“I Lost My Eyes” – Omar Khadr Interrogations at Guantanamo Bay

From the Guardian, a video of a Gitmo interrogation:

At the time of this interrogation in Guantánamo Bay, February 2003, the boy, Omar Khadr, a Canadian national, was barely 16, yet he had already been in military custody for seven months.

Now 25, he remains in the US detention centre, though he will soon be transferred to a prison in Canada in deal which led him to plead guilty last year to war crimes.

As far as the Pentagon is concerned, Khadr’s case is closed. But a film about his interrogation, released in the UK this week, raises a series of deeply troubling questions. Firstly, it asks, why did the US try a child, captured in Afghanistan aged 15, when UN treaties decree underage combatants be treated as victims? How reliable was a confession Khadr says was extracted under torture and, it emerged later, tacit threats of gang rape?

The film, Four Days Inside Guantánamo, is released in the UK on Friday. It even casts doubt on the Pentagon’s claims that Khadr was responsible for killing a US solder, the incident for which he was tried.

Watching this, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the fact that at least 92 Gitmo interrogation tapes were destroyed by the CIA. For the obvious reason of covering up the vastly more extreme torture and abuse that other detainees suffered.

There are too many examples to pick from, but just because it is fresh in my mind from recent readings, we can be sure we won’t see any video of the two innocent Afghans who were detained and ‘deadlegged’ by their interrogators until their legs were “pulpified” (as the autopsy report put it) and both were murdered. This was in 2002. What killed one of them was “blunt force injuries to the lower extremities” which created pulmonary embolisms – blot clots – that traveled up from their legs to their hearts.

The gentleman featured in the above video, giving his thoughts on the interrogation tape, was also featured in another clip of life at Guantanamo. You’ll see him specifically mention the complaint of Khadr that he lost his eyes. Also notice that one of his eyes is closed shut. That’s because his American guards pushed their thumbs into his eyes. So he lost one of them. I don’t know exactly what to make of Khadr’s comment “I lost my feet,” but he could be talking about anything. A widespread form of torture, that we know was at least used by US-supported Iraqi guards against Iraqi detainees at least up to 2006, was to hang individuals by their arms an beat the soles of their feet. But, I’m speculating.