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Hicks as political football « Previous | |Next »
April 1, 2007

David Hicks, who has spent five years in Guantanamo Bay without trial after he was captured in Afghanistan in late 2001, pleaded guilty to a charge of giving material support to terrorism. Hicks pleaded guilty to a charge which didn't exist until October of last year.

Matt Golding

Hicks is coming back to Australia by the end of May, where he will serve out the nine months of his prison sentence. Hicks was able to avoid a show trial but he has to shut up about what happened in the black hole of Guantanamo Bay. Andrew Sullivan has a good post on this process of a political fix between Howard and Cheney. It was politically inconvenient to keep Hick's locked up forever whilst the US was engaged in endless warfare.

As Robert Richter in The Age we are being obliged to:

Forget habeas corpus. Forget retrospective legislation. Forget coerced evidence and confessions. Forget commissions in which guilt has been predetermined. Forget prosecutors being judges in their own cause.

That's a lot to forget about re the rule of law. What is also most disturbing is the acceptance of torture in the war on terrorism. The war-loving, liberty-hostile Bush Administration gave the green light for military commanders and their underlings to torture detainees. These commanders told those under them that "vigorous" interrogation techniques were lawful and they were widely used in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay.

The support for these kind of activities by the Howard Coalition suggests that the dominant right wing factions of the Liberal Party are hostile to our most basic constitutional traditions and defining political /legal principles. They simply do not believe in them.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 1:46 PM |