What does the world think of us and our war tribunals? Well, my Australian friends Alan and Jill sent me this article by Dominic Knight:
Oh say can you hearsay...
The majority of Australians are outraged by the treatment of David Hicks – so much so, in fact, that even John Howard and Philip Ruddock, of all people, recently aired concerns about the process. So what do the Americans do? Create a tribunal that allows dodgy evidence obtained through coercion or hearsay. In other words, they’d admit evidence where a Guantanamo inmate was deprived of sleep until he said “My friend told me that David Hicks said Osama bin Laden was awesome.” And not only would they accept it – it’d probably be enough to get Hicks executed.
Really, it’s a return to The Crucible-style witchhunt justice. And in case the military commission needs even more conclusive evidence of his perfidy, I have a friend who swears she saw Goody Hicks dancing with the devil.
Are these rules about a fair trial really all that important? Well, don’t take my word for it, as respected as it may be in the circles of power. These rights are considered so fundamental and universal in America that they’re enshrined in the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution, as part of America’s Bill of Rights. MORE
In the same email, Jill and Alan also spoke of an Australian television program which we'll never see, except perhaps on the web somewhere, if we are lucky:
Last night on ABCTV we watched a program "In the shadow of the palms" by an Australian journalist who went to Iraq BEFORE the war and filmed ordinary people like us - intelligent (blush), well educated, cosmopolitan and politially aware in the count down to the war from 14 days to hours before the bombing began. It was sickening and we were filled with dread as ordinary peoplel prepared as best they could, not knowing precisely what was going to happen.
Then it followed the early stages of the battle. After that he returned to Australia before returning to Iraq a year or so later to
catch up with some of his friends. He's not a Muslim by the way.
It's heart rending stuff. Their entire way of life has been destroyed all because of an arrogant invading force which wrongly assumed that they were dealing with illiterate sand arabs. I include our PM in that invading force mentality. Don't know if it will ever make it to US TV. Keep an eye out for it.
Hey, Dems, are you listening? My God, we sound like the bad guys in Star Wars! End the illegal occupation, stop torture, close Gitmo, uphold our Constitution, restore respect for America! Let's give our REPRESENTATIVES those messages. Contact Congress: 202.224.3121.