27 Mar. 2007

A confession made under duress cannot be given credence. David Hicks's apparent plea-bargain with the USonian kangaroo court is perhaps even the best thing for his well-being under the circumstances, but it has nothing to do with justice, or the truth. Hicks has apparently copped to being a 'member of a terrorist orgnisation', presumably meaning the Taliban. But the Taliban was not and is not a terrorist organisation, despite its obvious character as a gross suppressor of human rights. Suppressing human rights is not terrorism. Using terror as a political tool is. Perhaps the Taliban do that, but if so it is rather incidentally to their overall function as Draconian civil authority and partisans of national liberation and unification. Moreover, it's hardly clear that Hicks was a 'member' of the Taliban – one wonders whether that organisation even has a membership structure, and moreover if it does, whether Hicks was part of it. Hicks was a foreign fighter, a blow-in, someone who does not look like he was committed to the long-term future of the organisation in question, merely someone who found common cause with the rather questionable project of political Islam it represented, but at that time represented not as a terrorist force but as the de facto national government of Afghanistan.