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Snooker lessons

From the ABC 7:30 report

Cole inquiry lacks powers: Opposition

Reporter: Michael Brissenden

KERRY O'BRIEN: The Opposition today played what it believes is its trump card in the ongoing AWB oil-for-food scandal. Having claimed for months now that the terms of reference given to the Cole inquiry were totally adequate to get to the truth of the matter, the Government has now been presented with a legal opinion provided to the Opposition, which argues the opposite. The opinion comes from a Sydney Senior Counsel, Bret Walker, who himself has conducted three commissions of inquiry, and in response, Commissioner Cole has released a letter today in which he says it would be inappropriate to seek major changes to his terms of reference to allow him to determine whether Australia had breached its international obligations over AWB or whether a minister has breached obligations himself imposed on him by regulation. Mr Cole says only the Government should decide such a change to the terms of reference.

The Prime Minister has consistently said he would widen the scope of the inquiry if he was asked to do so by Mr Cole, but after learning that Mr Cole believes he can't ask for a significant widening of his scope, Mr Howard said he won't be changing Mr Cole's brief. I'll be speaking with the PM shortly, but first this report from political editor Michael Brissenden.

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Howard's "Fifth Amendment"?

So many times have we been treated to the American criminals protecting themselves with their Constitution's Fifth Amendment viz:

Amendment V - Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings. Ratified 12/15/1791.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment of indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger: nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law: nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

US Senators snicker at this defense and refer to it as shield for cowards. What would they think of the defense used by Howard and his two other incompetent prevaricators?

"How does Howard get away with it?"

I watched and respected both Kerry O'Brien's 7:30 report and the Channel 2 construction of the Cole Inquiry and came to the following conclusion. Apologies for repetition but NE OUBLIE.

The Howard/journalists are doing their best to distance Howard and his incompetent, dishonest Ministers from the current expose' on UN sanctions. The "committed" commentators like Laurie Oaks, mildly mention that the international disgrace of the alleged AWB rorting of the Oil-for-food program, "will not cost Howard any votes"! An opinion or a predicated fact? He ignores the fact that in March 2003, before the illegal invasion of Iraq, Howard declared that "We should NEVER FORGET that [Saddam] ... cruelly and cynically manipulated the United Nations "Oil-for-food" programme, he has rorted it to buy weapons to support his designs at the expense of the wellbeing of his people"! Since Howard boasted that his SAS troops had "killed Iraqis" prior to the invasion in that same month - was that at the expense of the Iraqi people? And since it is "London to a brick on" that he knew about the AWB rorting (or at least the warnings) he recently boasted - while his Speaker in the House silenced the outrage of the Labor led Opposition - that "The Australian Government has done more than any government in the world to establish a free-standing, independent inquiry of integrity to get to the bottom of this matter Mr. Speaker".

Without respect Mr. Howard - you "championed" the extremely narrow terms of reference to this inquiry;  you forbade any Public Servant from giving evidence;  your instructions to the Commissioner was not to allow the legal representatives of the AWB the basic right to cross-examine your "witnesses", thereby precluding the justice of scrutiny;  you have denied the Inquiry the power to condemn or to recommend any action against your Government no matter what the Commissioner may in truth discover.

Without respect Mr. Howard - that is NOT a "free-standing" nor an "independent inquiry" - nor one of "integrity" which could possibly get to the "bottom of this matter".

Under those standards set and with Howard and his sycophants chanting the same tune of "wait till the Cole Commission makes its decisions" - I have a distinct feeling of deja vu.

"How does Howard get away with it?"  Well might he say 'NE OUBLIE'?

A cue for who?

Hey Gus, another good one as usual. Keep up the great work.

I have to ask though who he is handing the cue to? It's starting to look like Downer and Vaille are playing against JWH and they are about to get the short end of the cue...

Has anyone else noticed the number of news items in papers and on the net start with the headline:

"Howard denies ...".

Thank goodness we are all luxuriating in the unprecedented wealth that JWH has conjured up for ALL Australians.

Run Dolly Run

Looking at that weapon and thinking of Indonesian cartoons I think Dolly should start running.


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