Andy Worthington Discusses 9/11 and America’s Disproportionate and Mistaken Response on Russia Today


On Friday, I was delighted to use Skype for the very first time for an interview with Russia Today in Washington D.C., for a segment of the 4 pm news, entitled, “What has the US achieved since 9/11?” in which I spoke about how we ended up in a disastrous position ten years after 9/11, because of the Bush administration’s arrogant and inept response to the attacks. The video is posted below, via YouTube.

In discussing the legacy of the attacks, I was asked whether or not America is safer today than ten years ago, and particularly whether it is significant that there have been no further terrorist attacks on US soil. In response, I explained that the “war on terror” declared by the Bush administration, with its two wars, and its vast, global program of rendition, torture and arbitrary detention, was depressingly disdainful of, and damaging to international laws and treaties, and was hideously counter-productive in that it further enflamed anti-American sentiment. Crucially, I also explained how there is no evidence that al-Qaeda had a follow-up to 9/11 planned.

I also spoke about Guantánamo, explaining how, because of the decision to declare a “war” instead of recognizing that the perpetrators of the attacks were criminals, and because of the further decision to invade Afghanistan but not to distinguish between al-Qaeda and the Taliban, we have ended with a situation in which the alleged perpetrators of the attacks, and others reportedly involved in international terrorism, have not been tried as criminals but continue to be held as “warriors” at Guantánamo, while the soldiers at Guantánamo (who vastly outnumber them) have mistakenly been regarded as terrorists, and deprived of the Geneva Conventions.

Moreover, of course, Guantánamo is still open, and now, it seems, cannot be closed, despite being a monstrous stain on America’s reputation, because, as I have written and spoken about extensively, President Obama has lacked courage, and the Republican Party, which has become the most negative, cynical Republican Party I’ve ever seen, has, with the help of much of the mainstream media, successfully played the fear card regarding Guantánamo, which has proved to be a win-win situation with a population trained so effectively to be cowed at every opportunity.

We also had time to discuss the disaster of the Afghan occupation, ten years after, in which US forces failed to win hearts and minds early on, and are now stuck in a quagmire to which there seems to be no end. Sadly, I did not have enough time to add that the decision not to hold soldiers as prisoners of war according to the Geneva Conventions continues to have a distressing impact in Afghanistan, as I have reported before.

My thanks to Russia Today for getting in touch, and also to Skype for facilitating interviews from the comfort of my own home, and I look forward to further Skype interviews in future.

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 June 2011, “The Complete Guantánamo Files,” a 70-part, 700,000-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011, and details about the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, and available on DVD here — or here for the US). Also see 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.

5 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    On Facebook, Tamzin Jans wrote:

    A clean slate to all this would be possible if Bush/Blair were taken to a crimes court.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Ann Alexander wrote:

    Excellent interview, Andy and so professional. You suit Skype.

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Ah, if only, Tamsin, but we can’t even get Blair to the ICC, and we at least signed up to it.
    And Ann, thank you very much. That’s very good to hear!

  4. After Ten Years in US Custody, UK Resident Shaker Aamer “Is Gradually Dying in Guantánamo,” Says Clive Stafford Smith - Exposing The Truth says...

    […] is a time of grim anniversaries. The 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in September was followed, in October, by the 10th anniversary of the US-led invasion of […]

  5. After Ten Years in US Custody, British Resident Shaker Aamer “Is Gradually Dying in Guantánamo,” Says Clive Stafford Smith | Save Shaker Campaign says...

    […] is a time of grim anniversaries. The 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in September was followed, in October, by the 10th anniversary of the US-led invasion of […]

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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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