20 May 2007

Transfer completed nine days before deadline

David Hicks is back in Adelaide, or as the ABC aptly describes it, "back in solitary confinement". The images of his arrival shown on tonight's Channel 9 and ABC TV news (which must have been filmed with the knowledge and consent of the authorities) show little change from Guantanamo: a small figure in orange (which the newsreaders described as red - look at the videos and decide for yourself) overalls between two guards.

The local law and order brigade have come out in force. While Attorney General Ruddock on this morning's Insiders and Terry Hicks have, from their different perspectives and in their different ways, maintained a civil restraint in their comments, populist ranters like SA Deputy Premier Foley have stirred the retribution pot vigorously:

South Australian Deputy Premier Kevin Foley says Hicks should not be treated as a hero now he is home."He's cost a lot of people a lot of pain," he said."He's cost taxpayers millions of dollars and he's put his father to hell and back."

Mr Foley says he hopes Hicks uses his time in prison to reflect on his behaviour. "He should be thinking long and hard about how he is going to conduct himself and rehabilitate himself when he walks from prison," he said.

On tonight's Channel 9 news Mr Foley's grasp of English syntax (has it ever been strong?) loosened as he referred to Hicks the younger's "behaviour he has conducted" [sic], while on ABC TV News he promised that DH would be incarcerated with "mass murderers [and] former magistrates found guilty of pedophilia".

And, while Mr Foley tries to maintain his rage (and spread lies - Hicks was neither charged with nor convicted by a US military commission of "aiding and abetting terrorism"), the ABC reports that a gang armed with knives and machetes carried out nine aggravated robberies across the metropolitan area overnight.

No arrests have been reported. Mr Foley has not commented.