“Promise You’ll Protect Me From the Americans”
Fifteen years old when he was captured by US forces in Afghanistan. Six years spent at Guantanamo without trial. Facing five war crimes charges, including the murder of a US soldier during a battle, and life in prison.
“Softened up” by American interrogators prior to a visit by Canadian intelligence personnel.
This happened to Mr. Khadr just ahead of a March 30, 2004, visit by Jim Gould, an intelligence officer with the Canadian Foreign Affairs department.
“In an effort to make him more amenable and willing to talk, [blacked out] has placed Umar in the ‘frequent flyer program,’ ” says an April, 2004, report by R. Scott Heatherington, then-director of the Foreign Intelligence Division of the Canadian department. “For the three weeks before Mr. Gould’s visit, Umar has not been more than three hours in any one location.
“At three-hour intervals, he is moved to another cell block, thus denying him uninterrupted sleep and a continued change of neighbours.”
Mr. Heatherington goes on to say that Mr. Khadr would, following the visit, be “placed in isolation for up to three weeks,” then be subjected to re-interview. [National Post]
He was a child. He begged the Canadian intelligence officers interviewing him. “Promise you’ll protect me from the Americans.”
Instead, they left him for another 5 years in a hellhole being (most likely) abused with torture techniques inspired by SERE training — a program instituted as a result of torture of American prisoners of war. Techniques approved by President Bush and then-Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld.
And he’s facing war crimes charges?
I don’t know whether to cry or vomit.