:: Tuesday, 14 January 2003 ::
From today's Australian we get this from Labor's Daryl Welham (but read it all to see if you share his views):
The circumstances of Hicks and Habib have attracted little public sympathy. Whatever one may think of their alleged associations and allegiances, one cannot ignore the fact that indefinite detention without charge involves an abuse of fundamental human rights and legal principles. The Howard Government's endorsement of this practice by the US military is nothing short of a disgrace.
An Australian citizen accused overseas of murder or drug trafficking would be given more support from our Government than that afforded to Hicks and Habib.
If we are to defeat terrorism, we must uphold the human rights principles our societies hold dear. These include the basic rights of persons held in custody: the right to humane treatment; the right to be informed of the reasons for detention and to be able to challenge the lawfulness of detention; the presumption of innocence; prompt access to and assistance of a lawyer; prompt access to medical assistance; and the ability to communicate with family members.
"Whatever one might think...". Wrong. To imagine that giving a terrorist an even break is a good idea, and one that will be embraced by the Oz community, is stupid. So stupid. Guys who end up giving themselves names like "Jihad", or go a-fighting in Afghanistan, or live comfortably in Oz with their families but do not mind leaving wife and kids behind to go back and forth over the borders of Afghanistan and Pakistan, at a profoundly lousy time in those nations' histories, are not common criminals.
Uncommon criminals is what these folks are.
If we are to defeat terrorism we must get rid of all the terrorists.
And to do this we need to apply human rights, but only enough so as to be just that little bit more civilised than the subjects of our attentions. A little bit. But it is that little bit that counts. And at Guantanamo, last any of us heard, the occupants were alive.
Which is not what the victims are from the Bali bombing, the Grozny bombing, the Moscow Theatre, the New York-Washington-Pennsylvania incidents of while back, which Daryl has not mentioned.
Daryl acts like Jihad Thomas should be arraigned down the Local Court, with a simple bail application being made.
It is a constant catchcry of the left that rights are important, no matter how shitful the subject, and we should all, Oz folks all, enjoy the same rights. They think they are Voltaire. Idiots.
These 3 Oz men are not Oz junkies trying to bring drugs in from Thailand or horrid Oz nannies who've shaken babies to death. These men are Oz folks, caught, having chosen to and then actually made their way to a shitful part of the world, and, once there, not doing a lick of good for that part of the world, you know? Not peacekeepers. Not shop-owners. Not even farmers.
Nothing good. And if nothing good? Then what?
Who cares. Called "Jihad", for God's sake, not that Daryl wants to point that out.
I could not give a stuff about Thomas, Hicks or Habib. Or their lawyers.
When Daryl Melham's mum is as risk of going to Guantanamo, then I will promise to revisit my attitudes. But while Pakistan is full of Pakistanis who have not been sent Guantanamo, and Afghanistan is also full of Afghans who have not been sent to Guanatanamo and only 3 Oz folks out of us all are in Guanatanamo, then I will not worry about infringement of rights and erosion of principle.
The principle is to win.
:: WB 5:54 pm [link+] ::