Source : - American Chronicle

by Donna Williams

August 14, 2006

It's strange perhaps, but somehow those who don't converse sometimes take the role of family dog or cat, and hear some chilling confessions.

In my teens a man in his twenties confessed a guilt and shame he'd carried since his teens which haunted him. Together with a charismatic sociopathic teenage friend he participated in the imprisonment and torture of a dog. They kept this dog in a drain in a public park, revisiting it, torturing it, and finally watching the starving dog eating through its own leg. Years later, this dog haunted this man, a crying mess, sorry for blindly following a sociopath, sorry for his willing part in playing along, for doing nothing, for covering up and ignoring what he did.

Yesterday, 14th August 2006, on Australian prime time television on Andrew Denton's current affairs program, Enough Rope on ABC TV, Andrew interviewed Major Michael Mori, the Government appointed defense lawyer for Australia's token Guantanamo scapegoat, David Hicks. Major Mori spoke of David, who has been imprisoned now for 4 years, first without charge and later the charges were thrown out as illegal.

Major Mori spoke openly of David being kept in solitary confinement without sunlight for eight months, of being repeatedly raped and bashed by prison personnel, and finally getting a right to one hour of exercise of walk around the perimeter fence.

While David has never actually killed anyone, he was charged with guarding a Taliban tank during the war in Afghanistan. He is pictured holding a gun. But as we saw on Enough Rope, the rest of the picture had been conveniently edited out and touted as evidence of David's ‘fighting with the Taliban'. Yet this picture was taken with his fellow army friends long before he ever trained in an Al Qaeda camp (which is essentially a combat raining camp) and decided to fight on what the western world consider the wrong side in Afghanistan.

Now, yes, Al Qaeda are not ‘our friends', but it IS a combat camp, nevertheless. We have army combat camps, too, where people train hard, learn hand-to-hand combat, gun and weapon use, camouflage, how to throw grenades, fire missiles, and drop bombs. Obviously, the Western world has reasonable training if all the invasions we initiate and deaths we cause is anything to go by (and remember the war in Iraq was deemed illegal, but our Australian government still supported it).

Let's not lose sight of logic here just because we've been conditioned to equate the word Al Qaeda to 9-11. The fact remains that David Hicks has no direct link whatsoever to 9-11, was a soldier guarding a tank on the ‘wrong' side, and had not actually killed anyone when captured and thrown into Guantanamo four years ago.

Let's not lose sight of the fact that what's happening at Guantanamo has been ruled illegal by the US Supreme Court, that it is in breach of the Geneva convention, that no US citizens are kept there, that the British government has got its own citizens out of there and that what's happening to David Hicks greatly concerns groups like Amnesty International.

Let's not forget, also, that we, the Australian public, largely ignore David's case -- a case that like that dog in that drain. It can't be kept silent forever and may one day become our greatest shame and guilt. We may choke on our own hypocrisy of ‘mate-ship' when we realize we supported a follower of a sociopath who thrilled to the imprisonment and torture of something helpless and voiceless until it died.

Perhaps our government hopes this torture victim, David Hicks, kills himself so that his story won't be told; so we'll never truly grasp our role as followers of a follower of a sociopath. If that dog had snarled at those two young men, perhaps even threatened to bite one of them, would this justify our support for its imprisonment and torture? Would it justify its silence in that hole in the ground until it attacked itself and ultimately died?

If training in an illegal combat camp was that snarl, if guarding that Taliban tank was David's threat to bite, do we really believe that he deserves four years of solitary confinement with months on end of deprivation of sunlight, repeatedly being raped and bashed by his captors, deprived of reasonable exercise and no end date in sight for his release with him able to be kept for the duration of that president's rule?

I can almost hear that charismatic sociopath leader chuckling, fluffed up and powerful, standing over that drain hole as his friend goes along with it, as the dog is put out of sight, its barks too faint to hear and we all watch and pretend we see no evil, hear no evil….

… Donna Williams

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