The rule of law

The NSW Supreme Court has allowed freed Guantanamo Bay detainee Mamdouh Habib to pursue defamation proceedings against Murdoch’s News Limited. One 2002 cartoon in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph read, “The amazing journey of a suburban terrorist.” In case the conservative echo-chamber forgets, Habib was released without charge in January.

The other detained Australian prisoner, David Hicks, remains at Guantanamo Bay. Gerard Henderson – clearly incapable of understanding the difference between defending the man and his alleged actions and his foul treatment at the hands of the Australian and American governments – today wonders why so many people express outrage over his treatment.

Let me give you a clue, Gerard. I’ve read much of the public accusations against Hicks, and he appears to be an anti-Semitic and troubled man. This attitude doesn’t somehow preclude him from standing trial in a proper court of law. “All societies, Western and non-Western alike, should take gun-toting revolutionaries at their word”, Gerard writes. If a person’s personal letters were the sole determining factor of guilt, then many people would be locked up.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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