To celebrate the official UK publication (today) of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press), I’ve just posted the first of 12 additional chapters featuring stories that I could not include in the book, either for reasons of space –- to keep a tight narrative in the book itself –- or, in some cases, because the information was not available at the time of writing.
Those of you who visited this site in the first few months after I started writing articles about Guantánamo and related issues –- on May 31 this year, after the death of a fourth detainee in Guantánamo, a Saudi named Abdul Rahman al-Rami (posts here and here) –- may recall that, in the introduction to my website at the time, I promised not only that I would be posting articles on a regular basis (and I have now produced 100 full-length articles, opinion pieces and news reports in just over five months), but also that I would provide these additional chapters to coincide with the book’s publication, and I’m pleased to be able to honour my promise. The other chapters will follow, hopefully at regular intervals, over the next few months.
This first additional chapter complements Chapter 2 of The Guantánamo Files, looking at the stories of the detainees not mentioned in the book, who, after surrendering to the Northern Alliance in November 2001, during the fall of Kunduz, the last Taliban-held city in northern Afghanistan, survived a massacre at the Qala-i-Janghi fort in the city of Mazar-e-Sharif.
To mark these two occasions (the book publication, and my 100th post), I’d also like to thank the websites –- in particular, CounterPunch, the Huffington Post, and Antiwar.com –- who have been publishing my articles over the last five months and helping to bring some of my particular concerns to a wider public. These include the rampant injustice of the Bush administration, the corrosive influence of Dick Cheney and David Addington, the ongoing saga of the Guantánamo whistleblowers, the significance of the illegal detention of the US “enemy combatants” Jose Padilla and Ali al-Marri, the stumbling progress of the Stalinesque show trials known as Military Commissions, the stories of the 64 detainees released since June 2007, and attempts by the US and UK administrations to return prisoners to countries where they face the risk of torture.
I’d also like to thanks others who have been extremely supportive, especially Cageprisoners, who have publicized almost my entire output, Mike Otterman, who invited me to post articles on American Torture, and Index on Censorship, who published an article and excerpts from the book in their latest issue. I’m also grateful to Indymedia, whose open publishing policy has provided an additional forum. Others who have shown more than a passing interest include The Talking Dog, Candace Gorman’s Guantánamo Blog, Nth Position, and Dhafir Trial (highlighting the plight of the wrongly imprisoned US charity fundraiser, Dr. Rafil Dhafir). Thanks are also due to Lt. Col. Stephen Abraham, and a host of lawyers, activists and journalists whose support and advice has been invaluable. You know who you are.
Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK). To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed.
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[…] As I mentioned in my recent article, to provide some background to the kind of information that can be expected to emerge in connection with Lahcen Ikassrien’s detention, I’m posting below highlights of his story, as told to El Pais in December 2006, and translated into English for Cageprisoners in 2007, plus additional information that I included in an article in November 2007. […]
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