The Guantánamo Files: Voices of Our World interviews Andy Worthington (plus other radio interviews)

29.4.08

The Guantanamo FilesDuring my visit to the United States in March to promote my book The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison, I was interviewed by Michael Ramadan Jones for Voices of Our World, a weekly show, with a global overview, that focuses on the stories of those oppressed or otherwise marginalized by the dominant world powers, and I’m pleased to report that this interview is now available online, as the first segment of a two-part show, “Tortured Logic,” broadcast this week, which also features Jameel Jaffer, the director of the National Security Project at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The show is available here.

Mentioning this show has made me realize that I’ve failed to mention some other radio stations that have interviewed me in the last few months, some of which are also available online.

On February 23, 2008, I was interviewed on “This is Hell” with Chuck Mertz on WNUR 89.3 FM in Chicago. Chuck interviewed me in August 2007, and for my return visit we talked more about The Guantánamo Files, and inevitably, as the show fairly closely followed the administration’s announcement that six “high-value detainees” — including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) — were to be charged in connection with the 9/11 attacks, we also spoke about the use of torture by US forces, both in Guantánamo and in secret prisons run by the CIA, in which KSM and others were held before being transferred to Guantánamo in September 2006. We also spoke about the problems facing other prisoners, who have been cleared for release, but cannot be returned to their home countries because of fears that they will be tortured. The show is available here — or here as an MP3. The interview starts about 24 minutes in, and lasts for about half an hour.

On March 7, 2008, just before my US trip, I was interviewed on “Wakeup Call” on Pacifica Radio’s WBAI 99.5 FM in New York. I was asked first about how the Spanish government had just been shamed into dropping its extradition request for Omar Deghayes and Jamil El-Banna, two British prisoners released from Guantánamo, whose extradition was requested as soon as they arrived home in December 2007. I was also asked about the charges against KSM and others, in which I was able to explain how the system of trials that these men will face — the Military Commissions, dreamt up by Dick Cheney and his advisers in November 2001 — are a woeful substitute for either the established US court system or the US military’s own judicial processes. Other topics included The Guantánamo Files in general, and the case of Abdul Razzaq Hekmati, the Afghan prisoner who died of cancer in December, the front-page story about Hekmati that I co-wrote with Carlotta Gall for the New York Times, and the TimesEditors Note that followed publication of the story. To listen to the show, click here, or visit this page, scroll down to “Wakeup Call,” and play or download the 6 am slot on Friday March 7, 2008. As with “This is Hell,” the interview starts about 20 minutes in, and runs for about 20 minutes.

On March 25, 2008, I had a fascinating interview (sadly not available online) with former Senator Burt Cohen, for his show “Portside,” on Portsmouth Community Radio, in which we talked, primarily, about the failures of US foreign policy in Afghanistan. We spoke, of course, about Guantánamo, because most of those held in the prison were captured — theoretically, at least — in connection with the US-led invasion of October 2001 and its aftermath, but we also talked about how the invasion itself was flawed, relying on warlords for its success, with no thought for how it was the brutality of the warlords that had encouraged the rise of the Taliban in the first place, and how the battle for “hearts and minds” was almost certainly lost within a year of the invasion, when the US administration shifted its attention to Iraq. For a flavor of what we talked about, have a look at this interview with Joshua Holland of AlterNet.

And finally, for now, I’d like to put out a mention of an interview that took place on February 4, 2008, when I was interviewed by Kevin Barrett for the brilliantly-named Muslim-Christian-Jewish Alliance for 9/11 Truth. This was a wide-ranging two-hour interview (albeit punctuated by numerous ad breaks, including, I must admit, some rather hilarious “Survivalist” ads by a company specializing in dried meats and tinned foods), but it’s unfortunately only available to subscribers.

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, and see here for my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, published in March 2009.

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo, co-director, We Stand With Shaker. Also, singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers) and photographer.
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