"Dirty Bomb" Charges Dropped Against Gitmo Prisoner Binyam Mohamed

The Washington Post recently reported that the U.S. Justice Department has dropped the key allegation against British resident and Guantánamo prisoner Binyam Mohamed -- that he was involved, with American citizen Jose Padilla, in a plot to detonate a "dirty bomb" in a U.S. city.

For over three years, Binyam's lawyers at Reprieve, the London-based legal action charity, have been arguing that the allegations against Binyam were extracted through the use of torture -- in Morocco, where Binyam was tortured for 18 months, after being rendered by the CIA, and at the CIA's own "Dark Prison," near Kabul, where he was held for four or five months from January 2004, before his transfer to the U.S. military prison at Bagram airbase, and his eventual arrival at Guantánamo in September 2004.

As Binyam explained to Reprieve's Director, Clive Stafford Smith, during the meetings at Guantánamo that first established what had happened to him after he was seized in Pakistan in April 2002, his torturers in Morocco insisted -- in spite of his protests that he had only recently converted to Islam and did not speak Arabic -- that he knew some of the big names in al-Qaeda:

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Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

What you can do:
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