Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Newspaper Catches Up

It's become quite common now-we lead the way, others follow.

The Sydney Morning Herald today has published a far more eloquent piece than we could hope to produce on the Institute of Public Affair's Ted Lapkin's trashing of not just former Guantanamo Bay inmate David Hicks but the entire audience for having the temerity to attend a discussion with Hicks and applaud him afterwards. Lapin's piece appeared in the same newspaper.

David Hicks & wife Aloysia chat to NSW Governor Marie Bashir

Not only did Lapkin engage in twisting legal concepts, he made a gratuitous attack upon the moderator of the Hick's event Donna Mulhearn who travelled to Iraq at the beginning of the conflict to be a 'human shield'.

Former SBS presenter Mary Kostakidis lays out the case and dissects Lapkin's  attempts to bend even the slightest piece of information into a condemnation of Hicks. :

"In the Herald yesterday, Ted Lapin from the Institute of Public Affairs, persisted with the Howard government's demonetisation of Hicks with no regard for history, facts or the rule of law."

One issue is the persistent false claim that persons are 'illegal combatants" in the yet to be formally declared  "War On Terror" It's a term used by George W. Bush, former PM John Howard , Tony Blair and numerous others.

It is a fallacy and a meaningless term. It has no legal definition and never has under any of the laws of the countries whose leaders use it nor does the UN accept the term. The US Supreme Court tossed out Bush's attempts to write it into law and Barack Obama finally abandoned the term last year after trying to do likewise.

Hicks was held unlawfully at Guantanamo Bay because there was no law to hold him elsewhere. Howard admitted that Hicks has broken no Australian law.

The US simply swept people up on any pretense and 'rendered' them to Cuba. Hicks was grabbed at a bus stop by the corrupt criminal gangs comprising the Northern Alliance and handed to the US for a bounty.

Read Mary's response to Ted Lapkin here.

Illustrating the dangers of people like Lapkin and the laughingly named Institute of Public Affairs in the fascist style distortions they help promote one only has to read the comments that follow Kostakidis' piece and plenty of readers bang on with this 'enemy combatant' falsehood because it's been drummed into their heads a thousand times.

Compulsory reading for the Lapkins of the world should be this piece by the former US Chief Prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials, Ben Ferencz who at over 90 years of age has seen the precedents set at the WW2 trials to determine who was a war criminal trashed just 60 years after they ended :

 "My Government Today Prepared to Do Something for Which We Hanged Germans"

# The publishing of Hick's autobiography puts the current government in an interesting position. Under the proceeds of crime legislation profits made from books published by convicted persons can be confiscated after court action. 

Will the government take such action and open up the can of worms that may expose former powerful politicians and the lies they told ?.