Thursday 18th of April 2024

The "Trial" Of David Hicks

the trial of david hicks .....

Before his military tiribunal hearing David Hicks was allowed to spend the morning with his father and sister, and share a meal with them. Presumably while still shackled to the floor, he was allowed to hug them. After five years of Guantanamo,can you imagine what being able to do this would feel like? I can imagine it being like coming out of a sensory deprivation tank.

Following this, Hicks was forced to watch his legal team dwindle before his eyes, is two civilian lawyers were dismissed from the hearing Hicks was then reportedly given the choice of whether these now-powerless friends should remain in the room. From then on, either way, there only Hick's US military lawyer to defend him. According to Terry, David exclaimed "if this keeps going, I won't have any lawyers" Hicks declined entering a plea at this hearing. As the Australian Council for Civil Liberties spokesman , barrister David Burnie says," It would have been a very strong lesson to Mr Hicks today that he wasn't going to get a fair hearing before this commission. "

It was at this point, I believe that Hicks gave up and gave everyone what they wanted by admitting to one of the two charges presented to him, admitting to "providing material support for terrorism. "

Even then he chose to plead not guilty to aiding any specific act of terrorism. The Australian National University's Professor of Law Mr Donald Rothwell. told the ABC today that "Given that it seems that this plea appears to have been given as a result of negotiations between the prosecution and the defence" it was likely that the charge that Hicks has plead not guilty to will be dropped.

We'll never truly know what happened to him after the US military took him from the aircraft carrier to the Egyptian facility. We could guess, though, that in between the drop-off and pick-up times things were done to him that the US didn't want it's name associated with.

From there followed five years of "advanced interrogation techniques", of which the most physical aggression that is allowed is "water-boarding" (which, for those who don't know is the repeated dunking of the tied-down suspect into freezing water. Hicks was confined to his cell for up to twenty-two hours a day, subjected to sensory disturbance through variations to light and sound. On the few ocassions that he had contact with others than his captors, he was deprived of full mobility.

Terry Hicks says that pleading guilty was a way to get home ".. and that's what he's said to us. He just wants to be home."

South Australian Premier Mike Rann says that as Hicks can apply to serve his sentence in Australia, he would have no objections to Hicks being an inmate of the South Australian prison system. The Adelaide Advertiser today reported that contingency plans had been made for such a situation.

Adelaide's maximum-security prison, Yatala is only a few miles from Terry Hicks' home. This will make a travelling time to David's jail much shorter than the trip to Guantanemo. Terry will be able to keep watch over his son as he is detained in a place where, under it's law, no crime has been committed. The South Australian Government, which runs the jail, will be unable to release David until the US tells it that justice has been served.

Professor Rothwell says that Hicks might be released as the result of a constitutional challenge "but that's a long way down the track at the moment."

Has the US been making up new rules to deal with Hicks as the situation progresses? . David Burnie has told the ABC tonight that "the concern is here is that he is facing a charge that was only brought into legislation last year." while Rothwell says that "The circumstances of the last 24 hours indcate the fairly shambolic nature of the proceedings."

What happens next? Australian Democrats Senator Natasha Stott- Despoja has sounded a strong warning that events surrounding Hicks are going to remain a major election issue. . She said today that "This goverrnment has been keen to exploit David Hicks as an electoral and political issue when it suits them," more than hinting at ongoing political ramifications for the Howard Cabinet when saying " It is athe beginning of a saga for this government. It is the beginning of a saga for this government, this man and his family"

Lynch mobs...

From the ABC section "

You said it

I am sick of hearing about David Hicks! There are so many other issues going on in our World. Debra Robinson - Newport, NSW


Gus: Sure. But the David Hicks case represents what we have to defend in all issues — justice and truth. The way the American and Australian governments have gone to war in Iraq was underpinned by a concoction of lies, spin, deceit and fabrications. The way Hicks was caught, "tortured" (torture by the US being broadly defined that if there is no organ failure during rendition, then it's not torture), and imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay for five years while the US concocted yet another military tribunal where no justice or proper judicial process could be expected has no bearing whether Hicks was guilty or not. Not only that, the military had to invent new charges as even under their crooked ways ("time of war" and "unlawful enemy combatants"), they would not have been able to make the first ones stick....

Hicks was and still is entitled to a fair trial (which by now after 5 years of harsh imprisonment  is basically impossible) contrary to what has been on offer — coyote court where "evidence" and hearsay against him cannot be argued against, by the defence.

Let's not forget that the Americans and the West had funded the Taliban directly and to some degree have also funded Al Qaeda in the past. Will we see US Presidents brought before the courts? No, because the rules have changed, mainly to suit a particular outcome. In this very late stage, the Australian Government should be "praised" for having thus "made a deal with the "American Government" even if to minimise the damage to their political skins but the Australian Government should also be "hit for six" and more for not having defended proper justice according to the Geneva conventions and international/national laws. Sure there are many other issues going on the world, but of all subjects that engulf us, proper justice has to prevail to minimise harm to society. Otherwise the lynch mobs will rule unchecked.

everyman .....

Yes Gus ...

Unfortunately the world is full of "Debras" .... people who are unable to recognise the symbolism of one individual's treatment.

I've been reflecting on the developments concerning David Hicks over the past 24 hours & have come to a number of conclusions.

First of all, I'm absolutely delighted for David's family that the situation has been resolved. Even if it turns out that the bushit criminals & their rattus cousins want to visit even more punishment on this tortured soul, at least he will be close to his family & supporters & away from the obscenity of Guantanamo Bay & everything it has come to represent.

Terry & his family are wonderful people, possessed of an extraordinary quiet dignity in the face of the most extreme pressure. In that, as in so many other respects, they are quintessential Australians ... a real pleasure to meet & know.

For David Hicks himself, the fact that he will have some certainty around his situation for the first time in 5 years will be an enormous relief & benefit to him.

I remember when I met Brendan Nelson - more than 4 years ago - to ask him to pursue the Hicks issue. Brendan failed the test, as he & his colleagues have consistently managed to do - on that issue & so many others - but, in doing so, he really strengthened my resolve to pursue the Hicks issue.

I told Brendan at the time that I would see him & his criminal associates driven from office, because of their betrayal of the legal & human rights of an Australian citizen & thereby all Australians.

Dopey Brendan, rattus, darth, clowner - even the more innocuous backbench members of the government - are now said to be enormously "relieved" at the outcome of yesterday's hearings. The silly dopes just don't get it at all.

As I tried to explain to Brendan all those years ago: I don't know what kind of person David Hicks is - I've never met him; I don't know whether he is guilty or innocent of any of the charges that have variously been thrown at him (although, even rattus says he hasn't broken any Australian law) but I do know that he is an Australian citizen & a human being & no-one - repeat no-one - has alleged that he has actually hurt anyone.

But putting that aside, he is entitled to the presumption of innocence (denied him by bushit, rattus & the press); he is entitled to a fair trial (denied him by the same crminal gang); he is entitled to know the substance of the allegations made against him (denied him for more than 4 years); he is entitled to defend himself (denied by the military commission process); he is entitled to be treated humanely ie: not tortured (contrary to international law & conventions to which both the US & Australia are signatories), regardless of the language used to obscure that fact.

David Hicks is all of us & everything that the criminal governments of the US & Australia have done, they can & will do to any of us.

I'm pleased that, notwithstanding all the Debras, a huge majority of Australians came to understand the larger issues around David Hicks & what they actually represent. It took more than 4 years of perseverance - initially by a very small group of determined people - to build that public awareness & I don't think that the anger & frustration that it generated will simply "go away" because David Hicks comes home.

No Gus. There is a lot of unfinished business here , with the number 1 priority being to drive the rattus criminals from office.

And to Brendan's ultimate angst, David Hicks will play a singular role in the attainment of that objective.

It couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch of bastards.


She still does not get it...

Today, (SMH 29/03/07) Miranda wants to rub all the noses of reason in the mud of her bile-istic ugly misconstrued rubbish. She writes  :
"By pleading guilty to terrorism this week, David Hicks has plastered egg all over the faces of his supporters - the naive hysterics who believe he is a tortured innocent as well as those glory-seeking civil rights lawyers who have attached themselves to his case."

Hold on Miranda.

David Hicks whether guilty or innocent deserves a fair trial. FULL STOP.
The naive hysterics comes from you, my dear... You are the one with a fully overcooked omelette and the pan on your face...
We never said Hicks was innocent of anything. Tortured? yes.
That the trial tribunal was constructed so he would be convicted no matter what? yes.
That coercion and rendition (torture without organ failure) had been used against him? yes.
That he was at the mercy of a coyote court — even the Americans would not submit their own to? yes.
That he spent too much time in Guantanamo without charge? yes.
That if he'd pleaded not guilty to this charge he would be there for another five years most likely? yes.
Glory seeking civil rights lawyers? No. They are defending what used to be called "justice" or the "law" which of course under your regime of green bile is now "guilty and hung like a ham as pleases his majesty Bushiott"...

Hey may be you should question whether this Bushiott, the minus one — and his coalitors of the windmills, Howard and Blair — told a few HUGE porkies to go to war in Iraq, the result of which, so far, is approximately 700,000 Iraqi dead, 3250 US soldiers dead, 24,000 soldiers maimed for life, 3,200 US soldiers AWOL, more than 100 British soldiers dead, one Aussie dead in a silly accident...

The US Military tribunal had to devise a new charge against Hicks, light enough so "Hicks could plead guilty" without becoming a total embarrassment to the Johnny Rattus Government in making a corpse grilling on an electric chair to the detriment of proper applications of international/national laws and Geneva Conventions.

By pleading guilty, the "evidence" against him will not be fully tested nor revealed. He only "pleaded guilty to escape the hell of Guantanamo". The Rattus UnAustralianus made a deal with the Bushiott Government that would see Hicks out of Guano Bay and serve a nominal time in Australia... Isn't that the political deal of the century? It could have fallen flat on its face, had Hicks decided to plead not guilty... But Hicks knew the continuum of misery that was facing him at Guantanamo... Hey, imprisoned for five years, tortured, and mentally aggressed constantly, you would plead to anything. ANYTHING!... for the pain to stop should you still be alive... Some died. Some survived:
From the BBC
"Rumsfeld torture suit dismissed
A US court has dismissed a lawsuit against former US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld over claims prisoners were tortured in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The court accepted that the nine men who sued had been tortured - and detailed the torture in its ruling.
But Judge Thomas Hogan ruled the five Iraqis and four Afghans did not have US constitutional rights, and also that Mr Rumsfeld was immune from such suits."
Bravo, injustice was done with an immune stick! Lucky you, torture was only exposed in a very dim light...

But no, Miranda cackles like a goose:
"Thus you see the spin: Hicks only pleaded guilty to get out of the gulag, not because he is guilty. And even if he is a teensy bit guilty he's not a big scary terrorist, like Osama bin Laden. He's just a bit player. A small fish. Which is what most terrorists are. You don't find big fish like bin Laden or Khalid Sheik Mohammed strapping on backpacks full of hydrogen peroxide.
But with Hicks pleading guilty to the charge of providing material support to a terrorist organisation, we can only hope for some respite from the mythology that has grown around him."
Sorry, Milady of the Poisoned Pen, there was no myth... Only a desire to have proper court procedures adhered to.

Hey, no bad feelings...  now it's more or less over... why don't you go and join a lynch mob, where you belong? Find your own rope.

And by the way we don't like Osama either... But the Bushiott organisation of gangsters need him like a boogeyman's dog to guard its obedient flock of sheep... to keep their 750-plus army bases outside the US resonating with the sound of boot-nails on the tar... Hail Bushiott!

Ah, Madam Mirandella

From the BBC

Hicks to serve nine months' jail
David Hicks is the first US war crimes convict since World War II
Australian Guantanamo detainee David Hicks will be sent home to serve nine months in prison after being sentenced by a military judge at the facility.

Hicks was sentenced to seven years in jail after pleading guilty to supporting terrorism, but all but nine months of the sentence was suspended.

The former kangaroo skinner was captured in Afghanistan after fighting briefly with the Taleban.

He has already been held for more than five years at Guantanamo Bay.

Under a plea bargain deal with the prosecution, Hicks could only be sentenced to a maximum of seven years.

The judge at the sentencing hearing on Friday evening revealed that the plea deal also specified that any term beyond nine months be suspended.

The US must now send Hicks to his home country within 60 days - ie by 29 May.

As part of the agreement, Hicks also withdrew claims he was abused in US detention.


Gus: Ah, Miranda... If this is not a bargain basement deal of the century, well you've paid too much for your crooked keyboard of bile-istic keystrokes. The grand terrorist of Guantanamo gets 9 months jail in South Howardistan and then he's free... That's definitely an uncooked dozen-egged omelet on your pretty face, is it not?

Sure, they had to charge him with sumpthin' otherwise, either they had to keep him locked up for another 10 years without charge that could stick —at a cost to the US tax payers for toilet paper — or should he be found innocent he could sue the pants out of the US administration... This way all's well that ends well, at the Guano of Wonderland Bay...

We might see a gravitas smile on Rattus fakexasperatus' face as the deal would "exonerate" his chorus line of fishnet dancers and himself — pontificating like a Pontius Pilatus washing his hand of the whole thing, as long as history records the official version of events, like the plot of a movie musical using wood veneer as a through-line.

Let's break into a song as they lived happy ever after, as long as he does not mention the torture without organ failure...

White goose

From the straight-faced ABC...

Turnbull questions Hicks plea delay

Federal Environment Minister and former lawyer Malcolm Turnbull has questioned why David Hicks did not try to negotiate a plea bargain earlier.

Convicted terrorism supporter Hicks could be free by the end of the year after he has served a nine-month sentence handed down as part of a US military commission plea bargain.

Mr Turnbull questions why it took so long for Hicks and his lawyers to strike a deal with American prosecutors.

"Whether he was a foot soldier or more important than that, none the less he was definitely working with the terrorists who were seeking to destroy our civilisation," he said.

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

"I've often wondered what their motivations were there."


Malcolm, Malcolm... This is very fine rhetoric but totally screw up... Blame the kitchen sink while you're at it. Blaming the delay in the Hicks case on Hick's lawyers is a master stroke of grand BULLSHITISM.

No way would the several time reconstituted illegal military tribunal (cannot be applied to US citizens) gone for a plea bargain that would be so sympathetic to a so-called "terrorist" unless there were hidden "undercurrents" of political nature. The Australian government did all it could to let Hicks rot at Guano Bay and poured buckets load of rubbish on Hicks, till polls started to rattle the ship of Rattuses...

The charge under which Hicks was penalised with was invented at least four years after he was imprisoned and Hicks was only stuck with it only recently (only a couple of months ago). Prior to this there were "no charge" that the military tribunal could make stick thus was there no charge that could be defended or made a deal upon... The latest deal was an offer FROM the tribunal that COULD only be made FROM the tribunal since most of the evidence against Hicks was secret. The tribunal in its reconstituted form would have had to release a few sources of "its" information against Hicks and this the tribunal was not prepared to do on the previous possible "charges" they had not charged him with yet... But the tribunal could have chosen to let him rot for another 10 years on no charge but being an "illegal enemy combatant" without some "massive" political pressure... Com'on Malcolm... be fair... Stop this grandstanding BS and stop being a goose.


rattus droppings .....

Davis Hicks has enlisted legal experts in the hope of having his terrorism conviction quashed.

In the three years since his release from the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Mr Hicks has moved from Adelaide to Sydney, found a job and married. However, those close to him say he will be free only when his conviction has been overturned.

That would also pave the way for him to bypass proceeds of crime legislation and tell his story. It is understood a book is already with publishers.

A co-director of the Sydney Centre for International Law, Associate Professor Ben Saul, said he was advising Mr Hicks and there would be an approach to the US President, Barack Obama, some time in the future.

"While I cannot speak for him personally, I think any reasonable person locked up in Guantanamo for six years and subjected to an unfair trial process and facing every likelihood of being convicted on a retrospective charge would have pleaded guilty to get out of there,'' he said.

Hicks fights to have his conviction overturned