Yes, folks, after all the blood and guts, trauma and treasure, this is the best the Bush Regime can come up with among the “worst of the worst” of remorseless, wild-eyed Islamist terrorists incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay:
The Bush Regime presents the gob-smacked world with Yemeni national Mr Salim Ahmed Hamdan, whose apparent “war crime” was… to drive bin Laden around in Afghanistan.
Hell’s bells and Heaven’s whores, I sure am glad that nasty man is locked up forever! For driving! In Afghanistan! Now THAT’S what I call a global threat, brothers and sisters!
Now, let’s recall a previous international war crimes tribunal regarding a little fracas called World War Two.
None of Adolf Hitler’s drivers were prosecuted at Nuremburg. Nor were any of his chefs, personal secretaries or tea ladies.
I think we can all agree that Mr Hitler and his genocidal National Socialists posed more of a global threat than - in the immortal words of former President Jimmy Carter's National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski -“some stirred-up Muslims”.
Ah, yes, I LOVE history! It’s so full of… irony.
Certainly, the CIA's intervention in Afghanistan preceded the 1979 Soviet invasion, deliberately enflamed Islamic fanaticism, precipitated Afghanistan's destruction as a nation and lead directly to 9/11.
But the Busheviks charged Hamdan, a pool driver, a low-level salaried employee of bin Laden's with a fourth-grade education and a little English picked up during his incarceration - all but a few months in solitary confinement - with conspiracy and aiding terrorism.
A chauffeur, for godsake, fraudulently “convicted” under a “law” fabricated by the Busheviks in 2006 (just as they fabricated the faux military tribunal), long after Hamdan was “captured” in Afghanistan.
A retrospective criminal offence! Get thee behind me, Orwell!
Hamdan’s “capture” in November 2001 was touted by the Pentagon as a battlefield arrest but the poor bugger was taken prisoner by local Afghans at a roadblock in southern Afghanistan as he returned from driving his family out of the war zone to safety in Pakistan.
The locals were no doubt paid in wholesome US dollars for their sterling services to promote democracy and oil pipelines and prop up the SUV market in Butt Town USA.
It’s a fact that most of the so-called “worst of the worst” falsely imprisoned in Amerikkka’s Guantanamo gulag were not seized by American forces on battlefields but rounded up by entrepreneurial Afghans and Pakistanis in areas where US forces issued substantial bounties for the capture of members of Taliban and al Qaeda.
This, in what’s left of the civilised world, is called human trafficking.
There’s also abduction and forced disappearance, otherwise called kidnapping, sponsored as well as carried out by the Bush Regime. Some of the poor buggers trapped in Guantanamo were seized on or near war zones - most trying to avoid them.
And many were seized far away from any Afghan battlefield: in the streets of Pakistan, from their homes, late at night and in front of their families, abducted a world away in Gambia, for example, or in a Bosnian courthouse after a trial that had exonerated them of terrorism charges.
Once kidnapped, the hapless, helpless abductees were taken to so called “black sites” - secret, illegal US prisons in which they effectively vanished. Guantanamo itself was a black site until 2006, when the Department of Defence was forced to release the names of the prisoners there. It is here where the Rumsfeld speciality was developed to differentiate those evil terrorists from the noble US forces: plain old torture.
Aside from waterboarding - aka suffocation and/or drowning - assorted other abuses were treid and tested, including good old fashioned beatings. It’s no secret that US army goons at Guantanamo and other black sites have stripped detainees naked, sexually abused them, used dogs to terrorise them, tormented and deprived them of sleep.
And the effects of intense isolation have made the Guantanamo gulag a fortified loonie bin.Sadly, prisoner suicides will NOT feature in Republican re-election advertising.
And then there’s the issue of child abuse at the hands of good old, freedom-loving Uncle Sam.
The US Department of Defence has admitted that the three youngest prisoners in Guantanamo were three Afghan boys, Naqib Ullah, Assad Ullah and Abdul Qudus. According to US medical and flight records, Abdul was under 14 years old when he entered Guantanamo; the others were no older than 15.
As for the torture, an 18-month-long US Senate investigation tried to shed light on who originally thought of these “techniques”, and who authorised them.
Documents have been uncovered showing that senior Pentagon officials played a more active role than previously thought in developing some of the methods.
A senior staffer for Vice-President Dick Cheney also went to Guantanamo Bay to discuss how interrogations were conducted. According to the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Democrat Carl Levin, it is not just a case of “a few bad apples acting on their own”. Oh, duh!
Said Levin: "The truth is that senior officials in the US Government sought information on aggressive techniques, twisted the law to create the appearance of their legality, and authorised their use against detainees."
Well, pickle my yablockos, people, there may be a light in the Democrap abyss, after all!
This then, is the Bushevik version of US justice, US democracy, US global leadership and an example for the world to emulate. Beijing’s Commie bosses no doubt approve. Go for gold!
In Salim Hamdan’s case (pun intended), a bogus tribunal labelled the Office of Military Commissions featured a hand-picked six-member jury of military officers who decided the outcome of a court trial tainted by the use of dubious hearsay evidence, cruel and inhuman “interrogations”, and secret testimony …Stalin’s ghost smiles down at this sham designed to secure convictions and fuck the facts.
And get this: although Hamdan has been in custody since November 2001 the Busheviks refused to give his defence team requested relevant documents until, just 12 hours before the bullshit trial began, it was finally swamped with more than 500 pages of “evidence”.
Pages were apparently jumbled, lacked dates or letterheads, and the page sequence didn’t correspond to the discovery list issued by the judge.
This critical material included a female interrogator’s account of her sexual humiliation of Hamdan, making it near impossible for the defence team to conduct follow-up investigations.
What’s more, evidence was admitted in closed session, NOT to protect confidential sources but to conceal information on prisoner abuse by the Busheviks.
This kangaroo court has not proved Hamdan’s “guilt” but it has further revealed a system fabricated to try terror suspects in an arbitrary, draconian, ultimately illegal manner with no due process or any basis in recognised law.
The tribunal is mired in political corruption, including the plea bargain that released incarcerated Aussie David Hicks last year after then Prime Monster John Howard, desperate to defuse the issue prior to the election that nonetheless saw his ouster, gave Dick Cheney a warm fondle.
"This was supposed to be the premier system for bringing to justice the masterminds of the worst crime ever committed on US soil," commented Tom Malinowski, Washington advocacy director for Human Rights Watch.
"The only result in seven years was the conviction of an Australian kangaroo trapper, who is now free."
It was the Bush gang of thieves and not an independent court of justice that decided Hamdan’s fate.
Well, we knew that was on the cards as soon as the Busheviks declared their war on an adverb and decided that anyone they bushwhacked in their power putsch had no rights to be treated as a prisoner of war under the Geneva Conventions, employing instead a defunct term of their own devising: "unlawful combatant", which basically means anyone they care to point their finger at.
This is McCarthyism all over again, only far deadlier, with repercussions to echo down the generations.
But then, what can you expect from a pack of cold-blooded elite conspirators who ordered the forgery of Iraqi documents to suggest a link between Saddam Hussein’s government and Mohamed Atta, the alleged leader of the 19 hijackers in the September 11 attacks?
That unsurprising claim was made by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Suskind, whose new book The Way Of The World also contends that the White House obtained compelling evidence in early 2003 that Iraq had NO significant stocks of nuclear or biological weapons but decided to invade the country anyway.
And the criminality didn't stop there, not by a long shot.
We don’t know how many terror “suspects “the US has “rendered” and dispatched to such democratic lights-on-the-hill as Pakistan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia or Egypt. But Aussie Mamdouh Habib was one of them.
Some of the known knowns today are that Habib was nabbed in Pakistan shortly after September 11, before being trussed and handballed to Egypt, Afghanistan and then Guantanamo Bay, where he joined another Aussie inmate, Hicks.
We know that the ousted Howard Government used Guantanamo as a model for its system of mandatory detention in remote or off-shore locations in order to hide the facts about asylum seekers from lawyers, human rights advocates, the media and, most importantly, the courts. REAL courts, that is!
We know US Presidense Bush, Mob Boss Dick Cheney and a handful of trusted “advisers” sought and obtained dubious legal opinions on national security enabling them to circumvent American laws and traditions to dramatically expand executive power and pursue their shameful policies of torture, indefinite detention, illegal surveillance, etc, etc etc!
We also know that even the US Military Commission prosecutor assigned to Hicks finally admitted that the “evidence” against Hicks was lamentably weak and that the decision to prosecute him was based on political considerations.
As a witness in the pre-trial hearings of Salim Hamdan, Colonel Morris Davis, the former chief prosecutor of terrorism cases at Guantanamo Bay, revealed that he had been pressured by the White House to prosecute cases on the basis of their political value rather than on the merits of each case.
Davis quoted Defence Department lawyer William Haynes: "We can't have acquittals… We've been holding these guys for years. How can we explain acquittals? We have to have convictions."
Davis further confirmed what the world by then already knew: that the commissions were tainted by political influence and evidence obtained through prisoner abuse.
I still have nightmares about the vile, zombie-like Attorney General Philip Ruddock, first law officer of the nation, blithely dismissing criticism of the US Military Commission's admissibility of hearsay and defending Bush’s kangaroo court system.
I feel sick at the thought of toffy-nosed Alexander Downer, our incompetent former foreign minister who remains little more than a character out of Gilbert and Sullivan, ranting against anyone critical of the military commissions as somehow condoning terrorism itself when it was he and his Tory cronies who are accomplices in acts of US inspired terror in the Afghanistan and Iraq catastrofuck.
And finally our then PM Jingo Johnny, the Suckhole of Steel who, when finally faced with increasing public censure for his personal failure to demand a fair trial for an Aussie citizen, huffed and puffed in desperation to convince the nation that he could get the rogue Bush Regime to expedite the disgraceful proceedings.
One of the immense joys of the Rudd Labor Government's overthrow of Howard is the certainty that we no longer have to put up with the nauseating spectacle of Ruddock and ex-Immigration Minister Kevin “Creepy Jesus” Andrews spouting their lies about, among so many other things, David Hicks, asylum seekers and a certain Dr Haneef.
Another positive outcome is the demise of the Howard Government’s so-called "Pacific Solution" with the closing of the offshore prison camps in Nauru and Manus Island.
And Labor has also abolished temporary protection visas, which consigned acknowledged refugees to a death row existence even when they left the gulags, their status subject to regular revision, a cruel limbo.
If Rudd accomplishes nothing else, this was worth voting him in for.
But more than 260 detainees remain in Guantanamo, most of whom have been held for over six years.
A dozen of these - including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the September 11 atrocities - have been “formally” charged by the phoney military commissions, but no trial dates have been set although the script for this grotesque farce was drafted long ago.
Just now I’ve read reports that collaborating with torturers or conducting torture Down Under OR ABROAD could be made a separate criminal offence by the new, befuddled Rudd Labor Government in a long-overdue commitment by Awe-stralia to honour its international human rights obligations.
In a fresh, dramatically firmer stance against torture, workaholic Aussie PM Kevin Rudd will apparently also ratify the optional Protocol to the UN Convention Against Torture - a treaty allowing United Nations or domestic inspectors to visit prisons and detention centres.
Distancing Rudd Co. from the benighted US, Labor’s awkward new Federal Attorney-General Bob McClelland condemned the Bush Regime’s torture method known as waterboarding (in a fading previous era aka World War Two commonly known to all Aussies as Japanese Water Torture).
Wow, that’s gotta be progress with a capital F!
Meanwhile the real war criminals, still hell-bent on terrorising their opponents, domestically and globally, remain at large in the White House and other positions of power and influence.
Recently John Pilger commented: Radovan Karadzic stands in the dock, so why not Sharon and Olmert, Bush and Blair?
The memory of Hiroshima, an earlier act of premeditated mass murder by the US using a weapon of intrinsic criminality, may hold the answer.
But let me finish this righteous rant with more of Zbigniew Brzezinski’s remarks from a 1998 interview with Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris.
According to Brzezinski, “There isn't a global Islam. Look at Islam in a rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion. It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers.
But what is there in common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism? Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries”.
Now, tell me again: we’re fighting a global war without end WHY and on WHAT?
This was Max Gross for Xenox News, counting the costs, calling the shots and knocking ‘em back. Cheers!