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Thursday, January 04, 2007


Now that the tide of Australian public opinion is beginning to flow David Hicks’s way as the call for his release, or at least an early hearing, gets louder and louder, so the Howard government has begun to show its true hypocritical colours by jumping on the bandwagon of that public opinion and, while not exactly calling for his immediate release, are calling on the US to expedite his case as quickly as possible.

Suddenly we are beginning to hear rhetoric like: “My personal view is that justice should be swift for anybody so their guilt or innocence can be determined as quickly as possible”,[1] from the Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty. Why didn’t Keelty come out with this four years ago?

And this outright lie from Australian Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock, who has procrastinated for years about Hicks's incarceration, who recently told Astralians: “It's important to understand that the Government's position has always been, in relation to these matters, to have Hicks's situation resolved as quickly as possible”.[2]

Ruddock’s sudden change of heart came shortly after the new Australian director of military prosecutions, Brigadier Lynette McDade, had expressed her serious concerns about the length of time Hicks had spent in prison without any charge being brought against him. She told the Australia’s ABC that she is ‘appalled at the legal treatment of Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks’.[3]

The Australian government is guilty of the most appalling hypocrisy demonstrating how once again, when it comes to public opinion flowing against the government it suddenly sees the light and begins, albeit very begrudgingly, to bend to the public will.

Yet, after all these years of doing nothing, if David Hicks is indeed released in the near future then one can rest assured that it will be Howard and his government taking ‘credit’ for his release.

[1] ‘Keelty calls for swift Hicks trial’, Sydney Morning Herald, 4 January 2007.Available online:
[2] ‘Govt frustrated over length of Hicks detainment’, ABC Online, 2 January 2007. Available online:
[3] ‘McDade condemns Hicks’s legal treatment’, ABC Online, 2 January 2007. Available online:


Mr. President said...

Its all too little and too late for Hicks now anyway. You get locked in a cage for 5 years in isolation only broken by questioning and sleep deprivation and I'm sure you lose faith in your country. Now that his detention is losing credibility even in the US, our government find it much easier, to jump on the bandwagon as you say. Getting released is one thing though, what about trying to build a life after all he's been through...

Damian Lataan said...

There is the problem also of a released Hicks spilling the beans of what really has been going on at Gitmo that will give the lie to John Howard and his governments garbage about Hicks being treated well physically and mentally by the US.