MAMDOUH Habib must come clean about his activities in Afghanistan, a leading member of Australia's Muslim community said today.And good for him. This writer finds it pretty refreshing to hear a leader from this community refusing to make excuses for a fellow Muslim, especially for one over whose head hangs some of the most serious accusations possible. And let's make no bones about it. Habib stands accused of being a party to mass murder, either real and/or planned.
So far, Keysar passes the 'Golden But. . .' test ( 'We think that it’s horrible and awful, but. . .').
Let's see how he goes with the rest of it:
Yesterday, a parliamentary committee was told Mr Habib had trained as a mercenary in Pakistan and offered his services to al-Qaeda. In a recent television interview, Mr Habib refused to say what he was doing on a trip to Afghanistan.Of course, that begs another potential underlying reply, that being, 'I shall not answer on the grounds that it may incriminate me'. In this regard, I think Mister Trad is making an assumption every bit as flawed as an automatic assumption of guilt (though it doesn't look too good for old Mamdouh on that score, I'm afraid). Then again, maybe Mamdouh is figuring he may yet be charged. And I wonder if the whole 60 Minutes interview was intended to be a vehicle whereby any future trial process might be frustrated on the basis that a fair one is arguably all but impossible. It's just an idea.
But the president of the Lebanese Muslim Association Keysar Trad today told Channel 9 Mr Habib owed the Australian public an explanation. "I think he's got questions to answer to the whole Australian public, not just the Muslim community," Mr Trad said.
"Withholding the question (about what he was doing in Afghanistan) was poorly advised, he should have put the issue to rest.
"At this stage there are allegations and he should come out and answer those allegations.Damn right.
"He should come forth and give this information, he shouldn't wait until his lawyer thinks it's time to do it. He should do it as soon as possible because the Australian public wants to know, they have a right to know."Double damn right. That assumes, of course, that Mister Habib isn’t just taking time out to try and get his story straight (for once).
It was likely Mr Habib's allegations about being tortured were true, based on the alleged experiences of other Guantanamo Bay prisoners and evidence from Abu Graib prison, Mr Trad said.Nope - the credibility of those claims is being undermined by the wildly varying and increasingly fantastic versions the man keeps offering up, but that's just my opinion.
But the credibility of Mr Habib's torture claims were being undermined by his refusal to answer other questions, he said.
Damn - and he was doing so well! Unfortunately, though, even unintentionally implying that Habib may be vindicated in some way, due to something nasty that happened after the main event, really doesn't cut it. I mean to say, what has any of that to do with the primary question and the main thrust of old Keysar's speech?
Now, back to the main game: that is whether or not dear old Mamdouh was in league with a devil who basically wants to kill us all, and why Mamdouh won't answer the curly ones.
This is definitely getting interesting. . .