Thursday, January 04, 2007

Word of the Day: Abominable

On Monday, the SMH reported that Brigadier Lyn McDade, recently appointed as Australia's chief military prosecutor, had described the US government's treatment of David Hicks as "abominable":

Asked about the treatment of Mr Hicks, who has been held at Guantanamo Bay for more than five years and is not currently charged with any offences, she did not hesitate. "Abominable," she said. "Quite frankly, I think it's wrong. I don't care what he's done or alleged to have done. I think he's entitled to a trial and a fair one and he is entitled to be charged and dealt with as quickly as is possible. As is anybody."

Yesterday a few of the News limited dailies reported that Attorney-General Phil Ruddock believes that the brigadiers' views agreed with the government's position:

Mr Ruddock said comments by the director of military prosecutions Brigadier Lyn McDade about the treatment of Hicks echoed the Government's views. "We believe the delay (in the start of the trial) is very unreasonable and inappropriate," he said. (The Oz)

According to the News party line, our Rupert's government is putting pressure on the US to get on with bringing Hicks to trial, now that it seems that the Bush Administration has finally managed to jury-rig a system of show trials that can deliver the required verdict without being overruled on appeal:

Mr Ruddock said his US counterpart, Alberto Gonzales, said the final regulations that would put the US military commission in place were due this month.

"That is expected by the 17th of January and what the US Attorney has said to me is that he expected charges to be laid against Hicks as soon after as possible," Mr Ruddock said.

"We will continue to monitor their performance in relation to the assurances they have given to us." (The Hun)

In other words, the Australian government is going to urge the US government to go ahead and do what it's been planning to do anyway, regardless of whether the Australian government objects. Which, of course, it doesn't - in five years the Howard government hasn't wavered in its resolute acquiescence in the US efforts to get Hicks convicted of whatever they can make stick. Preferably an offence for which he will be sentenced to a fair bit more than time already served and definitely no less than that.

Phil Ruddock is an abominable hypocrite. Equally abominable are the efforts of the News limited scribes to spin this latest announcement as a firm stand on principle. The Government remains very floppily supine on this issue.

(Cross-posted at Larvatus Prodeo)


Anonymous said...

I always have difficulty with that word

I thought it was only used when refering to a snow man that has eluded us for as long as I can remember.

Anyway ...I dont think yuo have to be MOTHER TERESA to against the treatment of DAVID HICKS ......he is just a HICK that got a bit to far into his own imagination ......WHY DONT THEY CATCH SOME REAL TERRORISTS ...ONES THAT ARE A DANGER TO THE WORLD ....ALTHOUGH I DONT APPLAUDE DAVID HICKS .....I TAKE HIS INVOLVEMENT WITH AL-QUEDA AS WITHA VERY SMALL GRAIN OF SALT .......and that s the approach the AUTHORITIES should have taken once the iniial hype was over .....

OR IS IT that DAVID HICKS represents to the MUSLIM world that we are not racist and not just picking on people that are DIFFERENT to us AND THAT WE ARE EVEN LOOKING within our OWN people ...MAKING TERRORISTS THE TARGET not to be confused with MUSLIMS

Ms Moreland said...

Howard will never budge on this, as it's unlikely to become an election issue, sadly. Much as even Liberal sentiment is with Hicks' return, now.

If this doesn't become an election issue, where is the Bring Hicks Home campaign to turn?

I think the only way to frame this is in an appeal to patriotism. Someone like Gillard is uniquely placed to hammer a sovereignty/citizenship line (BTW, I work with someone with dual citizenship who only travels on his NZ passport now, for this reason). It would be a good practice response to see how Howard treats a female opponent, too.