The Guantánamo Files: An Archive of Articles — Part Eleven, October to December 2011


The Guantanamo Files

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Since March 2006, I have been researching and writing about Guantánamo and the 779 men (and boys) held there, first through my book The Guantánamo Files, and, since May 2007, as a full-time independent investigative journalist. For three years, I focused on the crimes of the Bush administration and, since January 2009, I have analyzed the failures of the Obama administration to thoroughly repudiate those crimes and to hold anyone accountable for them, and, increasingly, on President Obama’s failure to charge or release prisoners, and to show any sign that Guantánamo will eventually be closed.

As recent events marking the 10th anniversary of the opening of Guantánamo have shown, this remains an intolerable situation, as Guantánamo is as much of an aberration, and a stain on America’s belief in itself as a nation ruled by laws, as it was when it was opened by George W. Bush on January 11, 2002. Closing the prison remains as important now as it did when I began this work nearly six years ago.

Throughout my work, my intention has been to puncture the Bush administration’s propaganda about Guantánamo holding “the worst of the worst” by telling the prisoners’ stories and bringing them to life as human beings, rather than allowing them to remain as dehumanized scapegoats or bogeymen.

This has involved demonstrating that 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 in June last year), I remain convinced, through detailed research, through comments from insiders with knowledge of Guantánamo, and, most recently, through an analysis of classified military documents released by WikiLeaks, 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 specifically designed website, I recognize that it is increasingly difficult to navigate, as I approach 1500 posts. In an attempt to remedy this shortcoming, and to provide easy access to the most important articles on the site, I have, in the last two years, 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 2010July to December 2010, January to March 2011, April to June 2011 and July to October 2011, in the hope that they will provide a useful tool for navigation, and will provide researchers — and anyone else interested in this particularly bleak period of modern history — with a practical archive.

This list is the second of two covering my articles in the second half of 2011, and, throughout the three-month period covered by these articles, the main focus of my work was my ongoing analysis of the classified military documents released by WikiLeaks, which involved nine parts of my 70-part, million-word series, entitled, “The Complete Guantánamo Files,” in which I have been telling the prisoners’ stories, as revealed in the files, adding that to what was already known about the prisoners.

In particular, this project has involved me subjecting the US military’s allegations to a forensic analysis, in which I have established above all the alarming extent to which the supposed evidence actually consists of unreliable statements made by a handful of prisoners who are either well-known liars (because they were bribed with more favorable conditions, or they were coerced, or they had mental health problems) or were torture victims, held in secret CIA prisons, whose statements are therefore unreliable.

From November onwards, I wound down my involvement in “The Complete Guantánamo Files,” as it is, to be honest, an exhausting project, and I wanted to spend some time writing about other topics, and also to take time off to think about a source of funding to complete the project in a manner that will give it maximum impact.

As a result, I had the opportunity to focus on the extremely important Occupy movement, specifically in the US and in London, on the age of austerity cynically imposed for ideological reasons by the Tory-led coalition government in the UK (especially with relation to the NHS), on the economic crisis on Europe, and specifically in Greece, which has been made the primary scapegoat of the West’s orgy of greed and debt in the last 15 years, and on hunger strikes by prisoners held in solitary confinement in US prisons. I also wrote about the ongoing case of Bradley Manning, the alleged WikiLeaks whistleblower, and found time to briefly revisit the revolutionary movements in the Middle East — and specifically the situation in Egypt, Syria and British complicity in the torture of opponents of Col. Gaddafi in Libya, although I wish I had had more time to devote to all of these stories.

An archive of Guantánamo articles: Part Eleven, October to December 2011

October 2011

1. Military Commissions: Guantánamo: Military Commissions and the Illusion of Justice
2. WikiLeaks: The Complete Guantánamo Files: WikiLeaks and the Prisoners Released in 2006 (Part Four of Ten)
3. Jose Padilla: It Could Be You: The Sad Story of Jose Padilla, Tortured and Denied Justice
4. Anwar al-Awlaki: Death from Afar: The Unaccountable Killing of Anwar Al-Awlaki
5. WikiLeaks: The Complete Guantánamo Files: WikiLeaks and the Prisoners Released in 2006 (Part Five of Ten)
6. Shaker Aamer: “Ten Hours for Ten Years”: Demonstration for Shaker Aamer, the Last British Prisoner in Guantánamo, as Part of Protest Against the Afghan War in London on Saturday
7. Occupy Wall Street: Protestors in Washington D.C. Call for an End to the Afghan War on its 10th Anniversary, and the Transformation of American Politics
8. UK politics: NHS Privatisation: Protest on Sunday, as 400 Doctors Accuse Government of Planning “Irreparable Harm,” and Lords Prepare Opposition
9. Abu Zubaydah: Abu Zubaydah and the Silencing of Guantánamo’s “High-Value Detainees,” as the CIA Censors His Drawings
10. WikiLeaks: The Complete Guantánamo Files: WikiLeaks and the Prisoners Released in 2006 (Part Six of Ten)
11. US prisons: Pelican Bay and American Torture: Prisoners in Long-Term Isolation Continue Hunger Strike Despite Authorities’ Brutal Response
12. US prisons: As Pelican Bay Hunger Strikers Risk Death, Psychologist Testifies that Solitary Confinement is Torture
13. UK politics: Save the NHS: The Battle is Not Over, Despite the Lords’ Capitulation on the Privatisation Bill’s Second Reading
14. “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo”: Andy Worthington Attends New Screening of “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” in Aberdeen University, October 21, 2011
15. Closing Guantánamo, Afghanistan war: A Call to Close Guantánamo on the 10th Anniversary of the War in Afghanistan
16. Occupy Wall Street, Occupy London: Occupy Wall Street, Occupy London, Occupy the World: Get Out on the Streets Today, and Don’t Go Home
17. Occupy London: Occupy London: Are We Free to Protest, or Is This a Police State?
18. WikiLeaks: The Complete Guantánamo Files: WikiLeaks and the Prisoners Released in 2006 (Part Seven of Ten)
19. Occupy London: Occupy London: As the Canon of St. Paul’s Welcomes the Protestors, They Issue a Statement of Intent
20. UK politics: Save the NHS: Please Sign the 38 Degrees Petition to Scrap the Tory-Led Government’s Privatisation Bill
21. Radio interviews, Omar Khadr: On Antiwar Radio, Andy Worthington Discusses the Omar Khadr Film, “You Don’t Like the Truth: 4 Days Inside Guantánamo”
22. UK travellers: The Dale Farm Eviction: Using Planning Laws to Justify Racism Towards Gypsies and Travellers
23. George W. Bush, torture: Rights Groups Call for the Arrest of George W. Bush for Torture as He Arrives in Canada
24. WikiLeaks: The Complete Guantánamo Files: WikiLeaks and the Prisoners Released in 2006 (Part Eight of Ten)
25. Guantánamo and Congress: Obama vs. Congress: The Struggle to Close Guantánamo, and to Prevent the Military Detention of Terror Suspects
26. Bradley Manning: UN Torture Expert Calls for an End to Solitary Confinement, Discusses Bradley Manning
27. WikiLeaks: The Complete Guantánamo Files: WikiLeaks and the Prisoners Released in 2006 (Part Nine of Ten)
28. Interviews: An Interview with Andy Worthington, Investigative Journalist and Author of “The Guantánamo Files,” for The Sunday Indian
29. Babar Ahmad: Sign the Petition to the British Government: Prevent Babar Ahmad’s Extradition to the US, Put Him on Trial in the UK
30. Occupy London: Occupy London: As Possible Eviction Looms, the Canon and Chaplain of St. Paul’s Resign, and Protestors Challenge the City’s Unaccountability
31. WikiLeaks: The Complete Guantánamo Files: WikiLeaks and the Prisoners Released in 2006 (Part Ten of Ten)

November 2011

32. Kuwaitis in Guantánamo: Life After Guantánamo: Kuwaitis Discuss Their Tortured Confessions
33. Occupy London: Occupy London Protestors Seize Moral High Ground, As Church Declares An End to Hostilities
34. Omar Khadr: No End to the Shameful Treatment of Omar Khadr
35. Babar Ahmad: Petition for Babar Ahmad to be Tried in the UK and Not Extradited to the US Reaches Target of 100,000 Signatures
36. Occupy Wall Street: How Iraq Veteran Scott Olsen, Beaten by Oakland Police, Became a Symbol of the Occupy Movement
37. UK politics: National Student-Led Demo Against University Fees, Austerity Cuts and the Planned Privatisation of Higher Education, November 9, 2011
38. Occupy Wall Street: It’s Bank Transfer Day, As Campaigners Ask US Banks to Repay $108 Billion and Call on Citizens to Open Credit Union Accounts
39. Greek crisis: Crisis in Greece: Experts Call for Return of the Drachma, As Prime Minister Cancels Bailout Referendum
40. Occupy Wall Street: Occupy USA: A Campaigning Message from Kevin Zeese in Washington D.C.
41. Greek crisis: We Are All Greece: Expert Explains How the Greek Crisis is Being Manipulated by Banks and Governments to Enslave Us All
42. Murdoch media: As Hackgate Resurfaces, John Pilger Criticizes Mainstream Media, Salutes Independent Investigative Journalists
43. UK politics: “The Banks Got Bailed Out, We Got Sold Out”: Students March in London
44. Revolution in the Middle East: A Call from Egypt for Solidarity and Support for the Unfinished Revolution
45. UK politics: As Tories Approve Private Takeover of Hospital, Lords Challenge Plans to Let NHS Be Run By An Unaccountable Quango
46. Military Commissions: Trial at Guantánamo: What Shall We Do With The Torture Victim?
47. Radio interviews: Andy Worthington Discusses the Guantánamo Torture Trial with Scott Horton on Antiwar Radio
48. UK politics: Tories Ordered to Stop Hiding Their Damaging Risk Assessment for NHS Reform; Ask Your MP to Help
49. Greek crisis: New Perspectives on the Euro Crisis, and the Need for Greece to Default
50. Occupy Wall Street: Expressing Solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, as Court Prevents Violently Evicted Protestors from Re-Establishing Camp
51. Occupy Wall Street: Where now for Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy Movement?
52. Closing Guantánamo: Don’t Forget the Guantánamo Prisoners Cleared for Release But Still Held
53. Occupy Wall Street: Celebrating Occupy Wall Street, and the November 17 Day of Action
54. Closing Guantánamo: It Costs $72 Million A Year to Hold Cleared Prisoners at Guantánamo
55. Occupy Wall Street: As Deficit Super Committee Fails, “Occupy” Activists in Washington, DC Provide Inspiring Plan for US Economy
56. WikiLeaks: The Complete Guantánamo Files: WikiLeaks and the Prisoners Released in 2007 (Part One of Ten)
57. Revolution in the Middle East: The Unfinished Revolution in Egypt: The People vs. The Military Junta
58. Shaker Aamer: After Ten Years in US Custody, British Resident Shaker Aamer “Is Gradually Dying in Guantánamo,” Says Clive Stafford Smith
59. Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo”: Two New Screenings of “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” — in New York and London
60. Bradley Manning: Hearing Date Set for Bradley Manning, the Alleged Whistleblower Who Exposed the Horrors of America’s Wars and of Guantánamo
61. UK politics: N30 Strike: 2 Million UK Workers to Protest Against Tory-Led Government Cuts
62. Greek crisis: Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay: Greeks Rise Up Against Austerity
63. Guantánamo and habeas corpus: As Judges Kill Off Habeas Corpus for the Guantánamo Prisoners, Will the Supreme Court Act?
64. UK politics: Misery for Nothing: 2 Million on Strike in the UK, As Tories’ Economic Plans Fail

December 2011

65. Shaker Aamer: British MPs Write to Congress to Complain About Guantánamo and to Demand the Release of Shaker Aamer
66. Guantánamo and Congress: Deranged Senate Votes for Military Detention of All Terror Suspects and a Permanent Guantánamo
67. WikiLeaks: The Complete Guantánamo Files: WikiLeaks and the Prisoners Released in 2007 (Part Two of Ten)
68. Guantánamo media: Please Vote for My Guantánamo Article to Win the 3 Quarks Daily Prize for Best Blog Article
69. Shaker Aamer: London Vigil for Shaker Aamer, the Last British Resident in Guantánamo, on Human Rights Day, December 10, 2011
70. Guantánamo media: Write to the Forgotten Prisoners in Guantánamo – for the 10th Anniversary of the Prison’s Opening on January 11, 2012
71. Guantánamo and Congress: Terrorists as Warriors: The Fatal Confusion at the Heart of the “War on Terror”
72. Guantánamo and habeas corpus: Lawyer Laments the Death of Habeas Corpus for the Guantánamo Prisoners
73. Life after Guantánamo, Revolution in the Middle East: Will Egypt’s Military Government Free Former Guantánamo Prisoner Imprisoned Since June?
74. US prisons: Beyond Guantánamo, New York Times Examines How Federal Prisons Deal with Terrorists
75. Bagram, UK complicity in torture: British Court Orders Release of Bagram Prisoner Rendered by UK from Iraq, Held for Seven Years
76. Mohammed El-Gharani: An Extraordinary Interview with Former Guantánamo Child Prisoner Mohammed El-Gharani
77. Conditions in Guantánamo: Conditions at Guantánamo Under Scrutiny
78. Revolution in the Middle East: With 5000 Dead in Syria, Channel 4 Exposes President Al-Assad’s Horrendous Torture Program
79. Guantánamo 10th anniversary, US tour: Close Guantánamo: Andy Worthington Visits US, Attends National Day of Action in Washington D.C., January 11, 2012
80. Revolution in the Middle East, UK complicity in torture: Libyan Rebel Leader, Rendered by UK to Torture by US in Thailand and Gaddafi in Libya, Sues British Government
81. Omar Khadr: Christmas Thoughts for Omar Khadr, Still Held at Guantánamo
82. Guantánamo 10th anniversary, US tour: Ten Years of Guantánamo: Andy Worthington Visits the US to Campaign for the Closure of the Prison, January 5-15, 2012

Note: Please visit the website of the “Close Guantánamo” campaign, and sign up to join a growing body of people demanding that President Obama fulfill his unfulfilled promise to close the prison. Please also sign a new White House petition on the “We the People” website calling for the closure of Guantánamo. 25,000 signatures are needed by February 6 to secure a response from the President.

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, million-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.

11 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    On Facebook, Gabriele Müller wrote:

    Thanks, Andy, sharing

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Gabriele. Good to hear from you. And don’t forget, my friends, that there’s one more week to try and secure 25,000 signatures for the White House petition calling on President Obama to fulfill his promise to close Guantanamo:!/petition/close-guantanamo-now/6cMPlxQw

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Jim Koenig wrote:

    Thanks Andy. I wish more people shared their sources and links. I’ll put this on my desktop and will read thru it.

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Jim. That’s good to hear.

  5. Jeffrey Kaye says...

    Glad to see the archiving. Much to be done, and (unfortunately), as the battle is set for the long-term, it helps tremendously to have easier access to your tremendous volume of work.

    Perhaps, a la cyptome, you will want to put it all on a CD you could then sell (I’m serious!) at the site.

    Wonderful to see you briefly in SF.

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    Wonderful to see you too, Jeff, and hopefully I’ll manage another visit before next January.
    The CD idea is interesting, but I’m also thinking about a book, which I’ve been thinking about for some time, and which Jason (Leopold) was urging me to do during my visit.

  7. arcticredriver says...

    Congratulations Andy, for all the excellent information you share.

    Since you have been travelling you might have missed the news of the death of Jonathan “Jack” Idema — the American convicted of operating an unauthorized private jail in Afghanistan. The press accounts of his death discount him as a complete kook, and dismiss his claims that he had covert support and backing from high within the Bush administration as completely delusional.

    Yet, private enterprize bounty hunters, doing private enterprize searches for key Taliban and al Qaeda figures — providing a level of plausible deniability sounds like what Dick Cheney promised when he spoke of how the US would have to cross over into the dark side.

    It is my recollection that a small number of the captives did testify that they were in private, unofficial custody, prior to being sold to the US. I think we may learn, someday, that Idema was not completely delusional, and that some of the Guantanamo and Bagram captives had passed through his hands.


  8. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, arcticredriver. I had indeed missed the story of Idema’s death, and share your concerns about exactly what he was doing in Afghanistan.

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    On Facebook, Loyal Hoag wrote:

    Thank you Andy, this is great!

  10. Andy Worthington says...

    Giacomella Jackie Milesi Ferretti wrote:

    thank you Andy!

  11. Andy Worthington says...

    Thank you, Loyal and Giacomella, for the supportive words. Much appreciated.

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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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