“[T]his is a strong movie examining the imprisonment and subsequent torture of those falsely accused of anti-American conspiracy.”
Joe Burnham, Time Out
Readers in the US who want to see the documentary fim, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo,” which I co-directed with my filmmaker friend Polly Nash, can now bypass the previous route to buying a DVD in the States — via the production company here in the UK — and buy it direct from The World Can’t Wait in New York, for just $10 post free.
With Guantánamo not closing anytime soon — if ever — through the cowardice of President Obama and the relentless negative campaigning of Republicans, it is more important than ever that US citizens who care about the crimes and injustices committed in their names have the opportunity to discover the truth, and “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” provides the perfect opportunity to discover the truth about Guantánamo, telling the story of the prison, and of the prisoners Shaker Aamer (still held), and Binyam Mohamed and Omar Deghayes (both released), through the testimony of former prisoners, lawyers Tom Wilner and Clive Stafford Smith, and Guantánamo expert Andy Worthington.
As the publicity for the film states:
“Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” tells the story of Guantánamo (and includes sections on extraordinary rendition and secret prisons) with a particular focus on how the Bush administration turned its back on domestic and international laws, how prisoners were rounded up in Afghanistan and Pakistan without adequate screening (and often for bounty payments), and why some of these men may have been in Afghanistan or Pakistan for reasons unconnected with militancy or terrorism (as missionaries or humanitarian aid workers, for example).
The film provides a powerful rebuke to those who believe that Guantánamo holds “the worst of the worst” and that the Bush administration was justified in responding to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 by holding men neither as prisoners of war, protected by the Geneva Conventions, nor as criminal suspects with habeas corpus rights, but as “illegal enemy combatants” with no rights whatsoever.
At the heart of the film are the prisoners themselves — Moazzam Begg and, in particular, Omar Deghayes, who brings a real vulnerability to his recollections of the torture he endured, emphasizing, as if any emphasis should be required, that in its desire to paint the prisoners as the “worst of the worst,” the Bush administration successfully dehumanized the men, making it easy to forget that, behind the rhetoric of the “War onTerror” were real human beings, with families, and with their own hopes and fears.
Often these men were innocent of any involvement in militancy, let alone terrorism, but whether “guilty” or not, none of them deserved to be subjected to torture, abuse and arbitrary and indefinite detention by a US administration that forgot the difference between right and wrong, and left a legacy of indefinite detention without charge or trial at Guantánamo that ought to shame America to this day.
The continued existence of Guantánamo suggests, incorrectly, that, beyond holding prisoners as criminal suspects to be put forward for trials, or as prisoners of war protected by the Geneva Conventions, there remains a third category of prisoner — what Bush called “enemy combatants” — who have no rights whatsoever, whereas this is not a position that can or should be tolerated in any society that regards itself as civilized.
By showing the human face of Guantánamo, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” provides a powerful explanation of why pressure must be maintained to secure the closure of Guantanamo, now in its tenth year of operations, and the filmmakers are delighted to be working with The World Can’t Wait to make DVDs of “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” available to US audiences.
Andy has been a guest of The World Can’t Wait in the US on three occasions — in November 2009, October 2010 and January this year — and thoroughtly supports the organization’s campaigning work to bring to an end “the murderous, unjust and illegitimate occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan; the global ‘war of terror’ of torture, rendition and spying; and the culture of bigotry, intolerance and greed” in the US, which were initiated by the Bush administration, but have largely continued under President Obama.
For further information, interviews, or to inquire about broadcasting, distributing or showing “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo,” please contact Polly Nash or Andy Worthington, and please see below for the first five minutes of the film:
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, Twitter, Digg and YouTube). 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, on tour in the UK throughout 2011, and available on DVD here — or here for the US), 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 Facebook, Angela Keaton wrote:
Ann Alexander wrote:
Highly recommend Andy and Polly’s film to all our American cousins.
George Kenneth Berger wrote:
I’ll share this.
Terry Couchman wrote:
I will check it out – I would also recommend ‘The Battle of the Beanfield‘ also. This was a beginning of the aggressive suppression of all expressions of alternative lifestyles, forcing people back into conformity and confinement into their little static boxes.
It did not work, but shows how fearful the institutions are of ‘difference’.
Since then we have seen the unlawful undermining of the Big Green gathering and deliberate near bankruptcy of the good people who had spent years getting this wonderful community together.
We continue in our smaller grouping and will not give in. I am more determined than ever to establish and maintain nomadic lifestyle. The only static plot of land they will provide me is a grave.
Excellent. Thanks, Terry. Good to hear from you. Thanks also for the recommendation of “The Battle of the Beanfield,” but thanks in particular for your resounding defence of the nomadic lifestyle. Your last line is very powerful, and you got me back to thinking why it was that, before I began defending and humanizing a particular group stigmatized as a dangerous “other” — Muslims after 9/11 — I had spent many years defending and humanizing another stigmatized group — the travelers, gypsies and nomads who refuse “conformity and confinement” in “little static boxes.”
So thanks again, Terry. These movements — and the ways in which those involved were so violently suppressed, here in the UK — were an inspiration to me, and without them I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now.
Allison Lee-Clay wrote:
What are the rules for uploading to Current TV?
I don’t know, Allison, but we don’t want the whole film available online for free. Not because we would be cheated of all that money we’re never going to make anyway, but simply because people won’t watch it.
The entire film should soon be available to watch online for a nominal fee via Journeyman Pictures, who made the first 5 minutes available for promotional purposes last August.
Gillian Talwar wrote:
I ordered two, one for me and one to pass on
Susan Hall wrote:
Is it available on Netflix or Link TV? My friends collect documentaries from Netflix, & I love the Link TV.
And Susan, its not available through any online channels, although thanks for alerting me to Link TV, which I hadn’t come across before, and which looks very interesting — and the sort of channel that might be interested in the film. Anyone have any contacts there?
Sylvia Martin wrote:
That’s good news, Andy. I’ll be contacting
At the start of the documentary, the implication is that 911 was a terrorist act, meaning possibly done by Al Quieda. However the terrorist act was done by Mossad or more accurately the Jewish Criminal Network. A Network of Jews or Zionists both in and outside the US Govt and the Pentagon.
How it was done (The planes and controlled demolition are both red herrings)
Who was involved
I believe if you take the time to study, you will come to the same conclusion
Investigative journalist, author, filmmaker, photographer and Guantanamo expert
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