Now we have a report from someone present at a meeting between Howard and Cheney. The Age has the anonymousquotes:
"One of our staffers was present when Vice-President Cheney interfered directly to get Hicks's plea bargain deal," the unnamed officer told a contributor for Harper's magazine.
"He did it, apparently, as part of a deal cut with Howard.
"I kept thinking: this is the sort of thing that used to go on behind the Iron Curtain, not in America.
"And then it struck me how much this entire process had disintegrated into a political charade.
"It's demoralising for all of us."
Amazing how well-informed the nameless military source is about Australia. Howard long ago turned national security into a political charade, one that may be about to come home to roost. Howard's bee good at fooling people. It's hard to think of a worse time for one of his charades to come unstuck.