Jan 14, 2022 • 1HR 6M

Ad-free: Guantanamo Survivor "I Was in Hell"

After surviving 14 years in Guantanamo, Mansoor Adayfi is working to shut the torture center down

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Appears in this episode

Matt Taibbi
Katie Halper
Useful Idiots is an informative and irreverent politics podcast with journalist Matt Taibbi and podcaster/writer Katie Halper. Episodes feature on-the-road coverage of the 2020 campaign and exclusive interviews, with humor, commentary and dissection of the politics news of the week. Join Matt and Katie as they examine important stories that have slipped through the cracks and what the media got wrong – and laugh about whatever is left to laugh about.
Episode details

On the 20 year anniversary of the opening of the GITMO torture center, we speak to Mansoor Adayfi, GITMO survivor, activist and the author of the book Don’t Forget Us Here: Lost and Found at Guantanamo. Mansoor shares his story which is full of not just harrowing pain but surprising beauty.

In the interview, Mansoor recalls arriving to Guantanamo

“Then I was dragged to my cage, naked. Six of the guards beat me and tied me with a hood and duct tape. It was messaging. When they took the hood off, I couldn’t see for hours because of the bright light and my eyes were swollen from the beating.

“I was asking: Am I in Hell? Am I dead?”

Fourteen years later, Mansoor was proven innocent and released to Serbia. Though “free” Mansoor has been unable to return to his home or be reunited with his family in Yemen. He still lives with years of trauma and the social shame of being formerly-labeled a suspected terrorist. And after all that, our government does nothing to help him.

Now, Adayfi is working to shut Guantanamo down with activism, paintings, and his book.

The US government tries to hide and mask their torture of innocent people. Listen to Mansoor Adayfi’s story: It’s tragic, and in the end, inspiring.

Plus, terrible Dems love Dick Cheney, Tucker Carlson’s awful joke, and virtual reality cows.

It’s all this, and more, on this week’s episode of Useful Idiots. Check it out.

And stay tuned for the extended interview on Monday, in which Adayfi discusses his hunger strike, the cruelty of American torture, and how he’s learned to live with trauma.