Video: Andy Worthington and Joanne MacInnes Discuss the Success of We Stand With Shaker on George Galloway’s Sputnik Show on RT


Andy Worthington and Joanne MacInnes of the We Stand With Shaker campaign on George Galloway's Sputnik show on RT on December 19, 2015. On Saturday, Joanne MacInnes and I, the co-founders and co-directors of the We Stand With Shaker campaign, which successfully campaigned — with other campaigners, with MPs and with the support of media including the Daily Mail — to secure the release from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison, appeared on George Galloway’s Sputnik Show on RT (filmed on Thursday) to discuss the success of the campaign, how Shaker is doing since his release, what the future holds, and the unreliable nature of the so-called evidence against him (something I had particularly wanted to emphasize).

George — and Gayatri, his wife, who co-hosts the show with him — spoke to Jo and I last November, just after we launched the campaign, and it was great to be invited back to celebrate, as, of course, struggles against colossal injustices undertaken by major world powers do not always end so well — and for the 107 men still held at Guantánamo, of course, the injustice is far from over.

This was how George introduced the show:

Shaker Aamer, an innocent man, spent 14 years without charge in illegal detention and endured around 200 sessions of “enhanced interrogation,” much of it qualifying as torture. He would still be in Guantánamo Bay if it had not been for the help of principled politicians, both Tory and Labour, and the magnificent campaign spearheaded by Joanne MacInnes and Andy Worthington. They return to Sputnik this week to give us an update.

Below is the show via YouTube (please note that, just after a minute into the show, there are several seconds of silence, when the sound is inexplicably lost):

The show is also here, on the RT website. And stay tuned for the second half of the show, when political analyst Charlie Wolf discusses the malignant phenomenon that is Donald Trump — and if you care to, please also pay a visit to fimmaker Michael Moore’s “We Are All Muslim” page if you want to express your opposition to Trump’s dangerous and unacceptable Islamophobia.

Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer, film-maker and singer-songwriter (the lead singer and main songwriter for the London-based band The Four Fathers, whose debut album, ‘Love and War,’ is available for download or on CD via Bandcamp — also see here). He is the co-founder of the Close Guantánamo campaign, the co-director of We Stand With Shaker, which called for the release from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison (finally freed on October 30, 2015), and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by the University of Chicago Press in the US, and available from Amazon, including a Kindle edition — 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. He is also the co-director (with Polly Nash) of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (available on DVD here — or here for the US).

To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to Andy’s RSS feed — and he can also be found on Facebook (and here), Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. Also see the six-part definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, and The Complete Guantánamo Files, an ongoing, 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011. Also see the definitive Guantánamo habeas list, the full military commissions list, and the chronological list of all Andy’s articles.

Please also consider joining the Close Guantánamo campaign, and, if you appreciate Andy’s work, feel free to make a donation.

17 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    On Facebook, Neil McKenna wrote:

    It’s amazing. Well done Andy, Joanne.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Neil.

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    David J. Clarke wrote:

    I am concerned that RT is financed by the Russian government and thus is tainted with bias and propaganda. This I have witnessed on more than one occasion and therefor cannot indulge with patronage in good conscience. Not sure that colluding with a system that actively eradicates opposition – Journalists and otherwise is productive. Or have I completely got this wrong?

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    There are areas of RT’s approach that I have real concerns about, David, but I’m wary of writing off any broadcaster entirely because of bias and propaganda. If I did, I’m not sure who I’d be left with. I’m constantly fed up with the bias of the BBC and Channel 4 News, for example.

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    David J. Clarke wrote:

    I value your perspective because it is free from so much of the hysteria and paranoia that is endemic on both sides of the political narrative. I cannot say the same thing for RT. If we believe in justice and enlightened values we must be very careful who we ally ourselves with. Thank you for all the integrity you bring to the table.

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, David. I try to be as balanced as possible.

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    Joyce McKay wrote:

    Excellent Andy. All of mainstream have their own bias, including the BBC etc. So important to view them all with that awareness. There was an interview with him being advertised on BBC World yesterday, but I have not seen it yet. Looking forward to your interview (Sue and I will be watching it together).

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    Excellent, Joyce. Great to hear from you. Hope you and Sue enjoy it – and I hope Shaker’s interview is on BBC World and that you get to see that too. Say hi to Sue! Here’s the Shaker interview on YouTube. Can you see it in Turkey?

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    Radmila Nastic wrote:

    Big thanks

  10. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Radmila! Good to hear from you.

  11. Andy Worthington says...

    Ann Alexander wrote:

    Watched it, Andy. Looking forward to seeing the photo of Shaker and his blow up self. Hope he now takes time out for his family and friends. Loved the photo of you and Shaker. One for the history books I think.

  12. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Ann. Glad you liked the photo with Shaker – and I too hope that Shaker’s getting to spend some quality peaceful time with his family. If possible, we need him for the campaign to close Guantanamo next year!

  13. Andy Worthington says...

    Check this out – a great compilation of clips from last January’s actions in Washington DC on and around the anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo on Jan. 11 – from my great friends in Witness Against Torture, and made by Justin Norman:

  14. Andy Worthington says...

    Saleyha Ahsan wrote:

    Great seeing you there – although I would never tune in to RT for anything else after the lies it spun about the bomb dropped on school children in Syria.

  15. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, I completely understand, Saleyha, and it’s issues like that that need to make people seriously question the affiliations of broadcasters with an anti-Western stance, just as they need to question the bias evident in Western-funded media too. The Tories are getting to destroy the British state with far too little complaint from the British media, for example.

  16. Andy Worthington says...

    David Knopfler wrote:

    Reservations about RT not-withstanding, Andy does a splendid job of helping explain why the military cleared Shaker Aamer for release almost a decade ago… unreliable evidence supplied by those either seeking favour or suffering torture or both meant they had no case to make against him

  17. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, David. Yes, it’s always great to have the opportunity to expose the lies that fill the Guantanamo prisoners’ files, and to explain why the allegations are so unreliable. Broadcasters are not always interested, and in contrast, of course, right-wingers are always on the look out for outlets for their lies and distortions, as the Sun demonstrated a few days ago:

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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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