I wrote this today on a plane flying across the US, from Washington D.C. to San Francisco, a week into my 12-day visit to campaign for the closure of the “war on terror” prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, which has been the focus of my work for the last six years.
It feels like more than a week, as it has been such a busy time, first of all in New York, which I wrote about here, and, for the last two days, in Washington D.C., where the horrors of Guantánamo were dreamt up, where those who could close it have failed or refused to do so — the administration, Congress and two particular courts (the D.C. Circuit Court and the Supreme Court) — and where a number of significant events took place to push for the closure of the prison.
I’ll discuss these in another article very soon, but for now I wanted to thank the hosts of three radio shows who have interviewed me in the last week, and to make those shows available to readers who might appreciate my commentary on the 10th anniversary of the opening of Guantánamo.
On Monday January 9, in Santa Fe, the film I co-directed with Polly Nash, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo,” was screened for the anniversary, and to coincide with this screening, Mary-Charlotte of Santa Fe Radio Café broadcast an interview with me that was recorded before I left the UK. That interview is available here, and it was a great pleasure to speak with Mary-Charlotte, who first interviewed me several years ago. I hope it led to some people deciding to attend the screening, and I hope that the screening went well, as I am regularly told by my American friends that the film always has a powerful impact on US audiences.
Also before I left the UK, I met with, and then recorded a brief commentary about Guantánamo on its 10th anniversary, which was included in a program called Speaker’s Corner on a community radio station in London with Noémie Adam and Rajiv Bera, two former students from the LSE (the London School of Economics) who are now volunteering with the legal action charity Reprieve. I had previously met Noémie in connection with a screening of “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” that she arranged at the LSE two years ago, and it was great to meet up with her and Raj near my home, to discuss the state of the world over a cup of coffee, and then to record my segment for the show, which also featuring commentary by Asim Qureshi of Cageprisoners, and, in the studio, Chris Chang of Reprieve. The show is here, and a blog entry about it is here.
The last of the three radio shows discussed in this article took place last Friday, after I arrived in the US, when I spoke to Michael Slate of KPFK in Los Angeles last Friday while I was visiting the offices of The World Can’t Wait (the sponsors of my trip to the US). Michael and I have spoken several times, and it was a delight to speak to him again, even though the circumstances of my visit are far from cheerful, because he has followed my work and understands the depth of the crimes and failures involved in the Bush administration’s establishment of Guantánamo, the Obama administration’s inability to close it, and the obstruction of lawmakers and certain judges towards bringing this bleak emblem of America’s disregard for the law to an end. The interview is here, and I hope, over the next few days, to also be able to provide links to the four radio interviews I took part in — on shows in Berkeley, New York and Portland, Oregon — while I was in Washington D.C., as well as video of some of the events in which I was proud to be involved.
Note: Please visit the website of the “Close Guantánamo” campaign, whose logo is displayed above, and sign up to join a growing body of people demanding that President Obama fulfill his unfulfilled promise to close the prison. Please also sign a new White House petition on the “We the People” website calling for the closure of Guantánamo. 25,000 signatures are needed by February 6.
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, “The Complete Guantánamo Files,” a 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011, and details about the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, and available on DVD here — or here for the US). Also see 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, Hala Ali wrote:
Good luck Andy. Me too join your campaign. Currently addressing World leaders and relevant international organizations for the same purpose.
Thanks, Hala. That’s very good to hear!
Noor Alnoor wrote:
Peace Andy , hope all is well – are you planning on going to Seattle? – the reason i ask is that Vancouver Canada is only 3 hrs by road from there – we would love to have you here for a talk… let me know … thanks!
Seattle, Vancouver. I’d love to visit both,Noor, but there’s nothing on the cards yet. I’m always available, if sponsors can be found to cover my travel.
Hala Ali wrote:
Thank you. I’ve already signed at White House and Amenity sites and will spread the news.
Thanks again, Hala. That’s great. And thanks to everyone else who has joined the “Close Guantanamo” campaign. Please keep spreading the word!
Investigative journalist, author, filmmaker, photographer and Guantanamo expert
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