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In the Company of Cowards.pdf
On a beautiful, balmy evening in Cuba in 2007, David Hicks walked out of Guantanamo Bay, in that moment ceasing to be a detainee of the United States and regaining his rights as an Australian citizen. Watching on was the man who had fought for four long years for Hicks's right to go home: Major Michael Mori.Having grown up as an all-American boy, Mori joined the US Marine Corps as an eighteen-year-old, determined to give his life order and to serve the country he held dear. After training and serving as a military lawyer, he accepted a position as a defence counsel for the military commissions set up in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. And then David Hicks's case file landed on his desk.A firm believer in the importance of due process, Mori grew increasingly alarmed by how the military and the US and Australian governments were handling the Hicks case, and others like it. Why was a distinction being made between 'unlawful combatants' and 'prisoners of war'? Why was the Australian government refusing to intervene for one of its people? And what specific crime – if any – had Hicks allegedly committed that deserved years of incarceration without trial?What followed was a long struggle for justice, and one man's gradual disillusionment with the insitution that he had signed up to fight for. Michael Mori rallied the support of the Australian people as he exposed an unfair system, changing the way we saw our government and the War on Terror.About the AuthorMichael Dante Mori recently retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Marine Corps after completing his final tour of duty as the Navy-Marine Corps Military Judge in Hawaii. His military career began in 1983 when he enlisted in the Marine Corps at eighteen years of age, completing boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina. In pursuit of his commission as a Marine Corps Officer, he completed Officers Candidate School and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from Norwich University, located in Northfield, Vermont. Upon receiving his Commission in May 1991 as a Marine Corps Second Lieutenant, Mori remained in a reserve status to attend Western New England College School of Law in Springfield, Massachusetts, graduating in 1994. After completing the bar examination and admittance to the Bar for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Mori commenced his career as a Marine Corps Officer serving predominantly as prosecutor and defence counsel. In 2003, the United States Department of Defense assigned Mori to the Office of the Chief Counsel for Military Commissions, which was to provide representation to detainees held at the Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Mori became the first Military Lawyer assigned to represent a detainee. Mori has since moved to Melbourne and is working in Shine Lawyers's Social Justice Department, having completed the requirements to obtain his Australian law license.