July 15th, 2008


Yet another war zone.

LJer and NGO (non-government organization) aid worker vasco_pyjama, who you might remember being mentioned on my journal way, way back for her exploits in trying to help with food, water, and farming in Afghanistan, now finds herself in the middle of yet another crisis... this time in Somalia, where several aid workers have been killed and/or seriously wounded in the past few days.

Yet another civil war, essentially, between Islamic factions and nominally pro-US "government" forces, with a whole bunch of assorted poor, impoverished people in the middle of the whole mess... and, to make matters worse, it's not entirely clear that the Islamic leaders are the (only) bad guys in this case, as there are reports that government forces are aggressively against NGOs aiding and feeding "the enemy".

In any event, it's a dangerous, uncertain, unpredictable situation to find yourself in the middle of. Wish her well.

Guantanamo gets ugly.

Around ten minutes of video have been released by the Canadian lawyers of Omar Khadr, a sixteen-year-old Canadian prisoner at Guantanamo, during his interrogation in 2003. The interrogators are Canadian intelligence agents, who heard from Khadr that he was abused and mistreated inside Guantanamo.  Additional video from the interrogation is available here.   

So, basically it shows a kid who initially says to the Canadian, in what I read as a rather fake tone, "well, actually, I'm very happy inside....", but completely changes his tone on the next day, claiming to have been abused and mistreated by his captors, before falling into complete despair with cries of "help me"... and, if I heard it right, "kill me".

So, what's to be thought of this?  I don't trust the kid, and I get the gut feeling that he isn't "innocent", but at the same time, he made a claim of abuse and mistreatment which the Canadian interrogator -- and government -- has largely ignored... and the situation that he is in currently is one where there is no real transparency or accountability.

Under the circumstances, can anyone give any good reasons why he shouldn't be tried and held in Canada?