The Guantánamo Files: An Archive of Articles – Part One, May to December 2007

27.1.10

The Guantanamo Files

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For four years, I have been providing detailed information about the prisoners in Guantánamo, first through my book The Guantánamo Files, which tells the story of the prison and around 450 of the prisoners held, and then through 12 online chapters, which provide information about the majority of the other 329 prisoners. Alongside this project, I have been working assiduously as a full-time independent journalist, covering stories as they develop, and focusing in particular on the stories of released prisoners, the Military Commission trial system, and the prisoners’ progress in the courts, through their habeas corpus petitions.

My intention, all along, has been to bring the men to life through their stories, dispelling the Bush administration’s rhetoric about the prison holding “the worst of the worst,” and demonstrating how, instead, the majority of the prisoners were either innocent men, seized by the US military’s allies at a time when bounty payments were widespread, or recruits for the Taliban, who had been encouraged by supporters in their homelands to help the Taliban in a long-running inter-Muslim civil war (with the Northern Alliance), which began long before the 9/11 attacks and, for the most part, had nothing to do with al-Qaeda or international terrorism. As I explained in the introduction to my four-part Definitive Prisoner List (updated on January 1), I remain convinced, through detailed research and through comments from insiders with knowledge of Guantánamo, that “at least 93 percent of the 779 men and boys imprisoned in total” had no involvement with terrorism.

However, as this is a blog, rather than a website, I recognize that it’s increasingly difficult to navigate, as there are so many “Categories,” and, crucially, there is no easy access to articles in anything other than reverse chronological order. In an attempt to remedy this shortcoming, I’ve put together five chronological lists, covering the periods May to December 2007, January to June 2008, July to December 2008, January to June 2009 and July to December 2009, in the hope that they will provide a useful tool for navigation. The lists primarily contain original articles, but also cover interviews and TV appearances, and the occasional cross-post of worthwhile articles from other sources.

This first part covers the first seven months of my almost accidental career as an independent journalist covering Guantánamo and related issues, when, after finishing the manuscript for The Guantánamo Files, I began writing articles about ongoing developments at Guantánamo and elsewhere in the “War on Terror,” establishing a number of contacts — with CounterPunch, the Huffington Post, Antiwar.com and Cageprisoners — that enabled me to begin developing an audience, and covering important stories that, in general, were either overlooked or underreported by the mainstream media. I also began writing the occasional op-ed for the Daily Star, Lebanon, had an article published in Index on Censorship (to coincide with the launch of The Guantánamo Files), and was delighted that the book was reviewed in the New Statesman.

Beginning with the death of a prisoner at the end of May 2007 (the fourth of six deaths to date at the prison), I followed up by covering the stories of 83 prisoners released in this period in unprecedented detail, reported on the shambolic revival of the reviled Military Commission trial system that was first introduced by former Vice President Dick Cheney in November 2001, and also championed Lt. Col. Stephen Abraham, a veteran of US intelligence, who had worked on the tribunals at Guantánamo (the Combatant Status Review tribunals). In an explosive affidavit in a Guantánamo case that was heading to the Supreme Court, Lt. Col. Abraham revealed that the tribunals were a sham, designed, essentially, to rubberstamp the administration’s prior designation of the prisoners as “enemy combatants” who could be held indefinitely without charge or trial. Throughout the year, new revelations reinforced his damning criticism.

In other key articles, I examined the torture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the stories of the British residents at Guantánamo, and the Supreme Court hearing in December 2007 that paved the way for the granting of constitutionally guaranteed habeas corpus rights to the prisoners in June 2008, in Boumediene v. Bush. I also covered the cases of US citizen Jose Padilla and US resident Ali al-Marri, who were imprisoned and tortured as “enemy combatants” on the US mainland, examined the stories of two former juvenile prisoners — Omar Khadr and Mohamed Jawad — and kept a close watch on the Bush administration’s attempts to return cleared prisoners to countries where they faced ill-treatment, which happened in the cases of two Tunisians repatriated in June, and led to a significant court ruling in October. I also began, tentatively, to explore the parameters of Britain’s flawed anti-terror laws.

An archive of Guantánamo articles: Part One, May to December 2007

May/June 2007

1. Deaths in Guantánamo: Suicide at Guantánamo: the story of Abdul Rahman al-Amri
2. Deaths in Guantánamo: Suicide at Guantánamo: a response to the US military’s allegations that Abdul Rahman al-Amri was a member of al-Qaeda
3. Military Commissions: The reviled Military Commissions collapse and the pressure to close Guantánamo increases
Ali al-Marri4. US enemy combatants: The ordeal of Ali al-Marri
5. Return to torture: Cleared Guantánamo detainee Abdul Rauf al-Qassim fears return to Libya
6. Prisoners released from Guantánamo: Two Tunisians and four Yemenis leave Guantánamo: at least one – Abdullah bin Omar – faces torture in his homeland
7. Prisoners released from Guantánamo: Guantánamo: identities of released Yemenis revealed
8. Return to torture: The Perils of Return: Repatriated to Torture
9. Prisoners released from Guantánamo: A Tunisian in Guantánamo: the story of Lofti Lagha, Prisoner 660
10. Book review: Dick Cheney: Invisible Tyrant
11. Dick Cheney: Dick Cheney: more horrors from the ‘Vice-President for Torture’
12. Military Commissions: Guantánamo: judges deliver two more body blows to an embattled administration (trials suspended)

July 2007

13. Guantánamo whistleblowers: Lt. Col. Stephen Abraham is not the first insider to condemn the kangaroo courts
14. British residents: Shaker Aamer, A South London Man in Guantánamo: The Children Speak
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed15. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed: Guantánamo’s tangled web: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Majid Khan, dubious US convictions, and a dying man
16. Prisoners released from Guantánamo: Who are the 16 Saudis released from Guantánamo?
17. Tajik prisoners: Tajikistan: ex-Guantánamo prisoner plans to sue President Bush
18. Conditions at Guantánamo: Guantánamo’s library: adding insult to injury
19. Recidivism: If the US administration had behaved intelligently, ex-Guantánamo inmate who blew himself up would never have been released
20. Guantánamo whistleblowers: The Guantánamo whistleblower, a Libyan shopkeeper, some Chinese Muslims and a desperate government

August 2007

21. Military Commissions: Doing The Right Thing: Guantánamo Military Commission lawyers William Kuebler and Tom Fleener speak out
22. Saudi prisoners: Saudi who suffered brain damage in Guantánamo gets married in Medina
23. Bahraini prisoners: Isolation in Guantánamo: a report on the plight of Isa al-Murbati
Ahmed Belbacha24. British residents: Return to torture: act now for Ahmed Belbacha, a British resident in Guantánamo
25. British residents: Deals with dictators undermined by British request for return of five Guantánamo detainees
26. US enemy combatants: Benamar Benatta: domestic victim of US injustice in the “War on Terror”
27. Guantánamo whistleblowers: Guantánamo: more whistleblowers condemn the tribunals
28. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed: Jane Mayer on the CIA’s “black sites,” condemnation by the Red Cross, and Guantánamo’s “high-value” detainees (including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed)
29. Prisoners released from Guantánamo: Isa al-Murbati, the last Bahraini in Guantánamo, returns home (and a former Taliban minister returns to Afghanistan)
30. Torture: An unreported story from Guantánamo: the tale of Sanad al-Kazimi
31. Afghan prisoners: The story of Abdullah Mujahid, an Afghan police chief betrayed by the US administration and wrongly sent to Guantánamo
32. Tajik prisoners: Tajiks released from Guantánamo sentenced to 17 years in prison
Omar Deghayes33. British residents: The testimony of Guantánamo detainee Omar Deghayes: includes allegations of previously unreported murders in the US prison at Bagram airbase
34. Military Commissions: “A lawless process”: attempts to revive Guantánamo’s reviled Military Commissions opposed by military lawyers
35. UK anti-terror laws: The troubling tale of Tunisian Belmarsh detainee Hedi Boudhiba, extradited, cleared and abandoned in Spain

September 2007

36. Return to torture: “We would rather be back in Guantánamo,” say Tunisians Abdullah bin Omar and Lofti Lagha, returned in June
37. US enemy combatants: Jose Padilla: More Sinned Against Than Sinning
38. British residents: Guantánamo detainee Ahmed Belbacha: UK government explains why it will not act to prevent his return to torture
Sami al-Haj39. Sami al-Haj: Guantánamo: al-Jazeera cameraman Sami al-Haj fears that he will die
40. Prisoners released from Guantánamo: Guantánamo: The Stories Of The 16 Saudis Just Released
41. Guantánamo tribunals: Guantánamo Transcripts: “Ghost” Prisoners Speak After Five And A Half Years, And “9/11 hijacker” Recants His Tortured Confession
42. Guantánamo lawyers: Guantánamo’s ridiculous underwear saga: the full correspondence
43. Interviews: The Guantánamo Files: The Talking Dog interview
44. New arrivals: Myopic Pentagon keeps filling Guantánamo
45. Guantánamo and habeas corpus: This is justice? Senate majority votes for habeas rights for Guantánamo detainees, but loses anyway
46. Omar Khadr: Guantánamo: as child soldier Omar Khadr turns 21, US military lawyer William Kuebler criticizes Canadians for their indifference
47. Military Commissions: A bad week at Guantánamo: lawyers are denied access to detainees, and the Military Commission show trials stumble back to life
48. Military Commissions: Guantánamo: the curse of the Military Commissions strikes the prosecutors

October 2007

Mohammed al-Amin49. Prisoners released from Guantánamo: The long suffering of Mohammed al-Amin, a Mauritanian teenager sent home from Guantánamo
50. Interviews: Poetry and politics at Guantánamo: An interview with Marc Falkoff, editor of Poems From Guantánamo: The Detainees Speak
51. Prisoners released from Guantánamo: The Anonymous Victims Of Guantánamo: Eight More Wrongly Imprisoned Men Are Quietly Released (six Afghans, a Libyan and a Yemeni)
52. Military Commissions: A good week at Guantánamo: judge reinstates habeas cases, and the Military Commissions’ chief prosecutor resigns
53. Guantánamo whistleblowers: A New Guantánamo Whistleblower Steps Forward to Criticize the Tribunal Process
54. Return to torture: Judge prevents innocent Tunisian’s return to torture from Guantánamo
55. Military Commissions: The Afghan teenager put forward for trial by Military Commission at Guantánamo (Mohamed Jawad)
56. Interviews: The Guantánamo Files: Andy Worthington interviewed by Kristina Božič
57. Uighur prisoners: Guantánamo’s Uyghurs: stranded in Albania
58. Diego Garcia: Guantánamo’s ghosts and the shame of Diego Garcia
David Hicks59. Military Commissions: The politics of David Hicks’ release from Guantánamo confirmed: plea bargain arranged between Cheney and Howard
60. Deaths in Guantánamo: Guantánamo suicides: so who’s telling the truth?
61. Return to torture: “I’m innocent,” says Guantánamo detainee Lofti Lagha, sentenced to three years’ imprisonment in Tunisia

November 2007

62. UK anti-terror laws: Guantánamo as house arrest: Britain’s law lords capitulate on control orders
63. US enemy combatants: The torture of Ali al-Marri, the last “enemy combatant” on the US mainland
64. Prisoners released from Guantánamo: The Stories of Three Innocent Jordanians and an Afghan, Just Released
65. Prisoners released from Guantánamo: Innocents and Foot Soldiers: The Stories of the 14 Saudis Just Released From Guantánamo
Omar Khadr66. Omar Khadr: The trials of Omar Khadr, Guantánamo’s “child soldier”
67. Guantánamo whistleblowers: Guantánamo whistleblower launches new attack on rigged tribunals
68. Uighur prisoners: Former Guantánamo detainee seeks asylum in Sweden
69. Uighur prisoners: Adel Abdul Hakim, the asylum seeker from Guantánamo: a transcript of Sabin Willett’s recent speech in Stockholm

December 2007

70. Return to torture: Out of Guantánamo, and into the fire: conviction of ex-detainee in Tunisia casts doubts on US motives
71. Guantánamo and habeas corpus: Guantánamo and the Supreme Court: the most important habeas corpus case in modern history
72. Guantánamo and habeas corpus: Guantánamo and the Supreme Court: who are Fawzi al-Odah and Lakhdar Boumediene? (for the BBC)
73. British residents: Guantánamo Britons To Be Released: A Mixed Result
74. Guantánamo and habeas corpus: Guantánamo and the Supreme Court: What Happened?
Adel Hassan Hamad and Salim Muhood Adem75. Prisoners released from Guantánamo: The Shocking Stories of the Sudanese Humanitarian Aid Workers Just Released From Guantánamo
76. Prisoners released from Guantánamo: Britons in Guantánamo return to UK for Eid al-Adha
77. Torture: Former US interrogator Damien Corsetti recalls the torture of prisoners in Bagram and Abu Ghraib
78. British residents: The Guantánamo Britons and Spain’s dubious extradition request
79. Military Commissions: Military judge dashes hopes that Guantánamo detainees have rights as Prisoners of War
80. Prisoners released from Guantánamo: The Stories of the Afghans Just Released from Guantánamo: Intelligence Failures, Battlefield Myths and Unaccountable Prisons in Afghanistan (Part One)
81. Prisoners released from Guantánamo: The Stories of the Afghans Just Released from Guantánamo: Intelligence Failures, Battlefield Myths and Unaccountable Prisons in Afghanistan (Part Two)

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.

2 Responses

  1. The Guantánamo Files: An Archive of Articles — Part Eleven, October to December 2011 | Friction Facts says...

    [...] the last two years, put together ten chronological lists of all my articles, covering the periods May to December 2007, January to June 2008, July to December 2008, January to June 2009, July to December 2009, January [...]

  2. Guantanamo Files | Friction Facts says...

    [...] the last two years, put together ten chronological lists of all my articles, covering the periods May to December 2007, January to June 2008, July to December 2008, January to June 2009, July to December 2009, January [...]

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