How we treat terror suspects is the sign of a true democracy

News that some of the alleged 9/11 masterminds will be tried in a New York city civilian court is welcome news but Andy Worthington, a Brit who has written about many of the Guantanamo Bay captives, issues caution on Democracy Now!:

Well, I think—you know, I think it’s very appropriate that it does take place here [New York]. And, I mean, I’m also glad because we’ve had all this, you know, terrible talk all year from people about “We can’t bring these people to the US mainland. You know, our prisons”—which are the safest in the world”–we can’t hold them,” all this. And in fact, you know, I mean, I think a lot of people don’t realize that one man was already transferred here in the spring, Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, who’s the suspect in the 1998 African embassy bombings and is awaiting trial. So, you know, we’ve finally solidified that side of things of getting the trials going. And, of course, I think New York is very appropriate.

And with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, you know, we do have this evidence that he confessed to his involvement in the 9/11 attacks before he ever ended up in US custody. So the sad thing, really, is, with that, why did all this have to happen? Why, when this man was seized in March 2003, was he not brought to the United States to face a trial at that time, without, you know, these long years of torture?

Worthington is currently in the US promoting his film, Outside the Law: Stories from Guantanamo.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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