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Friday, February 20, 2015

David Hicks wants government to pay medical bills

David Hicks

David Hicks was detained in the US detention facility Guantanamo Bay in Cuba from 2001 until 2007 and was convicted of supporting terrorism.

This week, Hicks said he wants and apology from the Australian government and for them to pay his medical bills because torture in Gitmo has left him with ongoing health problems.

A US military court recently quashed a terrorism conviction against him on a technicality because his actions were not a crime under US or Australian law at the time.  But John Howard who was Prime Minister at the time said the US decision to quash the conviction did not alter the fact that Hicks was involved with al-Qaeda.

When al-Qaeda's number three man Mohammed Atef met David Hicks, he spoke to him about becoming a martyr but Hicks said he wasn't prepared to die for the cause.  So says WikiLeaks who released 800 secret US documents in 2011 which included David Hicks profile.  In it, they said that Hicks was a combat-hardened al-Qaeda fighter who showed great promise for leadership and if released, would seek a career as a mercenary.

Three years after his capture, his profile reads "The detainee's truthfulness is low and he is likely to have information regarding terrorist operations and tactics" and "his involvement and training....make him a highly skilled combatant, as well as a valuable asset and possible leader." 

The profile gave several reasons why he should not be released including his knowledge of entry and exit points in Afghanistan, his involvement with al-Qaeda leadership and the fact he actively sought out extremist organisations to serve with.

After negotiations between US and Australian governments, Hicks was returned to Australia in 2007 and allowed to serve out the final nine months of a seven year sentence imposed by the US for providing material support for terrorism.

Labor Opposition leader Bill Shorten

Yesterday Labor leader Bill Shorten said "David Hicks was probably foolish to get caught up in that Afghanistan conflict, but clearly, there has been an injustice done to him."

Oh really?

By his own admission, David Hicks trained and fought with al-Qaeda.

Attorney General George Brandis said if Hicks had gone over to the other side today, and went to join ISIS, he would be arrested because he would "fall within the scope" of new terror laws.

David Hicks once described Bin Laden as a "brother" and he revelled in jihad.  He is not owed an apology or anything else from the Australian government and Bill Shorten should be ashamed.