Video: Andy Worthington Discusses the US Torture Program with Lembit Opik on Press TV

Andy Worthington in a screenshot from "A Simple Question," a Press TV show broadcast in November 2014.I’m posting below an episode of “A Simple Question,” a show presented by former Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik on Press TV, which I took part in (interviewed at my home), along with the journalist Riaz Khan. The show, “American inconsistencies on human rights,” was initially broadcast a few months ago, and asked whether the United States’ use of torture has affected its reputation worldwide. I have just found it, in two parts on YouTube, so I’m now posting it here.

The five questions discussed in the show were:

1) Which countries do you consider guilty of using torture?
2) How do you feel about the use of torture in Guantánamo Bay, especially the use of force-feeding?
3) What impact does the use of torture have upon the reputation of America internationally?
4) Do you feel that the use of torture has had an impact on the level of the terrorist threat against Americans in the US and abroad?
5) What should America do about its use of torture?

The videos of the show are below: Read the rest of this entry »

Video: “Is Guantánamo Forever?” – Andy Worthington on “Inside Out” with Susan Modaress

On Friday, I was delighted to talk to Susan Modaress, for the show “Inside Out” on Press TV. Susan interviewed me while I was in New York City in January 2011, for protests on the ninth anniversary of the opening of Guantánamo, which are available here.

The 22-minute show, “Is Guantánamo Forever?” (available below via YouTube) centred on a Skype interview with me and an interview with Karen Greenberg, the Director of the Center on National Security at Fordham University’s School of Law, and I hope you have time to watch it.

Susan and I began by discussing the hunger strike — how it began, and why the 166 men still held are in such despair that they have been refusing food for over five months and are risking their lives.

Their despair, of course, is because 86 of them were cleared for release three and a half years ago by the inter-agency Guantánamo Review Task Force, but are still held, and the 80 others were either recommended for trials that have largely failed to materialize, or were recommended for indefinite detention without charge or trial, on the basis that they were too dangerous to release, even though insufficient evidence exists to put them on trial.

Read the rest of this entry »

TV and Radio: Andy Worthington Discusses the Ongoing Guantánamo Hunger Strike on Press TV and on KBOO FM

On Tuesday evening, I responded to a last-minute request for a brief interview about Guantánamo, and the ongoing hunger strike that is now on its 135th day, with Press TV. That interview is available here, and below is a rather helpful transcript, produced by Press TV, to which I have made a few corrections.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to link to a radio interview I undertook last week with Linda Olson-Osterlund on her show A Deeper Look on KBOO FM, a community radio station in Portland, Oregon. Linda first approached me for an interview back in May 2008, and we have since spoken many times. It is always a pleasure to speak to her, as she is a well-informed host, passionate about exposing injustice. The half-hour show is available here, and the MP3 is here.

The show was entitled, “Guantánamo Bay Prison Camp: Will It ever Close?” and this is how Linda described it:

With 104 men on hunger strike, 41 of them being force fed and 4 hospitalized, White House officials and Senators Feinstein and McCain paid a surprise visit last Friday. At the same time there is a mini troop surge going on at the prison. Join me, Linda Olson-Osterlund, for A Deeper Look, this Thursday morning at 9:30am. My guest will be Andy Worthington, journalist and author of The Guantánamo Files. He’ll help make sense of the changing political landscape about the prison camp and bring us up to date on efforts to have men released. Read the rest of this entry »

Andy Worthington Talks About the US Authorities’ Brutal Response to the Guantánamo Hunger Strike on Press TV

Since a hunger strike began at Guantánamo two months ago, I have been endeavoring to play my part to keep it in the public eye, because the news of the hunger strike has finally awakened significant interest in the prison, after many years in which almost the whole world had lost interest in the plight of the men still detained at Guantánamo, even though President Obama promised to close it, and then failed to do, and even though over half of the men still held — 86 of the remaining 166 prisoners — were cleared for release by an inter-agency task force established by the President himself, but are still held because of obstructions raised by both the President and Congress.

The hunger strike involves the majority of the prisoners at Guantánamo — around 130 in total — and they are on a hunger strike to protest about conditions at the prison, and the shameful truth of their indefinite detention. The authorities have been gradually acknowledging that the hunger strike exists, after initial denials, but they still only accept that around a quarter of the men are going without food and risking their lives to tell the world how unjustly they are being treated, rather then the three-quarters of the prison’s population that the prisoners themselves claim are involved.

Since news of the strike began, I have written articles here, here, here, here and here (via Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison), and I have also spoken about the hunger strike on RT and Press TV, on the radio with Dennis Bernstein, Peter B. Collins and Michael Slate, and in print in an interview for Revolution newspaper. Read the rest of this entry »

Video: Andy Worthington Discusses the Guantánamo Hunger Strike on Press TV

For the last fortnight I have been writing about, and discussing the prison-wide hunger strike at Guantánamo, in my articles “A Huge Hunger Strike at Guantánamo” and “How Long Can the Government Pretend that the Massive Hunger Strike at Guantánamo Doesn’t Exist?” and in an appearance on RT, which I wrote about here.

Below, via YouTube, is my most recent TV appearance to discuss the hunger strike, which involved a late night Skype call from Press TV at 2am on March 20.

I hope you have the opportunity to watch it, and to share it if you find it useful.

To recap briefly on the situation at Guantánamo, it is clear that, for the last six weeks, over 100 of the remaining 166 prisoners — and perhaps as many as 130 — have been refusing meals, in protest at deteriorating conditions at the prison, including aggressive cell searches, the seizure of their possessions and correspondence (including supposedly confidential correspondence with their attorneys), and mistreatment of their copies of the Koran. Read the rest of this entry »

Video: Andy Worthington Discusses the Omar Khadr Film “You Don’t Like the Truth” on Press TV (Part Two)

Two weeks ago, as I explained in a previous article here, I took part in a studio discussion at Press TV’s London studios, commenting on the excellent new documentary film, “You Don’t Like the Truth: 4 Days Inside Guantánamo.” Directed by Luc Cote and Patricio Hernandez, this award-winning film focuses on the story of Guantánamo prisoner Omar Khadr, and will be officially released in the UK on September 30, 2011.

However, readers in London who are interested in this film can see it tomorrow (June 19) in University College London (UCL), in central London, as part of a weekend of Guantánamo films put together by Dochouse. Based at Riverside Studios, in Hammersmith, Dochouse has been supporting and promoting documentaries in the UK since 2002. The “Exposing Guantánamo” weekend is part of the Open City London Documentary Festival, which also features “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (which I directed with Polly Nash).

For further information about “Exposing Guantánamo,” see my article here (providing further details about the “Exposing Guantánamo” weekend), in which I described “You Don’t Like the Truth” as follows:

This powerful new film features excerpts from seven hours of video footage of Canadian agents interrogating child prisoner and Canadian citizen Omar Khadr at Guantánamo over a four-day period in 2003. It reveals how his joy at meeting representatives of his own government turned to despair when he realized that they had not come to Guantánamo to help him, and important commentary on the footage is provided by Khadr’s US and Canadian lawyers, by journalist Michelle Shephard, by former US guard Damien Corsetti, and by former prisoners, including Omar Deghayes and Moazzam Begg. The footage was released by the Canadian courts after a ruling that Khadr’s rights had been violated, which was subsequently ignored by the Canadian government. Read the rest of this entry »

Video: Andy Worthington Discusses the Omar Khadr Film “You Don’t Like the Truth” on Press TV

Last week, I was pleased to take part in a studio discussion at Press TV’s London studios of the documentary film, “You Don’t Like the Truth: 4 Days Inside Guantánamo,” directed by Luc Cote and Patricio Hernandez, and focusing on the story of Guantánamo prisoner Omar Khadr, which will be officially released in the UK on September 30, 2011.

Readers in London who are interested in this film can see it on June 19 in UCL (University College London), as part of a weekend of Guantánamo films put together by Dochouse, an organization based at Riverside Studios, in Hammersmith, which has been supporting and promoting documentaries in the UK since 2002. The “Exposing Guantánamo” weekend is part of the Open City London Documentary Festival, which also features “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (which I directed with Polly Nash).

For further information about “Exposing Guantánamo,” see my article here, in which I described “You Don’t Like the Truth” as follows:

This powerful new film features excerpts from seven hours of video footage of Canadian agents interrogating child prisoner and Canadian citizen Omar Khadr at Guantánamo over a four-day period in 2003. It reveals how his joy at meeting representatives of his own government turned to despair when he realized that they had not come to Guantánamo to help him, and important commentary on the footage is provided by Khadr’s US and Canadian lawyers, by journalist Michelle Shephard, by former US guard Damien Corsetti, and by former prisoners, including Omar Deghayes and Moazzam Begg. The footage was released by the Canadian courts after a ruling that Khadr’s rights had been violated, which was subsequently ignored by the Canadian government. Read the rest of this entry »

Andy Worthington Tears Down the Osama Bin Laden “Torture Debate” on Press TV

If readers have just four minutes to spare, and want to hear my thoughts on why it is pernicious that the US media has succumbed to suggestions that there ought to be a “debate” about torture in the wake of the death of Osama bin Laden, and also why it is unacceptable that bin Laden’s death should lead to any sort of defense of Guantánamo, then I recommend this interview with Press TV, under the heading, “Info that led to locating bin Laden came through torture?”

This is how Press TV described my analysis, which follows up on themes I discussed in particular in my article, Osama bin Laden’s Death, and the Unjustifiable Defense of Torture and Guantánamo:

Andy Worthington, journalist, historian and author of The Guantánamo Files from London is worried at the suggestion that the information that led to locating Osama bin Laden came through the use of torture.

He told Press TV’s US Desk on Friday, “There is no circumstance in which it is acceptable to open up a debate on torture as has been mentioned in the US media.” Read the rest of this entry »

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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 (The State of London).
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