The Guantánamo Files: An Archive of Articles – Part Two, January to June 2008


The Guantanamo Files

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For four years, I have been providing detailed information about the prisoners in Guantánamo, first through my book The Guantánamo Files, which tells the story of the prison and around 450 of the prisoners held, and then through 12 online chapters, which provide information about the majority of the other 329 prisoners. Alongside this project, I have been working assiduously as a full-time independent journalist, covering stories as they develop, and focusing in particular on the stories of released prisoners, the Military Commission trial system, and the prisoners’ progress in the courts, through their habeas corpus petitions.

My intention, all along, has been to bring the men to life through their stories, dispelling the Bush administration’s rhetoric about the prison holding “the worst of the worst,” and demonstrating how, instead, the majority of the prisoners were either innocent men, seized by the US military’s allies at a time when bounty payments were widespread, or recruits for the Taliban, who had been encouraged by supporters in their homelands to help the Taliban in a long-running inter-Muslim civil war (with the Northern Alliance), which began long before the 9/11 attacks and, for the most part, had nothing to do with al-Qaeda or international terrorism. As I explained in the introduction to my four-part Definitive Prisoner List (updated on January 1), I remain convinced, through detailed research and through comments from insiders with knowledge of Guantánamo, that “at least 93 percent of the 779 men and boys imprisoned in total” had no involvement with terrorism.

However, as this is a blog, rather than a website, I recognize that it’s increasingly difficult to navigate, as there are so many “Categories,” and, most crucially, there is no access to articles in anything other than reverse chronological order. In an attempt to remedy this shortcoming, and to provide easy access to the most important articles on the site, I’ve put together five chronological lists, covering the periods May to December 2007, January to June 2008, July to December 2008, January to June 2009 and July to December 2009, in the hope that they will provide a useful tool for navigation.

In the period covered by the second part of the list, I continued writing for the Huffington Post, CounterPunch and, and also hooked up with the “Rights and Liberties” team at AlterNet. I also started writing occasionally for the Guardian, had a front-page story in the New York Times (with Carlotta Gall), continued writing the occasional op-ed for the Daily Star, Lebanon, and, in March, began working for Reprieve, the legal action charity whose lawyers represent dozens of Guantánamo prisoners. I also had articles published in Amnesty International’s magazines in the Netherlands and Australia, and was commissioned to write an entry about Guantánamo for the Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia.

This was a crucial period in Guantánamo’s history, as, in June, the Supreme Court ruled that the prisoners had constitutionally guaranteed habeas corpus rights, paving the way for the challenges which, at the time of writing, have led to 32 out of 41 victories for the prisoners. In the months preceding this historic ruling, I continued to report the stories of the released prisoners (ten in total, including al-Jazeera cameraman Sami al-Haj, whose banned drawings attracted worldwide attention), and also kept a close eye on the stumbling progress of the Military Commissions. This was a busy time for the revived version of Dick Cheney’s terror trials, and included the filing of charges against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and five other men accused of involvement in the 9/11 attacks, which remains my most popular article to date.

I also exposed the lies and misinformation regarding the alleged “high-value detainee” Abu Zubaydah, continued to cover the story of the US “enemy combatants,” especially through the punitive sentence delivered to Jose Padilla, reported on cruel attempts to extradite two British residents to Spain (after their release from Guantánamo) on the basis of a non-existent connection to terrorist activities, covered the stories of some little-known prisoners (including Mohammed El-Gharani, just 14 at the time of his capture, and a number of Tunisian prisoners), and made my first ever visit to the United States, to promote The Guantánamo Files. On topics relating to the UK, I also made attempts to monitor Britain’s anti-terror laws, reported on evasions regarding the island of Diego Garcia, and took great interest in a lawsuit filed by Binyam Mohamed’s lawyers, seeking information held by the British government regarding his “extraordinary rendition” and torture.

An archive of Guantánamo articles: Part Two, January to June 2008

January 2008

1. Prisoners released from Guantánamo: Who Are The Ten Saudis Just Released From Guantánamo?
2. British residents: Jamil El-Banna’s first interview since returning from Guantánamo
3. British residents: Guantánamo Britons resist Spanish extradition order
4. Guantánamo anniversary: Guantánamo: Six Years Of Injustice Need To End
5. Guantánamo anniversary: Six Years Of Guantánamo: Enough Is Enough
6. Guantánamo anniversary: The future of Guantánamo (in the Guardian)
7. Guantánamo anniversary: US military chief’s strategic call to close Guantánamo (Adm. Mike Mullen)
8. Sami al-Haj: A letter from Guantánamo (by Al-Jazeera cameraman Sami al-Haj)
9. Omar Khadr: Canada’s Guantánamo torture warning shows double standards
Jose Padilla10. US enemy combatants: Why Jose Padilla’s 17-year prison sentence should shock and disgust all Americans
11. Media: BBC torture experiment replicates Guantánamo and secret prisons: how to lose your mind in 48 hours
12. Book reviews: Road From Ar Ramadi: The Private Rebellion of Staff Sergeant Camilo Mejía
13. Uighur prisoners: Support for ex-Guantánamo detainee’s Swedish asylum claim
14. Libyan prisoners: Horror at Guantánamo: Libyan detainee infected with AIDS (Abdul Hamid al-Ghizzawi)

February 2008

15. Sami al-Haj: Guantánamo: Al-Jazeera’s Sami al-Haj to be released?
16. Deaths in Guantánamo: Time Runs Out for an Afghan Held by the U.S. (the death of Abdul Razzaq Hekmati, in the New York Times, with Carlotta Gall)
17. Torture: Waterboarding: two questions for Michael Hayden about three “high-value” detainees now in Guantánamo
18. Media: Scott Horton on Guantánamo and the New York Times’ Editor’s Note
19. Military Commissions: Guantánamo Trials: Where Are The Terrorists?
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other alleged 9/11 conspirators20. Military Commissions: Six in Guantánamo Charged with 9/11 Murders: Why Now? And What About the Torture?
21. Media: Guantánamo and the New York Times: FAIR sends letter to public editor
22. Military Commissions: Torture on trial (the 9/11 trials, in the Guardian)
23. British residents: Guantánamo Britons’ Spanish extradition request: an update
24. Afghanistan: Expelled UN official criticizes Afghan policy re: Taliban – and defends ex-Guantánamo detainee
25. Diego Garcia: David Miliband admits that two “extraordinary rendition” flights refuelled at Diego Garcia: Is this a joke?
26. UK anti-terror laws: Britain’s Guantánamo: control orders renewed, as one suspect is freed
27. Interviews: The Guantánamo Files: AlterNet interviews Andy Worthington
28. Military Commissions: Guantánamo’s shambolic trials: Pentagon boss resigns, ex-chief prosecutor joins defense
29. Interviews: The Guantánamo Files: Press TV interviews Andy Worthington

March 2008

30. Guantánamo whistleblowers: Guantánamo whistleblower Stephen Abraham addresses European Parliament
Omar Deghayes, after his release from Guantanamo31. British residents: Spanish drop “inhuman” extradition request for Guantánamo Britons
32. Deaths in Guantánamo: Afghan hero who died in Guantánamo: the background to the story (more on Abdul Razzaq Hekmati)
33. Closing Guantánamo: Why Guantánamo Must Be Closed
34. Military Commissions: Torture allegations dog Guantánamo trials
35. US tour: The Guantánamo Files: Andy Worthington’s US tour report
36. Uighur prisoners: A Chinese Muslim’s desperate plea from Guantánamo
37. Military Commissions: As a sixth “high-value detainee” is charged at Guantánamo, disturbing evidence surfaces (Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani)

April 2008

38. Moroccan prisoners: Cleared but still held in Guantánamo: Moroccan prisoner Said al-Boujaadia
A drawing by Sami al-Haj, banned by the US authorities, and drawn from a description of it by British artist Lewis Peake39. Sami al-Haj: Sami al-Haj: the banned torture pictures of a journalist in Guantánamo
40. Military Commissions: The US military’s shameless propaganda over Guantánamo’s 9/11 trials
41. Mohammed El-Gharani: Guantánamo’s forgotten child: the sad story of Mohammed El-Gharani
42. Abu Zubaydah: The Insignificance and Insanity of Abu Zubaydah: Ex-Guantánamo Prisoner Confirms FBI’s Doubts
43. Video: The Guantánamo Files: Al-Jazeera interviews Murat Kurnaz, Andy Worthington

May 2008

44. Prisoners released from Guantánamo: Sami al-Haj released from Guantánamo
45. Video: Sami al-Haj speaks, appeals for fellow prisoners in Guantánamo
46. Video: Sami al-Haj: “Torture is terrorism”
47. Interviews: The Guantánamo Files: al-Istiqamah interviews Andy Worthington
48. Prisoners released from Guantánamo: Who are the prisoners released from Guantánamo with Sami al-Haj?
49. Sami al-Haj: The journey from Guantánamo: One final indignity for Sami al-Haj
50. Prisoners released from Guantánamo: Who are the Afghans just released from Guantánamo?
Binyam Mohamed51. Binyam Mohamed: Guantánamo: Torture victim Binyam Mohamed sues British government for evidence
52. Recidivism: Identification of ex-Guantánamo suicide bomber unleashes Pentagon propaganda
53. Military Commissions: Betrayals, backsliding and boycotts: the continuing collapse of Guantánamo’s Military Commissions
54. Military Commissions: Guantánamo trial delayed: judge invokes pending Supreme Court decision
55. Military Commissions: Fact Sheet: The 16 Prisoners Charged in Guantánamo’s Trials
56. Binyam Mohamed: Binyam Mohamed’s letter from Guantánamo to Gordon Brown
57. Deaths in Guantánamo: The forgotten anniversary of a Guantánamo suicide (Abdul Rahman al-Amri)

June 2008

58. Military Commissions: Guantánamo trials: critical judge sacked, British torture victim charged (Binyam Mohamed and three others)
59. Military Commissions: Afghan fantasist to face trial at Guantánamo
60. Military Commissions: 9/11 trials: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed speaks of martyrdom and torture
61. Binyam Mohamed: UK court grants judicial review over torture allegations, as US files official charges
62. Binyam Mohamed: Binyam Mohamed embarks on hunger strike to protest Guantánamo charges
63. Military Commissions: In a legal otherworld, 9/11 trial defendants cry torture at Guantánamo
64. Deaths in Guantánamo: Second anniversary of triple suicide at Guantánamo
65. Guantánamo and habeas corpus: The Supreme Court’s Guantánamo ruling: what does it mean?
66. Media: Report on ex-Guantánamo prisoners reveals systematic abuse and chronic failures of intelligence (the McClatchy Newspapers report)
67. US election: John McCain, Torture Puppet: Senator Ignores Mounting Evidence of Torture and Abuse in “War on Terror” Prisons, including Guantánamo
68. Uighur prisoners: Former Guantánamo prisoner denied asylum in Sweden
Adel al-Hakeemy, one of the Tunisians in Guantanamo who used to live in Italy69. Tunisian prisoners: Italy’s Forgotten Residents in Guantánamo
70. Guantánamo and habeas corpus: Six Years Late, Court Throws Out Guantánamo Case (Uighurs)

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.

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  1. The Guantánamo Files: An Archive of Articles — Part Eleven, October to December 2011 | Friction Facts says...

    […] put together ten chronological lists of all my articles, covering the periods May to December 2007, January to June 2008, July to December 2008, January to June 2009, July to December 2009, January to June 2010, July to […]

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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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