Khadr, Through a Lawyer, Questions His Ex-Interrogator
GUANTANAMO BAY — After a lengthy exchange in which Kobie Flowers, an attorney for Omar Khadr, sought to establish that preparatory material used by FBI Special Agent Robert Fuller, who interrogated Khadr six times at Bagram Air Field in October 2002, included material derived from abusive treatment — something Fuller resisted, but not firmly — Flowers introduced a twist. “I’m going to ask a question from Mr. Khadr,” Flowers said, in reference to his absent client, who he said passed him questions to ask Fuller. “Did you hear of any torture or mistreatment going on at Bagram?”
Fuller asked if Flowers wanted to give him “fact or rumor.” Answer as you like, Flowers replied. “I’m not aware of any factual information, but there were rumors as to some techniques,” Flowers said, like “yelling at detainees. Music played. Like I said, I don’t have factual knowledge of that.” He was, Flowers helped him remember, aware of at least one military interrogator who was court-martialed for detainee mistreatment, and possibly a second.
Flowers continued, passing on a second question from Khadr: “Did you hear of any detainee deaths?”
“I did hear about one,” Fuller answered. (Two detainees are known to have died in U.S. custody in Bagram in 2002: Dilawar and Habibullah. Both were killed by U.S. forces in the detention facility in December 2002, after Fuller interrogated Khadr that October. It isn’t clear to me whether Fuller is referring to one of them, or referring to a contemporaneous other death he knew about.)
The prosecution challenged the relevance of Flowers’/Khadr’s questions, but Flowers replied that they spoke to whether an environment existed at Bagram conducive to uncoerced statements. Fuller added that as per FBI protocol at the time — something documented in a recent Justice Department inspector general report into FBI activities at military and CIA detention centers — he did not Mirandize Khadr, though he conceded that usually providing Miranda rights ensures the court-certified voluntariness of a statement.