Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The show trial must go on! Arar and Khadr

Just days before nearly-President Obama is expected to shut down Guantanamo Bay and disband the off-shore military show trials, US prosecutors get perhaps their very last chance to smear both Maher Arar and Omar Khadr at the same time in the court of public opinion.

The Star yesterday : Omar Khadr linked Maher Arar to terrorism, court hears
"Pentagon prosecutors dropped a bombshell on the last day of the Bush administration's war crimes trials, linking the case of Canadian detainee Omar Khadr to torture victim Maher Arar in stunning testimony ..."

CBC yesterday : Khadr saw Arar at al-Qaeda sites in Afghanistan: FBI agent
"Omar Khadr pointed out Canadian Maher Arar, who was cleared of any links to terrorism by a public inquiry in 2006, as someone he saw at al-Qaeda safe houses and possibly training camps in Afghanistan, an FBI agent has testified."

What "bombshell"?

The Star, Mar 18, 2008 :
"Khadr was also questioned about Maher Arar, according to the affidavit. Arar, a telecommunications engineer from Ottawa, had been arrested in September 2002 by U.S. authorities in New York on suspicions of terrorism. He was sent to Syria, where he was tortured and detained without charges for a year.
"They showed me pictures and asked who people were. I told them what I knew," recalled Khadr, adding the Canadian officials also questioned him about his father, Ahmed Said Khadr, a reputed Al Qaeda financier.
"I tried to cooperate so that they would take me back to Canada," he said. "I told them that I was scared and that I had been tortured."
The affidavit does not reveal what Khadr told the Canadian delegation about Arar or his father, but he was considered to be a treasure trove of information, said Khadr's military lawyer."

CBC, Mar 26, 2008 :
"Khadr says he was also interrogated about Maher Arar, the Canadian who was deported to a Syrian prison over alleged links to al-Qaeda. An inquiry later cleared Arar of any links to terrorist organizations.
Khadr says he was also shown photographs of about 20 people and asked to identify them.
He says he ripped off his shirt and showed the Canadians his injuries. He also says he told them he had lied to his American interrogators and told them whatever they wanted to hear because he was scared and wanted them to stop torturing him.
Khadr says they accused him of lying, and passed information from their interviews to U.S. officials."

Nonetheless right on cue the newspapers all across AsperNation are going with variations on "Accused terrorist fingers Arar".
Well, sure. A person the press call a "terrorist" accuses someone else, since exonerated, of being a terrorist to stop his tormentors from torturing him, so suddenly they're both suspect? Nice circular smear!

Also Interrogator 11 testified yesterday that Khadr had admitted to throwing the grenade that killed a US soldier :
"Under cross-examination, it was revealed the agent destroyed her notes of the interrogation sessions after she had typed them up -- something she could not explain."

Khadr's chief interrogator at Bagram was charged and convicted in the death of an innocent detainee two months after the 15 year old Khadr was shipped from Bagram prison to Guantanamo.

Update : Dr. Dawg

Late Tuesday Upperdate : "In contrast to testimony he gave Monday, [FBI]special agent Robert Fuller told Khadr's war-crimes hearing that the young Canadian was not immediately able to name Arar, but did say he looked familiar."
He looked familiar. You people slay me.


Anonymous said...

AsperNation. So true. Khadr is on his way home and the zionist-owned canadian media are going to make sure that when he arrives at Pearson he will be immediately transported to a prison cell - likely the soon-to-be-empty Kingston Immigration Holding Centre in Bath, ON - and not to his family.

Paul said...

CBC ran their documentary on Khadr last night. Having all of the factors outlined in the span of one hour was a strong reminder of this case's tragic ludicrousness.

I'd like to know what Khadr said about the other 19 photos. How many other Middle Eastern businessmen/engineers/truckers/etc. did Khadr 'identify'? I wonder why Gitmo prosecutors aren't talking about that?

Alison said...

Anon : I think if our media really was "zionist controlled", the news would be far more biased than it is, don't you? I only use the term AsperNation to remind how concentrated our media ownership is - not to complain about the beliefs of the particular owners.

Paul! Maybe you can help me with something that's been puzzling me. I saw bits of it last night too - made me nuts not to be able to see the whole thing - and I was surprised at the inclusion of Interrogator 11's testimony in a doc that the tv listings said had previously aired on Oct. 18, 2008.
I can't imagine that they just spliced some new info into a doc that someone has the copyrights on, but not having seen the original broadcast or the whole thing last night, I can't really judge. Did you see the original Oct airing? Or was last night's broadcast in fact a different doc altogether and the tv listings were wrong.
Something about this is bothering me but I can't put my finger on it.
What little I did see last night did seem pretty balanced though.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Alison, missed the doc. Maybe CBC owns it and can change it at will.
BTW, even Arar admitted under duress to having been in Afghanistan -although it was not true according to the Cnadian government and Maher himself later.
There's a peculiar disconnect with wingers - if they lie or can force others to lie via threats or torture, that's just as good as truth to them. Wingers are ultimately always defending lies.
Did you read Ezra?
Dawg thinks it's actionable.


Paul said...

I only saw bits of the October one, but as far as I can recall, the doc aired yesterday is the same one. I did notice the inclusion of very recent information and that it looked like it was kind of tacked on. I guess CBC does own the docs.

Also, you can watch the whole video on the Doc Zone website. I'm not sure if it is the Oct. version or not, but the video is there.

Alison said...

Thanks, Paul

Anonymous said...

Alison, you make a good point: media concentration is a bad thing regardless of the philosophy of the owners.

But let's not be coy. The Aspers are self-described champions of Zionism. And so if you oppose AsperNation then, by definition, you oppose Zionism. Why the dissembling?

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