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Individual Book Discussions > Guantanamo: My Journey by David Hicks - Autobiography

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message 1: by Mandapanda (last edited Oct 16, 2010 03:09AM) (new)

Mandapanda David Hicks' memoir is being released today. Under the terms of his release from Guantanomo Bay he will have to surrender all profits to the Federal Government. I don't know what other group members think of this book being published but I'm very interested to hear his side of the story. Feel free to post thoughts here. Might take a while for people to get hold of a copy so no rush for this discussion. It's also in ebook format apparently.

Guantanamo My Journey by David Hicks

Here's the blurb:

In 1999 a young man from suburban Adelaide set out on an overseas trip that would change his life forever.

Initially, he was after adventure and the experience of travelling the Silk Road.

But events would set him on a different path. He would be deemed a terrorist, one of George W Bush's 'worst of the worst'. He would be incarcerated in the world's most notorious prison, Guantanamo Bay.

And in that place where, according to an interrogator in Abu Ghraib, 'even dogs won't live', he was to languish for five and a half years, suffering horror, torture and abuse, while Australians were told who he was - by politicians, the media and foreign governments.

Everyone had an opinion on him.

But only he knows the truth.

And now, for the first time, David Hicks tells his story.



message 2: by Kora (new)

Kora (koraj) | 61 comments I have finished this. Made me very angry and depressed at the world :(


message 3: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Oooh I'll have to hurry up then!:)


message 4: by Laura (new)

Laura Rittenhouse | 200 comments I hear he's thinking about appealing his conviction. It was pretty clear at the time that he confessed just to get out of Guantanamo (who wouldn't have). If he has his conviction quashed, would the Federal government pay him his back royalties.

I have to say I have a very nasty feeling about the government profiting from what happened to David Hicks. I always thought Australia should have been pushing to have him released like England did for their citizens held in that no-mans land.


message 5: by Laura (new)

Laura Rittenhouse | 200 comments I have a question. Have any of you read the book Shantaram? It's about an Australian criminal who escapes from jail and ends up living a life of crime in India. It's fiction but very much based on his life. I am pretty sure he's been able to keep all the profits. How does that work? If David Hicks had written a fictional tale about a guy from "Melbourne" named "Paul" who ended up in Guantanamo, could he have kept the profits?


message 6: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Laura wrote: "I have a question. Have any of you read the book Shantaram? It's about an Australian criminal who escapes from jail and ends up living a life of crime in India. It's fiction but very m..."

I've heard of Shantaram but I haven't read it. From what I read of the terms of DH's release (and I could be wrong on this) the government actually have to petition somehow for the money. So it will be interesting to see if they start that process. I think DH has deliberately gone down the route of an autobiography instead of fact based fiction. I really get the feeling he wants to clear his name. I'm buying the book today and I can't wait to read it.:)


message 7: by Laura (new)

Laura Rittenhouse | 200 comments Mandy, let me know if you think it clears his name.

K, you're ahead of all of us. What do you think?

I have to say, without having read the book, whether guilty or innocent I hate what DH went through. There seemed very little justice or even much of a desire to find the truth. The process was just wrong, wrong, wrong and I get really upset thinking people are still locked up in that farce of a prison.

I did do a bit of web surfing to see if DH is keeping his royalties and it appears the question is up in the air. The AFP are looking into it now but a lot of lawyers say they don't have much of a chance.


message 8: by Kora (new)

Kora (koraj) | 61 comments I felt that he wanted to clear his name, more so than making $ out of it which would of course be a welcome side benefit, but ultimately not as important. I don't think I am revealing any spoilers in saying that the picture that is being presented to us in the book - and at times I felt the point was being hammered rather strongly - is that he is a slightly naive, well-meaning, somewhat misguided, but ultimately harmless man who did not hurt anyone nor broke any laws.

Totally agree with Laura about the unfair process and lack of justice :(

I don't want to get into a political argument with people here, but when I watched Q&A earlier in the week and John Howard came up with "don't forget he pleaded guilty" (or something along those lines), I nearly threw something at the tv.


message 9: by Laura (new)

Laura Rittenhouse | 200 comments Oh dear, you do NOT want to get me started. JH, the USA, the war, the confession, the very definition of "enemy combatants" (huh?), the Geneva convention, ...

Where is a closet full of shoes when you need it :-)


message 10: by Justin (new)

Justin South (justinsouth) | 43 comments Laura wrote: "I hear he's thinking about appealing his conviction. It was pretty clear at the time that he confessed just to get out of Guantanamo (who wouldn't have). If he has his conviction quashed, would the..."

Hi Laura
If DH wins his appeal, the Government will be legally obliged to recompense all loyalties and, possibly, for other injustices.
Our ex and disgraced PM, lil Johnny Howard, implemented that and other strictures on DH, supporting and aiding his best mate, that disgusting tyrant, Georgie 'Goofy' Bush. Howard stupidly supported Bush invading that relatively peaceful, though repugnantly ruled, state of Iraq, under the premise of a moral crusade, not oil. So much for Howard's judgement and increasing intolerance to attitudes opposing his. Thankfully the electorate responded, ending his pompous arrogance with his deserved ignominious defeat, an event justly recorded in Australia's history.
Let's hope the incumbent government might address DH's appeal in a proper judicial manner, not tainted by personal attitude, and that the truth may eventually be known, even if DH did naively associate with Bin Laden's gang. But is that likely? I don't think so. The Canberra mob is shit scared of upsetting their slender grip on power, from Gillard down. The likelihood of allowing a sympathetic hearing of DH's injustice may be just too intolerable to digest despite strong constituent support for same. If so, then Gillard will be no better than Howard. Then again they might use his appeal as a dynamic insult to 'Liberal' oppression next election. Have a great weekend.


message 11: by Laura (new)

Laura Rittenhouse | 200 comments Justin wrote: "Laura wrote: "I hear he's thinking about appealing his conviction. It was pretty clear at the time that he confessed just to get out of Guantanamo (who wouldn't have). If he has his conviction quas..."

Justin,

You're much more opptomistic than I. There is buckley's chance of justice prevailing for any of the Gitmo detainees. Certainly not in the world court where the US can't be placed on trial and never in Aust where we just say "that was a US thing, nothing to do with us" (grrr).

You also give the Aussie voters a LOT more credit than I do. I was one of those tens of thousands out on protest against the war before it happened. When Howard took us to war I just knew all of us would vote him out for overthrowing an independent govt (and unleashing such hell on the population to make Hussein's regime look truly peaceful). Of course Howard was relected after the commencement of the war. A friend of mine who had been marching with me against the war helped reelect JH and when I asked her why, she said she didn't want interest rates to go up on her home loan.

Now I ask you, a few bob extra a month on your home loan or the death and misery of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens. What a choice.

As for royalties, right now I assume they are going into DH's private bank account (in Switzerland if he's smart) or wherever he and his publisher have agreed (they are keeping mum on the topic) so the govt will have to pry the money out of his hands if they rule he can't profit from his "crime".

Anyway, we've gone a bit (or way) off topic here. Mandy,sorry if we're hijacking your book thread for a political rant. And everyone else, sorry if I come across as rabid about this topic - I guess I am!


message 12: by Mandapanda (last edited Oct 29, 2010 06:22PM) (new)

Mandapanda Laura wrote: "Of course Howard was relected after the commencement of the war. A friend of mine who had been marching with me against the war helped reelect JH and when I asked her why, she said she didn't want interest rates to go up on her home loan..."

Actually I read once that historically, in times of war or conflict, populations are unlikely to vote for a change of government. It has to do with fear of course and people will stay with what they know especially if it's a conservative govt.

Laura wrote: "Anyway, we've gone a bit (or way) off topic here. Mandy,sorry if we're hijacking your book thread for a political rant. And everyone else, sorry if I come across as rabid about this topic - I guess I am!..."

I think putting up books like DH's or JH's autobiography just naturally invite people to express their beliefs and concerns. I didn't think of it before but starting discussion threads for both books simultaneously is kind of provocative isn't it?;) Feel free to say anything you want (as long as we don't start yelling at each other, lol!)

I still remember where I was when those planes flew into the World Towers. I was working for the Intl. Red Cross in Geneva. I was really shocked and scared. I guess working for an organisation that works in war zones, for me I knew instantly that Aust. would be going to war. All I wanted was to go home.


message 13: by Justin (new)

Justin South (justinsouth) | 43 comments Laura wrote: "Justin wrote: "Laura wrote: "I hear he's thinking about appealing his conviction. It was pretty clear at the time that he confessed just to get out of Guantanamo (who wouldn't have). If he has his ..."
Hi Laura
Interesting reply.
I might be misunderstanding this - will he appea to the US Government or Australian - I would have thought the latter.
I agree about no justice, just hate for the Gitmo detainees, (though some definitely DON'T deserve any sympathy or justice) but DH is in Australia and I have a deep belief in Australian 'fair go' attitudes.
We'll wait and see how those attitudes swing and whose book is more popular.
Kindly
Justin


message 14: by Mandapanda (last edited Oct 29, 2010 07:44PM) (new)

Mandapanda I should be finished the book Guantanamo: My Journey, in a couple of days and if any one in the group wants to read it (and contribute to the discussion) I am happy to send it to you. My only request would be that you offer it to someone else in the group when you've finished. Kind of a 'pay it forward' deal.:)


message 15: by Tracey (new)

Tracey Alley (traceya) | 485 comments As I read this all I can think is that sadly humanity has not progressed very far. I don't know the truth or false of DH's story but I do know that like those tortured during the Inquisition and other shining moments in human history when the irons are hot you'll confess to just about anything.

As nations we, the US, the UK and others claim only to have humanitarian concerns yet Mugabi was never challenged, Stalin's reign of terror was tacitly condoned [I could go on but you get the point] - what do we really stand for and what does it take for us to fly the flag of 'holy crusade'?

As Orwell once so brilliantly wrote 'war is about fear and keeping people under control, creating consumables that will be destroyed so that the rich get richer and the poor get bombed' - I'm paraphrasing but that was the gist of his point.

I will definitely by buying DH's book and hoping that he gets every penny from every sale.


message 16: by Justin (new)

Justin South (justinsouth) | 43 comments Sweet comments, Tracey.
I generally agree, these days war is an instrument used to bolster economies, encouraged by witless advisers to ignorant Presidents, without consequences on outcomes nor understanding of the cultures they are plundering. Even Kennedy came unstuck in the Bay of Pigs. While 9/11 deserved a backlash, invading an innocent country was not honourable and the consequences have been disastrous.
Stalin was strong in a weak world. Today it is different, and enlightened countries adopt the view, like it or not, to cautiously observe brutal, yet non-warring dictators, rather than incite unknown consequences of warfare.
Justin


message 17: by Tracey (new)

Tracey Alley (traceya) | 485 comments Justin wrote: "Sweet comments, Tracey.
I generally agree, these days war is an instrument used to bolster economies, encouraged by witless advisers to ignorant Presidents, without consequences on outcomes nor und..."


And maybe that's a good thing - if we truly became the world's policemen who knows what hell would be unleashed? I just find it all very sad


message 18: by Justin (new)

Justin South (justinsouth) | 43 comments Tracey wrote: "Justin wrote: "Sweet comments, Tracey.
I generally agree, these days war is an instrument used to bolster economies, encouraged by witless advisers to ignorant Presidents, without consequences on o..."


Tracey, why would any country want to be a world policeman? The example of the US is clear reason. It has become a basket case, in hopeless debt, caused by poor internal governance and the burden of expending massive amounts on nefarious exploits on overseas soils at the expense of affording needed domestic social services.
The UN was conceived to be the world's resolution centre for disputes but has deteriorated to lack integrity, while being manipulated by the big boys on the world's stage. Much of the UN today is like the US - a laugh.
Do you know the seven recent gay bullying suicides in mainland America equate to 15% of the country's military fatalities in Afghanistan in September? This statistic raises the question, does the US devote 15% (or even 1%) of its Afghanistan military expenditure and bribe payments towards this domestic epidemic? No way! War is better, as the US Treasury would proclaim - think of the taxes collected from the weapons manufacturers that go towards paying the war. Supporting corrupt regimes is better! Bugger the American people and the weeping families!
So, being a world policeman is not only desirable, but impossible. No country has the skills, knowledge and understanding to ably handle the diverse ideologies of foreign cultures. In modern history, Vietnam, (preluded by French Indo-China issues) and the Russia-Afghanistan conflict, are just two examples of aimless colonial stupidity.
You are correct - humanitarianism has not progressed far, but sabre rattling sure has.


message 19: by Mandapanda (last edited Oct 31, 2010 09:44PM) (new)

Mandapanda Well I'm on page 75 of 416 and I wanted to write down my initial impressions of the book. First off, I'm loving it!! It starts off with a small prologue where he describes things that happened and some of the thoughts he had on one particular day in Guantanamo. His writing is matter-of-fact and unemotional. It sort of lulls you in and by the time you reach the end of the prologue and it starts to sink in what he went through, it's like a punch in the gut.

Immediately it moves to the first few chapters which deal with his life growing up and all the events and places and people he interacted with. You can just feel it all inexorably (did I spell that right?) leading up to his presence in Afghanistan.

Having spent many years myself travelling the world and working as a nurse for the international red cross in many heavy conflict zones, his feelings and motivations ring completely true to me. It is exactly how I felt, the wanderlust, the zeal, the sense of adventure and invincibility, and the alienation from home and family.

I'm impressed with his writing and with the obvious hard work and study he must have put in to be able to write at this level. He left school in Grade 9 so didn't have a great education. I think I remember reading somewhere that he has done some tertiary studies since he returned. His writing 'voice' just sounds so Australian. He sounds like the boys I grew up with.

I hope someone else starts reading this book soon because it's amazing and at the same time it's horrible and I really want to talk about it!


message 20: by Tracey (new)

Tracey Alley (traceya) | 485 comments Justin wrote: "Tracey wrote: "Justin wrote: "Sweet comments, Tracey.
I generally agree, these days war is an instrument used to bolster economies, encouraged by witless advisers to ignorant Presidents, without co..."


Sadly Justin every single word you said was true... we make the claim we can do this or that but in reality it's all about the same things war has always been about. Greed and lust for things that someone else has that we think we deserve better.

Sorry I'm a bit of a pacifist and these past few years in particular have depressed me enormously.


message 21: by Justin (new)

Justin South (justinsouth) | 43 comments Ah come on Tracey,
Chin up.
War has been around you every day of your life, you just didn't notice a lot of it.
So don't let the events of recent years depress you. As much as we detest it, war is a way of global life and evolution. It creates checks and balances. (We may see, during our life time, how the irresponsible nuclear threats of Nth Korea and Iran will be checked - either desist or suffer massive retaliatory strikes.) And despite it all, humanitarianism survives at the levels of the masses within civilization. For it is a primary fabric of society. No one has, nor ever will, conquer that.


message 22: by [deleted user] (last edited Oct 31, 2010 09:16PM) (new)

The problem probably, is that we are being exposed to it more on a daily basis.

Carry on, I am too shallow for this conversation. I am enjoying reading it though. :)


message 23: by Justin (new)

Justin South (justinsouth) | 43 comments Yes of course, Gail.
As weapons proliferate, so too do aggressor's and fanatic's propensities. As a country's military might escalates, so too does their misguided belief in their invincibility, as we saw in Leningrad, Vietnam, in the Russian incursion into Afghanistan, etc., and seeing now. As media technology progresses, the public at large is exposed to almost every conflict and atrocity on the planet, bought into the lounge room, daily. So one has to adjust, accept mankind's ever-present madness and move forward.


message 24: by Laura (new)

Laura Rittenhouse | 200 comments What is bothering me a lot these days is that the propoganda machine seems so awful but clearly works anyway. When words are chosen like "insurgent" versus "freedom fighter" and elections are touted as "corrupt" or "a step towards democracy" it is clearly done with an agenda. I hear reports or speeches and I think "geez, do you think I'm stupid?". I mean really, it's so transparent. But I think it works. The massess seem swayed by this kind of thing. So not only do humans have a nasty tendency to dominate through violent wars for reasons of self-interest, humans have a almost-as-nasty tendency to let ourselves be swayed by propoganda machines that get rolled out right behind the tanks.

Oh dear - is there hope for us?


message 25: by Tracey (new)

Tracey Alley (traceya) | 485 comments Justin wrote: "Ah come on Tracey,
Chin up.
War has been around you every day of your life, you just didn't notice a lot of it.
So don't let the events of recent years depress you. As much as we detest it, war is..."


You're right Justin and as a history student I should know that - perhaps we could blame television for bringing war into our lounge rooms.

@ Laura you're totally correct - the propaganda machine is running wild, we are building a society based on fear. The masses have always and will always be swayed by propaganda and the media seem to propose that the threat could be right next door. It's a hard way to live.

I think there's hope for us but I just wonder how much will we have to destroy before the message sinks in.

On the other hand, and completely off topic, at least we have the internet where people have the freedom to even have these kinds of conversations without fear of being reported to the local version of the Inquisition


message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

Does anyone remember the TV programme V? This is a typical representation of the US vs. Evil alien, where it portrays Americans in perfectly acceptable terrorist activities, all in the name of the greater good for human kind, trying to regain their world, blah, blah, blah. I can't quite fathom (and feel free to enlighten me), how the American behaviour in this show and others like it, differs from say the Palestinians trying to regain their land back using terrorist activities.


message 27: by Justin (new)

Justin South (justinsouth) | 43 comments Well, the gullible may be swayed by the propaganda machine but increasingly, those with a more suspicious and learned mind will query and lampoon the idiots. Just like that stupid female reporting the Victorian floods, kneeling in a trench, suggesting waters were almost boob deep when in fact they were ankle deep. A classic example of the front line of the propaganda mill - the journo's ego; the loose canon in the field, forever willing to display their innate knowledge of the topic, their 'finger on the pulse' sense of duty, their fearlessness to report the dangerous extreme, all carefully designed to crawl up the ladder and a particular body part of their bosses without regard for truthfulness, earning a few gongs along the way. My god, many modern day reporter's leave used car dealers and politicians - Peter Costello included, for dead.
So with the propaganda machine having earned an untrustworthy reputation, civilisation along the way will increasingly learn to dissect veracity from rot, just as it saw through Bush's claim for invading Iraq for 'humanitarian' reasons.
This chat has taken a 1984 composure. Cheer up, ladies. Life will go just as you've known it, with bloodshed and war, joy, happiness, asset accumulation, increasing wealth and freedom to say and read just about anything you want. Isn't life exciting?


message 28: by Tracey (new)

Tracey Alley (traceya) | 485 comments Gail "cyborg" wrote: "Does anyone remember the TV programme V? This is a typical representation of the US vs. Evil alien, where it portrays Americans in perfectly acceptable terrorist activities, all in the name of the ..."

Totally agree Gail - although until you said it I'd never made the connection

@ Justin you're right, especially here in Australia we have far too many things to be grateful for to let ourselves get too depressed... like my new baby kittens for example or the new bathroom going in soon - well, that's what the tradies say 'soon'.


message 29: by Justin (new)

Justin South (justinsouth) | 43 comments 'soon', haha. Good luck.


message 30: by Mandapanda (last edited Nov 05, 2010 03:43PM) (new)

Mandapanda Here are a couple of articles looking at the legalities surrounding the publishing of David Hick's book.

This article from 8 days ago looks at how the government could go about recouping the profits from David Hick's book:
The quest to strip David Hicks of his book profits

This article, written today, discusses in more depth the legal ramifications of charging David Hicks with profiting from his book. Essentially it opens a huge can of worms regarding the legality of his conviction (his confession having being coerced under extreme duress): Flawed laws to leave Hicks a little better off


message 31: by Laura (new)

Laura Rittenhouse | 200 comments Mandy wrote: "Here are a couple of articles looking at the legalities surrounding the publishing of David Hick's book.

This article from 8 days ago looks at how the government could go about recouping the pro..."


Mandy, thanks for the links.

I hope Hicks gets to keep the proceeds mainly because I think the whole "justice" system was flawed and he was coerced into signing an admission of guilt just to escape from the maze of legal confusion. But also as a tax paying Aussie I feel that a long and drawn out battle in the courts as to whether anyone has a right to this money besides Hicks himself would expose some dirty laundry, cost a fortune and end up with Hicks probably keeping the money and being owed damages for how he was mistreated. It seems like a lose lose situation to me.

I did learn something interesting about the Proceeds of Crime Act from this article. The "criminal" can still profit if the book has "social, cultural or educational value or was in the public interest". Seems he's a shoe in to keep the money on these grounds alone.


message 32: by Justin (new)

Justin South (justinsouth) | 43 comments Fascinating article, Mandy.
The last ten or so paragraphs are insightful. They prompt me to feel that only a fool of johnny howard's calibre, i.e., his cronies and advocates disrespectful of Australia's interests, would proceed with this useless, un-winnable agenda, if true justice were to prevail.
Regardless of Hick's crimes, when leading silks of the country admonish the judicial process of this spiteful matter, what hope has the Government got?


message 33: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Laura wrote: "I hope Hicks gets to keep the proceeds mainly because I think the whole "justice" system was flawed and he was coerced into signing an admission of guilt just to escape from the maze of legal confusion. But also as a tax paying Aussie I feel that a long and drawn out battle in the courts as to whether anyone has a right to this money besides Hicks himself would expose some dirty laundry, cost a fortune and end up with Hicks probably keeping the money and being owed damages for how he was mistreated. It seems like a lose lose situation to me..."

Yes I agree with everything you said Laura. They are estimating that David could make $250,000 from the sales of his book. To all the people saying that is too much I'd like to point out that if he really took on the government and won a case for illegal imprisonment and torture etc (which I think he would win) the payout would be in the millions. I think the government would be very wise to keep their mouths shut on this issue.


message 34: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Justin wrote: "when leading silks of the country admonish the judicial process of this spiteful matter, what hope has the Government got?..."

It's interesting Justin that so many of the people who were actively agitating for his release from Guantanamo were lawyers and law students!


message 35: by Justin (new)

Justin South (justinsouth) | 43 comments I wonder if j howard, if placed under similar conditions and duress, would have "confessed", just to get out of the place and away from American injustices?


message 36: by Laura (new)

Laura Rittenhouse | 200 comments Mandy wrote: "Justin wrote: "when leading silks of the country admonish the judicial process of this spiteful matter, what hope has the Government got?..."

It's interesting Justin that so many of the people w..."


As an aside, lest we think everyone agrees with us, I have to tell you what happened to me when Hicks was in Guantanamo. I am a member of a group called GetUp (politically active, not a political party) and in an election held during that time (state, not federal) I sat outside a polling booth in Howard's electorate getting people to sign a petition to bring David home. Many did but one guy said "he should burn in hell" because he was a terrorist. I was gob smacked at that attitude, but I think a lot of people did and do feel that way (even those that weren't elected officials a the time). Which scares the hell out of me!


message 37: by Laura (new)

Laura Rittenhouse | 200 comments Justin wrote: "I wonder if j howard, if placed under similar conditions and duress, would have "confessed", just to get out of the place and away from American injustices?"

I wonder who wouldn't. I sure would!


message 38: by Justin (new)

Justin South (justinsouth) | 43 comments Mandy, I can understand that attitude prevailing - for it seems Hick's, either naively or intentionally, collaborated with the enemy of the day and deserves resentment.
In my messages on this topic, I have left that window open. However, my understanding is that penal servitude redeems the committed crime, which Hick's has performed. This issue of profiteering from the crime is a spiteful relic, initiated by j howard esquire, to appease the US and the mood of some quarters of the electorate. As j howard discovered, he fucked up big time.
As I alluded previously, any person who pushes this agenda will probably regret it. Especially so given the electorate's changing moods to America's involvement in Iraq and Australia's presence in Afghanistan. Both are looming to be Vietnams, two more white feathers to America's brass.
Enough of this, for now.
Have a great day.


message 39: by Pascale (new)

Pascale (pascaleledumbo) | 2 comments Hi guys! I am glad to read that most of you giving the book a positive review. I was contemplating whether to get the book or not. After reading this topic I really think I am getting it tomorrow.

Anyway, in the process of finding reviews I stumble upon this article.
I don't know what you guys think, but I find it to be quite nasty to be published in the Herald Sun's website.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/d...

Thanks for enlightening my choice of book! :D


message 40: by Laura (new)

Laura Rittenhouse | 200 comments Pascale wrote: "Hi guys! I am glad to read that most of you giving the book a positive review. I was contemplating whether to get the book or not. After reading this topic I really think I am getting it tomorrow.
..."


Good Lord! What an article. No enlightenment there. The journalist sounds insanely bitter about this whole thing. But then I guess I am as well, just on the other side (and one more reason to like Dick Smith). This issue is such a polarising one, I've talked to very few people who don't have a strong opinion about it. I have to say, I've talked to very few who agree with this journalist, but I know they are out there.


message 41: by Mandapanda (last edited Nov 16, 2010 03:30PM) (new)

Mandapanda Pascale wrote: "Anyway, in the process of finding reviews I stumble upon this article.
I don't know what you guys think, but I find it to be quite nasty to be published in the Herald Sun's website..."


Wow Pascale, What a vicious article. This person is full of hate!

She seems to despise Dick Smith with a passion! e.g.:
The Electronic Dick is Australia's biggest apologist for Hicks, aka Mohammed Dawood, the 35-year-old one-time Muslim convert, the AK47-toting, anti-Semitic, terrorist-trained enemy traitor, the al-Qaida "golden boy" whose reaction to the 9/11 attacks was to hotfoot it back to Afghanistan to take up arms to fight the US and its allies.

Calling David Hicks, Al Qaida's 'Golden Boy' is laughable! And then she seems to blame David Hicks for the recent tragic shooting of civilians by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan?? I mean what is with that!!:
And, while people such as Apologist Dick are feting Hicks and lining his pocket with book contracts, three soldiers who fought on our side, the good guys are facing a court-martial for an accident of war. The irony is stomach-turning.

This author has a lynch mob mentality and is exactly the reason why we need courts and the law and due process. Detractors of David Hicks always state with such triumph that he pleaded guilty during his trial in Guantanamo. Hello!! Torture = Forced Confession...

In the end though we are all going to believe or not according to our own perceptions and life experiences. I'm just glad now that DH has had a chance to speak for himself as flawed as some might view his book. He was tried by media all those years ago and I'm sure they'd love to try him again to boost their newspaper sales.


message 42: by Justin (new)

Justin South (justinsouth) | 43 comments sounds like another disgruntled lowlife reporter trying to make a name, and a following, for himself.


message 43: by [deleted user] (new)

Trial by media is an old occupation e.g. Lindy Chamberlain. I still have no idea what to think about that case. David Hicks, well who knows, as I am unlikely to read his book I am unworthy to have an opinion. Article like the above can only be aimed at inflaming the ignorant which makes me sick. I would sooner trust Dick Smith. I know he would take the time the time that I haven't, to make a better judgment.


message 44: by Justin (new)

Justin South (justinsouth) | 43 comments True, Gail.
As I said in message 38, whether traitor or not, Hicks redeemed himself, in the eyes of the law, by his penal servitude at Guantanamo. His release has at least appeased the leading silks of the nation who opposed the flawed judicial process, and howard's vehement support for same.
All facts that one eyed bigot ignorantly, or conveniently, omitted in his inept diatribe.


message 45: by Pascale (new)

Pascale (pascaleledumbo) | 2 comments I was just really shocked when I read that vicious article. Really-really stunned. Anyway, bought the book on Monday. Will read it asap. ^_^


message 46: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Excellent Pascale! I look forward to your thoughts if you feel like posting them.:)


message 47: by Laura (new)

Laura Rittenhouse | 200 comments I saw David Hicks talk about his book and his life yesterday at the SWF. Anyone else see it? He did an amazing job and it's hard to imagine anyone hearing him and coming away thinking he was some secret terrorist. Now I have to read his book!


message 48: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 71714 comments Mod
Interesting! It always makes a difference to hear both sides of the story, doesn't it!


message 49: by Laura (new)

Laura Rittenhouse | 200 comments I just finished this book. 5 stars. Both for the writing style (how Mr Hicks made such a horrific story readable is beyond me) and for content (every Australian and American should be forced to read this). Before reading his book I felt DH was hard done by. After reading it I know he was as are hundreds of others. My eyes weren't exactly closed before but they are wide open now, especially to the collusion of the Aus and US govts in proving guilt to avoid having the finger pointed at them for their barbaric methods.

One thing that really surprised me about this book was the myriad of references. David (and apparently mainly his wife) has done immense research and his claims are backed up by books, papers, interviews, quotes... of governments, prisoners, guards, journalists, NGOs....

If you can, read this book.

Here's my reveiw http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


message 50: by Patty (new)

Patty Jansen (pattyjansen) | 37 comments I've just added this book. I've always wanted to know what makes countries do such things in the face of lack of evidence (scape-goat-ism?)


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