Closing Guantánamo: Andy Worthington on CounterSpin

22.11.08

The Guantanamo FilesOn Thursday, I had the pleasure of joining Steve Rendall on CounterSpin, the weekly radio show produced by FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting), to discuss how much truth there is in recent headlines warning how difficult it will be for Barack Obama to maintain his election promise to close Guantánamo. As Steve explained in the introduction to the show, “According to the New York Times, Newsweek and NPR, for Barack Obama to keep his promise to close the Guantánamo detention camp will be next to impossible, extremely complicated and easier said than done. You could get the idea that some journalists would like to put off resolving the problems created by a Bush policy to isolate detainees and totally deprive them of rights.”

Although there will, of course, be difficulties in closing the prison, I was delighted to have the opportunity to explain how much of the reticence appears to come from a lack of scrutiny of the circumstances of the prisoners’ capture, the lack of any meaningful screening process to determine their status, and the government’s own dubious assertions about their significance, and to look at practical solutions to finding new homes for cleared prisoners who cannot be repatriated, scrapping the Military Commissions and moving those considered truly dangerous to face trials on the US mainland, and releasing those considered “too dangerous to be released, but not guilty enough to prosecute.”

The show is available here, and here as an MP3 (it’s the last eight minutes or so) and for further information about how Guantánamo can be closed see my recent articles here and here, and my book 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 also see 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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