Friday, March 11, 2016

Backlash after Australian official's 'alleged' Nazi comment

A routine bit of legal caution has been blown up as meaning something

Australia's immigration minister Wednesday faced calls to apologise after his department chief used "allegedly" to describe experiences in Nazi Germany during a defence of the government's hardline asylum-seeker policies.

Canberra's tough measures against boatpeople - which involves detaining them in remote Pacific island camps indefinitely while their refugee applications are processed -- have attracted strong domestic and international criticism from rights groups.

Doctors and whistleblowers have also said the detention of asylum-seekers, particularly children, has left some struggling with mental health problems.

A statement by immigration department head Michael Pezzullo, meant to counter a Sydney psychiatrist's criticism of the policies in the Australasian Psychiatry journal, drew fire when he used the term "allegedly" to describe experiences under Nazi rule in Germany.

"Recent comparisons of immigration detention centres to 'gulags'; suggestions that detention involves a 'public numbing and indifference' similar to that allegedly experienced in Nazi Germany; and persistent suggestions that detention facilities are places of 'torture' are highly offensive, unwarranted and plainly wrong -- and yet they continue to be made in some quarters," said the statement released Tuesday.

After a backlash on social media, the immigration department issued a follow-up statement saying "any insinuation the department denies the atrocities committed in Nazi Germany are both ridiculous and baseless".

It also accused critics of distorting the text to "create controversy".



Use the Name, Luke said...

So let me get this straight. Mr. Pezzullo released a statement opposing someone else's use of language that invokes Nazi comparisons, but he's the one that has to apologize for addressing that comparison? Or is it that he is denying what the Nazis actually did by reducing those atrocities to "allegedly" status? Or is it demagogues latching on to that word to get people riled up?

Anonymous said...

It is obvious that they chose to distort the words: "public numbing and indifference' similar to that allegedly experienced in Nazi Germany" to mean that atrocities were "allegedly" done. This means they cannot understand the English language or deliberately chose to distort it.
In reality the Nazi's had almost total control of all media forms in Germany and the vast majority of the people had no contact with atrocities done to Jews and other minorities. Whether they should have been aware is open for debate but given the present state of the progressive movement and how it treats opposition most progressives are little better.


Bird of Paradise said...

were,nt the nazis also in favor of speech codes just like the commies were