The Guantánamo Files: An Archive of Articles – Part Three, July to December 2008

29.1.10

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, most crucially, there is no access to articles in anything other than reverse chronological order. In an attempt to remedy this shortcoming, and to provide easy access to the most important articles on the site, 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.

In the period covered by this third part of the list, I continued writing for the Guardian, the Huffington Post, CounterPunch, Antiwar.com and AlterNet (and also began working with ZNet), and left Reprieve, the legal action charity whose lawyers represent dozens of Guantánamo prisoners, in October, to concentrate on my writing. I picked up some work for Cageprisoners and The Raw Story (especially an overlooked story of the number of juveniles held in Guantánamo), continued my association with the Daily Star, Lebanon, and also started writing a weekly column for the Future of Freedom Foundation. I also contributed guest columns to Juan Cole’s Informed Comment and to the British site, Liberal Conspiracy.

The three dominant themes of this period were the prisoners’ habeas corpus petitions (authorized by the Supreme Court in June), the US presidential elections, and the ongoing collapse of the Military Commissions. One of Guantánamo’s Uighur prisoners (Muslims from China’s Xinjiang province) won a resounding appeals court victory at the start of this period, which led to the government abandoning all attempts to claim that the 17 Uighurs were “enemy combatants,” persuading Judge Ricardo Urbina to order their release into the United States in October. This was resisted by the Bush administration, but in November another judge ordered five out of six Algerians seized in Bosnia-Herzegovina to be released, and at the end of the year, 22 out of 23 habeas petitions had been granted.

On the election trail, I followed Barack Obama’s progress, taking hope from his stated opposition to the Bush administration’s policies regarding Guantánamo and the “War on Terror,” and delivering two articles presenting the problems with Guantánamo in the weeks following his victory.

In my coverage of the Military Commissions, I watched closely as Salim Hamdan, a driver for Osama bin Laden, was convicted in a Pyrrhic victory for the government, which led to his release from Guantánamo in November, and also watched as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed seized two opportunities to usurp the trial system’s faltering authority. Also of significance was a one-sided trial for al-Qaeda member Ali Hamza al-Bahlul, and the machinations behind the scenes, which I covered in a series of articles, focused primarily on one of my favorite articles, “The Dark Heart of the Guantánamo Trials.”

I also covered in detail an unprecedented court case in the UK involving the British resident Binyam Mohamed, reported on the stories of the 21 prisoners released during this period, reported new revelations about the use of Diego Garcia for a secret prison, and kept an eye on the bleak story of US “enemy combatant” Ali al-Marri. As the year ended, I published an article on the history of music torture in the “War on Terror,” which received worldwide attention, published a detailed, two-part analysis of “The Lies of Dick Cheney” and an interview with the Guantánamo whistleblower, Lt. Col. Stephen Abraham, and asked whether, in the wake of a critical report by the Senate Armed Services Committee, senior Bush administration officials would be held accountable for war crimes.

An archive of Guantánamo articles: Part Three, July to December 2008

July 2008

1. Guantánamo and habeas corpus: Guantánamo as Alice in Wonderland (Uighurs)
2. Military Commissions: Guantánamo Trials: Another Torture Victim Charged (Abdul Rahim al-Nashiri)
3. Prisoners released from Guantánamo: Repatriation as Russian Roulette: Will the Two Algerians Freed from Guantánamo Be Treated Fairly?
4. Diego Garcia: Scandal of Diego Garcia rendition flights strains US-UK relations
5. Omar Khadr: “Screwed up” and “abused”: Omar Khadr’s Canadian interrogations at Guantánamo
6. Guantánamo and habeas corpus: What’s Happening with the Guantánamo cases?
Ali al-Marri7. US enemy combatants: Court Confirms President’s Dictatorial Powers in Case of US “Enemy Combatant” Ali al-Marri
8. Omar Khadr: Moazzam Begg recalls the suffering of Omar Khadr
9. Film reviews: Film review: Standard Operating Procedure
10. Military Commissions: Folly and Injustice: Salim Hamdan’s Guantánamo Trial
11. Prisoners released from Guantánamo: Three prisoners released from Guantánamo, including the brother of US “enemy combatant” Ali al-Marri
12. Sami al-Haj: An interview with Sami al-Haj, former Guantánamo prisoner and al-Jazeera journalist

August 2008

13. Diego Garcia: Secret Prison on Diego Garcia Confirmed: Six “High-Value” Guantánamo Prisoners Held, Plus “Ghost Prisoner” Mustafa Setmariam Nasar
14. Diego Garcia: Diego Garcia: the UK’s shame (in the Guardian)
15. Binyam Mohamed: Binyam Mohamed’s judicial review: judges grill British agent and question fairness of Guantánamo trials
Salim Hamdan16. Military Commissions: A critical overview of Salim Hamdan’s Guantánamo trial and the dubious verdict
17. Military Commissions: Salim Hamdan’s sentence signals the end of Guantánamo
18. Video: TV and radio: Andy Worthington responds to the verdict in Salim Hamdan’s Guantánamo trial
19. Military Commissions: Salim Hamdan’s sentence at Guantánamo: a military juror speaks
20. Military Commissions: The Media’s Response to the Hamdan Trial: Due Process or Dictatorial Sideshow?
21. Deaths in Guantánamo: NCIS Statement on the Guantánamo Suicides of June 2006
22. Deaths in Guantánamo: Guantánamo Suicide Report: Truth or Travesty?
23. Prisoners released from Guantánamo: Clearing Out Guantánamo: Two More Algerians Transferred
Binyam Mohamed24. Binyam Mohamed: High Court rules against UK and US in case of Guantánamo torture victim Binyam Mohamed

September 2008

25. George W. Bush: Bush’s proposed terror legacy: a legal basis for perpetual war
26. Prisoners released from Guantánamo: Rendered to Egypt for torture, Mohammed Saad Iqbal Madni is released from Guantánamo
27. Prisoners released from Guantánamo: Two Afghans released from Guantánamo: a farmer and a teenager
28. Military Commissions: Controversy still plagues Guantánamo’s Military Commissions
29. Binyam Mohamed: In a plea from Guantánamo, Binyam Mohamed talks of “betrayal” by the UK
30. George W. Bush: Bush’s bitter legacy (in the Guardian)
31. Military Commissions: Guantánamo trials: another insignificant Afghan charged
Omar Khadr in 2008 (court sketch by Janet Hamlin)32. Omar Khadr: Seized at 15, Omar Khadr turns 22 in Guantánamo
33. Guantánamo and habeas corpus: Guantánamo: Government Says Six Years Is Not Long Enough To Prepare Evidence
34. Military Commissions: Is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Running the 9/11 Trials?
35. US election: Obama and McCain shirk discussion of Guantánamo and executive overreach
36. US election: A Message to Barack Obama: Don’t Forget Cheney and Addington

October 2008

37. Military Commissions: The Dark Heart of the Guantánamo Trials
38. Prisoners released from Guantánamo: Seized In Pakistan, Two 50 Year Olds Are Released From Guantánamo
39. Guantánamo and habeas corpus: From Guantánamo to the United States: The Story of the Wrongly Imprisoned Uighurs
40. Military Commissions: New Evidence of Systemic Bias in Guantánamo Trials
41. Torture: Newly released Guantánamo manual confirms use of banned techniques
42. Binyam Mohamed: US Justice Department drops “dirty bomb plot” allegation against Binyam Mohamed
43. Torture: The trail of torture (CIA torture revelations, in the Guardian)
44. Uighur prisoners: Guantánamo Uyghurs’ resettlement prospects skewered by Justice Department lies
45. Uighur prisoners: A Pastor’s Plea for the Guantánamo Uyghurs
46. Omar Khadr: Omar Khadr: The Guantánamo Files (how advice on the treatment of juveniles was ignored)
47. Military Commissions: Guantánamo’s bleak farce (Military Commission charges dropped against Binyam Mohamed and others, in the Guardian)
48. Binyam Mohamed: Contempt of court (more on Binyam Mohamed’s UK court case, in the Guardian)
49. Diego Garcia: Diego Garcia: no return to “torture island” (Law Lords turn their backs on the Chagos Islanders)
50. Military Commissions: Meltdown at the Guantánamo Trials
51. Omar Khadr: The Collapse of Omar Khadr’s Guantánamo Trial
Ali Hamza al-Bahlul, in a 2004 courtroom sketch52. Military Commissions: An Empty Trial at Guantánamo (Ali Hamza al-Bahlul)
53. Uighur prisoners: Guantánamo: Justice Delayed or Justice Denied?
54. Military Commissions: Corruption at Guantánamo: Military Commissions Under Investigation
55. Binyam Mohamed: Torture cannot be hidden forever (police to investigate MI5’s actions)

November 2008

56. Uighur prisoners: Guantánamo Uighurs: Sabin Willett’s letter to the Justice Department
57. Return to torture: Treachery at Guantánamo (attempts to forcibly repatriate prisoners protected by court orders)
58. US election: Silence on war crimes as the US election campaign ends
59. Military Commissions: Life sentence for al-Qaeda propagandist fails to justify Guantánamo trials (Ali Hamza al-Bahlul)
60. US election: A bright new day – but what now, President Obama? (Obama’s election victory)
61. Binyam Mohamed: Guilt By Torture: Binyam Mohamed’s Transatlantic Quest for Justice
62. Prisoners released from Guantánamo: Release of three prisoners highlights failures of Guantánamo (a Kazakh, a Somali and a Tajik)
63. Guantánamo guards: On Veterans Day, my correspondence with Brandon Neely, Iraq war resister and former Guantánamo guard
64. Closing Guantánamo: Why Guantánamo Must Be Closed: Advice for Barack Obama
65. Military Commissions: 20 Reasons To Shut Down The Guantánamo Trials (studies of the 20 prisoners facing charges)
66. Closing Guantánamo: How Guantánamo Can Be Closed: More Advice for Barack Obama
Fouad al-Rabiah, one of the two Kuwaitis charged67. Military Commissions: More Dubious Charges in the Guantánamo Trials (two Kuwaitis charged)
68. Children in Guantánamo: The Pentagon Can’t Count: 22 Juveniles Held at Guantánamo
69. Children in Guantánamo: Trampling The Rights Of The Child: The Treatment Of Juveniles In Guantánamo
70. Salim Hamdan: Bin Laden’s Driver To Be Released From Guantánamo; Government Defeated
71. Guantánamo and habeas corpus: After 7 Years, Judge Orders Release of Guantánamo Kidnap Victims (Bosnian Algerians, kidnapped in January 2002)
72. Salim Hamdan: The End of Guantánamo (the implications of Hamdan’s release)

December 2008

73. Military Commissions: Torture, Preventive Detention and the Terror Trials At Guantánamo
74. US enemy combatants: The Last US Enemy Combatant: The Shocking Story of Ali al-Marri
75. Closing Guantánamo: Obama and Holder must return to a September 10th mind-set (for Informed Comment)
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in December 200876. Military Commissions: Is The 9/11 Trial Confession An Al-Qaeda Propaganda Coup?
77. Prisoners released from Guantánamo: Lost In Guantánamo: The Faisalabad 16
78. Military Commissions: Relatives of 9/11 Victims Condemn Shameful and Unconstitutional Guantánamo Trials
79. Torture: A History of Music Torture in the “War on Terror”
80. Closing Guantánamo: Will Europe Take The Cleared Guantánamo Prisoners?
81. Prisoners released from Guantánamo: Freed Bosnian Calls Guantánamo the “worst place in the world”
82. Guantánamo whistleblowers: An interview with Guantánamo whistleblower Stephen Abraham (Part One)
83. Torture: Will the Bush administration be held accountable for war crimes?
84. Binyam Mohamed: Is Robert Gates Guilty of Perjury in Guantánamo Torture Case?
85. Dick Cheney: The Ten Lies of Dick Cheney (Part One)
86. Dick Cheney: The Ten Lies of Dick Cheney (Part Two)
87. Guantánamo whistleblowers: An interview with Guantánamo whistleblower Stephen Abraham (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.

3 Responses

  1. Chris Lawrence says...

    Great summary of articles. But that’s 87 articles on Guantanamo Bay, without a single one talking about why the US has the base and when they might actually leave cuban soil.

    http://www.watchinghistory.com/2010/01/guantanamo-bay.html

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Thank you for providing it!

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

    […] 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 to June 2010, July to December 2010, January […]

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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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