britain.”

Wrong. Read the transcript Harry. This is not the source of the error. The source of the error is that the AFP jumped to the conclusion that the SIM card which Haneef left with his cousin in Liverpool was found in the burining jeep in Glasgow. We already knew it was a mistake when I aired this on your blog here on July 16.

6. “The claim that AFP officers wrote addresses in Haneef’s diary are now revealed to be a lie. Even people who should know better are getting caught up in the frenzy of criticism.”

Well Harry, it is confusing even to the police themselves who interviewed Haneef about a photocopy of an alleged entry in Haneef’s diary diary. it was the coppers who made the allegation, repeatedly. Here is the interviewing policeman, at question #1400 :
“...the person the police officer who has given me this (copy of the diary) incorrectly told me that this was a copy of the diary. In fact it’s not. This is what has been written by the police. So it’s not your handwriting at all.”

But earlier, the same investigator tried to browbeat Haneef into admitting that it was his (Haneef's) handwriting and in his diary:
Beginning at Q.1375: “Police: In your diary you had handwritten notes. Is this your writing? A: This is not my writing.
Police: It’s not your writing? A: No, it’s not my writing”.
Police: Well whose writing is it? A: I don’t know. This is not my writing. Definitely not.”
And later at Q 1397: “The only issue is that it is in your diary. Can you give me a reasonable explanation as to why (this writing is in his diary).”

So what you claim to be a “lie” Harry is the police confusing themselves and Haneef by asking him to explain notes made by police and then misrepresented them as having come from Haneef’s diary and then demanding an explanation from Haneef how they got there! The best we could say is that it was abject stupidity and inept, unprofessional police work, rather than a crude attempt to fabricate evidence by them. Where is the lie? Who lied?

7. “Now charges against Haneef have been dropped although he is still being investigated. The whole process from his arrest to the charges being dropped took only a few weeks and he has even been offered his former job back.”

Yes, they have been dropped mainly because the widely published transcript of the interview flushed out the bullshit of the charge. And guess what, Harry, none of that secret stuff ever surfaced and now seems to have been forgotten. It was never used. It was so secret and sensitive, no doubt Harry, that they had to let Haneef go to protect it, right? And no, he can’t have his job back. And his visa has been cancelled.

8. “He was not been tortured, sent to a Gulag or jailed indefinitely.” This is argument of hypothesis contrary to fact. You are arguing from something that did not and could not have happened. Therefore it is irrelevant. Indeed, it is a red herring. “Haneef himself left Australia with a smile on his face and the stated intention of seeking a new visa and returning to work here.”

His motives to do so may not be to support what happened to him but to (a) clear his name (b) keep faith with all the people who supported him; which includes the blogs you are fulminating against. You are badly confusing correlation and causation. And you are introducing three arguments of the excluded middle (i.e. a series of faulty dilemmas).

9. “The hysterical response of the left and sections of the Australian media – not the regrettable initial mistakes themselves - damage Australia’s security and its ability to investigate and prosecute terrorism.”

This is pathetic, Harry - argument from adverse consequences (appeal to fear), straw man argument, collective ad hominem, the slippery slope fallacy, appeal to anonymous authority, causal reductionism, the fallacy of tying two complex issues in one argument (there are two separate issues here and you have to make a case for each separately), argument by half truth, argument by generalisation, nonsequitur, false assertion.

I am afraid that this is just disgraceful sideshow barking Harry, not a sensible argument.

10. “Claim by others on the left that Minister Andrews acted incorrectly under the Migration Act in withdrawing Haneef’s visa is false. He acted without the benefit of ex post wisdom and made a call on the basis of the information available to him. With new information and the decision of the DPP to drop charges against Haneef he may change his view.”

We know now Kevin Andrews has not changed his view even though the facts are known and the falsehoods on which he based his character” decision identified.

If I didn’t know better, I could be excused for assuming that you get these topic lines from some third-rate PR company acting for the Liberal Party. Even Hendo gets his facts straight, at least.

rabee said...

The Haneef case shows the lack of trust Australians have in Howard's government. In particular, Australians don't trust the department of immigration under Howard.

In fact, I don't think that we would have had the same universal disgust and outrage had we experienced the same sequence of events under a different prime minister.

Shlomo said...

Harry, the reason your face should be a dark shade of crimson is your naive trust of Anderson et al. I aways find it surprising that right-wingers are so trusting of Government in these issues. This was about as close as you could get to a repeat of the children overboard incident. I'm surprised Howard didn't order that evidence get planted on Haneef.

Matt Canavan said...

Harry, you are engaging in the worst moral relativism. He wasn't put in a Gulag! So what! I think we should hold our officials to higher standards.

This was a complete stuff up from the executive to the cops. The Government should rightly cop a beating over it.

Slim said...

"Under the Migration Act the Minister does have the right he exercised."

On the 7.30 Report after cancelling Haneef's visa, Andrews was asked in about four different ways whether his action was reasonable or just, and perhaps vindictive political interference. The short version of Andrew's answers were all the same: "It's legal."

The book of quotations I'm reading at the moment informed me yesterday that everything Hitler did in Germany was also legal.

Harry, you can do better than this.

hc said...

Pity, Not a dialogue but a series of claims being directed past me and my arguments likewise not touching base. The emotion generally in inverse proportion to the sense.

Homer, Maybe - an investigation would reveal who supplied the wrong info.

Sir Henry, Lots of points you make - none very consequential.

I think the files were not in English.

I disagree with the claim that the hysterical reaction to what is a minor issue - checking out the story of a guy who could been a terrorist - has not damaged our ability to conduct such inquiries. I think the hysteria has reduced our ability to check.

Rabee, There was not universal disgust. The heads of both parties and their shadow ministers cagreed with the procedures.

The 'disgust' came from those constitutionally incapable of thinking logically and the gutter press with its attempts to creater sensation.

Slim, This is a silly comparison and you know it.

I noticed during the 60 Minutes interview that Haneef gave last night that he understood the reasons for his arrests - his relatives.

He was also totally unable to fathom why his relatives would have been involved in these acts. The same logic applies to Haneef - despite appearances he needed to be investigated.

rabee said...

Harry,

Get with the program. There is universal disgust in the mainstream Australian press. There was also universal disgust among ordinary Australians. Anyone who thinks otherwise is seriously out of touch with Australian thinking on this issue: living in Australia of the 1950's, as it were.

Kalimna is rapidly becoming singularly important for the government, now that Murdoch's mob has abandoned john W howard. Keep up the good work and remember "Napoleon is always right" and "I must work harder"

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Spiros said...

Harry, you should learn to quit when you are behind. Even The Australian is editorialising against Andrews. Even such a figure as conservative as Peter Faris reckons that Haneef was the victim of an injustice is legally entitled to compensation. As the former head of the National Crime Authority, Faris should know, more so than a professor of economics, I would suggest, with the greatest of respect.

While it may be difficult for you admit that you were so utterly, utterly wrong on this one, for the sake of your own credibility, you should give it a try. And let me give you the tip: your petulant rants about the Left are not a good look.

hc said...

Spiros,

Your argument is that I should change my view because others hold a different view. Sorry my son but there are many ways my views will change but that is not one.

I disagree too with your claim that I have been petulant about the left. But I can give as well as take.

Its not painful for me to admit I am wrong at all. I do it regularly but, on this one, no.

whyisitso said...

Harry,

I'm in total agreement with you on this one but we shouldn't be surprised that the hysteria of the media in this case has overflown onto your comments page. But I find it amazing that none of your commenters have mentioned the link to the Times of India in which Haneef himself exposed the invented lies of the media about the notes in his diary. The media and the left have consistently invented stories about this case and not retracted anything that subsequently proved to be unfounded.

The AFP does a wonderful job and we are very fortunate that terrorist acts against Australians have so far been perpetrated offshore, unlike those against citizens of UK, USA, Spain, Indonesia and a number of others. I just can't believe how many Australians take pleasure in spitting in the eye of one of the main bulwarks protecting them in their right to go about their daily business without being blown up.

Spiros said...

Well Harry, despite Howard and Andrews, it's still a free country, and it doesn't worry me one way or the other what you think about this debacle. You're just another bloke with a blog, after all. In days gone by, you would have been a bloke in the pub or in a barber's chair holding forth on this and that. All that's changed is the technology.

I do think it's a pity that your credibility has taken such a massive hit, because on subjects where you have professional expertise, you have interesting things to say. Inevitably, your performance across the blogosphere on Haneef will come back to haunt you.

But it's your call.

hc said...

Spiros

Again you are not addressing the issues but arguing that my views should be tailored to what you think a consensus position should be.

That is not a sensible suggestion.

Slim said...

Harry - I don't think anyone is suggesting that Dr Haneef should not have been detained and investigated, given the AFP had reasonable grounds for concern.

At least the case has illustrated the slipshod nature of the legislation. There are clearly many aspects that are ambiguous, vague, and subject to individual interpretation. These are issues of good governance. But that's what happens when policy is generated on the run, with political motives and not allowed the full gamut of parliamentary scrutiny.

Given the times of fear and a never-ending war on terror, people may accept these shortcomings in governance. Presumably, legislative defects will be rectified. (However , legislating away the granting of bail is a bit worrying given the schemozzle the Haneef case has caused.)

What people are appalled by is the brazen manner in which Howard, Ruddock and Andrews have exploited the situation for political gain, for a wedge issue, aided and abetted by MSM op-ed hacks. To suggest that they haven't been fast and loose with pejorative running commentary is delusional partisan nonsense. It effectively raised the stakes and increased pressure on the AFP and DPP to deliver the goods HowardCo were clearly angling for. Consequently Haneef's detention was dragged out while the fishing expedition became more desparate. It was obvious to many of us by the second wave news cycle that this would end badly for the government. The final charge was laughable.

Only when it was clear to blind Freddie that the case wasn't going to fly did Howard and Ruddock start preaching the importance of due process and separation of powers.

Andrew's grounds for cancelling Haneef's visa were even more flimsy and smack of vindictiveness and a cynical desire to remove him from the media spotlight. And to suggest that leaving quickly (to see your wife and unseen newborn child) and in the middle of the night are more grounds for suspicion border on slander. Ever tried to get a flight with a connection to India that doesn't leave Australia in the middle of the night?

So yes Harry, I accept your point that the AFP was right to investigate Haneef.

But no, HowardCo have acted in an appallingly cynical manner in this instance, and it does you no good to defend the indefensible.