Friday, July 11, 2008

The Canadian Gov't Knew Khadr Was Tortured

While they were busy down south talking about Barack Obama's nuts, the big news in Canada on Thursday was the release of secret documents (.pdf file) related to interrogations of child soldier Omar Khadr who has been incarcerated in Gitmo for 5 years and who has, through his lawyers, previously alleged torture.

Now there's proof, not only of one of the US military's methods, but of the fact that this Conservative government knew about it and continued to maintain that Khadr has been well-treated.

From an April 20, 2004 memo:

6. In an effort to make him more amenable and willing to talk,[___] has placed Umar on the -frequent flyer program: for the three weeks before Mr [___~s] visit, Umar has not been permitted more than three hours in anyone location. At three hours intervals he is moved to another cell block, thus denying him uninterrupted'sleep and a continued change of neighbours. He will soon be placed in isolation for up to three weeks and then he will be interviewed again. [___] stated that they (the Army) has a "big file" on Umar and were not really looking for much now.

Our illustrious prime minister Bush lap dog, pulled out his number one response to anything his Conservatives are blamed for ie. "the Liberals knew it/did it too!" (this time, that's true) and then attempted to assure the public that government lawyers were "monitoring those legal processes" (what "legal" processes??) so they don't have to actually care about a pesky annoyance like a fellow Canadian citizen's human rights.

Government lawyers "monitoring" the process. No doubt from the same school of thought as Gonzales and Yoo who both turned out to be torture-loving assholes who couldn't wait to shred the Geneva Conventions.

I sense a lawsuit in Steve's future.

Anyway, we already knew that Steve and his band of blood-sucking misfits wouldn't lift a finger to help Omar Khadr and that they were complicit in whatever goes on with him in Gitmo. I've written about that several times. My level of outrage about this case has definitely not diminished and won't any time soon. What we need here is the rest of the damn public to DEMAND he be brought home. Enough is enough. There's more to being a Canadian that complaining about gas prices and the weather.

There was also another statement in those documents that caught my eye as I read through them. The fact that the US military is incredibly incompetent when it comes to understanding Muslims has been well-documented for years but who knew that our government was just as culturally and socially retarded?

Here's a statement from one of Khadr's interrogation summaries in the memo signed by "R. Scott Heatherington, Director, Foreign Intelligence Division" written on Department of Foreign Affairs letterhead about Jim Gould's 2004 visit with Khadr:

Aside: After Mr Gould terminated the interview· he and two of the monitors continued to watch Umar via the CATV system. After half an hour and despite the restraints imposed by the shackles, Umar stood up as best he could and began to strike 'body-building' poses in the mirror on the wall (the latter is a one-way mirror. but the interior curtain had never been pulled back, so he may have assumed he was not being watched). Vanity among the young is not restricted to the Christian world!

And, apparently, stupidity isn't restricted to the Pentagon.

Mr Heatherington then goes on to write:

Certainly Urnar did not appear to have been affected by three weeks on the "frequent flyer" program. He did not yawn or indicate in any way that he was tired throughout the two hour interview. It seems likely that the natural resilience of a well-fed and healthy seventeen-year old are keeping him going.

Nothing to see here, folks. Move along now.

Hey, I wonder if Mr Heatherington would like to demonstrate just exactly how non-threatening sleep deprivation is. Maybe he has a 17 year old son who'd be willing to volunteer for a demonstration? Just feed him a Big Mac™ and have at it. We'll wait. (Jerk.)

Obviously, Heatherington's ignorance knows no bounds as he then writes (without seeming to notice how this contradicts what he just assumed):

16. Finally, as an amateur observer of the human condition, Mr Gould would describe Umar as a thoroughly "screwed Up" young man. All those persons who have been in positions of authority over him have abused him and his trust, for their own purposes. In this group can be included his parents and grand-parents. his associates in Afghanistan and fellow detainees in Camp Delta and the US military, I think that [___] was probably correct when he said that Umar has probably established pseudo-parents in the Camp and they probably aren't doing him any good. Before he is returned to Canada (if this were to be a possibility) some thought should be given to 'managing this process' and the social service agencies should play' a major role. . .

17. He does, however, have some feelings.

Oh, but Steve says he's fine and Heatherington thinks that as long as he's flexing his muscles everything's dandy. Case closed. I suppose the added bonus that he has "feelings" is further proof of what a normal life it is that he's been leading in a prison camp for all of these years.

Are you kidding me?

Apparently, the fact that DVDs are set to be released showing these interrogations of Mr Khadr has prompted some ass-covering:

A federal government official who dispatched an envoy to Guantanamo Bay to visit al-Qaeda suspect Omar Khadr says his department lost an early bid to keep the teenager out of the controversial U.S. prison camp.

In an interview, Gar Pardy, the now retired head of consular programs for the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, said that in 2002-03 “we were fighting for Omar [Khadr],” whom he regarded as too young for Guantanamo.

“I wanted to use his age as the largest club we had to beat up the Americans on,” Mr. Pardy said. But he added that Canadian initiatives to protect the prisoner's rights got lost among departments and officials with competing priorities.

I'm sorry - but how the fuck does that even happen?

"Hey. The yanks picked up a 15 year old Canadian kid in Afghanistan who was seriously wounded in a firefight and they're hauling him off to Gitmo."

"File that one somewhere for now. The president of [insert obscure country's name here] is coming for a visit next year and we need to be prepared."

"No problem."

He was a child.

“We were opposed to the transfer; we wanted him back here,” said Mr. Pardy, who added that in September of 2002 DFAIT sent a diplomatic note to Washington urging that the then-teenager be kept out of Guantanamo Bay. “Our approach was we were going to try to leave him in Afghanistan.”

The bid failed. Mr. Khadr was soon sent to Cuba and the fallback plan, according to Mr. Pardy, was to figure out a way to get a Canadian envoy to “see Omar, touch him, talk to him a bit.”

How human of you. As if.

“The practice described to the Canadian official in March, 2004, was, in my view, a breach of international human-rights law,” ruled Judge Mosley in a decision released earlier this spring. “…Canada became implicated in the violation when the DFAIT officials were provided with the redacted information and chose to proceed with the interview.”

Foreign Affairs officials bristle at the stark language of the series of rulings. Mr. Pardy, who retired in late 2003, contends the judges may be missing the point.

“What we were concerned with was what kind of medical treatment he was getting in Guantanamo,” he said. And ultimately, the blame for what goes on in Guantanamo Bay, he says, rests with the government that created it.

“For the longest time, neither Congress nor the judicial system played their appropriate role under the Constitution,” he said. “They were all saluting the executive.”

And you, sir, and everyone who went along with letting Khadr rot in Gitmo while you knew he was being tortured were busy licking that executives' nuts (if you really want to talk about nuts). You still are.

May you all be forever haunted.

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