Never-Ending Injustice: State Secrets and the Torture of Abu Zubaydah

10.10.21

An illustration featuring Abu Zubaydah by Brigid Barrett from an article in Wired in July 2013. The photo used is from the classified military files from Guantánamo that were released by WikiLeaks in 2011.

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I wrote the following article for the “Close Guantánamo” website, which I established in January 2012, on the 10th anniversary of the opening of Guantánamo, with the US attorney Tom Wilner. Please join us — just an email address is required to be counted amongst those opposed to the ongoing existence of Guantánamo, and to receive updates of our activities by email.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of the notorious torture victim and Guantánamo prisoner Abu Zubaydah, for whom the US’s post-9/11 torture program was invented. Zubaydah, whose real name is Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn, was held and tortured in CIA “black sites” for four and a half years, after his capture in a house raid in Pakistan in March 2002, until his eventual transfer to Guantánamo with 13 other so-called “high-value detainees” in September 2006, and he has been held there without charge or trial ever since.

Wednesday’s hearing was the result of an appeal by the government against a ground-breaking ruling two years ago, by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in which the judges openly declared that Abu Zubaydah had been tortured. It was, as Abu Zubaydah’s attorney, Cornell University law professor Joseph Margulies, explained, “the first time an appellate court” had “come right out and said that the enhanced interrogation techniques were torture.”

While this was significant, it wasn’t the main topic of the case, which involved the state secrets privilege, whereby government officials can argue that sensitive information whose disclosure, they claim, might endanger national security, must not be disclosed in a court. Abu Zubaydah’s lawyers were — and still are — seeking permission for the architects of the torture program, the contractors James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, to be questioned about the details of his torture while he was held in a “black site” in Poland, in 2002-03, after his initial torture in a “black site” in Thailand in 2002, for use in the Polish government’s ongoing investigation.

A lower court had earlier ruled that, as the San Francisco Chronicle described it, any questioning of Mitchell and Jessen “would expose state secrets about CIA detention and interrogation practices,” but the appeals court refuted Justice Department claims that the questioning of Mitchell and Jessen “could reveal classified information about CIA intelligence sources, foreign government cooperation and terrorist investigations,” pointing out that “some information about the CIA’s torture program and its past operation in Poland has long been known to the public,” and in any case, as Judge Richard Paez explained in the court’s majority opinion, the purpose of confidentiality rules “is to protect legitimate government interests, not to shield the government from uncomfortable facts.”

The appeals court intended that the case should be sent back to the lower court to “take a closer look to determine which subjects could be safely examined,” but the government appealed, meaning that it then made its way up to the Supreme Court, whose decision to accept it was significant, because, although it was primarily about torture, and not Guantánamo, it was nevertheless the first case with any connection to Guantánamo that the Supreme Court had deigned to hear since Boumediene v. Bush, in December 2007, which was decided in June 2008.

That case confirmed that the prisoners held at Guantánamo had constitutionally guaranteed habeas corpus rights, empowering judges to hear the government’s case against them, and over the course of the next  two years 32 prisoners had their habeas corpus petitions granted by District Court judges, who ordered their release.

Shamefully, appeals court judges then rewrote the rules, specifically to gut habeas corpus of all meaning for the Guantánamo prisoners, and, just as shamefully, the Supreme Court has refused, ever since, to take back control of the legal arguments involving the imprisonment of men at Guantánamo, even though they have been presented with numerous opportunities to do so.

The Supreme Court hearing

A transcript of the oral arguments in Wednesday’s Supreme Court hearing has helpfully been made available online, and much of it reveals how, seamlessly, the Biden administration has taken on the position maintained by the Trump administration regarding the alleged necessity of hiding information about Abu Zubaydah’s torture, even though much of it is public knowledge — primarily, through the extensive coverage of it in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report into the CIA’s torture program, whose executive summary was released in December 2014, and through testimony by Mitchell and Jessen on two previous occasions.

That said, as Joe Margulies explained to Democracy Now! on Thursday, although “we know a fair amount about what happened to [Abu Zubaydah in] Thailand … we don’t know what happened to him in Poland.” Mitchell, as he explained, stated in previous testimony that Abu Zubaydah “was treated very shabbily” in Poland, but as Margulies explained, “he uses those kind of euphemisms for the most grotesque torture. And that’s all he says. But no one has ever questioned him about what went on in Poland. The Polish prosecutor knows where the site was. He knows when it operated. But inside the cell, he doesn’t know. There were only three people there. It was Abu Zubaydah, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen.”

As he also explained, Mitchell and Jessen are “perfectly willing to provide this testimony. When we sought their testimony in this case, they said, ‘We have no objection. We’re happy to tell you. We’re happy to sit down for a deposition.’ It was the United States government that intervened and said, ‘No, their testimony is a state secret, and you can’t have any of it.’”

What happened on Wednesday, however, to everyone’s surprise was that, first of all, as Margulies put it, “virtually every justice on the court described Abu Zubaydah’s treatment as torture. They used that word. There were no euphemisms. There was no equivocation. Everyone understood that what happened to him was torture.”

And, secondly, Justice Breyer, Justice Gorsuch and Justice Sotomayor all asked, “Why is it that you can’t just let Abu Zubaydah testify?” As Margulies explained, “That obviously would obviate the need for Mitchell and Jessen’s testimony. And what was as interesting as their request that Abu Zubaydah be allowed to testify was the government’s equivocation and inability to answer that … [T]he solicitor general was asked to provide a follow-up statement, so they’ll be filing something else, explaining whether they’re going to allow Abu Zubaydah to testify. And if they do, that will be a sea change at Guantánamo. That will be a radical change. Guantánamo was built to be an isolation chamber, and they have never allowed any detainee to have uncensored access to the outside. The whole purpose of it was to prevent that kind of communication. So, if that changes, that will be a radical thing.”

Margulies also highlighted a third surprise — as he described it, “Justice Breyer’s observation, which we have been arguing on Abu Zubaydah’s behalf for some time, [and] other detainees have [also] made this argument, that there are no hostilities left in Afghanistan. The legal justification for continuing to hold guys has disappeared. We’ve been making that argument, and yesterday we heard a Supreme Court justice accept it as though it were commonplace. How could anyone think otherwise?”

There was also another shock in the hearing, following Justice Breyer’s questioning about why Abu Zubaydah was even being held, when he referred to Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, a case decided by the Supreme Court in June 2004, in which, as he described it, “we said you could hold people in Guantánamo,” as long as “active combat operations against Taliban fighters” were “going on in Afghanistan.”

After stating, “Well, they’re not anymore,” Justice Breyer asked David Klein, representing Abu Zubaydah, “why is he there?” — in other words, why is he still held — and followed up by asking, “have you filed a habeas or something to get him out?” to which Klein delivered the bombshell response, “There has been a habeas proceeding pending in D.C. for the last 14 years.” This clearly shocked Justice Breyer, who asked twice, and with incredulity, “They don’t decide it?”

“Held incommunicado”

While all of the above should — must — provide fertile ground for further challenges in Abu Zubaydah’s case, and against the entire ongoing existence of Guantánamo, it is worth dwelling on how, in the oral arguments, what shone through above all about the government’s position is how thoroughly successive administrations have worked to shield the CIA from scrutiny of its actions in the torture program — and, by extension, any accountability for what was done.

As Joe Margulies explained, “even Mitchell and Jessen, when they were torturing him in Thailand, after six days of virtually 24-hour-a-day torture, decided that they were done, that they had emptied the content of his head … [T]hey cabled that to CIA headquarters in Langley, and Mitchell believes it was Jose Rodriguez [Director of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center] who cabled back,” stating, as Mitchell described it, “You guys are a bunch of pussies. You’ve got to continue this. Blood is going to be on your hands if there’s another attack. Keep torturing him.”

Margulies added, “And so they did, for another two weeks. And what they eventually concluded is that Abu Zubaydah was telling the truth all along. Contrary to what they believed when they started torturing him, he was not a member of al-Qaeda. He had no involvement with the planning for 9/11. He’s never been a member of al-Qaeda. He is ideologically opposed to al-Qaeda, which is what he had been saying. And they eventually concluded that that was true.”

Raymond Bonner, a journalist who joined Margulies for the show, added that cables from Thailand to the CIA, as the torture began, showed Mitchell and the interrogators stating, “He might die. And if he does, we’re going to cremate him. And if he doesn’t, we want assurances that he will never be in a position to tell his story.” In response, the CIA cabled back, “You have the assurances of everyone here that he will be held incommunicado for the remainder of his life.” As Bonner explained, “[T]hat is exactly what is happening. We’re never going to hear from Abu Zubaydah. I would be stunned if he’s allowed to testify.”

In addition, when Joe Margulies was asked by Amy Goodman, “Can you talk about what condition he is in today, after all of this time, held for so many years, the last number of years, 15 years, in Guantánamo?,” Joe Margulies’ answer confirmed the extent to which, shamefully, Guantánamo continues to function as an “isolation chamber,” particularly for the “high-value detainees” subjected to the CIA’s torture program.

“No, actually, I can’t,” Margulies replied, “because his condition, and my observation of it, is classified … Everything he tells me and everything I learned from him is classified at the highest level. It’s top secret. So, if he says to me, for instance, ‘I’m having terrible headaches, and I vomit every morning,’ I can’t relay that to you. I can’t say this is what he says. I can only write it down and then submit it to the CIA for declassification. And we have submitted over a hundred pages of Abu Zubaydah’s statements and recounting of what happened to him. and that’s been submitted for years, and the CIA has never cleared it. Many years ago, they authorized me to say that I am very concerned about his welfare, very concerned or gravely concerned, some adverb like that. And I can tell you that nothing has changed between then and now. I remain very concerned. But that’s all I’m allowed to say.”

It remains to be seen how the Supreme Court will respond in its ruling, but, if nothing else, Wednesday’s hearing aired a number of profoundly uncomfortable truths about the government’s position: from its obsessive defense of the CIA’s torture program to its refusal to even consider allowing Abu Zubaydah to testify, its failure to proceed with a habeas corpus case for 14 unforgivably long years, and its unwillingness to consider the significance of the withdrawal of the last US troops from Afghanistan.

Guantánamo’s very existence is now untenable, and yet, as I explained in a recent article, the Justice Department continues to defend it with largely undimmed zeal. The Biden administration is apparently reviewing the prison’s operations, and has been told, over and over, by Senators, by members of the House of Representatives, and by numerous credible officials, that continuing to indefinitely hold men without charge or trial at Guantánamo is unacceptable.

Of the 39 men still held, 17 are in this category — accurately described in the media as “forever prisoners” — and Abu Zubaydah is one of them. And yet, despite the growing body of critics telling the government that, unless these men are to be charged, they must be released, it remains unclear if the administration is listening, or if they are still wedded to that disgusting promise made by the CIA back in 2002 — that, even though his torture is no longer a secret, Abu Zubaydah “will be held incommunicado for the remainder of his life.”

* * * * *

Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer (of an ongoing photo-journalism project, ‘The State of London’), film-maker and singer-songwriter (the lead singer and main songwriter for the London-based band The Four Fathers, whose music is available via Bandcamp). He is the co-founder of the Close Guantánamo campaign (and see the latest photo campaign here) and the successful We Stand With Shaker campaign of 2014-15, and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison 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, or you can watch it online here, via the production company Spectacle, for £2.55).

In 2017, Andy became very involved in housing issues. He is the narrator of the documentary film, ‘Concrete Soldiers UK’, about the destruction of council estates, and the inspiring resistance of residents, he wrote a song ‘Grenfell’, in the aftermath of the entirely preventable fire in June 2017 that killed over 70 people, and he also set up ‘No Social Cleansing in Lewisham’ as a focal point for resistance to estate destruction and the loss of community space in his home borough in south east London. For two months, from August to October 2018, he was part of the occupation of the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden in Deptford, to prevent its destruction — and that of 16 structurally sound council flats next door — by Lewisham Council and Peabody. Although the garden was violently evicted by bailiffs on October 29, 2018, and the trees were cut down on February 27, 2019, the resistance continues.

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, The Complete Guantánamo Files, 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.

21 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    Here’s my latest article, looking at last week’s Supreme Court hearing in the case of Abu Zubaydah, who was held and tortured in CIA “black sites” for four and a half years, and has been held at Guantanamo without charge or trial for the last 15 years.

    The hearing was specifically about whether or not James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, the architects of the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program, can be compelled to give testimony about what happened to Abu Zubaydah in the “black site” in Poland where he was held after he was moved from the “black site” in Thailand where he was first held, and where his torture is well-documented.

    Noticeably, however, the oral hearing involved at least some of the Justices wondering why Abu Zubaydah was not allowed to testify (apparently not realizing that he is held virtually incommunicado, as successive governments pander to the CIA), expressing incredulity that his attorneys submitted a habeas corpus petition on his behalf to the District Court in Washington, D.C. 14 years ago, but it has not been dealt with, and even mentioning that his continued imprisonment — and, by extension, that of other Guantanamo prisoners — didn’t seem tenable now that the war in Afghanistan is over.

    None of the above means that the case will necessarily be decided in Abu Zubaydah’s favor regarding the testimony of Mitchell and Jessen, but it does suggest that some sort of light has finally been shone on the injustices of Guantanamo and the “war on terror” in the Supreme Court, 13 long years after the Court last dealt with Guantanamo, in Boumediene v. Bush.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Natalia Rivera Scott wrote:

    He was supposed to appear years ago in a hearing and of course, last minute, he didn’t. Then Mitchell and Jessen have signed deals ever since, right? They can’t be held accountable for their crimes. These hearings go nowhere. Zubaydah won before and never got the money for compensation or his freedom.

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Well remembered, Natalia. He was supposed to take part in a military commission hearing in 2017, but refused to take part at the last minute: https://www.andyworthington.co.uk/2017/05/19/abu-zubaydah-will-not-testify-at-guantanamo-military-court-because-the-us-government-has-stacked-the-deck-against-him/

    I’m not aware that Mitchell and Jessen have any kind of immunity. I recall that it seemed to me a few years back that the CIA wasn’t as interested in protecting them as in protecting their own personnel, but I may be wrong.

    Also, Abu Zubaydah hasn’t ever secured any kind of victory in the US, but he was awarded compensation for his torture by the European Court of Human Rights. https://www.andyworthington.co.uk/2015/03/01/european-court-of-human-rights-orders-poland-to-pay-262000-to-cia-black-site-prisoners/

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Natalia Rivera Scott wrote:

    Andy, thank you for the link! I knew you would post it! Some even speculate that Zubaydah is not alive…

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    I’m sure his attorneys would know if that were true, Natalia.

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    Natalia Rivera Scott wrote:

    Andy, I hope one day we can read that he’s been released.

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    I used to think that would be impossible, but I do wonder now, Natalia. The change with the Biden administration is the recognition by so many people that prisoners at Guantanamo cannot continue to be imprisoned indefinitely without charge or trial, and must be charged or released.

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    Kevin Hester wrote:

    More brilliant investigative journalism from Andy.
    “During a waterboarding session, Zubaydah became completely unresponsive with bubbles rising through his open full mouth,” according to internal CIA records.”
    Keep shining the light on these war crimes Andy, I admire your courage.
    https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/448563/details-still-secret-on-thailand-role-in-cia-torture

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks for the supportive words, Kevin. The silencing of the “high-value detainees” – through a persistent refusal by the military authorities (working on behalf of the CIA) to unclassify the notes of their meetings with their attorneys – is one of the great and largely unknown crimes of Guantanamo.

  10. Anna says...

    I’ll have to re-read this tomorrow to believe that what I read is actually what you wrote. I was tonight at a traditional post-funeral get-together where a number of local lawyers were present and I asked them whether they know whether this case – which is prosecuted in our hometown is still continuing, but they had no idea. l admit that at this moment our lawyers have many other and for them more urgent matters. The reception was in an elegant hotel with plenty of wine. Maybe that is the reason that I am having hallucinations reading this post? But it also is shocking, that even Supreme Court justices have no idea of what is going on in their own country and their own judiciary and apparently never bothered to try and find out what is happening in Guantanamo and whether their cherished law is respected there…
    Did you see Crofton’s ‘Amicus Brief’ prepared by The Bureau for this Supreme Court case ? Based no doubt on their “Torture report unredacted’ opus magnum and just as meticulously substantiated.
    So torture suddenly is torture again, except that noone (except loonies like us) cares anymore, the world has moved on, just like the war on Afghanistan suddenly ‘obviously’ was a disaster according to all the ‘experts’ and its countless victims suddenly relegated to some irrelevant distant past. Even if poor Abu Zubaydah was released tomorrow and officially exonerated, his torture revealed, the world will not be interested anymore. And noone will ever be held accountable for the massive suffering inflicted on so many innocent people during the past 20 years. It’s people like you Andy, Crofton, researchers, journalists and dedicated lawyers, who will have kept those victims’ human dignity alive, saved them from being anonimously dumped in history’s dustbin in addition to the suffering they endured during their life time.

  11. Andy Worthington says...

    Good to hear from you, Anna. The oral transcript is indeed shocking, isn’t it, as it reveals so clearly how the members of the US’s highest court are so ignorant about Abu Zubaydah’s case, and about what is happening in Guantanamo.

    You are, sadly, correct to note that the world has moved on. I was told that, when it came to the due process case in the D.C. Circuit Court two weeks ago, the Washington Post noted that the US public has “Guantanamo fatigue.” As you say, even if Abu Zubaydah “was released tomorrow and officially exonerated, his torture revealed, the world will not be interested anymore.”

    I hadn’t come across Crofton’s amicus brief, but I see that it’s online, via the Supreme Court, here: https://www.supremecourt.gov/DocketPDF/20/20-827/188068/20210820133504525_2021-08-20%20TRP-TNIJ%20Amici%20Brief%20ISO%20Respondents%20-%20FINAL.pdf

    And here’s Crofton’s article for the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, expressing suitable incredulity that the US government continues to behave as though the location of its “black sites” is still a secret, and that “[g]rave national security harms will follow … if public speculation about where CIA black sites were located is confirmed.” As he points out, the US government “goes on to argue that this ‘speculation’ is based on ‘information conveyed or developed by (often unidentified) sources that may or may not be correct'”, even though, as he goes on to say, “The history of the CIA’s black sites isn’t based on speculation from unidentified sources. Investigators got the receipts, as they say. And not just the receipts: we got the contracts, the invoices, the emails, the flight paths, the hotel records and the lunch menus (‘colossal shrimp cocktail, whole fresh fruit basket, assorted cookies and brownies’ as a flight crew got ready to ship a man from Romania to Jordan).” As he adds, “The surprising thing about this international conspiracy is how many traces it left in its wake. In hindsight, maybe it was inevitable. The decision to outsource the operation to multiple commercial corporations and spread it over numerous countries meant one thing: more data.”

    https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/blog/2021-10-01/bureau-submits-evidence-to-us-supreme-court-on-cia-torture-sites

    I recall the Abu Omar case, when the CIA kidnapped a cleric from a street in Milan in broad daylight, and was then surprised when they were found out, even though senior officials must have been aware that there was a paper trail – not least because the CIA had to hire flights commercially, as it wasn’t empowered to run an entire covert fleet of planes.

    More worryingly, the US government’s position, with its slander of reputable sources, is, broadly speaking, how it has dealt with Guantanamo for nearly 20 years, with an imperious disregard of the facts, and it isn’t too much of a stretch to see that this is how they regard Julian Assange – not as someone who revealed uncomfortable truths, but as someone involved in “speculation” based on “information conveyed or developed by (often unidentified) sources that may or may not be correct.”

    There is a fundamental battle for the truth going on, peddled by a mendacious government (or the Justice Department, at least), in which, alarmingly, the Supreme Court has been revealed as being completely out of touch, and very few people care.

  12. Andy Worthington says...

    Lance Millward wrote:

    A black site in Poland? That’s pretty hideous given what people experienced there during WW2. Maybe the irony is lost on them.

  13. Andy Worthington says...

    It’s quite extraordinary, isn’t it, Lance? To go through Nazi occupation, then Russian occupation, and then to allow the US to set up a torture prison.

  14. Andy Worthington says...

    Steve Truitt wrote:

    At the oral argument Justices specifically referred to Zubaydah’s treatment as “torture.”

  15. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Steve. Good to hear from you. Joe Margulies made that point very clearly on Democracy Now, and it’s progress in the sense that, two years ago, it was newsworthy when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals openly described Abu Zubaydah’s treatment as torture.

    However, although that’s a reassuring development, everything else about this case isn’t – the ongoing efforts by the Justice Department (on behalf of the CIA) to defend the “national security” aspect of secrets that are no longer secret, and the Supreme Court’s general ignorance about the case.

  16. Andy Worthington says...

    Steve Truitt wrote:

    I agree that the court will neither reexamine nor whittle down the state secrets doctrine in this case. They seemed comfortable with the basic idea. What is good about the case is the obvious and transparent sham nature of its invocation here: to protect the governments of the US and Poland from embarrassment of confirming an illegal conspiracy. It is thus a poor vehicle for a ringing endorsement of the state secrets privilege. This makes more likely a remand with opaque instructions on what tthe courts below are to do.

  17. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks for your thoughts, Steve. And in the meantime, all those opposed to the ongoing existence of Guantanamo need to focus on a “charge or release” message to the Biden administration. If the men still held aren’t going to be charged – and those men include Abu Zubaydah – then they need to be released. With the 20th anniversary of Guantanamo’s opening approaching, just three months from now, it needs to be made abundantly clear that endless imprisonment without charge or trial is simply unacceptable.

  18. Andy Worthington says...

    Sophie Lamarche Harkat wrote:

    Please, Andy, when you write about Zubaydah please send my way. One of the major allegations used against Moe.

  19. Andy Worthington says...

    I’ll do that, Sophie. It is absurd that any government or any court in any country should still be relying on the so-called evidence from men held at Guantanamo or in the “black sites.”

  20. anna says...

    Re : Lance’s pertinent remark in 12 :
    US ‘diplomacy’ can be characterised as : Bully, Bribe, Blackmail, Bomb.
    In this case it was Bribe – apparently 60 mil USD – and flattery. Former Soviet bloc governments (particularly those politicians who dream of an international career in NATO or at the very least in the EU) unfortunately have a persisting urge to please the US, to be accepted as a ‘partner’.
    I’m sure that all it took in addition to the 60 million (apparently delivered cash in a suitcase), was a ‘top secret’ request for a ‘top secret’ mission, so incredibly, mind-bogglingly important that it could only be entrusted to the most reliable NATO coalition partner. I always wondered whether our authorities even bothered to ask the US why they weren’t approaching the UK or other such old-time pals for this delicate matter. Bet the same vaseline was used in Lithuania & Romania.
    As for our past as eternal victims of foreign aggression, I still cannot believe how fast and seamlessly we moved from the victims’ side of the fence to the perpetrators’ one … Vide the wars of agression in Iraq & Afghanistan – two countries which never had harmed us in even the slightest way.
    But then again, do not expect victims of violence to go soft on those weaker than they are. Israel and many children of abusive parents being prominent examples of the contrary.
    Yesterday another get-together with local (defence) lawyers. One looked at my WorldCan’tWait ‘Close Guantanamo Now’ button and asked what I was promoting. When I explained what it is about and added that the US Supreme Court this week is looking into a case which prosecutors in our home town are investigating since some 10 years – with zero cooperation from the US – all I saw were polite but blank expressions which spelled total ignorance …

  21. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Anna, for your informative comments. I hadn’t heard before about the $60 million, delivered in cash. The mind boggles. How is it any different from the way a mafia behaves?

    Sad to hear about your local lawyers and their blank incomprehension. Replicated across the US and around the world, of course, but somehow I expect defence lawyers to be better informed.

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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 and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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