Radio: I Discuss the Death of the Tories, Labour’s Dubious Victory and Israel’s Guantánamo with Chris Cook on Gorilla Radio

On the left: Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak, and, on the right, before and after photos of Moazzaz Obayat, a Palestinian from Bethlehem, held for nine months in Israel’s Negev Prison, and released as a broken man.

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Many thanks to my truth warrior colleague Chris Cook, in western Canada, for having me on his Gorilla Radio show again to discuss last week’s General Election in the UK, following up on my article, Despite the Landslide, Labour Have No Vision and Only Won the UK General Election Because the Tories Lost So Spectacularly.

Our interview, available on Chris’s Substack here, took place in the second half of the one-hour show, following his interview with journalist and author John Helmer about Russia and Ukraine.

Chris and I spent most of our half-hour interview discussing the collapse of the Conservative Party — who lost two-thirds of their seats — after the 14 unbearably long years of their increasingly deranged rule, which became noticeably more septic after the vote to leave the EU in 2016, and also discussing the largely empty promise of their replacements, the Labour Party under Keir Starmer, who, because of the vagaries of Britain’s antiquated and anachronistic ‘First Past the Post’ voting system, won a landslide victory, despite securing less votes than Jeremy Corbyn did as Labour’s leader in the General Elections of 2017 and 2019.

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Radio: I Discuss Israel’s Horrendous Prisons for Palestinians and the ICC Noose Tightening Around Netanyahu’s Neck on Gorilla Radio

A leaked photograph from inside Israel’s Sde Teiman prison, obtained by CNN, shows a blindfolded prisoner with his arms above his head in a crowded, open-air cell in which other prisoners are also blindfolded, as part of a regimen of unacceptable punishment in which, held without charge or trial and with the permanent threat of severe violence, they are permanently blindfolded and prevented from talking to one another.

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My thanks to the indefatigable Chris Cook, based in western Canada, for having me on his Gorilla Radio show to discuss Ending Israel’s Impunity for Genocide in Gaza, and the Threat to Those, Like Joe Biden, Who Are Most Complicit, my latest article on the defining horror of our times. Our discussion takes place in the second half of the one-hour show, available on Substack here, after an illuminating first half with Yves Engler, the Montreal-based political activist, whose latest book, co-authored with Owen Schalk, is ‘Canada’s Long Fight Against Democracy.’ I’m also pleased to note that Chris played my song ‘Forever Prisoner’, about Guantánamo prisoner Khaled Qassim, recorded with my band The Four Fathers.

Chris and I began by discussing Jonathan Cook’s latest article for Middle East Eye, The message of Israel’s torture chambers is directed at all of us, not just Palestinians, which drew on a detailed CNN investigation published on May 11, Strapped down, blindfolded, held in diapers: Israeli whistleblowers detail abuse of Palestinians in shadowy detention center, about Sde Teiman, a secret Israeli prison on a military base in the Negev Desert, where Palestinians seized in the Gaza Strip since October 7 are kept naked, blindfolded and handcuffed, and, permanently, “forced to remain motionless and silent”, as Cook describes it, adding, “At night, dogs are set on them. Anyone who speaks or moves risks being savagely beaten till bones are broken.”

The whistleblowers who spoke to CNN also explained that “doctors sometimes amputated prisoners’ limbs due to injuries sustained from constant handcuffing; of medical procedures sometimes performed by underqualified medics earning it a reputation for being “a paradise for interns”; and where the air is filled with the smell of neglected wounds left to rot.”

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On Gorilla Radio, Chris Cook Plays ‘Warriors’, and We Discuss Julian Assange, Guantánamo, Genocide in Gaza and George Galloway

The cover of ‘Warriors’ by The Four Fathers, and the poster showing the 16 men approved for release from Guantánamo who are still held.

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Thanks to Chris Cook for having me on his Gorilla Radio show in Victoria, in western Canada on Wednesday to talk about a number of topics. The one-hour show is available here, on Chris’s Substack account, and my interview took part in the first half.

Chris began by asking me about the recent by-election victory, here in the UK, of George Galloway, the former Labour MP, who destroyed both Labour and the Tories on a platform opposing their unconditional support for Israel’s genocide in Gaza, which, of course, is also opposed by a majority of the population. As he stated in a tweet after his victory, “Gaza is the moral centre of the world right now.”

Chris asked me about the government’s hysterical response, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak delivering a special address to the nation to complain about the threat posed by a democratically-elected MP, but with, of course, a darker undercurrent of groundless suggestions that British democracy is under threat from “Islamist extremists” — all part of the desperate, flailing efforts of the British establishment to criminalize all criticism of Israel’s actions as anti-semitic.

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Radio: I Discuss Guantánamo Vigils, “Forever Prisoners” and Genocide in Gaza with Chris Cook on Gorilla Radio

On the left, Andy Worthington, at a vigil for the closure of Guantánamo outside the US Embassy in London on November 1, 2023, holding up the poster showing how long the Guantánamo prisoners approved for release have been held since the US decided it no longer wanted to hold them, and, on the right, a protestor near the US Embassy on the March for Palestine in London on November 11, 2023 (Photo: Andy Worthington).

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My thanks to Chris Cook of Gorilla Radio, in Victoria, Canada, for reaching out to interview me last week about the coordinated monthly vigils for the closure of Guantánamo which take place in London, across the US and around the world on the first Wednesday of every month, and which I initiated in February (following up on monthly vigils in London, which began last September) by reaching out to friends and colleagues elsewhere to join us. Chris and I have spoken many times over the years, and it’s always a pleasure to talk to him.

Our interview takes up the second half of the one-hour show, beginning at 28:45, following an interview that is also worth listening to — with William S. Geimer, a peace activist, Professor Emeritus of Law at Washington and Lee University, a military veteran who resigned his 82nd Airborne commission in opposition to the war against Vietnam, the author of the book, ‘Canada: The Case for Staying Out of Other People’s Wars’, and the founder of the Greater Victoria Peace School.

The interview is available here as an MP3, or here on the Gorilla Radio website, and it’s also embedded below.

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Radio: I Discuss the Coronation, the Tories’ Suppression of Peaceful Protest and Criminalization of Refugees, Plus the Latest on Guantánamo, With Chris Cook on Gorilla Radio

A new flag for the UK in 2023, under Rishi Sunak as Prime Minister and Suella Braverman as home secretary.

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For many years, I’ve been honored to be regularly invited to discuss my ongoing work on Guantánamo, as well as many other political concerns of mine, on Gorilla Radio, run by Chris Cook in Victoria, Canada, which is “dedicated to social justice, the environment, community, and providing a forum for people and issues not covered in the corporate media.”

Chris’s latest show is here (or here as an MP3), and our interview took place in the second half of the hour-long program, after an interview with whistleblowing activist Ashley Gjøvik, following the publication of her article “Whistleblowers Are the Conscience of Society, Yet Suffer Gravely For Trying to Hold the Rich and Powerful Accountable For Their Sins,” published by Covert Action Magazine.

I’ve also embedded the show below:

The trigger for Chris’s interview with me was the Coronation, last Saturday, of King Charles III, which I covered in a post as part of my ongoing photo-journalism project ‘The State of London’, and also recorded a song about, entitled, “You’re Not My King,” also embedded below:

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Radio: I Discuss Liz Truss and the UK’s Ongoing Tory Brexit Nightmare – Plus Guantánamo and Julian Assange – with Chris Cook on Gorilla Radio

Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak during the Tory leadership campaign in summer. After just 44 days in the top job, Truss’s departure has led to Sunak being appointed as her successor by Tory MPs.

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I’m delighted to have been interviewed on Saturday by Chris Cook, in Canada, for his Gorilla Radio show, available worldwide through the miracle of the internet, via his brand-new Substack account. The show is also available here as an MP3.

The first 20 minutes of our half-hour discussion involved the sad decline of post-Brexit Britain under a succession of witless Prime Ministers — most recently Liz Truss, who lasted just 44 days, but managed in her brief window of opportunity to crash the economy, as the markets reacted with revulsion to a ‘mini-budget’ that promised massive unfunded tax cuts for the rich at the worst time imaginable, during a time of rampant inflation and spiralling energy prices. 

Our discussion followed on from my recent article, Now that the Execrable Liz Truss Has Gone, Only a General Election Can Validly Deliver the UK’s Next Leader, and I was pleased to have had the opportunity to discuss the role played in the mad ideology of Truss and her Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng by a number of supposed ‘free market’ lobbying groups based in Tufton Street, close to Parliament — including the Institute of Economic Affairs, the Taxpayers’ Alliance, the Centre for Policy Studies, the Adam Smith Institute, Civitas and the climate change-denying Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) — who dress themselves up as think-tanks, and, shamefully, have secured charitable status, even though they have persistently failed to explain who funds them (although US far-right dark money is clearly involved).

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Radio: I Discuss 20 Years of Guantánamo and the Proposed Extradition of Julian Assange with Chris Cook on Gorilla Radio

Andy Worthington calling for the closure of prison at Guantánamo Bay outside the White House on Jan. 11, 2020, and the logo for Chris Cook’s ‘Gorilla Radio’ show in Victoria, British Columbia.

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Last week, I was delighted to be interviewed by Chris Cook for his weekly show ‘Gorilla Radio’ in Victoria, in British Columbia. Chris and I have spoken many times before, and it’s always a great pleasure to be on his show. Our interview is available here as an MP3, and the whole show, broadcast later, and also featuring eco-poet Kim Goldberg, is here. The interviews can also be accessed via the Gorilla Radio website here and here.

We began by talking about Abu Zubaydah, and the US torture program, prompted by my recent article, “The Forever Prisoner”: Alex Gibney’s New Documentary About CIA Torture Victim Abu Zubaydah, and I briefly summarized the whole horrible story of his four and a half years in CIA “black sites”, his 15 years (to date) in Guantánamo, and his status as one of Guantánamo’s “forever prisoners” — 14 of the 39 men still held, none of whom have ever been charged with a crime.

Chris also asked me about who has been held at Guantánamo throughout its history, enabling me to explain how, far from being “the worst of the worst”, as alleged, most of the men — and boys — held at Guantánamo over the last 20 years were nothing more than foot soldiers or, in many cases, civilians seized by mistake. I didn’t mention it, but I could have repeated my assertion, which I first made many years ago, that no more than three percent of the 779 men held by the US military at Guantánamo since the prison first opened have had any connection with the leadership structures of al-Qaeda, the Taliban or associated groups.

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Radio: I Discuss the Never-Ending Limbo of Guantánamo with Chris Cook on Gorilla Radio

Andy Worthington calling for the closure of the prison at Guantánamo Bay outside the White House on January 11, 2020, and the logo for Chris Cook’s Gorilla Radio show in Victoria, Canada.

Please support my work as a reader-funded journalist! I’m currently trying to raise $2500 (£2000) to support my writing and campaigning on Guantánamo and related issues over the next three months. If you can help, please click on the button below to donate via PayPal.





 

Yesterday, I was delighted to talk to Chris Cook, for his Gorilla Radio show, broadcast every Thursday morning on CFUV 101.9FM in Victoria, on Vancouver Island in Canada. Chris and I have spoken many times over the years, and his show admirably fulfills its remit to cover topics relating to “social justice, the environment [and] community,” and to “provid[e] a forum for people and issues not covered in the corporate media.”

Chris and I spoke in the second half of the one-hour show, which is available here as an MP3.

At the start of the show, Chris spoke about the US’s recent drone attack in Afghanistan, in which civilians, mistakenly identified as ISIS-K terrorists, were killed. He noted that Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has “expressed regret for those killed in what he characterized a ‘mistake with horrific consequences,’” but asked, pointedly, “why America was continuing its attacks against the country it has reportedly withdrawn from.”

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Radio: I Discuss Hopes for Guantánamo’s Closure Under Joe Biden, and Julian Assange’s Extradition, with Chris Cook on Gorilla Radio

A composite image of the prison at Guantánamo Bay on the day it opened, January 11, 2002, and WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange.

Please support my work as a reader-funded journalist! I’m currently trying to raise $2500 (£2000) to support my writing and campaigning on Guantánamo and related issues over the next three months. If you can help, please click on the button below to donate via PayPal.





 

Chris Cook, in Victoria, British Columbia, hosts a great weekly progressive radio show, Gorilla Radio, and I’m delighted to have been talking to him on a regular basis — mostly about Guantánamo — for many years now.

I spoke to Chris recently for an hour, and you can find the show on his website here, and also here as an MP3. A shorter version of the interview was included in the show that was broadcast on December 17, featuring journalist and author John Helmer in the first half (and the MP3 of that show is here).

I began by providing a brief history of the prison at Guantánamo Bay, which will mark the shameful 19th anniversary of its opening in just three weeks’ time, and I stressed how, under Donald Trump, the prison has essentially been sealed shut for the last four years. Bearing that in mind, there is now hope that, at the very least, some of the remaining 40 prisoners will be freed, and there will progress towards the prison’s closure.

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Radio: I Discuss the Coronavirus Changing the World Irrevocably, Plus Guantánamo and WikiLeaks, with Chris Cook on Gorilla Radio

Andy Worthington calling for the closure of Guantánamo outside the White House on January 11, 2020, the 18th anniversary of the prison’s opening (Photo: Witness Against Torture).

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Last Tuesday, I was delighted to speak to Chris Cook, for his radio show Gorilla Radio, beaming out to the world from Vancouver Island, in western Canada. Our full interview — an hour in total — can be found on Chris’s website. It’s also available here as an MP3, and I hope you have time to listen to it. A shorter version — about 25 minutes in total — will be broadcast in a few weeks’ time. [UPDATE May 30: the shorter version is here. US peace activist David Swanson is in the first half; I’m in the second half].

Chris began by playing an excerpt from the new release by my band The Four Fathers, ‘This Time We Win’, an eco-anthem inspired by the campaigning work of Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion. [Note: In the edited version of the show, he plays the whole song, beginning at 31:25].

We then discussed my most recent articles about Guantánamo, A Coronavirus Lament by Guantánamo Prisoner Asadullah Haroon Gul and Asadullah Haroon Gul, a “No-Value Detainee,” and One of the Last Two Afghans in Guantánamo, Asks to Be Freed, both dealing with one of the many insignificant prisoners still held at Guantánamo, out of the 40 men still held — Asadullah Haroon Gul, whose lawyers are trying to secure his repatriation as part of the Afghan peace process.

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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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