The US Office of Military Commissions also confirmed today that Hicks would likely be in the first group of Guantanamo Bay inmates charged.
Well, reader, Bannerman has the distinct feeling that he’s read this story before. Some time in the past, in fact. Maybe some thirty-one months ago?
Thirty-one months have passed since David Hicks was first charged with anything even remotely approximating criminal charges or war crimes. June 2004, under the previous military commissions process, Hicks was alleged to have committed all manner of things which he either couldn’t have done, or couldn’t be proven to have done. Those charges have since been nullified by the US Supreme Court decision of late 2006, whereby the military commissions process was deemed illegal. Apparently, the Bush administration still believe in the commissions process, because that’s what Hicks will ultimately face, if ever, albeit re-jigged to by-pass Supreme Court objections.
Bannerman wonders if the Bush administration will be able to come up with anything more substantive this time around than they did 2.5 years ago. What bogus charges can be laid, which haven’t already been dreamt up? Perhaps Hicks can be accused of being somehow involved in 9–11? That’d certainly get him the chop. Meanwhile, the Howardian cabal continue to make the appropriate noises whenever this issue receives some overdue exposure. How concerned they are, Howard and Ruddock, that the US has not moved with any alacrity in bringing David Hicks to some form of real justice. Humanitarians all, the cabal. Such ardent concern they show for an Australian citizen left to rot in a foreign hell-hole, subjected to cruel and unusual treatment at the whim of a foreign power, which just happens to be Australia’s ally. On this one matter alone, the Howardian cabal deserves to swing from this petard of their own creation through sheer lack of spine in demanding repatriation of an Australian citizen. It was good enough for Canada and the United Kingdom to demand their citizens be released. It’s obviously not the done thing to leave American citizens incarcerated without charge or trial, but it is, apparently, acceptable for an Australian citizen to be locked up, without charge, for five years in a weldmesh prison.
Bannerman is disgusted that Australia, Australian’s at large and their elected representatives cannot see the travesty, the illegality or the inhumanity of David Hicks.