Sunday, February 18, 2007

Our Atrocious Record

David Hicks, a citizen of Australia, has been languishing in prison in the U.S. for more tan five years. In all that time, our government has done nothing to try and secure his return to this country. Sure, there’s been a few rumblings in the corridors of power lately, what with Howard being accused of complacency and pandering to the yanks but until today, I hadn’t seen, heard or read anything that made me think there might be a chance he’d ever get home.

Then I read this. Now, I know that I can be a tad cynical and I try to take that into consideration, but in this case I just couldn’t help the thought that all this has come fairly close on the heels of a whole bunch of election speak.

As late as the 12th of this month, Alexander Downer was saying that Hicks will not return home until he faces trial in the U.S. Today he’s softening that stance, saying he could be home by the end of the year and possibly by Christmas. Apparently he’s brokered a deal that will see David tried and sentenced before then so that he can serve the rest of his sentence here.

Now that really sucks. The fact of the matter is that he is not guilty of any crime under Australian law. Nor is he guilty of any crime under U.S. law at the time of his arrest. No, they’ve had to write new legislation and invent new crimes to charge him with, in retrospect. Our legal system doesn’t allow for you to be charged in retrospect of a new law, so why are we letting them do it? I have to admit though, the attempted murder charge for being at a training camp is my favourite. Last I looked, you actually had to be in the act of trying to murder someone before you could be charged with that. I don’t often find myself agreeing with Bob Brown, but what he says here is quite right. Tawdry politics at it’s very best. Playing with the life of one of your own citizens just to try and score points in an election year is despicable.

Still, I’m not the only one penning the odd spray, aimed firmly at our current government. Here’s one from Malcolm Fraser, himself a former great Liberal leader for whom John Howard served as treasurer. Here’s what the Victorian government is doing. At least they recognise him as one their citizens, and rightly so. Then there were Jeff Kennett’s remarks which formed the substance of my previous missive on this subject. It would seem that Mr. Howard is copping it squarely from both sides.

But today my brother found me a gem. This one, by Robert Richer, using noting but the Hicks affair as subject matter, has managed to slander Phill Ruddock to the hilt. He even goes so far as to challenge Ruddock to sue. Trouble is that to do so successfully, Ruddock would have to prove that he isn’t being a hypocrite when he flaunts his Amnesty International membership and has been nothing but diligent and caring of a citizen he is sworn to protect, trying all avenues he could to get that citizen home, so I can’t see it happening. I urge you to read the article though. When it comes to a good bake it earns a 5 Star rating.

So once again, in order to let them know that we really aren’t as stupid as they like to think we are and that we know what they’re up to and just how sickening it is, here are those email addresses again…:)

The Prime Minister

Alexander Downer

Phillip Ruddock

Have at them with a vengeance…

Excellent stuff! Gimme more...

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