Gerard Henderson notes the story that the ABC overlookedÂ – that Vivienne Thom, Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, has destroyed Mamdouh Habib’s claims about the involvement of Australian officials in his detention overseas from 2001 to 2005:
What is significant about this report is that Thom completely demolishes the specific case made by Habib against Australian officials in his 2008 book My Story – The Tale of a Terrorist Who Wasn’t (Scribe) and elsewhere.
In particular, Thom rejected Habib’s widely publicised claims that Australian officials (i) mistreated or threatened him when he was detained in Pakistan, (ii) were involved in his rendition to Egypt and (iii) were present during his interrogation in Egypt. In particular, Thom rejected Habib’s claim that ASIO officers named “Stewart” or “Stuart” or “David” saw him when he was in Egypt. She did not reach any conclusion as to why Habib made those allegations but raised the possibility that “given the very difficult circumstances of his detention” he “was confused and his recollection of events is unclear”.
Thom also found that Australian officials, including Richardson, “gave a strong and consistent message” that Australia would not agree to Habib being sent from Pakistan to Egypt. She also found that Habib was “not forthcoming in his communication” with Australian officials while in Guantanamo Bay. Moreover, she reported that Habib said he would provide documents to her for her inquiry but failed to do so.
The big story of the IGIS report was that Habib’s claims about mistreatment by Australian authorities had been dismissed by Thom. But this finding was buried in the news reports – especially on the ABC.
That’s odd. Wonder why?