You've all been so kind. Can I go now?
March 31, 2007 5:59 AM   Subscribe

The first Gitmo trial has ended, but not before the defendant was stripped of two of his attorneys. Detainee #002 entered a guilty plea and will serve 9 months in an Australian prison. In return, he signed a statement stipulating that he had never been tortured or mistreated by the Americans -- despite previously reporting being beaten and deprived of sleep during his more than five years at the prison. The agreement bars him from suing the U.S. government for alleged abuse, forfeits any right to appeal, and imposes a gag order that prevents him speaking with news media for a year.
posted by sweet mister (90 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ah sweet justice.
posted by psmealey at 6:02 AM on March 31, 2007


Another great day for western democracy!
posted by homodigitalis at 6:08 AM on March 31, 2007


"Y'see, once we extracted all the good information out of him, all that was left was, y'know, dirty lies and propaganda. Obviously, we can't have him spoutin' that, so.."
posted by Drexen at 6:20 AM on March 31, 2007


*cues up the band*
posted by hadjiboy at 6:28 AM on March 31, 2007 [2 favorites]


Land of the fucking free!
posted by dobbs at 6:31 AM on March 31, 2007


Surely this...
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:35 AM on March 31, 2007


Have some Victory Gin, brother. There's something really untoward about agreeing to a gag order in exchange for a reduced sentence. I suppose the government doesn't care about perceptions, but it makes everyone look bad. I wonder if John Walker Lindh would have taken both the beatings and the gag order in exchange for a similar deal.
posted by psmealey at 6:36 AM on March 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


Abdication of the moral high ground...
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 6:43 AM on March 31, 2007


This makes me see the case for open revolt.
posted by JamesToast at 6:46 AM on March 31, 2007


Hicks was an idiot to have done what he did but it by no means excuses the treatment he received nor the way it seems his situation has been and still is being manipulated to political advantage.
posted by michswiss at 6:47 AM on March 31, 2007


No idea how they're going to enforce the 12-month 'gag order' while he's in Australia, although he'll be in prison until after the election and I guess that's what really matters. Unless some Australian lawyer can think of a way of getting him out.

The only person who comes out of this affair looking good is Mori. He seems to have an actual sense of honour.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 6:59 AM on March 31, 2007


If he talks about the alleged abuse, then the U.S. will have no choice but to invade Australia, liberate Hicks (again) and spirit him off to Gitmo where he will be taught--with water-boarding, electricity, and whatever other means deemed necessary--the importance of keeping his promise not to talk about alleged abuse.

Rule #1 of Gitmo--What happens in Gitmo stays in Gitmo.
posted by leftcoastbob at 7:04 AM on March 31, 2007


FARCE
posted by UseyurBrain at 7:23 AM on March 31, 2007


As Terry Jones points out, Iran treats its illegally seized captives better.
posted by Artw at 7:30 AM on March 31, 2007 [5 favorites]


I thought that signing a contract under duress like that pretty much renders it unenforceable. Like, he could sue for torture anyway, if he was being tortured into signing the thing.
posted by rxrfrx at 8:07 AM on March 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


But rxrfrx, it wasn't signed under duress, no sir! Says so on the contract! Wouldn't put it there iffin it wasn't true.

*goes and has a stiff drink*
posted by Jilder at 8:20 AM on March 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


As Terry Jones points out, Iran treats its illegally seized captives better.

I'd noticed that the Iranians were showing video of their captives, etc. That's actually a violation of the Geneva conventions ('prisoners are not supposed to be 'publicly humiliated'). I just assumed they were trying to show how "civilized" they were by treating the captives humanely.

Now I realize they're also trying to draw a sharp distinction between them and us, by putting these people on TV, not torturing them, etc, they're pointing out that they are the civilized ones. While Americans and Britons might not notice, I'm sure the distinction isn't lost on people in other countries.
posted by delmoi at 8:31 AM on March 31, 2007 [2 favorites]


@Artw: Thanks for the link to the brilliant Terry Jones Essay.
posted by homodigitalis at 8:33 AM on March 31, 2007


A sentence of nine months. He must have been a threat to humanity, on the order of let's say, someone who has smoked a joint.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:38 AM on March 31, 2007


Don't people imprisoned for a long time pre-trial usually get credit for time served? Wtf?

Would the Australian courts have any reason to uphold this "deal"? Couldn't they say it was made under duress or something?

Also note that this is a plea bargain, not a conviction.
posted by delmoi at 8:46 AM on March 31, 2007


The Hinks "verdict" is transparently shameful. Like Gitmo.

But please don't weigh in with "Iran treats its illegally seized [or any] captives better". Or any captive. We know that's not generally so. They're a tad rough on female journalists, for starters.

And it's not helping their cause for Iran to engage in sabre-rattling with the British soldiers as pawns. If the British team did enter Iranian waters - grab them, make tons of noise about it, and send the poor sods home, ffs. Any good fisherman knows about catch and release.

We can try to protect Iran from Western aggression... we can't protect them from themselves.
posted by Artful Codger at 8:51 AM on March 31, 2007 [2 favorites]


Utter bullshit. This guy is supposedly the kind of terrifying international criminal who's so dangerous he has to be locked up in an offshore prison for five years and only given a trial after some serious arm-twisting of the government. So what's he get? Nine months in a civilian prison back home in Australia. All he has to do is promise he won't talk about being tortured. It's positively Orwellian.

And the frustrating thing is that he almost certainly is a member of al-Qaeda. He probably deserves quite a bit longer than nine months in prison. But his case (and hundreds, maybe thousands of others) has been bungled beyond belief. Incompetently, foolishly, criminally. Now, not only will he get what he--probably--deserves, but we'll never know for sure. We'll always have to wonder. We can't trust anything that comes out of that place, because it's tainted by torture and lies and injustice. That's Bush's worst crime.
posted by EarBucket at 9:05 AM on March 31, 2007


Remember when the words Orwellian and Kafkaesque were overused?
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:21 AM on March 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


(By that I meant in the good old days)
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:21 AM on March 31, 2007


And the frustrating thing is that he almost certainly is a member of al-Qaeda.

Uh, on what basis do you make this claim?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:33 AM on March 31, 2007


Yeah, this whole thing is infuriating. I honestly hope he violates the gag order and just spills it all.

I mean, how are we going to enforce it? If he reveals that his treatment while held captive by us included torture and all the other things we suspect are happening, are the Australians really going to comply when we ask for him back after he blows the whistle?
posted by quin at 9:34 AM on March 31, 2007


As Terry Jones points out, Iran treats its illegally seized captives better.


Testimonies from “Like the Dead in Their Coffins”

Hossein T., an Iranian university student and activist

"Twice they took me to the courtyard in Evin, where the executions are carried out. They tied my feet. They took off my blindfold. One man was saying: “Tell me why you lied. Tell me what you did.” They hung me from my feet, and they put a bag over my head. For what I think was 30 minutes, they were kicking me and hitting me. They hit my chin, and the skin broke. Blood began to fill the bag that was tied over my head. Blood began to drip on the floor, and this is when they stopped.

The second time they took me in there, they hung me from my hands. They used a baton to beat my torso. They broke my hand, and I fell unconscious. When I regained consciousness, they said, “If you say you lied, we will stop.” I could not speak. It is not because I am brave that I did not confess, it is because I couldn’t talk."

-from hrw.org

I saved this from the partial post Jessamyn just deleted, which seems out of context.NOT.
posted by clavdivs at 9:41 AM on March 31, 2007


As Terry Jones points out, Iran treats its illegally seized captives better.

do {
   if ( we == good_guys ) they = bad_guys;
   else if ( we == bad_guys ) they = good_guys;
} while ( war )

posted by limon at 9:47 AM on March 31, 2007


So, how many more days til Bush is gone and we can have our democracy (such as it was) back?

What has always struck me as tenaciously perverse about Gitmo is - who do they think they are kidding? Do they even think they are kidding anyone? What _seriously (don't tell me it's deterrence or just part of the war on terror, as an idea this has to pass through too many hands, the validity of it has to be ratified in too many different ways for me to believe it has anything to do with what the popular line is.)_ is the point? Validating the "war on terror" (a label that is an insult to anyone with a brain (and hence presumably a war on more than just terror)) by setting up a POW camp? No, extraordinary rendition seems to prove the obsolecense of that. I just never got it. Maybe it's a perverse sex thing? Or a way of pushing the point that they have power - Like Frank Booth (Blue Velvet) and all the ways he humiliates Jeffrey? I never really understood the point. As law enfrocement/POW whatever etc. it's a horrific disester on every front, that numerous people have suggested closing down time and again.
The only one who seems really in favor are Cheney and Gonzales.

You know that some of the prisoners were captured when they were, like twelve, thirteen years old? What was the point of that again?

And only 800? Surely there are more out there than that...

This "trial" and it's conclusion are really fucking humiliating for those of us who believe America is (still) a brilliant idea.

I really hate these pukes. They are traitors, pure and simple.

/rant
posted by From Bklyn at 9:47 AM on March 31, 2007


America: Aiming for being just slightly morally to a despotic theoracy. Mostly. Some of the time.
posted by Artw at 9:50 AM on March 31, 2007


Anybody who seriously thinks the Australian Government would not rigorously enforce the gag order has not been paying much attention to Australian politics.
posted by flabdablet at 9:59 AM on March 31, 2007


And the frustrating thing is that he almost certainly is a member of al-Qaeda.

Uh, on what basis do you make this claim?


I don't believe that Hicks has ever argued that he wasn't a member of al-Qaeda. What's been at issue is how important he was in the organization (probably not at all) and whether or not he took up arms against coalition forces during the invasion of Afghanistan (he was picked up by a Northern Alliance warlord, and not on the battlefield, so we'll never know). I don't think anyone disputes that Hicks trained in Qaeda camps, spoke highly of Osama bin Laden in letters home, and fought for Muslim militant groups both in Kashmir and Afghanistan. He also warned his father about the "Jewish propaganda machine." This isn't the kind of guy I'm happy to find myself defending.

But none of that excuses torture, lengthy internment without a trial, stripping him of counsel, or the farce of a tribunal they put him through. I'd have taken the plea deal too, regardless of whether or not I was guilty.
posted by EarBucket at 10:11 AM on March 31, 2007


Well, the interesting point in here is that it's as good as an admission by the US authorities that they have been torturing detainees.

Else, why the gag order?

As for whether Hicks is guilty or not, I don't think we'll ever know. (I defy anyone here to swear that if they were arrested and subjected to five years in prison, much of it in solitary and with significant mistreatment, they wouldn't take any opportunity at all to get the hell out of it.)
posted by cstross at 10:21 AM on March 31, 2007


I would love for him to defy the gag order. However, even if he wants to he may be too afraid of going back - No matter how slim the chances. Funny how lenghtly imprisonment under harsh conditions can do that.
posted by batou_ at 10:54 AM on March 31, 2007


So let me get this straight: they're convinced he's a dangerous terrorist, but they'll let him go free in 9 months in return for not talking smack about them.

They've stopped even pretending that they're protecting us rather than themselves.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:03 AM on March 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


As Terry Jones points out, Iran treats its illegally seized captives better.

He's wrong.
posted by homunculus at 11:40 AM on March 31, 2007


Well, the interesting point in here is that it's as good as an admission by the US authorities that they have been torturing detainees.
Else, why the gag order?


That's horrible logic, roughtly equivalent to saying that because Saddam Hussein wouldn't let Hans Blix's team of inspectors do their jobs, he must have been hiding weapons of mass destruction.
posted by oaf at 12:18 PM on March 31, 2007


(Not that they're not hiding something. But Hicks' agreement to the gag order is not proof of anything.)
posted by oaf at 12:18 PM on March 31, 2007


That's horrible logic, roughtly equivalent to saying that because Saddam Hussein wouldn't let Hans Blix's team of inspectors do their jobs, he must have been hiding weapons of mass destruction.

yeah, or that someone pleading the fifth is hiding something...
posted by Artw at 12:26 PM on March 31, 2007


Also, not really wanting to downplay human rights abuses in Iran or anything, but that link applies to treatment of disidents, not foreign captives.
posted by Artw at 12:28 PM on March 31, 2007


That's horrible logic, roughtly equivalent to saying that because Saddam Hussein wouldn't let Hans Blix's team of inspectors do their jobs, he must have been hiding weapons of mass destruction.

No, THAT's an odious comparsion, since Hicks claimed he had been tortured up to the point he made the plea agreement.
posted by unSane at 12:41 PM on March 31, 2007


Detainee Says Torture Led to Confessions
posted by rxrfrx at 12:56 PM on March 31, 2007


but that link applies to treatment of disidents, not foreign captives.

That's true.
posted by homunculus at 1:20 PM on March 31, 2007


His only conviction was for a law that didn't exist until Sept. 06--well after he was taken and held--this is a mockery.
posted by amberglow at 1:37 PM on March 31, 2007


That's horrible logic, roughtly equivalent to saying that because Saddam Hussein wouldn't let Hans Blix's team of inspectors do their jobs, he must have been hiding weapons of mass destruction.

Well, if Saddam thought that that the U.S's threats were credible and not just bluster, then he probably would have let weapons inspectors in.

Which is probably why he did.
posted by delmoi at 3:26 PM on March 31, 2007


15 Britons In a Sea Of Intrigue
posted by homunculus at 3:49 PM on March 31, 2007


... David Hicks may well be guilty of everything to which he confessed. Al-Rahid may be responsible for everything the Bush administration says and then some. But how can we ever know?
The corrosive effects of what's going on at Guantanamo Bay extend around the world. It's impossible that Americans should ever come to trust the results produced by the "heavily redacted" methods used there, or accepting of the rulings produced by the tribunals. For the rest of the world, Guantanamo is worse than a laughing stock -- it's a touchstone for America's disdain for any sense of common decency.
David Hicks may by an Australian, but what he found on the far side of the world was a kangaroo court. What possible reason could there be for sentencing him to silence if there is nothing to hide?

posted by amberglow at 3:52 PM on March 31, 2007


And the frustrating thing is that he almost certainly is a member of al-Qaeda

Was this even a crime when he was arrested? If it'd been ten years earlier, he'd be a hero for supporting our allies against the Russians. Go watch Rambo 3 and its dedication to the brave farmer-peasants of Afghanistan, then think about all those folk in the US administration who provided material support to AQ pre-9/11 who are still walking free today.

He's a stupid kid who played Soldier of Fortune with whoever would take him. The Australian army didn't want him, so he went to Kosovo. Later he went to Afghanistan. He railed against a system that rejected him. Stupid, immature, childish, deluded? Sure. Did he say a bunch of stupid, hateful shit while he was there? Seems probable. Is any of that worthy of being kidnapped by a foreign government and held in a nightmare grey zone betweeen the criminal and military justice systems, denied even a vague semblence of due process? Fuck off.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:19 PM on March 31, 2007 [2 favorites]


Well, if Saddam thought that that the U.S's threats were credible and not just bluster, then he probably would have let weapons inspectors in.
Which is probably why he did.


He let them into Iraq. He just didn't let them do their jobs.
posted by oaf at 5:02 PM on March 31, 2007


Interesting:

As well as keeping Hicks in jail until after the federal election, the agreement stops Hicks from talking to the media for a year. That provision appears to have been inserted by the Australian Government. It would be unconstitutional in the US.

Is it true that gag orders are unconstitutional in the US? - because if so ...

Prime Minister John Howard rejected claims by Senator Bob Brown that his Government had influenced the tribunal into silencing Hicks until after the election.

"We didn't impose the sentence. [It] was imposed by the military commission and the plea bargain was worked out between the prosecution and Mr Hicks's lawyers," he said. "And the suggestion . . . that it has something to do with the Australian elections is absurd."


John Hunt has some explaining to do.
posted by strawberryviagra at 5:49 PM on March 31, 2007


He let them into Iraq. He just didn't let them do their jobs.

UN inspectors welcome Iraqi cooperation, November 28, 2002:
United Nations weapons inspectors have said that Iraq provided full cooperation yesterday when they visited sites near Baghdad to hunt for illegal weapons.
...
One of the leaders of the inspection teams said the speedy access they were given by the Iraqis and the general willingness to cooperate was a good sign for the future.
The Trouble With Inspections, December 8, 2002:
Compared with the harassment inspectors encountered in the 1990s, Iraq last week set a pattern of spontaneous assistance, unlocking doors, handing over documents...Although the U.N. teams studiously refused to disclose any findings, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said, in contrast to Bush, that "Iraq's cooperation seems to be good."
Iraq Inspection Report to U.N., February 14, 2003:
Since we arrived in Iraq, we have conducted more than 400 inspections covering more than 300 sites. All inspections were performed without notice, and access was almost always provided promptly.
Hans Blix report to UN Security Council, March 7, 2003:
Inspections in Iraq resumed on 27 November 2002. In matters relating to process, notably prompt access to sites, we have faced relatively few difficulties and certainly much less than those that were faced by UNSCOM in the period 1991 to 1998. This may well be due to the strong outside pressure.
...
One can hardly avoid the impression that, after a period of somewhat reluctant cooperation, there has been an acceleration of initiatives from the Iraqi side since the end of January.
On the same day, IAEA Director General Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei said:
After three months of intrusive inspections, we have to date found no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapon program in Iraq.
...
I should note that, in the past three weeks, possibly as a result of ever-increasing pressure by the international community, Iraq has been forthcoming in its co-operation, particularly with regard to the conduct of private interviews and in making available evidence that could contribute to the resolution of matters of IAEA concern.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:07 PM on March 31, 2007 [4 favorites]


Is it true that gag orders are unconstitutional in the US? - because if so ...

Very interesting.
posted by Wolof at 6:13 PM on March 31, 2007


Doesnt torture void any contract/agreement? I think he should put this to a test in the Australian courts.

Hey, will stop the torture if you sign this paper....
posted by IronWolve at 6:55 PM on March 31, 2007


OK, who do you have to shoot to make all this madness stop?

I'm not making a threat against anyone specific here, but...

The president won't stop it, neither will the vice. But I bet there's SOMEONE in the real Chain of Command that, if taken out, would collapse this house of cards.

All iI need is the name, and when he leaves for work.

I couldn't think of a more noble sacrifice I could do for my country. Maybe someday, they'll write a song about me.
posted by Balisong at 7:15 PM on March 31, 2007


I'm not making a threat against anyone specific here, but...

You better not be, or our resident Secret Service agent might have something to say about it...
posted by homunculus at 7:27 PM on March 31, 2007


The not so secret secret agent, apparently.
posted by unSane at 8:13 PM on March 31, 2007


Is it true that gag orders are unconstitutional in the US? - because if so ...

They're not, but it depends who issues them--Sibel Edmonds is the most famous recent person gagged, i think--by the Department of Justice in 2001 or 2.

And i think the Patriot Act has gag provisions too.
posted by amberglow at 8:24 PM on March 31, 2007


2002.
posted by amberglow at 8:25 PM on March 31, 2007


And i think the Patriot Act has gag provisions too.
posted by amberglow


No shit. It makes me gag every time I even think about it.
posted by leftcoastbob at 8:46 PM on March 31, 2007


or our resident Secret Service agent might have something to say about it...

(For the record, that was a joke. No, really!)

posted by homunculus at 9:16 PM on March 31, 2007


Let Sibel Edmonds Speak
posted by homunculus at 9:20 PM on March 31, 2007


According to this, they're not too uncommon - but can be put in place during a trial and (occasionally) if there are pending appeals - it's unusual, however, to be gagged post trial.
posted by strawberryviagra at 10:19 PM on March 31, 2007


I guess as long as some Judge will agree to order it, there can be gag orders on anyone. Even pre-trial publicity has caused lawyers to be gagged on occasion.
posted by amberglow at 11:11 PM on March 31, 2007


"Another great day for western democracy!"

Hey! Leave the rest of us out of this.
posted by The Monkey at 1:43 AM on April 1, 2007


Senator Brown said America's guarantee of free speech under its constitution would have rendered such a gag illegal in the US.

Hmmm. So this is just politicking?
posted by strawberryviagra at 7:54 AM on April 1, 2007


Looks like the plea agreement was indeed political... went right over the heads of the prosecutors. TPM has more.
posted by unSane at 8:37 AM on April 1, 2007


WaPo:

The plea deal that allows Australian David M. Hicks to leave the detention facility here with a nine-month sentence was negotiated between defense attorneys and the convening authority for military commissions without the knowledge of prosecutors, lawyers from both sides said.

The deal shows that the politically appointed authority has the power to personally decide the fate of America's most notorious terrorism suspects.
posted by unSane at 8:41 AM on April 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Y'know the fiddle that plays while an empire collapses? It gets smaller by the day.

I understand it has something to do with schadenfreude.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:36 AM on April 1, 2007


I would like to see
brittanicus
rule again
my friend.

(takes lyre away from step child)
posted by clavdivs at 10:36 AM on April 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Pete Guither has a few words on this vis-à-vis the war on drugs. Priorities indeed.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 10:57 AM on April 1, 2007


WWII Nazi-run concentration camps used to make their released inmates sign statements that they had never been abused.

The fact that I can, in all seriousness, make a comparison between Nazi concentration camps and American concentration camps — not to mention that there ARE American concentration camps — sends me to a emotional state beyond horror, outrage, or tears.

And here I sit in my comfortable home typing words on blue screen, words that will never change anything or anyone. I'm going to shut down the computer now and go figure out a way to bridge that disconnect, even if only in some small, tenuous way.
posted by orange swan at 11:29 AM on April 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's called "Duress to person" (in common law countries, so both the US and Australia) and it renders the contract void. I'm amazed that the US government has some of the best lawyers in the world working for it and yet this kind of utter nonsense still passes. The contract is meaningless, and if this guy ever gets to bring a case against the US government (he'll have a lot of trouble finding a court that would claim jurisdiction, grant him standing, and find the claim justiciable) then ... well, nothing. The US Supreme Court has already as much as ruled that there's no punishment for violating the Geneva Convensions, the US isn't party to the ICJ. Maybe the Spaniards will take the case? They seem to be good at this kind of thing.
posted by 1adam12 at 12:52 PM on April 1, 2007


"the agreement stops Hicks from talking to the media for a year"

This is because Australia is having an election in the next year - almost certainly in October/November.
posted by Lucie at 9:44 PM on April 1, 2007


As if, hater! Howard says it's a complete coincidence... And he's never been known to lie about anything, so I believe him completely.

No, wait...
posted by The Monkey at 12:50 AM on April 2, 2007


The US Supreme Court has said it will not decide whether detainees held at Guantanamo have the right to challenge their detention in US federal courts.
posted by homunculus at 10:25 AM on April 2, 2007


Motherfucker
posted by Smedleyman at 10:35 AM on April 2, 2007


Looks like the Australian Govt is feeling the heat.

... Mr Ruddock has told ABC TV's Lateline program, Australia could not extradite Hicks if he breached the order and there are no domestic laws to enforce it.

"In Australia, we have a position about freedom of speech," he said.


No we fucking don't.

I really don't understand why a gag order was implemented by the Americans if it were unenforcable in Australia, and the Australians didn't request it.

But then:

... Major Michael Mori has told The 7.30 Report that Hicks could be made to serve a seven-year sentence if he breaches the deal.

"Violating many of the provisions of the pre-trial agreement actually could require him to serve the remainder of his sentence that's hanging over his head," he said.


How's that going to work, then?
posted by strawberryviagra at 6:58 AM on April 3, 2007


How that's going to work is that he gets delivered to a US embassy in a paddy wagon at four in the morning, and spirited back to Cuba before anybody can "alert" or "advise" the PM or the AG. Then, of course, there will be "nothing the Australian Government can do" about getting him back.

It's not in Hicks's best interests to draw adverse attention to any of the pricks who have been using him as a political punching bag for the last five years.

The rest of us will have to do it instead.
posted by flabdablet at 8:07 AM on April 3, 2007


There is and always has been one law for the powerful and another for everyone else, so I have no real hope that anybody will end up being charged with war crimes over this affair; but a bloke can dream...
posted by flabdablet at 8:22 AM on April 3, 2007


apparently it was Cheney doing Howard a favor--digby: In February, Vice President Cheney traveled to Australia to visit with his close ally Prime Minister John Howard. At the top of Howard’s agenda was a plea to release Australian Gitmo detainee David Hicks. ...
posted by amberglow at 9:50 AM on April 3, 2007


I am very impressed, Amberglow - great links as usual.

So, we're no better equipped with information about Hicks, the Gitmo judicial process or any of the aforementioned issues (torture/coercion, evidence, etc) that we've been told will be given air during the Hicks trial.

This kid is going to get a rough ride.
posted by strawberryviagra at 6:22 PM on April 3, 2007


The lawyer and parents of American-born Taliban soldier John Walker Lindh asked President Bush on Wednesday to commute his 20-year prison term, citing the case of an Australian man who was sentenced to less than a year for aiding terrorism...

Lindh's lawyer and father said the lighter sentence given to Australian David Hicks should be reflected in Lindh's case.

"It is a question of proportionality. It is a question of fairness, and it is a question of the religious experience John Walker Lindh had," attorney James Brosnahan said. "And it was not in any way directed at the United States..."
posted by taosbat at 4:39 PM on April 4, 2007


Bush is not listening to Lindh's parents or any others, let alone the majority of Americans, who want real trials for these people.

Iran's treatment of their hostages shows what a civilized country does. We're not, anymore, pathetically.
posted by amberglow at 4:55 PM on April 4, 2007


Iran's treatment of their hostages shows what a country does when it knows everyone is watching and that they had better come off looking good. It has absolutely nothing with being civilized. There is not a doubt in my mind that the old torture regime is still operating behind the scenes. It just wouldn't make any sense at all to use that regime in this one instance.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:30 PM on April 4, 2007


America's treatment of hostages, OTOH, is what a country does when it thinks it can just tell everyone who is watching to go fuck themselves.

Which works, for a while. In the long term, though, it's going to backfire. Might be a decade or two, but the USA has burned some important bridges to the rest of the world. It's going to be a bitch trying to win back trust, friendship, and respect.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:32 PM on April 4, 2007


Report: Conditions at Guantanamo Worsen
posted by homunculus at 9:33 PM on April 4, 2007


Shocking. Five years in a tiny cell. They won't even be human any more. Brainfucked.

I do not understand how a country claiming to be mostly and strongly of the Christian religion can do such things. Where the fuck is the moral compass?
posted by five fresh fish at 10:31 PM on April 4, 2007


We're using moral GPS now. It's easier to recalibrate.
posted by unSane at 5:34 AM on April 5, 2007


I say we nail some sense into him.
posted by flabdablet at 4:26 AM on April 6, 2007



I say we nail some sense into him.


/Easteriffic!
posted by amberglow at 4:17 PM on April 6, 2007


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