Feb 8, 2015

Book Review - In the Company of Cowards by Michael Mori


I have been interested in the story of David Hicks for some time.  In the Company of Cowards should convince all but the the wilfully ignorant and those that have some political advantage to gain or maintain, that there was a gross and blatant miscarriage of justice in his incarceration and plea deal under duress. 

This book is also lesson from history of what the powerful can and will do to suite their cause.  As an Australian this book scares the life out of me.  It says that should the Australian Government of the day decide it, my citizenship means nothing compared to their personal or party wishes.  The law is no particular obstacle, especially when you can outsource its neglect to an ally. 

In the Company of Cowards outlines from beginning to end the legal case against Hicks(or lack of one), the blatant and extreme ends to which the American and Australian administrations went to, the rigging of the Military Commission system, the failure to do anything but the most cursory investigations to obtain evidence, the list goes on and on. 

Mori does a good job of injecting humour and biography into what could be a very dry and depressing subject. Mori outlines in plain English, the abandonment of the cornerstones of legal practice and tradition, where the convoluted machinations of the hastily rigged commission system strikes at the very heart of American values and he is continually baffled at the abandonment of Hicks by his own government.

You may find this book hard to get through.  I was repulsed and depressed by the actions of Australian government ministers but morbidly fascinated by the unfolding of events.

I was buoyed be the fact, that in the end it was political pressure that came from regular Australian Citizens that turned the tide.

In the Company of Cowards isn’t a comfortable read but its a necessary one.

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