David Hicks has finally confessed to being a terrorist… well sort of.
He's done a deal with the US Government which sees an end to his incarceration in return for him staying quiet about his experiences in Guantanamo. He has also said that he did not engage in any terrorist actions and wanted to be a soldier in a war.
It seems he has renounced his conversion to Islam.
He is probably one screwed up man… but he may have been that to start off with anyway.
The biggest issue that I had with the whole deal was that the US Government itself acted as a terrorist organisation with its "renditions" and its reluctance to go through due legal process.
We could have got to this point 5 years ago if Donald Rumsfeld hadn't been such a fascist in his role as Secretary of Defence.
Hicks and the others should have been dealt with under the existing military or civilian justice systems.
The great superiority of democratic systems is that we have the rule of law, under which everybody, including the government is theoretically subject to the same rules which aim to ensure that guilty people are punished and the innocent go free.
David Hicks should have been tried within 12 months under the existing justice systems, and found either guilty or not guilty. Who knows the idea might have caught on in the countries currently serving as breeding grounds for terrorism. Wouldn't it have been cool if the US, the great defender of "freedom" had actually shown its enemies and their supporters what "freedom" really means in practice?
Maybe the idea might have seemed so attractive that a few al-Qaeda supporters might have switched their allegiance. Maybe a few of the less dictatorial states in the Middle east might have decided that democracy really is an ideal worth fighting for.
And if John Howard and Philip Ruddock had also shown the same respect for human rights and the rule of law, they might have become legends in Australian politics.