Some recent news excerpts about Guantanamo and about Australian David Hicks' plea bargain. First, Robert Gates speaking about Guantanamo before the House Defense Appropriations subcommittee:
He urged Congress to work with the White House to develop a legal framework to look into the concerns "about some of these people who really need to be incarcerated forever, but that doesn't get them involved in a judicial system where there is the potential of them being released".
Yes, God forbid they be brought before a real judge, charged with actual crimes, and given a chance to defend themselves. After all, Robert Gates already knows they're guilty, so can't we just take his word for it and dispense with all the meddlesome legal formalities? What we really need is a legal framework that provides more aesthetically pleasing show trials, since Gates acknowledges (in a masterpiece of understatement) that the current ones "lack credibility."
Second, some details of David Hicks' plea bargain:
As part of his agreement which was signed before he appeared in the US military commission on Tuesday he has agreed that he was never illegally treated by any person while in US custody.
It means Hicks can no longer claim he was mistreated by the US after he was captured in December 2001 in Afghanistan and taken to Guantanamo Bay.
Third, they're not only secret police and thought police but fashion police now as well:
Hicks, dressed in a tight-fitting charcoal grey suit and sporting a new foppish haircut, parted on the right, was led into the tribunal at about 10.10pm (AEST). He had appeared in court on Monday in thongs, prison garb and with his hair well below his shoulders. It drew a rebuke from the judge.
We can't put up with these long-haired hippies "letting it all hang out"--even if they've only grown their hair long so that they can use it to cover their eyes and sleep despite the lights being kept on all night long in their cells. Not that Hicks will be talking about that or any of the other mistreatment at Guantamano, thanks to the gag order that threatens him with additional jail time if he exposes some of the methods that were used to obtain his confession.
Doesn't it all just make your heart swell with pride?