A political interview intended to justify refugee detention in Australia is analysed using an interdisciplinary critical discourse method. Barthesian semiotic theory in which the 'Other' is the foundation of national myth provides a context for a close textual analysis using Hallidayan linguistics. The lexico-grammatical analysis identifies features associated with processes (verbs), grammatical metaphors, and nominals. Essentially, the effect is to blunt agency and distance the speaker, but, more importantly, create a classificatory system that allows humans to be treated in certain ways according to bureaucratic procedures. The discursive strategy is labelled technologizing the inhumane because it objectifies the subjective, turning profound human issues into technical issues. Analysed discursively, the interview reveals how discursive control is established and how democracy is represented as impeding the orderly procedure of 'objective' procedures.