Sometime in the last few days — here, actually — I reached another milestone in my long journey to expose the truth about Guantánamo and the “War on Terror”: that Bush and co. were not only war criminals, but largely incompetent as well, managing to hold only around 1 in 20 men who had anything to do with terrorism at Guantánamo (and no doubt elsewhere as well), but subjecting all of them to a shameful program of abusive interrogations and detention without charge or trial.
To mark the occasion of my 700th blog posting — and the eighth anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo (with some highy critical reviews of Obama’s first year to follow) — I’d like to thank all the readers who made 1,700,000 page visits last year, and who have made 60,000 page visits this month alone. I’d also like to thank the many people who have donated to the maintenance of this site — and its busy creator — in the last few months, and the organizations who support me financially: the Guardian, Truthout, the Future of Freedom Foundation, Cageprisoners, and, on occasion, the Daily Star, Lebanon. I’d also like to thank FFF and The World Can’t Wait for bringing me to the US in November to show the new documentary, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and myself).
So thank you again, everyone. Please keep the comments coming to my site, to my inbox and on Facebook. The supportive words really count, as we enter a new year and a new decade that shows no sign of allowing those of us who can see pressing problems ahead — beyond constant warmongering and hysteria about terrorist threats, whether real or imagined — to move beyond the disastrous legacy of the Bush years, and to begin to shape the new world that we need to work towards if our children are to have a meaningful life beyond our general selfishness and stupidity.
In the meantime, I remain committed to doing all I can to overturn the brutalizing effect of those long years of Bush and Cheney, and to keep maintaining the pressure on Barack Obama to understand that tinkering with an illegal and immoral monstrosity is not the same as repudiating it, and to understand that capitulating to the idiocy of opportunistic fearmongers may be pragmatic, but along the way it destroys all principles.
And we need principles more than ever. I leave finance and climate change to other activists, but when it comes to war and national security, I can safely say, after committing the last four years of my life to these topics, that we need to bring justice to the 198 prisoners remaining in Guantánamo, freeing the majority and holding federal court trials for the rest, we need to bring justice to Bagram, where currently there is none, we need to uncover the full parameters of the CIA’s secret detention program, we need to find a way to bring the ruinous wars of the last decade to an end, and, as my 700th blog post indicated, we also need to hold to account the lawyers who purported to redefine torture, and the senior officials who authorized it. To look forwards, we need to have a clear conscience about the past.
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 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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