Afghanistan

Video: I Discuss 9/11, Guantánamo and the Significance of the US Defeat in Afghanistan on Salaamedia in South Africa

12.9.21

Linking to, and discussing, my appearance on South African broadcaster Salaamedia’s show, “Reflections on 9/11: The Impact on Afghanistan and the Muslim World,” on Sept. 8, 2021, which included a discussion about Guantánamo.

The Taliban’s Victory in Afghanistan Mustn’t Prevent the Closure of Guantánamo

30.8.21

As the right-wing media and Republicans focus on two former Guantánamo prisoners who hold leadership positions in the Taliban, and seek to infer that the Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan somehow means that Guantánamo should remain open, I explain why this is nothing more than disgraceful propaganda, and urge President Biden to remain resolute when it comes to closing Guantánamo once and for all.

How the Disaster of Guantánamo Foretold US Defeat in Afghanistan

25.8.21

Reflecting on the US defeat in Afghanistan, as the Taliban once more control the country, I look at how, in Guantánamo and in the prison at Bagram Airbase, chronically poor intelligence, and the contempt for the rules regarding the detention of prisoners in wartime that was so typical of the “war on terror,” did so much to help the US lose the battle for “hearts and minds” in Afghanistan.

The Bleak Legacy of Donald Rumsfeld: Guantánamo, Torture and Two Failed and Astonishingly Destructive Wars

1.7.21

With the death of former US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, I take a close look at his dreadful legacy, involving the prison at Guantánamo Bay, the use of torture, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians, and bemoan the fact that, unlikely though it is that any senior US official will ever be held accountable for their crimes against humanity committed in the “war on terror,” Rumsfeld’s death robs us, in his case, of even that slimmest sliver of hope.

Afghan Government Calls for Release of Guantánamo “Forever Prisoner” Asadullah Haroon Gul

7.3.21

My report on the news that the Afghan government has submitted an amicus brief to a US court in the case of Asadullah Haroon Gul, one of the last two Afghans in Guantánamo, arguing for his long-overdue release. Of the 40 men still held, Gul is one of 22 identified as “forever prisoners,” because of their ongoing and thoroughly unjustifiable imprisonment without charge or trial.

9/11 at 19: Endless Wars, Guantánamo and 37 Million People Displaced

11.9.20

To mark the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, I reflect on its long and bitter legacy, via the US’s endless wars, the continuing existence of Guantánamo, and, as recently revealed, the shockingly large number of people displaced by the US’s many wars waged over the last 19 years.

International Criminal Court Authorizes Investigation into War Crimes in Afghanistan, Including US Torture Program

5.3.20

My report on today’s great news that the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has approved an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Afghanistan since May 2003 by US armed forces and members of the CIA, the Taliban and affiliated armed groups, and Afghan government forces, reversing a decision last year not to proceed with the investigation, which was widely perceived to have come about in response to pressure exerted by the Trump administration. Interestingly, although the US is not a party to the ICC Statute, the Court has jurisdiction over crimes committed by US actors in the territories of other State Parties to the ICC, and the investigation is, therefore, also empowered to look at crimes committed since July 2002 outside Afghanistan – at, for example, “black sites” in Poland, Romania and Lithuania.

Good News! Former Guantánamo Prisoners Released from UAE to Afghanistan

13.2.20

My report on the good news that three Afghan nationals and former Guantánamo prisoners, who were sent to the UAE in 2016-17, have been repatriated following a peace agreement negotiated between the Afghan government and former warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s Hesb-e Islami movement in 2016.

The Long Persecution of John Walker Lindh, the “American Taliban”

5.6.19

My thoughts on the release from a US prison of John Walker Lindh, the “American Taliban”, after he served 17 years of a 20-year sentence for having supported the Taliban, as some commentators continue to insist that he should not have been freed early for good behavior.

What Happened to the Prisoners the US Abandoned at Bagram, Once Known as Guantánamo’s Dark Mirror?

18.2.19

My article following up on an important update by Jenifer Fenton for Al-Jazeera about the largely forgotten foreign prisoners at the notorious Bagram prison in Afghanistan, renamed the Parwan Detention Facility, which the US handed over to Afghan forces in December 2014.

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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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