Guantanamo interrogator: treats made Khadr talk

The Miami Herald reports that an anonymous woman testified Friday that, as a young Navy interrogator, she treated Canadian captive Omar Khadr with fig newtons and M&Ms — and that he came to sessions happily and confessed to throwing a grenade at U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

“He smiled a lot and was always willing to talk,” said the woman whom court officers identified as “Agent 11.”

Khadr’s defense team argues that early in his custody in Afghanistan he was so brutally treated that any subsequent confessions should be excluded from his summertime trial.

But Agent 11 said Khadr never mentioned any abuse in her interrogations, which began at the prison-camps hospital on the day he arrived on an 8,000-mile airlift from Afghanistan.

She sparred with defense lawyers who wanted her to agree he was a child. “He was a teenager”, she said, firmly, adding that although she was a 20-something junior Navy officer, she was chosen to interrogate him “as a mother figure.”

Interrogators left the impression, she said, that cooperation in interrogation could get him home to Canada, where his mother and sisters were at the time.

Agent 11 said Khadr volunteered details of the gunbattle in which he was captured that matched those he told military interrogators in Afghanistan.

He was carrying two pistols and three grenades, wounded with shrapnel wounds in his head, she related. Then he threw a grenade over a three-foot shrub “like it was done in the movies,” and “heard the Americans say, ‘one down.’ “

Prosecutors claim that the grenade fatally wounded Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer, 28 — an Albuquerque, N.M., man with Delta Force who was part of a unit attacking the compound — and plan to put him on trial as a terrorist murderer this summer. They seek life imprisonment — not the death penalty — in consideration of his age.

The Toronto-born teen was shot through the back and chest, was left blind in one eye and was discovered by U.S. forces who put took him by car for emergency life-saving treatment.

This is what Agent 11 says he told her: “I kept waiting for the white angels to come because I thought I wasn’t going to live. . . . The Americans saved my life.”

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