Tuesday 21st of May 2024

justice betrayed

A stated belief of the Liberal Party is: “We believe in a just & humane society in which the importance of the family and the rule of law & justice is maintained.

ignoring justice .....

The Australian Defence Association (ADA) published the following article this week. 


The Vexed Legal Status Of David Hicks 


I submitted the comments below in response.



This is an appalling article: short on fact & full of superficial, shallow reasoning.




“Hicks was captured in a war bearing arms on a battlefield.

the silence of the lambs .....

The former President of Ireland & UN Human Rights Commissioner, Mary Robinson, has called on the Australian government to emulate the actions of the British government & secure the release of David Hicks from Guantanamo Bay.



Ms Robinson joins a long list of eminent international jurists who have spoken out against the injustice perpetrated on Hicks & the ‘kangaroo court’ nature of the US Military Commission that he is scheduled to face in the near future & follows a similar call this week by former High Court Judge, Mary Gaudron. 


In the meantime, our church leaders, the lambs of Christ, the alleged keepers of our moral wellbeing, maintain an embarrassing silence on the failure of our government to correct this gross injustice.



Former UN Commissioner Urges Government To Secure Hicks Release

the value of expediency .....

‘We, the Board of Amnesty International Australia, are writing to you to urge you to withdraw your support for the US military commissions, before which Australian citizen David Hicks is due to appear. 




We believe that these commissions, as currently constituted, are unable to deliver fair trials and therefore just outcomes.’




An Open Letter To The Prime Minister Of Australia

to the coward's castle .....

The Editor

Sydney Morning Herald                                                               August 16, 2005



Gerard Henderson just doesn’t get it. (‘This young revolutionary was true to his word’, Herald, August 16). 


Public sympathy for David Hicks is not driven predominantly by a belief in his innocence, but rather, as Henderson’s article so readily demonstrates, the willingness of some politicians & commentators to deny him the opportunity to face his accusers in a fair trial. 


If Hicks really is the evil terrorist mastermind that he has been painted, why is it necessary to use a 'kangaroo court' to convict him?




Get Up !!!!

Message from Get Up Australia .....

Dear Members

All Australians deserve a fair trial. Denying any Australian a fair trial weakens Australia's democracy.

David Hicks will not receive a fair trial in Guantanamo Bay . We must demand that Foreign Minister Alexander Downer get David Hicks back here to face an Australian court:


The British, Spanish, French and German Governments have all refused to allow their citizens to be tried in Guantanamo Bay . Foreign Minister Alexander Downer should have the guts to stand up to the Bush Administration and do the same.

Even the Americans have removed their citizens from Guantanamo Bay and ensured they get a fair trial at home.

Three senior US military prosecutors have already quit the military commission process in Guantanamo Bay , claiming it is unfair. Anyone who commits a terrorist offence should stand trial. However that trial must not be unfair, because unfair trials weaken our democracy and the rule of law.

Last week respected former Australian High Court Judge Mary Gaudron described the military commissions as an extraordinary procedure and extraordinary process. One in which rights are put at risk, in which the truth is put at risk and it's just not good enough.

David Hicks could be facing a U.S military commission in a matter of weeks. We must act now. Sign our letter demanding that Alexander Downer get David Hicks back here to face an Australian court:


Please also let you friends know about this important campaign to defend Australian rights.


Jeremy, David and the GetUp Team

Draconian courts in the US system

From the Guardian

...This has angered many Canadians, who even if they don't approve of Mr Emery's activities [selling marijuana seeds by mail-order], fear that the long arm of the law in the US is now reaching across the border. They say it is wrong for a Canadian to be tried in the United State for selling marijuana seeds from his Vancouver base. The US has far harsher penalties.

"I'm deeply concerned about subjecting a Canadian citizen to the draconian laws of a foreign nation when we don't bother charging this person for violating our laws," Alan Young, an associate professor of law at Osgoode Hall, wrote in the Globe and Mail newspaper.

"A Canadian citizen is now exposed to US drug sentences which border on cruel and unusual punishment - for violating a law we rarely enforce in Canada," said Mr Young, who in the past has done legal work for Mr Emery.

Mr Emery, the head of the British Columbia Marijuana party, has been arrested 11 times for offences related to smoking pot or selling it over the counter at a Vancouver store, but he was usually fined or imprisoned for short periods. He says the police did not bother him once he began selling seeds exclusively through his mail-order business. But it was that business that led a federal grand jury in the United States to indict him on charges of distributing marijuana seeds, marijuana and of money laundering. The DEA says he was bringing in about $2.5m a year and that many of his customers were in the US.

He says he never tried to hide what he was doing."


Not that I'd ever encourage "illegal" drugs usage, in this context it is interesting to note that Canada and the US have the same proportion of ethnicity and ownership of handguns, yet the rate of murder by hand guns per capita is far less less in Canada (about 10 times less) than in the US where nearly 2 million people are also imprisoned on drug charges. In the Australian Magazine (13/08/05), Philip Adams exposed clearly the way the war on drug was being lost. (in the same losing way the war on Cyber fraud was exposed by four corners on 15/08/05) (and in the same way the war on terror is being manufactured to drag as long as possible).

It is about time that citizens took their own freedoms into their own hands and that new methods of managing addictions (drugs, power, food), be suggested and explored, not by enforcement but by better understanding of our own foibles without porkies from the top (power: an addiction of the worse kind). We need less boot and more compassion and enlightened understanding as usual...

the facts regarding David Hicks .....

Former Australian diplomat Tony Kevin writes in today’s Crikey:


The facts regarding David Hicks can be summarised simply, and Gerard Henderson in the SMH this week misrepresented those facts and distracted us with red herrings. 

As an Australian citizen abroad, Hicks is entitled to effective Australian Government consular protection when arrested and charged with serious crimes by a foreign government. For the past four years he has not had this protection. To surrender his final fate to a military “court

movement on the station .....

‘In a little more than a week, a new grass-roots political movement here has gathered more than 7,000 names of supporters on its Web site in a campaign to free David Hicks, an Australian citizen being held in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba 


The organization, GetUp!, was founded this month by two young Australians. They collected the names for a letter to the Australian foreign minister, Alexander Downer, demanding that he take action to have Mr. Hicks, 30, brought back to Australia to stand trial.’


GetUp Campaigns to Free Guantánamo Prisoner


Picky and choosey

From the ABC

Govt making efforts to help 'tortured' Australian prisoner
The Federal Government says it is taking seriously allegations of torture raised by a Sydney man.
The Foreign Affairs Department has confirmed 22-year-old Ahmed Jamal was detained by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan in 2004 on the basis of security concerns.
Mr Jamal has been imprisoned without charge for 18 months in Iraq's north.
Australian consular officials were only recently granted access to him.
Mr Jamal claims to have been tortured immediately after his arrest.
Prime Minister John Howard has told Southern Cross Radio every effort is being made to help Mr Jamal.
"He's in a country whose legal system at present does not operate the way ours does," he said.

Gus talk:
Is our little grocer with the artichoke heart referring to the US? Like Guantanamo? What about Mr Hicks? In a holiday camp? Is our little grocer picky and choosey about his avocados?

No thanksgiving to the jailbird

Riding the Gravy Train
In a Thanksgiving Tradition, One Small Turkey Serves an Entire Nation

By Anita Huslin
[http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/22/AR2006112202067.html|Washington Post] Staff Writer
Thursday, November 23, 2006; Page C01

They got the wrong bird, frankly.

It was clear from the beginning. He didn't fit the profile. Thirty-six pounds (on the light side, at least compared with previous convicts), and with more spunk than the usual tom you'd see heading for the Thanksgiving table.

But that didn't stop the charade.

He was a doomed prisoner when they marched him into the Rose Garden yesterday, though he strutted around like he owned the place. Denial, perhaps, is the best defense for a Broad Breasted White.

He was not represented by counsel, and as for any interrogation techniques, usual or alternative, he wasn't squawking. The charges were never stated, but the 43rd president pardoned the 59th national turkey anyway, carrying on a tradition of forgiveness and redemption through the symbolic plucking of one bird from the threat of the carving knife.
Gus: Ah... one would wish in this thanksgiving season (US)  the cold turkey's name'd been "Hicks" and that our chief Canberranean porkologist understood forgiveness and redemption for things uncommitted... and not charged for, but imprisoned by decree nonetheless... that would be a start towards justice, if only by luck of the draw.

a grave injustice .....

Yes Gus, but the pressure is mounting .....

from The Guardian …..

‘Pressure is mounting on the Federal Government to have David Hicks released from Guantánamo Bay in Cuba where he is being held by the US. Even Howard’s own Justice Minister, Chris Ellison, has said that Mr Hicks has been in detention for too long. David Hicks has been held in Guantánamo Bay for five years without charge - almost two of those years in solitary confinement.’

Bring David Home

and read the views of Major Mori, Hicks US Military appointed defence counsel …. views that Australian Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, refused to listen to ….. 

‘A 550-strong lecture sponsored by the Australian Lawyers Alliance on November 13 heard David Hicks' US military lawyer, Major Michael Mori, slam the Bush administration's new military commission law, which will be used to try Guantanamo Bay detainees. Hicks is one of approximately 400 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay being held without charge.

Mori's latest Australian speaking tour included a briefing for federal parliamentarians, to which Attorney-General Philip Ruddock was invited but did not attend. Ruddock was also conspicuously absent when the state attorneys-general signed on to the "Fremantle Declaration" on November 10 in Perth. The declaration calls for seven fundamental legal rights to be upheld, including an end to detention without charge and the right to a fair trial.’

US Major Slams New Military Commissions

US Military Justice on parade .....

‘A 21-year-old lance corporal who joined the Marine Corps to "have adventures I could tell about" became the fourth defendant Tuesday to plead guilty to dragging an unarmed Iraqi from his home and executing him as he begged for his life.

Lance Cpl. Jerry E. Shumate Jr. was sentenced to 21 months in the brig after pleading guilty to aggravated assault and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Meanwhile, lawyers for another defendant, Lance Cpl. Robert Pennington, sought to have incriminating statements he made to investigators about the death of Hashim Ibrahim Awad barred from his court-martial.

Pennington testified Monday that his request for an attorney during questioning in Iraq was ignored by the agents. The agents testified that he never made such a request. The issue is being considered by Lt. Col. Eugene Robinson, the judge in Pennington's court-martial.

Shumate, Pennington and six other members of Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, were charged in the April 26 death in Hamandiya, an insurgent stronghold west of Baghdad.

After pleading guilty to reduced charges, Navy corpsman Melson Bacos was sentenced to a year in the brig, Pfc. John J. Jodka III to 18 months and Lance Cpl. Tyler A. Jackson to 21 months.’

Another Marine Pleads Guilty In Iraqi's Death

21 months for murder, whilst David Hicks has been held for 5 years without charge; tortured, held in solitary confinement, abandoned by his country & denied knowledge of his fate, in contravention of International Law …..