Home   Bookmark and Share

Khadr and Black

Stalin Would Have Been Proud

By Morley Evans

October 08, 2012 "
Information Clearing House" -  Canada was never as good as it has always been advertised to be and everyone thinks it is, but Canada is much worse since Steven Harper managed to weasel himself into the Prime Minister's Office. People everywhere can compare the treatment in Canada of Omar Khadr to Conrad Black.

Omar Khadr, after being captured as a child, was imprisoned for years in the infamous GITMO torture centre to force him to make a "confession" to patently ridiculous and indefensible charges. Now having grown up to be a young man, Khadr has been released into the custody of so-called "Canadian justice". Omar Khadr is and always was a Canadian citizen. His treatment should serve as a warning to every Canadian citizen who is not a member of the Canadian élite: you are worthless and there is no justice in Canada.

Conrad Black was imprisoned in a nice place in Florida after having been given a real trial in Chicago where he was charged with lying and stealing his investors' money. In Canada, Black would have never been brought to trial since he is one of the anointed big-wigs. Upon being released, this convicted felon, Black, who relinquished his Canadian citizenship years ago so he could become a member of the British House of Lords, has been welcomed back to Canada where he lives in his mansion in Toronto and appears as a celebrity on the CBC, the Canadian Brainwashing Corporation. Black's career as a bully, con-man, liar and thief since he was a boy have been documented over the years.

Black is not a Canadian citizen. Black is a big fat liar and a thief convicted of grand larceny in a real trial in a real court. Khadr is a Canadian citizen. His "confession" was made under duress, to put it mildly. Every decent Canadian should be outraged by this travesty. Even some of Canada's élite should be appalled. It exposes Canada for what it is and Canadian institutions for what they are. The people who run Canada tell Canadians to salute the flag and obey them. It is disgusting.

Here is an excellent article in the National Post about the Show Trial of Omar Khadr. morleyevans.blogspot.ca

Stalin Would Have Been Proud

By Tony Keller

October 28, 2010 - "National Post"
Canada -- In the 1930s, that great legal innovator Joseph Stalin introduced the show trial. The accused would stand up in court and willingly, even eagerly, confess to the most fantastical crimes. At the first great show trial, in 1936, Grigori Zinoviev, Lev Kamenev and other former senior Communist party members admitted to being members of a terrorist organization. They said they had plotted to kill Stalin and other Soviet leaders. In the following years, as Stalin's purges picked up steam, show trials featured increasingly incredible stories, usually involving the accused admitting to being agents of Western imperialism.

What made men confess to things that were unlikely, sometimes impossible and usually unsupported by other evidence? Torture. Sleep deprivation, beatings, and threats against their wives and children. To stop the pain, you had to confess to whatever it was that the interrogators wanted to hear. And then you had to get up in court and willingly confess to it all over again.

The trial of Omar Khadr has been called a travesty of justice, a violation of the rule of law, a kangaroo court and lots of other things beside. But what it really was, was a show trial.

On the main charge, "murder in violation of the laws of war" (a crime that doesn't appear to even exist in international law, given that combatants who kill other soldiers in combat are not violating the laws of war), the chief evidence against the then-15-year-old child soldier was his own confession. And that confession, made years ago and long since recanted, was obtained under conditions that any normal human being would describe as torture.

Omar Khadr was captured in 2002 in Afghanistan. He was the only survivor after a firefight and an air strike on an al-Qaeda position. He had been wounded in his shoulder and in both eyes, shot twice in the back and was near death. It was alleged that, just before he was shot, he had thrown a grenade at attacking American troops, killing one of them. As already noted, he was 15 years old.

He then spent several months in the hellhole that was Bagram airbase in Afghanistan, where he claims -- credibly, given all that we know about what went on at Bagram -- that he was subjected to sleep deprivation, the chaining of his hands above his head for hours, that he was hooded and threatened by dogs, and sometimes forced to urinate on himself because he was not unshackled to go to the bathroom.

His chief interrogator at Bagram admitted to telling the teenage boy that unless he co-operated, he would be sent to a U.S. prison, where a group of black men would gang rape him to death. Ponder that for a moment.

He was interviewed about 25 times by this interrogator, Joshua Claus. Claus was also the interrogator for an Afghan taxi driver named Dilawar who was chained to the ceiling and beaten to death in Bagram in 2002; Claus pled guilty to his involvement in the affair and received a five month sentence. In a lovely Orwellian touch, the U.S. government insisted that reporters covering Khadr's trial not name Claus, but instead refer to him as "Interrogator 1."

In Bagram, Khadr confessed that he had thrown the grenade that killed an American soldier. No one saw him do this, so his confession is really the only evidence of the act. Last summer, U.S. military judge Colonel Patrick Parrish ruled that the confession, despite the obviously coercive circumstances under which it was made, had been freely given, and could be used against Khadr in court.

This week, Omar Khadr was offered the following choice: plead guilty, or face two different routes to life in prison. He could go to trial, and thanks to a confession that would be laughed out of any real court of law, he'd probably be convicted. But even if the court somehow found him not guilty, the U.S. reserved the right to detain him indefinitely as an enemy combatant. The only sure way to get out of jail early was to tell his interrogators what they wanted to hear.

On Monday, Khadr was even forced to cop to other crimes, including the killing of two Afghan soldiers, something he wasn't even charged with, and for which the prosecution appears to have had no evidence. And, in a nice touch that Stalin would have appreciated, Khadr appears to have also been forced to sign away his right to sue his jailors for the various forms of deprivation and abuse that he was subject to. In court on Monday, Col. Patrick Parrish repeatedly asked Khadr to confirm that he was agreeing to these terms willingly, that he really, truly, sincerely wanted to plead guilty all of his own accord. Khadr said yes. They could have told him to confess that he had simultaneously piloted all four hijacked planes on 9/11, and he would have done it.

And so the Bush administration project of ridding the world of terrorism by means of torture comes full circle. The U.S. military and CIA, ordered to use force to extract information from detainees, something that violated not just U.S. military tradition but U.S. military law, had to come up with new interrogation techniques, and quickly. They turned to history, including copying communist coercion-based interrogation models, such as those that captured American troops had been subjected to during the Korean War.

The original communist torture techniques, which for a time inspired the standard operating procedures at Abu Ghraib, Bagram, Guantanamo and the secret black sites, were not designed to elicit truth. They were designed to produce false confessions: That was the whole point. They were designed to force people to say what interrogators wanted to hear -- yes, I am a capitalist stooge, yes I am a Trostkyite, yes I am a terrorist.

And now Guantanamo's very first military tribunal has its first guilty verdict, thanks to those methods of coercion first perfected for the Soviet Bloc show trial. My God, what have we done? Somewhere in hell, Joseph Stalin is smiling.

- Tony Keller, a former editor of the Financial Post Magazine, is a visiting fellow at the Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation.

 

'You don't care about me,' Omar Khadr sobs in interview tapes

Tapes reveal interrogation by Canadian officials

 

Tuesday, July 15, 2008 - "CBC News" A teenage Omar Khadr sobs uncontrollably as Canadian spy agents question him at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in interrogation footage released by his lawyers Tuesday.

The video is of poor quality and the voices are often inaudible, as it was never intended to be viewed by the public. But it shows the Toronto-born Khadr, 16 at the time, being interviewed by Canadian Security Intelligence Service officials over several days in late February 2003.

The footage is from five formerly classified DVDs consisting of 7˝ hours of questioning that took place six months after Khadr was captured, following a 2002 firefight in Afghanistan. Khadr, who is a Canadian citizen, has been held at Guantanamo Bay for six years on charges that he killed a U.S. medic during a firefight in Afghanistan.

Khadr's defence lawyers have repeatedly called for their client to be returned to Canada, arguing he was a child soldier and was tortured to extract confessions.

Although he appears reluctant to answer many of the interrogator's questions, Khadr is shown at one point on the tapes saying to his questioners, "Promise me you'll protect me from the Americans."

Upon further questioning, during which time interrogators insisted Khadr be clear on the truth, the teen said: "They tortured me very badly at Bagram [detention facility in Afghanistan]."

"They tortured you?" the interrogator asked.

"Yes," Khadr replied.

"And you had to say what you said?" the interrogator asked.

The tapes, made public under a court order obtained by Khadr's lawyers, offer a rare glimpse of interrogations of Guantanamo detainees and of Khadr, now 21. The only Western foreigner still being held at the naval prison, Khadr is scheduled to go on trial before a U.S. military commission in the fall.

The U.S. Defence Department granted special permission to CSIS and Canada's Foreign Affairs Ministry to question Khadr after he was brought to Guantanamo Bay.

Shows wounds from firefight

A brief video excerpt of the tapes was released via the internet early Tuesday morning, followed by disc copies of the five DVDs made available in the afternoon at the lawyers' offices in Edmonton.

At another point during one of the interviews, Khadr raises his orange prison-issued shirt to show wounds that he says he sustained during the firefight.

Omar Khadr is shown here at 15, not long before he was captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan, in July 2002.

Omar Khadr is shown here at 15, not long before he was captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan, in July 2002. (Canadian Press)

He complains that he can't move his arms and hasn't received proper medical attention.

"I'm not a doctor, but I think you're getting good medical care," the interrogator responds. As with all the agents in the video, his face is blacked out to protect his identity.

Khadr cries, "I lost my eyes. I lost my feet. Everything!" in reference to how the firefight in Afghanistan affected his vision.

"No, you still have your eyes and your feet are still at the end of your legs, you know," a man says.

When the agent accuses Khadr of crying to avoid interrogation, Khadr tells the agent between gasping sobs, "You don't care about me."

As Khadr continues crying, the agent calls for a break.

"Look, I want to take a few minutes. I want you to get yourself together. Relax a bit. Have a bite to eat and we'll start again," the interrogator says.

Then Khadr begins sobbing with his head in both his hands, chanting over and over again in a haunting voice. His words are difficult to hear, and at first could be taken for "Kill me" or "Help me."

However, Arabic speakers working at CBCNews.ca say the teenager appears to be keening "Ya ummi," which is Arabic for "My mother." (Asked about it after the video was released, Khadr lawyer Nathan Whitling told reporters: "Your guess is as good as mine.")

'He was screwed up'

Jim Gould, a now-retired foreign service officer who once visited Guantanamo Bay to assess Khadr's mental and physical condition and was present when the videos were shot, said he thought Khadr should have received "some proper care, custody and probably some treatment."

"He had been abused or betrayed by everybody who had been in authority above him — his father, the Americans, the people in the cages or the cells with him. He was screwed up," Gould told CBC News.

"I thought at the time and think today he would be a whole lot better off if he was in a different environment. I was quite conscious of the fact he was young, under the age where we would … try him as an adult, and I sympathize with him."

Khadr's mother, Maha Elsamnah, emotional after watching her son's interrogation, expressed a deep sense of loss for her family and uncertainty over what she should do.

In a brief interview with CBC News on Tuesday morning, Elsamnah — who lives in Toronto — said she feels the need to protect the five children still with her.

Her husband, Ahmed Said Khadr, was an avowed al-Qaeda sympathizer before he was killed in fighting with Pakistani military forces in 2003. Elsamnah refused to say more without speaking to her lawyer.

But retired soldier Sgt. Layne Morris, who was in the firefight in which U.S. medic Sgt. First Class Christopher J. Speer was killed by a grenade, allegedly by Khadr, said he has no sympathy for the Guantanamo detainee.

"Whoever has sympathy for a young snivelling, whining, crying Omar is misplaced sympathy because this is not a man who deserves any sympathy," he told CBCNews.ca.

"I use all my sympathy for Chris Speer's widow and two children. I have none left for Omar Khadr."

Morris has repeatedly stated he believes Khadr is responsible for throwing the grenade that killed Speer.

Interrogation not unusual: Morris

Morris said the interrogation itself looked mild, and no different than any normal police interview.

"Anybody who wants to tell me that was over the top has certainly never been to war and never been to any police interview. Cops are more aggressive than that, geez. That just offends me that anybody is outraged by that knowing the circumstances."

Khadr's defence lawyers, however, said they hope Tuesday's release of the videos will spark public support for their efforts.

"We Canadians stand for compassion, we stand for the rule of law. And what you are seeing there is the abuse of the rule of law as Canadian courts have indicated about Canadians and Canada's involvement in Guantanamo Bay," lawyer Dennis Edney told CBC News.

Edney said Canadian officials should have asked Khadr about potential torture, but instead went into the interview without any help for the then teenage boy.

"We don't do that in Canada and that shouldn't have happened to this young, most vulnerable boy in Guantanamo," the lawyer said.

He also said Khadr suffers from several injuries, including the loss of sight in one eye and difficulty with the other, as well as shrapnel and bullet wounds.

Referring to Khadr's sobbing chants, Edney said, "It's the cry of a desperate young man. He expected the Canadian officials to take him home."

But Morris slammed Khadr's lawyers, saying they're more interested in attacking the system than defending their client.

"This is just another arrow in their quiver to attack the system and Omar is a convenient vehicle to do that. I think that's an amazing feat to try and sway public opinion in favour of Omar."

In May, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that branches of the Canadian government had to hand over key evidence against Khadr to his legal team to allow a full defence of the charges against him, which include accusations by the U.S. that he spied for and provided material support to terrorists.

Several Canadian media organizations then applied for and obtained the release of the DVDs, as well as a package of documents that made headlines last week.

Officials knew about some aspects of treatment

The DVDs come nearly a week after internal foreign affairs documents were released showing that Canadian officials knew Khadr had been sleep-deprived for weeks to make him more willing to talk during interrogations.

The report says Gould learned during a visit to Guantanamo on March 30, 2004, that Khadr had been put on a "frequent flyer program," meaning he was not permitted to remain in any one location for more than three hours.

In another portion of the videotape released later in the day, the interrogator asks Khadr about the 2002 firefight between suspected Islamist militants and U.S. soldiers, and how the fight began.

Pentagon officials said Khadr, who was 15 at the time, ambushed American soldiers with a hand grenade after the four-hour fight at the suspected al-Qaeda compound in Afghanistan.

In response to a question, Khadr said it wasn't the Americans they had planned on attacking, but the Northern Alliance — the anti-Taliban coalition.

"So a firefight started. The Arabs shot at the Americans, the Americans shot back. Did you guys make a decision that you would fight till the end,"

"They made the decision," Khadr replied.

Khadr shook his head when asked whether he was going to fight until he died.

Asked whether the event overtook him and he had to react, Khadr said: "I had no choice."

 

 

Scroll down to add / read comments 

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our FREE Email Newsletter

For Email Marketing you can trust

  Support Information Clearing House

Monthly Subscription To Information Clearing House
Search Information Clearing House
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Please read our  Comment Policy before posting -
 
 

 

 

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. Information Clearing House has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is Information ClearingHouse endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)