Andy Worthington Discusses Obama’s Permanent Guantánamo with Scott Horton on Antiwar Radio

17.6.11

A few days ago, I spoke for the 28th time to Scott Horton, who has had me on his Antiwar Radio show on a refreshingly regular basis over the last few years to vent my spleen at the continuing abomination that is Guantánamo, Obama’s failure to close it, and the disgraceful behaviour of other parties — opportunistic, fearmongering Republicans, cowardly Democrats, deranged judges and the now spineless Supreme Court — who have also failed to bring the Guantánamo years to an end, and to return America to the rule of law that existed before the 9/11 attacks.

The 32-minute show is available here, and this time around Scott not only publicised my recent fundraising appeal, which is ongoing, as I still have $400 to raise to reach my quarterly target of $2000, but also asked me to discuss the latest dismal news about Barack Obama, the President who failed. The specific spur for the show — as well as my fundraising appeal — was my recently completed five-part series, “WikiLeaks and the Unknown Prisoners of Guantánamo,” in which I told the stories of 84 of the 779 prisoners held at Guantánamo that had never been told before.

However, we also touched on other topics, including the 9/11 trials (now in Guantánamo rather than a federal court in New York, because of Obama’s inability to exercise any kind of Presidential control, and his resultant capitulation to the warped ideology of the “War on Terror” that is still being peddled by the monsters of the right). We also spoke about the fawning British political classes and their mistaken adoration of Obama during his recent state visit, and how, in contrast, Obama “owns” Guantánamo and needs to be told that it is unacceptable for him to keep it open, however much criticism he receives from his own opponents in the US. Also, out of nowhere, we ended up discussing my solitary New York Times front-pager from February 2008.

This is how Scott described the show:

Andy Worthington, author of The Guantánamo Files, discusses his micro-fundraiser — give a few bucks to the world’s best Guantánamo reporter, why dontcha? — Andy’s very brief employ with NYT in 2008; the unknown Gitmo prisoners, the travesty of military commissions instead of federal court trials for KSM et al; Obama’s tour of Britain where he was treated like a demigod while still holding Brits in Guantánamo, his refusal to deal with Bush “legacy” issues like Gitmo, trials, torture and law with the likely consequence that all will become established precedent.

I hope you have half an hour to spare to listen to the show. Scott is a tireless advocate for a better world, and it’s always great to talk to him.

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 June 2011, 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.

18 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    On Facebook, Chris Dorsey wrote:

    These “military commissions” are a sham and an abomination against the constitution and rational thinking. Thanks Andy sharing.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Chris. Great to hear from you.

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger wrote:

    I’m digging this now.

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Mary Shepard wrote:

    Shared. Thanks, Andy.

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, George and Mary. Very good to hear from you both.

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    Tashi Farmilo-Marouf wrote:

    Very nice interview :) It’s nice to hear your laugh and listen to your voice, Andy. It’s good that you still have a sense of humour even though you write about such serious and disturbing subjects. It is sad to see that in the ‘first world’ we are not living up to the values of human rights, equality and justice that we so loudly profess to others throughout the world. If only people could practice what they preach!

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, if only hypocrisy was not such a major part of the “first world” thinking of those in charge, Tashi, but sadly it is — and the easiest way to tell is to see the neo-colonial thinking behind the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. “They” — those distant foreigners — are supposed to be grateful, you see, even though it’s obvious that if our leaders were actually to imagine themselves in the position of those occupied, they would realize that people resist occupation in Afghan and Iraqi cities and towns just as the people of Canada and the UK would if Ottawa or London were occupied.

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    Mui J. Steph wrote:

    When brick walls and red tape are all around, sometimes the only option is to vent some spleen!

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes indeed, Mui. And Scott’s shows are always a good forum for that, as he’s so excitable himself about these issues!

  10. Andy Worthington says...

    Re Heubel wrote:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304186404576390080005249002.html
    DELAY IN THE WITHDRAWAL FROM AFGHANISTAN: WASHINGTON—The military is asking President Barack Obama to hold off on ending the Afghanistan troop surge until the fall of 2012, in a proposal that would keep a large portion of the 33,000 extra forces in the country through the next two warm-weather fighting seasons.

  11. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger wrote:

    I’m sharing this now, Andy, straight from my indignation front.

  12. Andy Worthington says...

    Tashi Farmilo-Marouf wrote:

    Precisely! Who would stand by and let someone occupy them? It is against our human nature. (And if I could underline ‘human’ – I would!)

  13. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger wrote:

    It’s a good interview, Andy. I’m glad that you can keep your sense of humour up and running.

  14. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger wrote:

    PS. Although I haven’t studied the attempts by Obama to “justify” the extension of the Libyan mission, I assume he’ll get away with it. Well, then my question is: If he can do *that* with minimal or no approval according to law (about which I know nothing), then why can he not put his foot down and close Guantanamo, while guaranteeing the safety, release, or fair trials for the remaining prisoners? I see no disanalogy here.

  15. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, George and Tashi.
    And George, yes, I agree, but the difference. I suppose, is that some people of influence back the Libyan mission, whereas nobody cares about Guantanamo.

  16. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger wrote:

    Yes, Andy, that’s what I thought too. Glad we agree.

  17. Andy Worthington says...

    Susan Hall wrote:

    Let us care for each other.
    Support the hard working man of integrity, who is the only investigator to tell the whole stories of the Guantanamo lives, and how them are mostly innocent.

  18. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Susan. What lovely, supportive words.

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