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Soft Treatment for Australia's Al Qaeda Detainee

Was Australian David Hicks, who pled guilty to providing material support to a terorrist organization, just "another Westerner in search of meaning"?

"A young man in search of a war and a cause," is how reporter Raymond Bonner described Australian Al Qaeda trainee David Hicks, held in Guantanamo, Cuba for five years before pleading guilty to providing material support to the terrorist group. On Wednesday the Times reporters (and headline writers) gave Hicks, who may soon be on his way back to Australia to serve his sentence, somesoft-soap treatment. The banner over Bonner's report: "Australian Detainee's Life of Wandering Ends With Plea Deal."


Another story by William Glaberson described Hicks this way: "Mr. Hicks, now a plump 31-year-old, has been described as another Westerner in search of meaning in his days in Afghanistan in 2001. The prosecutors say Mr. Hicks once complained to Osama bin Laden about the lack of Qaeda training materials in English."


"In search of meaning?" Sounds more like a search for terror tips.