1 Apr. 2007

Hicks Will Go Free... But Not Now

Well, that sure explains what Cheney and Howard were talking about over their weekend BBQ in February. WaPo reveals that the deal was hammered out between Major Mori and Susan J. Crawford, the Defence Department's top military commission official, who just happens to have been Dick Cheney's inspector general from 1989 to 1991, when Cheney was defense secretary.

What more can you say about this utterly disgraceful farce? Robert Richter, QC, one of Australia's most experienced criminal lawyers, says the trial was a sham that had wholly discredited the Pentagon's war-crimes process:
"The charade that took place at Guantanamo Bay would have done Stalin's show trials proud. First there was indefinite detention without charge. Then there was the torture, however the Bush lawyers, including his attorney-general, might choose to describe it. Then there was the extorted confession of guilt."
Even US Defence Secretary, Robert Gates (Rummy v2.0) says the verdict will lack credibility because of the reputation of Guantanamo around the world.

Elsewhere, Aussie Bob has a good post with an interesting query about what happens when and if Hicks repudiates his guilty plea.

Here's another thought: what happens when (inevitably) one of the Gitmo detainees challenges the legality of these v2.0 military tibunals and sends the whole process back to the US Supreme Court, who previously ruled v1.0 illegal?

It is 99% certain that the Supremes will reassert their verdict (little has changed since v1.0), in which case Hicks' entire plea bargain deal will be rendered legally obsolete and any prisoner exchange deal with the US government will fall apart, given that said prisoner cannot legally be detained any longer under US law.

What will the Australian government do then? Re-arrest Hicks and send him back to Gitmo?

Who cares, right? As long as it doesn't happen till after the next election!

Might be interesting to watch Four Corners tonight: David Hicks: The Untried Case.

UPDATE: Malcolm "Me Next" Turnbull dives head-first into the trough:
"Whether he was a foot soldier or more important than that, none the less he was definitely working with the terrorists who were seeking to destroy our civilisation," he said.

"Given those circumstances I've always wondered [about] his failure to get a deal done, and the apparent lack of interest on his lawyers' part to get a deal done.

"I've often wondered what their motivations were there."
What a wanker! The implication is clear. Turnbull is actually suggesting that Mori and other Hicks lawyers were working with the terrorists to "destroy our civilisation"!