On the Hicks sentence
John Howard must be pleased. His commitment to George W. Bush's fiasco in Iraq has paid off handsomely. Hicks home before the election, Hicks' admission of guilt, Hicks' denial of mistreatment and torture, Hicks gagged from media appearances. Meanwhile Messrs Howard, Downer and Ruddock can continue to spin the news however they like, secure in the knowledge that Hicks is unable to put forward his version of the truth.
Every aspect of this outcome reeks of the political expediency which defines John Howard as Prime Minister, politician and man.