Greg Sheridan’s piece in the Australian today is spot on:
On people-smuggling, Australia now looks a foolish, frivolous, incompetent and hypocritical country to Indonesia and the rest of Southeast Asia.
The fallout from the Four Corners program on alleged people-smuggler kingpin "Captain Emad" is enormous.
The revelation that organised people-smugglers send their operators into Australia on illegal boats, get them past our flimsy and increasingly meaningless assessment procedures, set them up in the community and then keep running the people-smuggling trade is bad enough.
The further developments yesterday, that these folks are beyond the reach of the law, though not beyond the reach of investigative journalism, and can then leave the country at will, demonstrates that border control under the Gillard government has become a sick joke.
And it's an especially unamusing joke for our Indonesian neighbours, who are constantly being lectured by Australia to do more to combat people-smuggling.