The Guantánamo Files: al-Istiqamah interviews Andy Worthington


The Guantanamo FilesThe following interview, conducted with Umm Uthmann, appeared on the website of al-Istiqamah, a thoughtful and well-researched monthly newsletter aimed at “encouraging Muslims to be steadfast in their Deen, particularly in the current climate.”

Andy Worthington is a journalist and historian, and the Communications Officer for Reprieve, the legal action charity that represents 35 Guantánamo prisoners. His book The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison brings to life the stories of the detainees in Guantánamo and analyses to what extent “the gloves came off” with 9/11. speaks exclusively to Andy about his book and recent promotional tour in the US.

Al-istiqamah: Andy, what made you decide to write a book on the Guantánamo detainees?

Andy Worthington: I had been extremely worried about what was happening at Guantánamo from the first day the prison opened, on January 11, 2002, and those grimly iconic images of the shackled, orange-clad prisoners were disseminated around the world.

As the years passed, I maintained an interest in what was happening at Guantánamo, and began seeking out reports on the prisoners –- on Cageprisoners, in particular –- in an attempt to find out who was there, but it was not until spring 2006, after watching Michael Winterbottom’s film The Road to Guantánamo, about the Tipton Three, and reading released British prisoner Moazzam Begg’s book Enemy Combatant, that I seriously asked myself the fateful question, “Who is in Guantánamo?” I was particularly energized by Moazzam’s account, because, although he was held for over three years in US custody, he spent almost two years in solitary confinement (in Guantánamo), and it was his often brief sketches of other prisoners he encountered that especially fired my imagination.

I was then fortunate that my research coincided with the first major release of documents relating to the prisoners in Guantánamo. Some documents were made available in 2005, under Freedom of Information legislation –- primarily 517 “Unclassified Summaries of Evidence” against the prisoners (all issued without names to identify them), which formed the basis of a ground-breaking analysis by the Seton Hall Law School in the United States, who used the documents to establish that, according to the Pentagon’s own accounts, 86 percent of the prisoners had not been captured by US forces, but by their Afghan and Pakistani allies, and only 8 percent were alleged to be involved in any way with al-Qaeda.

The 2006 documents were far more substantial, however, and were only released after the Associated Press won a lawsuit against the Pentagon. These documents included, for the first time, the names and nationalities of all the prisoners, and 8,000 pages of transcripts from the Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs), held to establish whether they had been correctly designated as “enemy combatants,” who could be held without rights, and the annual Administrative Review Boards (ARBs), convened to assess whether they still constituted a threat to the US and/or whether they still had ongoing intelligence value.

These hearings were horribly corrupt, of course, as the prisoners were presented with a military representative instead of a lawyer, and were prevented from either seeing or hearing secret evidence against them, which could have been –- and in many cases clearly was –- obtained through the torture, coercion or bribery of other prisoners, either in Guantánamo or in other secret prisons run by the CIA. However, the transcripts provided –- and still do provide, in most cases –- the only insight into the stories of the prisoners, and it was through a painstaking process of transcribing these accounts, and arranging them into a chronology, that I was able to compile the book and, hopefully, bring the men’s stories to life.

Guantanamo, January 11, 2002Al-istiqamah: What was your initial reaction to the photographs of these men in orange boilersuits wearing goggles, gloves, ear muffs and doubled over behind a barbed wire fence? Did you think these men could conceivably be “the worst of the worst”?

Andy Worthington: In a word, no. As I mentioned above, I suspected that something had gone horribly wrong. And anyone who looked closely at the records of those in charge of America’s response to 9/11 –- particularly Vice President Dick Cheney and defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld –- would also have been worried. Both had initially come to power under Richard Nixon in the 1970s, and Cheney in particular was driven by the idea of unfettered executive power. In the 1980s, Cheney did all in his power to prevent Ronald Reagan from taking a fall for his involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal (arguing that the executive should be beholden to no one), and he was supported in this by David Addington, whom he met at the time. After Cheney became Vice President in 2000, Addington became his legal counsel and is now his chief of staff, and in many ways Addington, as a lawyer, was the actual engineer of all these horrendous post-9/11 policies.

Al-istiqamah: Why did the US administration feel that “the rules of the game changed” with 9/11?

Andy Worthington: Well, clearly because something terrible –- an unprecedented terrorist attack –- had happened to them. But in fact the rules of the game had not changed. Al-Qaeda had been targeting US interests since 1998 –- the African embassy bombings, which were followed by the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000 –- and the precedent for an attack on US soil long predated bin Laden’s declaration of war against the US, and can be traced to Ramzi Yousef’s attack on the World Trade Center in 1993. And what’s particularly important to remember is that these attacks were eventually followed by trials on the US mainland, in which Ramzi Yousef and others were tried, convicted and imprisoned without the administration resorting to torture.

So what changed after 9/11 was that, with Cheney and Addington at the helm, the administration responded by confusing a war to oust the Taliban and al-Qaeda from Afghanistan with the pursuit of criminals –- those responsible for 9/11 –- and along the way deliberately abandoned all established procedures for dealing with either Prisoners of War or criminals, introducing torture as a tool for supposed “actionable intelligence,” and, I suspect, also as an expression of vengeance, which was understandable, I suppose, but not a sound basis for either foreign policy or the pursuit of a small cadre of specific criminals.

Al-istiqamah: You said that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia make dubious allies. Could you elaborate on that point?

Andy Worthington: Basically, the problem is that Pakistan has long regarded the control of Afghanistan as an aim of its foreign policy, and elements within the Pakistani administration –- in government, in the military, and in the intelligence services (the ISI) –- were at least partly responsible for supporting the Taliban, the very people the Americans were pursuing after 9/11. In some ways it was a return to the situation that had prevailed during the Soviet occupation, when the Americans had poured billions of dollars’ worth of aid into the mujahideen resistance, but only through Pakistani intermediaries, who, of course, chose to support those who suited their own aims rather than those of the Americans. So the wily and formidable Tajik commander Ahmed Shah Massoud, who later became the leader of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance and was assassinated two days before 9/11, received virtually nothing, because he was not a Pakistani ally, whereas Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who was virulently anti-American, received the lion’s share of the Pakistani-directed US aid.

As for the Saudis, the oil connection –- whereby the US funded the Saudis and had to keep the House of Saud sweet in return for their precious black gold –- overshadowed any possibility of an objective analysis of Saudi motives. During the Soviet occupation, the Saudis matched –- or exceeded –- American donations to the mujahideen cause, giving them unprecedented political leverage, and this largesse continued into the 1990s, after the Americans lost interest in Afghanistan, when they obviously continued playing political games for their own ends.

To sum all this up in one line, it’s worth reflecting that, while the Taliban were in power, from 1994 to 2001, only three countries officially recognized the regime: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

John Walker Lindh at Qala-i-JanghiAl-istiqamah: Chapter 2 of your book covers the Qala-i-Janghi massacre at a fort in northern Afghanistan in November 2001. This infamous “uprising” resulted in the killing of CIA agent “Mike” Spann and the capture of the “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh. As a journalist yourself, what did you make of Shafiq Rasul’s statement that the journalists present only seemed interested in ascertaining if any of the surviving prisoners knew John Walker Lindh?

Andy Worthington: I think Shafiq was largely correct. A number of journalists were present at Qala-i-Janghi after the uprising –- or the massacre, depending on how you look at it –- and many of them wrote very balanced reports, but by the time the survivors reached Sheberghan (the prison run by General Dostum, one of the Northern Alliance leaders), word had got out –- via an interview with Lindh that was broadcast around the world –- that an American was being held, and Sheberghan was overrun, for the most part, by journalists, frantic to cover the “American Taliban” story, who were completely untouched by the suffering of the other prisoners. This was quite remarkable, really. Sheberghan was meant to hold a few hundred prisoners, whereas it was actually holding around 3,000 in dreadful conditions, and it should have been evident to any capable journalist that this was a story in its own right.

Sheberghan prisonI should point out that there were exceptions. Carlotta Gall of the New York Times, for example, visited the prison specifically to speak to some of the other prisoners. This was clearly what other reporters should have been doing, as she managed to speak to an Iraqi who was later sent to Guantánamo, and, more distressingly, to an Uzbek, Abdul Jabar, who never made it to Guantánamo, and who told her, “They are going to send us back to Uzbekistan, and there we will not survive prison.”

Al-istiqamah: Filmmaker Jamie Doran’s documentary Afghan Massacre: Convoy of Death provides numerous eye-witnesses who give credible accounts that US Special Forces ordered that the prisoners who did survive the container convoy despite a lack of air, water and food be taken into the desert. US Special Forces subsequently stood by and watched as survivors were shot by Afghan allied soldiers and hastily buried. How far up the chain of command do you believe that such tactics were authorised?

Andy Worthington: I’m not sure. Clearly something vile happened between Kunduz, where thousands of Taliban soldiers surrendered –- and others, like the Tipton Three and other civilians, were rounded up –- and Sheberghan. Hundreds, or possibly thousands of prisoners died in containers en route, primarily through suffocation, but no inquiry has ever taken place to ascertain how many people died, or how much truth, if any, there is to claims made in Doran’s film that, as you put it, US forces “stood by and watched as survivors were shot by Afghan allied soldiers and hastily buried.” The mass graves are there; of that there’s no doubt, but my feeling is that the Americans’ local commanders on the ground were shocked by the number of corpses in the containers, and that, in a demonstration of the callousness of war –- and a desire to hide the evidence as quickly as possible –- they disposed of not only the dead, but also some of those who were seriously wounded. I’m not trying to justify this by any means, but I think it would be foolish to pretend that horrendous actions don’t take place in wartime. I don’t think that the decision to stand by –- or even to assist in killing the wounded, if that’s what happened –- was dictated at the highest levels of the administration. If it happened, I suspect that it was a battlefield decision.

Al-istiqamah: You present accounts of aid workers, religious students and teachers captured by the Northern Alliance and subsequently sold to the US. How many of these men were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Andy Worthington: It’s difficult to say with absolute certainty because one of the most fundamental problems with Guantánamo is the lack of due process: a trial before an impartial judge, cases presented by the prosecution and defence, a jury and a verdict. What happened at Guantánamo, after the Supreme Court ruled in June 2004 –- two and half years after the prison opened –- that the prisoners had habeas corpus rights (the right to challenge the basis of their detention) was that, instead of being able to pursue their cases in a US court, as the Supreme Court clearly intended, they were subjected to the corrupt and largely one-sided CSRT process.

In examining the tribunal transcripts, it’s often difficult to establish clear story lines, especially as many of the prisoners refused to take part, and therefore were unable even to challenge the allegations and present their own version of events. However, my detailed analysis of the documents, and in particular the chronology I was able to establish –- who was captured where; in Afghanistan, crossing into Pakistan, in Pakistan or, in rather fewer cases, in seventeen other countries around the world –- plus the information in the several hundred transcripts of those who agreed to take part in their CSRTs and ARBs, enabled me to come up with what, I think, is the best estimate.

I would say that up to half of those captured were innocent men –- Afghans betrayed by other Afghans; missionaries, humanitarian aid workers and economic migrants from a range of other countries, many seized and sold by the Americans’ Afghan and Pakistani allies, taking advantage of the bounty payments, averaging $5,000 a head, that were paid for “al-Qaeda and Taliban suspects.” The rest, for the most part, were Taliban foot soldiers, mostly recruited to fight in an inter-Muslim civil war between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance that began long before 9/11. In addition, as comments made anonymously by senior officials over the last four years have made clear, no more than 40 to 50 of those held in Guantánamo’s six-year history had any meaningful connection whatsoever with al-Qaeda, a figure that is even less than the Seton Hall Law School’s estimate.

Al-istiqamah: You make the valid point that the US failed to understand the Islamic “culture” e.g. why idealistic foreigners would come to Afghanistan to live and work under what they considered to be an Islamic State without a sinister motive. Is this the underlying reason for the US military’s failure to win hearts and minds?

Andy Worthington: Well, this cultural ignorance doesn’t help, but in Afghanistan I think the US lost the battle for “hearts and minds” through its chronic failures of intelligence (trusting extremely untrustworthy lawlords and other dubious characters), through the scale of its imprisonment of Afghans as “enemy combatants,” not just in Guantánamo, but also in Bagram airbase and in various other forward operating bases, and through its refusal to adequately investigate murders in US custody. What also happened was that the administration lost interest in Afghanistan sometime in 2002, when it began gunning for Iraq, and so failed to stay the course to provide the reconstruction that might have made a genuine difference. And all these failures were, of course, repeated and magnified in Iraq itself.

Al-istiqamah: You mention the case of US citizen Daniel Joseph Maldonado in the final chapter “Endgame.” What did you make of his account of rendition to Kenya, which appeared in our September 2007 issue?

Andy Worthington: I thought it was excellent. As you know, it was how I first discovered your website, and I think that this sort of detailed reporting –- on issues that are not covered in the mainstream media at all –- is absolutely invaluable.

Al-istiqamah: Had Daniel not been a US citizen, would he have been rendered to Guantánamo instead of being flown home to the States?

Andy Worthington: Not necessarily. What’s bizarre, as I mentioned in the final chapter, and as I have reported since, is that six prisoners have arrived in Guantánamo in the last year, even while every other indication from the government is that it is genuinely attempting to scale down the operation. There seems to be little logic to this process (although there’s little logic to much of what the administration does), as only two of the six are regarded as “high-value detainees.” Had Daniel not been an American, it seems more likely that he would have continued to be held in one of the Americans’ proxy prisons in the Horn of Africa, which, of course, are reported on far less than Guantánamo.

Al-istiqamah: The US administration certainly knew what would upset the sensibilities of the Muslim detainees e.g. mishandling the Qur’an, stripping detainees, threatening sexual abuse etc. Do you blame the Muslim community for viewing the “War on Terror” as a War on Islam?

Andy Worthington: No, but I wonder if it’s not quite that simple. One way of looking at it would be to consider that the primary motive for this kind of behaviour –- humiliation, as part of a process of dehumanisation, as a preparation for interrogation –- would have occurred whoever the prisoners were, and that these techniques deliberately prey on Muslim sensibilities because the prisoners happen to be Muslim. In this interpretation, the administration’s chronically brutal and ill-conceived attempts to grab geo-political power –- and to nation-build –- in Afghanistan and Iraq are not aimed at Muslims per se.

I must admit, however, that the “War on Islam” scenario is easily read, and that racism is clearly prevalent in the US military, and also permeates the chain of command. What’s so disturbing about all this is that the genuine terrorists, who are themselves usurping Islam for their own ends, appear to have got exactly what they wanted: an ever-escalating “Clash of Civilizations,” in which decent people, whatever their religion, are literally caught in the crossfire.

Al-istiqamah: President Bush has recently vetoed a bill that would have banned techniques such as waterboarding from being used on terrorism suspects. What do you make of the CIA’s claim that waterboarding, sensory deprivation etc, are not “torture”?

Andy Worthington: It’s an absolute disgrace. In the notorious “Torture Memo” of August 2002, David Addington and other lawyers, including John Yoo and Alberto Gonzales, attempted to redefine torture as physical pain “equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death.” It’s simply not true. The UN Convention Against Torture –- to which the US is a signatory –- defines torture as acts “specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering,” and there’s no doubt that waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” practiced not only in secret CIA prisons but also at Guantánamo –- involving prolonged isolation, prolonged sleep deprivation, and the use of extreme heat and cold, for example –- are nothing less than torture, especially when their use has been combined, as has so often been the case. Those responsible for initiating these policies –- all of them –- should one day face criminal charges for what they’ve done.

Al-istiqamah: Do such practices have a proven track record of keeping America safe? Is torture ever justified to extract information –- how often is this information accurate or reliable?

Andy Worthington: No, no and never. That’s the problem. We’re sold the “ticking time-bomb” scenario that’s supposed to justify torture, but there’s no evidence that there’s ever been a single occasion when a bomb was about to explode, and an unwilling prisoner, with the knowledge of its location, was tortured to yield his secrets. The truth, as experts in interrogation –- rather than the producers and writers of Fox’s 24 –- have explained, is that the person being tortured will tell his interrogator whatever he wants to hear, and that the information is therefore inherently unreliable. In addition, of course, the practice of torture is morally repugnant, and corrupts those who practice it.

Dan Coleman of the FBI, a resolutely old-school interrogator who worked on al-Qaeda cases before 9/11, and secured convictions without the use of torture, has made some of the most eloquent observations about torture. In 2006, he told Jane Mayer of the New Yorker that “people don’t do anything unless they’re rewarded.” He explained that if the FBI –- which refused to implement “enhanced interrogation techniques” –- had beaten confessions out of suspects, it would have been self-defeating. “Brutality may yield a timely scrap of information,” he conceded, but in the longer fight against terrorism, such an approach was “completely insufficient.” He added, “You need to talk to people for weeks. Years.”

Al-istiqamah: What was the hardest part of the book to write?

Andy Worthington: All of it, to be honest. I’ve never worked as hard in my life as I did for the 14 months that I spent researching and writing the book. But to give you a more honed answer, it was hard dealing with the specifics of torture that appear in four different places in the book: in the chapters on Kandahar and Bagram, in the chapter on torture in Guantánamo, and in the chapter on “extraordinary rendition.”

Al-istiqamah: You were recently in the States. Did you get any hassle at the airports on either side of the Atlantic?

Andy Worthington: Fortunately not, though some friends in the States had suggested to me that I would. What I actually found as I passed through US immigration was that those responsible for processing visitors –- who are probably not the best-paid workers around –- were for the most part just doing their job and ticking the right bureaucratic boxes: Do you need a visa? Have you got one? Where are you staying? How long are you staying?

Al-istiqamah: What was the response to the US public to your lectures? Are they as brainwashed by CNN and Fox as the British public imagines?

Andy Worthington: Not if my experience was anything to go by. Now obviously I only visited New York and Washington D.C., and stayed for the most part not only with liberals but with liberals who care about the gross injustices perpetrated by their government as part of the “War on Terror,” but I have to say that I was astonished by the level of political discourse. Obviously it helps that it’s an election year –- and that either a woman or a black man might conceivably become President –- but I was impressed at how much discussion there was about how jettisoning the Geneva Conventions, embracing “extraordinary rendition” and secret prisons, and holding prisoners without charge or trial were not only damaging America’s reputation abroad, but were also fundamentally undermining the values on which Americans pride themselves, and on which this great nation of immigrants was founded.

Al-istiqamah: The Guantánamo Files is dedicated to your son Tyler “in the hope that he will grow up to see a more just and less brutal world, to the children of the prisoners and to the prisoners themselves.” Have you met any of the families of the British detainees, or any of the ex-detainees?

Andy Worthington: I’ve met some of the British prisoners who’ve been released, and have spoken on a few occasions with Moazzam Begg, who kindly agreed to come and speak at my book launch in London last November. I’d like to meet more ex-prisoners, if I get the opportunity, but my focus remains on those who are still imprisoned in Guantánamo, many of whom I’ve now been writing about for over two years.

Sami al-Haj after his releaseAl-istiqamah: One of the many detainees referred to in The Guantánamo Files is al-Jazeera’s cameraman Sami al-Haj. As the Communications Officer for Reprieve, you must have been elated to hear of his recent release.

Andy Worthington: Absolutely. I started working for Reprieve two months ago, and until Sami –- and eight others –- were released, no prisoners at all had been released since last December. I was starting to wonder if, having finally charged six individuals in connection with the 9/11 attacks (in February), the administration was intending to sit on its hands and ride out its last months without releasing anyone at all. Needless to say, we were celebrating in Reprieve’s offices while working late, preparing press releases and keeping up-to-date with the latest developments.

Sami’s release, will, I hope, be of enormous significance, not just because he has the opportunity to write a comprehensive insider’s account of Guantánamo –- following up on the excellent reporting he has done for several years from inside Guantánamo –- but also because he is such a well-known figure in the Middle East and Africa, and his example will hopefully spur other countries to act more resolutely on behalf of their citizens who are still held in the prison.

Al-istiqamah: It is clear that the US acted illegally by not granting the detainees Prisoner of War status. Why is Guantánamo still standing, over six years later?

Andy Worthington: That’s a good question on which to end. Partly it’s because the administration believes its own hype, or is unwilling openly to concede the extent to which Guantánamo has been a failure on all levels. I suspect that some within the administration –- and Dick Cheney would be a good example –- are incapable of examining facts objectively, and remain driven by their own hyperbole.

There’s also the problem of how to actually close Guantánamo, as there are many dozens of prisoners who have been cleared for release, but who cannot be repatriated because of international treaties preventing the return of foreign nationals to countries where they face the risk of torture. Attempts to bypass these treaties have, fortunately, been resisted in the US courts, but homes need to be found for these men, and my hope is that some countries in Europe can be persuaded to accept them. Now would be a good time, as the Bush administration is on its way out, and diplomacy is probably not quite as important as it has been for the last seven years.

In addition, the administration is clearly dragging its heels to some extent –- nearly a hundred Yemenis remain, for example, including numerous completely innocent men, apparently because the administration doesn’t believe that the Yemeni government can be trusted with their security on their return, and this issue has been dragging on for years. And there’s also the problem of the 60 to 80 men scheduled to face trial by Military Commission, because the trials, conceived by Dick Cheney and his advisers in November 2001, are as corrupt as the CSRTs, and fail to meet internationally recognized legal standards.

The simple truth is that, having rushed into this whole malign project nearly six and half years ago, the administration has discovered that it was far easier to set up Guantánamo than it is to close it, and it’s a problem that will probably be bequeathed to the next administration. All the candidates have pledged to close the prison, but they too will face problems actually following through on their promises. Like the occupation of Iraq, it appears in many ways to be a nightmare without end, and will take years to resolve.

Al-istiqamah: Andy Worthington, on behalf of, we’d like to thank you for this insightful interview. We encourage all of our readers to purchase The Guantánamo Files and visit Andy’s website, where updates are posted on a regular basis.

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.

3 Responses

  1. Steven says...

    Hi Andy,

    May I ask how was the interview itself conducted? As in the environment- was she free to ask as she pleased and likewise were you able to answer freely?

    I ask as Muslims tend to be on the larger part strict when it comes to interaction with the opposite gender that arent relatives and this Umm Uthman I presume is a Muslim woman interviewing you which would make things somewhat tricky, thereby I would have thought al Istiqama would have opted to send a Muslim male to carry out an interview especially in person?

    Oh and what are your thoughts on Islam as a religion- barbaric/ stoneage/ misunderstood/ has truth to it? Ever considered converting (though that would be career suicide- not that you’re interested in that)?

    And lastly what’s your take on how some Muslims have come to percieve the ‘WOT’ to be actually a War on Islamic faith (according to them)? Particular to the right wing media demonising/ sensationalising of all things to do with them, how seemingly they are the ones who foreign policy is shaped against and the ones arrested/ detained, etc.?

    Sorry to ask so many questions,

    Take care.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Hi Steven,
    It was an interview by email, which followed some interesting and articulate email exchanges over several months.
    I respect the followers of Islam, as I respect the followers of all religions, if they are decent people, who understand the kind of civilized behaviour that enables human beings to get along. People who believe in a God often have this sense of a “place” in the world that enables this kind of perspective (though many, of all faiths, don’t, of course).
    As for the ‘”War on Islam,” I believe I addressed that question in the interview.

  3. Umm Uthmaan says...

    Hi Steve,
    Islam does not forbid us to interact with the opposite gender, but it lays down conditions. So I could have interviewed Andy in person, but the only condition would be that another individual, e.g. his wife, my husband, etc be present too. Due to his hectic schedule, and my nervousness at interviewing a journalist 🙂 , I felt that an interview via email was the best option.

    You apologise for asking so many questions, but they are more akin to statements.

    I think the problem is that people such as yourself find it hard to comprehend that Andy can feel outraged at the treatment of the Gitmo detainees without being a closet Muslim or a “terrorist sympathiser” – or perhaps the two are synonymous in your eyes 🙂

    Best regards,
    Umm Uthmaan

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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 and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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