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.