Damien Corsetti, a former U.S. military intelligence investigator who acted as an interrogator at Bagram in Afghanistan and at Abu Graib in Iraq, was interviewed recently on CBC. His interrogation methods were brutal and obscene, as revealed both in the interview and in other reports about his conduct. He screamed at prisoners. He pushed his penis in the face of one prisoner and told him, “This is your god.” He threatened prisoners with rape.
While he claims that he never tortured prisoners, he said that he did witness torture by other troops and by CIA operatives. Of course, the behavior that he admitted to could also be described as torture. As the UN Convention Against Torture put it, torture is, essentially, “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person.”
Damien Corsetti, a former U.S. military intelligence investigator who appeared in the film “Taxi to the Dark Side,” about torture was interviewed recently by CBC journalists.
Lieutenant-Commander William Kuebler, Omar Khadr’s military lawyer, is asking the Guantanamo trial judge to allow Corsetti to appear as a witness as to how prisoners at Bagram were treated. Kuebler wants to use that testimony to undermine the confession Khadr signed. According to Corsetti, he could get a person to admit that “he was Osama bin Laden.”
Kuebler also has raised question about Khadr’s ability to have thrown the grenade that killed an American soldier in Afghanistan. He has shown the media a photo of Khadr under a pile of rubble due to the collapse of the roof of the building in which he was found, making his ability to throw the grenade questionable.
Corsetti has said that torture was not used just for getting information. Often it was simply used as punishment. While Corsetti did not witness mistreatment of Khadr, Moazzam Begg, a former British prisoner who was in the same cell, did. He remembers Khadr frequently being verbally harassed and called murderer and killer and being made to pile up a bunch of objects which were then knocked over. He was then made to stack them up again.
Khadr’s prosecutors would rather not have Corsetti appear at the trial.