07 July 2006

Much talk, little action in wake of US Supreme Court decision

It's been a week since the US Supreme Court released its decision in Hamdan v Rumsfeld . In Australia the media and blogosphere have devoted considerable attention to the implications for David Hicks. The range of views encompasses two Online Opinion pieces by Ted Lapkin(anti-Hicks) and Mirko Bagaric (pro-Hicks); other anti - Hicks pieces by Gerard Henderson and Andrew Bolt (the latter characteristically scathing, though at least he allows some critical comments on his website); and , in today's SMH, an anti -PM piece by Richard Ackland.

Various outlets including the SMH print a letter written last year by Hicks to the PM in which he describes himself as a "true blue Aussie" . Rather than quote any more I suggest you read it for yourself. According to Phillip Coorey also in the SMH, Hicks's lawyer Major Mori has confirmed that the letter is, apart from some spelling and grammar editing, all his own work.

Where next? Amid all the tumult and the shouting there appears to be some agreement that Hicks should be brought to trial as soon as possible. The questions which still require answering include (1) on what charges (the US Supreme Court majority has ruled out conspiracy) and (2) in which court or tribunal? Both the US and Australian governments seem to be very worried about losing face and are unwilling, for whatever reasons, to consider a UK style solution of repatriating Hicks. I don't understand why Mandouh Habib but not Hicks has been released, especially since, according to one of his lawyers on TV the other night, Hicks hasm't been interrogated for about two years.

No comments: