The Guantanamo reviews reviewed.
Close Guantnamo
Guantánamo’s shameful intelligence failures

Dear friends and supporters,

First of all, we’d like to thank the new subscribers who’ve joined us over the last week, and who have come to us as a result of our ongoing Countdown to Close Guantánamo initiative. Last Tuesday, Oct. 11, we reached the last milestone before the Presidential Election, with supporters across the US and around the world taking photos of themselves with posters reminding President Obama that just 100 days remained for him to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, as he promised on his second day in office back in January 2009.

The first of two pieces of publicity that drew in new supporters was a video of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in Guantánamo, urging President Obama to follow through on the promise to close Guantánamo. Shaker was released a year ago, partly as a result of the We Stand with Shaker campaign co-founded by Close Guantánamo’s co-founder Andy Worthington, and Andy made the video of Shaker in London. The video is also on YouTube here.

The second was a photo of British journalist Yvonne Ridley, which has to date reached over 80,000 people on Facebook

We’re delighted to report that the Countdown to Close Guantánamo, which, today, marks 90 days remaining (via the Gitmo Clock) for President Obama to fulfill his promise, has received over 500 photos from supporters since it was first launched in January, and we thank everyone who has supported it. See the photos here and here, and please get involved if you support what we’re doing.

We also hope you will read our latest article, How Guantánamo’s Periodic Review Boards Exposed Woefully Distorted Intelligence Assessments, in which Andy discusses an important examination, by Carol Rosenberg in the Miami Herald, of the shameful and long-standing U.S. intelligence failures that have been exposed through the Periodic Review Board process that began three years ago, and which we have been following closely. Please check out our definitive Periodic Review Board list if you haven’t already seen it, and also see Andy’s update about the most recent PRB decisions.

The PRBs — and Carol Rosenberg’s article — confirm what we have been reporting for many years: that the supposed intelligence relating to the Guantánamo prisoners is profoundly untrustworthy. We have been particularly concerned by false statements made by the prisoners themselves, who were, of course, subjected to torture or other forms of coercion, or bribed with better living conditions, while the Miami Herald article looks more closely at the conditions that led to exaggerated assessments routinely being made of the prisoners’ alleged significance by U.S. analysts. Those consulted include Mark Fallon, an analyst at Guantánamo from 2002-04, and Matt Olsen, the director of the Guantánamo Review Task Force, which reviewed all the prisoners' cases — often with exaggerated assessments of the threats they posed — in 2009. 

Before we leave you, we’d also like to point out that Yvonne Ridley has just published a fascinating and important new book, which we encourage you to check out: Torture: Does It Work? Interrogation Issues and Effectiveness in the Global War on Terror.

We’d also like to recommend another book, an e-book, by another friend of the campaign, psychologist Jeffrey Kaye, whose alarming investigation into two deaths at Guantánamo and the inadequacy of the official reports is entitled, Cover-up at Guantanamo: The NCIS Investigation into the "Suicides" of Mohammed Al Hanashi and Abdul Rahman Al Amri.

And finally, last week came the good news that Mohamedou Ould Slahi, torture victim and best-selling author — of the extraordinary Guantánamo Diary — has also been freed, bringing the prison’s population down to just 60 men. For an account of his release and its significance, see Andy’s article on his website.

With thanks, as ever, for your ongoing support. 

The "Close Guantánamo" team

P.S. Please, if you will, also ask your friends and family to join us -- just an email address is required to be counted amongst those opposed to the ongoing existence of Guantánamo, and to receive updates of our activities by email.
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