For over five years, I have been researching and writing about Guantánamo and the 779 men (and boys) held there over the last nine and a half years, first through my book The Guantánamo Files, and, since May 2007, as a full-time independent investigative journalist. For nearly three years, I focused on the crimes of the Bush administration and, since January 2009, I have turned my attention to the failures of the Obama administration to thoroughly repudiate those crimes and to hold anyone accountable for them, and, increasingly, on President Obama’s failure to charge or release prisoners, and to show any sign that Guantánamo will eventually be closed.
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 June 1 this year), I remain convinced, through detailed research, through comments from insiders with knowledge of Guantánamo, and, most recently, through an analysis of classified military documents released by WikiLeaks, 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 is 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 have, in the last 18 months, put together seven 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 to June 2010 and July to December 2010, in the hope that they will provide a useful tool for navigation, and will provide researchers — and anyone else interested in this particularly bleak period of modern history — with a practical archive.
This list was initially intended to bring the story up to date, but as I examined my output over the last six months, and realized that I now publish far more than I did even a year ago, I thought that, to make it more manageable, I’d publish it in two halves. This part therefore covers the period from January to March 2011, and Part Nine (to be published soon) will cover April to June.
In terms of Guantánamo, this was another bleak period, confirming President Obama’s inability to close the prison. With the support of The World Can’t Wait, I visited New York and Washington D.C. in January to mark the ninth anniversary of the opening of the prison with a protest outside the White House, and numerous events and TV appearances, but although there was more mainstream media interest than in previous years it did nothing to effect any major changes. In the last six months, just one prisoner left Guantánamo alive — an Algerian who was repatriated against his will. Two others left in coffins — an Afghan who died in February, and another to be covered in Part Nine, who died in May — bringing the prison’s population to 171.
Beyond these distressing stories, the D.C. Circuit Court maintained its opposition to any lower court ruling that would have led to the release of any prisoner, thereby ensuring that, between Congress, the courts and the administration itself, every option for prisoners to leave Guantánamo alive has been closed down. This is a particularly bleak situation, made all the more depressing by the public’s indifference, and by the full-scale return of the reviled Military Commission trial system, replacing federal court trials, which Obama apparently found too difficult to champion, despite securing a successful outcome in the only Guantánamo-related federal court trial that has taken place — that of former CIA “ghost prisoner” Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, who received a life sentence in January.
A further disappointment came in March, when President Obama established, by executive order, a framework for granting periodic reviews to 48 prisoners who had been approved for indefinite detention without charge or trial by the Guantánamo Review Task Force, an inter-agency group of officials and lawyers who had reviewed all the Guantánamo cases in 2009. This was a particular low point, as the Task Force had concluded that the men were too dangerous to release, even though there was no evidence against them that would stand up in any court, and Obama agreed, thereby attempting to justify arbitrary detention on the basis of hearsay or other unreliable testimony produced through torture, coercion or bribery.
In the hope of providing further education about Guantánamo, I traveled to Poland in February, for a week-long tour of a subtitled version of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo,” which I co-directed with Polly Nash, and that same month I also began a UK tour of the film, mainly with Amnesty International student groups, although some of these dates had to be cancelled when I became ill — although I’m glad to be able to confirm that I am now fully recovered.
The Polish tour coincided with one of the few areas in which the hope is still alive that Bush administration officials and lawyers will one day be held accountable for their actions in presiding over, authorizing and approving a global torture program. An investigation is ongoing into the Polish government’s role in the creation and management of a secret CIA torture prison in Poland, in 2002-03, and another hopeful incident also came in early February, when President Bush cancelled a trip to Switzerland, after lawyers prepared a torture indictment to be submitted on his arrival. As a result, it is now fair to say that George W. Bush is probably unable to travel to any country that has signed up to the UN Convention Against Torture, as he faces prosecution for having bragged in his autobiography that he authorised the torture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
With little activity on the Guantánamo front (until WikiLeaks published classified military documents relating to the prisoners in April), and with what news there was being so relentlessly bleak, I allowed myself the opportunity to cover other important events — the revolutionary movements in Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Libya and Syria, workers’ agitation in the United States, the ongoing pre-trial imprisonment in solitary confinement of the alleged Wikileaks whistleblower Bradley Manning, and the disgraceful program of ideologically motivated cuts to the British state by the Frankenstein’s Monster coalition government of the Tories and Lib Dems.
As ever, I thank you, my readers and supporters, for your continuing support of my work, which is nothing without you. As I mentioned above, I’ll be publishing Part Nine of this list in the near future, bringing the story up to date, but in the meantime, if you would like to support my work financially (as much of this work was produced without any financial support whatsoever), then please feel free to donate via the PayPal button above.
1. Yemenis in Guantánamo: Guantánamo Is “A Piece of Hell That Kills Everything”: A Bleak New Year Message from Yemeni Prisoner Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif
2. US visit: Andy Worthington Visits the US to Campaign for the Closure of Guantánamo on the 9th Anniverary of the Prison’s Opening, January 6-12, 2011
3. Closing Guantánamo: A New Year’s Plea to Close Guantánamo by a Clear-Sighted American
4. Guantánamo media: The Guantánamo Files: An Archive of Articles — Part Seven, July to December 2010
5. Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks: Psychologists Protest the Torture of Bradley Manning to the Pentagon; Jeff Kaye Reports
6. Radio interviews: Podcast: Andy Worthington Discusses Guantánamo and WikiLeaks with Rob Kall of Op-Ed News
7. US visit: Ending Bush’s big lie on Guantánamo (in the Guardian)
8. Video: On Democracy Now! Andy Worthington and Katie Gallagher of CCR Discuss the Failure to Close Guantánamo, and Spanish Investigations into US Torture
9. Closing Guantánamo: Human Rights Groups and Individuals Tell Obama: Close Guantánamo With Justice Now
10. Guantánamo anniversary, Prisoners released from Guantánamo: Guantánamo Forever?
11. Guantánamo anniversary: Nine Years of Guantánamo: Statement from the Protest Rally Outside The White House, January 11, 2011
12. Guantánamo anniversary: A Statement from Former Prisoner Omar Deghayes on the 9th Anniversary of the Opening of Guantánamo
13. Guantánamo anniversary: The Political Prisoners of Guantánamo
14. Video: Video: In Baltimore, Andy Worthington Explains Why Obama Has Failed to Close Guantánamo, and David Swanson Discusses “War Is A Lie”
15.Video, Guantánamo anniversary: Video: Outside The White House and the DoJ, Andy Worthington Slams President Obama’s Failure to Close Guantánamo on the 9th Anniversary of the Prison’s Opening
16. Shaker Aamer, Guantánamo anniversary: Fresh Calls for the Return of Shaker Aamer from Guantánamo to the UK on the 9th Anniversary of the Opening of the Prison
17. Video, Guantánamo anniversary: Video: Andy Worthington and Former Guantánamo Prosecutor Morris Davis on Russia Today
18. Video, Guantánamo anniversary: Video: “Nine Years of Guantánamo: What Now?” — Andy Worthington, Morris Davis, Tom Wilner and Ben Wittes at the New America Foundation, January 11, 2011
19. Radio interviews: Guantánamo: Andy Worthington on the Radio with Michael Slate, Rose Aguilar and Linda Olson-Osterlund
20. Video, Guantánamo anniversary: Video: Real News Network Report on the Rally and Protest to Close Guantánamo in Washington D.C. on January 11, 2011
21. Life after Guantánamo: Countering Pentagon Propaganda About Prisoners Released from Guantánamo
22. Guantánamo campaigns: Reprieve Encourages Supporters to Write to Prisoners in Guantánamo
23. Guantánamo and habeas corpus: Algerian in Guantánamo Loses Habeas Petition for Being in a Guest House with Abu Zubaydah (Abdelrazak Ali)
24. Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks: Former Quantico Commander Objects to Treatment of Bradley Manning, the Alleged WikiLeaks Whistleblower
25. Torture, Abu Zubaydah: Former CIA “Ghost Prisoner” Abu Zubaydah Recognized as “Victim” in Polish Probe of Secret Prison
26. Radio interviews: Andy Worthington Discusses WikiLeaks, Bradley Manning and Guantánamo with Chris Cook on Gorilla Radio
27. Revolution in the Middle East, Tunisians in Guantánamo: What Does Tunisia’s Revolution Mean for Political Prisoners, Including Guantánamo Detainees?
28. Closing Guantánamo: Prisoner Describes Peaceful Protest in Guantánamo on the Anniversary of Obama’s Failure to Close the Prison as Promised
29. Video: Video: Forum — “WikiLeaks, State Secrets, Guantánamo and Torture” with Andy Worthington, Katie Gallagher, Pardiss Kebriaei, Leili Kashani and Jeremy Varon, New York, January 6, 2011
30. Torture: Video: Ex-Guantánamo Prisoner and Victim of US Rendition and Torture Speaks (Mohammed Saad Iqbal Madni)
31. Aafia Siddiqui: Aafia Siddiqui’s Lawyer: “She was Detained for Five Years in a Black Site” and “Forced to Create Documents to Incriminate Herself”
32. “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo”: Announcing the Polish Tour of “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” with Moazzam Begg and Andy Worthington, February 1-5, 2011
33. Military Commissions: Obama’s Collapse: The Return of the Military Commissions
34. Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, Federal court trials: Ghailani Sentence Shows Federal Courts Work, Reveals Extent of Republican Hysteria
35. UK politics: First Major Student Protest of 2011 — in London and Manchester on Saturday January 29
36. UK anti-terror laws: The Ricin Plot, and Why the Government’s Terrorism Review Ignores the Dangers of Secret Evidence
37. UK anti-terror laws: Compromise on Control Orders Is Inadequate; Failure to Address Problems with Secret Evidence is Worse
38. Closing Guantánamo: Prisoners’ Lawyers David Remes and Sabin Willett Debate Guantánamo with Benjamin Wittes
39. Revolution in the Middle East: Torture and Despair: The Psychic Roots of the Revolution in Tunisia, Egypt and Across the Middle East
40. Video: Video: “The Guantánamo Files” — Andy Worthington on Press TV’s “The Autograph”
41. Revolution in the Middle East: As Egyptians Call for Mubarak’s Fall, He Appoints America’s Favorite Torturer as Vice President
42. Guantánamo media: Andy Worthington Archived by the British Library’s UK Web Archive
43. Military Commissions: Guantánamo and the Military Commissions: Revolution Interview with Andy Worthington
44. Revolution in the Middle East: Revolution in Egypt – and the Hypocrisy of the US and the West
45. Revolution in the Middle East: Guantánamo: A Tale of Two Tunisians
46. Deaths in Guantánamo: Guantánamo Prisoner Dies After Being Held for Nine Years Without Charge or Trial (Awal Gul)
47. Guantánamo media: The 11-Year Old American Girl Who Knows More About Guantánamo Than Most US Lawmakers
48. “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo”: Bringing Guantánamo to Poland — and Talking About the Secret CIA Torture Prison
49. Deaths in Guantánamo: In Afghanistan, 5,000 Attend Funeral of Prisoner Who Died in Guantánamo, as Afghan Peace Council Calls for Release of Former Taliban Official
50. Yemenis in Guantánamo: A Cry for Help from Guantánamo: Adnan Latif Asks, “Who Is Going to Rescue Me From the Injustice and the Torture I Am Enduring?”
51. Revolution in the Middle East: In Egypt, Protests Undimmed, as Mubarak Prepares to Cede Power, Torture Stories Emerge and the Revolution Finds a Hero in Wael Ghonim
52. Revolution in the Middle East: Protestors in Egypt Remain Angry and Determined as Mubarak Fails to Quit
53. Shaker Aamer, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo”: Amnesty Calls Treatment of Shaker Aamer, the Last British Resident in Guantánamo, A “Mockery of Justice,” Announces Andy Worthington’s Film Tour in Support of Shaker’s Release
54. Revolution in the Middle East: As Mubarak Resigns, Ex-Guantánamo Prisoner Mamdouh Habib Reminds the World that Omar Suleiman Personally Tortured Him in Egypt
55. UK politics: Battle for Britain: Fighting the Coalition Government’s Vile Ideology — and Praise for UK Uncut
56. Revolution in the Middle East: In Post-Mubarak Egypt, Protestors Demand A Date for Free and Fair Elections from the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces
57. Revolution in the Middle East: Responding to Egypt’s Revolution, President Bouteflika Violently Suppresses Protest in Algeria
58. Torture: Andy Worthington Discusses His Polish Tour of “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” and the Secret CIA Torture Prison in Poland on Antiwar Radio
59. Aafia Siddiqui: Compelling New Evidence About Aafia Siddiqui’s Detention by the ISI, and Her Rigged Trial in the US
60. UK politics: Battle for Britain: Resisting the Privatization of the NHS and the Loss of 100,000 Jobs
61. George W. Bush, Accountability for torture: George W. Bush, War Criminal, Is Not Welcome in Europe
62. Military Commissions, Torture: Hiding Horrific Tales of Torture: Why The US Government Reached A Plea Deal with Guantánamo Prisoner Noor Uthman Muhammed
63. Life after Guantánamo: Moazzam Begg Interviews Former Guantánamo Prisoner Saber Lahmer in Paris
64. George W. Bush, Accountability for torture: The Indictment for Torture Filed Against George W. Bush (Part One: The Facts)
65. David Hicks, Life after Guantánamo: Empathy and Self-Reflection: An Extraordinary Article by Jason Leopold About His Friendship with Former Guantánamo Prisoner David Hicks
66. Yemenis in Guantánamo: Another Desperate Letter from Guantánamo by Adnan Latif: “With All My Pains, I Say Goodbye to You”
67. David Hicks, Life after Guantánamo: Ex-Guantánamo Prisoner David Hicks Gives His First Interview — To Jason Leopold of Truthout
68. Revolution in the Middle East: Revolution in Libya: Protestors Respond to Gaddafi’s Murderous Backlash with Remarkable Courage; US and UK Look Like the Hypocrites They Are
69. “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo”: First US Film Festival Date: “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” Screens at the D.C. Independent Film Festival, Washington D.C., March 5, 2011
70. Military Commissions: After Recent Ruling in the Case of Bin Laden’s Cook, Guantánamo Should Close by July 2012 (Ibrahim al-Qosi)
71. Revolution in the Middle East: The Year of Revolution: The “War on Tyranny” Replaces the “War on Terror”
72. Radio interviews: Andy Worthington Discusses the “Political Prisoners” of Guantánamo on Antiwar Radio
73. Guantánamo and habeas corpus: Habeas Hell: How the Great Writ Was Gutted at Guantánamo
74. Revolution in the Middle East: Is This the Endgame for Gaddafi’s Murderous Regime in Libya?
75. Radio interviews: Video: Andy Worthington Discusses the Revolution in Libya with Ernest Hancock
76. UK torture inquiry, Shaker Aamer: Lawyers and Human Rights Groups Criticize Proposed UK Torture Inquiry, As the Government Fails to Address the Return of Shaker Aamer, the Last British Resident in Guantánamo
77. UK torture inquiry: NGO Letter to Chair of UK Torture Inquiry, Raising Concerns About Possible Whitewash
78. Revolution in the Middle East: Tunisia: The Unfinished Revolution, as Prime Minister Resigns, Despite Progress on Elections and the Release of Political Prisoners
79. US protests: The New American Revolution: Are Wisconsin’s 100,000 Protestors A Sign of Further Resistance to Come?
80. “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo”: Two Bradford International Film Festival Screenings of “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo,” March 26 and 27, 2011
81. Accountability for torture: Spanish Court Gives Go-Ahead for Guantánamo Torture Investigation to Continue
82. Torture: The Case of Lahcen Ikassrien: Torture in Kandahar and Guantánamo
83. Revolution in the Middle East: How the Abu Salim Prison Massacre in 1996 Inspired the Revolution in Libya
84. Military Commissions: Carol Rosenberg on the “Prison within a Prison” at Guantánamo for Four Convicted “War Criminals”
85. Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks: Death Penalty for Bradley Manning, the Alleged WikiLeaks Whistleblower?
86. Accountability for torture: US Rendition and Torture: A New Front for Accountability Opens Up in Djibouti
87. Revolution in the Middle East: Libyan Blogger Tells the Truth About Life and Death in Tripoli, the “City of Ghosts”
88. Revolution in the Middle East: Deranged Gaddafi Blames Ex-Guantánamo Prisoners for Unrest in Libya, Even Though Only One Ex-Prisoner Has Been Released
89. Revolution in the Middle East: Pressure for Change Continues in Egypt: PM Resigns And Constitutional Amendments Are Announced, But Some Protestors Have Disappeared or Been Convicted by Military Courts
90. UK politics: As the Government Gleefully Butchers the State, Mervyn King Blames Banks for Cuts, Questions Public Indifference and Warns of Future Crisis
91. US protests: Video: Michael Moore Tells Wisconsin Protestors, “America Ain’t Broke! The Only Thing That’s Broke is the Moral Compass of the Rulers”
92. Revolution in the Middle East: Egypt: Some Progress on the Release of Political Prisoners and Dismantling the Security State
93. Radio interviews: Andy Worthington Discusses Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks and the Spanish Torture Case Against the Bush Administration with Kevin Gosztola of Op-Ed News
94. Interviews: Terror Suspects in the UK, Torture, the Law, Solitary Confinement, Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks: Angola 3 News Interviews Activist Richard Haley
95. Military Commissions, Indefinite detention: Guantánamo: Obama Turns the Clock Back to the Days of Bush’s Kangaroo Courts and Worthless Tribunals
96. Revolution in the Middle East: In Tunisia, the Revolution Rolls On with the Abolition of the Secret Police and the Joyful Return Home of Former Political Prisoners
97. UK politics: Save the NHS! Will the BMA Do the Right Thing, and Reject the Coalition Government’s Privatization Bill?
98. Radio interviews: Jail Without Trial Forever: Andy Worthington Discusses Obama’s Backsliding on Guantánamo on Antiwar Radio
99. UK politics: BMA Emergency Meeting Calls on Government to Drop NHS Privatization
100. Revolution in the Middle East: Revolution in the Middle East: Brave Protestors in Syria Call for Freedom
101. Guantánamo media: Andy Worthington’s YouTube Channel Is Now Available, Featuring Guantánamo, Torture, Aafia Siddiqui, WikiLeaks and More
102. US prisons: Guantánamo in America (Part One): NPR Explains How Muslims Are Deprived of Fundamental Rights in Secretive Prison Units
103. US prisons: Guantánamo in America (Part Two): The Nation Reveals More About the Secretive Prison Units for Muslims and Other Perceived Threats
104. Personal reflections: Intimations of Mortality — And Why This Is the View From My Bedroom
105. Revolution in the Middle East: Syria: Amazingly, The Next Crucible of Revolution in the Middle East?
106. Revolution in the Middle East: Political Prisoners in Syria: An Urgent Crisis Now!
107. UK politics: On the Anti-Cuts Protest in London, 500,000 Say No to the Coalition Government’s Arrogant, Ideological Butchery of the British State
108. Mohammed Jawad, Life after Guantánamo: “A Story About Lost and Broken Things”: Mohammed Jawad, A Child in Guantánamo, and the Lawyer Who Fought for Him
109. Torture: The Dark Desires of Bruce Jessen, the Architect of Bush’s Torture Program, As Revealed by His Former Friend and Colleague
110. “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo”: “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo”: Acclaimed Documentary Now Available in the US from The World Can’t Wait, Just $10 Post Free
111. Balochistan: Torture and Murder in Balochistan: Declan Walsh on Pakistan’s Secret Dirty War
112. Pakistan: Amina Masood Janjua, Champion of Pakistan’s Disappeared, Tells Her Story to Cageprisoners
113. Military Commissions: Mocking the Law, Judges Rule that Evidence Is Not Necessary to Hold Insignificant Guantánamo Prisoners for the Rest of Their Lives
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.
On Facebook, Borhaan Arifee wrote:
Great Work Andy. Keep it up. I wish I could support but my economic situation doesn’t allow me more than rendering few words of appreciation from the bottom of my heart. Highest Regards
George Kenneth Berger wrote:
I’m digging and sharing this.
Borhaan Arifee wrote:
I wish you could do something similar for more than 20 thousand disappeared Balochs abducted mainly by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Military Intelligence (MI) and British Royal Army trained Frontier Corps (FC). But it is not Britain or the USA, where governments at least have a flash of decency to tolerate critical journalism.
Thanks, Borhaan and George — and everyone who’s shared this. I’m glad it’s of use. And Borhaan, I do hope to revisit the Baloch story again. I was in hospital back in March when Declan Walsh wrote an article for the Guardian, which I cross-posted, and which led to me being befriended by numerous Baloch activists:
Borhaan Arifee wrote:
This is one of the main problems that Baloch freedom movement is facing – which I also tried to point out in many of my previous notes on your links that Baloch problem is being completely covered up in the West in this global village era. Thanks to Declan Walsh and Guardian but as someone said “you are trying your best but your best is not good enough!” We need constant attention of globally reaching media outlets that could get our word through to the global population in order create a favorable public opinion that will pave the way for our independence sooner than later because we are systematically being wiped out from the face of the earth. As one of the lady (Wendy Baloch) described it very well. Please read and listen what she said: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqsbr3Td6W0
Dejanka Bryant wrote:
Shared, Andy, thank you.
Thanks again, Borhaan and thanks, Dejanka. Good to hear from you.
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