"Help Me"

by digby

This makes me feel so safe:

A 16-year-old captured in Afghanistan and held at Guantanamo Bay sobs during his questioning, holding up his wounded arms and begging for help in a video released Tuesday that provided the first glimpse of interrogations at the U.S. military prison.

"Help me," he cries repeatedly in despair.

The 10 minutes of video -- selected by Omar Khadr's Canadian lawyers from more than seven hours of footage recorded by a camera hidden in a vent -- shows Khadr weeping, his face buried in his hands, as he is questioned by Canadian intelligence agents over four days in 2003. The lawyers hope to pressure Canada into seeking Khadr's return.

The video, created by U.S. government agents at the prison in Cuba and originally marked as secret, provides insight into the effects of prolonged interrogation and detention on the Guantanamo prisoner.

A Canadian Security Intelligence Services agent in the video grills Khadr about events leading up to his capture as an enemy combatant when he was 15. Khadr, a Canadian citizen, is accused of throwing a grenade that killed one U.S. Special Forces soldier and blinded another during a 2002 firefight in Afghanistan. He was arrested after he was found in the rubble of a bombed-out compound -- badly wounded and near death.

At one point in the interrogation, Khadr pulls off his orange prisoner shirt and shows the wounds he sustained in the firefight. He complains he cannot move his arms and says he had not received proper medical attention, despite requests.

"They look like they're healing well to me," the agent says of the injuries.

"No, I'm not. You're not here (at Guantanamo)," says Khadr, the son of an alleged al-Qaida financier.

The agent later accuses Khadr of using his injuries and emotional state to avoid the interrogation.

"No, you don't care about me," Khadr says.

Khadr also tells his interrogator that he was tortured while at the U.S. military detention center at the Bagram air base in Afghanistan, where he was first detained after his arrest in 2002.

Later on in the tape, a distraught Khadr is seen rocking, his face in his hands.

On the final day, the agent tells Khadr that he was "very disappointed" in Khadr's behavior, and tries to impress upon him that he should cooperate.

Khadr says he wants to go back to Canada.

"There's not anything I can do about that," the agent says.

Navy Lt. Cmdr. William Kuebler, Khadr's U.S. military lawyer, said the video shows "a frightened boy" who should be permitted to return to Canada. He said Khadr is cooperative at the beginning of the four-day stretch of interviews, because "he believed that if he was cooperative and told them what he thought they wanted to hear that they would take him home."

"So between Day One and Day Two he figures out that that is not going to happen and so you see a very emotional reaction on Day Two when this very scared 16-year-old boy finally figures out that the Canadians aren't going to do anything for him and are going to leave him there. He is devastated," Kuebler said.

Read the whole sickening tale if you can stomach it. Apparently the authorities think that this kid's family is heavily involved in radical Islam. The prisoner himself sounds very confused and at 15, far too young to know any kind of operational plans his family might be involved in, if indeed, any existed.

We all know now just what a rag-tag, amateur operation this "interrogation" program this was. They were using techniques stolen from the Chinese in the 1950's ferchirstsake and using it as an experimental camp and training school for Future Torturers of America. If there was ever a case where the modern professional interrogation techniques of trust and dependence would have likely worked far better than this stupid Jack Bauer crap, it would be with a frightened and wounded 15 year old. But according to the article they also put this prisoner through extreme sleep deprivation and disorientation in addition to the torture he is alleged to have suffered at Bagram (which would be par for the course.) It sounds as though he didn't know which end was up by the time they were through with him.

By the way, it turns out the kid didn't have any useful information.