Retired Admirals Urge Biden to Release Everyone at Guantánamo Not Charged With a Crime — 28 of the 40 Men Still Held

Retired Rear Admirals Donald J. Guter and John Hutson, who recently wrote an op-ed for the Nation calling on President Biden to release all the men at Guantánamo who have not been charged with a crime — 28 men out of the 40 still held.

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I wrote the following article for the “Close Guantánamo” website, which I established in January 2012, on the 10th anniversary of the opening of Guantánamo, with the US attorney Tom Wilner. Please join us — just an email address is required to be counted amongst those opposed to the ongoing existence of Guantánamo, and to receive updates of our activities by email.

Since Joe Biden became president five months ago, there have been numerous high-profile calls for him to fulfill a promise that President Obama failed to fulfill (when Biden was vice president) and that Donald Trump had no interest in whatsoever; namely, closing the “war on terror” prison at Guantánamo Bay.

A week after President Biden’s inauguration, 111 organizations, including Close Guantánamo, sent a letter to the new president urging him to close the prison, around the same time that seven former prisoners — all authors —  wrote an open letter to Biden, urging the prison’s closure, which was published in the New York Review of Books. Other calls for the prison have come from Bill Clinton advisor Anthony Lake and our co-founder, the attorney Tom Wilner, from Lee Wolosky, former Special Envoy for Guantánamo Closure under Barack Obama, and from former CIA analyst Gail Helt.

The most seismic shift, politically, came in April when 24 Senators wrote a letter to the president, not only urging him to close the prison, but also providing details of how that can be achieved — through the appointment of a senior White House official to oversee the closure process, and also though the re-establishment of the Office of the Special Envoy for Guantánamo Closure at the State Department, established by Obama but shut down under Trump, which was responsible for “identifying transfer countries and negotiating transfer agreements.”

Read the rest of this entry »

The Nation Conversations: Andy Worthington Discusses WikiLeaks’ Guantánamo Files with Kevin Gosztola

Since last Monday, when WikiLeaks began releasing classified military documents relating to almost all of the 779 prisoners held in Guantánamo, I have undertaken a number of interviews — with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!, with the BBC and Press TV, with Scott Horton of Antiwar Radio, with Alexa O’Brien for WikiLeaks Central, and with Steve Rendall for the weekly CounterSpin show produced by the media watchdog FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting).

If you’ve checked out any of the above, then my 25-minute interview with Kevin Gosztola, an intern for the Nation, available here, may not contain too many surprises, but Kevin asked some great questions, and the rather more expansive format allowed me to cover some of the important themes in more detail than elsewhere — the stories of the juveniles, for example, as I discussed in my article, The Pentagon Can’t Count: 22 Juveniles Held at Guantánamo, in November 2008 — and also to discuss the amnesia of modern life, aided by 24-hour news cycles, which means that much of what has been exposed before regarding the Guantánamo prisoners has apparently been wiped clean from people’s minds.

I also had the opportunity to address Kevin’s question about the Justice Department’s ludicrous insistence that attorneys for the Guantánamo prisoners cannot use — or even read — any of the documents relased by WikiLeaks by running through the attempts to secure justice for the prisoners at Guantánamo by legal means, which looked promising in 2004, and again from 2008 to 2009, but which have ground to a halt because of the hostility of right-wing judges in the D.C. Circuit Court, including the notorious figure of Judge A. Raymond Randolph, who is now, single-handedly, driving most of what passes for President Obama’s detainee policy at Guantánamo. Read the rest of this entry »

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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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