SIEV X temporary Memorial Opens Today

Kramer 2 September 2007 55

After much debate the temporary SIEV X memorial will open in Weston Park today. The memorial will stand in Weston Park for the next 3 weeks. Both the ABC and the Canberra Times are reporting that only 150 of the 353 who lost their lives are listed on the memorial as the AFP are still witholding the names.

Isn’t the value of such a memorial lessened if more than half the victims names are missing?

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55 Responses to SIEV X temporary Memorial Opens Today
cranky cranky 10:24 pm 03 Sep 07

Boy, am I glad that the only person who can secondguess me is ME!

jemmy jemmy 10:15 pm 03 Sep 07

I should have added about the possibility of disclosure that there is a difference in motivation: in 2 there would be universal dislike of the order and so a motivation to leak by at least someone; in 3 there would the acceptance, despite dislike of the result, by the analyst/strategist that their viewpoint did not prevail, which happens all the time in Defence, there are always multiple points of view and only one of them can get actioned.

jemmy jemmy 10:07 pm 03 Sep 07

I see the difference as subtle. One is a direct order by politicians not to intervene — an order some could argue is illegal (I agree it’s murky) and therefore could be disobeyed and whistleblowed. The other is a tactical decision made by the Navy itself on the basis of strategic advice, in which case those involved, even those not agreeing with the decision, would be subject to the restrictions of their security clearance.

cranky cranky 9:18 pm 03 Sep 07

What is the distinction between 2) – ‘we would have heard about it by now from retired personnel’ and 3)’are constrained by security from speaking out (and there are only a couple of them anyway) and we won’t know for 30 years.’

Your 3) is, to my mind, a convincing explanation of the events, given my previously expressed disposition to disregard anything said by the prime miniature.

I am no apologist for illegal immigration/boat people etc. I hope we will one day get to the bottom of this, because I believe (miserable) politics has overridden an humanitarian response.

Pandy Pandy 9:11 pm 03 Sep 07

Sounds like a man on the grassy knoll conspiracy theory. Or those fools poor deluded fools who insist that the WTC came down as a result of a controlled implosion set of by Jewish interests.

The torture that the couple of the Defence force in command at the time would have resulted in the leaking of the “order”. Lets not forget the shafting that the commander of the ship of the overboard incident. A lot of personnel in the defence forces lost faith in the Howard government. That it has not happened suggests that the Defence force were just monitoring the situation and they basically were ignorant of the true situation and could not have done anything in the minutes after the boat sank.

jemmy jemmy 8:53 pm 03 Sep 07

There are three possibilities, and we’ll go through them.

1) The Navy didn’t know they were there or were not in trouble. Everyone agrees this is incorrect.

2) The Navy knew they were there and were ordered/decided not to rescue them. I agree with VicePope we would have heard about it by now from retired personnel. At the enquiry, some commander whose name I forget sort of hinted that there would be an almost mutiny or disobeyal of orders if that happened, not least by the commander himself. (Don’t discount the importance of tradition in the Navy, esp the tradition of conduct at sea with rescues.) We can discount this one because we haven’t heard of it.

3) The Navy was ordered or convinced by someone that it didn’t need to intervene. This is the most plausible. Some people think the someone was Howard and the reason given was that the Indonesians would rescue them and the Navy was needed elsewhere, so don’t bother to go. The Navy accepted this (but some personnel certainly didn’t) and the rescue attempt never happened. I believe the people who didn’t accept it are constrained by security from speaking out (and there are only a couple of them anyway) and we won’t know for 30 years.

The conspiracy theorists are a bunch of loonies, but it *was* a first class f#ck up that resulted in the loss of 350 lives. I can guarantee you the Navy is not happy about it as their reputation was besmirched for what probably will turn out to be political reasons.

cranky cranky 8:26 pm 03 Sep 07

Ah Hingo,

You referring to me?

hingo hingo 8:25 pm 03 Sep 07

LOL Mrs Bucket – I’ll pay that hahaha

Ingeegoodbee Ingeegoodbee 8:23 pm 03 Sep 07

Note to self – don’t rant after half a bottle of wine.

Should read “As a devout”

Ingeegoodbee Ingeegoodbee 8:20 pm 03 Sep 07

sorry, above rant should read … – the scary sh!t…

Ingeegoodbee Ingeegoodbee 8:19 pm 03 Sep 07

Hingo, you’re obviously not a member of the Liberal party. If you were, you’d know that seepi’s was spot on the money. Lets not delude ourselves – there’s only one thing that matters to Howard and Mrs Bucket and that’s being Prime Minister – the cary sh!t will come when we see just what the little prick will do to keep the job. As devout Liberal all I can say is – if we lose this one, I hope the micro-managing little cu^nt dies quickly after being kicked out of Kirribilli.

hingo hingo 8:17 pm 03 Sep 07

…because the world was such a better place when Keating was in power wasn’t it?

Or maybe you were too young to remember the sorry state that Australia was in back then.

cranky cranky 7:50 pm 03 Sep 07

I have so little trust in Howard’s judgement, given his overarching quest for prime ministerial immortality, that all his comments/denials/explanations count for nothing.

I simply do not believe a word he says! Every utterance by this man causes me to cringe. Every comment, every advert, every photo has a well thought out, utterly political reason. He is so focussed on re-election that common decency, honesty and the old favourite, a fair go, are totally out the window.

May this man be exposed under a diferent government as the rotten little excretement he is.

hingo hingo 7:49 pm 03 Sep 07

“Some people believe that man would do anything to stay in power.” – Sepi

Yeah, the same misguided people that think Unions help employees.

VicePope VicePope 7:46 pm 03 Sep 07

I’d prefer not to believe that the Navy could have saved these people and did not. I just don’t want to think that we have people like that in the Defence Force. I’d like to think they’re all professionals.

If the Navy had deliberately ignored the sinking, I’m sure that by now some tortured soul would have come forward and said so. I can’t imagine an entire crew, plus the support and communication people they would have been in touch with, all keeping quiet for years about this. Someone would have wanted to end the nightmare by telling the truth.

On the other hand, the Certain Maritime Incident inquiry evidence suggests there was a process of “disruption” going on. The object was to reduce boat arrivals and to make boat departures less attractive to potential passengers. Sabotage is a known form of disruption and it is entirely plausible that it happened here. Such a process would have required relatively few people to know what was happening and they would have been people used to keeping quiet. It would probably not have been an Australian, but it may have been a local engaged for the purpose who did the deed. (I keep getting a picture of underlings overdoing what they were supposed to do). Perhaps the idea was to sink the boat at the dock, or even before anyone boarded it, so that there would be few casualties. There was evidence of people being forced onto the boat when their better judgment had them want to stay on land – which seems a little odd, if the fares had already been paid. Perhaps the old boat held up a bit better than expected.

We will never know. The timing was highly suitable politically, but that could have been down to no more than the good luck our PM has usually had when he needed it. For mine, it smells of something, and there is not enough information to know or intuit what that may be.

I now await the cacophony of abuse from a few of you. Remember though, that when you abuse me for having doubts or questions, you are asserting that in your mind there is no room for any such doubt or question. Do you really feel as confident as that?

At some point, someone will correct some of the assertions about the orderly queue of asylum seekers that these people were seeking to jump. We know, for example, that some were Afghans and some were Iraqis – and that both Iraq and Afghanistan had governments perceived to be so bad that they needed to be invaded. They, or some or many of them, were running because they were oppressed by what we now know to have been terrible governments. Indeed, until someone mentioned oil, wasn’t “regime change” the reason for invading Iraq?

pierce pierce 7:45 pm 03 Sep 07

If the order was given, I don’t believe sailors would have been happy about it at all.

Given Howard’s lust for power, I can’t exclude the possibility it happened.

Unfortunately, this is one of those issues that we’ll probably only get to the bottom of in 30 years or so.

By the way, the argument that someone in a sinking ship shouldn’t be rescued because it was committing an illegal act is like saying that someone shouldn’t be pulled out of a car wreck because they were driving a getaway car. It’s irrelevant.

Nemo Nemo 6:59 pm 03 Sep 07

Howard didn’t put them in the boat, their parent’s did.

The boat originated in Indonesia, probably before that the passengers passed through several other countries including Iran and Bangkok….these passengers could have gone into an embassy and sought refugee status, but they chose not to.

Instead they chose to break Australian law and risk their lives to enter Australia illegally.

I’m not sure throwing your children overboard is any different to putting them on the boat in the first place.

Australia has an established humanitarian programme – we resettle people from all over the world. They didn’t need to put themselves in that situation.

sepi sepi 6:20 pm 03 Sep 07

Some people believed Howard when he talked about the Kids Overboard – ooops – that wasn’t real either.

Some people believe that man would do anything to stay in power.

Nemo Nemo 6:10 pm 03 Sep 07

“Some people believe Howard ordered…”

Some people believe in the tooth fairy, doesn’t mean it’s real.

jemmy jemmy 5:56 pm 03 Sep 07

“The issue is whether the Oz navy were aware of a sinking vessel and ignored it for political purposes.”

So pierce, you believe that Howard ordered the Navy NOT to go and save them?

Thumper, that’s exactly what some people believe and is the whole point of the argument. Some people believe Howard ordered the Navy not to sail some 400km to attempt to rescue them on the basis it was Indonesia’s responsibility. Indonesia did nothing, and neither did we. Fault, schmault, it was an appalling abbrogation of responsibility by everyone concerned and, some would argue, against the time-honoured code of the sea.

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