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The Law Council of Australia, the nation’s compulsory membership bar association, undertook a comprehensive study of the treatment of Guantánamo prisoner David Hicks. Their conclusion is now in: (PDF)
The “trial” of David Hicks, which took place in March 2007, was a charade.
A pre-trial agreement had been signed and the balance of the legal proceedings was entirely surplus to requirements, although designed to lay a veneer of due process over a political and pragmatic bargain. The veneer cracked immediately.
Ultimately, there has been no benefit from this process; only a corrosion of the rule of law.
No ground can be claimed to have been made in the so-called War on Terror. The Military Commission process at Guantanamo likewise has neither gained from it, nor shown any prospect of improvement.
Predictably, there has been no response from the Australian Government to the consistent and widespread criticism of the Military Commissions and Guantanamo Bay generally. Their support for this process has been shameful.
The treatment of Hicks and the entire system in Gitmo reveal in the most vivid way how the Bush Administration understands the term “justice.” It does not exist. In its place they offer us non-stop, shameless politics. And our reputation in the world is trashed.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”