2 September 2007

SIEV X temporary Memorial Opens Today

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Ah Hingo,

You referring to me?

LOL Mrs Bucket – I’ll pay that hahaha

Ingeegoodbee8:23 pm 03 Sep 07

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

Should read “As a devout”

Ingeegoodbee8:20 pm 03 Sep 07

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

Ingeegoodbee8:19 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.

…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.

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.

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

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

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?

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.

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.

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.

“Some people believe Howard ordered…”

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

“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.

The boat sank “inside the Australian border protection surveillance zone”

Yet Australia did not lift a finger to save anyone.
That is a very very sad thing.
It isn’t the individual navy sailors that people are upset with, but rather those in charge.

We spend millions sending our navy out ‘saving’ people like Toni Bullimore and that French sailor woman who choose to sail solo for fun.

Something seems not quite right to me about this situation. And I find it very sad that people can be so callous about it.

Well said Thumper

Maelinar: What does this have to do with either Jon Stanhope or statues?

The issue is whether the Oz navy were aware of a sinking vessel and ignored it for political purposes. If you are at sea and aware of a sinking vessel, you save the passengers – it’s an international obligation that makes sense.

No one is suggesting that the SAS or whoever sank it themselves. (Children overboard was the SIEV 4, by the way)

But then, I guess name-calling (“bleeding hearts”) is a lot easier than looking at the issues.

A more cost effective tribute would of been to paint 353 posts white that run along the road into Weston Park. They are already there and people entering Weston Park wouldn’t miss them.

Or alternatively, just don’t do anything at all.

Is this a joke, because I’m laughing my ass off here. I could have thought up countless ideas for memorials that would be more meaningful to Australians. If I’m supposed to feel guilty, its not working. If I was paddling a tinny to Indonesia and died, I wouldn’t expect a memorial in my honour, I’d expect someone to point and laugh at my bloated corpse.

Yes, I nearly spilt my hot cocoa on my cardigan when I heard it!

I couldn’t help but laugh when the ABC News said that it “was Australia’s worst maritime disaster”!

By applying ABC’s logic, I’d guess the Titanic be Australia’s worst maritime disater!

What is happening to our country? – a tricky one to answer ant. Restricted to the context of the subject, lets look at some data;

People smugglers obtained sufficient load to attempt a trip to Australia (For the moment I’m going to disregard their capacity to get off in Indonesia, we’ll call them bogan refugees because they were shopping for the country to be a refugee in)

Boat left shores of Indonesia – a highly public event that it would appear everybody but John Howard was briefed about, hence all the visual footage of the boat shot by helicopter, some of it taped by media representatives (aka it wasn’t just navy choppers in the sky).

Boat sinks, Howard cries foul ref – they’re throwing their kids in !

Everybody with a sane mind in Australia sees right through the caper, yet Howard wins another election. At least 51% of the population in Australia is therefore not with all their marbles.

Uncle Angus continues to inform the media via parliament, actually you shouldn’t have trusted the video referee John, and you should have listened to us, you know, those professionals you have on the water that are entrusted with all kinds of secret clearances and reliability credentials.

John goes anybodys mistake, thanks for the re-election though – suckers.

Jon goes ‘hey team, what do you reckon Canberra needs?’, Somebody goes ‘oh no, not another statue’, Jon replies, ‘yeah team, lets build some statues’.


And the bevvy of bleeding hearts comes out of the woodwork to yammer about the supposed tragedy, in international waters, which we were supposed to do something about.

They chose to gamble with their lives and those of their children by clammering onto a rickey boat. They brought this upon themselves.

They passed through any number of countries on their way to attempt to arrive illegally in Australia. They could have taken asylum in any number of those countries.

It’s their fault they died – not Australia’s.

Russell is in Canberra

Do you really think that the Australian Navy sent in the SAS or a sub to sink the ship just 50 nautical miles from the JAVA coast?

FFS! the Aussies were flying overhead taking photos ready to shit on the reffos when they crossed our line. We owed them no duty of care to make sure they arrived safely in our waters.

Becoming, or have already become, Ant?

Seriously people, is this particular memorial really going to bother you *that* much? Politics aside, 353 people died. Don’t visit it if you don’t care, but certain people *will* care.

And as for

Did they just get the internet in Charnwood or something? Where did all these bogans come from?

that’s a pool room quote if ever I saw one.

the story of what really happened is still to come out, and I’m sure it’ll be horrible. This whole episode is barely believable, and it happened in our baliwick, and it seems that so few care. We spent a fortune rescuing Tony Bullimore, and yet hundreds of people died horribly and no one cared.
What is happening to our country? We are becoming greedy, cold, selfish people.

i am just saying shit happens and it is stupid going around putting up a pole for every sad case in history. This is just PC gone mad.

The family members of those who died have been involved with this memorial.

Does it make you angry that convicts died?

Woody Mann-Caruso8:09 pm 02 Sep 07

Did they just get the internet in Charnwood or something? Where did all these bogans come from?

“the boat sank in international waters, within Indonesia’s zone of search and rescue responsibility, and also inside the Australian border protection surveillance zone”

from Wikipedia


100% agree with you hotlips.. one of the few things I would happily let the vandals get at.

What a load of bullshit and typical Labor goes in to try and score some political point scoring to try and gain the votes of a few sad souls. If I tried to come to Australia illegally on a raft I would likely die too, but then I wouldn’t expect someone to put a useless pole in a park somewhere to commemorate my life. MY family might like to put something in a grave yard somewhere.

Plus i’m sure the majority of Australians would probably have no idea what it is, nor care for that matter.

100s of convicts died when being transported to Australia…why don’t we put up poles all over the city for them as well pierce. Just heard on National news that Federal Labor will make it a permanent memorial if elected.

The boat sank in international waters Ralph – it appears that someone has misinformed you.

Given that the boat sank inside the Australian border protection surveillance zone, maybe they might move the memorial on to DIC headquarters or perhaps to Russell.

I’d say that failing our responsibilities under international maritime law for political purposes, which lead to the deaths of more than 300 people, is something worth remembering.

Does anyone have a bull-bar on their four-wheel-drive?

This is the biggest load of crap that the bleeding-hearts have placed in our city.

Sorry folks – the memorial will stand for 6 weeks not 3 weeks. It must have been too early in the morning for me…

Only 3 weeks? That’s good.

The memorial must be moving on to Indonesia, given the boat sank in their waters.

Umm, wasn’t the memorial also opened last year?

Strange response – mad at whom?

It makes me sad and refelctive.

Is the memorials purpose to make me sad or make me feel guilty? Either way, it makes me mad.

It’s more poignant in its way.
These were real people who died, yet even in death and memorial we can’t recognise them as such.

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