The Hicks case has finally been resolved and everyone is a winner!
“It was a good result for Hicks because he finally has a date for release and a chance to be close to his family, although he will not earn a cent from selling his story to the media.
“The plea deal bans him from “any profits or proceeds”. He has agreed to give any money received for the rights to his story to the Australian government.
“The US military and government can proclaim themselves winners because they have their first scalp of a Guantanamo Bay detainee under the controversial Military Commission Act. They also have a signed confession.
“Guantanamo Bay, which has been compared to a concentration camp, comes out clean, as Hicks – who has complained about his treatment – said in his plea deal he was “never illegally treated” while in US custody.
“Australian Prime Minister John Howard and his government, suffering in the polls months out from an election, can boast they brought Hicks home.
“Mr Howard is also protected from embarrassing comments from Hicks because under the plea agreement Hicks is banned from speaking to the media until March 31, 2008, a convenient date because it falls past the election.
“Under the plea deal, Hicks must co-operate fully with US and Australian law enforcement and intelligence authorities to reveal secrets about al-Qaeda or testify against the terror group’s operatives at other court proceedings.” (SBS World News Australia)