Friday, November 17, 2006

John Howard's pride confiscated at airport!

Or maybe he forgot it at home. But anyway, in the same Q&A with Bush as below, a reporter asked about the case of Australian citizen David Hicks, detained indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay --

Q Mr. President, did you discuss the issue of David Hicks at all with the Prime Minister? And when do you think he might come to trial?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Yes, we did. The Prime Minister brought it up. He was pleased that I was able to sign the military tribunal bill -- in other words, a way forward for somebody like Hicks to be able to get a day in court. And he was asking me, do I have a timetable in mind as to when Hicks' trial will be coming forth. I told him I didn't, although we hope that Hicks is one of the early people that will have a day in court.

Interestingly enough, as I understand, Hicks has lawyers that may be trying to appeal certain aspects of the law we passed. If that's the case, he's having his day in court, in an interesting way. But I believe Hicks deserves a trial and is going to get it.

So Howard stood there as Bush gave him something between a brush-off and an outright lie, as there is no immediate plan to try any of the Gitmo detainees, the would-be overseer of such trials having just resigned. Note also Bush's weird implication that one gets one's "day in court" by challenging the system under which you're held, a construction that truly merits the phrase Kafkaesque.

Incidentally, the Q&A ended with a bizarre reminder of Bush's obsession with not seeming weak -- the strong horse:

Q One more, do you feel generous, one more?
PRESIDENT BUSH: No, I'm not generous. It's also hot out here, Gregory. We're in the sun, you're not. (Laughter.)
Q I don't see you sweat.
PRESIDENT BUSH: That's the problem, you might see me sweat.

The Leader does not sweat.

UPDATE: The lack of respect for Australia extends to Condi Rice not knowing the Foreign Minister's name, if this transcript is accurate --

QUESTION: The Australian Government, as you know, has been a close and supportive ally through this enterprise. As this fresh look, as you put it, goes on, what sort of level of consultation can the Australians expect?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, I had an extensive discussion yesterday with Alexander Downing,

FINAL UPDATE: A New York Times article about Hicks and his military lawyer Michael Mori.

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