Monday, July 14, 2008

Khadr interrogation footage puts spotlight on CSIS

When a Canadian spymaster was asked three years ago whether his agency had kept any tapes of its talks with teenage prisoner Omar Khadr in Guantanamo Bay, his reply was that nothing could be said.

The alleged existence of any such tapes was classified.

“To answer that question would disclose national security privileged information,” said Jack Hooper, a CSIS deputy director compelled to testify by lawyers acting for Mr. Khadr, the Canadian citizen being detained in the U.S. prison camp in Cuba.

“Mr. Khadr has provided us with a great deal of specific information concerning Canadian-based operatives associated with al-Qaeda, some of whom are still at large,” Mr. Hooper said. But he said it was illegal to even speak to whether records of the conversations were retained. “Disclosure of that information would reveal service operational methodologies and tactics.”

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