The Pentagon, not Metallica, The Master of Puppets

The New York times today reports that a Pentagon campaign using retired officers has been used to shape terrorism coverage from inside the TV and radio networks.

I note from the screen shots Rupert Murdoch’s Fox features heavily.

The Pentagon information apparatus has used these analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance.

Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air.

Those business relationships are hardly ever disclosed to the viewers, and sometimes not even to the networks themselves. But collectively, the men on the plane and several dozen other military analysts represent more than 150 military contractors either as lobbyists, senior executives, board members or consultants. The companies include defense heavyweights, but also scores of smaller companies, all part of a vast assemblage of contractors scrambling for hundreds of billions in military business generated by the administration’s war on terror. It is a furious competition, one in which inside information and easy access to senior officials are highly prized.

Records and interviews show how the Bush administration has used its control over access and information in an effort to transform the analysts into a kind of media Trojan horse — an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks.

From a May 16, 2006, e-mail message about "Taking groups to Iraq/Afghanistan"

Source: Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand – New York Times

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David Hicks – free, but not from the Murdoch Press

The Murdoch press is doing a hatchet job for David Hicks. As usual they call him a ‘confessed terrorist’, which is actually incorrect, as he never confessed to terrorism. The Fairfax press say ‘convicted terrorism supporter’. Anyway…

The Murdoch press are also pushing for him to ‘Say Sorry’. What the hell for?

I think that the Murdoch Press / News Limited (an outstanding name) have under-estimated public opinion – check out this poll result from their own site:

Hicks released from Yatala – but no apology just thanks

Address :,22606,22983853-5006301,00.html


Here is how the pricks from News Limited cover the story in their headlines




And this is how the Fairfax Press covers it:


The Age and SMH editorials run common sense opinion, and as usual the news is with out opinion or comment, just reporting the facts.

The editorialists of The Age pretty well sum it up:

IT IS 13 months since this newspaper called for David Hicks to be brought home, eight since the Howard Government gave in to growing public pressure in what appears, with hindsight, to have been a cynical (and ultimately doomed) attempt at electoral manoeuvring, as opposed to a genuine effort to right an injustice. The detention of Hicks by the US rankled many Australians — not all, it’s true, but a broad constituency of odd bedfellows from blue conservatives to green radicals to pink liberals, united in their disgust that an Australian citizen could be imprisoned so long without charge or trial.

The fact that he was for more than five years kept in more inhumane conditions at Guantanamo Bay than are civilian prisoners on death row only adds to an injustice that Britain, for one, did not tolerate for its detained citizens. Today, David Hicks is free for the first time since his capture in Afghanistan in 2001. When he left prison in Adelaide yesterday, it brought us close to the end of a disgraceful and disturbing episode.

Address :


Of all the hundreds deemed “unlawful combatants” by the US, David Hicks is the only one to have been convicted and only after a plea-bargain process that was clearly subject to political interference, which his military prosecutors later confirmed. The terms included an extraordinary year-long ban on talking to the media, which extends beyond his nine-month sentence. Hicks pleaded guilty at a hearing in March to having provided material support to al-Qaeda and of being associated with an armed conflict. He returned to Australia in May under a prisoner-exchange agreement and has spent his remaining months of incarceration at Yatala prison in South Australia, his home state. Fellow Australian Guantanamo Bay inmate Mamdouh Habib, who was picked up in Pakistan, was released without charge in 2005.

Ultimately, David Hicks became a cause celebre not because of what he did but because of what was done to him and to the integrity of the justice system in the prosecution of the “war on terror”. Hicks’ long detention without trial, much of which was spent in solitary confinement, eventually caused widespread outrage. The Howard government failed at one of the most basic levels of a democratic state’s contract with its citizens, which is to ensure that all accused promptly receive a fair trial in a properly constituted court, whatever the circumstances.

Address :

Here is a typical News Limited article: I have high-lighted in red bits that I think are crap to see in a news paper.

Hicks whisked into hiding – Article from: Sunday Herald Sun

Author: Liam Houlihan, December 30, 2007 12:00am

A DEFIANT David Hicks was in hiding last night after refusing to apologise for working with Islamic terror groups responsible for killing Australians.

Hicks, 32, looking robust and with shoulder-length hair, walked out of Adelaide’s Yatala Prison yesterday morning after nearly six years behind bars.
Almost a dozen police cars and motorbikes held back traffic and a no-fly zone grounded helicopters as Hicks made a quick getaway.

Read full story

WHAT A LOAD OF BULL SHIT! Gutter Journalism.

From other media articles we can tell that he is hardly defiant, rather broken, terrified, anxious and agoraphobic. Terrified of talking to the media in case he gets sent back to Guantanamo Bay. It is highly doubtful that he worked for ANY Islamic terror group. He did get roped in by the Talban, Afghanistan’s ruling government to stand by a tank and guard it. That’s about it!

Luckily I am not alone in protesting the bull-shit News Limited reporting. Recently the News Limited sites added comment support to their news articles. This is back-firing on them at the moment:

Comment highlights (naturally I have selected the ones I like)

At least the author of this piece could try reporting with the use of a little less sensationalism. To state that Hicks was ‘defiant’, ‘in hiding’, ‘refused to apologise’ (refusal can only come after an offer or request and we have done neither) and made a ‘quick getaway’ is pure adornment and does nothing to assist in lifting journalistic standards in this country.

Posted by: Sickofthedrivel of Brisbane 7:09am today

Since the man has never been convicted of any crime in Australia and his US trial was just a scam snow job based on questionable evidence obtained under illegal methods that most civilized countries call torture and would disallow in open court ! Please remember his five minutes of fame has come and gone ! The time has come to leave the man alone in peace and leave him to pick up the pieces of his shattered life and if possible partially recover from the evil deeds done to him by persons seeking revenge in the name of blind justice ! What price a choice indeed for he has to come to terms with these demons , could you?

Posted by: ian of 34 heath cr hampton 6:15am today

No Guantanamo inmate should have to answer to anyone for anything, other than to a legally constituted Civil trial with untainted evidence. Water-boarding, my government’s favorite means of obtaining “confessions”, involves pouring a stream of water in a thin plastic condom down a prisoner’s throat until drowning sensations and vomiting attempts ensue. The typical US agent in training lasts under 10 seconds before panicking against his restraints. Ask yourself, if you were water-boarded, what would you confess to? Anything, everything? You bet! Are many/most of the Guantanamo prisoners very bad, dangerous men? You bet. Can anyone rely on my government’s statements regarding any of them? No way. Watch Hicks, but otherwise, leave him alone.

Posted by: Common Tator of USA 4:56am today

At least the author of this piece could try reporting with the use of a little less sensationalism. To state that Hicks was ‘defiant’, ‘in hiding’, ‘refused to apologise’ (refusal can only come after an offer or request and we have done neither) and made a ‘quick getaway’ is pure adornment and does nothing to assist in lifting journalistic standards in this country.

Posted by: Sickofthedrivel of Brisbane 7:09am today

And from Adelaide now:

Typical Murdoch press. You got instructions from your boss to do a beat up did you? The Sunday Mail like many other papers appears to have forgotten it’s their job to report news and not make comments on it. A pity you didn’t make comments when a man was imprisoned by the Yanks for over 5 years without charges and then finally railroaded by them. Pehaps one day you’ll get back to being what you profess to be… A News Paper.

Posted by: Zorro of Noarlunga 10:29am today

Lindy Chamberlain revisited? What trash the Murdoch press is. The Brits have got rid of Blair, we have got rid of Howard and Bush is politically dead (lost the House and the Senate). Get the message, Mr. Murdoch? We do not want your world. We want solutions to the world’s problems, by dialogue and starting with Isreal and Isreal existing within its internationally consituted borders, without nuclear weapons. If Isreal have nuclear weapons why should not Iran, as a counter balance. This is the reason the USA retain a nuclear capacity, to hold onto “power” by making other afraid. With Hicks, the Order should be on the media – not to persue him and not to attempt to locate him.

Posted by: Peter Stokes of Vale Park 8:53am today

Then man spent five years in jail. Most of those were in solitary. No charges were laid until the last minute in a ‘face saving’ deal for the benefit of Bush, and his deputy Howard. He did wrong and stupid things. He was a clown for the Taliban, and I hope he learnt from his idiotic mistakes. Wrong was done on both sides of this pathetic equation. If Hicks has to apologise to appease the jackals at News Ltd. then an apology is also required from Bush and Howard for the prostitution of legal principle and basic (and I mean basic) human rights, not necessarily to Hicks but, rather, their respective electorates. In all we are better off to let the silly bastard try to invent a new life for himself, sans islamic extremism. We should concentrate on creating a system where such obvious abuses of OUR human rights are much less possible.

Posted by: ben porter of clare 10:28am today

Pathetic excuse for “JOURNALISM” from the Lackey scribblers at the Advertiser Yet Again (they should be ashamed of themselves”… Is there only ! source of so called “NEWS” in Australia, sounds more like Government Propaganda to me”The suede jackboot and the Cultural Cosh….are you fooled…Leave Hicks alone, he has suffered enough at the Hands of the corrupt criminal murderous Cabal in the White house and their cronies worldwide.

Posted by: Louise of Adelaide 10:21am today

What is it with Australia and bloody apologies??? What on earth does it matter if he says sorry or not?? Further what does it matter to me, living in good old south of adelaide, that some bloke got locked up in Afghanistan? There is absolutely not one ounce of anything he has to say sorry to me about. He should say sorry to his dad and his wife and thats about it. Who first brought up this bollocks of saying sorry in the first place?? Probably the editor of some news ltd paper no doubt as the Oz public don’t give a damn!!!

Posted by: Tim of adelaide 10:14am today

Address :,22606,22983853-5006301,00.html

And there are PLENTY more where they came from!

Murdoch’s Trash Media fly in the face of public opinion.

The Murdoch media is covering the return of David Hicks as if they are employed by the Howard government. Ooops – they are – well sort of, they all work for Murdoch. Anyway… The Herald Sun is all upset that Hicks, ‘a confessed terrorist’ (which he never confessed to) traveled first class from Guantanamo Bay.

While 80% of “The Age” readers in an opinion poll today say David Hicks is no threat, the front page of the Herald Sun read:

Herald Sun Front Page

and the content of the articles in the paper, of which there were many, sounded like they were written personally by Phillip Rud-dick. The Editorial headline read: “A Dangerous Fool Returns“, whereas The Age’s editorial read “Hicks was no innocent abroad, but it’s right that he’s home“. The Age’s editorial even made sense! Actually, it is a very good read, take a look.

They (The Age) also featured an opinion piece by Tim McCormack, who, according to the footer of the article: is the Australian Red Cross professor of international humanitarian law at the Melbourne Law School. He attended the proceedings against David Hicks in Cuba in March as an adviser to the defence team on law-of-war issues.

It is ALSO a great read. Read it here: David Hicks’ trial was a political fix by two governments -much more accurate than the shit churned out by the Herald Sun.

Bush pledges Hicks to face rigged Kangaroo court as soon as possible

US President George Bush is pledging to do all he can to speed up David Hicks’ trial, promising the Australian will be “first in line” to get his day in court. Mr Bush made the promise to Prime Minister John Howard during a telephone call this morning, in which he vowed to “do everything he could to make sure the process was pushed along”. “He said that Hicks was the first in the line, and he understood very much the concerns that I had,” Mr Howard said.

Source: Bush pledge to Howard over Hicks – National –

I think Johnno is missing the point. While it is more than a concern that DH has been in Guantanamo for over 5 years with out any charges, it is even WORSE that it is a US “special” military court. 

If Hicks were a US soldier facing a Court Martial, the case would have been dismissed according to US military legal folks. And, if Hicks were a US citizen, he would not be allowed to be tried by the court at Guantanamo because the US courts have ruled that the trials at Guantanamo are unconstitutional and deny basic legal rights and process.

So, if Johnno wants to impress us, he should be trying to STOP the trial and demanding that DH be return to Australia, not demanding he be tried ASAP in a court that even the US wouldn’t let their people face.

Anyway, aside from that, the article goes on to say that our evil Justice overlord, Attorney-General Philip Ruddock has raised the issue of how Hicks might feel if he was brought home before getting a chance to clear his name.

What a joke!  Hicks’ US military lawyer, Major Michael Mori, said: “David Hicks won’t complain if they bring him home (and) he didn’t get to clear his name.”

When reminded that many in government had not always presumed Hicks innocent (news terrorist adds: The whole freaking Johnno Howard axis of evil), Mr Ruddock said that he, as principal law officer, always had. “I have never asserted guilt,” he said.

Does anyone need proof that Philip Ruddock is really a closet Darth Vader cross-dresser? 

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Hicks not suffering mentally – US Army Doctor

Last week David Hick’s lawyer said that Hicks was in a bad way mentally after over a year over solitary confinement, and living in Hotel Guantanamo.

Yesterday, I read this:

United States authorities insist there’s nothing to suggest David Hicks’ mental health is suffering.

They turned down an Australian request to send in an independent psychologist and instead had their own doctors check on the psychiatric health of the Adelaide-born father of two, who’s been locked up in Guantanamo Bay for five years.

The Guantanamo doctor gave Hicks a clean bill of health, indicating there was nothing to suggest the Australian terror suspect was suffering depression or anxiety.

What a load of Bull Shit. How obvious is it that they are hiding the truth? How can Johnno Howard and that foreign affairs prick be such suck-ups?

Anyway, the article went on to describe what senators were told in a parliamentary hearing earlier this week about Hicks’ surroundings and daily routine in the US military prison in Cuba:

Last December he was moved to Camp Six, described this week as more humane by the US commander in charge at Guantanamo.

Hicks lives in a cell 3.6 by 2.3 metres that receives no direct sunlight, is climate controlled at 25 degrees Celsius and has glass observation panels for prison staff to check detainees aren’t trying to commit suicide.

He sleeps on a double bunk bed, but has no roommate, and has a plastic table, a seat and bookshelf in his cell for reading and writing.

But the bookshelf is mostly empty. He has 52 books but is only allowed two in his cell at any one time.

Toilet paper is rationed – he’s allowed 30 sheets at a time – because others at Guantanamo have used it to block the toilets and cause flooding.

The Americans describe it as a security issue.

Hicks is kept in his cell for 22-hour stretches. For two hours a day – which can be at any time of the day or night – he is allowed into the exercise yard.

But, for whatever reason, he was refused the privilege 21 times last month, meaning he was in his cell for 24 hours.


Hicks’ health ok, says US doctor – World –

GUANTANAMO Bay is a lawless prison: Hicks Lawyer

I saw Major Mori on tv a night a go and he had some interesting things to say about the conditions Hicks is currently being held in, and about the trial, Guantanamo Bay etc.

He is being kept in solitary confinement, in a metal room with no windows, for 22 hours a day. He has been held in these conditions for over a year.

Just read this in The Age:

GUANTANAMO Bay is a lawless prison run by the CIA and US interrogators using CIA techniques of subjugation and degradation, David Hicks’ Adelaide lawyer said yesterday on his return from Cuba.

David McLeod, a conservative military lawyer and decorated army legal reservist, said he was “shirt-fronted” by the US military last week because he talked to the media about the conditions in which Hicks was held.

“I was subjected to a rather aggressive interrogation by one of the officials there for talking to the media in the way that I have,” he said. “This is the standard approach, this is what happens when a lawless place like Guantanamo Bay is subject to scrutiny.”

Mr McLeod would not reveal details of the interrogation but said Guantanamo Bay was a lawless place that sought to avoid public scrutiny.

Mr McLeod spoke emotionally of having to leave Hicks behind.

The move by the US military prosecution to announce charges against Hicks the day after his legal team left was an act of “bastardry”. “I think he would be absolutely devastated by the fact that occurred in the absence of his legal team that had been there talking to him for four days,” Mr McLeod said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister John Howard has defended the determination of the US authorities to charge Hicks with attempted murder.

Click for Full Age Article

Hicks abandoned by Australia and tortured by America

Amnesty International has accused Australian government of abandoning terror suspect, David Hicks. (PIC: SBS)

Amnesty International has accused the Australian government of abandoning terror suspect David Hicks and doing nothing to ensure sure he gets a fair trial.

Amnesty secretary general Irene Khan last week wrote an open letter to Prime Minister John Howard as part of its campaign to have Hicks released from Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, where he has been held for five years.

Symbol of injustice

Ms Khan said Amnesty was concentrating on the Hicks’ case because it had become a symbol of injustice and the impunity which the US military prison had come to represent.

“We are picking him because he has been now in Guantanamo for almost five years without being tried. He’s not likely to get a fair trial in the US, which has just adopted a new law.”

Ms Khan accused the Australian government of behaving outrageously in the Hicks’ case. “They have basically abandoned him. They have not taken any effort to ensure that he gets a fair trial,” she said. “They approved trial by military commission, which the US Supreme Court has said violates American law as well as international law.

“So he should come home, he should get justice here in Australia. Give him a fair go at Australian justice.”

‘Depressed and disorientated’

US military lawyer Major Michael Mori says Hicks is depressed and disorientated after being left in solitary confinement in Guantanamo Bay for seven months with the lights on 24 hours a day.

Major Mori confirmed his client has been confined to the one concrete room for about 22 hours of every day for the last seven months.

The military lawyer is in Australia to seek a meeting with Attorney-General Philip Ruddock and to conduct a cross-party briefing of federal MPs.

He also suggested Hicks had been subject to sleep deprivation, an action defined as coercion rather than torture by Mr Ruddock.

“There was no valid reason given why he was placed in solitary.”

Asked if Hicks was close to breaking, Mori said he hoped the former jackaroo was not.

“We’re doing everything we can. We try to get down there as quickly as possible and try to get books through for him, but it does take some time.”

But the reality, Major Mori said, was that Hicks was in a terrible mental state.

“I went down and spent my birthday with him at the beginning of October,” Major Mori said.

“I see the changes in him, a sense of depression (and) I think that’s what they’re probably shooting for: they want to break him, they don’t want him to resist.”

Major Mori said a possible explanation for the solitary confinement could be that Hicks had complained. “The day before he was put in solitary, he met with Australian
consular (officials) and complained, things that were happening to him and also what he had seen. The next day, he was put in solitary confinement.”

Hicks, Major Mori said, was now refusing to meet with consular officials.

“They (guards at Guantanamo Bay) have trained him that if he doesn’t talk, if he doesn’t complain then he doesn’t get punished.”

Source SBS / AAP

See also:
Minister’s doubts over Guantanamo :

Hicks in solitary seven months
– Mori | | The Australian

Time to bring Hicks home, Joyce says – Breaking News – National – Breaking News

Govt coy on sleep deprivation tactics – Breaking News – National – Breaking News

Sleep deprivation ‘sometimes’ torture |