T Nation

Australian Gitmo Detainee Convicted

Congratulations to the Bush administration, Alberto Gonzales, and the Justice Department, for their very-first successful conviction of a Gitmo detainee, on terrorism charges. What a track record that they have now!

On the other hand, we’ve had over 5 years of statements like this, from Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld…

-“Gitmo prisoners are violent terrorists”

-“Gitmo prisoners are the worst of the worst

-“If these prisoners weren’t confined in Gitmo, they’d still be out there plotting to kill Americans”

So what was the sentence for this “worst of the worst” terrorist, their first-ever conviction?

NINE MONTHS IN PRISON.

Gosh, I bet he’s really dangerous, with a long sentence like that!

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/G/GUANTANAMO_HICKS?SITE=WIFON&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

Really impressive work, guys!

“An Australian who complained of his treatment at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo was convicted of supporting terrorism, but will spend less than a year in jail at home in a deal that requires his silence about alleged abuse.”

I hate living in bizarro world. Please, someone out there in the right wing realize what this means.

It means the abuse he allegedly suffered is more of a threat than anything he had done or would do.

It’s absurd.

Are you guys really this stupid?

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
Are you guys really this stupid?[/quote]

Oh, he’s the kingpin who had important information, five years later, in order to trade for freedom.

And, he’s obviously such a threat that he needs to be locked up, for about 9 months, as long as he shuts up about his treatment.

Please, pray tell, what is the real story here… about why this guy needs to be let go. Do you think he’ll be able to reinfiltrate and leak out good intel now?

[quote]vroom wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
Are you guys really this stupid?

Oh, he’s the kingpin who had important information, five years later, in order to trade for freedom.

And, he’s obviously such a threat that he needs to be locked up, for about 9 months, as long as he shuts up about his treatment.

Please, pray tell, what is the real story here… about why this guy needs to be let go. Do you think he’ll be able to reinfiltrate and leak out good intel now?[/quote]

It appears you are.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
vroom wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
Are you guys really this stupid?

Oh, he’s the kingpin who had important information, five years later, in order to trade for freedom.

And, he’s obviously such a threat that he needs to be locked up, for about 9 months, as long as he shuts up about his treatment.

Please, pray tell, what is the real story here… about why this guy needs to be let go. Do you think he’ll be able to reinfiltrate and leak out good intel now?

It appears you are.[/quote]

Come on Zappy, you don’t get away that easily… share the real details on this conviction/release.

Yeah, he’s getting off light. Hicks, or Muhammad Dawood (as he was known by his terrorist buddies), is damn fortunate.

I must confess, that several years - I assume - of detention before trial and then a nine months prison sentence sounds quite odd. Basically he has already suffered his sentence during detention and should be immediately released. That’s how western legal systems work in general, I think.

Hi - according to our news, Hicks “pleaded guilty to a terrorism charge and was sentenced to seven years’ jail, which was suspended to just nine months in a plea bargain”
from http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200704/s1887242.htm

Now interestingly, Hicks also has a gag order - “As part of Hicks’s plea bargain, he retracted claims of abuse at Guantanamo Bay, but he still cannot speak to the media for a year.”
from http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200704/s1886815.htm

And what a few of our more forward thinking news and current affairs services want to know is: why this plea condition?
Previous Gitmo detainees who have been released without charge have stated they were tortured whilst detained(regardless of the american definition of torture). Many are suggesting the gag order is because Australia is due a Federal Election within the next 9 months, and absolutley no direction was provided by the federal gov on the whole Hicks issue.
And "The Australians felt that proceeding with these charges would inevitably lead to yet another appeal, prolonging Hicks’s stay in Guantanamo Bay during a federal election year. The senior Australian official charged with conveying Canberra’s position to the US Justice and Defence departments in January did not mince his words, saying: "We are simply not prepared to put up with any more delays.’ " from http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21378296-2702,00.html

Quite frankly, my feeling, and that of the vast majority of people i’ve spoken to, is Hicks pled guilty to this joke of a charge simply to get away from an extremly poorly run and biased system.
rgds
ShaunW

The whole thing looks to me, at first glance, very fishy. Here’s Andrew Sullivan’s take:

So Cheney goes to Australia and meets with John Howard who tells him that the Hicks case is killing him in Australia, and he may lose the next election because of it. Hicks’s case is then railroaded to the front of the Gitmo kangaro court line, and put through a “legal” process almost ludicrously inept, with two of Hicks’ three lawyers thrown out on one day, then an abrupt plea-bargain, with a transparently insincere confession. Hicks is then given a mere nine months in jail in Australia, before being set free. Who negotiated the plea-bargain? Hicks’ lawyer. Who did he negotiate with? Not the prosecutors, as would be normal, but Susan J. Crawford, the top military commission official. Who is Susan J. Crawford? She served as Dick Cheney’s Inspector General while he was Defense Secretary.

If you think this was in any way a legitimate court process, you’re smoking something even George Michael would pay a lot of money for. It was a political deal, revealing the circus that the alleged Gitmo court system really is. For good measure, Hicks has a gag-order imposed so that he will not be able to speak of his alleged torture and abuse until after Howard faces re-election. Yes, we live in a banana republic. It certainly isn’t a country ruled by law. It is ruled by one man and his accomplice.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/31/AR2007033100976.html?nav=rss_print/asection

Washington Post had this to say:

As the deal developed in recent weeks, Air Force Col. Morris Davis, the lead prosecutor for military commissions, and his team on the Hicks case were not in the loop. Davis said he learned about the plea agreement Monday morning when the plea papers were presented to him, and he said the prosecution team was unaware that discussions had been taking place.

"We got it before lunchtime, before the first session," Davis said at a news conference Friday night. In an interview later, he said the approved sentence of nine months shocked him. "I wasn't considering anything that didn't have two digits," he said, referring to a sentence of at least 10 years.

C’mon Zap, the world could really use your brilliant enlightenment right about now… or hasn’t FOX told you your talking points yet?

Hey Zap, are you using Bush’s “I have accurate information” trick again?

It’s not fooling anybody anymore.

I’m not sure what’s being argued here…I think the guy should have been shot personally. But, they’ve released more than this foot soldier. There have already been other enemy combatants released in exchange for oaths. Seems like they’re bowing to Australia on this one and offering him up to them.

Are you people arguing that he should have served life? Been executed? What sentence would you have liked? There is no question of his guilt.

So we took a terrorist out of the fight for five years, squeezed all of the intelligence information we could out of him, got him convicted and put into jail for nearly another year, and have made his name public so that he will never be able to work covertly with another terrorist group, and somehow we screwed up?

[quote]BH6 wrote:
So we took a terrorist out of the fight for five years, squeezed all of the intelligence information we could out of him, got him convicted and put into jail for nearly another year, and have made his name public so that he will never be able to work covertly with another terrorist group, and somehow we screwed up?
[/quote]

Why doesn’t the sentence in any way reflect his crime, then?

[quote]karva wrote:
BH6 wrote:
So we took a terrorist out of the fight for five years, squeezed all of the intelligence information we could out of him, got him convicted and put into jail for nearly another year, and have made his name public so that he will never be able to work covertly with another terrorist group, and somehow we screwed up?

Why doesn’t the sentence in any way reflect his crime, then? [/quote]

Because politics is an dirty business.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
karva wrote:
BH6 wrote:
So we took a terrorist out of the fight for five years, squeezed all of the intelligence information we could out of him, got him convicted and put into jail for nearly another year, and have made his name public so that he will never be able to work covertly with another terrorist group, and somehow we screwed up?

Why doesn’t the sentence in any way reflect his crime, then?

Because politics is an dirty business.[/quote]

Oh, I see. Carry on.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
karva wrote:
Why doesn’t the sentence in any way reflect his crime, then?

Because politics is an dirty business.[/quote]

LOL! Is that the best you can do?

[quote]karva wrote:
BH6 wrote:
So we took a terrorist out of the fight for five years, squeezed all of the intelligence information we could out of him, got him convicted and put into jail for nearly another year, and have made his name public so that he will never be able to work covertly with another terrorist group, and somehow we screwed up?

Why doesn’t the sentence in any way reflect his crime, then? [/quote]

I don’t think he was directly involved in a terrorist attack that could be proven. I think the sentence reflects the crime.

I’ll bet that if he makes any attempt in the future to contact or rejoin another terrorist organization, he will find himself staring at the buisness end of an assault rifle attached to a guy with SWAT written on his chest.

When they recapture this guy in Afghanistan after he’s murdered a few of America’s finest, will the Lib/Democrat/Moveon.org crowd repent of the policies that released this guy back into the battle? Uh…no…