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David Hicks - Austrailian Terrorist captured, convicted and taking his case to the UN.

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posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 05:32 PM
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Originally posted by Kryties
reply to post by hdutton
 


I have noticed more and more over the last decade how many in the US seem to feel that US law applies to the entire world.


I feel the same, except people seem to think International Law and the UN can dictate to the US how to run our country, including our legal system. If you guys want to tell us what to do, turn about is fair play.




posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 06:05 PM
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reply to post by Xcathdra
 


While all of Caucasia has progressed over time, we are dealing with a racial people still living in medieval times with such a backward mentality who allege their Qu'ran is the word of God. Fact is, those that commit these horrific atrocities are just cold blooded murderers and they know what they are doing is pure evil meant to scare us "infidels"; when these Islamic terrorists are captured they piss their pants and they know their time is up.

David Hicks is one very lucky man; he should use his time from here on in counting his lucky stars he has been given a second chance of a lifetime. I suggest he uses his new found freedom by thanking those who did'nt put him 6 feet under.

If I was an Australian soldier and found one of my own brethen working for the enemy I would'nt hesitate to bullet through his skull.

edit on 28-8-2011 by bluemirage5 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 07:33 PM
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Originally posted by Xcathdra
Nice picture.. Its a good example of what Iraqis are doing to each other, since that is where the photo came from.

Should I post pictures from 9/11 of charred bodies in the Pentagon? The wtc?

Hicks knew what he was doing by joining Al Queida. He knew what they stood for and their agenda.

He made his own bed, now he gets to lie in it.


Why are you bringing up 9/11? Bin Laden had nothing to do with 9/11 if you say he did then your doing better than the FBI.

Why was he never indicted for his alleged role in 9/11?


“The FBI gathers evidence. Once evidence is gathered, it is turned over to the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice then decides whether it has enough evidence to present to a federal grand jury. In the case of the 1998 United States Embassies being bombed, bin Laden has been formally indicted and charged by a grand jury. He has not been formally indicted and charged in connection with 9/11 because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting bin Laden to 9/11.”


The CIA created Al qaeda and it is our own policy's that lead to the attacks against us.



posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 07:43 PM
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Originally posted by Xcathdra
reply to post by bussoboy
 


If he is innocent then why did he plead guilty?

His challeneges were to the manner in which he was treated. From everything I have seen he nor his lawyer ever raised the argument that he was innocent.

I am fairly certain he plead guilty to get out of the torture mill that is the US sanctioned Guantanamo bay.
It was proven years ago that under the duress of torture you could get someone to admit to anything. This was proven literally by a German during the witch trials.

Think you have the courage to hold up against torture? I don't thinks so. Its an easy thing to judge from an armchair and criticize another strategy to remain free.
I do not support terrorists or the ideals of Jihad they are just plain wrong.

My point is that I believe POW's should be treated with the respect that all soldiers deserve who fight for their beliefs. This man clearly signed the documents he had to to regain his freedom. Freedom is more valuable than money or what the armchair critics thinkThis is the understanding of most Australians that I know about this case and as another poster put a hot election problem for Johnny Howard.

The U.S. used to stand for freedom hopefully this case will help them get back on track. I believe they can.



posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 07:49 PM
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reply to post by Shirak
 


As I stated before, and will again, Al Queida and Taliban members have been trained on how to file complaints within the US legal system. It includes claims of torture, sexual assault / abuse, religious persecution etc etc etc.

Pretty much the EXACT same complaints Mr. Hicks filed.

As I said before, I wonder what reason captured terrorists would hve to lie aboutn their treatment?



posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 07:53 PM
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reply to post by Shirak
 


David Hicks was not a POW in any sense of the word, nor are Al Qaeda & Taliban that are captured by the USA and coalition forces!!!



posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 08:10 PM
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reply to post by buster2010
 


There's even video right after the towers were hit of Osama denying any involvement.

'Twas the CIA.



posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 08:10 PM
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Originally posted by bluemirage5
reply to post by Shirak
 


David Hicks was not a POW in any sense of the word, nor are Al Qaeda & Taliban that are captured by the USA and coalition forces!!!


He was captured as part of a force that US declared war on that makes him a POW. In any war those from the opposing side captured are POW. Picking and choosing is semantics and is part of the think tank psi op to get around international law. First and foremost we are all human.

If you choose not to execute on any battle field and choose to capture that opponent becomes a POW. I don't buy into the whole psi op to get around international law and I am glad this is being challenged.

As an added note: Labeling someone with a name like "Charlie" "Terrorist" "Fritz" is all part of the psi op to dehumanize another human to justify doing horrible unspeakable things to them.


edit on 28-8-2011 by Shirak because: add some more.



posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 08:14 PM
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reply to post by Xcathdra
 


David Hicks has every legal right to file a complaint with the UN but I'm afraid he's not going to get far and it will eventually fall on deaf ears.

So what they are trained to file in case they are caught....so are every prisoner in any country - innocent or not.

Fact is, David Hicks was working for Al Qaeda that was and still is on the terrorist watch list worldwide. If David Hicks keeps his trap shut, people will leave him alone.

I'll say it again, if I was an Australian soldier and I was confronted with an Australian working for the enemy especially in a place like Afghanistan, I would not hesitate to shoot him where he stands. Thats what the Brits did to soldiers going AWOL during the 1st and 2nd World War and thats what should be done to any of our brethen conspiring against our soldiers in the den of the enemies. Being who David Hicks is, he would hardly be trusted among the top brass of Al Qaeda, so any information he might have had would had been minimal at best and barely worth the paper it was written on.

David Hicks is lucky to be alive and even more lucky to had been released. If he has any issue with the Americans then he should had thought about that before joining forces with Al Qaeda. I'm not interested in anything he has to say and nor do a majority of Australians.

Whats done is done, time to move on.



posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 08:16 PM
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reply to post by Shirak
 


Wrong! You need to look up exactly what a POW really is.....

David Hicks was NOT a POW!



posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 08:21 PM
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Originally posted by bluemirage5
reply to post by Xcathdra
 


David Hicks has every legal right to file a complaint with the UN but I'm afraid he's not going to get far and it will eventually fall on deaf ears.

So what they are trained to file in case they are caught....so are every prisoner in any country - innocent or not.

Fact is, David Hicks was working for Al Qaeda that was and still is on the terrorist watch list worldwide. If David Hicks keeps his trap shut, people will leave him alone.

I'll say it again, if I was an Australian soldier and I was confronted with an Australian working for the enemy especially in a place like Afghanistan, I would not hesitate to shoot him where he stands. Thats what the Brits did to soldiers going AWOL during the 1st and 2nd World War and thats what should be done to any of our brethen conspiring against our soldiers in the den of the enemies. Being who David Hicks is, he would hardly be trusted among the top brass of Al Qaeda, so any information he might have had would had been minimal at best and barely worth the paper it was written on.

David Hicks is lucky to be alive and even more lucky to had been released. If he has any issue with the Americans then he should had thought about that before joining forces with Al Qaeda. I'm not interested in anything he has to say and nor do a majority of Australians.

Whats done is done, time to move on.


Australia had not entered the war at the time of his capture and it was a war which makes him a legitimate pow regardless of how they want to spin it as I said put him in the ground or treat him like a pow. The minute we start justifying dehumanizing and treating prisoners captured in war is the very same minute we become those who kept diggers in bamboo cages wearing spike collars.



posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 08:25 PM
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Originally posted by bluemirage5
reply to post by Shirak
 


Wrong! You need to look up exactly what a POW really is.....

David Hicks was NOT a POW!


Let me state again America had declared war regardless of how the psi ops tries to reclassify a human to get away with how they treat prisoners of war, he was a POW. If you need to hold onto your frail belief to feel justified in treating another human inhumanely it is not my Ken to change your mind.,
edit on 28-8-2011 by Shirak because: spelling



posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 08:37 PM
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reply to post by Shirak
 


You mean Australia may not had officially entered the war, does'nt mean to say we did'nt have afew of our boys already on the ground beforehand. Perhaps SAS?

Considering what goes on at Gitmo Bay and other "special" military prisons; that aint nothing to what goes on in prisons in Islamic countries like Iran, Syria, Iraq and Egypt. Anything they do at Gitmo Bay is mild if you want to compare. It does'nt make it right and I don't agree with physical torture of any nature but I understand why they use it as a last resort if all other methods have been used to no avail....and it IS affective. Believe me, if someone is going to pull out your finger nails one by one or stick live wires on your testicals if you refuse to talk, you are going to tell your whole life story.

David Hicks is not innocent by any stretch of the word.



posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 08:39 PM
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reply to post by Shirak
 


I'm from a long line of military soldiers going back many generations......

I already KNOW what a POW is, to debate it would be stupitity on your part.



posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 08:52 PM
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Originally posted by Kryties
reply to post by Xcathdra
 


Great, now you're defending torture. At least we know where you stand.

Doesn't matter how you word it, spin it or legalise it - torture is torture, and those who defend torturing people are no better than the torturers themselves.


Bravo!



posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 08:54 PM
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how does anybody know what gitmo is about?

sounds like a boogyman for the terrorists! lol!


"you are going to GITMO!!" lol! :O

psy-ops and how can the terroists say, "hey, dude, this place is not so bad! better than being in kabul!"

people fall for all the hype on both sides.



posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 08:54 PM
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Originally posted by bluemirage5
reply to post by Shirak
 


You mean Australia may not had officially entered the war, does'nt mean to say we did'nt have afew of our boys already on the ground beforehand. Perhaps SAS?

Considering what goes on at Gitmo Bay and other "special" military prisons; that aint nothing to what goes on in prisons in Islamic countries like Iran, Syria, Iraq and Egypt. Anything they do at Gitmo Bay is mild if you want to compare. It does'nt make it right and I don't agree with physical torture of any nature but I understand why they use it as a last resort if all other methods have been used to no avail....and it IS affective. Believe me, if someone is going to pull out your finger nails one by one or stick live wires on your testicals if you refuse to talk, you are going to tell your whole life story.

David Hicks is not innocent by any stretch of the word.



Let me clarify I do not support torture of any human. My Sifu used to be compliance "Torture specialist" for the Australian services and he would explain to me the systems and ways of torturing to extract information.

You can torture a human to say whatever you would like them to say this is a proven fact and any critic that comes out and references a confession from someone who has been tortured is referencing a burned source. No human who has had compliance applied can give a testimony that can be considered as untainted evidence

WAR to start with is a horrible thing but to try to justify the systematic torture of any human as a right using justifications like,
"oh well they aren't classified as a POW so we can do what we want" puts you in the same league of evil you claim to fight against. Research the research done during the Witch trials where not "terrorism" religion was used as the justification to torture and massacre thousands of intelligent evolved men and women.
Different era different name same story.



posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 08:56 PM
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Originally posted by bluemirage5
reply to post by Shirak
 


I'm from a long line of military soldiers going back many generations......

I already KNOW what a POW is, to debate it would be stupitity on your part.


So am I mate. Going back a lot longer than yours id wager. American and they fought and bled against just the sort of evil practices you are seeking to justify. So don't play the entitled card with me your opinion on war and torture shows just how tainted your beliefs really are.
edit on 28-8-2011 by Shirak because: spelling



posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 09:19 PM
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www.truth-out.org...



Ex-Guantanamo Guard Opens Up About Detainee Treatment
Wednesday 24 August 2011
by: Jason Leopold, Truthout | Report
Editor's Note: This story was excerpted from an exclusive report published in February about former Guantanamo detainee David Hicks. Two months after the publication of our story on Hicks, Albert Melise, a former Guantanamo guard, was accused by the US Army of leaking classified information to Truthout for speaking candidly about his service at the prison facility and has been barred from reenlistment. He was honorably discharged in June.

The Pentagon and the Australian government deny former Guantanamo detainee David Hicks was subjected to torture during the five-and-a-half years he spent at the prison facility, but Albert Melise said he was.

"David Hicks was tortured, no doubt," said Melise, who has never spoken publicly before, in several video chats we had via Skype. "Solitary confinement is torture and I think what it did to David's mind is torture. Would you want to be in a windowless room 23 hours a day?"

But Melise said he didn't witness any of Hicks' physical torture or his interrogations. He only knows what Hicks told him. But, "being a cop and having experience separating what's true and false," he believes Hicks was being truthful.

"His [physcial] torture did not happen when I reached his camp," Melise said. "He cut deals so [the torture] would stop. David is one of those people who was easily manipulated [into making false confessions]. He was an easy target for the interrogators. They knew they could break him mentally and physically and they did."

Melise, 40, was a Massachusetts Housing Authority officer when his Army reserve unit was activated and he was shipped off to Guantanamo to work as an MP.

Melise's job duties called for him to escort detainees held in Camp Delta to their interrogations where he would "chain them down" to the floor or chair "knowing what [the detainees were] going to go through."

The detainees sat there for hours in stressful positions while Melise stood behind a one-way mirror and watched their interrogations and waited for it to come to an end. He was present when detainees were slapped, when the temperature in the interrogation room was turned down real low and the volume on the music was turned up to excruciatingly loud levels and when the strobe lights were flicked on, part of the standard operating procedure designed to break the detainees and make them feel as uncomfortable as possible.

"That's torture," Melise said.

But I wanted Melise to tell me what happened in those rooms after the interrogators started questioning the detainees.

"Please don't ask me about those things," Melise said. "I saw a lot and I still have nightmares over it. I've seen these guys cry."

I wondered if Melise bore witness to any of the horrific pictures my mind created during that split-second gap in our conversation.

"O.K. I understand," I told Melise "I won't go there. I'm so sorry."

"I'm a good soul and I was put in a horrible place," Albert said.

"I know you are," I told him. "Well, how about this. Can you tell me what you saw in the detainees' eyes?

"Sadness," Melise said. "Like they could not believe the Americans are putting them through that. It was an emotional look. I'll never forget it."

Melise hated his job. He started drinking.

"Baccardi 151," he said. "Two bottles a night."

He said, "when you see people broken down so much you tend to drink a little to cope with what you're seeing. I couldn't deal with what they were putting me through."

Melise said "fake" detainees were planted at Camp Delta to try and gather intelligence from the "real" detainees. He said he knew they were "fake" because they were "placed in cells for two or three months and then they would pretend to be going to another camp for interrogations." But, "I would see them shopping, dancing or ordering a sandwich or hanging out at McDonald's during that time." Then the "fake" detainees would return to their cells.

He said detainees were also bribed with prostitutes as incentive to get them to work as agents for the US government. He said there was a camp at Guantanamo that just housed children, some of who were as "young as 12 and over 8" years old, called Camp Iguana.

"One of my buddies worked there," Melise said. "Sick."

There was also a camp where CIA interrogators worked out of called Secret Squirrel.

Eventually, Melise asked for a transfer.

"I begged them to get me out of there," Melise said. "I just couldn't take it anymore."

"Albert, do you know what would make a human being torture another human being?" I asked him.

"I don't have the answer," he said, shaking his head. "It takes a really disturbed individual to torture someone. That's not me. I didn't sign up for that. I couldn't live with myself and I couldn't drink it away."

So, Melise was transferred to Camp 4 for a few weeks and in December 2003 landed at Camp Echo. That's where he met Hicks, who was being held in complete isolation, and detainees from the UK who have since been released like Mozaam Begg or "Mo," which is how Melise referred to him.

"Mo once cried in front of me and said he should become Christian," said Melise, who has frequent Skype chats with Begg now and said the ex-detainee taught him how to play chess. "I told him to tighten up and stay with your heart. # what's happening now. You'll pull through. I said 'don't question your faith. Don't think you need to change.' He once told me I was not like the other soldiers, something shined in me that he could not explain."

At Camp Echo, Melise said he "redeemed" himself.

"I let [the detainees] out of their cells and just let them talk and hang out," he said. "I knew it would help them mentally. I knew it would help them cope with many things they had gone through. I also gave up what I had. I gave them normal food from my lunch to eat, cigarettes, protein bars, whatever was mine was theirs. I could have gone to prison myself for doing that, believe me. But I know I did the right thing."

"Why did you do that?" I asked.

"For sympathetic reasons," he said. "Because I sat in on interrogations. I wanted to give them a sense of humanity. Nobody deserves to be treated like that. They were not the 'worst of the worst,'" a description placed upon the detainees by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. "I'm an ex-cop and I can tell whose a criminal and who isn't and a lot of these detainees I met were not terrorists."

Melise told me he "likes getting this stuff off my chest" and I wanted to tell him that listening to him gave me a sense of hope and made me feel like maybe the dearth of compassion is not as widespread as I originally thought. But I held back.

Melise wanted Hicks to feel like he was back home in Australia, so he would sneak his handheld DVD player into Hicks' cell, lock the door, and watch movies with him, such as "Mad Max," which starred Mel Gibson. For Begg and the other British detainees Melise played "Snatch" and "Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels," directed by British filmmaker Guy Ritchie.

"I figured if [Hicks] heard Mel Gibson's accent he would feel like he was back in Australia," Melise said. "And if Mo heard a British accent he would feel like he was home too."

Melise kept that up for six months. Until June 2004.

I sent an email to Hicks asking him if he remembered Melise.

"I remember him well because he did what he could in that controlled high security environment to help slow the deterioration of my sanity for the few months I spent with him," Hicks said. "I hope to gather enough funds so I can fly [Melise and Neely] to Australia to thank them personally and show my gratitude for their friendship and trust. I would like to show them my hospitality and my country and to show them how much I appreciate their past kindness and current bravery."

Melise, who is married with a wife and son, is now studying to be a nurse "so I can really help people in the future." He recently re-enlisted in the Army reserves for another three years.

I was about to end my interview with Melise, but I had one last question.

"Do you think David is a terrorist?"

"No," Melise said. "I don't think he's a terrorist. I plan on visiting him one day. Why would I do that if I thought he was a terrorist?"

Melise got up from his chair and walked out of sight. He shouted, "Sit tight!" He said he wanted to show me something. It was a letter. He held it up to the video camera on his computer so I could read it.

"I took this with me when I left Guantanamo in '04," Melise said. "It's a letter David wrote that he asked me to send to his father."

Melise never sent it. It was too risky, he said.

"I was worried that if someone found out I mailed it I would have been arrested," Melise said.

Melise faxed a copy of the letter to me. Letters to and from detainees were reviewed by military personnel and were often redacted to remove, for example, emotional phrases such as a "I love you" and any other information the military deemed "sensitive."

But this six-page letter, written in April 2004 as Hicks' legal team was challenging the legality of the military commissions, is clean. It clearly shows the psychological torture Hicks had endured and how he was being coerced into pleading guilty to crimes the US government knew he did not commit. The letter is addressed to Hicks' father, Terry Hicks, who waged a campaign in Australia and the US to raise awareness about his son's plight.

Hicks wrote that he owed his life to Melise. He said the letter he sent to his father "is very important because it's the first and probably only time I will be able to tell you the truth of my situation."

"Before I start I want you to know that the negative things I am going to say has nothing to do with the MP's that are watching me," Hicks wrote. "Some of them are marvelous people who have taken risks to help improve my day to day living. It's because of such people that I have kept my sanity and still have some strength left. In the early days before I made it to Cuba I received some harsh treatment in transportation including mild beatings (about 4). One lasted for 10 hours. I have always cooperated with interrogators. For two years they had control of my life in the camps. If you talk and just agree with what their saying they give you real food, books and other special privileges. If not they can make your life hell. I'm angry these days at myself for being so weak during these last two years. But I've always been so desperate to get out and to try to live the best I can while I'm here ..."

Hicks wrote that he was being pressured into pleading guilty to a wide-range of war crimes charges and he feared that if he didn't comply he would be sent to "camp 5," a "very bad place with complete isolation."

"They know that this is my worst nightmare," Hicks wrote about the threat of being transferred to camp 5. "If I end up in there I will probably lose my sanity or crack" and plead guilty. "That's what they want ... Being in my current situation the deal is tempting but only in the last week I've decided I'm going to call their bluff and say that I'm gonna fight them. Only know [sic] do I feel like being strong and standing up for myself ... I'm sick of writing you letters saying how good it is here. I've always done that because I'm afraid of what the authority's [sic] may do to me. If I told you the reality they wouldn't give you the information. I want to be able to make as much noise as possible. To let people know of what's really happening here."

Hicks then predicted his own future.

"Know that if I make a deal it will be against my will," he wrote. "I just couldn't handle it any longer. I'm disappointed in our government. I'm an Australian citizen. If I've committed a crime I can be man enough to accept the consequences but I shouldn't have to admit to things I haven't done or listen to people falsely accuse me. We can't let them get away with it."

I sent Hicks the letter. He said he doesn't recall what he wrote. But he intends on giving it to his father.

"How were you able to survive?" I asked Hicks.

"I survived because I had no choice, as many of us may unfortunately experience at some time in our lives," he said. "It was a psychological battle, a serious and dangerous one. It was a constant struggle not to lose my sanity and go mad. It would have been so easy just to let go: it offered the only escape."

Like Melise, however, Hicks said he, too, still suffers from nightmares.

"I see myself having to begin the long process of imprisonment again accompanied with vivid feelings of hopelessness and no knowledge of the future or how long it will last," Hicks said, describing his dreams. "The other dreams consist of gruesome medical experimentations too horrible to describe. Losing my personality, my identity, memories and self is much more frightening to me than any physical harm. It is these dreams that are the most common and terrifying."



[



posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 09:24 PM
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www.truth-out.org...




Former Guantanamo Chief Prosecutor: David Hicks' War Crimes Charge Was a "Favor" for Australia
Monday 25 July 2011
by: Jason Leopold, Truthout | Report

David Hicks, author of "Guantanamo: My Journey."
Last week, the Australian government announced that it would initiate legal proceedings to try and seize royalty payments David Hicks has received following the publication of his memoir, "Guantanamo: My Journey," about the five years he spent at the prison facility, charging that he has violated the country's laws by profiting from a crime.

While Hicks' supporters have deplored the decision by Australia's Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, the court proceedings scheduled to begin next month could end up being a blessing for the former Guantanamo detainee and his defense team in that it may afford them an opportunity to show how the Bush administration and the government of former Prime Minister John Howard politicized his case, a fact much of the Australian media continues to ignore.

Hicks, 35, who gave his first interview to Truthout in February, pleaded guilty in 2007 to providing material support for terrorism. Hicks was the first detainee to be convicted before a military commission following the passage of the Military Commissions Act by Congress the previous year. The legislation was crafted in response to a Supreme Court decision that struck down the original military tribunal system set up by George W. Bush after 9/11, which the High Court said was illegal under the Geneva Conventions and US law.

Col. Morris Davis, the former chief prosecutor of military commissions at Guantanamo, recalled during a recent interview at his office in Washington, DC, how he was pressured into indicting Hicks for war crimes not long after the Military Commissions Act was signed into law by Bush in October 2006. (Truthout will publish a lengthy story based on our interview with Davis, a vocal critic of the Obama administration's handling of Bush-era torture, in the weeks ahead.)

Davis said he believed that Hicks, who attended training camps in Afghanistan and was sold to US forces by the Northern Alliance for a $1,500 bounty in November 2001, should not have been prosecuted for war crimes. He described the former horse trainer as a "knucklehead ... a little guy with not a lot of education who wanted to be a big shot and went off on this adventure to Jihad."

"After years at Guantanamo, there was no possibility David Hicks would ever repeat that experience," Davis said.

When he was selected as chief prosecutor in September 2005, Davis said he made it clear to his superiors at the Pentagon that "the one case I did not want to start with was David Hicks."

"The first case is the one that will get lots of attention," Davis said. "Unfortunately, Hicks' case was already in the pipeline. It was a terrible case. We told the world these guys are the 'worst of the worst.' David Hicks was a knucklehead. He was just a foot solider, not a war criminal. But when Congress passed the Military Commissions Act they authorized prosecuting material support, which is what Hicks was charged with, as a war crime. You could prosecute everyone at Guantanamo under that theory."

Despite Davis' concerns, the Bush administration was determined to charge Hicks, even if the evidence against him was thin, to help out an ally in the war on terror, US government documents obtained by Truthout show.

Davis also believes that's what happened. He said he arrived at that decision not long after he received an urgent phone call in January 2007 from Pentagon General Counsel William "Jim" Haynes who asked him, "How quickly can you charge David Hicks?"

Davis said that was the first and only time Haynes had ever called him about a specific case and he found it to be "odd." The phone call was made one day after US officials met with the ambassador to Australia, where Hicks' case and its impact on Howard's re-election campaign was discussed, according to a secret State Department document obtained by Truthout.

Davis informed Haynes, who Bush had twice nominated to serve on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, that he could not initiate charges against Hicks "even if he wanted to" because the "Manual for Military Commissions" had not been prepared yet by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and a "convening authority" who is supposed to oversee the process had not been appointed.

"The manual implements the law, in this case the Military Commissions Act of 2006," Davis said. "It fills in the details the statute doesn't. It fills in the elements of crimes, lays out the elements of crimes. When Haynes called me I said I couldn't charge Hicks because I did not know what the elements of the offense are. I said, 'wait for the manual to be written.'"

Haynes, who did not return emails or phone calls for comment, told Davis the manual was being "worked on" and the Pentagon was reviewing candidates to serve as convening authority. Haynes still wanted to know how quickly Hicks could be charged with war crimes after the military commission's manual was signed by Gates.

"I told Haynes two weeks," Davis said. "He said 'two weeks! Two weeks is too long.' Haynes then told me to 'be ready' and asked if I could charge other [Guantanamo detainees] in addition to Hicks. He didn't say why."

Davis said that while he was not privy to the political discussions taking place behind the scenes with regard to Hicks and the military commissions in general he suspects the reason Haynes asked him to also charge other detainees was not to leave anyone with the impression that the administration was "singularly focused" on the Australian detainee.

"They didn't want [Hicks' case] to stick out like a sore thumb and they wanted to bury it with others," Davis said. Legal Adviser Brig. Gen. Thomas Hemingway, Office of Military Commissions, "said [Prime Minister] Howard was getting beat about the head and shoulders about the Hicks case."

At a press briefing on January 18, 2007, Dan Dell'Orto, the Pentagon's principal Deputy general counsel and General Hemingway announced that a report was being submitted to Congress by Gates "that contains the military commission procedures" and that a longtime confidante of Vice President Dick Cheney, Judge Susan Crawford, former chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals of the Armed Forces, was selected to be the convening authority.

On February 24, 2007, Cheney met with Howard in Sydney and told the vice president, "there must be a trial 'with no further delay' for David Hicks who was beginning his sixth year at the U.S. naval prison at Guantanamo Bay," according to the book "Angler," by Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman.

Hicks' was becoming a liability for Howard, who was under pressure by the public and some lawmakers to return Hicks to Australia. Howard told Cheney that Hicks had to be charged with something because there weren't any laws in Australia for which he could be prosecuted if the US government simply repatriated him.

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According to another secret document obtained by Truthout, after Cheney returned to the US from Sydney on February 25, 2007, he tasked his legal adviser, David Addington, with working with Haynes at the Pentagon and Crawford, who had just been appointed convening authority, to quickly hammer out a deal for Hicks without Davis' knowledge.

Less than a week after Cheney returned from Sydney, Davis' office indicted Hicks. He was charged with providing material support for terrorism and attempted murder. Hicks was charged along with Salim Hamdan, a Yemeni detainee who was Osama bin Laden's chauffeur and bodyguard and whose case, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, resulted in the June 2006 landmark Supreme Court decision striking down the military tribunal system Bush set up after 9/11. A third detainee was also charged alongside Hicks: Canadian Omar Khadr, who was a teenager when he was captured in Afghanistan and charged with killing a US medic after he tossed a grenade at him.

During a trip to Guantanamo in early March 2007 for Hicks' arraignment, Davis said he found out the Defense Department had entered into a secret plea deal with Hicks and his defense team that was approved by Crawford.

"I had very few conversations with Susan Crawford," Davis said. "I wasn't a party to the plea deal. When I spoke out about it [Crawford] said I was undermining her role and she can't have the chief prosecutor questioning her judgment."

The deal, referred to as Alford plea, called for Hicks to sign an agreement accepting the single charge of providing material support, which was not deemed a war crime prior to the passage of the Military Commissions Act of 2006. In an Alford plea, the accused does not admit to the act for which he is charged, but admits that the prosecution could likely prove it. The government dropped the attempted murder charge against Hicks. Under the terms of the deal, Hicks would serve nine months in prison in Australia and would be prohibited from speaking to the media for a year.

Davis was outraged. He said his conversations revolving around Hicks' punishment and continued incarceration "were measured in years not months."

In other words, Hicks could still be in Guantanamo today if the Bush administration declined to help Howard as he campaigned for another term in office. Still, as Hicks told Truthout in a previous interview, he believed he had no choice. Accepting the guilty plea was his only way out of Guantanamo.

Davis said he strongly believes Haynes and Addington "worked closely" on the Hicks case and that there is "no doubt in my mind this was an accommodation to help John Howard by making the David Hicks case go away."

"I am sure this wasn't Jim Haynes waking up one morning and saying 'how can I help David Hicks,'" Davis said. "Reasonable people could look at this and see this was a favor for an ally. I don't think the facts are in dispute: to make this case go away it had to get done quickly. If there was an arraignment, then a trial would have likely been set for the fall [of 2007], about two months before Howard would have faced the voters."

Davis said the political interference in other Guantanamo detainee cases continued after Hicks' guilty plea. He resigned as chief prosecutor in October 2007 after he was told he would have to report directly to Haynes. He is now executive director and counsel for the Crimes of War Education Project.

Hicks' Letter

Hicks, meanwhile, has long maintained that he signed the plea deal because it was his only way out of Guantanamo.

In fact, in April 2004, Hicks wrote a letter to his father, Terry, saying that US government officials were pressuring him into pleading guilty to a wide range of war crimes charges and he warned that "if I make a deal it will be against my will" because "I just couldn't handle it any longer."

"I'm disappointed in our government. I'm an Australian citizen," Hicks wrote. "If I've committed a crime I can be man enough to accept the consequences but I shouldn't have to admit to things I haven't done or listen to people falsely accuse me. We can't let them get away with it."

Hicks said he feared that if he didn't comply and accept the guilty plea he would be sent to "camp 5," a "very bad place with complete isolation."

"They know that this is my worst nightmare," Hicks wrote about the transfer threat, according to the letter, which Truthout obtained from a former guard who was assigned to Hicks' block at the prison facility. "If I end up in there I will probably lose my sanity or crack. That's what they want ... Being in my current situation the deal is tempting but only in the last week I've decided I'm going to call their bluff and say that I'm gonna fight them. Only know [sic] do I feel like being strong and standing up for myself ... I'm sick of writing you letters saying how good it is here. I've always done that because I'm afraid of what the authority's [sic] may do to me. If I told you the reality they wouldn't give you the information. I want to be able to make as much noise as possible. To let people know of what's really happening here."

Hicks' letter, which the former Guantanamo guard was supposed to mail to Hicks' father but never did, also suggests Hicks was tortured psychologically and physically, despite the fact that he was forced to sign a document as part of his plea deal stating he was never mistreated while in custody of the United States.

"Before I start I want you to know that the negative things I am going to say has nothing to do with the MP's that are watching me," Hicks wrote. "Some of them are marvelous people who have taken risks to help improve my day to day living. It's because of such people that I have kept my sanity and still have some strength left. In the early days before I made it to Cuba I received some harsh treatment in transportation including mild beatings (about 4). One lasted for 10 hours. I have always cooperated with interrogators. For two years they had control of my life in the camps. If you talk and just agree with what their saying they give you real food, books and other special privileges. If not they can make your life hell. I'm angry these days at myself for being so weak during these last two years. But I've always been so desperate to get out and to try to live the best I can while I'm here ..."

George Williams, one of Australia's top constitutional lawyers, said what Hicks wrote about in his letter as well as details Davis revealed about what took place behind the scenes in the lead up to Hicks' guilty plea, could open up a "can of worms" for the Australian government and lead to questions about "what happened [to Hicks] at Guantanamo Bay and whether that ought to be recognised and given legal weight by other democracies."

For Hicks, perhaps such a public airing would provide him with a sense of justice





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