This is yet another reason why I think Bartlett is the best senator we have at the federal level today.

I must say my initial feeling was that a guilty plea wasn’t very informative. After all, a key purpose of show trials is to gain a guilty plea or a conviction. In the absence of a fair trial, such a result in itself doesn’t tell us a lot either way about the guilt of the accused.

Whilst the guilty plea has changed the political dynamic (as well as dramatically improved the situation for David Hicks and his family), if anything the public and media reaction seems to have got even more incredulous.

To quote Malcolm Fraser,

Both governments will say: Hicks has had his day in court, he pleaded guilty, he has been justly treated. What we really need to concentrate on and to understand is that Hicks did not have a day in a court. He had a day in a fraudulent tribunal, controlled by a special law, which the Americans would never dare to apply their own people.

From The Bartlett Diaries