Friday, March 14, 2008

The Khadr Case: Did the US military manufacture evidence?

Here's the latest in the long, dark saga of Omar Khadr:

A military commander "retroactively altered" a report of a gunbattle in Afghanistan in 2002 to redirect blame for a U.S. soldier's death to Omar Khadr, Khadr's defence lawyer alleged Thursday.

Lt. Cmdr. William Kuebler made the allegation during a pretrial hearing Thursday for the 21-year-old Canadian citizen at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Kuebler alleged that in August 2002, one day after the gunbattle involving Khadr, a U.S. on-site commander identified only as "Colonel W" wrote a report on the attack.

In the report, the commander said a U.S. soldier killed a man identified as the suspect in the slaying of Speer, said Kuebler.

However, the report was revised months later, under the same date, to say a U.S. fighter had only "engaged" the assailant, according to Kuebler, who said the later version was presented to him by prosecutors as an "updated" document.

"What we have is, as I said at the outset, is this manufactured story about Omar's participation in the event, or this myth about Omar's participation in the event, which appears to have been manufactured at some point during his detention," Kuebler said.

"And then you have government records, official government records, being retroactively altered to be consistent with that manufactured story."

Prosecutors, who did not contest Kuebler's account in court, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Absolutely unconscionable.

And not only that:

U.S. NAVAL BASE GUANTANAMO, Cuba -- The likelihood the United States subjected Omar Khadr to harsh interrogations some would call torture increased Thursday after it emerged one of his early interrogators had been court-martialled for abusing prisoners and had also been involved in an interrogation of a detainee who died.

Legal arguments before the U.S. war crimes commission in Guantanamo Bay indicated Sgt. Joshua Claus of military intelligence participated in many, maybe all, of the interrogations of the Canadian terror suspect after U.S. forces delivered him to the Bagram detention centre in Afghanistan in July 2002.

A U.S. army investigation into the deaths of two other Bagram detainees in late 2002 describes a litany of coercive techniques he allegedly used to interrogate one of the men.
Lt.-Cmdr. Kuebler said Sgt. Claus "didn't just participate in numerous interrogations of Omar, according to (prosecutor Major Jeffrey Groharing), he did virtually all of them.

Just how much more does Khadr have to endure before this Bush-sockpuppet Canadian government finally demands his release?


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