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7pm let David Hicks off the hook?
3AW NEWS: Convicted terrorist David Hicks says he was in the wrong place at the wrong time when arrested at Al Qaeda training camps.
Hicks denies ever meeting Osama Bin Laden saying the leader was a guest speaker at training camps.
Hicks has told Channel 10 he was tortured for up to ten hours at a time at Guantanamo Bay leaving him psychologically damaged.
DERRYN HINCH (MAY 24, 2011): Something has been gnawing at me since the weekend. And it came up again today when I saw the Herald Sun Page One picture of our latest casualty in Afghanistan. Sergeant Brett Wood.
It was part of a five-page tribute to the war hero and the Diggers fighting in Afghanistan. Including two of his patrol who were also seriously wounded in that roadside bomb attack. One may not survive.
So why hark back to the weekend? Well, while Wood and his fellow soldiers were risking their lives in the War Against Terror in what Kevin Rudd once called ‘this god-forsaken place’ a bunch of w--kers were giving a standing ovation to an Australian traitor.
A quisling called David Hicks was being honoured as guest speaker at the taxpayer-assisted Sydney Writers’ Conference to plug his new book. His craven rewrite of history about who he is and what he did fighting alongside the Taliban against Allied soldiers.
If you believe the born-again Hicks he was just a misguided tourist. Didn’t even know who or what al-Qaeda was until recently. That macho shot of him heavily-armed as a Kosovo mercenary? Just a lad fooling around for the camera.
Hicks sat alongside his now-proud Dad Terry as 900 people gave him a standing ovation and then queued to buy signed copies of his book.
There were no embarrassing questions from the media because Hicks refused to take any.
But if you go back to the letters he sent home from the front while training with the Taliban you get some answers.
He talked about undergoing weapons training that included ‘anti-aircraft and anti-tank rockets, rapid-fire heavy and light machineguns, pistols, AK47s.’ His words.
He went to Kashmir, courtesy of the al-Qaeda-connected Islamic terrorist group called Lashkar-e-Taiba. They’re the murderous mob who launched the multiple assaults on Mumbai in 2008 killing more than 160 people.
In his book Hicks says: ‘We did not fire upon Indian soldiers or any other people. We only engaged in the symbolic exchange of fire’. In that ‘symbolic exchange’ two children were killed.
Yet, in a letter Hicks wrote in August 2000, he boasted ‘I got to fire hundreds of bullets. There are not many countries in the world where a tourist, according to his visa, can go and stay with the army and shoot across the border at its enemy, legally’.
And, about eight months later, in another letter he wrote:
"By the way I have met Osama bin Laden 20 times now, lovely brother, everything for the cause of Islam. The only reason the West calls him the most wanted Muslim is because he's got the money to take action."
Last year Hicks made a video appearance on Q & A. That was the night another ‘hero’ threw a shoe at John Howard.
In response to a Hicks question about Guantanemo Bay, the former Prime Minister said: ‘Isn’t it a great country that allows this sort of exchange to occur’.
And he was right. Under the Taliban, for whom Hicks was fighting, he would never have received such freedom of speech. Or freedom of movement after pleading guilty to terrorism charges.
It is true that Hicks was treated badly. No person should spend five years in a jail without being charged. Justice delayed is justice denied. But don’t forget this man is a traitor. As Mohammed Dawood he ‘engaged in combat against coalition forces’.
That’s what he pleaded guilty to.
Watching people applauding this man in the ABC audience last year and again at the Writers’ Festival at the weekend made me cringe.
David Hicks is a traitor. Last October, I said: There are 21 reasons why Hicks should not be treated with respect let alone as some sort of martyr. And those 21 reasons each has the name of a dead Aussie soldier alongside it.
Sadly, today, you can now make that 24.
Neil is one of Australia’s most experienced journalists with success in newspapers, radio and television. He was one of the youngest editors of a daily metropolitan newspaper, The Herald. Enter Neil's highlights page for videos. replays and news.
Adam, where do I write anything remotely saying that?
On the contrary I always say how NATO bombed the Christians in order to be Islam's personal airforce.
David Hicks fought on the Muslims side there and that shows a pattern of his behaviour, so how can anyone assume he was innocent in Afghanistan?
So no, I am not glad about NATO bombing Serbia in order to help Islam radicals.Peggy Friday 2 September, 2011 - 1:58 PM
Dr Gideon Polya. I did what you said and Googled "US did 9/11".several sites appeared one of which was very interestingly written by a guy called ABDULL !!and they are all listed as conspiracy theories!Whilst there i also googled other fairy tales like Snow White and the seven dwarfs, Hansell & Gretal among others, you should have a look at these because they are about your level of intellegence!As i have said before you,re a NUTCASE!Darrell Friday 2 September, 2011 - 11:31 AM
HeY Peggy - you were for NATO bombing the serbs into oblivion werent you???adam Thursday 1 September, 2011 - 9:13 PM
Dr Gideon, fine but can you please answer what he was doing in Kosovo, Kashmir and Afghanistan in the first place?
Can you answer what he was doing with the KLA? Photographs don't lie. He was photographed there.
Now if that is not evidence of him taking up arms with his Muslim brothers around the world then what is?
Being prepared to fire against Australian troops is against the law I would imagine.
So until you explain to us what he was doing in those places you really cannot say he is innocent.
Please do provide some answer and don't divert from the question.Peggy Thursday 1 September, 2011 - 3:47 PM
Dr Gideon i have a personal friend who was on site when 9/11 happened, he can assure you they were,nt butterflys that hit the WTC,you have just demonstated with that dribble what a complete NUTTER you really are ! If you are a teacher and ram that sort of garbage down the throats of students christ help the future of this country!As for Hicks well i wont even go there its hardly worth the bother but the moron deserved everything he got!Darrell Thursday 1 September, 2011 - 3:39 PM
David Hicks has committed no abuses of humanity, has broken no Australian laws and only pleaded guilty to absurd American charges after 5 years of torture imposed by the Americans with the complicity of the Australian Government. In contrast, successive Lib-Lab Australian Governments are complicit in US Alliance war crimes in Occupied Afghanistan where UN data inform that 2.7 million under-5 year old infants have died since 2001, 90% avoidably and due to US Alliance war crimes in gross violation of the Geneva Convention (Google Afghan Holocaust, Afghan Genocide). And as for 9-11, science, engineering , architecture, aviation, military and intelligence experts say that the US Government itself was clearly responsible for the 9-11 atrocity, most obviously the explosive demolition of the 3 WTC buildings (3,000 killed on 9-11)(Google "US did 9-11").Dr Gideon Polya Thursday 1 September, 2011 - 8:11 AM