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Has the US Banned the Autobiography of a Former Guantanamo Prisoner?

By Richard Edmondson | War and Politics | October 17, 2012

People might remember the name David Hicks. He is an Australian who was held prisoner at Guantanamo Bay from 2001 until 2007. In 2010 he published an autobiography entitled Guantanamo: My Journey. Reportedly the book details the years of torture he underwent while in the custody of the US military. Sounds like a book you might want to read. But strangely, it does not seem to be for sale in the U.S. Barnes and Noble does not list it at all. Amazon, conversely, does list it for sale— at its Kindle Store —but at the very spot on the page where we’d expect to see the “Buy Now” button, we find instead a notice reading, “This title is not available for customers from: United States.” Amazon also has a used hardcover copy for sale—only one—but it is available at the outrageous price of $105.15.

Hicks’ publisher is Random House Books-Australia. If you follow the link and click the “Buy Now” button, you are presented with a menu of retailers who offer Guantanamo: My Journey for sale on their websites at a price of $34.95 or less. All of them appear to be Australian outlets and the prices are in Australian dollars.

Why do book sellers in the US not offer the book? In addition to being unavailable from Amazon and Barnes and Noble, this bookstore in Portland, Oregon does not have it; nor this one in New York; nor this one in San Francisco. Is that not strange?

Wikipedia does have an entry for Hicks’ book. A footnote beneath the article contains a link to a review which can be found here. The review is entitled “David Hicks shows us what we became after 9/11.” Here is an excerpt:
Hicks details guards who punished him for simply studying his legal options. He often asked for medical care to help stress fractures. Little help was given. ‘‘You’re not meant to be healthy or comfortable,’’ he was told.

Faeces flooded the cage where Hicks lived and slept, ignored by the American officials. Dirty and unwashed clothes were common. Deafening loud music was pumped into cells to disorientate prisoners. Hicks writes of having to urinate on himself while being shackled during countless hours of interrogation. Detainees on hunger strikes were regularly force-fed.
Also worth mentioning is that the US Court of Appeals has just overturned Hicks’ conviction:

David Hicks Terrorism Charge Found Invalid

World News Australia | October 17, 2012

David Hicks’ conviction at Guantanamo Bay in 2007 has been ruled invalid by a US appeals court, paving the way for a full vindication of his innocence.

The Washington DC federal appeals court found that the charge of providing material support for terrorism against three men, including Osama bin Laden’s former driver Salim Hamdan and Mr Hicks, could not be applied retrospectively.

The charge was created in 2006.

Mr Hicks was controversially detained on the charge at Guantanamo Bay from 2001 until 2007. … continue

October 17, 2012 - Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , ,

4 Comments

  1. David Hicks’ conviction at Guantanamo Bay in 2007 may have been ruled invalid by a US appeals court but I wouldn’t call it a vindication (full or otherwise) of his innocence…

    This is a purely technical decision… One that I happen to agree with… Applying laws retrospectively is a bad idea… But, to pretend that there was nothing wrong with David Hicks’ actions is ludicrous…

    He’s simply getting away with them because, at the time, there was no law specifically prohibiting his actions… A (technical) loophole… David Hicks is many things but he’s not an innocent…

    Comment by Bambi | October 18, 2012

  2. Much appreciation to Richard Edmondson for writing about this case and thus informing readers about the man and his (banned) book.
    Though Hicks spent 5 -1/2 years in Gitmo and was the 2nd man to be imprisoned there it was thanks to political pressure in Australia that he was returned back to his country. Perhaps there will be an effort made in the ‘free world’ to allow his book to available to libraries and bookstores uncensored outside of Australia one day.

    Comment by madams12 | October 18, 2012

  3. […] Has the US Banned the Autobiography of a Former Guantanamo Prisoner? (alethonews.wordpress.com) […]

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