Saturday, November 15, 2014


Bush, Howard and injustice at Guantanamo


So part of the problem I had when searching for this book is that I know the author as "Dan Mori" not Michael Mori. Ah well--- as a fellow middle name user I won't say anything more about that but I am going to refer to the author as Dan in this review.

The book was sent to me by a friend in Australia and Dan wrote a nice inscription to me (thank you Dan). When I started reading the book it quickly became one of those books that was difficult to put down. I finished the book over three evening reads. Dan managed to put into words the frustration, anger and heartache of representing someone at Guantanamo without sounding angry or maudlin.
Dan represented David Hicks-- an australian man who was turned over to US forces in Afghanistan for a bounty and who was one of the first to arrive at Guantanamo. Dan's account is not just about the fight to get Hicks out of Guantanamo and the constant shifting of the rules in the military commission -- but also the other side of the fight- the political fight in Australia and Dan's brilliant use of the media to inform the Australian people of the plight of his client and the complicity of the Australian government in Hicks's long detention at Guantanamo.
Dan doesn't spend much time on the personal toll- he was a military lawyer in the marines and was assigned the Hicks case. But there was a personal toll-- like all of the military defense lawyers who represented Guantanamo detainees Dan was denied his next promotion and faced cowadly complaints about his activism in representing his client. So it was not just that walls went up at every corner and resources for the defense side were lacking-- but the military made it personal because Dan was fighting hard for his client.
Read the book- Dan describes the feel of the base during this time period (2005-8) better than any other account I have read and he also describes quite eloquently what it is like for a lawyer committed to the rule of law to watch his country's legal system disintegrate before his eyes.
Dan now lives in Australia. I mention this because it underscores the toll on the attorneys in representing Guantanamo detainees. Dan is not the first Guantanamo attorney to leave this country and I do not think he will be the last.
It seems the only place in the US to get this book is on-line via australia. Click here.

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