July 09, 2003


The Prime Minister is taking a personal interest in the case of al Qaeda dingo David Hicks:

Australian David Hicks had admitted training with the al-Qaeda terrorist network, Prime Minister John Howard said today. Lawyers for Hicks have conceded he was a Taliban soldier but denied a link with al-Qaeda.

"What is not an allegation, because the man in question has admitted it, is that he trained with al-Qaeda," Mr Howard told ABC radio today when asked about Hicks.

Mr Howard's office later clarified the prime minister "meant what he said".

Which is more a confirmation than a clarification. The dingo’s lawyers are startled:

"It's a total surprise to us," Mr Camatta said. "We have no basis to understand that to be the case.

"Maybe the prime minister has had access to briefings from the security services.”

The truth will no doubt emerge in this film about Hicks, to be funded by grateful taxpayers.

Posted by Tim Blair at July 9, 2003 01:25 AM

From the article: The proposed Hicks movie will "...get to the truth of the matter, and to look at how Western countries can throw away democracy."

Does it sound like the producer has a bit of an agenda?

Posted by: RJGator at July 9, 2003 at 01:30 AM

Its easy to get to the truth when it conveniently coincides with all your preconceived beliefs. Saves on all that messy thinking.

Posted by: T. Hartin at July 9, 2003 at 09:37 AM

Um..."look at how western countries can throw away democracy" AND "be fair to all sides"?!
I hear that large flock of pigs again!

Posted by: Richard Moss at July 9, 2003 at 11:18 AM

Can I get funding for a documentary detailing why there should not be public funding of documentaries?
I take Visa, Mastercard and Reserve Bank cheques.

Posted by: paul bickford at July 9, 2003 at 11:39 AM

Harumphhh! I'd appreciate it if you stopped badmouthing dingoes.

Posted by: Paul Johnson at July 9, 2003 at 12:31 PM

I want funding from the Arts Council, several millions will do, to engage in the creatice artistic work of diving a documentary : at this stage, that will have to do until the next budget; it'll to take squillions to film whatever it is my creative genius will cook up, once I've received the $2ms.

Posted by: d at July 9, 2003 at 04:33 PM

Aren't you Righties all supposed to be libertarians?

Isn't the rule of law supposed to be one of the planks of libertarianism?

What's going on?

Posted by: craig at July 9, 2003 at 04:34 PM

What the .... has being libertarian or otherwise got to do with a total wank with taxpayers money? If he wants to express his views, let him PAY FOR IT HIMSELF!!

Posted by: Richard Moss at July 9, 2003 at 04:42 PM

I was referring to the general acceptance by writers to this site that it is okay to indefinitely detain people who have not been convicted of any crime.

I made no comment on the film, but rather a general observation.

If you want a comment however I would say it would be a more productive way of spending taxpayers money than towing a fishing boat from Port Hedland to Christmas Island.

Any situation where an Australian citizen is held without the right of trial, should be of concern to all of us.

Posted by: craig at July 9, 2003 at 08:23 PM

"Any situation where an Australian citizen is held without the right of trial, should be of concern to all of us."

There is NO implied right of trial for prisoners of war.

POW's are normally held until hostilities are over. Nazi POW's where progessively released in the aftermath of the Nazi collapse. Just for the record, many where not released from captivity by the western powers until 3-4 years AFTER the war ended, and some where held for up to ten years. They went through a very similar process of justice at the hands of the west.

If people want guys like Hicks released, then the answer is simple- lobby Al-Qaeda for a ceasefire. Once the war ends their freedom will come much closer. Would you seriously have wanted captured members of the SS or Gestapo released in, say, 1942?

Posted by: wilbur at July 9, 2003 at 09:07 PM

Listening to the tears shed over the imprisonment and pending trial of Hicks, it might be assumed this was naive kid who has made a mistake but will turn out alright in the end.
Ihave one problem with that proposition. What was he doing signing up to fight for an Islamo-fascist regime whose own capacity for interesting ways of torturing and murdering Afghanistanis were well known and also well known to be , along with Hussein and Ba'ath, major supporters of terrorists who happen to find killing anyone they take a disliking to jolly good fun.

Hicks put himself beyond the pale, well and truly so.If he is frightnened or remorseful now, it remains he now has to face up to the consequences of something to which he freely committed himself to. One can be naive, in the good sense of innocence. But, in this case,that would be mockery of a description of Hicks.If Hicks is to recover any decency it only boils down to, meeting what he now faces as a man.For, it was pretty brave thing to do of the4 chap joining a pack of muscle bound totalitarian thugs .By my definition of courage and decency,however, it really seems Hicks was a cowardly viscious type, all brave when Taliban was on top, all tears and frights now that he has been caught up with.

Posted by: d at July 10, 2003 at 11:50 AM


When defending the US policy of indefinitely detaining people without arrest, followed by a military trial, you can't run the argument that they're POWs. This is because the US has strongly denied that they're POWs (if they were, they'd be subject to that wussy Geneva Convention that I understand the US hasn't yet withdrawn from).

Posted by: Robert at July 11, 2003 at 01:39 PM