Radio: I Discuss Guantánamo on the Project Censored Show with Mickey Huff, on WBAI in New York, and with Michael Slate in L.A.
Andy Worthington discussing Guantánamo on RT on January 15, 2020, in the only news feature marking the 18th anniversary of the prison’s opening in the whole of the US broadcast media. 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 of the Trump administration. If you can help, please click on the button below to donate via PayPal.
I’m now back in the UK after an inspiring ten-day visit to the US to call for the closure of the prison at Guantánamo Bay on the 18th anniversary of its opening, when I took part in a prominent rally in Washington, D.C. on the actual anniversary (January 11), two subsequent speaking events with lawyers representing prisoners, one TV interview (the sole TV feature marking the anniversary in the whole of the US broadcast media) and six radio interviews. My visit was important, I think, because, although Guantánamo ought to be a source of permanent shame for all decent Americans, it has fallen so far off the radar under Donald Trump that many people don’t even know that it exists, and many of those who do don’t care, even though the continued existence of the prison, where the US government holds foreign Muslims without charge or trial, and, in many cases, with no genuine effort made over 18 years to establish who they are, is like a virus infecting America’s soul. Although few people care, my efforts to remind people of the prison’s existence, and my shared events with lawyers who still visit prisoners (and particularly Shelby Sullivan-Bennis, who carries the weight of their horrendous isolation and despair under Donald Trump), was easily enough to persuade me that, despite America’s amnesia, this work is still of extraordinary importance. Below are links to the radio shows I undertook during my visit, beginning with my half-hour interview with Mickey Huff for “ Project Censored ” ( available here as an MP3 ), which I recorded last week from New York, and which was made available online a few days ago. Mickey and I spoke many years ago about Guantánamo, and it was great to be back on the show, and to have the time to discuss the shame and disgrace of Guantánamo in depth. Mickey and I also discussed the case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange , imprisoned in the UK as he challenges an outrageous extradition request by the Trump administration, which the British government approved, under former home secretary (and now Chancellor) Sajid Javid, with the full support of ex-Prime Minister Theresa May, and current PM Boris Johnson, despite it being a chilling and unprecedented assault on the necessary freedom of the press to expose government wrongdoing — unless, that is, we want to live in dictatorships. Mickey and I also briefly discussed Chelsea Manning , to whom we all owe a debt for leaking the documents that WikiLeaks then released, and who, at the time of my interview, had just racked up $200,000 in outrageous, judge-levied costs relating to her imprisonment for refusing to take part of in a Grand Jury investigation into Assange. Also, in the second half of the show, journalist and film-maker Kristina Borjesson discussed her new project, a whistleblower podcast called “The Whistleblower Newsroom.” I recorded the show with Mickey on January 16, when I also spoke with Paul DeRienzo for the evening news on WBAI in New York, That show can be found here , and I’ve also embedded it below, and my interview with Paul, who I’ve spoken to before, took place from 13:00 to 19:35. WBAI evening news on January 16, 2020, in which Paul DeRienzo interviewed Andy Worthington. On January 17, I also spoke on the Michael Slate Show, which is available here . Michael and I have also spoken many times before, and I spoke to him, appropriately, from the office in New York of the World Can’t Wait , whose national director, Debra Sweet, has been instrumental in facilitating my visits every January since 2011. I had made my way to the World Can’t Wait office from another radio station, WNYC, New York Public Radio, where I had been speaking to Latif Nasser , of Radiolab, for a series of shows — hopefully to be broadcast soon — focusing on Abdul Latif Nasser , a Moroccan citizen who is still held at Guantánamo, despite having been unanimously approved for release by a high-level US government review process in 2016, who Radiolab’s Nasser was drawn to because of their shared name. In a detailed interview, I particularly had the opportunity to spell out the inadequacy of every review process undertaken at Guantánamo — because, as I explained, they all involved a kind of institutional over-cautiousness — and also to talk in depth about the unreliability of the witnesses in the classified military files released by WikiLeaks in 2011, on which I worked as a media partner. Note : I previously posted links to the Scott Horton Show , for which I was interviewed shortly after my arrival in the uS, on January 10, and my short interview with Sunsara Taylor, on the day of the anniversary, just after I arrived in Washington, D.C. from New York, for her show “ We Only Want the World ” on WBAI in New York. I also recorded an interview with Linda Olson-Osterlund on KBOO FM, a community station in Portland, Oregon, the day before my departure, and that interview can be found here . I also note that Scott has made his show into a YouTube video , so I’m also posting that below as well:
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Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer , film-maker and singer-songwriter (the lead singer and main songwriter for the London-based band The Four Fathers , whose music is available via Bandcamp ). He is the co-founder of the Close Guantánamo campaign (and see the latest photo campaign here ) and the successful We Stand With Shaker campaign of 2014-15, and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (click on the following for Amazon in the US and the UK ) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield . He is also the co-director (with Polly Nash) of the documentary film, “ Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo ” (available on DVD here , or here for the US, or you can watch it online here , via the production company Spectacle, for £2.55), and for his photo project ‘ The State of London ’ he publishes a photo a day from seven years of bike rides around the 120 postcodes of the capital.
In 2017, Andy became very involved in housing issues. He is the narrator of the documentary film, ‘ Concrete Soldiers UK ’, about the destruction of council estates, and the inspiring resistance of residents, he wrote a song ‘ Grenfell ’, in the aftermath of the entirely preventable fire in June 2017 that killed over 70 people, and he also set up ‘ No Social Cleansing in Lewisham ’ as a focal point for resistance to estate destruction and the loss of community space in his home borough in south east London. For two months, from August to October 2018, he was part of the occupation of the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden in Deptford, to prevent its destruction — and that of 16 structurally sound council flats next door — by Lewisham Council and Peabody. Although the garden was violently evicted by bailiffs on October 29, 2018, and the trees were cut down on February 27, 2019, the resistance continues.
To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to Andy’s RSS feed — and he can also be found on Facebook (and here ), Twitter , Flickr and YouTube . Also see the six-part definitive Guantánamo prisoner list , The Complete Guantánamo Files , the definitive Guantánamo habeas list , the full military commissions list , and the chronological list of all Andy’s articles .
Please also consider joining the Close Guantánamo campaign , and, if you appreciate Andy’s work, feel free to make a donation .
2020-01-24 | Andy Worthington's TV and radio appearances, Andy Worthington's US tour (January 2020), Closing Guantanamo | English | AndyWorthington