Obama’s Countdown to Failure on Guantánamo


Barack ObamaBarring some frankly unattainable miracle, this will be the week that President Obama’s international credibility, regarding his promises to undo the Bush administration’s “War on Terror” detention policies, takes a nosedive.

The President began well, freezing the much-criticized Military Commissions trial system on his first day in office, and, on his second day, issuing executive orders requiring Guantánamo to be closed within a year, and upholding the absolute ban on torture that had been so cynically manipulated by the Bush administration.

Almost immediately, however, these bold plans hit a brick wall. The interagency Guantánamo Review Task Force, established in the executive orders, and charged with reviewing all the prisoners’ cases to decide who should be charged and who should be released, discovered, as a senior official explained to the Los Angeles Times in February, that the process would “not be simple,” because information on the prisoners was “scattered in multiple locations,” and “there is not, and may never be, a single file for each detainee.”

This should not have been a surprise. In June 2007, Lt. Col. Stephen Abraham, a veteran of US intelligence, who worked in 2004-05 on the tribunals at Guantánamo — the Combatant Status Review Tribunals — which were responsible for compiling the material that was used to establish that the prisoners were “enemy combatants,” explained, in a submission that eventually made its way to the Supreme Court, that some material consisted of intelligence “of a generalized nature — often outdated, often ‘generic,’ rarely specifically relating to the individual subjects of the CSRTs or to the circumstances related to those individuals’ status,” and that “what purported to be specific statements of fact lacked even the most fundamental earmarks of objectively credible evidence.”

He added that most of the unclassified evidence consisted of “information obtained during interrogations of other detainees” (and was often produced in circumstances that were not conducive to voluntary confessions), and that the classified evidence, which was particularly relied upon by the government, was no more coherent. In July 2007, he told the New York Times that it “was stripped down, watered down, removed of context, incomplete, and missing essential information.” He also reiterated his complaints about evidence obtained from other prisoners, stating, “Many detainees implicated other detainees, and there was often no way to test whether they had provided false information to win favor with interrogators.”

In addition, as the Task Force convened, attorneys for the prisoners were asked to contribute, and although their submissions were not delivered publicly, it is obvious that they would have pointed out that the majority of the prisoners were seized not by the US military, but by their Afghan and Pakistani allies, at a time when bounty payments for al-Qaeda and Taliban suspects were widespread.

They would also have pointed out that the prisoners were not given Article 5 competent tribunals under the Geneva Conventions, which are convened when those seized are not part of a regular army. Held close to the time and place of capture, and championed by the US military in every war since Vietnam, these allow prisoners whose status is in doubt to call witnesses to verify whether they are combatants or civilians. In the first Gulf War, following 1,196 tribunals, 886 men were subsequently released.

In Afghanistan, however, the military was prevented by defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld (on the advice of Vice President Dick Cheney) from holding Article 5 tribunals, with the result that those who ended up in Guantánamo were never adequately screened, a sorry state of affairs that persists to this day in the cases of many, if not most of the 198 prisoners still held.

Confronted with this disarray, the Task Force responded not with robust skepticism of the Bush administration’s claims, but with extreme caution. By September, just 75 prisoners had been cleared for release, even though as many as 36 of these men had previously been cleared for release by Bush-era military review boards, and another 18 had been cleared by the courts, after judges granted their habeas petitions. Moreover, in Obama’s first year in office, just 42 prisoners were released.

The habeas petitions actually represented the best hope for a just outcome at Guantánamo, as the District Court judges, empowered by the Supreme Court to examine the prisoners’ cases, proved adept at perceiving “generalized” and “generic” material masquerading as evidence, and the extent to which “detainees [had] implicated other detainees” (and, it should be noted, themselves), so that, by the end of the year, when the administration announced that 116 prisoners had now been cleared for release by the Task Force, the prisoners had won 32 out of 41 habeas petitions.

Sadly, the judges made their rulings in spite of obstruction from Justice Department lawyers, who behaved as though George W. Bush was still in power, and were severely criticized by a number of the judges. The reasons for this obstruction have never been adequately explained, but it has always seemed to me that senior officials were more interested in their own executive review (involving the Task Force’s slow and careful deliberations) than they were with the District Courts’ objective and authoritative findings.

This was a great shame, of course, because however much senior officials may have intended to clear up the shame of Guantánamo through their own review process, they actually proved overly sensitive to political maneuvering in a manner that did not affect the courts. In April, after bowing to pressure from the White House counsel, Greg Craig (the architect of the executive orders), President Obama accepted a court order to release the notorious memos issued in 2002 and 2005 by lawyers in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, which purported to redefine torture, but caved in when critics savaged him for doing so.

Rapidly backpedaling, he refused another court order to release photos of the abuse of prisoners in US custody in Afghanistan and Iraq, and followed up by quashing Craig’s plan to rehouse a number of cleared Guantánamo prisoners on the US mainland, who could not be repatriated because of fears that they would be tortured on their return. These men, the Uighurs, were Muslims from Xinjiang province, whose only enemy was the Chinese government, and their release into the US had been ordered by a judge in October 2008, even though the Court of Appeals, supported by both the Bush administration and the incoming Obama administration, had stayed that ruling later in the month and overturned it in February 2009.

By refusing to act on the Uighurs’ behalf, Obama not only allowed opportunistic lawmakers to exploit his weakness (passing a law preventing any cleared prisoner being rehoused in the US), but also made it difficult for America’s allies in Europe to take any of the dozens of cleared men — from Algeria, Libya, Syria, Tunisia and Uzbekistan, as well as China — when the United States had so blatantly refused to help clear up its own mess.

Spiraling into compromises that betrayed the bold promises with which he had come into office, President Obama followed up by reinstating the Military Commissions (slightly rejigged by Congress), as a second tier of justice to accompany federal court trials for some of the men accused of terrorism, and announcing that he would also hold others indefinitely without charge or trial. This, he said in a major national security speech in May, was because the men in question “cannot be prosecuted for past crimes, in some cases because evidence may be tainted, but who nonetheless pose a threat to the security of the United States.”

By choosing to accept “tainted” material — in other words, information that was obtained through torture — as a basis for signing up to the very policy of “indefinite detention” that had been established by George W. Bush, and that was forever associated with Guantánamo, Obama conceded the moral high ground that he had promised to regain, and, moreover, demonstrated that his justification for not prosecuting senior Bush administration officials for implementing torture was nothing more than a convenient pose.

Even before he took office, Obama explained, in response to calls to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Bush administration’s crimes, that “we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards.” By May, therefore, he appeared to overlook the fact that, by seeking to use the torture of prisoners at Guantánamo as a reason to hold them indefinitely, he was resolutely looking back, but was choosing to side with Bush and Cheney rather than remaining dedicated to the thorough repudiation of their policies.

From then, it was all downhill. Having refused to challenge his critics head-on, Obama narrowly avoided a vote by lawmakers in October preventing any prisoner being moved to the US mainland (even those facing trials), and also met resistance when he sought funds to move prisoners to the Thomson Correctional Center in Illinois.

The final climbdown took place just two weeks ago, when, having finally found the courage to release six cleared Yemenis, Obama faced an onslaught of largely misplaced criticism following claims that Omar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the failed Christmas plane bomber, had connections with an al-Qaeda-inspired group in Yemen. Ironically, this group apparently contained two Saudi prisoners who had been released from Guantánamo by George W. Bush — against the advice of the intelligence services — but instead of playing on this, Obama caved in again, suspending the release of any more cleared Yemenis for an unspecified amount of time, and casting a dark shadow over the deadline for the closure of Guantánamo this Friday, which will be marked not with international praise, but with fears that this vile blot on America’s reputation will still be open a year from now.

Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK). To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed (and I can also be found on Facebook and Twitter). Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, updated in January 2010, details about the new documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, and launched in October 2009), and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.

As published exclusively on the website of the Future of Freedom Foundation. Cross-posted on The Public Record and Campaign for Liberty.

22 Responses

  1. William Hudson says...

    Several things spring to mind – firstly yes, of any of the things I had hoped from Obama, closing GITMO was certainly one, if not the first, ranking as highly, perhaps, as addressing Death Penalty issues in the States, and (perhaps optimistically?) realigning the gung-ho militaristic approach we have become to expect from the USA. The second, is that I have been reading that an Obama backlash is well under way in the States, more so perhaps, than elsewhere… I read between the lines to find out why, and realise that his domestic policies; Health Care, generally, egalitarian approaches almost across the board, are proving very unpopular with a whole block of the American voting public – well for those, I support him in what he is changing. The third, is a sense of ‘build-em-up to knock-em-down’ – when he was elected I didn’t feel caught up in any furore, whilst a great deal of people were. And I am still puzzled as to why – my fingers were crossed for sure, but unfortunately, nothing has come from my mild optimism, except perhaps feeling sympathetic for someone who, is probably under more pressure from middle-America than we could realise or understand, to quite simply carry on with a ‘War on Terror’ (sic). You can read it in the US media – keep GITMO open – execute the guilty and destroy Axis’ of Evil before they become a threat – it’s scary stuff. Did you read recently that some sources have claimed that 1 in 5 (“Pentagon officials estimate that one in five released Guantanamo detainees have rejoined al-Qaeda terror cells after their release.” Daily Telegraph 15/01/10) of those who had/have been released from the Bay have gone on to join Terrorist forces or since become in involved in Terrorist activities/groups? Talk about a double-edged sword, did we not say before the Bay opened and Iraq had been invaded that force begets force? Or have I missed the point and should realise that, of course, these people were terrorists all along and that the torture they endured just wasn’t severe enough for them to admit it? Its a great piece Andy and I have to agree. It is Sad to say, and sad to see that Guantanamo remains open – what is that phrase? No Guts No Glory?

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Hi William,
    Thanks for the comments. My only quibble would be with your reading of the “1 in 5” released prisoners “have rejoined al-Qaeda terror cells” story. It’s simply not conceivable that 1 in 5 released prisoners have rejoined — or joined — anything resembling a terrorist cell. See here, and follow the internal links for more:

  3. Paul Anthony says...

    Andy, William…..all very interesting reading. I am trying to learn more about the subject in general (releasing the detainees) and the rational behind it. I picked up several new points I have not read nor heard anywhere else, thank you for bringing them out; the Article 5 Tribunals being one of those. One side of me would like to say “They have their reasons” for not going down that path, but I don’t take anything at face value (be if from the government or any other source). This is the first time I have read any of your articles and am really just getting educated, in detail, as you are laying out here.
    I have concerns over using legal tactics in releasing the folks from the “Bay” because we just don’t know enough about the actors. Having said that, I don’t know enough details about how they got their either, but I supposed that is part of your point, we don’t know enough. As we learn things from the guys we have at GB, can we believe/trust anything they tell us? What are we going to do? Say, “Hey, look how nice we are and how our legal system worked for you’. Please don’t do anything to harm us in the future”
    You criticized Obama’s failure to close Guantánamo timely enough for you and his not pursuing a special prosecutor. What would be appropriate in your view? Also, you criticized him pulling back the release of the Yemenis, but you fail to include any information about the fact that the Yemen government essentially doesn’t exist. Yes Bush released guys in the past, but he shouldn’t have. No need in repeating that mistake.
    I will continue to read your posts and may even read your book, but I just ask that you give a full accounting of a situation and not hold back on one side or another. You are doing a great service by getting this information out but it would be of greater, and wider (IMHO), use if you can give all facts of a situation.

  4. Will Shirley says...

    Paul, et al, we are watching a nation which spent so much energy opposing the Communists that it became Fascist. Now, this is typical of governments which define themselves by their enemies. “We are the ones who oppose Evil.” It’s a ridiculous situation considering that we have history books in school, at least we had them in my school oh so many years ago. Looking back at it I can recognize they were mostly propaganda: we were the great white hope of the world and we brought civilization to an empty continent. Except we have almost no semblance of democracy in the country. Less than 50 years ago we didn’t let dark skinned citizens vote or marry our sisters. This “civil rights” thing still has the jury out for many Americans. Can we trust the darkies to come in out of the cotton fields and act like whitey?

    So here’s how it tends to work. You push and push and push until your enemy gives up and then suddenly you are falling forward because there is nothing to push against. Your economy is a war time economy which depends upon eternal wars to continue making richer people out of rich people. In our case we went from a slightly liberal society opposing leftists to a “conservative” society opposing socialism of any color to a fascist society opposing most of the world. And look who our allies are: a failed empire that used to own us, several oppressive dictatorships who happen to sit on oil our billionaires want badly and several corporations , any one of which is larger and richer than many small nations.

    Fascists don’t go away. They are blood hungry, like starving vampires. They NEED power and they NEED to kill people. They want to own the world so they can make it work the way they want it to, even though time after time we see that fascists make lousy societies. They tend to select idiots, psychotics and sociopaths as their leaders eg George Bush, Dick Cheney, et al. Bloodthirsty cowards, they murder by proxy, although Cheney liked to watch behind a one way mirror. The thing is they also can’t be stopped by conversations. They can’t be reasoned with. They only know their own hunger for power and they will lie, murder, and take down a nation in order to pick up the pieces and slap a swastika on it. Now, of course the current crop of fascists don’t call themselves fascist, because obviously some remember the WW2 movies where fascists were the bad guys and we are the “good guys”,no matter how much blood they spill, how many babies die by our bombs. They don’t see the suffering children, they only care about their power and their wealth. So they call themselves “Republicans” and it is important to really understand what that term means. Don’t fall into the trap of describing it by the groups that took that name. Don’t refer back to the Greeks. What modern Republicanism is, is a small group of wealthy people, white men mostly, who rule over the majority of the people, mostly workers. All of the wealth flows upwards to the leadership. All of the pain pours down on the poor slobs who aren’t rich enough to buy power. Modern American Republicans are Corporatists, exactly in the manner Mussolini described his own party, the Fascists. Google up his essay, it’s on line.

    So what we have here is a repeat of 1930’s Germany and it will end the same way, except we get to be the Axis powers and Europe and maybe Asia will be the Allies. Let’s hope they don’t find somebody as crazy as Truman to drop nuclear weapons on civilians. Things could get nasty. I suspect the coming war will start by our continuing to strike in Afghanistan and Pakistan, our feeding weapons into the region, our continued support of the genocide of the Palestinians and eventually, should China decide to cash in their US Bonds, our need to re-acquire the wealth we blew off fighting a never ending war on terror. So we will attempt a more direct re-acquisition by invading Iran, possibly trying to arm the Ukraine against the Russians as a distraction. It’s going to be a bloody mess, but here’s the fun part: all this bombing and jets flying and rockets blasting will accelerate the climate change. This will cause Greenland and the Antarctic to dump their loads of fresh water into the oceans. 3′-10′ later New York City is flooded out, unlivable. Most of Florida is gone, Washington DC, Seattle, etc etc, all gone or made uninhabitable. That will probably be it for the US. Even Fascists can’t argue and lie about oceans when they’re lapping at the first floor ceiling.

    After the collapse of American society as we know it the continent can be divided into smaller, more manageable regions. If the bigots want the South, let them have it. Send the blacks, Chicanos and other scapegoats into the heartland. The southwest will be in a decades long drought, so nobody lives there. The West Coast can be it’s own country since all debts have evaporated. Student loans will be forgotten so the young educated Americans can actually have a shot at a decent living. We will be forced by reality to go very green. the storms are going to be furious and chaotic. Seasons will take awhile to settle down. If we are lucky there won’t be a magnetic pole shift on top of everything else. But overall I think we can slap together a free society wherein democracy is the only form of government allowed. No Republican trolls, no communists or fascists or Nazis. Outlaw hate speech, limit free speech to actual words, not money. Elections must be free of all money taint. Free ads, actual debates on the subject of governing. No crazies may run for office. All office holders must have an IQ of 125 or greater and must be certified as sane by a panel of 20 or so doctors. If you really want to be a democracy then here’s how to do it: remember that office holders must be certified as sane and intelligent, now put all registered voters’ names in a basket. Everybody over 18 is registered to vote. Pull a name out of the hate for President. Pull the next name out for Vice-P. And so on till the government is chosen. They get 3 years to work in their proper field of office and then their name is taken out of the hat. One term. Wars are defined as “Mass murder” and all participants who survive are to be given lifelong counseling and/or medication to handle the stress of actually killing another human. Those who feel no stress are to be hospitalized until we can straighten out their psychosis. I suggest that no more than 6 of the original 50 can be organized into a single political body. No weapons of any sort may be manufactured and sold outside the US.

    That’s my dream or nightmare, Andy. Am I crazy or has David Korten captured my soul? When Corporations Rule the World and the Post-Corporate World are must-read books for anyone who wants to survive the coming conflict. I’m done. I just got my Medicare and now the jerks want to take it away but they still won’t let me grow my own meds. Dang.

  5. the talking dog says...

    William, Paul:

    The “experts” like Colin Powell’s aide Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who Andy has interviewed, ( as well as the CIA, the various military intelligence services, JAG corps, and numerous others) have long since concluded that there are no more than, and never were any more than, perhaps three dozen or so “bad guys” ever held at GTMO; that means, by reduction, that assuming we haven’t released any bad guys, of the 200 left, at least 165 must be “not bad guys”. Which ones aren’t bad guys? How about the fact that the Obama Admin. has cleared over 100 of the remaining men? How about the fact that a huge percentage of detainees are men whom the Gov’t picked up for bounties and can’t prove a damned thing on? Or how about noting the fact that detainees have won 32 out of 41 habeas cases to go to decision? We can extrapolate that rate to around the 198 detainees left and conclude– the three dozen or so seems a damned good estimate.

    Further, the “recidivism” rates include people such as Moazzam Begg, who publicly talk about their experiences at Guantanamo and denounce the detention policy… the statistics count this exercise of free speech as “returning to the fight.” Needless to say… there has yet to be a there, there, and the Seton Hall Law school team and Andy Worthington, among others, have long since debunked the “recidivism” numbers. And even accepting them as true… so what? We owe it to ourselves to have a process that ensures we are holding the right people; as it is, we certainly encourage the creation of new terrorists many-fold for each poor slob we continue to hold at GTMO.

    We have a system of laws: we hold people who have DONE SOMETHING– either they have fought against us and hence are properly treated prisoners of war with full Geneva rights, OR we have PROVEN THEM CRIMINALS, and then we punish them… we do not get to GUESS that “they must be dangerous because I have been told enough times that they are dangerous…” That attitude is, ultimately, consistent to the perpetually afraid citizenry that our betters like so much, a bovinized population– a herd our betters can either milk or slaughter at their whim.

    Will Shirley:
    I wish I could quibble with a damned thing you said… I really don’t want to see the world in which our kids have to live looking like what you’re saying… but I don’t believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny or the tax cut fairy or Ayn Rand or any of the other fantasies upon which the American polity is based , and I do believe that the laws of nature are inviolable, and hence… I have no choice but to tell you that the “smart money” (and let’s face it, American currency won’t be “smart money” in the sense that no one;s going to want to be holding it soon) will be betting on the rather grim scenario you’ve described.

  6. Paul Anthony says...

    Interesting perspectives Will. I choose not to have such a downer of a perspective of our county’s past nor our future.
    A number of your points feel hollow to me. Your assertion that “What modern Republicanism is, is a small group of wealthy people, white men mostly, who rule over the majority of the people, mostly workers. All of the wealth flows upwards to the leadership” doesn’t hold up. In this statement you make it sound like no Democrat holds power. Forgive me but that the “power” of unions is just as bad. Talk about a small group of wealthy people. The wealth in Unions is so centralized its ridiculous. Also, to attach Republicans with your “fascist” is so far off the mark I can’t believe someone as obviously learned as you would make such a statement. You obviously need to poke your head up and look around and really get to know what’s going on and stop bomb throwing for effect.
    I can touch on point after point to where you are factually off target or just plain not representing things right. But the darned thing is you have enough facts thrown in I still learn a thing or two by reading your work. I wish I understood where you are coming from a bit better. Myself, I’m a person who left home at 17, had a stint in the military, got out, worked my own way through school and am now living OK. Not “well” by any stretch, but OK.

    Talking Dog….I think you left out a bit of data regarding their statements didn’t you? The “bad guys” were qualified in such a way that didn’t exclude the others from wrong doing as your statement is refers, or did I miss something? Your assumption that at least 165 must not be bad guys can be substantiated, can it? Of course someone who was in GTMO will “denounce” it. Hey, I’d probably denounce it if I was held there. That doesn’t make him a credible source. What about all of the terrible things done to the guys caught in the middle trying to take care of our “guests”? I’ve known guys that have had “the duty”. It ain’t fun, I can tell you that.
    We absolutely do have a system of laws. United States Laws which apply to what happens HERE. What these guys didn’t happen here. They are not part of an organized army or militia. Hence, they cannot be “POW”s, they HAVE (by law) to be enemy combatants. Having said all of that, I do agree with your “We owe it to ourselves….” comment. I support that entirely. We have dropped the ball and there’s no easy answer now. But, I would rather we defer to the security of the US versus the “rights” of someone who doesn’t fall under the constitution. I fought for my country and for OUR citizens constitutional rights. Their offenses, which we do have to determine and adjudicate properly, happened elsewhere. EVERYONE does not have the RIGHT to enjoy the US Constitution. Sorry, that’s just fact.
    I don’t like that we got into the mess we are in any more than you guys. But one difference between us, I would like a rational path to a resolution. I want our county to be safe. I can throw pejoratives around about members of both parties but I feel that has a tendency to blind us from a path to success.

    Oh, one last parting comment (hope you don’t mind)….a war accelerating climate change? R U Kddn? The climate has changed, yea, COOLER. Hmmm…..interesting FACT certain folks refuse to acknowledge. Also, the changes we do detect I think are more attributable to the planetary alignment taking place in the next few years. (2012 I believe) Do you guys recall back in grade school (when they actually taught something of value) that the moon affected the tides and that was due to a magnetic pull on the earth in a particular way? Well, most of what makes up the planets out there are made up of magnetic particles. As they align, the magnetic affects on the Earth change what happens here. Its physics, plain and simple. But, a certain segment of the business world wont make their billions if their secret gets out that it not what the human is doing to the Earth that is resulting in perceived issues, but – to use a term – its the way of the world.

    Hey, its interesting dialog guys. I will keep checking back. I learn something new each visit.

  7. William Hudson says...

    Andy* Hi – In response to your feedback, the point I was trying to make by drawing your attention to the article was precisely that, in some respects (whilst you have more than adequately answered the accuracy of such right wing sabre rattling in the post you highlighted, which unfortunately I had not had the chance to read before posting), who would be able to justify condemnation of an innocent individual swooped up in a net of US Counter Terror torture, held for months, maybe years and then released – to go on to decide that “‘hey’ what the hell, I’ve done my time why the hell don’t I do my crime”. A simple enough sentiment, and perhaps badly put, but I know how I’d feel; I’d hope that I might go on to become someone like Omar Deghayes or Moazzem Begg and campaign to prevent the same experience happening to others, but others might feel so embittered they might, at the very least, be able to feel a great deal of sympathy towards a cause they might previously have known nothing, or cared anything about. I hope the irony was not lost, it was a simple highlighter for the abhorrent tactics being conducted that can only, in my view, perpetuate conflict.

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, William. Point taken. Globally, of course, the anger engendered by Guantanamo is enormous and understandable. On a personal level, however, I’ve always found it extraordinary to meet prisoners who have been released, and to realize that their faith, their camaraderie in Guantanamo, and the manner in which they drew on previously unknown levels of resilience has allowed them to rise above it all, rather then being seduced by vengeance. Omar’s a very good case in point:

  9. Andy Worthington Interviewed by Sibel Edmonds and Peter B. Collins « Dandelion Salad says...

    […] also had the opportunity to review the successes and failures of Obama’s first year, with the emphasis on the latter, particularly when it comes to indefinite […]

  10. William Hudson says...

    Excellent stuff ~ nothing more inspiring than resilience to dark forces under such extreme pressure…

  11. Seven Years of War in Iraq: Still Based on Cheney’s Torture and Lies « Dandelion Salad says...

    […] endorsed indefinite detention without charge or trial for prisoners at Guantánamo, and shielded Bush administration officials and lawyers from calls for their prosecution for turning America into a nation with secret prisons, an […]

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  13. House Kills Plan to Close Guantanamo « Politics or Poppycock says...

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    […] Obama’s hopes of closing Guantánamo, which were already gravely wounded by his inability to meet his self-imposed deadline of a year for the prison’s closure, now appear to have been […]

  16. Continued war | thecommonillsbackup says...

    […] it might remain in operation for as long as anyone can foresee. After all, the President may have failed to close it within a year of taking office, despite promising to do so in an executive order on his second day […]

  17. Prisoner Describes Peaceful Protest in Guantánamo on the Anniversary of Obama’s Failure to Close the Prison as Promised « Eurasia Review says...

    […] the first anniversary of President Obama’s failure to close Guantánamo within  a year, as he promised on his second day in office in January 2009, the Center for […]

  18. Judges Rule Evidence Not Necessary To Hold Guantánamo Prisoners For Rest Of Their Lives – OpEd « Eurasia Review says...

    […] by the administration of Barack Obama, the standard bearer of “hope” and “change,” who promised to close Guantánamo and to do away with “the dark halls of Abu Ghraib and the detention cells of Guantánamo, [where] […]

  19. Guantánamo: Mocking the Law | Amauta says...

    […] by the administration of Barack Obama, the standard bearer of “hope” and “change,” who promised to close Guantánamo and to do away with “the dark halls of Abu Ghraib and the detention cells of Guantánamo, [where] […]

  20. American Gulag: Evidence Is Not Necessary to Hold Guantánamo Prisoners for the Rest of Their Lives (Andy Worthington) says...

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  21. House Kills Plan to Close Guantanamo | Mediaroots says...

    […] President Obama’s hopes of closing Guantánamo, which were already gravely wounded by his inability to meet his self-imposed deadline of a year for the prison’s closure, now appear to have been […]

  22. House Kills Plan to Close Guantanamo | MEDIAROOTS – Reporting From Outside Party Lines says...

    […] President Obama’s hopes of closing Guantánamo, which were already gravely wounded by his inability to meet his self-imposed deadline of a year for the prison’s closure, now appear to have been […]

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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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Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo


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