Dear friends and supporters,
Every three months, I ask you, if you can, to make a donation to support my work on Guantánamo, which I have been researching, writing about and campaigning about since 2006. Most of my work is unpaid, so many of my articles, the maintenance of this website and the social media associated with it, and most of my media appearances are only possible with your support. If you can help out at all, please click on the “Donate” button above to donate via PayPal (and I should add that you don’t need to be a PayPal member to use PayPal).
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Since last year’s prison-wide hunger strike, when Guantánamo was front-page news, the prison had largely slipped off the mainstream media’s radar until last week’s prisoner exchange — in which five Taliban prisoners were released from Guantánamo, in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the sole US PoW in Afghanistan — was hijacked by opponents of President Obama and his administration and turned into a cynical, manufactured scandal.
I have been engaged in challenging this poisonous hysteria through my writing, and through TV and radio appearances. However, most of my work in the last three months has been an effort to keep the focus on Guantánamo, as President Obama’s enthusiasm for closing the prison — affirmed in a major speech on national security issues last May — appeared to be dwindling.
Now, with this new scandal, it is imperative that those of us who oppose the ongoing existence of Guantánamo — as a human rights nightmare and a monstrous failure of justice, where men are still held neither as criminal suspects nor as prisoners of war, even though no other category of prisoner is acceptable — try to keep the prison in the news, try to keep pressure on President Obama and on Congress, where many lawmakers have been doing all they can to keep the prison open, and try to remind people that the 149 men still held there are human beings, and that the highest percentage ever of those men — 78 individuals, or 52 percent of those still held — have been cleared for release, 75 by President Obama’s Guantánamo Review Task Force in January 2010, and three in recent months by Periodic Review Boards, established to review the cases of almost all the men who have not previously been cleared for release. Just ten men, of the 149 still held, have been or will be charged in the military commission trial system at Guantánamo (see my full list here, which was one of my projects in the last three months).
I hope you can donate to support my work, so that I can continue to try to keep these men in the public eye, to push for their release — both the majority of the men, who are from Yemen, where the US puts security fears above the need to release prisoners it says it no longer wants to hold, and those from elsewhere, some of whom need new homes.
My first article in my mission to educate people about Guantánamo and to push for the prison’s closure was just over seven years ago, after a Saudi prisoner had died at the prison. At the time, I had no idea that Guantánamo would still be open seven years later, but I have learned that great injustices often require unprecedented opposition — and great patience — to be addressed as they need to be, and for the misguided policies that created them to be thoroughly repudiated.
As the manufactured scandal over Bowe Bergdahl and the released Taliban prisoners shows, those seeking to defend the indefensible — essentially, those who like imprisoning, for life, people whose detention they do not even have to justify — are not giving up their cruelty,and their disdain for the law, without a bitter struggle.
With your help, I will continue to oppose them, and to call for justice.
With thanks, as ever, for your support,
June 9, 2014
Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer and film-maker. He is the co-founder of the “Close Guantánamo” campaign, and 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. He is also the co-director (with Polly Nash) of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (available on DVD here — or here for the US).
To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to Andy’s RSS feed — and he can also be found on Facebook (and here), Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. Also see the six-part definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, and “The Complete Guantánamo Files,” an ongoing, 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011. Also see the definitive Guantánamo habeas list, the full military commissions list and the chronological list of all Andy’s articles.
Please also consider joining the “Close Guantánamo” campaign.
My apologies for posting this earlier than my usual time of 9pm GMT (4pm Eastern, 1pm Pacific). but I’m going out very soon to see my son beatboxing at the famous 12 Bar Club in Denmark Street, and won’t be back until around 10pm, when I’ll post it again. Any donations you make in the meantime will be very gratefully received.
So far one friend has made a generous donation to get my fundraiser off the ground. If you can help at all, it will be greatly appreciated. A donation of $25/£15, for example, is just $2/£1 a week for the next three months.
I’m very glad to note that a second supporter of my work has made a donation. Thank you. Your support is greatly appreciated.
I’ve just had a donation from a fifth supporter. Thank you very much. It’s greatly appreciated.
Dejanka Bryant wrote:
Done, Andy, with pleasure.
Thank you, Dejanka. That’s very kind of you. I have now had donations from four friends and supporters. If you can help out at all it will be very much appreciated. If you like what I do, please consider that a donation of $25/£15 is just $2/£1 a week for the next three months.
Charmaine Dolan wrote:
Hi Andy, I have managed to send a tiny donation thanks for your work
Thank you very much, Charmaine. It’s greatly appreciated. If everyone who reads my work did the same, I’d have a few less worries!
Willy Bach wrote:
Andy, you have probably seen Kevin Goszola’s article. In Effect, Appeals Court Rules Torture & Abuse Is All ‘Foreseeable’ Part of Job at Guantanamo Bay By: Kevin Gosztola Wednesday June 11, 2014
I am looking through my loose change as we speak… Done, cheers, thank for all the excellent work, Andy.
What a disgrace, Willy. I had seen notification of the court’s ruling from CCR, but I hadn’t had time to look at it in depth. Kevin did a good job: http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2014/06/11/in-effect-appeals-court-rules-torture-abuse-is-all-foreseeable-part-of-job-at-guantanamo-bay/
However, what no one has mentioned is that one of the plaintiffs is Sami El-Leithi, the Egyptian teacher whose abuse – I believe by guards who set upon him in a shower block – was so severe that he ended up crippled and confined to a wheelchair. So now we get a ruling that apparently it was no one’s fault.
I am disgusted, as usual, by those heartless right-wing excuses for a judge, Janice Rogers Brown and A. Raymond Randolph. The fact that the more reasonable David Tatel concurred does not make it any more acceptable.
And Willy, thank you very much for your donation to support my ongoing work. It is very greatly appreciated.
Writer, campaigner, investigative journalist and commentator. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo, co-director, We Stand With Shaker. Also, singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers) and photographer.
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