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
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
- Hicks demands damages (theage.com.au)
The Israeli government is to launch a wide-ranging campaign to boost the global image of Jewish settlers and bolster its illegal settlement policy in the occupied Palestinian territories. The move was announced by the Minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, Yulu Edelstein.
The campaign will include direct and indirect media activities which target social networks across the world. The main aim is to create some degree of legitimacy to Israeli settlement activity in areas considered by Tel Aviv to be “disputed”, and counter anti-settlement activities which oppose settlers’ attacks on Palestinian lands carried out with open and tacit support from the Israeli government.
Edelstein claimed that the proactive campaign will cost around $250,000. He wants to “expose opinion-makers to the complex Israeli reality, thus improving Israel’s global image.”
In response, Israel’s Peace Now movement said that the government is wasting public funds.
“The government has turned into the Settler Council’s public relations firm, and is financing these endeavours with money from the pockets of Israeli taxpayers,” said Peace Now director Yariv Oppenheimer. “Even when the time comes to cut budgets in other fields, there is always money to be spent on the settlers’ image.”
- Jewish settlers stage anti-Arab march in Sheikh Jarrah, harass natives (occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com)
Sometimes in reviewing some of the older material in my files, I run across little things that just make me laugh out loud when I’m reminded of the events. Tonight, this caused a substantial chuckle:
Remember when NeoCon Oliver Kamm wrote an article (behind paywall) in Rupert Murdoch’s Times (of London) in which he dramatically “exposed” a document that supposedly proved that Iran had conducted tests with atomic bomb detonators (known as neutron triggers)? Naturally, it quotes David Albright too, claiming that this is “strong evidence” of continued Iranian nuclear weapons work. The Times even published an image of the document itself, quite helpfully. It is always great when a news outlet publishes the primary material which forms the basis of their reporting rather than simply passing off hearsay and rumor, often from anonymous sources, as fact. Congratulations, The Times and Oliver Kamm. You deserve a Medal of Journalism for that…
It turned out that there are all sorts of suspicious things about that document. The collective intelligence of the web kicked in and nitpicked the document and noticed some interesting things, namely, that there were no security markings of any sort on the document as would be expected, and furthermore, it wasn’t even typed with Farsi fonts but was instead typed using Arabic fonts. Hmmm… that’s kinda weird, huh? Gareth Porter did a great job pointing out the… inconsistencies?… with this document.
Oh but it is OK because Oliver Kamm wrote back to the commentator, George Maschke, who initially brought these points to light in the comments section of the article, and Oliver Kamm explained these inconsistencies. The following is the very first sentence of what Oliver Kamm, journalist, wrote in reply to Maschke:
George Maschke, the whole of your comment is undermined by your mistake in assuming that the document that you read online was the document in its original form…
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you perhaps the funniest and also most insightful description of journalism at the begining of 21st Century. It should be written in gold and posted on every corner of the world.
You see, if you expect that a document published by the likes of Oliver Kamm and the Times of London to actually be what they claim it is, then you are mistaken. It is your mistake to think that the press will not try to pass off a fake, edited and altered document as the original. You are mistaken to think that these people believe in any sort of honesty or accuracy, or that the Times would not allow an agenda-driven ideologue with a track record of lying to present himself as a journalist.
You are mistaken to think that Oliver Kamm would mention that the Israelis tried to pass off this document to the IAEA in 2009 as evidence of a continued nuclear weapons program in Iran, that the IAEA Director Elbaradei dismissed the document as a a suspected bit of fraud intended to undermine the 2007 US National Intelligene Estimate that judged Iran had no nuclear weapons program, and then the Israelis turned around and fed it to Kamm who dutifully published it in The Times, after he edited and altered it without telling his readers. If you think Oliver Kamm would mention any of these facts in his article, it was your mistake.
In fact, let me explain something to you: there are more laws imposing a duty of honesty and accuracy on used car salesmen than there are on “journalists”. In other words, you can rely on what a used car salesman says, more than you can rely on what you read in The Times or any other media outlet. They can lie directly in your face, and there’s nothing to stop them. They can make up complete crap — like that Iraq had mobile biological weapons labs and aluminum tubes intended to make nuclear weapons, that Ahmadinejad is secretly Jewish, that Iran requires Jews to wear yellow stars, that Iran’s soccer players wore green wristbands as indicators of their political support for the riotors in the aftermath of the 2009 Presidential elections in Iran, or that Iran secretly funded the presidential campaign of Turkey’s Prime Minister — and there’s NOTHING to stop them (yes, the Turkish PM won a libel suit against the Telegraph and Con Coughlin for that false claim about Iranian campaign funding — but that hardly stopped the Telegraph and Con Coughlin from continuing to write nonsense about Iran.)
This is the state of the media and these are the ”journalists” you are stuck with to try to figure out what’s going on in the world. And if you think anything they write can be taken at face value, you are mistaken.
And here’s something else to consider. That alleged neutron trigger work supposedly happened… at Parchin. Yes, the same Parchin that Albright is jumping up and down about, that was already inspected — twice — by the IAEA which found nothing but which is still mentioned as evidence of Iranian nuclear weapons work.
- Iran: “We Lied!” – not really (alethonews.wordpress.com)