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David Hicks


Sid Walker
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After five quiet years, the issue of David Hick's continuing imprisonment at Guantanamo Bay has started to heat up.

It's a long story...

The website Fair Go for David Hicks gives a lot of background.

It would not be overstating the case to say this young Australian has been abandoned by the Australian Government, which until very recently made no murmurs at all about his plight - and has said the 'problem" with his repatriation to Austrlaia is that Hicks hasn't broken any Australian laws!

David is now facing a US military tribunal and the prospect of a very long sentence for "giving material support to terrorism".

I suspect his release - unlike the other former Australian inmate of Guantanamo and several British internees - is not favoured by the authorities on either side of the Pacific Ocean, because he has a great story to tell if he's ever released and his spirit, apparently, has not been broken.

I understand that in 1999 the young adventurer / convert to Islam assisted the Moslem side in Kosovo. The USA helped sponsor and fund these forces, which were a thorn in the side of Serbia.

When 9-11 came along, David Hicks was in Afghanistan.

The rest, as they say, is history...

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Guest Stephen Turner

Sid, its the same story with British detainees, the Government has done zip to help these innocent men. If it had not been for outside/independant help, they would have been rotting in Guantanamo yet.

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Sid, its the same story with British detainees, the Government has done zip to help these innocent men. If it had not been for outside/independant help, they would have been rotting in Guantanamo yet.

Well, the British Government may have been less than assiduous in pursuing the cases of British Guantanamo internees, Stephen.

But at least Blair asked for their release. And it happened.

Howard never made that simple request for Hicks' release.

The Australian Government, until very recently, simply cut this guy loose.

It has taken five years, but Australians are now waking up to the full horror of what's happened to one of their fellow citizens.

'

The Oz Government, under public pressure, has started to make noises - but its 'solution' is for the US authorities to speed up a military tribunal process that most normal, informed people regard as abhorrent.

The biggest problem, for the Howard Government, I repeat, seems to be that Hicks can't be charged under any Australian laws.

Whatever happened to the presumption of innocence?

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Guest Stephen Turner
Sid, its the same story with British detainees, the Government has done zip to help these innocent men. If it had not been for outside/independant help, they would have been rotting in Guantanamo yet.

Well, the British Government may have been less than assiduous in pursuing the cases of British Guantanamo internees, Stephen.

But at least Blair asked for their release. And it happened.

This was achieved by intense public pressure, nothing else would have made him go cap in hand to his Washington masters.

Whatever happened to the presumption of innocence?

Dead as a dodo, the latest victim of the ludicrous war on terror.

M Beggs story, read it and weep.

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From what I understand Hicks was captured carrying an AK-47 in a combat zone thus trying to portray him an “innocent” ‘prisoner of conscience’ is ludicrous.

Does Sid deny that his compatriot was armed when captured? If so does he have any evidence that he has been falsely charged with having done so. If he concedes that point perhaps he justify calling him innocent. People who take up arms in a war zone are subject to detention by the other side. If they aren’t in uniform they are sould still be treated humanely but aren’t entitled to POW status or protection under the Geneva Convention.

Unless I’m mistaken Australia participated in the UN sanction invasion of Afghanistan and thus effectively Hicks look up arms against his own country.

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story...618-601,00.html

http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/hicks-f...l?page=fullpage

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After five quiet years, the issue of David Hick's continuing imprisonment at Guantanamo Bay has started to heat up.

It's a long story...

The website Fair Go for David Hicks gives a lot of background.

It would not be overstating the case to say this young Australian has been abandoned by the Australian Government, which until very recently made no murmurs at all about his plight - and has said the 'problem" with his repatriation to Austrlaia is that Hicks hasn't broken any Australian laws!

David is now facing a US military tribunal and the prospect of a very long sentence for "giving material support to terrorism".

I suspect his release - unlike the other former Australian inmate of Guantanamo and several British internees - is not favoured by the authorities on either side of the Pacific Ocean, because he has a great story to tell if he's ever released and his spirit, apparently, has not been broken.

I understand that in 1999 the young adventurer / convert to Islam assisted the Moslem side in Kosovo. The USA helped sponsor and fund these forces, which were a thorn in the side of Serbia.

When 9-11 came along, David Hicks was in Afghanistan.

The rest, as they say, is history...

As an attorney, I am outraged at what is reported in the following article:

March 5, 2007

Terror Case Prosecutor Assails Defense Lawyer

By RAYMOND BONNER

The New York Times

SYDNEY, Australia, March 4 — The chief prosecutor for the American military commissions that will try suspected terrorists being held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, has lashed out at the military lawyer for one of the detainees, a newspaper here reported in its weekend edition.

The prosecutor, Col. Morris D. Davis, said that the lawyer, Maj. Michael Mori of the United States Marine Corps, should not be making public appearances in Australia in uniform on behalf of his client, David Hicks, and that he faced possible prosecution for some of his remarks.

“I don’t know what Major Mori’s plans are right now but if he wants to come back home and represent his client, that would be helpful,” Colonel Davis was quoted as saying by The Australian. “Certainly in the U.S. it would not be tolerated having a U.S. marine in uniform actively inserting himself into the political process. It is very disappointing to see that happening in Australia, and if that was any of my prosecutors, they would be held accountable.”

Colonel Davis, who is an Air Force lawyer, added that it would be up to the Marine Corps whether to charge Major Mori with violation of Article 88 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which makes it a crime for a military officer to use “contemptuous words” about the president, vice president, secretary of defense and other high public officials.

Major Mori, who was in Australia this past week, for the seventh time in three years, reacted with anger. “Are they trying to intimidate me?” he said in a telephone interview on Sunday.

He compared Colonel Davis’s statements with remarks made last year by a senior Pentagon official, Charles D. Stimson, who was then the deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, who said that corporations should consider not using law firms that represented Guantánamo detainees pro bono. His remarks brought a torrent of objections, and he was forced to resign.

Col. Dwight Sullivan, the chief defense counsel in the military commissions procedure, said in an interview on Sunday night in Washington that Major Mori’s behavior was “absolutely proper.” Colonel Sullivan, a Marine lawyer, said that under military ethics rules, “a military defense lawyer is supposed to provide the same level of representation as a civilian lawyer.” He said that in pressing Mr. Hicks’s case in Australia, “Major Mori is fulfilling his duty as an officer and as an attorney.”

Colonel Davis, reached by e-mail Sunday night, said his comments reflected his view that Major Mori’s remarks in Australia had crossed the threshold of what was proper for a military defense lawyer. He said his remarks did not mean he was pressing for any action to be taken against Major Mori, only that he believed that the major had gone too far.

“Most of the defense counsel say the commissions are unfair and criticize the process as they are entitled to do,” Colonel Davis wrote in response to a request for comment. But he said that Major Mori “goes further than any defense counsel I’ve ever known.”

Colonel Davis said that it was improper for Major Mori to have made statements alleging that the president, the secretary of defense and Congress “intentionally created a rigged system that guarantees convictions in order to cover up wrongdoing” and that “everyone involved is potentially guilty of war crimes greater than the charge against” Mr. Hicks.

Colonel Davis said he would not permit the prosecutors on his team to make equivalent comments or “inject themselves into the political picture in an allied country.”

Major Mori has been strikingly blunt in his comments about the military commissions, on at least one occasion calling them kangaroo courts.

Major Mori has been a “very effective” advocate for his client, said a senior member of the government of the Australian prime minister, John Howard, on the condition that he not be identified because he was expressing a view that the government would not state publicly.

Last week, the United States military announced that it was filing only one charge against Mr. Hicks, for “material support for terrorism,” a major reduction from the initial charges, which had included conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder and aiding the enemy.

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As an attorney, I am outraged at what is reported in the following article:

March 5, 2007

Terror Case Prosecutor Assails Defense Lawyer

By RAYMOND BONNER

The New York Times

SYDNEY, Australia, March 4 — The chief prosecutor for the American military commissions that will try suspected terrorists being held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, has lashed out at the military lawyer for one of the detainees, a newspaper here reported in its weekend edition.

The prosecutor, Col. Morris D. Davis, said that the lawyer, Maj. Michael Mori of the United States Marine Corps, should not be making public appearances in Australia in uniform on behalf of his client, David Hicks, and that he faced possible prosecution for some of his remarks.

“I don’t know what Major Mori’s plans are right now but if he wants to come back home and represent his client, that would be helpful,” Colonel Davis was quoted as saying by The Australian. “Certainly in the U.S. it would not be tolerated having a U.S. marine in uniform actively inserting himself into the political process. It is very disappointing to see that happening in Australia, and if that was any of my prosecutors, they would be held accountable.”

Colonel Davis, who is an Air Force lawyer, added that it would be up to the Marine Corps whether to charge Major Mori with violation of Article 88 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which makes it a crime for a military officer to use “contemptuous words” about the president, vice president, secretary of defense and other high public officials.

Major Mori, who was in Australia this past week, for the seventh time in three years, reacted with anger. “Are they trying to intimidate me?” he said in a telephone interview on Sunday.

He compared Colonel Davis’s statements with remarks made last year by a senior Pentagon official, Charles D. Stimson, who was then the deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, who said that corporations should consider not using law firms that represented Guantánamo detainees pro bono. His remarks brought a torrent of objections, and he was forced to resign.

Col. Dwight Sullivan, the chief defense counsel in the military commissions procedure, said in an interview on Sunday night in Washington that Major Mori’s behavior was “absolutely proper.” Colonel Sullivan, a Marine lawyer, said that under military ethics rules, “a military defense lawyer is supposed to provide the same level of representation as a civilian lawyer.” He said that in pressing Mr. Hicks’s case in Australia, “Major Mori is fulfilling his duty as an officer and as an attorney.”

Colonel Davis, reached by e-mail Sunday night, said his comments reflected his view that Major Mori’s remarks in Australia had crossed the threshold of what was proper for a military defense lawyer. He said his remarks did not mean he was pressing for any action to be taken against Major Mori, only that he believed that the major had gone too far.

“Most of the defense counsel say the commissions are unfair and criticize the process as they are entitled to do,” Colonel Davis wrote in response to a request for comment. But he said that Major Mori “goes further than any defense counsel I’ve ever known.”

Colonel Davis said that it was improper for Major Mori to have made statements alleging that the president, the secretary of defense and Congress “intentionally created a rigged system that guarantees convictions in order to cover up wrongdoing” and that “everyone involved is potentially guilty of war crimes greater than the charge against” Mr. Hicks.

Colonel Davis said he would not permit the prosecutors on his team to make equivalent comments or “inject themselves into the political picture in an allied country.”

Major Mori has been strikingly blunt in his comments about the military commissions, on at least one occasion calling them kangaroo courts.

Major Mori has been a “very effective” advocate for his client, said a senior member of the government of the Australian prime minister, John Howard, on the condition that he not be identified because he was expressing a view that the government would not state publicly.

Last week, the United States military announced that it was filing only one charge against Mr. Hicks, for “material support for terrorism,” a major reduction from the initial charges, which had included conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder and aiding the enemy.

Yes, going after effective defence lawyers is becoming rather a habit, isn't it?

There's Lynne Stewart, not to mention the defence lawyers in Germany who represent thought crime victims such as Zundel and Rudolf.

Major Mori has been a breath of fresh air from the outset. He has been a remarkably effective public advocate for Hicks - all the more so because he's in the US military.

I was suspicious when Mori was first appointed, but he has shown himself, over time, to be a decent and very outspoken advocate. Unless I've missed something 'major', Mori is a credit to the American legal profession.

Edited by Sid Walker
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Firstly, thank you to Sid for starting a thread on this important story.

From what I understand Hicks was captured carrying an AK-47 in a combat zone thus trying to portray him an “innocent” ‘prisoner of conscience’ is ludicrous.

You understand wrong, Len. He was captured by the Northern Alliance at a taxi stand intending to go back to Pakistan. He was then SOLD to the US.

Does Sid deny that his compatriot was armed when captured? If so does he have any evidence that he has been falsely charged with having done so. If he concedes that point perhaps he justify calling him innocent. People who take up arms in a war zone are subject to detention by the other side.

The US now admits that he only fought for 2 hours. The US invasion happened after Hicks joined the Taliban in what was essentially a civil war. He would be hailed as a hero now if the US had invaded on the side of the Taliban - former allies of the US.

If they aren’t in uniform they are sould still be treated humanely but aren’t entitled to POW status or protection under the Geneva Convention.

Unless I’m mistaken Australia participated in the UN sanction invasion of Afghanistan and thus effectively Hicks look up arms against his own country.

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story...618-601,00.html

http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/hicks-f...l?page=fullpage

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As an attorney, I am outraged at what is reported in the following article:

March 5, 2007

Terror Case Prosecutor Assails Defense Lawyer

By RAYMOND BONNER

The New York Times

SYDNEY, Australia, March 4 — The chief prosecutor for the American military commissions that will try suspected terrorists being held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, has lashed out at the military lawyer for one of the detainees, a newspaper here reported in its weekend edition.

The prosecutor, Col. Morris D. Davis, said that the lawyer, Maj. Michael Mori of the United States Marine Corps, should not be making public appearances in Australia in uniform on behalf of his client, David Hicks, and that he faced possible prosecution for some of his remarks.

“I don’t know what Major Mori’s plans are right now but if he wants to come back home and represent his client, that would be helpful,” Colonel Davis was quoted as saying by The Australian. “Certainly in the U.S. it would not be tolerated having a U.S. marine in uniform actively inserting himself into the political process. It is very disappointing to see that happening in Australia, and if that was any of my prosecutors, they would be held accountable.”

Colonel Davis, who is an Air Force lawyer, added that it would be up to the Marine Corps whether to charge Major Mori with violation of Article 88 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which makes it a crime for a military officer to use “contemptuous words” about the president, vice president, secretary of defense and other high public officials.

Major Mori, who was in Australia this past week, for the seventh time in three years, reacted with anger. “Are they trying to intimidate me?” he said in a telephone interview on Sunday.

He compared Colonel Davis’s statements with remarks made last year by a senior Pentagon official, Charles D. Stimson, who was then the deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, who said that corporations should consider not using law firms that represented Guantánamo detainees pro bono. His remarks brought a torrent of objections, and he was forced to resign.

Col. Dwight Sullivan, the chief defense counsel in the military commissions procedure, said in an interview on Sunday night in Washington that Major Mori’s behavior was “absolutely proper.” Colonel Sullivan, a Marine lawyer, said that under military ethics rules, “a military defense lawyer is supposed to provide the same level of representation as a civilian lawyer.” He said that in pressing Mr. Hicks’s case in Australia, “Major Mori is fulfilling his duty as an officer and as an attorney.”

Colonel Davis, reached by e-mail Sunday night, said his comments reflected his view that Major Mori’s remarks in Australia had crossed the threshold of what was proper for a military defense lawyer. He said his remarks did not mean he was pressing for any action to be taken against Major Mori, only that he believed that the major had gone too far.

“Most of the defense counsel say the commissions are unfair and criticize the process as they are entitled to do,” Colonel Davis wrote in response to a request for comment. But he said that Major Mori “goes further than any defense counsel I’ve ever known.”

Colonel Davis said that it was improper for Major Mori to have made statements alleging that the president, the secretary of defense and Congress “intentionally created a rigged system that guarantees convictions in order to cover up wrongdoing” and that “everyone involved is potentially guilty of war crimes greater than the charge against” Mr. Hicks.

Colonel Davis said he would not permit the prosecutors on his team to make equivalent comments or “inject themselves into the political picture in an allied country.”

Major Mori has been strikingly blunt in his comments about the military commissions, on at least one occasion calling them kangaroo courts.

Major Mori has been a “very effective” advocate for his client, said a senior member of the government of the Australian prime minister, John Howard, on the condition that he not be identified because he was expressing a view that the government would not state publicly.

Last week, the United States military announced that it was filing only one charge against Mr. Hicks, for “material support for terrorism,” a major reduction from the initial charges, which had included conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder and aiding the enemy.

Yes, going after effective defence lawyers is becoming rather a habit, isn't it?

There's Lynne Stewart, not to mention the defence lawyers in Germany who represent thought crime victims such as Zundel and Rudolf.

Major Mori has been a breath of fresh air from the outset. He has been a remarkably effective public advocate for Hicks - all the more so because he's in the US military.

I was suspicious when Mori was first appointed, but he has shown himself, over time, to be a decent and very outspoken advocate. Unless I've missed something 'major', Mori is a credit to the American legal profession.

Sid, Mori, as much as Terry Hicks, has been responsible for awakening the Australian public. Our love of underdogs would ensure he'd have a welcome home here should his career in the US be trashed as result of his effectiveness as Hicks' lawyer.

One point that I didn't spot in a quick look through the thread is that the one charge he now faces is being used retroactively. It seems to be fine with Howard that the US use retroactive law against Hicks, while conveniently forgetting that he wouldn't ask for his repatriation during these past 5 years because he would have to pass retroactive legislation to try him here - and that just isn't the Australian way... the hypocrisy is beyond my comprehension... though not surprising.

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Firstly, thank you to Sid for starting a thread on this important story.
From what I understand Hicks was captured carrying an AK-47 in a combat zone thus trying to portray him an “innocent” ‘prisoner of conscience’ is ludicrous.

You understand wrong, Len. He was captured by the Northern Alliance at a taxi stand intending to go back to Pakistan. He was then SOLD to the US.

Does Sid deny that his compatriot was armed when captured? If so does he have any evidence that he has been falsely charged with having done so. If he concedes that point perhaps he justify calling him innocent. People who take up arms in a war zone are subject to detention by the other side.

The US now admits that he only fought for 2 hours. The US invasion happened after Hicks joined the Taliban in what was essentially a civil war. He would be hailed as a hero now if the US had invaded on the side of the Taliban - former allies of the US.

If they aren’t in uniform they are sould still be treated humanely but aren’t entitled to POW status or protection under the Geneva Convention.

Unless I’m mistaken Australia participated in the UN sanction invasion of Afghanistan and thus effectively Hicks look up arms against his own country.

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story...618-601,00.html

http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/hicks-f...l?page=fullpage

If that is the case then he probably is being unfairly held but I don’t know enough about the case to say for sure.

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If that is the case then he probably is being unfairly held but I don’t know enough about the case to say for sure.

Len, that's a refreshing comment, which would put you in the top 10% of the population for open-mindedness, by Australian standards, at least until recently.

From 2002 to 2006 inclusive, a remarkably high percentage of Australians purported to be absolute experts about David Hicks and his alleged crimes - up to and including the Prime Minister himself, who found Hicks guilty in absentia on numerous occasions, both in Parliament and in the media.

For some reason, the five year anniversary of Hick's incarceration seemed to be the turning point for Australian public opinion. Why five years? Why not one, or three. or four years? It's a mystery. One of life's imponderables - akin to the collapse of the Twin Towers and WTC-7 and the precognitive powers of the BBC. :rolleyes:

Anyhow, 'middle Australia' seems at last to have tumbled to the idea that five years in solitary confinement wearing an orange boiler suit and being subjected to bizarre additional torment - with little prospect of an eventual fair trial and no support from the Australian government - does not constitute a 'fair go' for this young man. Australians like a 'fair go'. It's a cultural thing. Like cold beer.

The newly awakened spirit of "give the bloke a fair go!" has emboldened the Labor Opposition. It was very quiet on the issue until recently, but now seems to have found its voice.

Now here's my theory, for what it's worth...

In Australia, where public opinion is concerned, almost all roads lead to Rupert Murdoch.

I suspect someone high up in the Murdoch Empire decided to throw the 'fair go' switch over Hicks a few months ago.

Labor does little without a green light from the Murdoch Media. It craves reassurance that a new political line will not be subjected to ridicule and vilification. That's understandable. After all, Labor is a party of Government. It tries to win elections. It's hard to win an election if 80%+ of the national daily newspapers announce that your policies are excreable and your leaders shysters. In fact, as far as I know, it hasn't been done once since the rise and rise of the Murdoch Empire.

I wonder if five years of utter hell for a young Aussie is too much - even for Rupert Murdoch?

After all, it's been reported elsewhere that the thoughts of Chairman Rup are occasionally subject to minor variation.

Didn't I read in one of his hundreds of Australian newspapers that Murdoch now believes Climate Change may not be a greenie con after all - and that he's even edging towards the staggeringly enlightened view that something should probably be done about it at some stage?

Edited by Sid Walker
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