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NCIS Agent Says Omar Khadr Recounted Being Threatened With Torture

GUANTANAMO BAY — No one tell Marc Thiessen, but Greg Finley, a former Naval Criminal Investigative Service special agent who said he interrogated Omar Khadr here 20 times, said this afternoon that he never so much as attempted an abusive or coercive interview with Khadr, because “if you’re abusive or torture somebody, you’re probably not gonna get the truth.” He testified that Khadr, about 16 when Finley interviewed him, even wrote him a letter after he left Guantanamo starting “dear friend” and asking Finley to bring Khadr any word about developments in Khadr’s case. And to bring magazines about cars next time.

Still, Finley said that Khadr told him in a November 2002 interview at Guantanamo that sometime soon after he was captured — maybe by a soldier who captured him in Khost, maybe in Bagram — someone threatened him with torture. “That piqued my interest,” Finley told the prosecution. “I specifically asked him point blank [if he was] tortured — he was not tortured, only that he was told he was going to be tortured.” Finley said that he never found corroboration of Khadr’s account.

During cross-examination, Khadr attorney Kobie Flowers reminded Finley that an old report written by Finley’s FBI partner recounted that Khadr was “paranoid about guards” at Guantanamo. “In this situation, I’m sure he probably was, but I don’t recall him saying anything specific,” Finley said. “I don’t know why the statement was put in the notes, and I don’t know if you’re talking about Bagram or Guantanamo Bay.”

Why might Khadr fear Bagram guards? “If he was talking about — he was just captured, wounded, he was having some surgery and if someone told him ‘you are going to be tortured,’ I can understand why he might be concerned about that,” Finley said, but repeated that he was never able to corroborate Khadr’s account.

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