Corrections to the blogosphere, the consensus, and the world

Monday, February 23, 2004

Gitmo

David Hicks is in Guantanamo because he was caught in Afghanistan. He has been there for two years without any measurable progress being made to any form of trial. His australian supporters are seeking to have him returned to Australia for trial. The Americans refuse to send anybody back to any country that won't undertake to kill or, at the very least, prosecute and convict them. However, at the time Hicks did whatever he did Australia seems to have had no laws that would make whatever it was illegal. Correspondingly, the only way to have the Americans refer him for trial in Australia would be for our new terrorism legislation to be made retrospective, and this has now been proposed. The Prime Minister, John Howard, is against this because he feels that retrospective laws imposing criminal sanctions are unfair. Well, yes; but as that's so, shouldn't Hicks be let go? He didn't do anything that Australia prohibits, he couldn't be said to be doing anything against Afghan laws by fighting for the recognised government, and the Americans haven't identified any American law that would hold him.

This is surely a time for Habeas Corpus and the Case of the Hottentot Venus.

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