An interview with Gitmo watchdog Andy Worthington on the Eighth Anniversary of the Prison's Opening
The following interview, with Andy Worthington, author of The Guanta'namo Files< http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/the-guantanamo-files/>, was conducted by email.
Elizabeth Ferrari: Andy, last week was a terrible week for lies and misinformation regarding Guanta'namo, particularly concerning the Yemeni prisoners and a Pentagon statement alleging that 1 in 5 released prisoners had engaged in terrorist activities. You wrote a number of articles about these topics (see here<http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/2010/01/07/guantanamo-and-yemen-obama-capitulates-to-critics-and-suspends-prisoner-transfers/>, here<http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/2010/01/08/yemenis-in-guantanamo-are-victims-of-hysteria/> and here<http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/2010/01/08/guantanamo-recidivism-mainstream-media-parrot-pentagon-propaganda-again/>), and also discussed them on Democracy Now!< http://www.democracynow.org/2010/1/8/after_years_in_guantanamo_prison_without> on Friday, and I was hoping in this interview to follow up on some of these stories.
As you mentioned, the Pentagon is still putting out misleading reports that inflate the numbers of released detainees who "return to the battlefield." The last one I read was even released by the same spokesman, Geoff Morrell, who did this under Bush and in the same dodgy language. This false report does undercut President Obama's project to close Guantanamo.
The right wing will go on and make their ridiculous claims, but more concerning is watching the Pentagon produce these reports at politically sensitive moments for Obama, and also for detainees who have been held without charge for years and years.