Andy Worthington: An Archive of Guantánamo Articles and Other Writing – Part 19, July to December 2015

23.9.16

Andy Worthington with Shaker Aamer, after his release from Guantanamo, at a meeting in the House of Commons in November 2015.Please support my work! I’m currently trying to raise $2800 (£2100) to support my writing and campaigning on Guantánamo for the next three months.

 

This article is the 19th in an ongoing series of articles listing all my work in chronological order. It’s a project I began in January 2010, when I put together the first chronological lists of all my articles, in the hope that doing so would make it as easy as possible for readers and researchers to navigate my work — the 2,690 articles I have published since I began publishing articles here in May 2007, which, otherwise, are not available in chronological order in any readily accessible form.

It is also a project for which I receive no funding, so, if you appreciate what I do as a reader-funded journalist and activist, please consider making a donation via the Paypal ‘Donate’ button above. Any amount, however large or small, will be very gratefully received.

I first began researching the Bush administration’s “war on terror” prison at Guantánamo, and the 779 men (and boys) held there almost exactly 11 years ago, in September 2005, and I began researching and writing about the prison and the prisoners on a full-time basis ten and a half years ago, in March 2006, when the Pentagon lost a FOIA lawsuit and was obliged to release 8,000 pages of documents relating to the prisoners, and which, I was surprised to learn, I was the only person in the world to analyze in depth. Initially, I spent 14 months researching and writing my book The Guantánamo Files, based on those documents, and, since May 2007, I have continued to write about the men held there, at first on a daily basis, and for the last few years every couple of days, as an independent investigative journalist, commentator and activist — for two and a half years under President Bush, and, shockingly, for what is now nearly eight years under President Obama.

As I note every time I put together a chronological list of my articles, my mission, as it has been since my research first revealed the scale of the injustice at Guantánamo, continues to revolve around four main aims — to humanize the prisoners by telling their stories; to expose the many lies told about them to supposedly justify their detention; to push for the prison’s closure and the absolute repudiation of indefinite detention without charge or trial as US policy; and to call for those who initiated, implemented and supported indefinite detention and torture to be held accountable for their actions.

The period covered by this 19th list, from July to December 2015, was not a particularly good period for the release of prisoners, as only nine men were freed, but one in particular dominated my work throughout this period — Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison. The six-month period covered here began with an open letter to President Obama that was signed by over 90 celebrities and MPs including Sir Patrick Stewart OBE, Ralph Fiennes, Russell Brand, Roger Waters, Peter Gabriel, Sting, Richard E. Grant, Mark Rylance, Juliet Stevenson, David Morrissey, Frankie Boyle, Ken Loach, Mike Leigh and Michael Brearley, Boris Johnson (then the Mayor of London before his Brexit disgrace), former Attorney General Dominic Grieve, Keir Starmer, the former Director of Public Prosecutions, and the six MPs who led the cross-party Shaker Aamer Parliamentary Group: the co-chairs, John McDonnell (Lab.) and David Davis (Con.), and the four officers of the group: Andrew Mitchell (Con.), Jeremy Corbyn (Lab.), Caroline Lucas (Green) and Andy Slaughter (Lab.). At the time, of course, Jeremy Corbyn was not the beleaguered leader of the Labour Party, just what he had always been — like John McDonnell, one of Britain’s most hardworking MPs devoted to addressing all manner of injustices.

In September came the great news that Shaker was to be released, but then, following the revelation that he had embarked on a hunger strike, fearing that he wouldn’t be freed, Joanne McInnes and I, who headed the We Stand With Shaker campaign that was behind the open letter, launched another initiative, the Fast for Shaker, that maintained the pressure on the US and UK governments to secure his release.

In this period, I also covered the Periodic Review Boards that continued to assess the cases of men not already approved for release, and not facing trials, and, when time allowed, I also covered other aspects of British politics, as well as promoting the music of my band The Four Fathers, whose first album was released in July.

An Archive of Guantánamo Articles and Other Writing: Part 19, July to December 2015

July 2015

1. Guantánamo, Periodic Review Boards: Abdul Rahman Shalabi, Guantánamo Hunger Striker for Ten Years, Is Approved for Release to Saudi Arabia
2. Shaker Aamer: Over 90 Celebrities and MPs Sign Open Letter to President Obama Calling for Shaker Aamer’s Release from Guantánamo on US Independence Day
3. Guantánamo campaigns: Write to the Guantánamo Prisoners, Don’t Let Them Be Forgotten
4. Guantánamo, hunger strikes, US courts: US Judge Orders Release of Guantánamo Force-Feeding Tapes, Condemns Government Delays
5. Guantánamo, military commissions, US courts: Despite His Conviction Being Quashed Three Times, Guantánamo Prisoner Ali Hamza Al-Bahlul Remains in Solitary Confinement
6. Torture: Report Damns American Psychological Association for Collusion in US Torture Program
7. Shaker Aamer: Please Ask Your MP to Join the Shaker Aamer All-Party Parliamentary Group, Working to Secure Shaker’s Release from Guantánamo
8. Guantánamo, Periodic Review Boards: 16th Guantánamo Prisoner Seeks Release Via Periodic Review Board

August 2015

9. Closing Guantánamo: Does President Obama Still Have a Plan for Closing Guantánamo?
Guantanamo hunger striker Tariq Ba Odah, photographed at Guantanamo before the long-term effects of his eight-year hunger strike took hold, which led to him ending up weighing just 74.5 pounds.10. Guantánamo, hunger strikes, US courts: Tariq Ba Odah, Hunger Strikes, and Why the Obama Administration Must Stop Challenging Guantánamo Prisoners in Court
11. Guantánamo, US courts: War Is Over, Set Us Free, Say Guantánamo Prisoners; Judge Says No
12. Shaker Aamer: Ignoring President Obama, the Pentagon Blocks Shaker Aamer’s Release from Guantánamo
13. Guantánamo, hunger strikes: Disgraceful US Justice Department Secretly Blocks Release from Guantánamo of Gravely Ill Hunger Striker Tariq Ba Odah
14. Prisoners released from Guantánamo: Fayiz Al-Kandari, the Last Kuwaiti in Guantánamo, and a Saudi Prisoner Ask Review Boards to Send Them Home
15. UK anti-terror laws: The Shocking Story of Y: Imprisoned in the UK Without Charge or Trial on the Basis of Secret Evidence Since 2003
16. Guantánamo: Yemeni Prisoner Zaher Hamdoun Says He Is “Buried in a Grave Called Guantánamo”
17. New Orleans floods: Watch Spike Lee’s “When the Levees Broke” for the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, When US Racism Was Openly Revealed

September 2015

18. Guantánamo, Periodic Review Boards: Mohammed Kamin, an Insignificant Afghan Prisoner in Guantánamo, Asks Review Board to Recommend His Release
19. Solitary confinement: Huge Victory for Prison Reform as California Ends Indeterminate Long-Term Solitary Confinement
20. Life after Guantánamo: Life After Guantánamo: Attorney Tells the Story of a Father and Son Freed, But Separated By 1,850 Miles
Former Guantanamo prisoner Omar Khadr speaking to the media after his release from prison on bail on May 7, 2015. Photo made available by Michelle Shephard of the Toronto Star on Twitter.21. Omar Khadr: Former Guantánamo Prisoner Omar Khadr Asks for Bail Conditions to be Eased So He Can Visit His Family
22. Shaker Aamer: Labour Frontrunner Jeremy Corbyn Joins Cross-Party Signatories on Early Day Motion Calling for Shaker Aamer’s Release from Guantánamo
23. 9/11, Guantánamo: 14 Years After 9/11, It’s Time for Guantánamo to Be Closed
24. Shaker Aamer: “The More We Get Close to What We Want, The Farther It Goes”: Shaker Aamer’s Endlessly Thwarted Hope of Being Released from Guantánamo
25. Guantánamo, Periodic Review Boards: Seriously Ill Libyan Approved for Release from Guantánamo by Periodic Review Board
26. Prisoners released from Guantánamo: Fears for Guantánamo Prisoner Released in Morocco But Held Incommunicado in a Secret Location
27. Omar Khadr: On Omar Khadr’s 29th Birthday, Bail Conditions Eased; Allowed to Visit Grandparents, and Electronic Tag Removed
28. Guantánamo, Periodic Review Boards: Periodic Review Board Approves Release of Fayiz Al-Kandari, the Last Kuwaiti in Guantánamo
29. Shaker Aamer, protest music: Andy Worthington’s Band The Four Fathers Release ‘Song for Shaker Aamer’ as Download: 25% of Takings to Go to Shaker’s Family
30. Shaker Aamer, protest music: Video: On RT, Andy Worthington Discusses Release of ‘Song for Shaker Aamer’ and the Failure to Free Him from Guantánamo
31. Prisoners released from Guantánamo: Abdul Rahman Shalabi, Long-Term Hunger Striker, Repatriated from Guantánamo to Saudi Arabia
32. Shaker Aamer: Wonderful News! Shaker Aamer to be Released from Guantánamo – Finally!
33. Torture: 28 Veterans of US Intelligence Fight Back Against CIA Claims That the Bush Torture Program Was Useful and Necessary
34. Shaker Aamer, protest music: Video: Andy Worthington’s Band The Four Fathers Launch YouTube Channel, Play ‘Song for Shaker Aamer’ Unplugged
35. Shaker Aamer: Radio: Andy Worthington Discusses the Imminent Release of Shaker Aamer from Guantánamo with Scott Horton
36. Protest music, Guantánamo: Andy Worthington’s Band The Four Fathers Release ‘Love and War’ Album for Download, With Songs About Guantánamo, Torture, Austerity and Love
37. Guantánamo, Periodic Review Boards: 97-Pound Yemeni Hunger Striker Appears Before Periodic Review Board As Saudi is Approved for Release from Guantánamo

October 2015

38. Shaker Aamer: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Truth, Lies and Distortions in the Coverage of Shaker Aamer, Soon to be Freed from Guantánamo
39. Shaker Aamer: Shaker Aamer’s Latest Words from Guantánamo; On a Hunger Strike, Fearful That He Won’t See His Family Again
40. Shaker Aamer: Radio: Andy Worthington Discusses Shaker Aamer, the Closure of Guantánamo and His Band The Four Fathers with Peter B. Collins
Younous Chekkouri (aka Younus Chekhouri), in a photo included in the classified US military documents (the Detainee Assessment Briefs) released by WikiLeaks in April 2011.41. Life after Guantánamo: Former Guantánamo Prisoner Betrayed by Morocco: Are Diplomatic Assurances Worthless?
42. Guantánamo, Periodic Review Boards: Fan of Shakira, Taylor Swift and Game of Thrones Asks Review Board to Free Him from Guantánamo, As an Afghan is Approved for Release
43. Shaker Aamer: Fast For Shaker: New Campaign Launched – Please Join Celebrities and MPs Fasting in Solidarity with Shaker Aamer, on a Hunger Strike in Guantánamo
44. Guantánamo media: How Laurie Anderson Brought Guantánamo to New York
45. Shaker Aamer: Video: Andy Worthington Discusses Shaker Aamer, Guantánamo and Fast For Shaker on the Victoria Derbyshire Show on BBC2
46. Shaker Aamer: Fast For Shaker: Press Launch of New Campaign in Solidarity with Shaker Aamer, on a Hunger Strike in Guantánamo, London, Thursday 15th October
47. Shaker Aamer: Video: Andy Worthington Discusses the Fast For Shaker Campaign on London Live
48. Shaker Aamer: Photos: Fast For Shaker Press Launch – MPs and Campaigners Show Solidarity with Shaker Aamer, on a Hunger Strike in Guantánamo
49. Shaker Aamer: Video: Andy Worthington Speaks to RT at the Launch of Fast For Shaker in London on October 15
50. Shaker Aamer: Fast For Shaker Supporters Encourage Shaker Aamer to End Hunger Strike, Maintain Pressure to Get Him Home By October 25
51. Torture, protest music: Video: Andy Worthington’s Band The Four Fathers Play “81 Million Dollars” About the US Torture Program, Calling for Bush, Cheney and Others to be Held Accountable
52. Shaker Aamer: Five Days to Go: The Countdown to Shaker Aamer’s Release from Guantánamo
53. Life after Guantánamo: Guantánamo’s Tainted Evidence: US Government Publicly Concedes Its Case Against Ex-Prisoner Facing Trial in Morocco Collapsed in 2011
54. Shaker Aamer: Radio: Andy Worthington Speaks to Anastasia Kyriacou About Guantánamo, We Stand With Shaker and Fast For Shaker
55. Guantánamo, hunger strikes, US courts: Obama’s Mixed Messages on Guantánamo, as Justice Department Tells Judge Not to Intervene in Case of 75-Pound Hunger Striker at Risk of Death
56. Shaker Aamer: Shaker Aamer’s 5000th Day in Guantánamo – and My 2500th Post
57. Shaker Aamer: Clive Stafford Smith’s Fast For Shaker Aamer Hunger Strike Diary
58. Shaker Aamer: Photos: Shaker Aamer’s 5000th Day in Guantánamo – Vigil Outside 10 Downing Street, October 24, 2015
59. Shaker Aamer: Keep Up the Fast For Shaker Aamer, As Foreign Office and State Department Say Release Delayed Until Late This Week or Early Next Week
60. Guantánamo, President Obama, US Senate: Finally, President Obama Vetoes Defense Bill That Contains Onerous Guantánamo Restrictions
61. Shaker Aamer, prisoners released from Guantánamo: Shaker Aamer Finally Freed from Guantánamo: We Stand With Shaker Responds to the News
62. Shaker Aamer: Shaker Aamer’s Statement on His Release from Guantánamo

November 2015

Music legend Roger Waters (ex-Pink Floyd) supports We Stand With Shaker at the US Embassy on February 13, 2015 (Photo: Andy Worthington).63. Shaker Aamer: WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Roger Waters Writes About the Release of Shaker Aamer from Guantánamo
64. Shaker Aamer: Shaker Aamer, Freed from Guantánamo, Is Reunited With His Family
65. Shaker Aamer, protest music: Video: Andy Worthington’s Band The Four Fathers Play New Version of ‘Song for Shaker Aamer’ Reflecting His Release from Guantánamo
66. Shaker Aamer: Andy Worthington’s TV and Radio Appearances Following the Release of Shaker Aamer from Guantánamo
67. Shaker Aamer, protest music: ‘Song for Shaker Aamer’ by Andy Worthington’s Band The Four Fathers is ‘Protest Song of the Week’ on Kevin Gosztola’s Shadowproof
68. Prisoners released from Guantánamo: Mauritanian, Cleared for Release Since 2009, Finally Repatriated from Guantánamo
69. Life after Guantánamo: Moroccan Released from Guantánamo Facing Kangaroo Court Trial Back Home As Wife Says She Is “Still Living a Nightmare”
70. Shaker Aamer: Responses to Shaker Aamer’s Release from Guantánamo – from MPs, and a Poignant and Powerful Article by Cori Crider of Reprieve
71. Guantánamo, Periodic Review Boards: Eroding Hyperbole: The Steady Reclassification of Guantánamo’s “Forever Prisoners”
72. Shaker Aamer, Ahmed Errachidi: Chef Held at Guantánamo Calls Shaker Aamer a “Beautiful, Great Man” But Warns of Difficulties Adapting to Freedom
73. Shaker Aamer: Radio: Andy Worthington Discusses the Release of Shaker Aamer from Guantánamo with Richie Allen
74. Shaker Aamer: First Photos Published of Shaker Aamer Since His Release from Guantánamo
75. Shaker Aamer: A Photo and a Message from Shaker Aamer to His Supporters
76. Shaker Aamer: Radio: Andy Worthington Discusses Shaker Aamer’s Release and the Future of Guantánamo with Scott Horton and Peter B. Collins
77. Protest music: Podcast: Andy Worthington of The Four Fathers Interviewed About Protest Music By Kevin Gosztola of Shadowproof
78. Prisoners released from Guantánamo: Five Yemenis Freed from Guantánamo, Given New Homes in the United Arab Emirates
79. Closing Guantánamo: Playing Politics with the Closure of Guantánamo
80. Shaker Aamer: Radio: Andy Worthington and Debra Sweet of the World Can’t Wait Discuss Shaker Aamer and Closing Guantánamo with Cat Watters
81. Shaker Aamer: We Stand With Shaker’s 1st Anniversary, 100 Celebrity Photos and a Vigil on Thursday
82. Pacifism: Please Listen to Benjamin Ferencz, the Last Nuremberg Prosecutor, Explain His Implacable Opposition to War

December 2015

83. Guantánamo media: A Hunger for Justice at Guantánamo as Witness Against Torture Video of Thanksgiving Fast Gets 900,000 Views
84. Guantánamo, Periodic Review Boards: Presenting the First Annotated List of the 64 Guantánamo Prisoners Eligible for Periodic Review Boards
Former Guantanamo prisoner Haji Ghalib, photographed after his release from Guantanamo in February 2007.85. Life after Guantánamo: Haji Ghalib, the Afghan Freed from Guantánamo Who Is Now Fighting Isis and the Taliban
86. Guantánamo, Periodic Review Boards: For Review at Guantánamo, DoD Acknowledges That 20th “Forever Prisoner” Is Case of Mistaken Identity, As He Seeks Release
87. Shaker Aamer, protest music: In London, Andy Worthington Discusses Shaker Aamer and Guantánamo, and His Band The Four Fathers Play Three Gigs
88. Human Rights Day: On Human Rights Day, A Call for the US to Close Guantánamo, and for the UK to Defend the Human Rights Act
89. Shaker Aamer: Shaker Aamer Speaks: First Newspaper Interview Since Release from Guantánamo, in the Mail on Sunday
90. Shaker Aamer: Shaker Aamer Discusses His 13 Years in Guantánamo, Built to “Destroy Human Beings,” and Adjusting to Freedom Since His Release
91. Guantánamo, Periodic Review Boards: Zahir Hamdoun, the 21st Guantánamo Prisoner Seeking Release Via A Periodic Review Board
92. Shaker Aamer: Video: After Guantánamo, Shaker Aamer’s 90-Minute BBC Interview with Victoria Derbyshire
93. Shaker Aamer: Video: Andy Worthington and Joanne MacInnes Discuss the Success of We Stand With Shaker on George Galloway’s Sputnik Show on RT
94. Shaker Aamer: Video: Andy Worthington Discusses Guantánamo, Shaker Aamer and We Stand With Shaker at Deptford Cinema, Dec. 18, 2015
95. Shaker Aamer, protest music: Video: Andy Worthington’s Band The Four Fathers Play “Song For Shaker Aamer” at Deptford Cinema, Dec. 18, 2015
96. Closing Guantánamo: President Obama on Closing Guantánamo

An archive of articles about British politics, July to December 2015

Andy Worthington holding up a copy of 'Love and War' by The Four Fathers, after collecting the first copies from the manufacturers on July 3, 2015.1. Protest music: Buy It Here! Love and War, the Debut Album by Andy Worthington’s Band The Four Fathers Launches Today
2. Austerity: George Osborne’s Savage Cuts to Some of the UK’s Most Vulnerable People in His ‘Emergency Budget’
3. Music festivals: Photos: Mud and Magic at WOMAD 2015
4. Jeremy Corbyn, CND: Photos: Jeremy Corbyn at CND’s Hiroshima Day 70th Anniversary Ceremony in Tavistock Square
5. Refugee crisis: As the Death of Three-Year Old Syrian Refugee Aylan Kurdi Appals All Decent People, Please Sign the E-Petition Asking the UK Government to Accept More Refugees
6. Jeremy Corbyn, refugee crisis: Report and Photos: The Massive March for Refugees in London – and Jeremy Corbyn’s Victory
7. John McDonnell: “This Is The New Politics”: John McDonnell’s Inspiring Speech to the Labour Party Conference Includes Announcement of Establishment of Powerful Left-Wing Economic Advisory Board
8. Protest music: Video: Andy Worthington’s Band The Four Fathers Play ‘Tory Bullshit Blues’ Unplugged
9. Syria: Labour’s Dilemma: What Should Be Done with the 66 MPs Who Voted with the Tories to Approve Airstrikes in Syria?
10. Protest music, books: For Christmas, Buy My Books on the UK Counter-Culture and Guantánamo and My Music with The Four Fathers
11. Protest music: Videos: Andy Worthington’s Band The Four Fathers Play “Fighting Injustice” and “She’s Back”

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, and, if you appreciate Andy’s work, feel free to make a donation.

One Response

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    It’s been a while since I updated the chronological lists of all my articles, so here’s a new list, covering the 100+ articles I wrote and published between July and December last year, mostly about Guantanamo. This was a period that was particularly notable for an intensification of the campaign to free Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison, the news of Shaker’s release, and the Fast For Shaker initiative, which Joanne MacInnes and I (the co-founders of the We Stand With Shaker campaign) launched in the last few weeks of his captivity, to keep pressure on the US to release him. I hope anyone interested in research and the history of Guantanamo will find the list useful.

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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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