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U.S.-Australian Deal Stitched Up Hicks Sentence

 article about U.S.-Australian Deal Stitched Up Hicks Sentence
2007-04-01 14:24:32

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Cheney, Howard Stitched Up Hicks Deal.

Grubby US-Australian Deal Set Up Weeks Ago.


It has emerged the US Vice-President Dick Cheney and Australian Prime Minster John ‘bonsai' Howard, stitched up the plea-bargain deal that allowed Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks to serve nine months in an Adelaide jail.


The deal was struck during Cheney's recent visit to Australia


Transcripts and details of private conversations between Cheney and Howard tell of Howard's desire to keep the Hicks saga out of the upcoming Australian federal elections as an election issue, while Cheney was concerned that Hicks might sue the US Government in relation to his illegal capture, transportation and detention.


The deal came to light after Hicks first failed to plead during his 'military commission' hearing and then later pleaded guilty to one charge of 'providing material support for terrorism' after instructions came from the White House via the Pentagon.


The deal that was struck was that Hicks would plead guilty to one charge of  'providing material support for terrorism' and that he be transferred to an Australian jail in Adelaide. Howard put a condition on the deal that Hicks would not be allowed to speak to the media for 12 months, thus taking Hicks out of the election process non-issue while Cheney insisted that Hicks would not be allowed to sue the US Government for his illegal detention.


A number of issues can be raised in the Hicks case and subsequent conclusions can be made in relation to political involvement at Government-to-Government levels.


1. The 'no media contact for 12 months' was insisted upon by the Australians in order to keep Hicks out of the Australian elections.


2. The 'cannot sue the US Government' was insisted on by the US as to hide and justify the illegal capture, torture, transportation and detention of Hicks.


3. Despite denials, the Australian Attorney-General received weekly briefings from the US Attorney General. Attorney Ruddock said during one meeting in the US that 'he did not want Hicks back in Australia as there was no basis for him to be charged with anything', upon which the US Attorney replied that he was concerned that Hicks 'would sue our arses' if he were to be released. Ruddock repeatedly denied any knowledge of the US Military Commission processes while he was reading the detailed briefings and transcripts in 'interviews' once a week.


4. Australian Foreign Minister Downer was regularly briefed both through the detailed briefing Ruddock received, as well as through the regular details provided by the US State Department. Downer said during one meeting. "We don't want him back home in Australia. He can stay in Guantanamo and rot as far as I am concerned".


5. Australian Embassy staff in the US was advised by Downer and his staff not to seek visits to Guantanamo Bay.


6. Moves were afoot at one point in time, September 2005 to be precise, by Ruddock, Howard and Downer to strip Hicks of his Australian citizenship, which would have left Hicks stateless. Moves were also afoot during 2006 to attempt to delay and/or deny Hicks his right to British citizenship.


7. Howard, Ruddock and Downer misled the Australian parliament, as well as the Australian people, on numerous occasions in relation to the Hicks case by saying that they were staying out of US processes while they were extremely well informed by their US counterparts, as well as being actively involved throughout from the point of Hicks' illegal capture to and including his illegal detention at Guantanamo.


8. The Hicks case was discussed between a meeting that Condolleezza Rice had with Downer as well as Howard and details of that meeting show that options were discussed.


Documents, transcripts, emails, cables and other vital evidence all prove that Australia was, and still is, very much involved with the illegalities perpetrated by the US Government and its agencies and they also prove that the Australian Government was very much involved with the Hicks case.


As the Military Commission process was and is deemed to be illegal, Hicks may ignore its conditions as he pleases but he may not wish to go along that path.


The details of his detention at Guantanamo have come to light though and they will be told.



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