Andy Worthington


Guilty of Torture, Not “Poor Judgment”

by Andy Worthington

It’s now over three weeks since veteran Justice Department lawyer David Margolis dashed the hopes of those seeking accountability for the Bush administration’s torturers, but this is a story of such profound importance that it must not be allowed to slip away.
Margolis decided that an internal report (PDF) into the conduct of John Yoo and Jay S. Bybee, who wrote the notorious memos in August 2002, which attempted to redefine torture so that it could be used by the CIA, was mistaken in concluding that both men were guilty of “professional misconduct,” and should be referred to their bar associations for disciplinary action.

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Seven Years of War in Iraq: Still Based on Cheney’s Torture and Lies

 By Andy Worthington 

 
Friday marked the seventh anniversary of the illegal invasion of Iraq, but by now, it seems, the American people have become used to living in a state of perpetual war, even though that war was based on torture and lies. Protestors rallied across the country on Saturday, but the anti-war impetus of the Bush years has not been regained, as I discovered to my sorrow during a brief US tour in November, when I showed the new documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (directed by Polly Nash and myself) in New York, Washington D.C., and the Bay Area.
 
Some activists were still burnt out from campaigning for Barack Obama, others thought the new President had waved a magic wand and miraculously cured all America’s ills, while others, to the right of common sense and decency, were beginning to mobilize in opposition to a President who, to be frank, should have been more of a disappointment to those who thought that “hope” and “change” might mean something than to those who supported the Bush administration’s view of the world.

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Worldwide Protests on Aafia Siddiqui Day, March 28, 2010

by Andy Worthington

March 28th was the seventh anniversary of the day that Pakistani neuroscientist Dr. Aafia Siddiqui and her three young children were reportedly abducted in Karachi, leading to Aafia’s disappearance for over five years — when she was apparently held in secret prisoners and subjected to appalling abuse — before she resurfaced in Afghanistan and supposedly attempted to shoot a number of US soldiers.

For this alleged crime, she was flown to the United States, put on trial, and found guilty, in a federal court in New York, on February 3, 2010, on “charges related to the attempted murder and assault of US nationals and US officers and employees in Afghanistan.”

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More Dark Truths from Guantánamo, as Five Innocent Men Released

 By Andy Worthington

 
After eight years’ imprisonment without charge or trial, five former Guantanamo prisoners are beginning new lives this week — two in Switzerland and three in Georgia.
 
Their stories reveal, yet again, how Republican lawmakers and media pundits in the US, who have, in recent months, renewed their fear-filled attacks on those still held, are guilty of hyperbolic and unprincipled outbursts, and, in addition, how these critics’ attacks are damaging to the prospects of cleared men, seized by mistake, finding new homes in countries that, unlike the US, are prepared to offer them a chance to rebuild their shattered lives on a humanitarian basis.

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The Case of Abu Zubaydah: Torture at its Most Cruel and Toxic

By Andy Worthington

 
The story of Abu Zubaydah — a Saudi-born Palestinian whose real name is Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn — has always been absolutely central to the “War on Terror.”
 
Seized in a house raid in Faisalabad, Pakistan on March 28, 2002, he was immediately touted as “al-Qaeda’s chief of operations and top recruiter,” who would be able to “provide the names of terrorists around the world and which targets they planned to hit.”

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Former Army Colonel Demolishes Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld’s Lies About Guantánamo

By Andy Worthington

 
Those of us who have been studying the recent career of Col. Lawrence Wilkerson were not surprised when, last week, he submitted a declaration (PDF) in a lawsuit seeking compensation from the US government that was filed by former Guantánamo prisoner Adel Hassan Hamad.
 
A Sudanese hospital worker, Hamad was sold to US forces by their unscrupulous Pakistani allies in the summer of 2002, but was only released from Guantánamo in December 2007.

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Guantánamo Habeas Week: Exposing Torture, Misconceptions and Government Incompetence

 By Andy Worthington 

In an attempt to raise awareness of the importance of the rulings being made in US courts on the habeas corpus petitions of the prisoners held at Guantánamo (as authorized by a significant Supreme Court ruling in June 2008), I’m devoting most of my work this week to articles covering the 47 cases decided to date (34 of which have been won by the prisoners), as a series entitled, “Guantánamo Habeas Week.”

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Guantánamo Habeas Results: Prisoners 34, Government 13

Throughout this week, Andy Worthington is running a "Guantanamo Habeas Week" on his site (with cross-posts on other sites), in an attempt to raise awareness of the important rulings being made in the District Courts. He is analyzing all the unclassified opinions issued in the last few months, which have received little - if any - mainstream media coverage, even though, in many cases, they reveal new information about the government's reliance on torture, coercion or bribery. In addition, even in those cases lost by the prisoners, the results are no triumph, as, almost overwhelmingly, they have ended up with judges denying habeas petitions.

 
As part of my series, “Guantánamo Habeas Week” (introduced here), it’s my pleasure to present a list of the 47 habeas corpus rulings made to date, with links to the articles I have written over the last 19 months analyzing the judges’ rulings.

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Andy Worthington Discusses “Guantánamo Habeas Week” on Antiwar Radio

By Andy Worthington

The ever-indignant Scott Horton of Antiwar Radio and I discussed my “Guantánamo Habeas Week” project (now expanded as “Guantánamo Habeas Fortnight”), in which I put together an interactive list of the 47 cases decided in the last 19 months (34 of which have been won by the prisoners), since the Supreme Court granted the prisoners constitutionally guaranteed habeas corpus rights back in June 2008, and have been examining, in detail, the unclassified opinions made by judges in these cases in recent months.

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Prosecuting a Tortured Child: Obama’s Guantánamo Legacy

by Andy Worthington

Since coming to power 15 months ago, promising to close Guantánamo within a year, and suspending the much-criticized Military Commission trial system for terror suspects, President Obama’s zeal for repudiating the Bush administration’s “War on Terror” detention policies has ground to a halt.
 
The rot set in almost immediately, when the new administration invoked the “state secrets doctrine” last February, to combat a lawsuit brought by several men subjected to “extraordinary rendition” and torture, and was sealed last May, when Obama delivered a major national security speech in which he announced that the Military Commissions were back on the table, and also announced his intention to continue holding some prisoners at Guantánamo without charge or trial.

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House Kills Plan to Close Guantánamo

 By Andy Worthington 

 
President Obama’s hopes of closing Guantánamo, which were already gravely wounded by his inability to meet his self-imposed deadline of a year for the prison’s closure, now appear to have been killed off by lawmakers in Congress.
 
Although the House Armed Services Committee was happy to authorize, by 59 votes to 0, a budget of over $700 billion for war ($567 billion for “defense spending” and $159 billion for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq) for the fiscal year beginning in October, lawmakers unanimously saw through — and turned down — a fraction of this budget for what the administration had labeled a “transfer fund” — money intended to close Guantánamo and buy a new prison in Illinois for prisoners designated for trials or for indefinite detention without charge or trial.

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About

World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.