Bring him home now!

Wednesday 31 January 2007 6:47 AM

I hope Messrs Howard, Ruddock and Downer enjoyed their breakfast yesterday (31/1). I didn't enjoy mine much, thanks to the artist's image of David Hicks' predicament and the accompanying report from his Australian legal team. Breakfast in my experience at least is not easily enjoyed when you feel like weeping with compassion for the suffering of a fellow human, especially when inflicted by other humans who could choose to end it. Still, at least I wasn't chained to the floor. And there was plenty of natural light courtesy of our large windows, and after breakfast ... well the toilet has a door.

To my own shame I have complacently allowed this inhumanity to persist in my name, as an Australian. Yes, I've signed online petitions; yes, I've shaken my head righteously while listening to Ruddock and Downer's professed commitment to due process. But my protest has ended there. Is it because there are too many who protest as little as I, that our political masters get away with such spineless obfuscation ? Hicks may well be guilty of some or all of what he is charged with. But I'm beyond caring about that. If we've let him languish under the unjustice of this unspeakable mistreatment then we, just like the Bush administration, have lost all moral right to judge his actions further.

So let it end now, so long after it should have. No more obsequious deferring to the Americans, no more mouthed platitudes by gutless politicians, no more unverifiable assurances that Hicks is hale and hearty, no more glib legal disclaimers. We've had enough! Any credibility these utterances may once have had has long since evaporated. This is a national shame. Bring him home, Mr Howard. Bring him home now!