The trail of torture: White House approval for CIA torture and the case of Binyam Mohamed


The White House“The trail of torture” is the title of an article I wrote for the Guardian’s “Comment is free” section today, in which I looked at yesterday’s revelation in the Washington Post that torture techniques, including waterboarding, had been approved for use by the CIA in two previously undisclosed secret memos issued by the White House in 2003 and 2004 .

I had been asked to examine what effect — if any — this would have on attempts either in the USA or elsewhere to bring the administration to account for “war crimes,” but this was, essentially, an opportunity to explain how the administration continues to defy reality, still insisting that it does not torture while attempting to justify holding prisoners at Guantánamo — or, like Binyam Mohamed, putting them forward for trial by Military Commission — even when these attempts involve ever more convoluted manoeuvres to avoid having to admit that any of these men were tortured.

Andy Worthington was the Communications Manager for Reprieve, the legal action charity whose lawyers represent 30 prisoners in Guantánamo, in 2008, and 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 and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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