Musicians (Finally) Say No To Music Torture by Andy Worthington + The Divine Comedy: Guantanamo

by Andy Worthington
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
www.andyworthington.co.uk
22 October 2009

Well, that took a while. Nearly a year after George W. Bush’s Republican party was voted out of office, and at least five years after reports first surfaced that music was being used in “War on Terror” facilities in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo as part of a package of “enhanced interrogation technique,” — which, in any world other than the reality-defying one inhabited by Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, would have been defined as torture — several noted musicians have spoken out to condemn the practice.

As was reported widely yesterday, REM, Pearl Jam, Trent Reznor, Tom Morello, and other artists including Jackson Browne, Billy Bragg, Michelle Branch, T-Bone Burnett, David Byrne, Rosanne Cash, Marc Cohn, Steve Earle, the Entrance Band, Joe Henry, Bonnie Raitt, Rise Against, and The Roots launched a formal protest against the use of music as torture.

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Finding New Homes For 44 Cleared Guantánamo Prisoners by Andy Worthington

by Andy Worthington
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
www.andyworthington.co.uk
13 October 2009

In a recent article, “75 Guantánamo Prisoners Cleared For Release; 31 Could Leave Today,” I examined the implications of an announcement that 75 of the remaining 223 prisoners in Guantánamo have been cleared for release. This came by way of a list posted in the prison, identifying the prisoners by nationality, and a statement by a military spokesman, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Brook DeWalt, who explained, “It was an opportunity to just provide better communication. There’s a lot of information out there and you get a lot of things from a lot of different angles. It helps put it in a more succinct context for them [the prisoners].” Continue reading

Two More Guantánamo Prisoners Released: To Kuwait And Belgium by Andy Worthington

by Andy Worthington
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
www.andyworthington.co.uk
11 October 2009

So it’s good news — of a sort — from Guantánamo, as two more prisoners were released on Thursday. The first is Khalid al-Mutairi, a Kuwaiti whose habeas corpus petition was granted by District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly two months ago, after she ruled decisively that “there is nothing in the record beyond speculation” that al-Mutairi had been involved in any way with al-Qaeda or the Taliban. Continue reading

Jason Leopold and Andy Worthington on closing Guantanamo Bay Prison

by Andy Worthington
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
www.andyworthington.co.uk
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.” Continue reading

On Guantánamo, Lawmakers Reveal They Are Still Dick Cheney’s Pawns by Andy Worthington

by Andy Worthington
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
www.andyworthington.co.uk
6 October 2009

I like to believe that, despite studying Guantánamo for four years, I still have a sense of humor, but last Thursday I lost it, after 258 members of the House of Representatives (including 88 members of President Obama’s own party) voted for an idiotic, paranoid and unjust motion proposed by Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ken.), which was designed to “Prohibit the transfer of GITMO prisoners, period” (those were his exact words). Just 163 Representatives voted against the motion, which, as JURIST described it, also supports “adding Guantánamo detainees to the federal ‘no fly’ list, and adopting Senate language forbidding the release of photos showing detainee abuse.”

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No justice for Gitmo detainee?

Dandelion Salad

RussiaToday
October 05, 2009

New developments in the case of young Gitmo prisoner Mohammed Jawad are once again making headlines. His military lawyers say that Jawad had been tortured throughout his imprisonment at Guantanamo Bay and they want those responsible to be held accountable. Their efforts, however, seem to be overshadowed by the fact that the Department of Defense has repeatedly ignored requests for a war crimes investigation into his treatment at the prison. RT’s Dina Gusovsky speaks to one of Jawad’s lawyers, Eric Montalvo.

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75 Guantánamo Prisoners Cleared For Release; 31 Could Leave Today by Andy Worthington

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by Andy Worthington
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
www.andyworthington.co.uk
5 Oct. 2009

Last week, the Obama administration finally admitted that it might not be possible to close Guantánamo by the President’s self-imposed deadline of January 22, 2010, when defense secretary Robert Gates told ABC News’ “This Week” that it was “going to be tough” to meet the deadline. The announcement followed what appeared to be strategic leaks by administration insiders, which were designed to blame White House Counsel Greg Craig for the government’s woes.

Why it has taken so long to clear 75 prisoners for release

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A Truly Shocking Guantánamo Story: Judge Confirms That An Innocent Man Was Tortured To Make False Confessions by Andy Worthington

by Andy Worthington
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
www.andyworthington.co.uk
30 Sept. 2009

In four years of researching and writing about Guantánamo, I have become used to uncovering shocking information, but for sheer cynicism, I am struggling to think of anything that compares to the revelations contained in the unclassified ruling in the habeas corpus petition of Fouad al-Rabiah, a Kuwaiti prisoner whose release was ordered last week by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly (PDF). In the ruling, to put it bluntly, it was revealed that the US government tortured an innocent man to extract false confessions and then threatened him until he obligingly repeated those lies as though they were the truth.

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Is Bagram the new Guantanamo? by Andy Worthington

by Andy Worthington
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
www.andyworthington.co.uk
30 Sept. 2009

Yesterday, I was delighted to take part in “Is Bagram The Other Guantánamo?,” a discussion about the US prison at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan on The Riz Khan Show on al-Jazeera, following a recent announcement by the Obama administration that it is planning to introduce Guantánamo-style tribunals for the 600 or so prisoners held at Bagram. The show is available below in two parts, via YouTube: Continue reading

An Interview With Col. Lawrence Wilkerson (Part One) by Andy Worthington

by Andy Worthington
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
www.andyworthington.co.uk
27 Aug. 2009

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson served in the US military for 31 years and was Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell from August 2002 until January 2005, two months after Powell’s resignation, when he left the State Department. He is now the chairman of the New America Foundation’s US-Cuba 21st Century Policy Initiative. In March, in a guest column for the Washington Note, he wrote an article criticizing some crucial aspects of the Bush administration’s detention policies in the “War on Terror,” which, as I noted at the time, “are not as widely known as they should be, and which echo some of the important issues that I’ve tried to raise in my book The Guantánamo Files and my subsequent writing.”

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Military Interrogators Pose as “Lawyers” in Gitmo to Gather Information by Sherwood Ross

Dandelion Salad

by Sherwood Ross
Dissident Voice
August 18th, 2007

Military interrogators posing as “lawyers” are attempting to trick Guantanamo prisoners into providing them with information, The Catholic Worker (TCW) reports.

This incredible and illegal practice contributes “to the prisoners’ suspicions that the (real) lawyers are not to be trusted and could be aiding the government,” TCW says in its July issue.

This subterfuge is only one of the many treacherous tactics the government is employing to sabotage the efforts of lawyers to represent their clients. Continue reading