I’m Off, Then; I’ll See You on Monday


So I hope I left enough food in the cupboards and the fridge. And don’t forget to water the plants, please. I certainly left enough reading material. If you missed any of it, there’s the latest in the case of Omar Khadr, the “child soldier” that Obama, of all people, wants to try for invented war crimes (Defiance in Isolation: The Last Stand of Omar Khadr and Omar Khadr Accepts US Military Lawyer for Forthcoming Trial by Military Commission), some updates on the story of the UK torture inquiry, its inappropriate judge and the selective censorship of damaging intelligence material (Omar Deghayes Complains About “Highly Selective” Disclosure of UK Documents Relating to his Interrogations in Bagram and Guantánamo and Reprieve Demands Resignation of “Fatally Compromised” Head of UK Torture Inquiry), and a promising update on the three ex-Guantánamo prisoners in Slovakia who embarked on a hunger strike after the government dragged its heels sorting out new lives for them (Former Guantánamo Prisoners in Slovakia Finally Receive Residence Permits).

There are also a few updates on torture: some evasive Congressional testimony from Jay Bybee, who signed off on the “torture memos” of August 2002, and who appears to have set up the CIA for prosecution, for exceeding his guidelines or using unapproved techniques (How Jay Bybee Has Approved the Prosecution of CIA Operatives for Torture), and the truly disturbing story of how the Obama administration, the Supreme Court and the D.C. Circuit Court have all conspired to forcibly repatriate an Algerian from Guantánamo, even though he faces the risk of torture (Obama and US Courts Repatriate Algerian from Guantánamo Against His Will; May Be Complicit in Torture).

Related are two other stories: one reviewing the D.C. Circuit Court’s treatment of Guantánamo prisoners’ habeas corpus appeals, explaining how the judges appear to be obsessed with granting the President unfettered executive power, and with undermining the District Court judges who have granted 37 out of 51 habeas petitions (Guantánamo and Habeas Corpus: Prisoners Win 3 out of 4 Cases, But Lose 5 out of 6 in Court of Appeals — it’s Part One; Part Two will follow next week). The other, focusing on one of these appeals, tells the disgraceful story of how the D.C. Circuit Court, in the case of a prisoner allegedly associated with Abu Zubaydah (the “high-value detainee” for whom the CIA torture program was invented), has drawn on long-discredited allegations about Zubaydah, ignoring the fact that, four months ago, the government conceded in a court filing that he was never a member of al-Qaeda, and has also drawn on a dubious diary by a supposed “associate” of Zubaydah, whose whereabouts are unknown (In Abu Zubaydah’s Case, Court Relies on Propaganda and Lies).

If that’s not enough, you could explore my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, recently updated, which provides references and links for all 779 prisoners held at Guantánamo, or you could come and join me in Wiltshire.

Oh, I’m sorry. Did I forget to tell you here I’m going? I’m going here:

And hopefully it will be like this (last year):

And not like this (three years ago):

If you don’t make it, then I’ll see you back here on Monday evening!

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) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. 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 July 2010, details about the new documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, currently on tour in the UK, and available on DVD here), and my definitive Guantánamo habeas list, and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.

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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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