>From the Truthout website. I don't know if this is legal interpretation.
An interrogator can ask a prisoner anything. But a prisoner of war, if the
U.S. government wants to maintain the fiction that this is a declared war,
doesn't have to give anything but name, rank and serial number. The CIA
agent implied that the prisoner would die if he didn't talk. So many
prisoners have died in Northern Alliance custody that's a very believable
statement. I don't know if we're kicking people out of helicopters yet,
like in Vietnam, but hopefully this will expand the "You're either with us
or with the terrorists," and "We don't want you disagreeing with us,"
'He's Got To Decide if He Wants to Live or Die Here'
EXCLUSIVE: Just hours before his death, CIA agent Mike Spann interviewed
John Walker, the American Taliban. Here is an excerpt from that videotaped
By Colin Soloway
NEWSWEEK WEB EXCLUSIVE
Dec. 6 - Last week, just hours before Taliban and Al Qaeda prisoners began
their uprising at the Northern Afghan fortress of Kala Jangi, CIA agents
interviewed John Walker, the 20-year-old American from northern California,
NEWSWEEK has learned. The interrogation, which took place shortly before one
of the agents was killed, was videotaped by an Afghan cameraman.
THE TAPE, reviewed by NEWSWEEK, represents the first evidence that the CIA
knew that there was an American, or at least a Westerner among the hundreds
of prisoners. It also demonstrates that Walker actually spoke to the U.S.
agents; last week, he told NEWSWEEK that he had only "seen" the two agents.
Dec. 7 - Newsweek's Mark Miller talks about the discovery that CIA agent
Mike Spann had interviewed American Taliban fighter John Walker shortly
before Spann's death and Walker's capture. Ann Curry reports.
On the tape, it is a bright Sunday morning in Kala Jangi. Dozens of
prisoners have been taken out of the prison and placed outside, near the
center of the compound. Waiting for them are the Americans, Johnny "Mike"
Spann, and another CIA agent known only as Dave. Spann is wearing blue jeans
and a black jumper. A Kalashnikov rifle is strapped across his back. Dave is
dressed in a black tunic that reaches below his knees, with tan trousers
beneath. Walker had apparently been pointed out to Spann as a Westerner, or
someone who spoke English.
Spann walks over to Walker, who is sitting in a row of prisoners.
Spann [to Walker]: Hey you. Right here with your head down. Look at me. I
know you speak English. Look at me. Where did you get the British military
Spann walks away. Shortly thereafter, Walker is approached by Northern
Alliance soldiers, who seem to be tightening the ropes tying his elbows
behind his back. A Northern Alliance officer gives him a light kick in the
stomach. His hair his pulled back.
Later, Walker, known inside the prison by his Muslim name, Abdul Hamid, is
brought over to a blanket covering bare earth. His elbows are still tied
behind his back. He is pushed down and sits cross-legged on the blanket, his
head bowed, his long hair obscuring his face. He is wearing loose black
trousers and a black tunic that reaches to his calves.
Spann squats down on the edge of the blanket, facing Walker.
Spann: Where are you from? Where are you from? You believe in what you're
doing here that much, you're willing to be killed here? How were you
recruited to come here? Who brought you here? Hey! [He snaps his fingers in
front of Walker's face. Walker is unresponsive]
German television image of the CIA agent identified as "Dave"
Spann: Who brought you here? Wake up! Who brought you here to Afghanistan
How did you get here?
Spann: What, are you puzzled?
Spann kneels on the blanket and takes aim with a digital camera.
Spann: Put your head up. Don't make me have to get them to hold your head
up. Push your hair back. Push your hair back so I can see your face.
An Afghan soldier pulls Walker's hair back, and holds his head up for the
Spann: You got to talk to me. All I want to do is talk to you and find out
what your story is. I know you speak English.
Dave walks up. Spann and Dave speak to one another.
Spann [to Dave]: Yeah, he won't talk to me.
Dave: OK, all right. We explained what the deal is to him.
Spann: I was explaining to the guy we just want to talk to him, find out
what his story is.
Spann and Dave talk, inaudible.
Dave [to Spann]: The problem is, he's got to decide if he wants to live or
die and die here. We're just going to leave him, and he's going to f-cking
sit in prison the rest of his f-cking short life. It's his decision, man. We
can only help the guys who want to talk to us. We can only get the Red Cross
to help so many guys.
Spann [to Walker]: Do you know the people here you're working with are
terrorists and killed other Muslims? There were several hundred Muslims
killed in the bombing in New York City. Is that what the Koran teaches? I
don't think so. Are you going to talk to us?
Walker does not respond
Dave [to Spann]: That's all right man. Gotta give him a chance, he got his
Spann and Dave stand and talk to each other. Both look frustrated. Spann
stands with his hands on his hips, and Dave kicks up some dust with his
Spann [to Dave]: Did you get a chance to look at any of the passports?
Dave: There's a couple of Saudis and I didn't see the others.
Spann: I wonder what this guy's got?
Walker is then pulled to his feet by an Afghan guard, and taken back to the
group of prisoners sitting on the earth in the compound. Shortly after this
footage was shot, prisoners emerging from the fortress rushed the guards,
throwing grenades and grabbing their captors' rifles. It was the beginning
of the battle of Kala Jangi. Spann was killed in the early stages of the
uprising, and Dave reportedly was extracted from the compound by U.S. and
British special forces.
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