Readings — From the September 2008 issue

Teen Beat

From a February 2003 video recording of an interrogation by Canadian officials of Omar Khadr, a Canadian national accused of killing a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan and currently held at Guantánamo Bay. In July, Khadr’s lawyers released seven hours of recordings to pressure the U.S. government into returning Khadr to Canadian custody. Khadr was sixteen at the time of the interrogation.

Omar Khadr: [His hand covers his face; he lifts up his shirt to reveal wounds.] My arms and all of these—it’s healthy? I requested medical over a long time. [Sobs.]

Male Official: I’m not a doctor, but I think you’re getting good medical care.

Khadr: No, I’m not. You’re not here. [Sobs again.] I lost my eyes. I lost my feet and everything.

Male Official: No, you still have your eyes, and your feet are still at the ends of your legs, you know. Look, I want to take a few minutes, I want you to get yourself together, relax a bit, have a bite to eat, and we’ll start again. I understand this is stressful, but using this as a strategy to talk to us is not gonna be any more helpful. We’ve got a limited amount of time, and we’ve heard this story before.

Khadr: You don’t care about—

Male Official: I do care about you, but I want to talk to the honest Omar I was talking to yesterday. I don’t want to talk to this Omar. Look me straight in the eye and tell me you’re being honest.

Khadr: I am being honest.

Male Official: You can’t even bear to look at me when you’re saying that.

Khadr: You don’t care about me.

Male Official: It’s not true. People do care about you.

Female Official: Put your shirt back on.

male official: Take a few minutes and relax.

[Officials leave the room. Khadr puts his shirt back on, puts his hands on his head, and slumps over, crying.]

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