Wednesday, March 28, 2007

So Hicks is sitting there saying, well how do I get back?

Michael Ratner (CCR) on Demnow, talking about David Hicks
"MICHAEL RATNER: Well, you know, you could argue that initially in these cases the government originally overcharged him tremendously. That they included things like conspiracy to murder, you know fighting against the Americans, all these types of things. In the end, he pleaded guilty to, or he pled to a count saying he materially aided a terrorist organization. I think that we have to look at what happened in the context of Guantanamo. I mean Guantanamo is in the Center’s view and in many people’s view around the world, is a moral and legal and political outrage.

You have a man there for five years and the first thing that’s said after he takes this guilty plea is that he's going to be able to serve his sentence in Australia. So you have to say to yourself, how do you get out of Guantanamo? You get out either becuase your country fights hard to get you out, which in this case Australia did not put up a very big battle to get David Hicks out. If you look at how the English citizens got treated, they're back in England. If you look at how the French got treated, they're back in France.

So everybody--a number of people were critical of the Howard government in Australia for not fighting to get him back. So Hicks is sitting there saying, well how do I get back? I mean that’s my imagination, I’m imagining that’s what the lawyers have essentially said. This is a way -- this sentence will be served in Australia is what it appears, and therefore he will get back to Australia. Otherwise he's sitting there, conceivable could get a long sentence, whatever he gets and have to serve it in Guantanamo. So this is a way back to Australia and it’s a way out of Guantanamo which as far as I can see right now, most people still don't have."

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