David Hicks’ US Marine defence attorney, Major Michael Dante Mori, spoke this evening to an audience of about 1100 at a meeting sponsored by GetUp Australia at the City Recital Hall at Angel Place. No other venue could have been quite so apt. Mori has a sense of justice burned into every synapse in his brain. If Hicks has any guardian angels, he can surely count Major Mori among them.
Mori told the Catch-22 tale of Hicks’ legal history with the King George Bush administration, including astonishing detail about the charges Hicks is said to be facing. Mori blew holes below the waterline in the USS Rumsfailed, big enough to drive a bus through.
Along with other detainees at Guantanamo Bay taken prisoner by the US military in Afghanistan, Hicks is classified as an ‘enemy combatant’ to avoid calling him a ‘prisoner of war.’ Mori asserts this was done to create a new class of persons with no rights or legal standing; prisoners of war indeed do have some rights under international agreements like the Geneva Convention.
Hicks is accused of being an ‘illegal enemy combatant’ because he was not wearing a standard uniform. Mori argues that standard uniforms were neither part of the kit used by the US backed Afghan ‘Northern Alliance’ or CIA operatives, many of whom wore tartan flannos from LLBean whilst shooting Taliban soldiers.
The charges against Hicks are fanciful, but this doesn’t seem to bother King George or Rumsfailed. Hicks originally stood accused of ‘attempted murder of US, UK, Australian and Canadian soldiers. However, according to Mori, at the time Hicks was taken prisoner, there were no Australian or Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan- and the Brits were 500 miles away. The very notion of charging a soldier with ‘attempted murder’ is impossible under international Laws of War. All soldiers’ job #1 is to kill enemy soldiers, not kiss and cuddle them. However, Hicks never shot at anyone- not even US soldiers.
The ‘military commissions’ which have now been ruled illegal by the US Supreme Court, were staunchly defended as ‘fair’ for years by John Howard and Phillip Ruddock. Howard & Ruddock have pulled the demonisation lever on Hicks mercilesslessly since 2001, with absolutely no basis in fact. Howard and Downer have abandoned an Australian citizen to torture in the hands of the US miltary, with no regrets whatsoever, in conditions to which the US military will not subject American citizens.
The Hicks matter is hypocrisy upon insult upon irreparably life-destroying torturous imprisonment, with no just cause- and no exit. Hicks could have been home years ago with no more than a single typewritten page from Alexander Downer.
David Hicks is a political prisoner of John Howard and the Liberal Party. Terrorism ooga-booga remains a pivotal part of the Liberals’ political strategy. John Howard sells Aussies down the river for perpetual re-election.
Don’t be fooled at the ballot box in 2007.
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