Quarterly Fundraiser Day 3: $3300 (£2400) Still Urgently Needed to Support My Guantánamo Work

14.9.16

Andy Worthington speaking outside the White House on January 11, 2016, the 14th anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo (Photo: Justin Norman).Please support my work!

 

Dear friends and supporters,

For ten and a half years now, I’ve been writing about Guantánamo, and working to get the prison closed, as an independent journalist and human rights activist. I don’t have the support of a media organization, and I don’t receive any institutional funding, and as a result it’s important for anyone who recognizes the importance of my work to realize that I can’t do what I do without your support — the nearly 2000 articles about Guantánamo I’ve written since 2007, and those that I will continue to write until Guantánamo is closed, no one is held in indefinite detention by the US, the men freed are all adequately looked after, and those responsible for the crimes committed in the “war on terror” are held accountable.

I know times are hard, and I’m sure you all have many demands on your money, but as a reader-funded journalist I hope you’ll understand me pitching in to ask urgently for your support. Without it, I may not be able to keep writing about Guantánamo as I have been doing for all these years.

So 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).

Any amount will be gratefully received, whether it is $10, $25, $100 or $500 — or any amount in any other currency (£5, £15, £50 or £250, for example). PayPal will convert any currency you pay into dollars, which I chose as my main currency because the majority of my supporters are in the US, although at present, I note, the majority of my financial support is coming from the UK.

I need your support to run this website and the associated social media, to write the 50 or so articles I write every quarter, to undertake the media appearances and personal appearances I make, most of which are unpaid, and to be available to answer questions about Guantánamo and the men held there, from researchers, film and TV companies, students, and journalists around the world that pepper my inbox on a regular basis.

It would be better for my mental health if I had a regular, reliable benefactor, but I don’t, beyond those kind individuals who always respond when I put out this appeal every 13 weeks, and my monthly sustainers, supporters who pledge an amount every month, so that I’m at least guaranteed some basic level of support every month.

If you can become a monthly sustainer, I will be extremely grateful. After clicking the PayPal “Donate” button, you simply tick the box marked, “Make This Recurring (Monthly),” and fill in the amount you wish to donate every month.

Please also note that, although supporters can pay via PayPal from anywhere in the world, if you’re in the UK and want to help without using PayPal, you can send me a cheque (address here — scroll down to the bottom of the page), and if you’re not a PayPal user and want to send cash from anywhere else in the world, that’s also an option. Please do also note that foreign checks are no longer accepted at UK banks — only electronic transfers — but don’t hesitate to contact me if you’d like to support me by paying directly into my account, from the UK, the US or anywhere else in the world.

In conclusion, perhaps some of you think that my work is nearly done, and that Guantánamo will soon be closed. I doubt that, although we should all be reassured that President Obama has taken significant steps to reduce the number men held — and that by the time he leaves office in January, there may well be no more than 40 men still held. I suspect, however, that he will not persuade Congress to drop its ban on bringing any prisoners to the mainland for any reason, and that the final closure of  Guantánamo will be left to his successor, who may or may not be interested in doing so.

In addition, as I noted at the start of this article, even if the prison at Guantánamo Bay closes, men will still be held in indefinite detention without charge or trial by the US, and that, of course, will be as unacceptable as it has always been and will need challenging, a task which I hope to be able to pursue, as well as demanding that all the men freed are adequately looked after, and that those responsible for the crimes committed in the “war on terror” — up to and including George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld — are held accountable.

Thanks for listening, and thanks, as ever, for your support.

Andy Worthington
London
September 14, 2016

Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer, film-maker and singer-songwriter (the lead singer and main songwriter for the London-based band The Four Fathers, whose debut album ‘Love and War’ and EP ‘Fighting Injustice’ are available here to download or on CD via Bandcamp). He is the co-founder of the Close Guantánamo campaign (and the Countdown to Close Guantánamo initiative, launched in January 2016), the co-director of We Stand With Shaker, which called for the release from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison (finally freed on October 30, 2015), and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by the University of Chicago Press in the US, and available from Amazon, including a Kindle edition — 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.

4 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    It’s Day 3 of my quarterly fundraiser, and I’m immensely grateful to the supporters who have so far donated nearly $200 (£150) to support my work on Guantanamo over the next three months, but I’m still a long way off my target. If you appreciate my work, and can help out at all, please consider doing so, as I have no institutional backing, and my work is therefore funded by you – or not paid for at all! Please help with whatever you can – $10, $25, $50 or more – to demonstrate that it is possible to have truly independent reader-funded journalists.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    It’s now Day 4, and I’ve just had another donation, but I’m still only around 10% of the way towards my target of $3500 (£2600). If anyone can help out at all, it will be very greatly appreciated. Otherwise, I’m seriously going to have to look at winding down my Guantanamo work and finding something else to do.

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    David Knopfler wrote:

    We seem to be getting very close to the end game with Obama and Congress going toe to toe for the final showdown. I’d be very surprised if after almost eight years of learning how not to be dicked about, Obama doesn’t win this one by November. I’m not happy that major media outlets aren’t paying you NUJ rates for the vitally important work you’ve done and do, and that a publisher isn’t finding an advance for you to write another book to allow you to continue to cover this extremely important issue. That said, finding something else to do is as I’m sure you’re more than aware, looming anyway Andy any week now and it’s going to be interesting to see where that will lead you. If it was up to me I think the State should be offering you gongs too for the work you’ve done. Will pop over and make a gesture.

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, David, for your donation to support my work. It is very much appreciated.
    As for closing Guantanamo, I’m not convinced that Obama will win this particular battle. The House yesterday voted to ban all releases from Guantanamo under any circumstances – it’s not law yet, and it won’t end up being passed, but it indicates the strength of opposition in Congress, and if lawmakers don’t want to play ball, I think Obama will find it impossible to close Guantanamo.
    That story here: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/house-votes-halt-guantanamo-detainee-transfers-42111963
    So Obama could, instead, issue an executive order, but then he’d have to find his own funding independent of Congress and force the transfer of prisoners on whoever’s state he locates a prison in, and resistance to that would be immense. Another option would be to move the men to a military facility as Commander-in-Chief, but I think we all know that there are some in the military who don’t want to see Guantanamo closed.
    That said, the prison is very obviously winding down its operations, and I think the remaining men will at some point in the probably not too distant future have to be moved to the US mainland. And then my work morphs into something new – still campaigning to make sure that men are not held indefinitely without charge or trial, and also working to hold accountable the authorisers and architects of all the crimes of the “war on terror” – from George W. Bush and Dick Cheney downwards.

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. 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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