Jason Leopold and Andy Worthington on closing Guantanamo Bay Prison

by Andy Worthington
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
11 October 2009

Three months ago, veteran progressive radio host Peter B. Collins interviewed me for an in-depth podcast on his website, where, as I described it at the time, he is “pioneering a listener-funded new media project to make hard-hitting political interviews available online without editorial interference from networks and without the often extensive advertising breaks that do so much to disrupt the flow of so many shows.”

On Friday, I was delighted to talk to Peter B. again, in the company of Jason Leopold. Jason and I were introduced by email several months ago by the truth-seeking psychologist and blogger Jeff Kaye, and Jason has been cross-posting my articles on The Public Record ever since, but, surprisingly, this was actually the first time we’d spoken.

The hour-long show is available here, and this is how Peter described it:

Jason Leopold and Andy Worthington, two fine independent journalists, with important updates on closing Guantánamo and the remnants of the Bush-Cheney detention and torture program. Leopold has just rejoined Truthout as deputy managing editor, and has been featuring Worthington’s reporting at The Public Record. Worthington joined us from London, where he writes almost daily at [his website] Andy Worthington and published The Guantánamo Files, which covers all of the 779 men who have been held there. Worthington is a producer and principal in a new documentary film, Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo.

First topic is the announcement of Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize, which PBC refers to as a “premature ejaculation.” Leopold details recent court action in the [Mohammed] al-Qahtani case: an order to produce video tapes of his interrogations, confirmation of Rumsfeld’s direct role in approving torture, and flat confirmation that he was tortured from military judge Susan Crawford, [the Convening Authority of the Military Commissions]. Worthington describes the case of the Kuwaiti, [Fouad] al-Rabiah, an innocent man who, [under torture], told interrogators what they wanted to hear and has been ordered released by a US court. And we talk about the softening of the irrational position Congress has taken on closing Gitmo and bringing prisoners to US courts and prisons.

Peter and I also discussed the difficulties the Obama administration has in releasing Yemenis from Guantánamo, even if they have been cleared for release not only by Bush-era military review boards, but also by Obama’s own interagency Task Force, which has been studying the Guantánamo cases for the last eight months (and which I wrote about in a recent article, “75 Guantánamo Prisoners Cleared For Release; 31 Could Leave Today”).

Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK). To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed (and I can also be found on Facebook and Twitter). Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, published in March 2009, details about my film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (launched in October 2009), and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.


The Peter B Collins Show
Info on Podcast #50
09 October 2009


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