Skip to main content

David Hicks: America's and Australia's shameful behaviour

Former PM Malcolm Fraser can hardly be accused of being a rabid lefty bleeding-heart liberal or rebel. Yet, he rightly writes, here, an op-ed piece in The Age taking the Americans and his fellow Liberals - ie the Howard Government - to task about their "handling of Davd Hicks and his continued detention - remembering that he hasn't been charged with anything.

"The Australian and American governments have sought to label prisoners in Guantanamo Bay as dangerous and as evil; in their terms, as terrorists. The latest to join in this litany of inappropriate, pre-trial condemnatory comment is the new United States ambassador to Australia, Robert McCallum. It is another unwise intervention in Australia's affairs.

McCallum well knows that the American courts, Congress and President would not allow any American citizen to be tried in the military commissions, formerly established by President George Bush, now to be established, slightly modified, by law of Congress.

If those commissions are inadequate for American citizens, how does McCallum bring it upon himself to argue that they are adequate for an Australian? Indeed, the British Government has continually argued that the standard of justice was inadequate for British citizens. It has argued that Guantanamo Bay should be closed down, that it is a blot on the justice system of the United States and of the world."

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Big Brother alive and well in the USA in 2007

The so-called "war on terror" has shown itself up in a multitude of manifestations. The most dangerous thing has been governments using the "excuse" of the war to restrict certain civil liberties, allowing government agencies to pursue a variety of things that they would otherwise would not - and should not - be allowed to do and gathering, and retaining, a variety of information on its citizens.

The Washington Post reports on the latest incursions into civil liberties of all Americans:

"The U.S. government is collecting electronic records on the travel habits of millions of Americans who fly, drive or take cruises abroad, retaining data on the persons with whom they travel or plan to stay, the personal items they carry during their journeys, and even the books that travelers have carried, according to documents obtained by a group of civil liberties advocates and statements by government officials.

The personal travel records are meant to be stored for as lo…

Whatever democracy the Palestinians had is dying

Almost a desperate cry from a well-known, respected and sober moderate Palestinian.

Mustafa Barghouthi is secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. He was a candidate for the Palestinian presidency in 2005.

He writes in a piece "The Slow Death of Palestinian Democracy" on FP:

"Palestinian municipal elections were supposed to be held last week. Instead, they were canceled. A statement released by the Palestinian Authority claimed the cancellation was "in order to pave the way for a successful end to the siege on Gaza and for continued efforts at unity" between Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, and the government in the West Bank.

The cancellation of this election was an unjustified, unlawful, and unacceptable act. It damages democratic rights and makes a mockery of the interests of the Palestinian people.

But this is far more than an internal Palestinian issue. The only lasting peace between Isr…