Last Thursday, the ever engaging — and mightily indignant — Scott Horton interviewed me for Antiwar Radio, which was a great pleasure. Scott interviewed me twice last year, and I was delighted to be invited back because we always have such fun trying to put the world to rights. The interview’s available here, and I won’t try to improve on Scott’s blurb for the show:
“Andy Worthington, author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison, discusses his recent article on the trials of sixteen Guantánamo detainees, how Australian David Hicks is too traumatized to tell his story, Omar Khadr, the Canadian child soldier being held despite international law, how Salim Hamdan’s legal case caused the Supreme Court to rule the original incarnation of the military commissions illegal, Mohamed Jawad, another minor, charged with harmlessly throwing a grenade … there’s Ahmed al-Darbi, who’s giving the commissions a hard time by refusing to play a part in his show trial, KSM [Khalid Sheikh Mohammed], Ramzi bin al-Shibh, the reasons behind the dropping of the charges against [Mohammed] al-Qahtani, the “requestioning” of the tortured in a ridiculous attempt to wipe the torture slate clean, how the whole military commission system resembles a patchwork of lies to excuse lies, the hundreds of years it has taken to develop Anglo-American traditions of law to protect liberty, the shame of its abandonment and necessity of its return, the results of the fake terror scares tortured out of the innocent, half-wit, crazy man, Abu Zubaydah, the superiority of the FBI’s good cop approach to interrogation, the Department of Justice’s report (PDF) about the FBI’s “War Crimes” file on the Guantánamo interrogations and the sordid details of several of the other eleven trials now in process.”
On Friday, I spent another happy half-hour discussing The Guantánamo Files with Linda Olson-Osterlund for KBOO Radio in Portland, Oregon. The interview is available here, and I’m grateful to Linda for her insightful questions, and for endorsing my book with such enthusiasm, describing it as “compelling and important” and “unique in its breadth and depth.”
In a wide-ranging discussion, Linda asked me how I came to write the book, and also asked me about the number of juveniles held, about the suicides at Guantánamo in 2006 and 2007, and the death of a prisoner last December. We also talked about the Combatant Status Review Tribunals at Guantanamo, the authorities’ refusal to find witnesses requested by the prisoners, and the horrible truth — as compellingly exposed last year by Lt. Col. Stephen Abraham, a veteran of U.S. intelligence who worked on the tribunals — that they were intended merely to rubber-stamp the authorities’ prior designation of the prisoners as “enemy combatants” without rights, even though no effective screening process had ever taken place prior to the tribunals to ascertain whether or not this was the truth. We also talked at length about the Military Commissions, which are, of course, of extraordinary importance now, as the administration struggles to validate its actions over the last seven years before November’s Presidential elections.
My thanks to both Scott and Linda — and I should finish by letting you both know that I’m happy to talk again anytime.
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.
Writer, campaigner, investigative journalist and commentator. 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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