Drawing a very long bow

As a side issue of the incarceration of Australia Stern Hu by the Chinese government I’ve come across commentators who are somewhat confused.

This from Leigh Sales on Lateline

LEIGH SALES: Well Dr Southcott, isn’t it a bit rich for the Coalition to be so exercised about this matter when the Coalition left David Hicks at Guantanamo Bay for two years without charge and for five years without a completed trial?

Excuse me!

For the life of me I can’t imagine why Dr Southcott didn’t just mention the fact that Hicks was a terrorist and Hu is a businessman and there is no way known that anyone could draw a parallel between the two cases.

Except if you work for the ABC;

or write for The Australian for that matter.

Jack the insider raises the issue as well. He raises some reasonable points, as he usually does, but also opines that the Libs shouldn’t push Rudd to do something about Hu because they left Hicks languishing in a cell at Guantanamo for almost three years.

Hicks should still be in the pokey somewhere but I am not so sure about Hu but either way you’d have to draw a very long bow to connect the two in any shape manner or form.


  • Kev
    There are two issues being contested here. To compare one of them with the Hicks case is a long bow – to examine the other is not.
    The less credible comparison relates to the reasons for the detention. In Hick’s case, it was clear, and he was engaged in quasi-military activity. In Hu’s case, there is no clarity yet. This is not a valid comparison.
    The second issue which does bear comparison deals with the issue of an Australian citizen being detained by a foreign power. Irrespective of the reason for Hick’s detention, and his admitted guilt, he was denied a fair trial. During the five years he was detained, there were no howls of outrage about this that I remember from the Coalition – correct me if I’m wrong. They’re howling now of course – that’s politics. Labor did the same thing when Hicks was detained, and that was also politics.
    What’s at stake is the principle of Australian governments caring for Australian citizens. What’s not at stake is that citizen’s guilt or innocence.
    “For the life of me I can’t imagine why Dr Southcott didn’t just mention the fact that Hicks was a terrorist and Hu is a businessman and there is no way known that anyone could draw a parallel between the two cases.”
    What they both “are” are Australian citizens. What they did is an issue for the legal systems in the country where they were detained (except in Hick’s case, of course, as he was “tried” outside US jurisdiction by a tribunal set up specifically for those captured in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Consider the hue and cry that would be created if the Chinese repatriated Hu to somewhere else – say North Korea and set up a special mechanism to try him.)
    It was therefore reasonable for the ABC (or any other media) to remind us of the comparison. Commentators uncomfortable in this need to take a cold shower, preferably, without carrying a long bow. Too many metaphors in the shower at our age could be dangerous.

  • 17 is on the piss again.

  • Irrespective of the reason for Hick’s detention, and his admitted guilt, he was denied a fair trial

    He’s not a criminal he is a traitor and was captured in the field of battle ready and trained to kill Aussie soldiers. In my mind that entitles him to be treated fairly under the Geneva convention and incarcerated for the length of the war or until his captors think he will no longer wage war against them. I am actually incensed that he is now back in Australia enjoying all the benefits citizenship allows him. I personally wouldn’t feed him, give him water, piss on him if he was on fire or swerve if he come up in my windscreen vision.

    No point arguing legal logic here 18etc – I have a mindset against traitors.

  • No difference except in mind of liberal lovers. Both being held without a fair trial, torture and being held for years without a fair trial in Hu’s case is yet to eventuate.

  • Only the rabid left would find moral equivalence between a businessman incarcerated by a Communist regime and a terrorist POW held by Americans. You have to hate the society you live in to really believe that crap or hate the Americans so badly that reason doesn’t surface…..think about it.

  • A businessman hey, lets wait for the facts to come out, the word is he was bribing all the steel mills to inflate the price of steel, could lead to really bad things for Australia. The facts remain, Hicks was held without a trial, more than likely tortured and LJH did nothing.

  • We don’t know yet what Hu has done or hasn’t but we do know Hicks was a traitor and terrorist and his sole value in this world was that he gave the left something to attack John Howard over. The fact that Howard didn’t have the call to have him released is irrelevant to the rabid left as is Hicks himself. They don’t care about him, they just want something to throw at Howard.

    held without trial Over much of the last century enemy combatants were held in PW cages or prisons until hostilities ceased. They weren’t criminals, they weren’t charged with anything – they were just held out of the battle to stop them killing more of our troops.

    Why do we suddenly apply Habeas Corpus?

    Tortured! So what if he was. If info gained helped to save lives then fine. We are at war with people who wan’t to murder you and your family – why defend them just because you have an insane hatred of John Howard.

    Very strange

  • You can’t subjectively choose who does and who doesn’t get the law applied to them!

  • It’s not subjective. Hicks is subject to Australian law when he is resident in Australia and commits a crime. When he is in Afghanistan or wherever, he is subject to the law applicable at the time and at the time it was a war zone.
    One of the reasons Guantanamo was set up was to ensure they weren’t held on US soil and thus entitled to US laws. If you try enemy combatants under civil law they all go home free to line up to kill you again. Obama has found that out the hard way as he now backs down from closing the place.