The Guantánamo Files: Andy Worthington’s Boiling Frogs Podcast with Peter B. Collins and Sibel Edmonds

24.1.10

In case you didn’t know, FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds has a new website, Boiling Frogs, described as “the Home of the Irate Minority.” Sibel and I discovered each other’s work some time ago, and when she established Boiling Frogs, we set a date for an interview, to be broadcast around the time that — as we anticipated — Barack Obama would miss his self-imposed deadline for the closure of Guantánamo.

The day after this predicted failure, Sibel has made the interview, helmed by another friend and colleague, Peter B. Collins, available as an hour-long podcast here (and the MP3 is here). Peter B. and I have done many interviews over the last few months, and for Boiling Frogs, we ran through the whole sordid story of the Bush administration’s lawless project, which President Obama is finding so difficult to bring to an end.

Because this interview was pre-recorded a few weeks ago, Peter, Sibel and I had no idea that, in the days before Obama’s failed deadline, Scott Horton would publish an extraordinary story about the supposed suicides at Guantánamo in June 2006, and Obama’s interagency Task Force would choose the day of the deadline to advise the President that 47 of the remaining 196 prisoners should be held indefinitely without charge or trial.

Nevertheless, the interview was an excellent opportunity for Peter, Sibel and I to run through Guantánamo’s history, enabling me to explain how I came to research and write The Guantánamo Files (and why no major media outlet chose to analyze the publicly available documents that were the main basis of my research). At Peter’s request, I also ran through the prison’s legal history, explaining why the Supreme Court made the unprecedented decision to grant habeas corpus rights to prisoners seized during wartime, and also explained how, of the 779 prisoners held, 95 percent had no involvement with terrorism, and that around half of the prisoners were completely innocent men, seized through ineptitude or the lure of bounty payments, and the other half were Taliban foot soldiers, recruited to fight an inter-Muslim civil war that began long before 9/11.

We also spoke about the Bush administration’s potent propaganda regarding Guantánamo, the “tortured narratives” extracted from the prisoners at Guantánamo, which are only finally being exposed in their habeas corpus petitions in the US courts, and the faith that has enabled the majority of the prisoners to survive their horrendous ordeal without, as the Pentagon regularly alleges in unsubstantiated propaganda, taking up arms against their former oppressors on their release.

I also had the opportunity to review the successes and failures of Obama’s first year, with the emphasis on the latter, particularly when it comes to indefinite detention without charge or trial. At Sibel’s request, I also spoke about the role other countries played in the “War on Terror” (whether willingly or under pressure), with a particular focus on the UK, and its own under-reported policy of indefinite detention without charge or trial for terror suspects.

There’s much more in the interview that I haven’t mentioned here, so I hope you have a listen. I look forward to talking to Sibel and Peter B. again, and am delighted that Peter chose to close the show by stating, “you have provided a great service to our nation and the world by bringing light to this very, very dark series of issues.”

Note: On Friday, I also did a six-minute interview with Free Speech Radio News, which is available here. Another FSRN reporter, David Rosenfeld, also interviewed me last week, and part of that interview was included in an article about the Pentagon’s propaganda regarding Gitmo recidivism, which is here. And on Saturday, for any Slovak readers out there, my interview with journalist Tomas Vasilko, in which I attempted to quell any fears the Slovak people might have regarding the three cleared prisoners to be rehoused by the government, was published in the Slovak daily, SME, available online here.

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, updated in January 2010, 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.

3 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    A few comments from this post on Boiling Frogs:

    Max wrote:

    Great interview ! I just started his book, The Guantanamo Files: The Stories of the 759 Detainees in America’s Illegal prison. I enjoy listening to your shows and am thankful for all the speaking up and out you have done for our Republic, Sibel.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Cinderman wrote:

    All of you who believed in Obama before he got elected are now eating your just desserts. No one comes out of political obscurity and becomes president in less than a decade without inside help. People should vote their conscience, not propagandist teleprompter verbiage of a Manchurian candidate. Any dark horse coming out of nowhere to win an election, or anything else for that matter, is automatically suspect. Yet the majority of folks find sticking their head in a hole a matter of primary convenience. It means they don’t have to think for themselves. Dark places are safe havens for the braindead.

  3. Andy Worthington Interviewed by Sibel Edmonds and Peter B. Collins « Dandelion Salad says...

    […] The Guantánamo Files: Andy Worthington’s Boiling Frogs Podcast with Peter B. Collins and Sibel Ed… […]

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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 (The State of London).
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