J’Accuse! 2006: Secret trials, secret evidence
Thursday August 24th 2006, 11:06 am

image: fairgofordavid.comThe parallels between the 1898 Dreyfus Affair and the David Hicks case are startling.

Alfred Dreyfus was a Jewish artillery officer in the French army who was convicted of spying on the basis of false testimony of an anti-Semitic superior officer. The French Army prosecution asserted the right to submit evidence in secret without even revealing it to Dreyfus or permitting any cross-examination of the facts, on grounds of national of national security concerns, as well as hold the trial in secret.

The US military had demanded the very same in the David Hicks case, until the US Supreme Court ruled the ‘military tribunals’ unconstitutional. Hicks remains in legal limbo, with no means available to either try or release him. Hicks has now been imprisoned- without charge- for more than 5 years, much of it in solitary confinement.

Julian Burnside, QC recorded the 2006 J’Accuse! for the Ockham’s Razor program on ABC Radio National, where he explains the terrifying similarities of the Dreyfus Affair to David Hicks’ quagmire. (ABC RN Podcast: Download MP3 | Stream)

Hicks’ American defence attorney, Major Michael Mori, will be appearing this evening, Thursday 24 August 2006, in Adelaide and on Friday 25 August 2006 in Sydney for candlelight vigils and meet & greet. You can also sign a GetUp petition to be presented to Alexander Downer demanding the Australian Government do something to have Hicks released from his own Dreyfus nightmare.

Justice delayed is justice denied. In the 5 years he has been held captive at Guantanamo Bay, Hicks could have been tried, convicted and served his sentence.

David Hicks must be freed now!


5 Comments so far
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Oh forfucksake. The parallels between the Dreyfus affair and David Hicks are non-existent. Much as I think the continued imprisonment of Hicks is increasingly ridiculous and unjust, to compare Hicks – a dim-witted adventurer who threw in his lot with a pack of thugs – with Dreyfus is just plain stupid.

Dreyfus was a loyal, patriotic French artillery officer who was stitched-up for spying for the Germans. The reason his various trials were held in secret was because the ‘evidence’ against him was a transparent forgery.

Much as I think Hicks should be released (and abhor the Australian government’s pissweak attitude), to place him on the same pedestal as an honourable, outstanding person like Dreyfus is just a canard of the most contemptible kind.

Comment by Christine Keeler 08.24.06 @ 11:41 pm

You’re right, Christine- the cases aren’t completely comparable. Hicks has it far, far worse than Dreyfus.

Far as I know, Dreyfus didn’t have to confront testimony extracted from others by torture- Hicks does.

The Hicks case is indeed a stitch-up of the proportions of Dreyfus; but Hicks has been held without charge or trial for much more time than Dreyfus.

Comment by weez 08.25.06 @ 6:40 am

Agreed on your last point, weez. There are fairly manifest inadequacies in the legal case surrounding Hicks, not least of which is that it’s looking less and less likley that he’s guilty of any crime on the statute books, other than perhaps standing in a hole next to a tank.

There are a few people worthy of admiration in this case, not the least of which are Hicks senior and Major Mori.

But the fact is that this is just a pretty lame attempt to draw an overblown comparison and to turn Hicks into something that he’s not. What next? Comparisons with Jesus Christ?

And Burnside comparing himself, by implication, with Emile Zola is just self-serving twaddle.

I’ll be convinced of the comparison when Hicks is awarded the Lgion d’honneur.

Comment by Christine Keeler 08.25.06 @ 10:11 am

I don’t think the Dreyfus parallel is too far off the mark. Hicks has been imprisoned on the basis of trumped-up accusations- not even charges- which have no small amount of basis in a religious smear job.

Let’s think for just a moment what Osama bin Laden’s goals were which motivated the 9/11 attacks. OBL is upset that the US is propping up a fascist government in the House of Saud, rulers of the land containing the holiest sites in Islam. The Saud family is friendly with King George and give the US preferential prices on oil. His Highness reckons he’s on a mission from his god- and admits that he thinks his god told him to make the world safe for SUVs.

If anything, Hicks is guilty of not siding with the well-financed Christian crusaders. If Hicks were convictable of any crime in a fair trial, King George would have tried and convicted him long ago.

Should Hicks get an OA as a result of being abused and abandoned by his government? 5 years without charge or trial when a single typewritten page from Alexander Downer might have freed Hicks years ago. If that’s not crucifixion a’la Dreyfus, I don’t know what is. They’ve certainly given out OA gongs for significantly more nefarious things.

Comment by weez 08.25.06 @ 12:04 pm

Oh, and as to Burnside’s implication of his similarity to Emile Zola, that’s not far off the mark either. Burnside is very much a Zola for modern-day Australia. If Burnside hadn’t drawn the Zola parallel, I certainly would have. Were I Burnside, I’d have a reputable chimney sweep check the place from time to time. 😉

Comment by weez 08.25.06 @ 12:07 pm

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