Andy Worthington Discusses Guantánamo, Torture and the Afghan Surge With Kevin Barrett On No Lies Radio

3.12.09

On Tuesday, I was delighted to have the opportunity to talk for an hour to Kevin Barrett, “9/11 truth advocate” and the author of Questioning the War on Terror, on his show, “Fair and Balanced,” on No Lies Radio. The show is available here (you may have to switch off the live feed on the right of the page), and, although Kevin and I have spoken before, I’d like to thank him for taking the time to talk to me again, and for crossing what sometimes seems to be an unbridgeable chasm between those who regard the events of September 11, 2001 as an inside job, and those who regard it as an actual terrorist attack, which went undetected primarily because of a lack of cooperation between the CIA and the FBI, and which spurred those in charge of the United States at that particular time — essentially, Dick Cheney, his legal counsel David Addington, and a cabal of close advisors — to transform American into a Torture Nation led by an unaccountable President, and also allowed them to realize their long-cherished dream of toppling Saddam Hussein.

I have often thought that both camps have much in common when it comes to the use of torture to extract false information (as, for example, with the torture of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi to produce a claim that there were links between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, which was subsequently used to justify the invasion of Iraq), and I also appreciate the opportunity to have different points of view discussed in a civilized and rational manner, rather than having both sides generally behave as though the other doesn’t exist — or, at least, is terminally confused.

Kevin and I also spoke about the domestic impact of the Bush administration’s policies — snooping on US citizens, or, as in the case of Jose Padilla, imprisoning him as an “enemy combatant” in chronic isolation without charge or trial and torturing him until he lost his mind (and we also discussed the case of Ali al-Marri). We also discussed the Obama administration’s recent announcement of federal court trials for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men accused of involvement in the 9/11 attacks (or “the patsies,” as Kevin refers to them), the revival of the Military Commissions, the continuation of indefinite detention without charge or trial, the failure to close Guantánamo within a year, and the difficulty of finding new homes for cleared prisoners who cannot be repatriated.

I was especially pleased to have the opportunity to talk about the reasons for the administration’s self-destructive cowardice in the face of pressure from the lunatic wing of the Republican party (which I discussed at length in my recent article, “Guantánamo: Idealists Leave Obama’s Sinking Ship”), and we also had the opportunity to mention a word in connection with Obama’s announcement of the Afghan surge that is conspicuously lacking from most mainstream reporting — Vietnam — allowing me to explain how, above and beyond the disastrous failure to close Guantánamo within a year, this decision may well be the black mark that taints the rest of his Presidency.

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 I can also be found on Facebook and Twitter). Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, published in March 2009, details about the new documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, and launched in October 2009), and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.

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  1. Truthout Video: The Human Cost of Guantánamo by Andy Worthington – Dandelion Salad says...

    […] Andy Worthington Discusses Guantánamo, Torture and the Afghan Surge With Kevin Barrett On No Lies R… […]

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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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