On the 9th anniversary of the opening of Guantánamo, after I had spoken at a rally outside The White House and a protest outside the Department of Justice, and before I attended a panel discussion I had put together for the New America Foundation, featuring myself, Morris Davis (the former chief prosecutor of the Military Commissions at Guantánamo), attorney Tom Wilner (who argued the Guantánamo cases before the Supreme Court) and Ben Wittes of the Brookings Institution, I dropped by the studios of Russia Today (for the second day running) to talk about Guantánamo , and the reasons the prison hasn’t closed, as promised by President Obama, and managed, in seven and a half minutes, to run through some key elements of the story of the prison, and the reasons why, as I explained in a recent article, the remaining men can be described as The Political Prisoners of Guantánamo. While waiting for my interview, i was delighted to meet up with Morris Davis, who was also doing an interview prior to our panel discussion.
Both interviews are available below (via YouTube), and I’m pleased to note that Col. Davis, who is now the director of the Crimes of War Project, was encouraged to run through the story of how he resigned in October 2007, on the day that he heard he had been put in a chain of command under Pentagon General Counsel William J. Haynes II. This was because of his own implacable opposition to the use of mateiral derived through the use of torture, and because Haynes, in contrast, had been one of the government lawyers closest to former Vice President Dick Cheney, and had played a major role in developing the Bush administration’s post-9/11 torture program.
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) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. 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 July 2010, details about the new documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, currently on tour in the UK, and available on DVD here), my definitive Guantánamo habeas list and the chronological list of all my articles, and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.
On Facebok, Damian Fortieth wrote:
The camera absolutely loves you, AW. Super handsome. Enjoyed seeing your interview and that of the former chief prosecutor at Gitmo, Morris Davis. Very informative, important, and timely. A must-share.
Tashi Farmilo-Marouf Artist wrote:
The only thing that I find irritating is she keeps saying Gitmo. It makes it sound like a cartoon character. Is Guantanamo such a heavy word to say?
Khan Sohail wrote:
Great work Andy . We all are with you in this cause of Truth !
Mark Stephens wrote:
Great job with quite a feisty interviewer!
Thanks for the comments, everyone.
Damian, you almost made me blush there, and Tashi, I think the interviewer’s use of “Gitmo” demonstrated why I don’t use it, because it’s another code word, like “detention camp,” “detainees,” “enhanced interrogation.” Thanks for picking up on that.
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