Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer, film-maker and singer-songwriter. He is the co-founder of the “Close Guantánamo” campaign, the director of “We Stand With Shaker,” calling for the immediate release from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison, and 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 is available on Amazon) 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.” He has written for the New York Times and the Guardian, and is currently writing for Al-Jazeera. He has also worked with the United Nations, WikiLeaks and Reprieve.
(Video) "He Was The Agency": Ex-CIA Analyst Questions Brennan Claim He Couldn’t Stop Waterboarding, Torture
"CIA nominee John Brennan was repeatedly questioned about torture at his CIA confirmation hearing, including the use of waterboarding and enhanced interrogation techniques. He refused to say waterboarding was a form of torture, but said he has come to oppose the technique. Under George W. Bush, Brennan served as deputy executive director of the CIA and director of the Terrorist Threat Integration Center. "Remember, he was the cheerleader for some of these onerous policies, particularly renditions and extraordinary renditions. So, for John Brennan today to say he read the Senate committee intelligence report on torture and he learned things he never knew before and that he was shocked with what he learned, this is a case of incredible willful ignorance," says Melvin Goodman, former CIA and State Department analyst. [includes rush transcript]"
"GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba -- Someone else besides the judge and security officer sitting inside the maximum-security court here can impose censorship on what the public can see and hear at the Sept. 11 trial, it was disclosed Monday
The role of an outside censor became clear when the audio turned to white noise during a discussion of a motion about the CIA’s black sites.
Confusion ensued. A military escort advised reporters that the episode was a glitch, a technical error. A few minutes later, the public was once again allowed to listen into the proceedings and Army Col. James Pohl, the judge, made clear that neither he nor his security officer was responsible for the censorship episode.
“If some external body is turning the commission off based on their own views of what things ought to be, with no reasonable explanation,” the judge announced, “then we are going to have a little meeting about who turns that light on or off.”"
"FORT MEADE, Md. — The State Department on Monday reassigned Daniel Fried, the special envoy for closing the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and will not replace him, according to an internal personnel announcement. Mr. Fried’s office is being closed, and his former responsibilities will be “assumed” by the office of the department’s legal adviser, the notice said.
The announcement that no senior official in President Obama’s second term will succeed Mr. Fried in working primarily on diplomatic issues pertaining to repatriating or resettling detainees appeared to signal that the administration does not currently see the closing of the prison as a realistic priority, despite repeated statements that it still intends to do so.
Mr. Fried will become the department’s coordinator for sanctions policy and will work on issues including Iran and Syria.
"President Obama promised to shut down the Guantánamo Bay Detention Facility during his first presidential campaign. But five years later, the controversial prison remains open. The Obama administration finally shut down something today, but the move will only frustrate civil libertarians even more. Because with Guantánamo's closure still indefinitely delayed, the office responsible for closing the prison has itself been closed. The New York Times's Charlie Savage reports that Daniel Fried—the State Department's the special envoy for closing the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba—has been reassigned and will not be replaced. The news comes on the same day that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four other Guantánamo detainees began another round of pre-trial hearings for the attacks of September 11, 2001, a case that will surely reignite a fierce debate about the role of due process, torture, and oversees detention facilities. The Obama administration's latest seeming deferral adds yet another entry to the long timeline of failed attempts to shut down Gitmo".
"GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba -- Some victims wept. So did at least one of the U.S. military officers assigned to defend the accused Sept. 11 conspirators at their murder trial.
For 90 exceptional minutes Sunday, lawyers for the accused terrorists and the parents of young men killed in the World Trade Center huddled in a ramshackle hangar at the war court ahead of this week’s hearing. And they exchanged stories through a veil of pain.
“In the beginning there was discomfort. There was some anger. There was some tears,” said Phyllis Rodriguez, whose 31-year-old son Greg was killed working at the finance firm Cantor Fitzgerald on the 103rd floor of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
But by the end, said Loreen Sellitto, mother of 23-year-old Matthew who also was killed at Cantor Fitzgerald, “I saw them love our Constitution. Their goal is to present a case and defend someone. It’s what our country is built on.”"'
Relative of 9/11 victims want terror plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to spend life in prison instead of execution
"In the continuing controversy over the treatment of torture in Zero Dark Thirty, a crucial scene has been overlooked – one that makes the film’s point of view clear, even if it’s less attention-grabbing than images of waterboarding. The scene comes late in the movie, after the CIA has surmised that Osama bin Laden is possibly hiding in Abbottabad, Pakistan. One government official wonders aloud whether a Guantánamo detainee might be able to confirm that location, to which a CIA operative replies, “Who the hell am I supposed to ask, some guy in Gitmo who’s all lawyered up?” He explains that any lawyer will simply tip off al-Qaeda.
Defense lawyers are used to being portrayed in the media as morally questionable hired guns, while their police and prosecutorial counterparts play committed heroes who avenge victims and put the bad guys away. Even in the left-leaning HBO series The Wire, which broke the mold of the police procedural, the main defense attorney unscrupulously helps gangsters hide criminal activity, while the head prosecutor is accurately described on Wikipedia as one of the show’s “most morally upright figures.”
The President ordered Gitmo to be closed and then changed his mind. This is because he only thinks he is commander-in-chief.
One possible reason for this flip-flop is that somebody decided to tell him the truth about the prisoners there - that they are mostly innocent farmers and goatherders.
The following is from infowars.com
Obama Puts Off Gitmo Closure Until After 2011
December 23, 2009
Yes We Can… be exactly like the Bush administration. In another glaring example of the near seamless transition between the Bush and Obama administrations, The New York Times is reporting Obama may not close the Gitmo torture concentration camp until after 2011, maybe later...........
Edmonton January 7, 2012 YouTube featured: Peggy Morton, University of Alberta Student Taraff Haymour and Alberta Leader of the NDP Opposition Brian Mason. Edmontonians braved the cold weather on the Alberta Legislature steps to once again remind the Government of Canada that bringing Omar Khadr from his Guantanamo Bay back to Canada has yet to be resolved
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed faces Guantanamo trial for 9/11
The BBC reports....
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, and four of his alleged co-conspirators will be tried in a military commission at Guantanamo Bay, reports say.
The Obama administration had planned to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a civilian court, but abandoned that plan in the face of fierce opposition.
9/11 Suspects to be Tried at Guantanamo, Not NYC
NBC New York reports....
The Obama administration's announcement in 2009 that it would seek to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other four suspects in civilian court was met with fierce opposition from many elected officials, families of victims and those who live and work in Lower Manhattan, who would have had to contend with several rings of heavy security for the months of the trial.