Note to readers who have seen this post twice. In preparing I had to break and hit publish instead of save. This makes no difference to the core message, just a little to the length.
All right, Neil, I'll play too on this one!
When I was a kid I read the story of Alfred Dreyfus and cried. How could a society do this to someone?
I have watched David Hicks. When he was interned, I accepted the need, if with reluctance. As time passed, I have worried more and more. Now Hicks has become Australia's Dreyfus.
I am not suggesting that David and Alfred are exactly equivalent. After a certain point that ceases to matter. Now we have an Australian citizen who has no one at Australian official level to look after him, who seems destined to spend an indefinite time in jail regardless of trial.
I have heard the Australian PM and the Minister imply that this is Hick's own fault for appealing aspects of the process. This is a dangerous argument because it implies that an accused should accept process regardless of validity.
The Government, I think, still hopes in all this that the Hicks matter may proceed to successful trial now that Congress has passed new legislation. But the problem for the Government is that after a certain period justice delayed becomes so clearly justice denied that the actual trial results become almost irrelevant.
In the absence of evidence to the contrary (and vague references to security reports do not constitute evidence), I think that we have been at this point for some time.