Monday, October 8, 2007

The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison

Andy Worthington's long awaited book is out now. You have read on these pages the saga of Mr. Al-Ghizzawi and a little bit about Mr. Razak Ali but if you want to know the sad truth about the hundreds of men held at our own little torture chamber you must read this book.
I was honored to be asked to preread Andy's book... You can read an interview with Andy at The talking Dog ( and here is what I wrote to Andy in July after I finished the book:

Dear Andy,

I just finished reading “The Guantánamo Files” on the heels of my latest trip to the base. What an amazing feat this book of yours! I must say that the base seemed even more surreal and cruel with the added knowledge that your book armed me with. As I was leaving Guantánamo Wednesday night, leaving behind the 385 remaining men, I couldn’t help but wonder how, or if, my country will survive this atrocity .

“The Guantánamo Files” is a must read for anyone who wants to understand how Guantánamo came to be the U.S.'s torture chamber. The book is a comprehensive and well researched exposé of Guantánamo that pulls together not only the history that brought us to this hell-hole, but an extraordinary look at the stories behind the many tragic men and boys who were picked up in the vast sweeps of Arabs around the world following 9/11 by, or at the direction of, the U.S. government.... As you point out in your book most of these men are guilty of nothing more than being Arab at a time when the U.S. paid high bounties for Arab’s without asking any questions. Now these many innocent men have been silently limping out of Guantánamo in the dark of night ... a few at a time so as to bring as little attention as possible to this criminal tragedy by the sleeping American public, who seem remarkably uninterested in the war crimes being perpetrated in their name.

Your book also demonstrates so clearly the frightening and unchecked power of the Bush administration and the ultimate failures that have followed from the administration's miserable, inept and criminal policies... you convincingly show how the mishaps, misinformation, intelligence failures, lack of trained translators and sheer incompetence led to a national criminal tragedy that continues to this day. Perhaps personally most disturbing was your unraveling of the U.S. government’s manipulation of classified information, not to protect national security, but in a vein attempt to hide the truth about Guantánamo. The fact that the real story behind Guantánamo has been ignored by our corporate media, politicians on both sides of the aisle and most distressingly by the judiciary, makes your book an important historical contribution to this dark period… and if the U.S. happens to survive this episode of cruelty and lawlessness your book will be an important tool for coming to grips with how we as a nation allowed indefinite detention without charge, extraordinary rendition and torture to become national policies.

Thank you for what was obviously a tremendous and complicated effort in gathering the information for this extraordinary book. “The Guantánamo Files” pulls together the catastrophe at Guantánamo by focusing on both the many men who have and continue to suffer needlessly and the criminals in control of the government of the United States. I wait for the day that my own innocent clients are finally freed. I hope that they leave with their lives but thanks to your book I know they will not leave silently.

1 comment:

LaLa said...

god bless you candace for your efforts in upholding justice and tuth .. with all my heart i say god bless you .. you are my hero