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The Definitive Guantanamo Detainee List

The Guantanamo Files

Andy Worthington's definitive history of Guantanamo detainees and the injustice they've been subjected to

Andy Worthington has spent almost 8 years learning as much as he can about the Guantanamo detainees; all the aspects of their stories before, during, and some after Guantanamo.  World Can’t Wait and other organizations working on stopping the US torture state rely on his work, and we have learned much from his 2008 book The Guantanamo Files: The Stories of the 759 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison and 2009 film Outside the Law; Stories from Guantanamo.

Andy wrote today:

In the hope of providing an antidote to the shameful propaganda and scaremongering that is currently dominating the media (following the failed Christmas plane bombing, and the would-be bomber’s alleged connections to a Yemen-based al-Qaeda group, which includes a former Guantanamo prisoner), I’ve just updated my definitive Guantanamo prisoner list (first published last March), which provides information and links about all 779 prisoners:

I hope that it’s useful not only as a historical document, but also as reference for the cases of the 198 men still held, as those of us opposed to indefinite detention without charge or trial maintain our struggle to close Guantanamo, and to see those still held either charged or released.   Please feel free to cross-post/circulate/publicize.

With the 8th anniversary of Guantanamo’s opening just one week from today, I hope you will study this list, and use it as an indictment of “America’s illegal prison” as Andy calls it.

Beginning Monday, 12 days of a fast, protest, meetings organized by Witness Against Torture and the Center for Constitutional Rights will concentrate on exposing the gap between Barack Obama’s promise to close Guantanamo by January 22, 2010, and the continued detention of 198 men, most all of them without charges, held indefinitely.

I’ll be there!  Join me.

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Like a Line You’ve Heard Before

My friend Curt Wechsler (World Can’t Wait Steering Committee member and editor of FireJohnYoo.org) just sent me a link to Marianne Williamson on Huff Post Saturday:

The whole Obama phenomenon brings up memories from my distant past: the good-looking guy who talks real good, whose line you don’t buy immediately but whose charm is so dazzling that he gradually convinces you that this time it will be different.Yeah. Right. Really different.

All the romance advice books tell women to stay away from that kind of guy.  Once burned, twice shy, and all that.  Seems like there could be a whole genre of books with advice to the Obama-burned.  “He’s just not that into you”;  “Self-Defeating Behaviors: Free Yourself from the Habits, Compulsions, Feelings, and Attitudes That Tie You to Democrats”, etc.

I don’t share Williamson’s fondness for what she sees as the one-time moral force within the Democratic Party.  She sees civil rights legislation, and I see the old segregationist crackers who fought it.  But she highlights some of the reason to feel spurned, and has some insights here:

Democrats seem to have no idea what dark wave is rushing towards them in the form of the 2010 mid-terms. They have no idea how many people will be too depressed to go vote, who’ll be thinking, “We tried so hard last time, and what did it get us?” They have no idea how many people are thinking, as I am, that it’s time to face the facts, no matter how painful they are. If Obama doesn’t retrieve his spine and retrieve it soon, then his Presidency will go down in the history books as one of the biggest disappointments in American history.

And she ends, sticking to her own advice to face facts, with:

I don’t know what we should do, but I know one thing that we shouldn’t do: pretend to ourselves that this man is delivering on what he promised when he first won our hearts.

Even if your heart is broken, my advice is, yes, face facts, and get with the resistance to this very bad direction.  worldcantwait.net

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Showing Rethink Afghanistan in Chicago

REPORT FROM . . .

Film Screening of ”Rethink Afghanistan” and Discussion with H. Candace Gorman, Lawyer for Two Guantanamo Bay Detainees, and Anthony Wagner, Iraq War Veteran.

On Saturday, December 12, Chicago World Can’t Wait hosted a screening of Robert Greenwald’s documentary Rethink Afghanistan – a hard-hitting film that focuses on the human and financial costs of combat in the Middle East to challenge the notion that Afghanistan is “the good war.” The screening was held at the Sulzer Regional Library on Chicago’s north side.  The room was filled with people from the neighborhood as well as activists. During the screening, the room was hushed. The film contains unforgettable images of the suffering and casualties that have resulted from U.S. bombing in Afghanistan – hopeless children in bombed out villages without shoes, burn victims, broken bodies. Greenwald’s film dissects the administration’s justifications for this war while forcefully arguing that troop escalation threatens to entrench America in an unwinnable, unwanted war that only empowers the resurgent Taliban.

After the film, Candace Gorman talked about her experiences as legal counsel for two Guantanamo Bay detainees and shared her concerns regarding human rights abuses at U.S. prisons in Afghanistan. She explained how difficult it was to meet and talk with the detainees that she represents. Sadly, they are still in detention, without charges or trial. Anthony Wagner talked about his experiences as an Iraq War veteran and the difficulties veterans face with post traumatic stress syndrome and getting treatment. The audience asked Candace Gorman and Anthony Wagner many questions. Almost the entire crowd stayed for the discussion long after the film had ended. Most people didn’t leave until the library closed. Clearly, this event was very engaging.

Chicago World Can’t Wait is planning to host more screenings of Rethink Afghanistan in other neighborhoods in the Chicago area.  Contact chicago@worldcantwait.org

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