Alice in Guantanamo: Life for 15-Year-Old Soldier?
Mr. Khadr was captured by U.S. Forces in 2002, when he was just fifteen years old. Since then, he has been forced into various “stress positions” and left there for many hours on end. He has been suffocated until he passed out, revived, and then suffocated again. He has been terrorized by barking dogs while his head was covered by a plastic bag tied tightly around his neck, making it hard for him to breathe. He was told he was going to be sent to a country where he would be horribly tortured and raped. He has been doused with freezing water and left cold and shivering. He has been interrogated for long stretches of time without being allowed to go to the bathroom, forcing him to urinate on himself. He was subjected to “light pushing,” bright lights left in front of his eyes until he could not see. He has spent long periods in solitary confinement, sometimes in very cold temperatures. He has been beaten by interrogators who shackled his hands and feet together, lifting him off the ground and then dropping him many times over. He has been abused until he could not stand, and then used by military police as a human mop to wipe his own urine and pine oil off the floor of an interrogation chamber.
Trying a 15-year-old child soldier for murder, the planned sentence life imprisonment, absurd and obscene on so many levels.
So the U.S. invades Afghanistan, and Canadian citizen and 15 year old Omar Khadr continued fighting for the Taliban against the Northern Alliance, which ruled mebbe 5% of Afghanistan before tagging along behind the American blitzkrieg. But in the Bush-Obama Alice in Heroinland military justice system, Khadr is somehow guilty of ‘murder’ because he or a comrade (no one actually knows, but the U.S. is altering those facts in order to railroad Khadr) of the de facto Afghanistan government army shot and killed one of the foreign invader soldiers.
On so many levels. This was a boy, injured so badly after one of the invaders shot him twice in the back while incapacitated (it’s war, Americans get to do stuff like that with impunity; Khadr’s comrade was shot and killed in the same manner), that a soldier said he could see his heart beating through the gaping wounds.
At Bagram prison, pus still dripping from his badly cared for wounds, Khadr is interrogated by Sgt. Joshua Claus, a convicted and jailed detainee abuser (two of whom died). He terrifies Khadr into making a false confession by lying to him, that an Afghan teen who hadn’t cooperated was sent to an American prison where he was raped and killed. In the kangaroo court of Colonel Parrish, he has decided they will pretend the forced and false confession is real.
Oh, and the U.S. Department of Defense has banned from Gitmo reporters who write the name of convicted prisoner abuser and Khadr interrogator Claus into their news reports on the trial . Despite the fact that Claus’s name has been on the record in the mainstream press since 2008.
But of course, none of the above is news today in the U.S., because the mainstream media has decided it isn’t.