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Gang of bullies – the torment of David Hicks

Stephen Smith is a regular Webdiarist. His last piece was The AWB scam – how the ‘wheat mafia’ paid Saddam.

By Stephen Smith

Those seeking justice for David Hicks have run a campaign using a childhood photo of him. What interests me about the photo is how it unwittingly taps into more than was intended. The photo opens doors into the minds of the Hicks-haters. We can call this the David Hicks Syndrome [1]. It is a type of bullying where the perpetrators – John Howard and his sidekicks – perceive David Hicks as a loner in the schoolyard.

They are simply unable to see themselves in Hicks’ shoes. While they hate the boyhood image they see in David, their self-image is that of a schoolyard gang of bullies. [2]

Let’s begin by placing the whole gang in a virtual schoolyard. This is not hard to do. As we are often reminded, Parliament resembles a school playground. It is dominated by male egos, bullying tactics and tantrum like displays. We need only look at one of its best practitioners, ‘Pistol Pete’ Costello, who can destroy and humiliate opponents on the floor of Parliament. What is new is how Howard has transplanted bullying tactics out of the Big House to Australia at large. In the figure of Hicks we witness how his boyhood image (now brought to life by his photo) brings to light a long record of bullying by the Howard gang. At first they corner the loner when they think no one watches or cares. But like all cowards, public notice (or opinion polls) sees them quickly backing off with mumbled excuses.

One hangover from school days is the use of nicknames. Here we find a full cast of characters. Howard himself has too many nicknames to mention. The most descriptive is ’Stonefish’. Ruddock is tagged as ‘Davros’ (Dalek emperor) or ‘Mr Hat’ (South Park). Then there is ‘Dolly’ Downer – or ‘Krusty the Clown’. Those in need of spiritual guidance turn of course to Abbott – the ‘Mad Monk’ or simply ‘Rasputin’.

Where Hicks is concerned it is hard not to hear the trash talk that the Government indulges in. No debating team skills here. Instead it is all huff and puff from Downer who hits out at those “barracking” for David Hicks. “Barracking” conjures up images of a bored and unruly public (school) cheering on Hicks in the act of some misdemeanor. No doubt it would have to be ‘bombing’ into the pool at the swimming carnival as enraged prefects look on.

To the bullies, David Hicks represents the delinquent who went to the wrong schools. His type never did appear in the pages of Boys Own Adventure. It was bad form indeed for Hicks to be caught on film with that rocket launcher in Kosovo. After all, any decent fellow would head over to Africa and smuggle guns for mercenaries. As The Guardian commented about Mark Thatcher:

“Who among us can honestly say that our children have never done anything a little bit naughty in the past? Sneaking a chocolate from the second layer in the box when no one was looking; going into next door’s garden to get their ball back without asking; funding military coups in third-world countries with an eye to making an illegal fortune. No child is perfect and they grow out of these things; he’s only 51, for goodness sake.”

Every gang has its hangers-on who spread misinformation by word or whisper. In the Howard posse, we see how Gerard Henderson creates his own caricature who lurks behind the bike shed. What playground does not have its name-caller? Sure enough, on the fringe of the Little Johnny Howard gang we find Little Gerard Henderson. There he is, running around with his annoying “na-na na na na” cries of name-calling.

In his column, Henderson referred to Hicks by his allegedly adopted name of “Mohammed Dawood”. Yet, as Irfan Yusuf argued on Crikey, there is no evidence Hicks retains this name. Nor is the name known by either his family or by other inmates of ‘Gitmo’. Henderson’s intent is to imply guilt by association. As if Hicks’ fate is in any way determined by names given to him! But still, Henderson seems to regard the name itself as irrefutable proof of guilt.

Henderson next turned his whispering campaign (at a safe distance) to a larger field. In his column of 13 February, he defended John Howard for attacking the “US Democratic Party presidential aspirant Barack Hussein Obama”. This use of the “Hussein” word was a copycat stunt by Henderson. It was a US Fox News smear campaign that began using Obama’s middle name of “Hussein”.

Let’s not dwell too long on such antics without a hard look at the pain and injustice that continues in its wake. It is the impunity of power that sustains Howard’s virtual schoolyard in the mind. This is not merely arrested development. More like cruel and sadistic. According to Amnesty International, at least 17 detainees at Guantanamo Bay were underage (aged 16 years and younger) at their time of capture. Many of these children were caged and tortured - or in turn witnessed these sights. The Howard Government was always a cheerleader for the Camp guards. And yet their branding of the ‘worst of the worst’ makes no exemption for children. By a bleak irony it seems that one of the child detainees – Canadian citizen Omar Khadr - now joins Hicks as one of three inmates chosen to begin the military commission process. David Hicks (a victim of abuse in Howard’s fantasy) now finds himself shoulder to shoulder with a detainee who was an actual child victim of the system that feeds the Government’s David Hicks Syndrome.

In our analysis, the distortion of seeing the image of the boy – the outsider – in David Hicks is consistent – disturbingly so – with other victims of the Howard Government. The long suffering of children in immigration detention in Australia has been well documented by The Human Rights Commission. Other victims have been adults humiliated and reduced to the status of children.

The Cornelia Rau and Vivian Alvarez Solon cases illustrate exactly how the maltreatment of sick adults placed them in a similar state of dependency as children. The treatment of Hicks is not some anomaly but an example of a psychosis that stains Howard’s decade of power.

The moral detachment of Howard from the David Hicks story can be understood in terms of the way our PM, in true neocon style, creates his own reality for others to follow. The self-image of Howard as ‘king pin’ demands that the figure of Hicks be regressed into the bully’s target of abuse. This peculiar form of politics (the need to constantly identify an ‘enemy’) and the resulting lack of empathy is a recurring pattern for Howard. Let’s recall how The Canberra Times columnist Ian Warden viewed Howard’s branding of asylum seekers as ‘the enemy’. [3]

Quoting J M Coetzee, Warden makes the point that part of the horror of the Nazi death camps was that German society refused to think themselves into the place of their victims. Some people can imagine themselves as someone else. But many others have the capacity but choose not to exercise it. There are also those people completely lacking this capacity (with an extreme lack found in the psychopath). In reading John Howard’s particular lack of capacity, Warden sees him as one of those who would “feign an ability to imagine themselves as someone else, who would pretend to have hearts that have a talent for sympathy (as Coetzee defines it) if ever the opinion polls showed that it was more politically artful to feign kindness towards detainees than to continue to display the probably sincerely-felt belief that they are just lice.”

With David Hicks, Howard is again feigning concern on the basis that the opinion polls are turning against him. Otherwise, his lack of capacity to imagine himself in Hicks’ predicament is amply shown by Howard’s statement to his party room that he could secure the release of David Hicks any time – but won’t.

This year’s federal election may well bring new gang colors to the pole. If Kevin (‘Harry Potter’) Rudd triumphs we can only hope that he locks the playground posturing and bullying back inside the Parliament where it belongs.

David Hicks’ five years of anguish has been, during Howard’s term, a detention overseen by the Prefects from Hell. When Hicks is finally free he might well sing along to this anthem to the ending of his worst nightmare:

Well we can’t salute ya
Can’t find a flag
If that don’t suit ya
That’s a drag

School’s out for summer
School’s out forever
School’s been blown to pieces

(School’s Out – Alice Cooper)

Endnotes:

[1] Syndrome: a group of symptoms that collectively indicate or characterise a disease, psychological disorder, or other abnormal condition.

[2] I use the term ‘schoolyard gang’ as a dramatic device. It places the conduct of the Howard ‘gang’ in a setting we are familiar with via film and literature. I have no wish to demean childhood. The truth is that in the main, the behavior of children is exemplary and nothing like the contemptible display we see before us in the shape of political spin.

[3] Ian Warden, “Exposing the heart of dilemma faced by asylum-seekers”, The Canberra Times, 8 January 2004.
 

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I'm on the threshold of womanhood, yes.

F Kendall: "I really enjoy your posts, (the emotion, the passion), without agreeing with most of them, C Parsons, but...come clean.  You are a woman, aren't you."

I'm on the threshold of womanhood, yes. You're excited, aren't you?

David Curry: "Hi CP, I’m assuming you’re talking about extraordinary rendition, in which case although your answer is a little pithier than I hoped for, thank you, we agree."

Actually, I was talking about torture. Extraordinary rendition is only available to the Bush administration because in countries outside the USA torture is legal and/or commonplace.

For example, most of the countries supportive of the Axis of Evil use torture. North Korea even has mass executions in gas chambers.

Lucky for David Hicks they're not part of the Coalition of the Willing, hey? Imagine the plea bargaining in that scenario? 'No!! No!!! Please let me out!!! Please!!!!! Aaahhhhhhhhggggg.'

Let's see Michael Mori get a reduced sentence in that situation. Might be glad for a quiet life drafting purchase contracts in the Pentagon requisitions branch or something, instead.

He'd have a lot more to worry about than shackles on his clients' ankles, their suits not fitting, or whether they can get Vegemite sent over for their bowl of sandwiches, hey?

Anyway, do you think Mohamed Abbass will have a float in next year's Gay Mardi Gras?

My bet is 'No' - and not just because he lacks David Hicks' formerly biffed, boyish good looks.

Come to think of it, David will need a really, really BIG float next year, too. Maybe he can ride on it? Maybe he can be it?

Richard:: CP, since you didn't  object when Craig noted we would be changing "Davey" back to "David" I have done so again here.   

We still agree, CP

Actually, CP, so was I - talking about torture, that is.  As you note, the US has some problems with torture because they don't do that kind of thing.  Torture is also illegal in the US, because they've ratified the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment with US statutes. 

The solution is obvious: you outsource torture to countries that have no qualms about using it in interrogations: Egypt, Syria, and Morocco, for example.  This is what extraordinary rendition is about.

So yes, CP, we agree, because torturing people - something we are both appalled by - is the whole point of extraordinary rendition.  It’s appalling that those countries routinely torture prisoners in their custody, and it’s reprehensible that the US uses them to do its dirty work.  And it's pathetic that the Australian Government turns a blind eye, even when one it happens to one of its own citizens. 

I'm glad you, too, share my outrage.  Doesn't happen often. 

Extraordinary Rendition

C Parsons, in your failure to answer David Curry, you didn't even get around to failing to answer his question about Extraordinary Rendition. So let's ask again. In point form, and so you can just give Yes/No answers, if you prefer (though explanations will be appreciated).

First, a defintion of extraordinary rendition (from the ACLU), so we are clear what we are talking about:

...an intelligence-gathering program involving the transfer of foreign nationals suspected of involvement in terrorism to detention and interrogation in countries where -- in the CIA's view -- federal and international legal safeguards do not apply. Suspects are detained and interrogated either by U.S. personnel at U.S.-run detention facilities outside U.S. sovereign territory or, alternatively, are handed over to the custody of foreign agents for interrogation. In both instances, interrogation methods are employed that do not comport with federal and internationally recognized standards. This program is commonly known as "extraordinary rendition."
1. Has the USA engaged in extraordinary rendition?

2. If they have, is it a good thing?

3. In any case, would it be legal?

4. Should evidence obtained by interrogation of people subject to extraordinary rendition be admissable in a court, tribunal or commission?

5. Should evidence obtained by interrogation under torture of people subject to extraordinary rendition be admissable in a court, tribunal or commission?

The rest of the questions depend on a "Yes" answer to question one, so if your answer was an unqualified "No", you can stop here.

6. Has it involved delivering people to states which are generally believed to engage in torture?

7. Has it resulted in torture of detainees by agents (or nationals) of the USA?

In case you are wondering, my answers are, in order: Yes; No; No; No; No; Yes; and Yes. Supporting argument and evidence is available on request.

A Question For C Parsons

I really enjoy your posts, (the emotion, the passion), without agreeing with most of them, C Parsons, but...come clean.  You are a woman, aren't you? 

Egypt is not the USA or Israel. So, stuff Mohamed Abbass.

David Curry: "CP, stop being so coy. Why do you think Abbass is allowed to languish in an Egyptian jail (if that’s where he is)? I’m genuinely interested. Is he a real terrorist, rather than all these other people who happened to have had beards and were in the wrong place at the wrong time? Is he actually in Egypt?"

Well, of course Mr Abbass is in Egypt. Mamdouh Habib saw him there. I mean, that's more than just circumstantial evidence.

That's exactly the same type of eyewitness testimony by Mamdouh that informs everything we know of Mamdouh's, and much of what we know about David Hicks's, time in Guantanamo and much else about them besides.

If we accept Mamdouh's account of Mr Abbass's presence in a torture cell in Egypt, then we have to ask our selves why nobody gives a stuff about him. 

Why, for example, Sheik Hilaly would go to Egypt - and not mention the fact that a fellow Muslim Australian is being tortured there? If David Hicks or Mamdouh Habib were being tortured under rendition by the CIA in Egypt, would he not mention that?

Is it because Egypt is not the USA? Or not Israel? And therefore there's no particular benefit to be had from pleading on behalf of Mohamed Abbass. Because he's just an Australian being tortured in an Arab country far from home - and it cannot be somehow linked to the Great Satan or the Zionsit Entity?  That would be one explanation, wouldn't it?

An alternative explanation might be that elements within the "human rights" and "peace" movements bear Mohamed Abbass such ill will they don't care if he suffers in an Egyptian prison. There's something special about him. So awful, he's not worth helping.

Or, and this is way out on left field, there's something odd about Mamdouh's story. And that it's potentially embarrassing in some way. And that it might undermine his credibility as a witness. And the less said about it, the better. But of course, that's absurd.

David Curry: "Incidentally, what is your view on extraordinary rendition?  Your dismissal of Habib’s torture claims, despite the overwhelming circumstantial evidence, suggests you either think it’s all fiction or you don’t have a problem with it.  Or do you only disapprove when the CIA gets the wrong guy? "

It's a terrible thing, isn't it?  What do you think about the argument, commonplace on the Left, that while we abhor their methods we have no choice but to support the Iraqi resistance because if we don't then George W Bush might attack Iran? And that we shouldn't judge the Iraqi resistance according to our own pristine standards because after all, they're the ones doing the hard yards?

Quid pro quo

C Parsons: "... it’s a terrible thing, isn’t it?" 

Hi CP, I’m assuming you’re talking about extraordinary rendition, in which case although your answer is a little pithier than I hoped for, thank you, we agree.  We agree!  It is indeed a terrible thing.  It’s a program, as I said earlier, more in line with totalitarianism than a liberal democracy, and it should be loudly condemned by the Howard Government. 

Extraordinary rendition isn’t condemned by the Howard Government, of course, and I wonder why you don’t have anything to say about that, CP?  After all, the Government has far more clout in these matters than Bob Brown, don’t you think? 

I guess we’ve each got to stick to our ideological quicksand – you slam your hated Lefties, I’ll stick it to the Howard Government. 

What is your view of the Government’s deafening silence on Habib’s rendition?  Attorney General Phillip Ruddock said in 2005 that he would not even bother asking the Americans what happened to Habib because ‘I don't think I'd get an answer’. 

(Actually, it’s clear the Government knew full well Habib had been subject to extraordinary rendition.  For example, the Government seemed to know in great detail what Habib had been doing in Pakistan right up to his abduction by the CIA, after which he miraculously disappeared from their view.  Well, not entirely: they sent a letter to Habib’s wife to tell her they ‘believed’ he was in Egypt.) 

CP, what would be your view if indeed the Howard Government was complicit in extraordinary rendition?  Would you write an angry letter to the Attorney General, or just type another post on Webdiary blaming Bob Brown? 

This is quid pro quo, so here’s my bit:

C Parsons: "What do you think about the argument, commonplace on the Left, that while we abhor their methods we have no choice but to support the Iraqi resistance because if we don't then George W Bush might attack Iran? And that we shouldn't judge the Iraqi resistance according to our own pristine standards because after all, they're the ones doing the hard yards?"

Those arguments, put exactly the way you put them in this post, and reading ‘the resistance’ as Sunni and al-Qaeda terrorists, and ‘their methods’ as suicide bombing of civilians etc., are at best naïve, and at worst morally bankrupt.  I might add that these arguments are quite different from those once forwarded by Arundhati Roy, but CP, I am not going there again.  Please spare Webdiarist by doing the same.  That debate is soooo four years ago. 

Mohamed Abbass languishes unloved in Egyptian hell-hole

David Curry: "Oh, I get it, CP. Because nobody has been able to prove that Mohamed Abbass is in an Egyptian jail (just dubious reports from his wife about having to bribe her way into jail to see him), Mamdouh Habib must be lying about having seen him there."

Oh, perish the thought, David. Of course Mohamed Abbass is being tortured in an Egyptian prison - Mamdouh saw him there. He said so.

It's just kinda weird nobody among the annointed coterie of human rights advocates who are so passionately supporting David Hicks and Mamdouh seem to give a stuff about Mohamed Abbass.

Why is that?  What could possibly explain the apparent indifference by, say, Bob Brown and Kerry Stokes and the Socialist Alliance and Islam Online and Sheik Hilaly to the plight of an Australian citizen of Middle Eastern background languishing in a torture chamber in Egypt?

It's not like he's a Cuban librarian in gaol for reading prohibited books. Nothing so deserving of torture like that. No.

Does Mohamed lack David Hicks's boyish charm and good looks? No more than Mamdouh Habib, surely?

It's stranger than an invalid pensioner running a marathon, isn't it?  In fact, google Mohamed Abbass and pretty well all you find is the original Fairfax report and the SBS item it refers to - and they then being briefly cross-posted verbatim in a couple of pinko propaganda sheets. And then nothing.

So, really, just the SBS item recycled a couple of times and then - nothing. Stony silence. Funny how Mamdouh himself never mentions it any more.

CP, come clean on Abbass

CP, stop being so coy.  Why do you think Abbass is allowed to languish in an Egyptian jail (if that’s where he is)?  I’m genuinely interested.  Is he a real terrorist, rather than all these other people who happened to have had beards and were in the wrong place at the wrong time?  Is he actually in Egypt? 

You’ve clearly got something up your sleeve. 

Incidentally, what is your view on extraordinary rendition?  Your dismissal of Habib’s torture claims, despite the overwhelming circumstantial evidence, suggests you either think it’s all fiction or you don’t have a problem with it.  Or do you only disapprove when the CIA gets the wrong guy?

Or are we so locked into the painful left/right polarity of Webdiary that you can’t possibly post that you agree with me on something and will therefore have to sidestep the question? 

The venal media are at it again.

I have personally taped and watched the TV coverages of the Hicks example of U.S. military honour over the last several days.

I have noted that the Prosecutor Colonel Morris had said that the Howard government had not pressured him or his fellow Guantanamo activists in this charade of justice.

I consider that his statement has proven that the continual lies told by Howard, Downer and Ruddock, all retrospective and depending on the current circumstances, have been denied by the very person who should know.

I have seen the love and dedication of a determined Father to the plight of his son BUT - I have NEVER heard Terry Hicks say that the Howard government pressured his son into pleading guilty.

Quite the contrary - his opinion jibes with the statement of the U.S. military prosecutor - that Howard, Downer and Ruddock have done nothing to solve this Australian's illegal punishment. Only to lobby for a guilty verdict as a political objective.

Certainly they would know from the top U.S. Bush administration as to what would be done - including a guilty plea offer.

However, Channel Seven already claims that Terry Hicks has accused Howard of "pressuring David Hicks to plead guilty" which is an absolute untruth even by their own doubtful standards of reporting.

Talk about reverse psychology.  Fair dinkum.

Mr. Hicks snr. said that Howard would be waving his hands in the air at that outcome but - he would know that the "New Order" government would continue to ignore David Hicks' incarceration and his torture.

I felt that there was a fair article by Andrew Lynch - director of the terrorism and law project at; the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law, UNSW and I quote in part:

Little comfort from guilty plea.

He [David hicks] refused to plead guilty to the stronger offences previously brought against him.  Likewise, even on the remaining charge, Hicks refused to admit that his "material support" extended to entering Afghanistan with the intention of assisting al-Qaeda in armed conflict with the US.  His guilty plea covers only those activities and links he had essentially admitted in letters home.  Only those persons who let the mythologising of Hicks obscure the factual record would be surprised and disappointed that he was prepared to wear this aspect of the charge.

Hicks's decision may have been influenced by the dramatic loss of two members of his legal team.  He was shocked when Colonel Ralph Kohlmann, as presiding judge, removed first Mori's assistant and then Joshua Dratel, his civilian lawyer, from the case.  After many years of confinement and uncertain about how to proceed so as to bring his detention to an end, the decimation of his legal team may well have tipped the scales.  Why continue to fight a system which was so hostile to giving him a fair trial?

The public will be curious as to what happens now to Hicks and may be appeased by the Government's assurances that he will be able to serve his sentence in Australia.  The Government will welcome news of his gulty plea and hope that this will deflate the issue significantly by the federal election.

But arguably the damage has been done, and not just to Hicks.  Dissatisfaction with the way the Government abandoned one of its citizens to a foreign system as mired in controversy and delay as that of the US military commissions may linger.

Hicks's conviction will owe nothing to the speedy and impartial application of justice.  As a result, even those convinced of his guilt can draw little comfort from this development.

Amen to that.

Howard's promises however are not reliable under any circumstances.

NE OUBLIE.

Star recruit

Ernest William, you should not bother yourself with the Hick's case. You should be concerned with the way you are trying to foist the Labor incompetants on us. Did you see Garrett's performance today? In one word pathetic, and this is Labor's "Star recruit".

Remember the Alamo? We'll remember Guantanamo

When the U.S. Colonel Morris - Prosecutor, lawyer and ex bail bondsman was interviewed by Tony Jones, he said inter alia:  "People will have a different opinion when the "facts" are brought up at the trial".

And I opined two days ago that: "This means that the defence does not know the particulars of the 'broad brush single charge' against David - nor does the world.  'Run it up the flagpole and see who salutes it'?" 

This, yet another set of charges, was hailed as a single one and that most of it was based on Hicks' letters home.  

Completely against the "laws of the U.S. and any other supposed democracy" - a "plea bargain was struck" - before the second hearing that Hicks faced and before any evidence was produced by the prosecuting team. 

So far this is as the media reported it.

Then, Hicks took a 180 turn and pleaded guilty of "one of the two single charges and not guilty of the other"???

When a plea bargain is struck (according to the U.S. movie makers) it concerns what the prisoner will plead. i.e., guilty to a specific  criminal act, in return for a prosecutor offered sentence.

IF the plea bargain is trashed by either party then all bets are off and the guilty plea has no locus standi.

Then- how can the U.S. Military Judge, with the knowledge that a bargain has been struck (albeit we are told in a sealed envelope) still demand that the accused tell the Court what he is guilty of.  Fair dinkum.

Not only do they say he is guilty before he is even in the Court but, that he must tell them what he has done to plead guilty. If they have to be told by the accused himself, then they cannot have any proof of anything!!!

Is the Court Judge a Catholic Priest in that he will accept a confession and absolve the perpetrator?  I thought only Howard had that power to forgive his corruptive Ministers.

I cannot imagine any person considering these proceedings as anything other than politically motivated - and by the description of David Hicks' manner - he damn well knows it.

But, did he have a real choice or a Howard "choice" - where you cop it or else!

Bear in mind that Howard, Downer and Ruddock have claimed all along that he was guilty of "something" and that each of the two different methods of Guantanamo U.S. military commissions were "fair", (even though he U.S. Supreme Court overruled one).

Perhaps we are ill informed - or we are missing something.

No one in their right mind could possibly call this JUSTICE but - Howard did! Struth.

In the early part of this year I wrote in this forum that Howard and his Corporations (paid for comment) media, would begin to destroy the baggage of his incompetent government.  And I mentioned Hicks.

Look again at the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights and apply that to the Howard "New Order" when they claim that they honour it. 

Then ask yourself how could YOU trust him or any of his sycophants about anything.

There is no justice - just the powers that be.

"Remember the Alamo" now "Remember Guantanamo".

The Howard "New Order" are now crowing about David Hicks pleading "guilty" as a bargaining chip for, hopefully, his removal from Guantanamo Bay.

This, after five and a half years of torture and abuse in a system of law opposed by every free country in the world. (No, we are not "free").  The Howard government of depraved indifference not only found him guilty five and a half years ago, but was content to leave him there to rot.  France and Devil's Island comes to mind.

At his first appearance, David Hicks tried to maintain his innocence by refusing to plead guilty of, what can only be called "a trumped up nebulous charge" without precedent in any Democracy, past or present.

After two more of his defence team were expelled for not committing themselves to a "document of legal impotence", I can imagine how he would have felt viz:

"Can I expect a fair trial here, with the Howard government servile to Bush and against me, with the facts of the case gagged, with evidence being doctored and obtained by torture?" 

And then:

"I have resisted a plea of guilty for five and a half years of unlawful detention and torture - could I possibly continue without losing my mind?" 

Following this disgusting injustice, fed and bred with the uncaring assistance of the Howard "New Order" - that's how I would feel - but then, I could never have stood up to what this man did.

The only people closely involved in this travesty of justice who have any reason to hold their heads high are:  David's defence team, especially Major Michael Mori; Terry Hicks, David's father; and the ever increasing indignity of the majority of Australians against the arrogant attitude of the "New Order" Liberals.

We now have Howard claiming "Justice has been done" - what the hell would he know about "Justice"?

The weirdo Alex Downer said he has no sympathy for David Hicks because he saw what terrorists did in Bali.  Fair dinkum.

How many of us still remember that the U.S. intelligence warned Downer that there would be an attack in Bali and, it seems, advised their American tourists?  Downer was forced to admit that he had indeed received that intelligence, but IT WAS NOT SPECIFIC so - he did not warn the Australians. Consequently - 88 Australians died and many were injured, not knowing that there was such a warning - and one American also died who may not have heeded the advice.

Yet this prize clown of the AWB scandal and a most embarrassingly incompetent Foreign Minister - claims the moral highground in the railroading of David Hicks; the Santo Santoro scandal and his absence of duty to the Australian tourists re the Bali bombings. Fair dinkum.

While we are seriously looking at the crimes of this government of depraved indifference - we must always remember that the Howard "business" policy is that EVERYTHING for the ordinary population of Australia must be "on the cheap".

Since there has not been anyone willing to take the blame about the Private Kovco body bungle - the buck has to be worn my the Minister of the time Brendan Nelson, and his leader - Howard.

This Australian Soldier's body was flown to a third world, and very cheap Kuwaiti "mortuary".  His body was as carelessly treated as the lack of care and cheapness decided by the Howard government Minister. Some other person's loved one was wrongly consigned to Australia and no one - no one accepted blame or was sacked for it.

Then, let's talk about Howard's "New Order" flight "out of danger", organised by another cheap Minister, Alex Downer.  Available to him was Qantas or our Military aircraft but - he chose the cheap Garuda - and - Australian public servants and reporters died or were injured. The cheapness and inexperience of the Indonesian airline was well known.

Well may they say that David Hicks had received any semblance of "Justice".

There is no truth - only the powers that be.

NE OUBLIE.

Alan does it again

Alan Curran: "They [the Labor Opposition] have strung Terry Hicks along hoping to make Davis [sic] Hicks an election issue, they were even talking about him standing as a Labor candidate."

Alan, you are so right yet again.

And not only is Terry Hicks a 'useful idiot', if not a paid stooge, of the Australian Labor Party — the 'concerned father' routine shouldn't fool anyone for a second — one also has to wonder whether Hicks's military lawyer, Major Michael Mori, is not also a card-carrying Labor apparatchik.

According to chief prosecutor Colonel Morris 'Moe' Davis, it seems Mori's activities are "having a direct impact on the elected government of one of our closest allies [Australia] in an election year and while they are supporting us in war."

It should be an international scandal that Hicks and his supporters are trying to bring down civilisation as we know it unseat the Howard Government from its rightful place at the helm of Our Great Nation.

Clearly Mori and other Hicks-supporters are conspiring to undermine the Bush Administration's US military authorities' efforts to re-elect the Howard Government bring David Hicks to, um, something approximating, um, justice.

These meddlers should just let the Australian and US governments get on with negotiating implementing the due process of Hicks's trial and inevitable conviction.

Free Mohamed Abbas! And Australia's greatest loser!

Daniel Smythe: "I would like to register my complete disgust at the Hicks situation as reported tonight on SBS."

Perhaps you preferred their recent documentary The President Versus David Hicks in which the eager little (though now very fat) former Jihadist explained to his dad just why he wanted to fight the Jews and other infidels? And how much fun he had shooting at people? And the various conscious decisions he took moving from one terrorist organisation to another before linking up with the Taliban?

Naaaaaahhh. You don't want to do that.

David Curry: "Yeah, CP, those Egyptian torturers should be ashamed of themselves for doing such a lame job on Mamdouh Habib."

I'm glad you brought that up. Because Mamdouh also claims to have seen this guy tortured;

The Department of Foreign Affairs will investigate claims that former Guantanamo Bay detainee Mamdouh Habib saw a Sydney man, who disappeared more than six years ago, in an Egyptian jail.

Mr Habib, who was held in an Egyptian prison from late 2001 until at least February 2002 before being taken to the US military prison for terrorism suspects in Cuba, contacted the Sydney family of Egyptian-born Australian citizen Mohamed Abbass after returning home early this year.

A departmental official yesterday denied Mr Abbass was in Egypt and said the efforts of Foreign Affairs, the Australian Federal Police, consular officials and Interpol National Central Bureaus had failed to locate him.

"Egyptian authorities deny the man is in Egypt," the spokeswoman said. Records indicated he entered Turkey from Egypt in 1999, but did not show he returned to Egypt or left Turkey."....

The official view of Mr Abbass's disappearance, which was the subject of an SBS Dateline program last night, has been contradicted by Mr Habib, and by Seham Abbass, who claims to have visited her husband in a jail near Cairo 18 months after he went missing....

The spokeswoman said she had no knowledge of the wife's visit, but the department would follow up advice from lawyer Stephen Kenny that Mr Habib had seen Mr Abbass detained in Egypt.

Have you wondered why Mamdouh and his apologists have gone so vewy, vewy quiet about Mohamed Abbas, David? Strange, isn't it? Here's an Australian citizen simply disappeared inside the Egyptian torture system. Mamdouh actually 'saw" him there.

I think Bob Brown and Kerry Nettle should stand up to John Howard over this matter and speak out about what Mamdouh saw and help get Mohamed Abbas out of that hell hole in Egypt. After all, their credibility is at stake, not to mention their genuine compassionate concern for Australians held in overseas detention.

Okay, get to it!

Now, concerning Davey Hicks again, I can see a number of promising possibilities for him when he gets back to Australia. Perhaps some promotional work with Subway and Jennie Craig. See how much weight he can lose after he gets back into circulation. Maybe a stint on Australia's Greatest Loser. Those exercise routines are pure torture, sometimes, aren't they? Maybe he can do speaking tours on behalf of the Green Party. I mean, I bloody hope so.

And where's Mercedes Corby when you need her?

Richard Tonkin: "At moments like this, C Parsons, that I admire your deductive insight and way with words  The only step you've left off is which corporations are employed to implement the aid programs funded by the now laundered stolen Iraqi money."

The Oil for Food programme was terminated with the Sanctions after the overthrow of the Ba'athist Regime. AWB was one of the companies authorised to implement the programme and was far and away the worst single offender. Its relationship with Saddam ended due to the initiatives of George W Bush.

All the details of the AWB arrangements with the former dictator were found in records contained inside the offices of the Iraqi Ministry for Oil. Remember how the Coalition forces surrounded the Ministry for Oil building? And began rumaging through the files? Remember how upsetting that was for the "peace" movement? No?

Apologists for torture, chapter 32

Oh, I get it, CP. Because nobody has been able to prove that Mohamed Abbass is in an Egyptian jail (just dubious reports from his wife about having to bribe her way into jail to see him), Mamdouh Habib must be lying about having seen him there. Which means … he must also have been lying about being rendered to Egypt and tortured there for six months!

Well, that solves that.

And given the Australian Government denies knowing anything about what happened to Habib in Egypt (but knew everything, apparently, about what he did up to being transferred there – and enough to write to Habib’s wife to tell her he was in Egypt), it must be case closed, right?

CP, there is an exquisite irony in your glib dismissal of torture claims by people who have been subject to extraordinary rendition. Consider: one of your favourite targets is Australian Marxists who naively supported Stalin’s ‘workers paradise’ until they could no longer refute the horrors of his regime. They look ridiculous now, don’t they?

Now, in 2007, we have people who choose to ignore or dismiss the mounting evidence that under the direction of the Bush Administration the CIA has outsourced torture to countries like Egypt, Syria, and Morocco, a program known euphemistically as extraordinary rendition. (Incidentally, you might want to check out the website of Canadian Maher Arar, who spent 10 months being tortured in Syria after being rendered there by the CIA - another fiction, no doubt, although the Canadian Commission of Inquiry is harder to dismiss).

It’s lovely stuff: arresting terrorist suspects and flying them to Egypt or Syria so they can have the crap beaten out of them for months. Electric shocks, cigarette burns, solitary confinement in pitch black, rat-infested, ‘grave like’ cells. No contact with, or information passed to, the families of the suspects.

It’s the sort of thing most of us would associate with a totalitarian regime, rather than a liberal democracy.

And for what? Was Habib’s confession that he trained the September 11 hijackers ‘actionable intelligence’? Sure, and that would be why he goes in fun runs instead of appearing before a military commission. Craig Murray, former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, where terrorist suspects are sometimes boiled alive for ‘intelligence’, put it this way: “We are selling our souls for dross”.

And people like you, CP, are in a state of denial. Oh, it’s all a lie by those credulous, bleeding heart lefties!

Ironic.

You know, I think I might take your place on Webdiary in a couple of years, getting my jollies by reminding apologists for the Bush Administration how naive and foolish they were.

Is anyone surprised at Hicks pleading guilty?

Whatever really happened in the illegal U.S. Military "trial" of an accused non-militant, Australian David Hicks, the Howard government will receive only "brick bats" - and most deservedly!

  1. It is a recorded fact that the spiteful little schoolboy boasted that he could have David Hicks returned to Australia at any time.
  2. However, he said that HE couldn't punish him by Australian law [for something]- so he supported the Americans doing it for him. Isn't that alone unique in contemporary Democracies?
  3. The decent lawyers representing a person who has been tortured for over five years and who has not only been ignored and condemned by his own "government" would expect to have a "Sisyphus" chance of a "fair trial".
  4. The current U.S. Republican administration is, in the opinion of fair minded people all over the world, the most terrorist organisation this planet has ever known.
  5. And that is their intention to the independent nations.

These self-evident facts are a condemnation of the marketing word "democracy".

This is no longer about the mistreatment of an Australian citizen who may or may not have fought; ignored; opposed or disagreed with the Northern Alliance rebellion in Afghanistan - it is a critique of a current mindless, policy vacuum Party who owes its existence to its servitude to the Military/Corporate of the U.S.

While there are some courageous people [Webdiary] in this once proud democracy, who provide for us the freedom of speech that the Howard "New Order" has consistently removed by threats and financial burdens - we still have a chance of "taking back Australia".

Hicks is an Australian, he is human, I am human and nothing human is alien to me.

Although the result was inevitable, this is a sad day for the Australia that I love.

To me, Hicks is not a terrorist but an Australian who, at worst, has demonstrated his independent, albeit unpopular, attitude to the rights of a nation (Taliban Afghanistan) to maintain their independence from exterior interference.

The reasonable attitude of the Taliban to the Osama bin Laden problem has been lost in the fog of propaganda.

It seems to become - in contemporary "democracies" -  that the opinion of the US is final and their power is demonstrated by their plus or minus use of the New York based United Nations. 

We have - in my opinion - only one more chance of taking back Australia before it is too late.

The ultimate destruction of Australia as a Nation would be inevitable.

"If you can remain calm while everyone around you is panicking - you don't fully understand the situation".  Amen to that.

There is no truth - just the powers that be.

NE OUBLIE.

Auction the images on e-bay

Frère Jihad: "Speaking of equality, Seep, we can all look forward to their day in a Guantanamo kangaroo court of the Australian government types who fed Saddam Hussein $300 million in AWB kickbacks."

Shit no. They should be on trial in Baghdad where they committed the crime. Along with George 'Cash for Comment' Galloway. The millions they took came out of the hides of innocent Iraqi women and kids.

The transport payment kickbacks were just part of it. The higher prices they charged for their wheat were another means to laundring the BNP escrow accounts set up to fund the humanitarian programmes.   The oil allocations going the other way went through the hands of scum like Galloway and other lickspittle apologists for the regime.

Hang 'em. I'll pull the bloody lever if you want. You can take pictures with your cell-phone camera and we'll auction it on ebay and give it to the save The Children Fund.

AWB kickbacks "material support for terrorism"?

At moments like this, C Parsons, that I admire your deductive insight and way with words  The only step you've left off is which corporations are employed to implement the aid programs funded by the now laundered stolen Iraqi money.  One that does this through the governments of at least two nations, springs to mind for some reason.

On a related matter, how are the AWB kickbacks, under the tenets of the new retrospective US legislation not classifiable as "material support for terrorism"?  Could a Hicks conviction under such law be used as a citable precedent to do what the Cole Inquiry couldn't and  lock Downer up as a culpably responsible "terrorist" supporting Saddam's acquisition of munitions?

Aside: I wonder who got the consultancy gig for the plans to incarcerate Hicks in Adelaide...did Cheney's KBR get a chance to imprison Hicks twice?

To paraphrase Rumsfeld, there are known knowns and unknown knowns, but at the end of the day it's not what you know but who you know.

Extreme Disgust!

I would like to register my complete disgust at the Hicks situation as reported tonight on SBS. It is obvious that Howard, fearing a voter backlash at the next election, has managed to push the U.S. into hearing the Hicks case before the election. Bush has complied wanting to keep one of his few allies onside. It is obvious that part of the deal is that if Hicks pleads guilty, he will be returned to Australia, hence removing one of the obstacles to Howard being re-elected.

Given that Howard ignored Hicks for nearly five years then scurries (like the vermin he is) to pretend to be concerned about him, is disgusting. Then Howard is doing the same thing with global warming. Like a prostitute, he will do anything, say anything to win the next election.

Hicks, hopefully, will bring Howard down, you mark my words! And Howard down will be a huge bonus for Australia.

Why Hicks is coming home

Daniel Smythe, you really have got it all wrong, you should be disgusted with the Labor Party and Hick's defence team for holding things up.

Labor was hoping to go to the next election with AWB bubbling in the background, but the public lost interest so Labor don't talk about it. They have strung Terry Hicks along hoping to make Davis Hicks an election issue, they were even talking about him standing as a Labor candidate. I would imagine that in light of the fact that the Workchoice lies bombed out for them in the NSW election, the swing was away from Labor. I would imagine Labor internal research has shown them that Hicks was not going to help them at the next election, so they instructed Terry Hicks to tell his son to plead guilty. So that is 3 "biggies" down the drain for Labor, I wonder what they will come up with next.

Don't be too sure Alan

Alan Curran, I would not be too sure about all that.

I think the Australian public will be quite justifiably concerned if Hicks is given a long gaol sentence after being held without trial in the way he was for five years.

The dismissal of his lawyers was an outrage. So if he is in gaol in Australia there will still be a lot of people who feel he has done his time and should be freed.

While he may have pleaded guilty I would strongly suspect that the reason was that given by his long suffering father. I would do anything rather than stay in Guatanamo Bay under the Americans if I were him.

No I do not think Austrlians will ignore the total lack of concern by this Government on the fate of one of its citizens, as stupid as that young fellow might be.  And every day that Hicks remains in gaol in this country will be a reminder of that.  I have little time for Hicks but this government's conduct over this issue has not escaped me. 

The AWB. Oh I am sure Howard will make sure nothing happens there before the election, but none of us are that blind. I am waiting for those prosecutions, but what is the bet it will all get swept under the carpet and no one will be prosecuted. And Rudd is a politician. He knows that further damage to the AWB will hurt farmers burdened by seven years of drought and by shareholders who have lost a great deal over this issue through no fault of their own. Pushing the AWB as an issue is a double edged sword and Rudd is not fool. He is not going go play into Howard's hands on this one.

Workchoices. I think that issue too is far from dead in the public mind. The swing away from Labor in NSW could just as easily be due to discontent with it over transport and health and other issues. Has it occurred to you that Labor may have retained power as a consequence of (a) the workchoices issue and (b) the incompetence of the opposition.

And BTW. As a former Liberal/National Party voter I can tell you that Howard's crowing that families had never had it so good the other day in Parliament made me realize just how far out of touch he really is with middle Australia. Has he not heard about the high level of mortgage belt failures of late, and not seen that affordability in Australia for housing is at an all time high?  These are issues that will influence people, even if they do not give a damn about David Hicks.

I guess Howard will be hoping like hell the Reserve bank does not lift interest rates before the next election and I would not like to put my money on that one. 

Defiant to the end.

David Hicks has entered a guilty plea.

 

'Equalility' for David Hicks. Crank up the hysteria

Australian Greens leader Bob Brown compared the dismissal of Hicks's lawyers to the processes under the former Soviet Union's legal system.

David Hicks's legal team was not dismissed, of course. And I don't think terrorism suspects and captive mercenaries under the former Soviet Union got lawyers or had trials somehow. They certainly didn't allow foreign media to cover judicial proceedings relating to them that I am aware of. Bob's probably mixed up Guantanamo Bay with the rest of Cuba.

Terry Hicks and daughter Stephanie were allowed to meet the 31-year-old twice and another meeting was expected later today. They ate a sandwich lunch together and chatted, Hicks asking his father about his two young children, who live with the terror suspect's former de facto.

Maybe they should have skipped the sandwich. Apparently David has got so fat he couldn't fit into the suit his dad brought over to him. That's odd.

When he last talked to his father Terry, David Hicks explained he was being kept “in a concrete cell lying on the floor with no mattress, partially clothed and with the air conditioning and lights on full, 24 hours a day, seven days a week”. David said he felt he “can’t last much longer”.

- Socialist Alternative, March 2007

Torture often leads to weight gain.  Maybe after he's home he can go on the next City to Surf Run with Mamdouh Habib who also made a surprising recovery to health after his torture experience. Work off a few pounds. Hey? Whatever happened to the hunger strike the Guantanamo inmates were on? I presume David wasn't part of that.

Torturers not doing their jobs

Yeah, CP, those Egyptian torturers should be ashamed of themselves for doing such a lame job on Mamdouh Habib.  Beatings, electric shocks, putting out cigarettes on bare skin, the threat of rape by dogs - pathetic really.  I hear you, CP, the least they could have done is break his legs or shatter his kneecaps.  That'd learn him! 

We need people like C Parsons on these threads to remind bleeding heart lefties why the torture - sorry, coercive interrogation - of terrorist suspects is a legitimate way for a liberal democracy to obtain actionable intelligence.  Sure, torture - sorry, coercive interrogation (I gotta stop that!) - is normally associated with universally reviled totalitarian regimes like Nazi Germany, but this is different.  We’re the good guys, fighting people who don't understand our values. 

(Remember: just because torturing prisoners is something we did, doesn’t mean it’s something we would do.) 

Take fun runner Habib, another of those ‘victims’ misguided lefties cry over. 

In Pakistan, having made the grievous mistake of standing up for Ibrahim Diab, a German-Albanian man he had met hours before at a bus stop, as he was dragged away by ‘police officers’, Habib found himself a guest of the CIA.  The CIA arranged free (free!) transport from Pakistan to Egypt, where he was given free (again, free!) accommodation for six months. 

OK, we’re not talking five stars, and the room service tended to be limited to beatings and cigarette burns, but when was the last time somebody paid for you to have a holiday in the land of the pharaohs?  Boo hoo, Habib. 

Let’s not forget who this guy was.  When the US military outlined its case against Habib to justify his ongoing detention in Guantanamo Bay (two years of free accommodation), they said he not only knew about the September 11 attacks beforehand but also helped train some of the hijackers - and even planned to hijack a plane himself.

Habib confessed to this stuff, people!  Wake up and smell the burning flesh! 

I’m sure if those Egyption interrogators had done their job properly they could have nailed Habib for flying one of the damn planes. 

Now, as CP points out, Habib is a free man who goes in fun runs.  Frankly, this is the bit where I get confused.  If Habib trained the 9/11 hijackers, and is among the worst of the worst etc., why is he going in fun runs instead of appearing in front of a Military Commission with David Hicks?  A confession is a confession, surely?  Habib now says he's innocent, but he would say that, wouldn't he?  There must have been a terrible mistake. 

I'm sure CP can help me out here. 

HOP INTO IT, CHUBBY ALEX –

HALF-BAKED GUANTANAMOLE KANGAROO & FRIES, CUBAN STYLE

Speaking of equality, Seep, we can all look forward to their day in a Guantanamo kangaroo court of the Australian government types who fed Saddam Hussein $300 million in AWB kickbacks.

As, perhaps, will be the families of more than 3,000 US servicemen who have died in Mesopotamia.

Plea bargain, Mr Downer? It still comes with fries in some jurisdictions. Or a noose, firing squad or lethal injection.

Frère Jihad Jacques OAM née Woodforde, chief cook and full bottle-washer.

Hicks to serve sentence in Adelaide gaol: Advertiser

From the Advertiser's chief reporter, Paul Starick:

[excerpt] 

Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer yesterday said Hicks, if convicted and sentenced to a jail term, would be able to serve his sentence in Australia.

Details of Correctional Services Department contingency plans for Hicks, supplied to The Advertiser , show he initially would be housed in Yatala's maximum-security G Division. He would then be "comprehensively assessed to establish his risks and needs" and given a case plan, which would include education and, possibly, work and therapy.

It is likely he would be kept in high security "to avoid external interference", such as "protests, attempts to free him, etc". "Hicks would be allowed to receive normal visits and participate in authorised activities," the department says.

Mr Downer said Hicks' trial had to begin by June and presumably would "take several weeks".

"But when the trial has concluded, Hicks will be able to get out of Guantanamo Bay," he said

Downer had previously explained at this "Doorstop Interview" that: 

If he is acquitted, he will of course come back to Australia anyway. So I do think that the sooner we get the trial completed – whatever the result of the trial – the sooner Hicks will get out of Guantanamo Bay and even if that means serving some time in Australia. We had to renew the agreement we had with the Americans in relation to Hicks being able to serve in an Australian prison if he’s convicted and we have renewed that agreement now – it was signed a few days ago.

So it looks like Hicks will serve time in a hometown prison for something that he could not be charged with here.

Q.E.D. Alex.  Do you still have that note from Dubya hanging on your wall?

The worst thing I've heard from an American military mouth

On the 3 a.m. ABC news, from the Guantanemo spokesman explaing that it was a "standard operating procedure" to shackle Hicks to the floor durining interviews with his lawyers:

" I mean these are Al Qaeda operatives.  You don't know what atrocities they've committed"

As far as his captors are concerned no trial is necessary.  If statements like this are released to the public then the truth that the trial will be a "kangaroo  court" is well and truly revealed and confirmed.

Right on Richard - obviously a foregone conclusion.

My Wife and I watched the Tony Jones' Lateline interview with the U.S. Colonel Morris.

He leads the Bush Republican team obligated to ensure that all inmates are found guilty - of "something".

It appears to us that the "Universal blanket" charge of "materialy aiding Terrorists" can be applied to anyone, even the depraved politicians Howard, Downer and Ruddock.  [I wish.]

If it is found sometime in the future, for example, that the unknown producer of a play or; the Coach of a sport; or Garden Island's "Cafe de Wheels" owner, are SUSPECTED terrorists, or planning to be a terrorist or; thinking like a terrorist - then how many of us have given "material support to terrorists"? Fair dinkum.

If it wasn't for the disgraceful performance of the "Leader of the free world" and his puppet governments - it could even be funny.  One day they may make a sensational expose' movie of this historic abdication of moral or legal obligations. 

Democracies make a big deal of the separation of powers, especially the Executive and the Judiciary.

I believe that check and balance is another one removed by the "New Order" in Australia, as by the Bush Republicans in the U.S.

We were interested to note that the U.S. Colonel Morris (an ex Bail bondsman - struth) made at least three statements of interest to the majority of Australians.

  1. He stated that NO pressure had been brought to bear on him or his prosecuting military personnel by the Australian Government nor indeed the U.S.  (No need eh Richard?)
  2. And - that people will be of a different opinion when the "facts" are brought up at the trial!!! Which means that the defence do not know the particulars of the "broard brush single charge" against David, nor does the world. "Run it up the flagpole and see who salutes it"?
  3. Every person involved in the prosecution of David Hicks are U.S. Military lawyers and bound by the U.S. Military Code which; is controlled by the Pentagon, which; is controlled by the U.S. government! They have even used this to try to silence Major Mori?

So - where is the "separation of powers"?

On the same program, Dr. Stephen Miles, a U.S. expert in this field, has studied 70,000 pages of logs from Guantanamo Bay and his testimony would expose the "New Order" liars, Howard, Downer and Ruddock yet again.

I guess that they will not be released for public scrutiny.

Whatever is the outcome of the David Hicks "uniquely illegal trial", the suffering that he has been cruelly forced to endure was only made possible by the Howard government's absence of morality, decensy and duty of care to Australian citizens.

Well might the "New Order" have 18 LAWYERS in their cabinet.

Their behaviour makes them unworthy, even to serve on a jury.

There is no truth - just the powers that be.

NE OUBLIE.

Right on

Ernest William, I would rather have 18 lawyers than 18 union hacks and ex-Labor leaders. No competition really.

I don't insist

C Parsons, I don't insist, and never have, that Hicks never meant to hurt anyone. I'm just trying to understand the evidence as best I can.

I am guilty of sloppy reading. I was looking for "at people", and stopped when I got to "across the border". But even with "at it's enemy", it doesn't show he shot at anyone. The enemy was India. He may have been shooting aimed fire at visible civilians or military, or at some sort of fortification. Or just at India, with no more specific target at all.

If it was at civilians, then that is "innocent people". But this is a fortified, disputed border where gunfire is commonplace. It is probable that civilians either stay away, or are considered not legitimate targets. So I think it unlikely that Hicks shot at civilians.

If it was the military, then they don't count as "innocent", though still people. And since they would be considered legitimate targets, they would be under cover or beyond range. It is entirely possible that Hicks shot "at" Indian soldiers at a range where the possibility of hitting anyone was neglible, but unlikely he did it at any closer range.

Fortifications and countryside do not count as "people", innocent or otherwise. I think it probable that this is what Hicks did. Assuming we can believe him in the first place. Maybe he was just big-noting himself.

So, CP, on the available evidence and the balance of probabilities, I'd say Hicks shot into India, but not at anyone. I don't insist on it, I just offer it in response to your repeated insistence that he shot "at people" (which has just changed to "at innocent people").

CP, this exchange began after you put shit on the ABC and SMH for not reporting on Sekai Holland's beating and detention. I just pointed out that you were wrong. That, in fact, Sekai Holland's story had been prominent in both the ABC and SMH. Then there was more shit on Green Left Weekly for not reporting the story, but they did. So you start talking about the Socialist Alliance!

This is a beauty, CP. You'd only have to read Webdiary for a week or two to know what CP thinks of GLW. It might take a year to find out about the Socialist Alliance (though you could guess after a few days). The trouble is that, regarding Sekai Holland, GLW is on CP's side. So it's the Socialist Alliance, and forget the GLW. It still doesn't work.

In passing, I ask a question based on sloppy research. CP pounces. CP has not responded to any of the questions I've asked of s/he/it. But I didn't expect a reasoned response anyway.

Richard Tonkin and Roger Fedyk, I think it is important to bite evey now and then. Otherwise they get away with far too much. If something wrong is not contested, it may end up, by default, as the truth. It's fun, too. I've noticed that CP's links frequently contradict the point that CP is attempting to make.

Which bit about "shooting at Indians" don't you understand?

Richard Tonkin: "C Parsons, I'm sorry but I'm finding your Seka analogies hard to take.  You've repeatedly thrown the same pieces of rhetoric (i.e. Hicks shooting at Indians) so many times that I begin to doubt whether you have anything else on your assignment sheet."

It's Sekai, not Seka. And I keep repeating David Hicks's boast about shooting at Indians because people like Mark Sergeant (below) keep on insisting the David never meant to hurt anyone - despite his admission about shooting at innocent people. Sekai Holland by contrast never hurt anyone - which is why you find the analogy difficult. Because it's a contrast, not an analogy.

Craig R: As the man's name is David Hicks (not 'Davey') we'll take it that you've no issue with us fixing every comment of yours where you've used the name 'Davey'.

Polarisation

 C Parsons, I'm sorry but I'm finding your Sekai analogies hard to take. You've repeatedly thrown the same pieces of rhetoric (i.e. Hicks shooting at Indians) so many times that I begin to doubt whether you have anything else on your assignment sheet.  When you add them to the Sekai situation I begin to wonder if your motivation is compassion or point-scoring.

If you can't put up an argument without so much repetition (not to mention continual reputation tarnishing)  I would suggest that you modify your tactics.  I for one would love to have some conversations that aren't convoluted by your attempted polarisations. Such are becoming few and far between.

A Vain Hope

Richard, our buddy, CP, has never shown any interest in presenting a view point backed by logic. His preferred MO is to bandy about some provocative lines and wait for the punters, who take him seriously, to reply.

It's a hilarious sideshow for our good friend. To date, CP has proved immune to all appeals to logically justify anything he writes. He merely continues on in the same vein because he has knows P.T. Barnum's adage is true.

He rarely replies to comments addressed to him such as my previous one Whatever You Say, Kemosabe because the fun factor is gone when you are trying to defend yourself.

So the trick to getting good 'ole Chris Parsons to be a better contributor is not to indulge him. Treat his comments as the comedy they are written as. Oh, and he never seems to respond if you call him Chris, so let's see if he bites on this.

Why the Right have to belittle Hicks

The Right apologists for the cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment – oh, and torture - of prisoners of war wouldn’t have to belittle David Hicks if they’d had any moral backbone from the beginning.  It’s too late now for them to backtrack, so they have to find ever more absurd mental contortions to rationalise their position.  Their political schizophrenia in continuing to claim the high moral ground was summed up beautifully on The Daily Show With John Stewart just after Abu Ghraib:

The Arab world has to realise that the US shouldn’t be judged on the actions of a … well, we shouldn’t be judged on our actions.  It’s our principles that matter, our inspiring, abstract notions.  Remember: Just because torturing prisoners is something we did, doesn’t mean it’s something we would do.

Another Difference

Another difference between detainees Hicks and Holland is that Holland is no longer in detention. If I'd been up to date I could have included it in last night's post. As it is, I heard about it this morning on ABC radio, and read about it in the SMH.

I note, too, that if Alexander Downer is to be believed (and this is one of the rare occasions when I do believe him), then Foreign Affairs put in a lot of good work on Sekai Holland's behalf. That's another difference.

So, C Parsons, if you do organize that protest, I won't carry a "Free Sekai Holland" placard. Otherwise, the offer stands.

Injun Hicks admits shooting at people.

Mark Sergeant: "But apart from that, I did notice that, according to reports, Hicks, a young, white male was with the Taliban, and shot across the border into India. (Do you have evidence for "at people", CP?"

I've got news for you, Mark....

"Every night there is an exchange of fire. I got to fire hundreds of rounds … There are not many countries in the world where a tourist … can go and stay with the army and shoot across the border at its enemy, legally."

- David Hicks, The President Versus David Hicks, SBS TV 2004

Mark Sergeant: "A bit lacking in revolutionary zeal, perhaps, but it does ask the Government to do something. They have declined."

They may have helped her escape, actually...

"Mrs Holland's dramatic escape was in defiance of the Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, whose regime had ordered the Australian embassy not to support opposition activists."

Also...

"Four years ago Australia led moves to suspend Zimbabwe from the 53-nation Commonwealth after the country's flawed presidential election."

The Left apologists for David Hicks wouldn't be in the absurd position of having to belittle the fate of Sekai Holland if they hadn't spent so much time exalting the captured Taliban mercenary soldier David Hicks as some sort of hero, would they?

Whatever You Say Kemosabe

CP, is this a question "The Left apologists for David Hicks wouldn't be in the absurd position of having to belittle the fate of Sekai Holland if they hadn't spent so much time exalting the captured Taliban mercenary soldier David Hicks as some sort of hero, would they?" Do you have an answer or shall we just guess? Perhaps for the sake of accuracy you could let a little logic rip.

"Absurd position" sez yoo! Have not yet seen what your thought process is on that one. It could be interesting. You could trawl (sounds a bit like "troll" doesn't it but I digress) the workings of other great minds like the writers for the John Birch Society tracts for some hints. Better yet, what about some genuine pearls of wisdom from Annie "Get Yer Gun" Coulter.

Do you see parallels, Kemosabe? I look at your funny little "Injun Hicks" and I can't see the connection yet but I bet you do.

Hey what about that John McCain though? Is he some sort of addled-brained Leftie or whot? He would close down Gitmo in a heartbeat, he says. Can you believe the nerve of that guy? Makes you wonder what sort of war-hero he really was, dunnit?

Hey isn't this where this discussion started, you know, due process, habeas corpus, "the fair go" etc? What's that got to do with that brave lady, Mrs Holland?

No team of lawyers for Sekai.

Roger Fedyk: "Hicks is an Australian, Holland is not. They are different."

As I understand it, they both renounced their Australian citizenship. And you are the third person on this thread in two days trying to "equate" David Hicks with Sekai Holland.

The fact is, Sekai Holland didn't join up as a mercenary soldier in a foreign army. Sekai was bashed nearly to death by cops for taking part in a pro-democracy rally instead.

And we don't just have her lawyer's word for it that she was beaten, do we? In fact, unlike David Hicks who openly brags about shooting hundreds of rounds of heavy calibre bullets at people, Sekai doesn't have a lawyer, does she?

Spotted the difference yet?

Geez, CP I Missed It, You're Confused

I was so riveted by your other comments I missed your reply to me.

"Spotted the difference yet?" Spotted the difference between what, my friend? Living in Glasgow as opposed to living somewhere else?

You are missing the logic boat, ole buddy. I don't give a rat's arse about David Hicks the terrorist. The real law can deal quite adequately with terrorists. Where Mrs Holland was concerned I was just following your funny lead. I don't know the woman and until her plight appeared in the media, I had no interest in her. Can't say that I have any more interest in her now except to say that she deserves every legal and moral protection that society can offer, as does alleged terrorist Hicks, D.

You seem to be awfully confused, ole bean. I haven't equated Hicks with Holland or anyone else. I was just being satirical. I am sure you know what that means. That is where you write funny or silly things without meaning anything that you write. You just write it for effect.

Now in case you are interested in an exchange of ideas instead of an exchange of silly words, I am all for discussing the rule of law, the erosion of civil liberties and the reasons why we cannot abandon habeas corpus.

If you are up to it, ole fruit, I'll be happy to hear what you think about something along those lines.

PS: You're also very confused about Hick's citizenship. He is, as at this moment, an Australian citizen and if he was not the Dessicated Coconut would have already disowned him. Actually, may be the DC is confused, he's certainly showing worrying trends in Parliament, don't you think?. Perhaps Hicks renounced his citizenship but no one in Australia knows about it. Not even the US Veep knows about it because he was here only last month telling DC that we can have Hicks back if found guilty and DC said "Ok". It seems that a lot of people are confused about Mr. Hick's legal status. Any thoughts to clear that up, ole friend or were you just writing that for effect?

PPS: As to your second last question to me, regarding whether Mrs Holland has a lawyer, you'll need to ask her because I don't know, never having met the woman. I can imagine that she probably does have one. I have one that I don't use often but if I have a question such as "What does habeas corpus mean and why is it so important to all people?" Or if ASIO was going to lock me because I play with marbles near the local police stables, I do have someone to go to. Do you?

Predictable attempt to equate Sekai Holland with David Hicks

Mark Sergeant: "I notice, CP, that in your last post you have moved on from Green Left Weekly to the Socialist Alliance. Is that because this week's issue has a story Brutal crackdown as Zimbabwe crisis escalates with the first words "Sekai Holland"? I did ask you to tell me what is in this edition, but in the end I had to go looking myself."

Aw, gee. I hope that didn't put you out too much. And I'm glad Green Left Subsidized feels it can no longer ignore the story. And yes it is disgraceful the Federal Government didn't issue a statement in Sekai's support - unless they're otherwise arranging to assist her.

Doubtless, a complicating factor was Sekai's decision to renounce her Australian citizenship, but that doesn't alter the fact she has children living in Australia and her husband is an Australian citizen.

Essentially, Mrs Holland is now a hostage under armed guard;

"A 64-YEAR-OLD former Australian resident trapped in Zimbabwe says she was lashed more than 80 times by 15 police and fears she will die if she stays in the strife-torn country."

"Sekai Holland yesterday remained under armed guard in a Harare hospital as the US ambassador, Christopher Dell warned that opposition to the President, Robert Mugabe, had reached a tipping point because the people no longer feared the regime and believed they had nothing left to lose."

Mark Sergeant: "Hicks has been detained 5 years, Holland for about 10 days."

Angela Ryan: "Perhaps C Parsons can also take a short trip on the ferry to the CBD and see the box replica of David Hicks' cell that he is incarcerated within, five years of solitary hell, and perhaps he can understand that there are principles of law and justice and humanity that are assaulted by this treatment, as well as by the treatment of Ms Holland."

Davey Hicks is a Taliban mercenary who boasts about having shot at people.

Mrs Holland is an innocent 64 year old grandmother beaten near to death by Marxist cops.

Spot the difference.

Nope, Don't Get It

CP, I've done this comparison.

Hicks is a male, Holland is a female. They are different.
Hicks is 30 -something, Holland is 64. They are different.
Hicks is an Australian, Holland is not. They are different.
Hicks is a father of two, Holland is a grandmother. They are different.
Hicks has not been proven to have shot anyone, either has Holland,. They are the same.
Holland has been beaten, according to his lawyer, so has Hicks. They are the same.

So on my simple test, they seem to be a bit different. Is this what you were getting at?

These Marxist cops are they related to the Marx Brothers? Are you related to the Marx Brothers? Don't bother denying it, I know that you are! Ask me why?

NOPE, ROGER, IT'S THE THREE STOOGES

Roger, WunderSeep is on assignment with the terrorist Bushi-Bushi gang of three Stooges - Shemp Downer, Curly Kirribilli and Moe Davis.

The Three WorkChoices™ Nazis from Hell - ask Pru Goward, who apparently is not a member of the NSW Fraktion of Oktopus Deigns™.

Frère Jihad Jacques OAM née Woodforde, Chief Mad Mullah of the Taliban anti-Right to Laugh™

Breaking News

We are reasonably aware of Sekai Holland's situation, C Parsons. The ABC and SMH have been keeping us up to date. And you, of course. You started out with a slur on the ABC & SMH, so I just thought I'd remind you.

And it was no trouble chasing up the GLW story. I never expected that you would do it, because it was clear from the link you posted that the GLW line is anti-Mugabe, pro-MDC. Once I saw the story they posted on 16/3/07, I would have put money on it. The segue to Socialist Alliance was a neat idea, but not convincing.

CP, I have disputed with you and others calling David Hicks a mercenary many times. Many, many times. Nobody has provided any decent objections to my arguments, so I'm not going over them again. I will just assert that it is simple abuse, without foundation in fact or law. You're good at simple abuse, CP.

But apart from that, I did notice that, according to reports, Hicks, a young, white male was with the Taliban, and shot across the border into India. (Do you have evidence for "at people", CP? My recollection, and your quote, are "across the border", which is different.) Also according to reports, Holland is black, female (and a grandmother) and has been detained and viciously beaten by agents of the Zimbabwean State.

You point to this difference (many, many times) to assert or imply that The Left (which seems to include at least the ABC, SMH, GLW, The Greens, and Webdiary) is hypocritical, in taking up the cause of David Hicks, but not of Sekai Holland. Your evidence is the failure of reporting, which is false, and the absence of a Sekai Holland float in the recent Gay Mardi Gras parade, which at worst shows a lamentable lack of foresight by the organisers.

CP, if you care to organise a public demonstration in support of Sekai Holland, and against the Mugabe regime, I promise to be there. I will drum up whatever support I can. I will carry a "Free Sekai Holland" placard, and argue with all comers my criticisms of Mugabe. The only qualification is that it be in Sydney, at a reasonable time and place. A Wednesday would require negotiation.

PS Eds: It was cut'n'paste again, but that "slur" reference to CP's "Australian prisoner in Marxist gaol a tad inconvenient" (?q=node/1865#comment-61100) is not going to work. It works when I preview from textpad, but this time it screws up in the "post comment" preview where the link is to http://webdiary.com.au/?q=node/1865#comment-61100. What is going on?

PPS Eds: When I copied it into this box, the first link in the PS had http... etc in it. Now it doesn't. cms is screwing us around. I suspect that cms has ganged up with the text editor, the neocons  and aliens, and is out to get us. Circle the wagons! 

a mole buried deep within the Socialist Alliance

C Parsons, today the following motion was put and defeated (after a division) 34-33 in the Senate:

That the Senate:

(a) notes:

(i) the recent attacks and beatings of Zimbabwean opposition members, including Movement for Democratic Change leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai and Movement for Democratic Change spokesperson Mr Nelson Chamisa,
(ii) the news that Zimbabwean President Mr Mugabe is importing up to 3 000 militia men from Angola to help bolster the ability of his own police force to clamp down on the opposition,
(iii) that Mr David Coultard from the Movement for Democratic Change has urged more concrete diplomatic action from Australia to help resolve the democratic and humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe, and
(iv) that former Zimbabwean Test Cricket Captain, Mr Andy Flowers, has in March 2007 called for sporting sanctions to be imposed on Zimbabwe; and

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) convene diplomatic meetings with other Commonwealth nations to push for further diplomatic, financial, aid and trade measures against the Mugabe regime, and
(ii) consider compensating Cricket Australia for any loses imposed on them by the International Cricket Council if they cancel their scheduled tour of Zimbabwe later in 2007. [Notice of motion at Senate Hansard 20 March 2007 p38.]

A bit lacking in revolutionary zeal, perhaps, but it does ask the Government to do something. They have declined.

The motion was moved by Senator Nettle (Greens), and defeated when the coalition voted against it. Details of the motion as put, and the voting in the division will be in the Senate Hansard for 21 March 2007.

In yesterday's Senate Hansard there is also a speech in the adjournment debate (immediately after one by Senator Santoro that has received some publicity) by Senator Moore (ALP) on the situation in Zimbabwe, and in particular about Sekai Holland, who she claims as a friend.

I notice, CP, that in your last post you have moved on from Green Left Weekly to the Socialist Alliance. Is that because this week's issue has a story Brutal crackdown as Zimbabwe crisis escalates with the first words "Sekai Holland"? I did ask you to tell me what is in this edition, but in the end I had to go looking myself.

Are you a mole buried deep within the Socialist Alliance and the Mardi Gras that you know their plans, CP? I would have thought that the Mardi Gras people are still recovering from the last one. Still, there may be a bit of planning going on. And as I said at Just the facts, Ma'am, Meredith Burgmann can organize a float.

PS: Spot the Difference. Here are a few of the most relevant:

  • Hicks has been detained 5 years, Holland for about 10 days.
  • There is clear evidence of Holland's beating. For Hicks, allegations of torture are unconfirmed, but plausible.
  • Hicks is detained by a friendly State. One with which our Government has close (even intimate) relations, and where we hope to have some influence. Holland is detained by a State with which we have had a poor relationship for some years, where we have little influence.
  • Our Government has made almost no effort to ensure that Hicks, who is a citizen, is treated in accordance with the norms of International law, or of either US or Australian Law. Our Government does appear to be taking action (apart, of course, from agreeing to Senator Nettle's motion.) on behalf of Holland, who is no longer a citizen. It is at least making the right noises.
  • There was a Hicks float in the Mardi Gras. The organizers were not sufficiently fey to provide a float for Holland, who was detained a week after the parade.

For evil to flourish ... then along comes Dick Smith and hope

I must say it is refreshing to see C Parsons better side, and here we have it with him in full accelerated support of the Greens and their correct as usual support of human rights throughout the world.

Perhaps C Parsons can explain why the Howard government does not support the motion to condemn the police brutality and beatings of Ms Holland and voting for action.

Perhaps C Parsons can also take a short trip on the ferry to the CBD and see the box replica of David Hicks' cell that he is incarcerated within, five years of solitary hell, and perhaps he can understand that there are principles of law and justice and humanity that are assaulted by this treatment, as well as by the treatment of Ms Holland.

Perhaps C Parsons should also consider why so many Aussies of so many different political persuasions support justice for David Hicks; true justice - not some kangaroo court that further belittles all involved in such. I suspect he will never  recover from his ordeal, five years of such treatment frequently is permanently damaging to one's mind.

May I say what a wonderful Australian Dick Smith is for supporting the cause of justice in David Hicks case, how much I admire him as a man of principle and how much I hope and wish we had more "good men" who do not do "nothing". And more devoted Dads.

Saint David of Afghanistan. Sekai paralysed. Spot the difference

Quite an amusing article which traces Australia's political Left's deification of David Hicks and compares it with their equally absurd infatuation with Che Guevara, another guy who'd likely just shoot them dead on sight if he had ever a chance.

Meanwhile, Sydney grandmother and mother of two Sekai Holland, bashed near to death by Marxists in Zimbawe at a pro-democracy rally, is apparently paralysed down one side.

"Reports yesterday said Ms Holland was completely immobilised on her left side, having suffered multiple fractures including a broken arm and leg and three broken ribs. She has undergone an operation on a fracture in her left ankle and has severe bruising causing internal complications."

She's under arrest for her troubles, too. There are no plans for a Socialist Alliance rally in her support nor a float in the Gay Mardi Gras. What a surprise.

 

a real and present paranoia

Angela Ryan: "Back to the Sheik Khalid and his little boys all partying together, imagine if David Hicks had a child ... then they could both be in the cells together and David would have confessed to anything by now, darnit ... But what of other kidnapped and renditioned diplomats?"

David Hicks has confessed to his father, before he was arrested even, of being a Taliban mercenary and earlier, while working for Lashkar-e-Toiba, shooting Indians.

His exact words about the latter are;

 "Every night there is an exchange of fire. I got to fire hundreds of rounds. There are not many countries in the world where a tourist can go and stay with the army and shoot across the border at its enemy, legally."

Angela Ryan: "Perhaps Mr Howard with his close ties to Israel, could garner the information about such local infiltrators ... remembering that such people will always be able to be manipulated by any foreign government who know their secret ... they are a real sleeper cell and a real and present danger to our security."

You're not talking about David there, are you? Oh, no. It's Lebanese migrants now isn't it?

Good Shepherds

Angela, I think at times that you're as equally suspicious as I.  We both share a deep suspicion of the Steve Stephanowicz story.  The part that I find the most unlikely coincidence is how the Anerican who provided the "local US' p.o.v. to the Advertiser in a post- S11 story, ended up working side by side with Lindy England.  I've found Hansard that he was working for  the SA Govt, I've read a US blog that he was working on secondment from Hal with the Australian Rail Track Corporation, but I don't have any real substantiation- all I have as proveable facts are that Stephanowicz (decided on this spelling as you get better googles) was in Adelaide and that later he was in Abu Ghraib.

Given John Rendon's admissions of planting media agents around the world, how do we NOT know that Stephanowicz wasn't deliberately planted in Adelaide to fulfill the media role that he carried out.?  At any rate, I'm suss that Steve might have blown his cover at Abu Graibh.

Bugger it, I knew I shouldn't have gone to see The Good Shepherd.  Mix it up with Wag The Dog and you get a product that tastes of Rendon, Scheuer, Stepahanowicz and KSM.    Sometimes it's art imitating life, in providing a templative filter through which to view unfolding events, that helps to identify the true nature of an event.

KSM=WMD: QED?

More on Michael Scheuer

Version One

I simply decided, sir, that there was some things I wanted to say about Osama bin Laden, the threat he posed, that were not compatible with my remaining a serving CIA officer, and so I resigned on very cordial terms. I wasn't forced out. And that's really the story.

Version Two 

I resigned because I thought the 9/11 commission had thoroughly failed America by not finding anyone responsible for anything before 9/11. The amount of individual negligence and culpability at the highest levels of the American government was completely whitewashed by the 9/11 commission

Scheuer, who had been sacked as head Bin Laden hunter (then reinstated after S11 as a consultant) wrote a couple of books attacking US Bin Laden policy as an anonymous CIA critic, then revealed himself as their author. The weekend after he resigned from the CIA he appeared on  Sunday night telly to warn of a possible Al Qaeda nuclear attack on the US:

"A nuclear weapon of some dimension, whether it's actually a nuclear weapon, or a dirty bomb, or some kind of radiological device....Yes, I think it's probably a near thing."

Scheuer explained to Radio Liberty that:

"I was the, or one of the authors of the practice, and I think it's been, at least for the United States, the single most productive and positive counterterrorism operation that we have waged, at least in the last 30 years."

He went on to explain that:

The program was set up initially to make sure that we removed people who were a threat to the United States or our allies from the street and had them incarcerated. The second goal was to seize from them at the moment of their arrest whatever paper documents or electronic documents that they had with them, or in their apartment, or in their vehicle, at the time. Those were the two goals. Interrogation was never really an important goal. Primarily because we know that Al-Qaeda's fighters are trained to fabricate information, or to give us a lot of accurate information that turns out to be dated and therefore not useful after it's been investigated.

Scheuer elaborated a year later in the Los Angeles Times (available here) that:

"At each opportunity provided by the clandestine service, senior bureaucrats and policymakers decided not to act. The 9/11 report documents the fact that the chances to capture or attack Bin Laden were passed by because there were worries that shrapnel might hit a mosque and offend Muslim opinion; that a United Arab Emirates prince meeting Bin Laden clandestinely in the Afghan desert might be killed; and that the CIA might be accused of assassination if Bin Laden was killed in an effort to capture him."

Regarding torture of prisoners detained under his scheme, Sheuer told the US 60 minutes that "... they don't have the same legal system we have; we know that going into it," Mr Scheuer said. "We ask them not to torture these people, but we aren't there to check on them."

Scheuer, it turns out, was still head of the prisoner program when KSM was captured.  ""Once he was turned over to us, he was taken to Kabul in Afghanistan and then to a holding centre under our control,"  he says.

Scheuer had this to say  regarding KSM's treatment. ""He was surely subjected to what we'd call enhanced interrogation measures - of which waterboarding is the most extreme."

a real and present danger here, sleeper cells from Lebanon war

Hi Richard, here is another disgruntled Pennsylvanian employee's story from http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/  March 17-18

Bernsten also testified that he was completely disgusted with the CIA's Clandestine Service and explained why:

"During the first week of May of 2005, I returned from overseas having completed a two year assignment. At that time I made it clear that I intended to resign from CIA’s Clandestine Service at 48 years of age which was highly unusual. It would mean that I would forgo an immediate retirement at 50 and instead take a deferred retirement at the age of 60. I communicated with an aide to then CIA Director Porter Goss that I desired to do so because I was completely disgusted with CIA’s Clandestine Service."

"I noted that during the course of the previous assignment I had communicated to CIA Headquarters on multiple occasions that Narco-terrorists and murderers were involved with at least one hostile intelligence service to destabilize and overthrow the nation to which I was formerly assigned. During the course of that assignment I led efforts to thwart, on at least eight separate occasions, plans to bomb key host government facilities, to illegally seize the local parliament and plans to kidnap key local officials. During the course of these efforts I sought expanded authorities on six separate occasions to block the destruction of democracy by these noted Narco-terrorists and a foreign intelligence service. CIA headquarters either did not respond, or responded without answering my specific requests. Finally I was called by my Washington D.C. supervisor and ordered to send no further requests to CIA’s seventh floor, which included the Chief of CIA’s Clandestine Service."

"I was told that I should only be concerned with evacuating my people. I explained that it was not that simple as 5,000 U.S. citizens would be trapped by the violence in the Capital City in which I was assigned. CIA Headquarters had accepted the fact that this country would collapse six months before those Narco-terrorists and foreign intelligence officers would seize control. The word from CIA Headquarters was to do nothing. I continued to defend the constitutional government with all legal means at my disposal until my departure from post." 

And finally since we were talking of torture and KSM and his kids have been guests of uncle Sam, just thought we might consider a ME episode that may have local spores:
In 1991, after Lebanese prisoners and hostages were released from the Israeli-run prison prison at El Khiam, UN medical personnel noticed the prisoners had been exposed to significant torture. During the medical examinations, the released prisoners revealed the names of a number of the prison leaders and interrogators to UN authorities. The interrogators and prison leaders were mostly South Lebanese, both Christian and Muslim, all working for the Israeli Defense Force.

In 2000, when Israel evacuated South Lebanon, the interrogation personnel were transported to Israel. With valid Israeli passports, some of the interrogators emigrated to countries like the United States, Canada, and Australia. Some had been sentenced to death in absentia by Lebanese judicial authorities for their war crimes in Lebanon. A full report on the El Khiam matter was forwarded to the Norwegian government in 1991, and in 2002, to the War Crime Section of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The Canadian police officer in charge of the investigation was, according to UN sources, Blake Leminski.

So have any of that scum come to Australia? Australia was specifically named. Perhaps Mr Ruddock, in one of his many trips to Lebanon, could find the details of such, or even ask the more diligent Canadians ... they found Riad Abdallah and his wife had a US passport-amazing in itself - but he disappeared ... as suggested to AbuGhraib?

Perhaps Mr Howard with his close ties to Israel, could garner the information about such local infiltrators ... remembering that such people will always be able to be manipulated by any foreign government who know their secret ... they are a real sleeper cell and a real and present danger to our security. 

Back to the Sheik Khalid and his little boys all partying together, imagine if David Hicks had a child ... then they could both be in the cells together and David would have confessed to anything by now, darnit ... But what of other kidnapped and renditioned diplomats?

What of the Iranian minister, kidnapped since December 7, even with a false story of his family going too, to suggest he may be a "turned asset". But alas they were very false it seems, hence he is not ... hence we have another kidnapping, and a high profile and no condemnation worldwide ... no surprise there, eh?

Again from Wayne Masden, but many sites have this:

Some media reports suggested that Asghari willingly defected because he made sure his family left Tehran for the West before he defected. However, those reports turned out to be disinformation. After these false news reports made their way around the world, Asghari's wife, Sima Ahmadi, arrived at the Turkish embassy in Tehran to request its assistance in finding her husband.

It appears that Asghari may have been "renditioned" by CIA and Mossad agents. That is the contention of Asghari's wife. There are reports that Asghari was taken to two sites -- Incirlik Airbase in Turkey and Ramstein Air base in Germany -- used in the past by the CIA to transport and detain renditioned prisoners from various countries. If Asghari was renditioned, it is further evidence that the Bush White House and the Israelis are intent on creating a crisis with Iran.

No doubt, like Sheik Khalid, he will appear with the black eye toned down (anyone else notice eh?) and disshevelled with a confession to planning nuclear bombardments of everywhere they want a missile shield bought.

Big business, this TWAT.

Pity about the dead MSM, pity about the UN Universal Human Rights, pity about a set of values that are now shown to be just window dressing to maniuplate a population, "whatever they would be most likely to go for" ... Neocon discussing WMD plans.

And Ernest, yep, Rudolf had an interesting job for an author, ever wonder about his grandparent?

ps Jenny, thanks so much for your care in finding that reference, you did indeed confirm my suspicions, thanks.

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