Andy Worthington Discusses WikiLeaks’ Guantánamo Files on the BBC World Service and Press TV


Another day, another round of phone calls, radio interviews and no opportunity whatsoever to put pen to paper — OK, fingers to typepad — to actually write something myself about the copious revelations of injustice, incompetence, credulity and tortured, coerced or bribed prisoners passed off as credible witnesses in WikiLeaks’ Guantánamo files. I’m not complaining, as I’ll have the opportunity to write something soon, and in the meantime, as I continue coordinating the release of the documents with WikiLeaks, I’ve been able to brief journalists at some of the media partners — including the Daily Telegraph and Sweden’s Aftonbladet, on what I’ve learned over the last five years of studying and writing about Guantánamo.

Following Monday’s media frenzy, which concluded with an appearance on the BBC World Service’s “World Have Your Say” programme (along with US Conservative commentator, and former government official David Rivkin, former UN Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak and David Leigh of the Guardian), I started Tuesday with an interview on WBAI’s “Wake-Up Call” show out of New York, followed by an interview on the “P.O.T.U.S.” show on Radio Sirius XM, although I can’t seem to figure out how to find these latter shows online.

What I can direct you to, however, is a five-minute interview I did with Press TV, available here, under the heading, “Obama capitulates every time he is criticized,” which was one of my memorable lines from the interview.

This is how Press TV introduced it:

US President Barack Obama has found it impossible to deliver on his campaign promise of closing the Guantánamo Bay prison since “every time he is criticized he capitulates,” says Andy Worthington, author of The Guantánamo Files, from London.

The latest military documents released by WikiLeaks show that much of the evidence against many Guantánamo detainees is a “fabrication” and the “the results of confessions made by prisoners who were tortured,” Worthington told Press TV’s US Desk on Tuesday.

He added that the Guantánamo files should “encourage people to raise the question of Guantánamo again … and put more pressure on the government, to say it’s not good enough, Mr. President, this place needs to close, this abomination needs to come to an end.”

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, Twitter, Digg and YouTube). 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, on tour in the UK throughout 2011, and available on DVD here — or here for the US), my definitive Guantánamo habeas list and the chronological list of all my articles, and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.

11 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    On Facebook, Christine Casner wrote:


  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Willy Bach wrote:

    Andy, this is good coverage, congratulations.

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Kevi Brannelly wrote:

    If only a station/show wd do a real investigative piece here in the US! An entire hour? All we get are knock offs of american idol, trump’s celebrity apprentice or CSI somethin

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Meenakshi Sharma wrote:

    Excellent article. Thanks Andy.

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    Thank you, my friends. Please do continue to spread the word, as I think the BBC show provided some interesting combative exchanges between David Rivkin and myself and the other guests.
    It would be good, Kevi, to put it mildly, if there was a major radio station prepared to do the same in the US, but there are, at least, many stations that do discuss serious topics that are generally ignored or overlooked by the mainstream media (or even, of course, opposed in a hostile and biased manner). I’ve just finished an interview with Rick Berber on 850 KOA News Radio in Denver, Colorado, and later today I’m talking to Steve Randall of FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) on his Counterspin show, and also talking to Alexa O’Brien and Kevin Gosztola, whose shows will be online. I’m also lining up many other shows, and my latest interview with Scott Horton of Antiwar Radio should be along soon as well …

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    Donna Nassor wrote:

    Shared. Thank you Andy.

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    Kevi Brannelly wrote:

    wow great tag team (you and scott) be sure to let us know so we can link to it from our page and post of FB et al.

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    Lee Wood wrote:

    shared and thanks…

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    Willy Bach wrote:

    OK Andy, I listened to the BBC programme. The BBC World Service is notoriously lightweight and funded largely by Foreign Affairs. The interview had you there and the UN guy and the guy from The Guardian talking reasonable sense and that f…ing Muppet who used to work for Reagan and Bush Snr dragging out all the tired old arguments about enemy combatants and re-offending if released. I would be careful about accepting invitations from this presenter who was repeatedly trying to conclude that some people want Guantanamo Bay closed some say keep it open = too difficult to make a decision. She had no idea of the merits of the situation. She had to treat all arguments ‘fairly’ as though they had equal value. I think you really got your bit in in the last minute of the programme, but I really think the BBC should be making better programmes than this.

  10. Andy Worthington says...

    Willy Bach wrote:

    The Muppet was former government official David Rivkin, former UN Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak talked good sense and so did David Leigh of the Guardian.

  11. Andy Worthington says...

    I agree, Willy, it was shallow presentation, but better than nothing, hopefully. I hadn’t met the presenter. I was invited to take part by someone with much more gravitas.

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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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