The life of David Hicks is nothing to write home about. He doesn’t get to write home much
anyway. He’s been detained for 20 months at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by the U.S. military. He
used to be held in Camp X-Ray. But they
closed that place down — something to do with inhumane conditions — and transferred all the
suspected terrorists held there to
with maybe 600 or more other prisoners. I can’t be sure exactly. Like I say, he doesn’t get
to write home much.
On Thursday, though, two days in Hicks’s life at Camp
X-Ray will be staged as a play in a small theater in Adelaide,
Australia, his hometown. The playwright wants to show 1) what it’s like living in a cage under
24-hour surveillance, and 2) what it means to be a non-person, deprived of the right of habeus corpus. The play,
titled “X-Ray,” will be seen by only about 180 people over a three-day run. But it’s also
meant to publicize Australian indifference to Hicks’s treatment.
(Australia is the only one of 40 countries “that has not formally objected to the U.S.’s
treatment of its nationals” held at Camp Delta, the Adelaide Advertiser
I have no idea whether Hicks is guilty or innocent, whether he’s a terrorist or a captured
soldier or neither. Maybe he’s both. The playwright, Chris Tugwell, probably doesn’t know either.
(“X-Ray” is fictional, but uses direct quotes from camp guards taken from statements to the media
by the U.S. Army.) Hicks’s father, who recently protested his son’s treatment by donning a prisoner
jumpsuit and standing in a cage on Broadway in the heart of Manhattan, has said: “If he’s guilty, I
accept that. But … I don’t believe he is guilty of anything. David’s an adventurer, not a terrorist.”
All Terry Hicks is asking for (besides a fair shake) is that his son, who is 28, receive better
treatment than a dog gets in the pound.
It won’t do any good, but you can vote on whether Hicks should be returned to Australia —
where, presumably, he would face legal proceedings. So far
a majority who voted here say (by 59
percent to 41 percent) that Hicks should be returned. It doesn’t say how many people have voted.
Nor does it say the poll accurately reflects popular opinion. I’d venture that it doesn’t and that a
majority of Americans would prefer to let him rot, just like the Australians.