President Obama: The Audacity of Hope

20.1.09

Today, just for a while, I’m going to let words fail me, and present you instead with an illustration to commemorate the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. The illustration is by Lewis Peake, the talented British political cartoonist who drew a series of five powerful pictures about Guantánamo last year, based on drawings by the imprisoned al-Jazeera journalist Sami al-Haj that had been censored by the military authorities.

Sami was released last May, but it’s a measure of his influence that, although he was supposed to be taking part in “Two Sides, One Story,” a UK tour with Moazzam Begg and former Guantánamo guard Chris Arendt (organized by Cageprisoners), the British government has refused to give him a visa.

As for Barack Obama, only time will tell, of course, but today is certainly his day, and I promise to give him as much support as I can offer to aid him in his promise to close Guantánamo, ban torture, and restore the United States to the rule of law.

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.

2 Responses

  1. Sarah says...

    I’m still concerned about how many people Obama is putting in top government positions are members of the CFR. He promised a big shakeup, but simply put the CFR back in power.

    Anyway I’ll still be watching the Inauguration:
    http://www.webtvhub.com/watch-obama-inauguration-acceptance-speech/

  2. Frances Madeson says...

    A brilliant image. I think Guantanamo is etched in all of our faces whether we acknowledge it or not. I know I have been wincing and squinting at the ugliness for far too long. We won’t find any Hirschfeld “Ninas” hiding in plain sight in Mr. Peake’s bold strokes. Only our own disgrace, not erasable by time.

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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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