• Nagoya, Aichi

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Alan Goodall’s May 29 article, “A prodigal divides Australia” — about Australian David Hicks, who was detained at Guantanamo Bay for five years without charges and recently returned to Australia to serve a nine-month sentence after plea-bargaining to the very recent charge of “providing material support to terrorism” — is deeply offensive to the Australian public.

Goodall claims that the Howard government had engaged in “five years of diplomatic appeals to Washington” with regard to the Hicks case and that now this “is rebounding against Howard in an election year.” Is Goodall saying the Australian public is turning against the Howard government because the government cared too much? Wrong! If there is any truth to the claim that the Howard government had been making diplomatic appeals for five years, we would like to know exactly in what form these appeals were made. Can Goodall, or someone, tell us?

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