- Because our illustrious former PM, John Howard and his lovely wife - what's-her-name (?) have accepted an invitation to bunk down at Blair House, prior to receiving the (US) Presidential Medal of Freedom.
JWH's distinguished career as PM featured the following notable contributions to the human condition as detailed by Julian Burnside QC in his excellent book - 'The Watching Brief' p. 176 (a must read for all liberal-minded men and women)
- "Our treatment of asylum-seekers, in particular: arbitrary detention involving cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of children and adults; the unregulated use of solitary confinement; and treatment amounting to torture;
- "The government's complacent acceptance of the detention in Guantanamo of two Australian citizens: Mamdouh Habib and David Hicks. Habib was tortured by Egyptian and American authorities; Australia knew about it and did nothing to help him. Hicks was held for five years and then faced a 'trial' without any features or safeguards of a proper criminal trial; the Australian government did not lift a finger to help him;
- "The 2002 amendments to the security legislation permitting the incommunicado detention of people not suspected of any offence;
- "The 2005 amendments to the security legislation permitting the imprisonment for up to 14 days without trial, house arrest for up to 12 months without trial, and deprivation of basic rights without access to the evidence used against the person."