Yesterday, trying desperately to get away from Bush's notorious and ignominious Guantanamo penal colony, Australian David Hicks pleaded guilty to a charge of material support for terrorism. This courtroom sketch shows Hicks seated next to his sympathetic military defense attorney, Major Michael Mori:
The prisoner has let his hair grow long so that he can use strands of it to cover his eyes to protect him from the light that is turned on permanently in his cell at Guantanamo. Isn't that trivial anecdote straight out of a horror movie? Doesn't it back up one's feeling that the Bush administration, traumatized by 9/11, has lost all sense of moral relativity?
The truth of the matter, I fear, is that most Americans, preoccupied as usual by their own egocentric challenges (these days, the possibility of running short of petroleum gas for their automobiles), probably haven't even heard of David Hicks and the unjust way in which his case has been handled. As far as ordinary Australians are concerned, their passionate attempts to insist upon a fair deal for David Hicks have been typically marvelous, right from the start, and it's a terrible pity that the Australian people's concern and indignation have never been relayed adequately to Bush & Co. In the words of Brett Solomon, executive director of GetUp!: "The Australian government didn't have the guts to intervene and ensure a fair trial for David."