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Found not guilty, sentenced to life imprisonment ?

February 6th, 2007

Now that charges have finally been filed against David Hicks, it occurred to me to wonder what would happen if the trial proceeds and he is acquitted. The answer, it appears, is nothing. More precisely, if acquitted, Hicks will go back to Guantanamo Bay unless and until the US Administration chooses to release him.

That at least was the situation in 2002 according to this article by Ronald Dworkin, stating that the Pentagon reserves the right to hold detainees indefinitely, regardless of the trial outcome. And a group of Chinese Uighurs were held at Guantanamo for more than a year after military review panels had determined that they were not enemy combatants. This Wikipedia article includes a statement by Rumsfeld to the same effect.

Maybe this has been changed by the legislation passed last year. But if so, I can’t find any evidence to this effect. In fact, by removing any rights for aliens declared as enemy combatants by the Administration, the Military Commissions Act appears to confirm the power claimed by Rumsfeld to hold Hicks (or any non-citizen) without any resort to habeas corpus and regardless of any trial outcome.

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  1. melanie
    February 9th, 2007 at 06:53 | #1

    I wasn’t quoting you DMC. I was summarizing the evidence you have available to back your assertions.

  2. D McCarthy
    February 9th, 2007 at 08:10 | #2

    Ok Pseudo – maybe I have got him wrong but I was of the understanding that Abu Muslim al Australii aka Mohammed Dawood aka David Hicks worked trained and fought for the mujahideen by his own admittance for quite sometime.

    I don’t hold a candle for the warmongers perpetuating the war on terror either. Personally I think the war for oil theory is rather simplistic, for it was for oil and profit it would be over by now. This is a war for political legitmacy that other vital resource our politcal elites have been unable to extract sufficiently since the end of the Cold War.

    As I have said before if I can help Abu or David or Mohammed, maybe he and his lawyers should point out that NATO politicans, forces and intelligence agencies also fought, trained and supported the mujahideen very regularly covertly and overtly right up to 2000. Abu’s collaboration with them is a hill of beans compared to that of his captors.

  3. Hal9000
    February 9th, 2007 at 09:40 | #3

    Sorry I missed the ‘political prisoner’ reference in post #5. Quite right.

    Meanwhile, perhaps Hicks was seduced by Hollywood propaganda:

    Rambo III Plot Synopsis: John Rambo’s former Vietnam superior, Colonel Samuel Trautman, has been assigned to lead a mission to help the Mujahedeen rebels who are fighting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, but the Buddhist Rambo turns down Trautman’s request that Rambo help out. When the mission goes belly up and Trautman is kidnapped and tortured by Russian Colonel Zaysen, Rambo launches a rescue effort and allies himself with the Mujahedeen rebels and gets their help in trying to rescue Trautman from Zaysen.

  4. melanie
    February 9th, 2007 at 11:14 | #4

    All of Hicks’ ‘confessions’ were obtained in Guantanamo during a period when he had no access to legal advice and when ‘coerced evidence’ was being routinely obtained.

    Personally, I think Hicks is probably a creep. But that doesn’t make him guilty of any of the things he has been charged with (sorry, I should have said, “might be charged with”).

  5. D McCarthy
    February 9th, 2007 at 14:16 | #5

    It wasn’t just Johnny Rambo and Hollywood that got into bed with the mujahideen. Bit of a tangent this, but relevant context in my eyes. It is well known and well documented Cold War anti Soviet realpolitik that brought Thatcher and Reagan into bed with Bin Laden and his mob of medievalist nihilists, who, educated and made rich in the West turned their back on the modern world.

    The 1990′s and the end of the Cold War saw the less well documented unholy alliance of the ‘liberal left’ and the mujahideen. Emboldened by the success of their campaign in Afghanistan, the ranks of the mujahideen swelled in numbers and they turned their attentions to Europe and the destabilisation of the Balkans. Of course they did not do this on their own.When the Iron Curtain fell, Yugoslavia was a powderkeg waiting to blow and the newly unified Germany in particular, and foreign intervention from all sides precipitated the disintegration of the Balkans.

    I believe the stage where Abu Hicks Mohammed got stuck in would have been around the time the Blair and Clinton consumated the love affair and made the mujahideen the unoffical military wing of NATO.

    Which is why I said if he and his legals argued the case that Abu Hicks was actually an ally of NATO forces, they may even let him go and pin a medal on him. Stranger things have happened and stranger things are continuing to happen.

    Maybe the inmates of Camp X Ray need to be locked up and gagged, after all there will be quite a few of them in there that can name their mentors in urban terrorism, weapons handling and maintenance, surveilance and communications.

    For a good introduction to the seduction of the liberal left by the mujahideen this is an interesting article published in The Australian in 2005 http://jimball.com.au/Features/left-brought-terror-to-our-door.mht

  6. Hal9000
    February 9th, 2007 at 14:30 | #6

    Re the ‘good introduction’: bit of a long bow to ascribe membership of the left to Bill Clinton, DMC. (But even if you do, the article also glosses over the rather more significant involvements of AQ in Chechnya and Kosovo, for fairly transparent reasons of wanting to distract from the main mission of pouring a bucket on the left. Not for nothing was it published in the Spectator and reprinted in the Oz.) You’d have to extend it to John Howard as well, though, given his position on these conflicts, and that may be too far for readers of this blog to go…

  7. sdfc
    February 9th, 2007 at 14:33 | #7

    I just knew it had to be the left.

  8. D McCarthy
    February 9th, 2007 at 16:36 | #8

    Maybe I should have put mainstream ‘liberal as in US liberal’ for Bill Clinton and mainstream Blair and The Guardian types as ‘left’ ‘left of centre’.

    Independent freelance journalists will publish their work with whoever pays. Personally I don’t care where its published, so long as there is resonance.

    The terms ‘left’ ‘right’ etc kind of lost their meaning after the 1980′s – when the left had been crushed and the right worked itself out of job, and has struggled to define itself in the abscence of the certainties the Cold War provided.

    I hate having to use those terms and seeing them.They mean nothing today really. But many describe themselves as ‘left’ ‘liberal’ ‘right’. I mean I literally choked on my spit when I saw there is such a thing as the GreenLeft! I guess from here when describing ‘left’ and ‘right’ we can assume those who consider(ed) themselves ‘left’ ‘right’ ‘liberal’.

    So where I can will always give the old political compass points a ‘ ‘ either side.

    As for John Howard (and the opposition), they are backing the war. He is sending in the troops, all few score of them as a gesture of support for the 500,000+ allied troops fighting the war on terror. Supporting same nations who helped create and inflate the enemy in the first place.

    Just like Abu Hicks Australii, the political elites will go to extraordinary lengths to try and settle their existential angst in our ‘apparent’ topsy turvy world.

  9. melanie
    February 9th, 2007 at 21:29 | #9

    It is clear, from DMC’s contributions, that changing your name from Cassius Clay to Muhammed Ali is proof of terrorist intent.

  10. garhane
    February 10th, 2007 at 08:51 | #10

    You know the old Child’s story about the girl who was very good , when she was good, but very, very bad when she was bad. The Brits are like that, There are many features of the British Constitution (you know, the one they say they do not have) , the maintenance of older chunks of real and personal estate when it smacks of their culture, the way they prize their history in manner, style, and language. But when they are mean, they are very mean indeed. You take the matter of unfair dealing with ordinary people during times of commotion. Note that I said “ordinary”. This has absolutely nothing to do with challenge to authority, uprisings, unlawful not to say criminal acts, or any of the things that get people hauled off to a police station or worse. The Brits understand that people believe in fair play and all the public interest bunkum they are fed huge doses of in the media. But the problem of statecraft is to keep them tame and obedient. So the thing to do when reforms are demanded is fetch a bunch of obviously innocent people and kick the shit out of them, produce a royal denial of every kind of right you ever heard of. It may be some day “the authorities” will have to pony up some cash as damages ( out of tax proceeds from the same sort of ordinary people). But in the meantime you will successfully scare the daylights out of the rest. Of who? Of the ordinary people, the ones you want to keep still. And the dangerous ones, well there are very few of them you see, and the most scary ones are usually already paid agents of the state.
    That is the Brits? Did you not read that pretty well every one of the big prosecutions of Irish people for bombings in England got over turned and damages paid for false imprisonment, years later?
    Up to 14 years later. Unhappily it works for a long time and when it does not people tend to go too far the other way.
    So the USA is not concerned with terrorists in my humble opinion. If Bush and Co can only go on spreading their World War Three for grabbing resources held by anyone anywhere that they want, on pain of the penalty of bombing populations “back to the stone age” as they like to say, this is the way to tame the American population. They are pretty sappy anyhow, dumbed down by TV and their media, but supression of terrorism is the ticket to keep it so. Lets keept the flow of innocents up, there is a definite function for them. And worst of all you can train pretty well anyone to do this, just build it up bit by bit.

  11. D McCarthy
    February 10th, 2007 at 10:09 | #11

    Now, now melanie you have drawn that conclusion not me.

    I suggest anyone who sympathises and colloborates with mujahideen nihilists are enemies of the hard fought for freedoms which can only flourish in modern society.

    That includes both captors and captives in Camp X Ray.

    X -Ray being a very apt name, as the Camp exposes the hypocrisy of the war the war on terror. But its only an image in time, no point in thinking tearing up an X-Ray will get rid of a patient’s disease.

  12. February 10th, 2007 at 14:37 | #12

    garhane, everybody with any intelligence knows that there is a British Constitution. It’s some other people – often but not only Americans with an obsession about their own constitution – who deny it on the mistaken grounds that the only real constitution is a written one. In fact, having an obsession like that makes people neglect keeping the words on paper and the facts in the ground in a sound working arrangement – things like forgetting to frame laws in such a way that the resources to wage war are unavailable without a formal declaration of war (compare and contrast the various British Army, Navy, Mutiny and even Income Tax acts, with automatic termination dates, and how they work by removing penalties when they lapse).

    But it is certainly true that there is no written British Constitution.

  13. Dave Surls
    February 11th, 2007 at 03:33 | #13

    “Firstly, the war on terror in Afghanistan and Iraq has been and is an outrage.”

    It’s an outrage if you like the idea of terror groups like the FRC, MEK or Al Qaida being able to carry out terrorist operations from their bases in Iraq and Afghanistan without fear of retaliation.

    To normal people, there’s nothing outrageous about us hitting them where they are.

  14. Comrade O’Brien
    February 11th, 2007 at 08:45 | #14

    Attention Comrades,
    Please visit http://ministryoflove.wordpress.com to learn about our creative protest of the Military Commissions Act, or just watch our video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOq5yHDkQgY
    Regards,
    O’Brien

  15. jquiggin
    February 11th, 2007 at 09:36 | #15

    Trollfight! Dave S (at #64) versus DMac (at #23)! This should be entertaining. Just so they don’t make it up and start breeding.

    BTW, Dave, I deleted your other comments as they weren’t funny, just wrong. If you want to keep getting published here, you have to keep us laughing. More generally, could I request people not to submit multiple comments in quick succession.

  16. D McCarthy
    February 11th, 2007 at 10:24 | #16

    Trollfight? Erm? I take it trolls (whatever they are) have nothing to contribute, say nothing worthwhile and just expelling gas without really expressing an opinion either way?

    I have no problem hitting mujahideen very hard.That does not require an invasion of Afghanistan nor Iraq, they have nothing to do with hitting mujahideen.

    The world would be a better place without them. But they are there for a reason.

    The problem is those who give them succour one by directly supporting them, and two, trying to make us fear they will take over the joint, how funny is that!

  17. Dave Surls
    February 11th, 2007 at 14:57 | #17

    “BTW, Dave, I deleted your other comments”

    Censorship from the left is, of course, a time-honored tradition, and to be expected.

    “as they weren’t funny, just wrong.”

    No they weren’t. You wouldn’t bother censoring them if they were wrong, you would point out why they were wrong.

    Dave, as I’ve said before, I only tolerate your stuff for amusement value. It’s amusing (rather grim amusement, but we take what we can get these days) when you claim that the Iraq war has been a huge success (or at least it was the first few times – you need some new material). And it’s amusing when you get stuck into the only commenter in the thread who’s on your side. Silly claims that the Gitmo detention policy is consistent with the Geneva conventions are neither amusing nor worth refuting. JQ

  18. February 11th, 2007 at 16:04 | #18

    D McCarthy – the truly wrong thing in all this as regards Hicks is that there is, after more than 5 years, still nowhere for “…he and his legals [to] argue … the case that Abu Hicks was actually an ally of NATO forces…”.
    He may be the worst mass-murderer in the history of the planet or he could be a poor, gentle creature that is sadly misunderstood. The point is that he has not had, and it looks like will not have, the chance to face his accusers in a properly constituted court of law. Until that happen he remains an accused person, in detention for (now) vastly longer than any sensible term of remand – and the remand process itself has also not occurred. If he is convicted by a court that does not allow at least a minimum standard of compliance with internationally accepted norms he will be regarded as, and quite properly so, a political prisoner.
    To pick up on melanie’s point (I hope melanie does not mind) – a change of name from Cassius Clay to Muhammed Ali may be proof of terrorist intent; but if it is not presented to a court of law it is just so much wind.

  19. February 11th, 2007 at 16:31 | #19

    He is actually a prisoner-of-war.

  20. February 11th, 2007 at 16:35 | #20

    I mean, that is how he came to be banged up in Guatanamo Bay.

  21. pseudonym (econowit)
    February 11th, 2007 at 16:40 | #21

    What war is that steve?

  22. D McCarthy
    February 11th, 2007 at 16:46 | #22

    Chatter chatter chatter. Moral posturing at its worst. If the damned rules were applied this would all be such a great war.

    As we are all so good at names, who else do we know is an inmate at X RAY? Oh yeah I remember the others don’t count. Shameless. Pardon me if I put Abu Hicks in the same category as those other no names and no marks.

    Close down the camp and release the inmates, I would go for that right now. If the other 500 or so are like Hicks we can all have a good laugh at them. That’s why they (the enemy) remain locked up indefinitely, we are not allowed to see them for who they are, losers and deadbeats. We are meant to believe they are the greatest threat to civilisation (aren’t we Dave? keep scaring yourself mate, you are quite convincing) the free world has ever known.

    I know its rude to mention the war in certain chattering circles. Silly me I wont do it again, I’ll brush up on Article 4, subsection 3.5 paragraphs 4-8 of the Big Book on How Things are Done.

  23. jquiggin
    February 11th, 2007 at 17:01 | #23

    Admittedly, we don’t have names for a lot of these guys, but, as the post points out with reference to the Chinese Uighirs, we know at least some of them to be victims of circumstance who pose no threat to us. And if Hicks’ is one of the strongest cases the prosecution has, the evidence in other cases must be pretty slim.

  24. Dave Surls
    February 11th, 2007 at 17:48 | #24

    “We are meant to believe they are the greatest threat to civilisation (aren’t we Dave? keep scaring yourself mate, you are quite convincing) the free world has ever known.”

    Why ask me? I never said that.

  25. Dave Surls
    February 12th, 2007 at 01:29 | #25

    “Silly claims that the Gitmo detention policy is consistent with the Geneva conventions are neither amusing nor worth refuting. JQ”

    As noted here

  26. Dave Surls
    February 12th, 2007 at 07:53 | #26

    Dave, this is my site and I can publish what I want here. If you want to publish your views, find a site where you’re welcome or start your own blog. I’m not stopping you. And please stop whining about censorship. You sound like the most annoying kind of lefty

  27. Dave Surls
    February 12th, 2007 at 08:06 | #27

    I’m an annoying chickenhawk who can’t take a hint.

  28. Dave Surls
    February 12th, 2007 at 10:16 | #28

    Troll, troll, troll

  29. Simonjm
    February 12th, 2007 at 19:36 | #29

    JQ while listening to someone from the Australian Defense Association on the 7.30 Report saying that indefinite detention of non-combatants was legal under the Geneva convention. Taking a guess this is more to do with the problems stemming that this isn’t a conventional ‘war’ which like the war on drugs, is something could go on for ever.

    Come to think of it using the same rationale we may be able to ‘detain’ indefinitely all drug users and pushers as non-combatants and do away with courts and the like! Why didn’t they think of this before?!!

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