Military Commissions

Videos of ‘Guantánamo: 20 Years After’, the Brighton University Online Conference on Nov. 12-13, 2021

30.12.21

Videos from ‘Guantánamo: 20 Years After’, the online conference, hosted by the University of Brighton, which took place on Nov. 12-13, 2021, and which I helped to organize. I was also a keynote speaker, along with former prisoner Shaker Aamer. Included here are videos of the keynote speeches, a presentation by Jeremy Varon of Witness Against Torture, and the conference’s three panel discussions.

Sen. Dick Durbin Files Amendment to National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Calling for the Closure of Guantánamo

2.12.21

My transcript of a speech in the Senate, urging the closure of Guantánamo, which was made by Sen. Dick Durbin, a longtime opponent of the prison’s existence, as he introduced an amendment to the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), seeking to close the prison once and for all.

Majid Khan Describes Years of Torture and Abuse in CIA “Black Sites” and at Guantánamo in His Sentencing Statement (Part Two)

10.11.21

The second part of my transcript of the powerful statement that Guantánamo prisoner and CIA “black site” torture victim Majid Khan read out at his sentencing hearing, with its powerful combination of contrition, on the one hand, and the brutality of his torture on the other, which seemed to be undertaken with no regard for discovering the truth, as he had persistently showed a willingness to cooperate with his interrogators.

Majid Khan Describes Years of Torture and Abuse in CIA “Black Sites” and at Guantánamo in His Sentencing Statement (Part One)

9.11.21

A transcript of the first part of Majid Khan’s statement at his recent sentencing hearing at Guantánamo, in which he recounted his early life, how he was preyed on by al-Qaeda supporters following the death of his mother, and the horrendous torture to which he was subjected in a number of CIA “black sites”, despite having made it clear from the time of his capture that he intended to be as cooperative as possible.

‘Guantánamo: 20 Years After’ — Mohamedou Ould Salahi and I Are Keynote Speakers at Brighton University Online Conference on Nov. 12-13

6.11.21

Publicizing a great two-day online conference about Guantánamo on Nov. 12 and 13, hosted by the University of Brighton, which I’ve been organizing with Sara Birch, a law lecturer at the university, featuring former prisoners, panels of lawyers and other experts, and academic papers from around the world.

Is This Justice? After 18 Years of Torture, Isolation and Unprecedented Co-Operation, CIA and Guantánamo Prisoner Majid Khan Should Be Released in Feb. 2022

1.11.21

My report about the sentencing of former CIA “black site” torture victim and Guantánamo prisoner Majid Khan, finally and belatedly following his plea deal in 2012, his powerful statement during his hearing, and the unprecedented request for clemency from seven of his eight military jurors.

On the 20th Anniversary of the 9/11 Attacks, the US Needs to Close Guantánamo and Bring to an End the Broken Military Commission Trials

10.9.21

On the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and with the last US troops having left Afghanistan, I call on President Biden to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, the most shameful and enduring legacy of the “war on terror,” releasing all the men who have not been charged with crimes, and moving the trials of those accused of crimes to federal court.

How the Law Failed at Guantánamo

16.7.21

A cross-post, with my own introduction, of a detailed article for the Atlantic about the failure of the law at Guantánamo by Benjamin Farley, an attorney with the defense team for Ammar al Baluchi, one of the five men accused of involvement in the 9/11 attacks, who was also an adviser to the Special Envoy for Guantánamo Closure from 2013 to 2017.

Former Military Commissions Prosecutor Calls for the Closure of Guantánamo

7.7.21

A cross-post, with my own introduction, of an op-ed in the Washington Post, calling for the closure of Guantánamo, written by Omar Ashmawy, a prosecutor in the only two military commission cases that proceeded to full trials — back in 2008. Ashmawy is hugely critical of the entire military commission process, and of Guantánamo as a whole, and calls for everyone who has not been charged to be freed, and for the handful of men facing trials to have those trials moved to federal courts on the US mainland.

Biden’s Slow Progress on Closing Guantánamo

13.6.21

My analysis of an NBC article last week that suggested that President Biden is “quietly” moving to “start closing Guantánamo ahead of the 20th anniversary of 9/11,” but that doesn’t live up to its promise, not least in its suggestion that Biden wants to begin releasing prisoners, but doesn’t yet want to re-establish the role of the Special Envoy for Guantánamo Closure, even though it is impossible to work out how prisoners might be freed without the envoy’s assistance.

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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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