GUANTANAMO BAY — Testifying remotely, a young man known to us as “Interrogator #1″ first said he never threatened a 15-year-old Omar Khadr with rape in the Bagram detention facility in Afghanistan in 2002. Then he elaborated.
“I told him a fictitious story we had invented when we were there,” Interrogator #1 said. It was something “three or four” interrogators at Bagram came up with after learning that Afghans were “terrified of getting raped and general homosexuality, things of that nature.” The story went like this:
Interrogator #1 would tell the detainee, “I know you’re lying about something.” And so, for an instruction about the consequences of lying, Khadr learned that lying “not so seriously” wouldn’t land him in a place like “Cuba” — meaning, presumably, Guantanamo Bay — but in an American prison instead. And this one time, a “poor little 20-year-old kid” sent from Afghanistan ended up in an American prison for lying to an American. “A bunch of big black guys and big Nazis noticed the little Afghan didn’t speak their language, and prayed five times a day — he’s Muslim,” Interrogator #1 said. Although the fictitious inmates were criminals, “they’re still patriotic,” and the guards “can’t be everywhere at once.”
“So this one unfortunate time, he’s in the shower by himself, and these four big black guys show up — and it’s terrible something would happen — but they caught him in the shower and raped him. And it’s terrible that these things happen, the kid got hurt and ended up dying,” Interrogator #1 said. “It’s all a fictitious story.”
Every other interrogator testifying so far has testified that Khadr was cooperative and forthcoming. But Interrogator #1, who interrogated Khadr “20 to 25 times” as his primary interrogator at Bagram in 2002, said that Khadr would lie to him. And he was the first interrogator to interrogate Khadr during the now-23-yea- old Canadian citizen’s nearly eight years in U.S. detention. So the other interrogators, with perhaps the exception of an FBI interrogator who questioned Khadr in October 2002, talked to Khadr after he heard a “fictitious story” about a young Afghan who lied to U.S. interrogators and as a result was raped and killed in jail.
Interrogator #1 was later court-martialed and served time for detainee abuse.