Every day after I drop the Dude at school, I drive down the hill towards this piece of public art (some would call it graffiti) on a fence outside the Eveleigh Workshops. This morose individual tugs at a cord in my heart so I thought I would share her with you. She's kind of an appropriate, mournful image for what follows here.
What I really wanted to blog about today is the whole David Hicks/Guantanamo Bay mess. A week ago, the Prime Minister finally declared (after five years of Hicks' imprisonment without charge or trial) that he would give the US government three weeks to lay charges or... else. As His Dagginess said at the time (in Voice of Reason guise), "He must know that they are about to lay charges or he wouldn't put himself out on a limb like that." Lo and behold, charges are announced a week or so after Little Johnny stamped his foot.
Yet, even the 12-year-old Dude -- who has been slightly indoctrinated on the subject by my breakfast table rantings -- could see that the charges were trumped up, thoughtcrime accusations. What is David Hicks accused of? The basic translation (WARNING: gross oversimplification ahead) is:
a) being in the wrong place at the wrong time; and
b) thinking that people who died in the US were no less casualties of war than people who died in Afghanistan.
Don't think that I believe David Hicks is innocent of any wrongdoing (or guilty for that matter). Obviously, none of us here in Australia has enough information to determine that. But I do think he deserves a fair trial, and these pathetic excuses for charges against him do little to convince me that he is going to get one in Guantanamo Bay.
Meanwhile, LJ is strutting around with a smug grin on his face, happy that it appears that the US government bowed to his petulant foot-stamping (even though, as a letter in the Sydney Morning Herald pointed out this morning, Hicks still has not actually been charged, but only notified of the charges that will be laid once they are ratified by the military commission). It's insufferable! And five years too late.
As a side note to this rant, if you are interested at all in the campaign to have David Hicks treated fairly and humanely, pop over to GetUp and sign up. They are trying to get to 200,000 members this year, to lobby the Australian government on a range of issues including climate change, education, David Hicks and other topics that neither of the major parties seem prepared to make a stand about.