SIEV-X: Another bombshell ~ Margo Kingston
The SIEV-X stalemate has been broken. Last night, the unthrown children inquiry released explosive immigration department intelligence assessments to Philip Ruddock which prove that the government knew from the day Australians learned of the sinking that it sank in international waters.
That's right, it sank almost precisely where Tony Kevin alleged it sank, 60 nautical miles south of the Sunda Strait, and well within the defence force's blanket surveillance surveillance zone, which extended to 30 nautical miles from Indonesia.
Unbelievable! Do we have another children overboard lie on our hands? Surely, John Howard will now have to explain why he said so categorically, forcefully and repetitively on October 23 that SIEV-X sank in Indonesian waters. This is the same day that the immigration intelligence said that SIEV-X sank in international waters. And what about the defence force? It has sworn black and blue from the beginning, as has defence minister Robert Hill, that defence had no idea of where SIEV-X sank, and that it's only information came from a calculation it did in March which suggested it sank in the Sunda Strait. Yet inquiry evidence is clear that defence received immigration department intelligence. Lots of the text in the documents are blanked out, including, intriguingly, the External Distribution list! I wonder why.
The documents also prove the immigration department believed from at least October 19, when the ship sunk (survivors were rescued on October 20) that it was en route to Christmas Island, again throwing serious doubt on defence force claims that intelligence reports were too sketchy for it to actively search for SIEV-X...[Complete article]