Wednesday, November 02, 2005

For those of you who are pro Gitmo

.. maybe not even pro. Maybe accepting the need for such a fine institution of dubious legality and definate immorality.

See the Four Corners Transcript from 'The Case against David Hicks'.

Click here

I'm watching the repeat now. It's delicious seeing Howard defend the indefensible.

'JOHN HOWARD, 16 JULY 2005: Let us remember the allegation about Hicks is a very serious allegation. It is an allegation that he trained with al-Qaeda. It's an allegation which includes, allegations including the specific allegation that he was in Pakistan on the 11th of September, 2001 and in the wake of those events, rejoined his colleagues. So we are dealing with serious allegations.


So f_cking what. I don't care he he danced the loosey f_cking goosey with Osama himself Howard. Why can't you, like the UK, accept the fact that Gitmo promotes both incarceration without charge, military trials, and the use of torture. The UK got theirs out. Why not Hicks? Hicks, who as it turns out, was sold the the yanks for the pricely sum of $1000.

In fact - here are all the Howard comments

JOHN HOWARD, 19 JULY 2005: Australia is satisfied that the military commission process in relation to David Hicks, as he is the one Australian held in Guantanamo Bay, will provide a proper measure of justice.

[ahahahahahaha]

JOHN HOWARD, 4 JUNE 2004: If Hicks and Habib were to be returned to Australia, there is no, on my legal advice there's no... crime under Australian law with which they could be charged.

[er, ok, can he come home then?]

JOHN HOWARD, 20 MAY 2004: The man you refer to is a Taliban supporter. I find it strange that these allegations of abuse against Mr Hicks and Mr Habib have arisen only since the prisoner abuse scandal erupted.

[He was a Taliban supporter before S11 you twat. So was the US government. When they had the Taliban round for tea a couple months before S11 to discuss the pipeline.]


JOHN HOWARD, 16 JULY 2005: I can inform you - and we'll provide you with a letter later - that we have received written advice from the Defense Department that after a very thorough investigation of the allegations of Hicks and Habib about mistreatments whilst they were in American custody, no evidence has been found to support those allegations.

[Does this even need a comment?]

JOHN HOWARD ON RADIO 2002: He's in detention. He knowingly joined the Taliban and al-Qaeda. I don't have any sympathy for any Australian who's done that.

[Again, before S11.]

JOHN HOWARD, 16 JULY 2005: Let us remember the allegation about Hicks is a very serious allegation. It is an allegation that he trained with al-Qaeda. It's an allegation which includes, allegations including the specific allegation that he was in Pakistan on the 11th of September, 2001 and in the wake of those events, rejoined his colleagues. So we are dealing with serious allegations.

[The border was closed, he was surrounded by Taliban, in the middle of f_cking Afghanistan. Where the f_ck was he going to go?]

Hicks may be rah rah fanatical Islam. And frankly anyone who is rah rah [insert ideological belief that says it's ok to kill people not of your belief] is a f_ckwit.

But he's our f_ckwit, being held in morally dubious jail, still to face trial, not guilty of any crime under Australian law, and likely been tortured in the common sense of the word. Oh, not in the Attorney General of the US's word, since torture is that which is physical pubishment that may cause organ failure, not things like mock executions, stress positions, or interrogators faking menstruation then rubbing the blood on an inmate's face.

F_ck I hate Howard. I hate him for what he's done to this country where the man in the street thinks that people like Hicks deserve extra-judicial punishment and to be treated as sub human.

The US did not deserve S11 in any way. They don't deserve any terror attacks ever. But the current administration has made it far more likely that young men in women in Iraq are in harm's way, and that their people in the US may face yet another macro terror event. Especially when they treat those they capture with contempt and abuse. Because you treat a man less than human, then he sees you the same way.

Dickwads.

15 comments:

  1. Funny isn't it? 98% of the world's population was appalled at the 9/11 attacks. Now about 75% think that the way the US has behaved since then means they have it coming.

    Do you remember at the very beginning of the Iraq invasion, Iraqi troops captured a bunch of US soldiers and paraded them on TV? The US was jumping up and down and squealing about THAT being a violation of the Geneva Convention.

    Our Government's attitude toward Guantanamo and the practices the US undertakes makes me sick. The last lot of allegations surrounding David Hicks- about bashings by US soldiers, and rape made the news and the first thing Alexander Downer said was that he wasn't going to take it seriously because Hicks couldn't provide any proof that he'd been raped, so the allegations didn't deserve the time of day. Fucking sick. If he'd said the same thing about a woman I think we'd have seen a real outcry about comments like that.

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  2. Downer also made a comment to the effect that it was a bit sus that Hicks hadn't mentioned the rape sooner, thereby casting doubt on its veracity.

    Because, you know, no rape victim ever fails to report it immediately out of a sense of deep shame... (note sarcasm)

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  3. Downer just wants to know where to go so he can get som manly lovin'

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  4. "Hicks couldn't provide any proof that he'd been raped"

    What's he want? Stretch marks?

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  5. The US practice of incarcerating enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay is certainly controversial, arguably wrong, but apparently not illegal in the US - since it continues without intervention by US courts. Regardless of international conventions, indefinite detention without charge is something I would call tyrannical.

    Hicks may have committed awful acts. But if so the US should charge him, under whatever jurisdiction they claim to have, or release him, or make some clear statement as to his status. Anything else is wrong.

    The Australian government is evidently at pains to support the position of its ally the US here. And I don't suppose the Australian government really looks forward to having Hicks back, since he'll be a nine days wonder in the news, probably beyond the reach of any charges under Australian law, and might actually be a terrorist or might inspire others to follow his path.

    All that's irrelevant, really. Ally or not, Australia's government should disagree with US policy where appropriate.

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  6. The challenges to the US practices at Guantanamo have so far failed in US Courts because "it's not on US soil".

    I think in that case the US courts should give Castro the final say on what the US should do with their camp...

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  7. The US have conveniently found a little loophole here, haven't they? Not covered by the Geneva Convention because they're... what was the term... "armed belligerents"? So not combatants. They're not on US soil so not covered by US law.

    Very clever. Very dodgy. Absolutely reprehensible.

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  8. Actually I think I pretty much agree with their interpretation of the rules for "armed combatants" who aren't soldiers, with the rights and responsibilities thereof.

    On your other point, yeah, I agree. Legal maybe. But the prisoners are in US control. That to my mind gives the US a responsibility to treat them humanely. Or at least no less humanely than other kinds of prisoners in the US.

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  9. There already are rules for 'unlawful combatants' in this case people defending their country from an illegal invasion and occupation. It's called the Geneva Convention, the US is a signatory.

    Try and keep in mind that Iraqi combatants are well within their rights to fight the Americans. If Indonesian troops invaded Australia we'd have the right to fight them too.

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  10. There already are rules for 'unlawful combatants' in this case people defending their country from an illegal invasion and occupation. It's called the Geneva Convention, the US is a signatory.

    Geneva Convention (III) says that a prisoner of war can include:

    2. Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:

    (a) That of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;

    (b) That of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;

    (c) That of carrying arms openly;

    (d) That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.


    Soldiers taken prisoner in combat generally fit the above requirements, unless a complaint is made against them of criminal activity (i.e. intentionally massacring civilians, a breach of clause (d)). Non-military armed combatants can fit this definition. But the fighters in Iraq don't.

    Try and keep in mind that Iraqi combatants are well within their rights to fight the Americans. If Indonesian troops invaded Australia we'd have the right to fight them too.

    It's not a question of "rights to fight". No-one can stop them from fighting. It's a question of how they comport themselves whilst fighting that determines, if taken prisoner, whether they deserve the rights that the Geneva Convention requires for POW's. Otherwise they are what is called bandits, which are not accorded the protection of that Conventions extends to civilians and POWs.

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  11. Whilst it is true that there are some armed combatants in Iraq who are opposing the US occupation, a large proportion of the fighters opposing coalition and Iraqi forces are actually foreigners. Fighters from Syria, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia are all flocking to Iraq for a chance to shoot US GI's. They are also deliberately targetting Iraqi police and armed forces personnel in an attempt to derail the reconstruction process.

    Doesn't make what is happening in Guantanamo any better, or in Abu Graihb for that matter.

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  12. technohorror:

    "a large proportion of the fighters opposing coalition and Iraqi forces are actually foreigners."

    That's nonsense. At best no more than 10% are foreigners. That comes from the US themselves. If you really think that there's a silent majority of Iraqis who support the occupation you're dreaming.

    Hiraethin

    If that's the case then why did we hang Germans for crimes committed against partisan fighters who definately did NOT obey the 'rules' of war? I find it disturbing that so many otherwise normal people readily support the brutality we supposedly went into Iraq to stop, simply because it's being committed by Americans.

    The Iraqi forces opposed to the occupation are not homogenous, therefore you can't presume to apply the same rules to all of them. Who knew, the Geneva conventions don't favour invaders. I wonder why.

    You don't get to round up tens of thousands of Iraqis, rape them in Saddams jails and call yourself a liberator.

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  13. Article V of the third convention requires the status of any captives to be determined by a competent tribunal.

    Article IV also provides for citizens who “spontaneously take up arms to resist invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units.”

    This would encompass most of the resistance, the rest being militias, and a small, small number of freelance terrorists.

    Finally the US justice department advised the president that he didn't have to observe any international laws (that the US was signatory to) when detaining Iraqis.

    If what they're doing is legal, why absolve themselves from upholding the laws that support their righteous behaviour?

    Unfortunately the Geneva conventions don't make it easy for people conducting illegal invasions to obey them. That's the whole point, they were drawn up to stop 'preemptive' wars and the atrocities that invariably accompany them.

    Neither of you would say the things you've said if we were discussing the behaviour of Indonesian soldiers in Aceh or East Timor.

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  14. If that's the case then why did we hang Germans for crimes committed against partisan fighters who definately did NOT obey the 'rules' of war? I find it disturbing that so many otherwise normal people readily support the brutality we supposedly went into Iraq to stop, simply because it's being committed by Americans.

    The Nuremberg trials? Surely you wouldn't argue that the crimes committed by anti-Nazi partisans in WW2, no matter how heinous, excuse the crimes of Nazi troops and officials.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "support the brutality". I don't believe I've expressed that opinion, merely disagreed with you as to the legal rights of armed combatants who are taken prisoner.

    The Iraqi forces opposed to the occupation are not homogenous, therefore you can't presume to apply the same rules to all of them. Who knew, the Geneva conventions don't favour invaders. I wonder why.

    It's true that the irregular forces in Iraq aren't homogenous. I don't see why the same rules can't be applied, though - accused criminals in this country aren't homogenous, either, but we apply a single set of rules to all of them.

    You don't get to round up tens of thousands of Iraqis, rape them in Saddams jails and call yourself a liberator.

    Now that's a little hyperbolic, don't you think? Coalition and Iraqi government forces have made thousands of arrests - but the vast majority of those arrested have been released. The facilities where they are held, for all that some were also used to house prisoners under Hussein's regime, are no longer Saddam's jails and the treatment accorded to prisoners in those facilties by Coalition forces is very different from what they might have expected from Saddam's jailers. I believe, from the reportage that I have seen, that while the treatment of some prisoners in those jails fits the definition of sexual assault, the number of prisoners so assaulted is a very small percentage - and that where complaints have been made, and found to have a factual basis, those responsible have been investigated and when possible brought up on charges. That, by the way, is how the system should work - another difference from the system under Saddam's jailers.

    Article V of the third convention requires the status of any captives to be determined by a competent tribunal.

    Which is historically comprised by a military court, armies not normally dragging civilian courts with them on campaign. In short, a drumhead court-martial; furthermore, historically, those convicted of banditry in time of war were usually immediately shot.

    Article IV also provides for citizens who “spontaneously take up arms to resist invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units.”

    This would encompass most of the resistance, the rest being militias, and a small, small number of freelance terrorists.


    Since at first glance the one very much resembles the other, I expect it would be up to that competent tribunal you mentioned to determine who was what. It's not practical to suggest that because some prisoners are certainly spontaneously-resisting citizens (SRCs), that all prisoners should be treated as such. Incidentally, would you care to recommend an appropriate procedure for dealing with captured SRCs? Given, you know, that they were engaged in armed opposition to Coalition forces, and if released would very likely do so again.

    Finally the US justice department advised the president that he didn't have to observe any international laws (that the US was signatory to) when detaining Iraqis.

    If what they're doing is legal, why absolve themselves from upholding the laws that support their righteous behaviour?


    International law, as I understand it, isn't really a system of laws such as exist in a nation. What is called international law is a host of international agreements, which are upheld by signatory nations except when When they feel that to do so is contrary to their national interests. As for why - I haven't the slightest idea.

    Unfortunately the Geneva conventions don't make it easy for people conducting illegal invasions to obey them. That's the whole point, they were drawn up to stop 'preemptive' wars and the atrocities that invariably accompany them.

    I don't believe that the Geneva conventions had the intent of stopping pre-emptive wars. I agree that they were intended to minimise atrocity in war. The point is to restrict fighting to the military, and to protect the helpless - the civilians, the wounded, and those taken prisoner. I think the League of Nations, and then the UN, was intended to stop aggressive war. Not that either worked.

    Neither of you would say the things you've said if we were discussing the behaviour of Indonesian soldiers in Aceh or East Timor.

    I don't agree.

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  15. There's something wrong with you if you aren't repulsed by people who claim to uphold life and liberty sodomising innocent men with glowsticks. There is no equivocation and there is no acceptable means by which to carry out the unspeakable.

    I'm frankly disgusted that you think it's ok to do things to people who ae guilty of nothing that it'd be illegal for our govt. to do to Ivan Milat, simply because you can create a justification in your own mind.

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