Innocent Guantánamo Torture Victim Fouad al-Rabiah Is Released In Kuwait


Fouad al-RabiahThe long ordeal of Fouad al-Rabiah, an innocent man and a 50-year old father of four, who had been in US custody for almost exactly eight years, finally came to an end on Wednesday, when he was flown back to his homeland of Kuwait from Guantánamo, where he had spent the majority of those lost years, after several brutal months in US custody in Afghanistan.

Until the moment of his release, everything about his treatment at the hands of the US government was shameful. 12 weeks ago, when District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly granted his habeas corpus petition, and ordered his release, she revealed the most extraordinary — and extraordinarily depressing — story. This shone the most unflinching light on Guantánamo as a place where men who were rounded up for bounty payments by the US military’s allies in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and were never adequately screened on capture, were then sent to Guantánamo. Once there, in the absence of any information to back up the administration’s claims that they were “the worst of the worst,” they became the victims of false allegations made by other prisoners (who were either coerced to do so, or were bribed with the promise of improved living conditions), and were then tortured and abused to make false confessions.

During the prisoners’ habeas corpus petitions over the last 14 months, numerous examples of dubious allegations made by unreliable witnesses have been exposed by the judges, as well as other examples of cases that “defie[d] common sense” or exposed the use of torture, but until al-Rabiah’s case was examined, the existence of a clear chain of torture and threats inflicted to produce false confessions at Guantánamo had never been revealed with such alarming clarity.

Al-Rabiah’s story began when he traveled to Afghanistan in 2001 to provide humanitarian aid, but was caught up in the chaos following the US-led invasion, and ended up in the hands of the US military. What followed was truly shameful. In Guantánamo, unreliable witnesses — whose unreliability was acknowledged by the authorities — claimed that he had met Osama bin Laden and had provided him with a suitcase of money, and also claimed that he had played a supporting role to al-Qaeda in the battle of Tora Bora, the showdown between al-Qaeda and US-supported Afghan forces in December 2001, when bin Laden escaped into Pakistan.

Under torture, which included, but was not limited to prolonged sleep deprivation — being moved from cell to cell every few hours over a period lasting for several weeks at least, in a program that was euphemistically known as the “frequent flier program” — al-Rabiah finally broke down, inventing a story to please his captors, and dutifully repeating it in 2004 during his Combatant Status Review Tribunal, a military review board designed to establish that he had been correctly designated as an “enemy combatant,” who could continue to be held without charge or trial.

Although the authorities knew that the witnesses were unreliable, and interrogators and other personnel cast serious doubts on al-Rabiah’s story, he was, nevertheless, put forward for a trial by Military Commission at Guantánamo in November 2008, based on the credible-sounding story he had parroted at his tribunal, and it was only when Judge Kollar-Kotelly was able to review his case that the whole sordid story emerged.

As she noted in her ruling, in one of several passages loaded with controlled disdain for the Bush administration (and for the Obama administration for pursuing the case):

Not only did al-Rabiah’s interrogators repeatedly conclude that [his] confessions were not believable — which al-Rabiah’s counsel attributes to abuse and coercion, some of which is supported by the record — but it is also undisputed that al-Rabiah confessed to information that his interrogators obtained from either alleged eyewitnesses who are not credible and as to whom the Government has now largely withdrawn any reliance, or from sources that never even existed … If there exists a basis for al-Rabiah’s indefinite detention, it most certainly has not been presented to this Court.

What makes this story even more shocking is that al-Rabiah’s innocence was established in the summer of 2002, when a CIA analyst, and an Arabic expert, interviewed him as part of a fact-finding mission to Guantánamo which revealed that a large number of the men held “had no connection to terrorism whatsoever.” As Jane Mayer described his findings about al-Rabiah in her book, The Dark Side:

One man was a rich Kuwaiti businessman who took a trip to a different part of the world every year to do charity work. In 2001, the country he chose was Afghanistan. “He wasn’t a jihadi, but I told him he should have been arrested for stupidity,” the CIA officer recalled. The man was furious with the United States for rounding him up. He mentioned that every year up until then, he had bought himself a new Cadillac, but when he was released, he said, he would never buy another American car. He was switching to Mercedes.

What followed was even more disturbing, and demonstrates, succinctly, how the “enemy combatant” program developed by the Bush administration was fueled by the most damaging arrogance. As Mayer explained, when John Bellinger, the Legal Advisor to the National Security Council, and General John Gordon, the NSC’s senior terrorism expert, learned of the agent’s report and tried to reveal the information to President Bush, to ask him to urgently review the cases of the men held at Guantánamo, a meeting with Alberto Gonzales, who was then the White House counsel, was hijacked by David Addington, Vice President Dick Cheney’s legal counsel, who dismissed their concerns by declaring, imperiously, “No, there will be no review. The President has determined that they are ALL enemy combatants. We are not going to revisit it!”

As Fouad al-Rabiah prepares to greet his family for the first time in over eight years, having spent the last 12 weeks detained at Guantánamo for no reason whatsoever (beyond the two weeks’ notice demanded by Congress before any prisoner is released), David Cynamon, one of his attorneys, provided me by email with the following statement on behalf of the legal team that worked so hard to secure his release:

We are pleased that the US Government has at long last complied with the court order to return Mr. al-Rabiah to Kuwait. The court’s opinion in his case is proof that his release is long overdue. Mr. al-Rabiah is an innocent man. His complete innocence is clearly demonstrated in the trial court’s decision, which the US Government did not attempt to appeal. In fact, at the very outset of Mr. al- Rabiah’s confinement, the United States’ own expert intelligence analyst concluded Mr. al-Rabiah was an innocent man in the wrong place at the wrong time. Nonetheless, this innocent citizen of one of the United States’ best allies was wrongfully imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay for almost eight years, during which he was tortured, abused, and coerced into making false confessions. We call upon President Obama to provide both a formal apology on behalf of the United States and appropriate compensation for Mr. al-Rabiah’s ordeal. Mr. al- Rabiah can never reclaim the eight years he lost at Guantánamo Bay — and the United States must not simply turn and forget.

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.

As published exclusively on Truthout. Please feel free to Digg this story, which has, I’m glad to note, been receiving a lot of attention. Cross-posted on Global Research.

See the following for articles about the 142 prisoners released from Guantánamo from June 2007 to January 2009, and the 29 prisoners released from February to November 2009, whose stories are covered in more detail than is available anywhere else –- either in print or on the Internet –- although many of them, of course, are also covered in The Guantánamo Files: June 2007 –- 2 Tunisians, 4 Yemenis (here, here and here); July 2007 –- 16 Saudis; August 2007 –- 1 Bahraini, 5 Afghans; September 2007 –- 16 Saudis; September 2007 –- 1 Mauritanian; September 2007 –- 1 Libyan, 1 Yemeni, 6 Afghans; November 2007 –- 3 Jordanians, 8 Afghans; November 2007 –- 14 Saudis; December 2007 –- 2 Sudanese; December 2007 –- 13 Afghans (here and here); December 2007 –- 3 British residents; December 2007 –- 10 Saudis; May 2008 –- 3 Sudanese, 1 Moroccan, 5 Afghans (here, here and here); July 2008 –- 2 Algerians; July 2008 –- 1 Qatari, 1 United Arab Emirati, 1 Afghan; August 2008 –- 2 Algerians; September 2008 –- 1 Pakistani, 2 Afghans (here and here); September 2008 –- 1 Sudanese, 1 Algerian; November 2008 –- 1 Kazakh, 1 Somali, 1 Tajik; November 2008 –- 2 Algerians; November 2008 –- 1 Yemeni (Salim Hamdan) repatriated to serve out the last month of his sentence; December 2008 –- 3 Bosnian Algerians; January 2009 –- 1 Afghan, 1 Algerian, 4 Iraqis; February 2009 — 1 British resident (Binyam Mohamed); May 2009 — 1 Bosnian Algerian (Lakhdar Boumediene); June 2009 — 1 Chadian (Mohammed El-Gharani), 4 Uighurs to Bermuda, 1 Iraqi, 3 Saudis (here and here); August 2009 — 1 Afghan (Mohamed Jawad), 2 Syrians to Portugal; September 2009 — 1 Yemeni, 2 Uzbeks to Ireland (here and here); October 2009 — 1 Kuwaiti, 1 prisoner of undisclosed nationality to Belgium; October 2009 — 6 Uighurs to Palau; November 2009 — 1 Bosnian Algerian to France, 1 unidentified Palestinian to Hungary, 2 Tunisians to Italian custody.

For a sequence of articles dealing with the Guantánamo habeas cases, see: Guantánamo and the Supreme Court: the most important habeas corpus case in modern history and Guantánamo and the Supreme Court: What Happened? (both December 2007), The Supreme Court’s Guantánamo ruling: what does it mean? (June 2008), Guantánamo as Alice in Wonderland (Uighurs’ first court victory, June 2008), What’s Happening with the Guantánamo cases? (July 2008), Government Says Six Years Is Not Long Enough To Prepare Evidence (September 2008), From Guantánamo to the United States: The Story of the Wrongly Imprisoned Uighurs (October 2008), Guantánamo Uyghurs’ resettlement prospects skewered by Justice Department lies (October 2008), Guilt By Torture: Binyam Mohamed’s Transatlantic Quest for Justice (November 2008), After 7 Years, Judge Orders Release of Guantánamo Kidnap Victims (November 2008), Is Robert Gates Guilty of Perjury in Guantánamo Torture Case? (December 2008), A New Year Message to Barack Obama: Free the Guantánamo Uighurs (January 2009), The Top Ten Judges of 2008 (January 2009), No End in Sight for the “Enemy Combatants” of Guantánamo (January 2009), Judge Orders Release of Guantánamo’s Forgotten Child (January 2009), How Cooking For The Taliban Gets You Life In Guantánamo (January 2009), Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics (February 2009), Bad News And Good News For The Guantánamo Uighurs (February 2009), The Nobodies Formerly Known As Enemy Combatants (March 2009), Farce at Guantánamo, as cleared prisoner’s habeas petition is denied (April 2009), Obama’s First 100 Days: A Start On Guantánamo, But Not Enough (May 2009), Judge Condemns “Mosaic” Of Guantánamo Intelligence, And Unreliable Witnesses (May 2009), Pain At Guantánamo And Paralysis In Government (May 2009), Guantánamo: A Prison Built On Lies (May 2009), Free The Guantánamo Uighurs! (May 2009), Guantánamo And The Courts (Part One): Exposing The Bush Administration’s Lies (July 2009), Obama’s Failure To Deliver Justice To The Last Tajik In Guantánamo (July 2009), Obama And The Deadline For Closing Guantánamo: It’s Worse Than You Think (July 2009), How Judge Huvelle Humiliated The Government In Guantánamo Case (Mohamed Jawad, July 2009), As Judge Orders Release Of Tortured Guantánamo Prisoner, Government Refuses To Concede Defeat (Mohamed Jawad, July 2009), Guantánamo As Hotel California: You Can Check Out Any Time You Like, But You Can Never Leave (August 2009), Judge Orders Release From Guantánamo Of Kuwaiti Charity Worker (August 2009), Guantánamo And The Courts (Part Two): Obama’s Shame (August 2009), Guantánamo And The Courts (Part Three): Obama’s Continuing Shame (August 2009), No Escape From Guantánamo: The Latest Habeas Rulings (September 2009), First Guantánamo Prisoner To Lose Habeas Hearing Appeals Ruling (September 2009), A Truly Shocking Guantánamo Story: Judge Confirms That An Innocent Man Was Tortured To Make False Confessions (September 2009), 75 Guantánamo Prisoners Cleared For Release; 31 Could Leave Today (September 2009), Resisting Injustice In Guantánamo: The Story Of Fayiz Al-Kandari (October 2009), Justice Department Pointlessly Gags Guantánamo Lawyer (November 2009), Judge Orders Release Of Algerian From Guantánamo (But He’s Not Going Anywhere) (November 2009).

Also see: Justice extends to Bagram, Guantánamo’s Dark Mirror (April 2009), Judge Rules That Afghan “Rendered” To Bagram In 2002 Has No Rights (July 2009), Bagram Isn’t The New Guantánamo, It’s The Old Guantánamo (August 2009), Obama Brings Guantánamo And Rendition To Bagram (And Not The Geneva Conventions) and Is Bagram Obama’s New Secret Prison? (both September 2009).

27 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    Here are a few comments from readers of Truthout:

    JimTheBeam wrote:

    To express shame and disgust for actions carried out in our name by an out of control regime is to be called a hater of one’s country. To have one’s patriotism questioned and outright denied. No longer do we live in the land of the free and the home of the brave, if we ever did. Rather we live in the land of the coerced and the home of the frightened masses who exchange freedom for facades of security from terrorists. Where is the “Hope”? Where is the “Change”?

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Mark E. Smith wrote:

    Mr. al-Rabiah is only one of many. U.S. policy is to torture them all and let God sort them out. First the torture, then the trial. And we all knew–the pictures were on TV and we knew large bounties were paid to tempt desperately poor people to turn in anyone they didn’t know or didn’t like. We’re not exporting democracy, we’re exporting our prison-industrial complex to the world. Billions in war profiteering have been made from the extraordinary rendition, imprisonment, and torture of innocents. Torture serves no purpose other than to try to justify wars of aggression based on lies.

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    peterjkraus wrote:

    We’re waiting for not only an apology to this man, who was treated despicably only because of his race, but for full and just compensation, if that is even possible, considering the eight-year-hell he endured. When you hear them talk about “bad guys”, the arrogant bastards who pollute our airwaves, take a good look at them. They are, we are, who the rest of the world correctly sees as the bad guys. Do something, Obama. Make up for what we’ve done.

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    BillyDoc wrote:

    How can any American citizen with a sense of honor not feel the deepest shame at this and so many other atrocities committed in our name? That shame cannot be purged until those responsible are brought to justice. Mr. Obama, WHERE IS THAT JUSTICE? WHY HAVE YOU PROTECTED THE GUILTY?

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    Mike Crook wrote:

    Great comments guys, but your country like mine (Australia) will only change if we get out and change it, ourselves, starting in our own communities. All of the anglo nations are now hated and feared throughout the world, and is it any wonder, we have taken state terrorism to an unprecedented level.

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    An anonymous reader said:

    Mark Twain said “patriotism is supporting your country at all times and your government when it deserves it” – however this travesty makes it hard to think in terms of anything remotely patriotic – these events will take hard work on many levels to “make up for” if possible to do at all – especially hard for someone like me living and working in the Middle East in an effort to get at the truth and build bridges on a personal level.

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    Another anonymous reader stepped up with the following:

    What is wrong with you people?? Do you simply believe everything you read on the Internet as the gospel truth? At the very least, try to be open-minded to the idea that the story may be tilted, if not outright wrong. Is it at all possible that the charges made against the subject could be true and the justice system was viciously twisted in order to release a potentially dangerous criminal back where he can fight again? If this man reappears back in the fight, I hope every single one of you Kool-Aid drinking liberals recants your country-hating, self-loathing diatribes.

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    I thought it highly unlikely that a man as physically unfit as Fouad al-Rabiah was, even before his eight-year ordeal, would be rejoining any fight that he had evidently never joined in the first place, but Mark E. Smith was around to reply for me:

    Nothing wrong with us. There’s something wrong with anyone who thinks it is okay to have the punishment first and the trial later, or to have no trial at all and take everything Bush said as gospel. It is the democracy-hating, freedom-loathing, Kool-Aid drinking conservatives who hate our country and have nothing but contempt for justice. Fouad al-Rabiah was a potentially dangerous criminal because he helped fuel our fascist empire by buying Cadillacs. He won’t make that mistake again. I only hope that he gets a few billion dollars in compensation from our government before the dollar collapses and becomes completely worthless. Right now our currency is backed not by gold or silver, not by a manufacturing base, and not by anything except the full faith and credit of conservatives who believe that dept is money, war is peace, and torture is justice.

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    Peter Edler, a member of the Swedish Writers Union in Stockholm, wrote:

    Certain provisions in the Patriot Act have suspended the habeas corpus principle that has been at the core of Western jurisprudence since the writing of the Magna Carta some 800 years ago. Since even the writing of the US Constitution rested solidly on the habeas corpus principle the Patriot Act effectively broke the back of the Constitution, by reducing it from the primary base of law and jurisprudence in the US to a secondary tool. This explains why it took seven to eight years for Guantanamo prisoners to have babeas corpus asserted on their behalf in US courts. The current US President has done nothing to examine this situation, let alone reverse it.

  10. Andy Worthington says...

    And a few comments from Digg:

    norwegianlegion wrote:

    It’s scary that I presumed everyone in there deserved to be there and were the worst of the worst, or else it wouldn’t have been so worth it to keep it open amid the controversy. Or at least that’s how I rationalized it. I still thought it was wrong, but I also thought there was a definitive reason for them to be there… Boy was I wrong.

  11. Andy Worthington says...

    StopTheLie wrote:

    “Torture is really good at producing ONE thing: confessions. Confessions eliminate the need for evidence. (Most human beings will confess to anything if tortured long enough – It makes no difference whether they’re a suspected heretic, witch, or enemy combatant.) Once a nation accepts this type of “justice system,” full-blown despotism is only a stone’s throw away.

    Speak out against the torture regime? –Dare to challenge its policies? You might as well declare yourself a person who cares nothing for the safety of the nation. You might as well declare yourself a “terrorist sympathizer.” (Now, it is YOU who is the suspect.) Off to the gulag with you and your kind; where “evidence” of your evil plots (confessions) will be gathered via the enhanced interrogation techniques described in the article above.”

    Taken from “On Torture”

  12. Andy Worthington says...

    EISnuggles wrote:

    I will certainly research this more, but it appears that my worst fears have been realized. The country that my family has defended for one hundred years captured and tortured innocent men, then tried to imprison them indefinitely to cover it up.

  13. Andy Worthington says...

    sodade wrote:

    I love how this story gets people realizing that our country’s “defenders” have been up to no good, but at the same time, I want to punch you all in the face for taking this long to realize what we have allowed our nation to become. Maybe if you weren’t all full up on the pride that propaganda fed? The sad thing is that it has been 60 years since this country had anything to be proud of on the world stage and yet it seems the majority are still flush with pride.

  14. Andy Worthington says...

    MartiniD wrote:

    Those who are defending torture need to either get their mouths away from Hannity’s dick and/or stop watching “24”

  15. Andy Worthington says...

    askantik wrote:

    In other news, even if all the Guantanamo detainees WERE guilty (which they aren’t obviously, but for the sake of argument), Guantanamo is still SERIOUSLY ***** up and is a huge stain on America. But so many people pointed and laughed at any of our few politicians who said these things during the Bush administration. Meh.

  16. Dave "knowbuddhau" Parker says...

    O brother, my Brother Andy, there aren’t keys enough on this board to express my eternal gratitude for your truly heroic* efforts on behalf of the victims of the attempts, by both our governments, to manufacture consent for war by torture of innocent individuals.

    As for the comments of my fellow Americans: tell it to the Indians. Haven’t you read Howard Zinn’s _A People’s History of the United States_ by now? You write as if we innocently found this continent, its resources, and the power they bestow, under our freakin’ pillows one morning in John Winthrop’s shining “city upon a hill.”

    *The adventure of the hero, as defined by Joseph Campbell in his classic _The Hero with a Thousand Faces_ (p. 245 in the 3rd printing, Arkana).

    When he arrives at the nadir of the mythological round, he undergoes a supreme ordeal and gains his reward. The triumph may be represented as the hero’s sexual union with the goddess-mother of the world (sacred marriage), his recognition by the father-creator (father atonement), his own divinization (apotheosis), or again—if the powers have remained unfriendly to him— his theft of the boon he came to gain (bride-theft, fire-theft); intrinsically it is an expansion of consciousness and therewith of being (illumination, transfiguration, freedom).

    The final work is that of the return. If the powers have blessed the hero, he now sets forth under their protection (emissary); if not, he flees and is pursued (transformation flight, obstacle flight). At the return threshold the transcendental powers must remain behind; the hero re-emerges from the kingdom of dread (return, resurrection).

    The boon that he brings restores the world (elixir).

  17. Will Shirley says...

    It has been established that kidnapped victims often grow to appreciate their captors and eventually to join them emotionally. E.g. Patty Hearst. By obsessing about communist police states for decades to the exclusion of adequate health care for our citizenry or a real pursuit of peace in the Mideast our government, our national politicians and our military became more or less kidnapped by their adversary. Accordingly, over the years the US has become more and more like a police state, eventually with secret armies of mercenaries, secret torture chambers, prisons and extra-legal activities around the world. We became our enemy. With the collapse of the Iron Curtain we have had to transfer our paranoia to another adversary and no doubt influenced by the evangelic beliefs of many of our so-called leaders, we have chosen to obsess over the “evils” of Islam. Accordingly we have become fanatical ourselves and have sent in missionaries to convert the heathens. Bush spoke of a Crusade to free the Holy Land. If we could somehow get the leadership to obsess over human rights and civil liberties we might have a chance. The best way to break the cycle is to create a democratic America, which will diffuse the obsessions and dogma throughout the voting public, creating a homeopathic condition in the body politic, hopefully healing the wounds caused by previous Presidents.

    Another partial solution would be to understand that our country has become too large to continue as a single nation. We should break the country into at least 6 regional nations in a loose federation of democracies. We might want to eliminate our huge standing armies to save a few trillion dollars. We won’t do that ourselves, though. Police states never surrender power by choice. We will need to be defeated in war by the rest of the world so that they can determine how we will continue into the rest of the 21st century. Millions dead, but the only other option I see is the effect of the oceans rising 10′ and the weather becoming violent, erratic and unpredictable. This would demonstrate that our current form of government is useless to protect us from our own greed and ignorance. Only smaller, more regional forces would have the motivation and experience to mitigate the new environmental impact. This is borne out by the failure of the current government to do anything to recover New Orleans, to maintain an infrastructure, and it’s active participation in a world wide holy war against a philosophy. “Too big to exist” was true for dinosaurs, is true for financial institutions, and appears to be true for nations.

  18. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Will. Always good to hear from you. I particularly like the line, “our current form of government is useless to protect us from our own greed and ignorance,” although I note, from my experience of living in the UK, that greed and ignorance are just as crippling when it comes to countries of 60 million inhabitants as they are to those of 300 million. Nothing less than a revolutionary change of thought is required, but I admit that I find it difficult to conceive how people can be weaned off the insufferable self-obsession and hypocritical self-justification of the last 30 years.

  19. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Dave. Supportive words much appreciated — and thanks also for the latest thoughts re: Joseph Campbell.

  20. “Model Prisoner” at Guantánamo, Tortured in the “Dark Prison,” Loses Habeas Corpus Petition « says...

    […] Judge Orders Release Of Algerian From Guantánamo (But He’s Not Going Anywhere) (November 2009), Innocent Guantánamo Torture Victim Fouad al-Rabiah Is Released In Kuwait (December 2009), What Does It Take To Get Out Of Obama’s Guantánamo? (December […]

  21. AWorthington: Guantanamo Habeas Results, Prisoners 34 – Government 13 « On Now says...

    […] 30 WON: Fouad al-Rabiah (Kuwait, ISN 551) Released December 2009. For my analysis of the ruling, see: A Truly Shocking Guantánamo Story: Judge Confirms That An Innocent Man Was Tortured To Make False Confessions. For Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly’s unclassified opinion, see here. For al-Rabiah’s release, see: Innocent Guantánamo Torture Victim Fouad al-Rabiah Is Released In Kuwait. […]

  22. Guantanamo and Habeas Corpus : STATESMAN SENTINEL says...

    […] Orders Release Of Algerian From Guantánamo (But He’s Not Going Anywhere) (November 2009), Innocent Guantánamo Torture Victim Fouad al-Rabiah Is Released In Kuwait (December 2009), What Does It Take To Get Out Of Obama’s Guantánamo? (December 2009), […]

  23. House Kills Plan to Close Guantanamo « Politics or Poppycock says...

    […] To my mind, this should involve, first of all, more respect for the District Court’s habeas rulings than has been shown to date. Over the last 20 months, judges have granted the habeas petitions of 35 prisoners, and along the way have done more to demolish claims that Guantánamo holds “the worst of the worst” than any other forum, exposing how much of the government’s supposed evidence consists of unreliable statements made by the prisoners themselves or by their fellow prisoners, and also exposing how torture, coercion and the bribery of prisoners with better living conditions have played a major role in making these statements unreliable. Despite this, the administration has failed to take advantage of these rulings in its dealings with Congress, and has preferred to either appeal them, or to release those who have won their petitions with extreme reluctance. […]

  24. Life After Guantánamo: Kuwaitis Discuss Their Tortured Confessions - OpEd says...

    […] he said he was warmly received. Those who knew him never thought he was guilty, he said. When repatriated, Al-Rabiah was supposed to — according to a US request — live in a rehabilitation center, […]

  25. House Kills Plan to Close Guantanamo | MEDIAROOTS – Reporting From Outside Party Lines says...

    […] To my mind, this should involve, first of all, more respect for the District Court’s habeas rulings than has been shown to date. Over the last 20 months, judges have granted the habeas petitions of 35 prisoners, and along the way have done more to demolish claims that Guantánamo holds “the worst of the worst” than any other forum, exposing how much of the government’s supposed evidence consists of unreliable statements made by the prisoners themselves or by their fellow prisoners, and also exposing how torture, coercion and the bribery of prisoners with better living conditions have played a major role in making these statements unreliable. Despite this, the administration has failed to take advantage of these rulings in its dealings with Congress, and has preferred to either appeal them, or to release those who have won their petitions with extreme reluctance. […]

  26. The West: Where You’re Innocent Until Proven Guilty Unless You’re A Muslim | Dean Richards says...

    […] we cannot let that happen. It is shown again and again and again and again (and again and again and again…) that Muslims are not seen as equals, […]

  27. The West: Where You're Innocent Until Proven Guilty Unless You're A Muslim - Kyran Archer says...

    […] we cannot let that happen. It is shown again and again and again and again (and again and again and again…) that Muslims are not seen as equals, […]

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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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