Saturday, May 08, 2010

Monstrous [corrected]

POGGE's skdadl has done the heavy lifting on this one.

Veteran Globe & Mail journalist Paul Koring, and three others, have been bounced from the Khadr Kangaroo Kourt by the Pentagon. Their crime was to repeat what has been on the public record for years: that the guard
who repeatedly threatened a wounded fifteen-year-old boy with prison rape was a charmer named Damien Corsetti, appropriately nicknamed "Monster."

Koring, as readers will remember, held on to the Abousfian Abdelrazik story with pitbull jaws. It's safe to say that Abdelrazik would still be in Sudan today if it hadn't been for Koring and the remarkable support he received from his editors at the Globe.

On the Pentagon's ban, his current editor-in-chief nails it:

The Globe’s editor-in-chief, John Stackhouse, disputed the decision against the paper’s Washington-based international affairs correspondent. “We strongly disagree with the Pentagon's interpretation of its own rules, and intend to fight the ban as a matter of Canadian public interest in these hearings,” he said. “The name in question was a matter of public record. Banning the information now – when it is already known around the world – serves no apparent purpose other than to raise more questions about the credibility of the Guantanamo courts.” [emphasis added]

Indeed. But I think, with all due respect, that we've had an answer to those questions from the start.

UPDATE: A little humour from Alison at Creekside:

A week ago the military judge ordered reporters and spectators out of this same Gitmo courtroom while 'classified' video of an interview with Khadr was shown. The reporters adjourned to the media room and watched it on youtube instead.

AND A BIG "WHOOPS": The reporters' sin had nothing to do with Corsetti's testimony after all--"Monster" testified openly. They were given the heave-ho for revealing that "Interrogator 1" was Joshua Claus, another gentleman altogether, who had previously been implicated in the murder and torture of prisoners in Bagram, pleaded guilty to assault, maltreatment of a prisoner and making a false statement, and spent five months in jail in 2005.

Claus was one of Khadr's early interrogators. He received that light sentence, with a promise of immunity and a recommendation for clemency, in exchange for promising to testify against Khadr. In the end, he was dropped from the prosecution's witness list; Claus was called by the defence in order to show that Khadr's early statements had been coerced.

Here is the actual Globe & Mail article that got Paul Koring into trouble with the Pentagon.

My apologies to readers.

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