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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The rule of law

The NSW Supreme Court has allowed freed Guantanamo Bay detainee Mamdouh Habib to pursue defamation proceedings against Murdoch's News Limited. One 2002 cartoon in Sydney's Daily Telegraph read, "The amazing journey of a suburban terrorist." In case the conservative echo-chamber forgets, Habib was released without charge in January.

The other detained Australian prisoner, David Hicks, remains at Guantanamo Bay. Gerard Henderson - clearly incapable of understanding the difference between defending the man and his alleged actions and his foul treatment at the hands of the Australian and American governments - today wonders why so many people express outrage over his treatment.

Let me give you a clue, Gerard. I've read much of the public accusations against Hicks, and he appears to be an anti-Semitic and troubled man. This attitude doesn't somehow preclude him from standing trial in a proper court of law. "All societies, Western and non-Western alike, should take gun-toting revolutionaries at their word", Gerard writes. If a person's personal letters were the sole determining factor of guilt, then many people would be locked up.


Blogger Iqbal Khaldun said...

Yeah good on ya Gerry! Should we therefore lock up Joe Gutnick for funding ultra orthodox settlers in the Occupied Territories (whose treatment of and contempt for the local population is well documented)? What about expatriate Tamils and Indian Hindus who donate to the Tigers and Bajarang Dal respectively? Those organizations have been known for cold, calculated acts of violence responsible for numerous deaths.

Of course not. Centuries of jurisprudence has offered many significant insights into just and effective ways to deal with criminals. One of the most important of these is the principle of due process of the law. Another is habeus corpus. Even if you captured Lucifer himself you’d have to charge him with crimes, bring him before a court of competent jurisdiction, and follow the due process of the law.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 5:51:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Indeed, yes and watch them line up to deal with the "war on terror' or whatever it's called this week...
It's amazing how many of the usual suspects are so quick to abandon the rule of law, give almost unlimited power to govt and therefore expose their undemocratic soul...

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 7:11:00 pm  
Blogger Andjam said...

Hicks doesn't just talk the talk, he runs the run (oops that's Habib and his son) walks the walk.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 8:50:00 pm  
Blogger Iqbal Khaldun said...

Oh so did you train with him eh?

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 10:47:00 pm  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

Ah, now we know why Ant's so keen on a fair go for Hicks -- he's 'an anti-Semitic and troubled man.' Birds of a feather, indeed!

Put Hicks on trial for treason and providing aid and comfort to the enemy in a time of war. Let's shine some sunlight on his psycho-Islamic babble for all to see.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005 8:57:00 am  
Blogger weezil said...

Try Hicks? Sure. In Australia.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005 9:07:00 am  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Shab, a couple of questions about this issue.

If it is so obvious that Hicks is guilty - and Bush and Howard know how to get their way regardless of public opinion or international criticism - why hasn't he been convicted? Why doesn't Ruddock know what crime Hicks will be charged with should he return to Australia?

Why was Habib released and returned to Australia? Why has he still not been charged with any crime? Is the government symapthising with treasonists?

Does the right believe in extra-judicial sentencing? Do you agree with other rightist bloggers/commenters that Hicks should be executed?

Perhaps you can pop the answers to these questions in your blog.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005 11:19:00 am  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

Mate, I don't know why they released Habib, I sure as hell wouldn't have, but that's what I'm saying - let's bring him here and try him. Let's shine a light on this loser-tic and see who and what the left - who will surely call for him to be released 'time served' the moment he steps off the plane - has been so supportive of. It'll be a blast! (Whoops, bad choice of phrase...)

Wednesday, August 17, 2005 4:29:00 pm  
Blogger Andjam said...

Oh so did you train with him eh?

Not knowingly.

Though I'm vaguely tempted to invite him or his son to do winter biathlon with me.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005 8:23:00 pm  

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