Video: I Discuss the Guantánamo Files Released by WikiLeaks and Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing with Action4Assange and Juan Passarelli


A screenshot of the Action4Assange show on October 17, 2020, featuring guests Andy Worthington and Juan Passarelli.

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On Saturday, I was delighted to take part in a wide-ranging discussion about my role as a witness in the hearings regarding WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s proposed extradition to the US, and the classified military files from Guantánamo that were released in 2011, on which I worked as a media partner.

The show — for the campaigning organization Action4Assange — was hosted by Steve Poikonen and Kendra Christian, and my fellow guest was Juan Passarelli, the filmmaker whose recent, 38-minute film about Assange, The War on Journalism: The Case of Julian Assange, I promoted in an article last week.

The show was streamed live, and recorded for YouTube. It starts around 12 and a half minutes in, and runs for nearly two hours, and you can check it out below.

There was a lot going on in the show, with both myself and Juan discussing the inadequacies of the extradition process, the appalling treatment of Julian Assange, and the significance of my statements, and why I wasn’t allowed to present them in court in person. 

I also had time to discuss in detail why the Guantánamo files released by WikiLeaks in 2011 are so important, and this is primarily because the files name names, providing confirmation about the extent to which statements made by unreliable witnesses — previously exposed through lawyers’ investigations, and some admirable investigative journalism — all too often constitute the only significant so-called evidence in the files.

I was very pleased to have had the opportunity to tell this story in depth, explaining how prisoners were tortured, abused or bribed (with “comfort items”) to tell lies about their fellow prisoners, and how a key development in exposing this came about in an article published in, if I recall correctly, 2006, describing how a military representative, assigned to a prisoner during the Combatant Status Review Tribunals in 2004, was so surprised at how angry the prisoner got when an allegation was aired that claimed that he was in Afghanistan when he said he wasn’t, pulled out the files of all the men accused by this man, and discovered that all of them faced similar, stunningly groundless allegations about being seen in various contexts in Afghanistan when they ween’t even in the country.

There was much more in the show, and I do hope you have time to listen to it, and will share it if you find it useful.

* * * * *

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 music is available via Bandcamp). He is the co-founder of the Close Guantánamo campaign (and see the latest photo campaign here) and the successful We Stand With Shaker campaign of 2014-15, and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison 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, or you can watch it online here, via the production company Spectacle, for £2.55), and for his photo project ‘The State of London’ he publishes a photo a day from eight years of bike rides around the 120 postcodes of the capital.

In 2017, Andy became very involved in housing issues. He is the narrator of the documentary film, ‘Concrete Soldiers UK’, about the destruction of council estates, and the inspiring resistance of residents, he wrote a song ‘Grenfell’, in the aftermath of the entirely preventable fire in June 2017 that killed over 70 people, and he also set up ‘No Social Cleansing in Lewisham’ as a focal point for resistance to estate destruction and the loss of community space in his home borough in south east London. For two months, from August to October 2018, he was part of the occupation of the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden in Deptford, to prevent its destruction — and that of 16 structurally sound council flats next door — by Lewisham Council and Peabody. Although the garden was violently evicted by bailiffs on October 29, 2018, and the trees were cut down on February 27, 2019, the resistance continues.

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, The Complete Guantánamo Files, 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.

2 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    Here’s my latest article, linking to the video of a two-hour Action4Assange show I took part in on Saturday, discussing the proposed extradition of Julian Assange, my statements during the recent hearings at the Old Bailey, and the significance of the classified military files from Guantanamo, released by Wikileaks in 2011, on which I worked as a media partner. Also interviewed was filmmaker Juan Luis Passarelli, the director of the documentary film, “The War on Journalism: The Case of Julian Assange,” which I shared last week.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    For a Spanish version, on the World Can’t Wait’s Spanish website, see ‘Video: Discutí los expedientes de Guantánamo, publicados por WikiLeaks y la audiencia de extradición de Julian Assange con Action4Assange y Juan Passarelli’:

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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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