On Thursday May 15, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Steve Rendall for CounterSpin, the radio show produced by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). Picking up on the story of the release of al-Jazeera journalist Sami al-Haj from Guantánamo, which, as FAIR noted, “merited just a 72 word squib in the Washington Post, and a short report on page 14 of the New York Times,” Steve and the FAIR team had read my report about the prisoners released with Sami al-Haj (on CounterPunch), and wondered why their stories were not mentioned in the US press at all.
In the course of our conversation, I had the opportunity to explain something about the stories of these other men — held, like Sami, for five or six years without charge or trial — and also to explain how the research that I undertook for my book The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison was essential to puncture the general media silence surrounding the majority of the prisoners’ stories. Though understandable in some ways, because of the difficulties in analyzing the available documents relating to the prisoners, I pointed out that this reluctance to look in detail at their accounts only plays into the hands of the administration, which is getting away with holding men without charge or trial precisely because it has disposed of the usual methods whereby the stories of alleged wrongdoers are reported: through criminal charges, prosecution and defense counsel, a judge and a jury.
The show is available here (or here as an MP3), and my interview takes up the last ten minutes or so of the 30-minute show, after FAIR’s analysis of the week’s news, and an interview with commentator Bill Fletcher on the controversy over Barack Obama and his association with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
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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