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A response to the family of CIA Agent Spann

Due to the unseemly public efforts of Spann's relatives in seeking
the addition of phony "treason" charges and the death penalty to
Abdul Hamid Walker Lindh, it is worth reviewing the fact that Spann
threatened Abdul Hamid with death. It should be particularly noted
that Abdul Hamid had nothing to do with Spann's death later that day.
Due to the unseemly public efforts of Spann's relatives in seeking
the addition of phony "treason" charges and the death penalty to
Abdul Hamid Walker Lindh, it is worth reviewing the fact that Spann
threatened Abdul Hamid with death. It should be particularly noted
that Abdul Hamid had nothing to do with Spann's death later that day.


Video shows CIA threatened to let prisoner be killed
Independent (UK)

Video evidence has emerged that CIA operatives were threatening
Taliban prisoners they would be left to die if they did not co-
operate under interrogation.

In an exchange captured on video by an Afghan cameraman, two officers
threatened the American Taliban fighter John Walker, who was being
held at a prison fortress near the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif
two weeks ago. One of the officers is Mike Spann, a member of the
special activities division of the agency's directorate of
operations - the paramilitary wing of the agency's secret espionage
branch - who was killed in an uprising at the prison only hours
later. Nearly 400 Taliban prisoners were also killed as the uprising
was put down.

The precise nature of the threat - raised by Mr Spann and a CIA
colleague called Dave - is unclear, but on the video Mr Spann, 32,
wearing jeans and a black jumper and with an AK47 assault rifle
strapped across his back, is seen nodding towards Mr Walker, 20, and
then saying to Dave: "I explained to him what the deal is". The video
shows Mr Walker kneeling on the ground, emaciated, filthy, wearing
loose black trousers and a tunic, with his elbows tied behind his
back, and cowering as Mr Spann remonstrates with him. Mr Walker
stares at the ground throughout.

"Dave" then replies: "The problem is, he's got to decide if he wants
to live or die. If he wants to die, he's going to die here. Or he's
going to f****** spend the rest of his short f****** life in prison.
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."

The mention of the Red Cross appears to be a reference to a
representative of the international charity who was trying to
register the thousands of Taliban and al-Qa'ida fighters in the

Later Mr Spann is heard to say to Mr Walker: "They [the 11 September
hijackers] killed other Muslims. There were several hundred other
Muslims killed in the bombing. Are you going to talk to us?" When
there is no reply, "Dave" says to Mr Spann: "This guy got his chance.
He got his chance."

Within hours of the encounter, hundreds of prisoners launched an
uprising in which they seized guns and other weapons from their
Northern Alliance guards. In the initial fighting Mr Spann was
killed, while "Dave" fought his way out, shooting dead several

The exchange on the video raises the prospect that the prisoners
revolted because they feared they could be killed if they did not co-
operate with the coalition forces. Mr Walker was one of the few who
survived the uprising. He was taken into custody by US forces.

The uprising was put down by a combination of Northern Alliance
fighters and American air strikes called in by US and British special
forces soldiers who were at the prison acting as advisers and
interrogating prisoners. Hundreds of Taliban fighters were killed by
the air strikes, whose use has been questioned by human rights
groups. They have called for a full inquiry into the massacre.

Yesterday a spokeswoman for Amnesty International said: "[The
threats] are very disturbing. The CIA operatives should be fully
aware of the international law and that they cannot execute
prisoners. It just shows more than ever the need for a full inquiry
into what took place and that the US, UK and United Front governments
cannot push the matter under the carpet."

Kenneth Ross, the executive director of the New York-based Human
Rights Watch group, said that under international law the threat
could amount to torture.

"International law is absolutely clear that any prisoner is entitled
to humane treatment and cannot be summarily executed. It's not clear
what the CIA man was threatening but if he was threatening to leave
him to rot to death it would be utterly inappropriate. Threat of
execution is a form of severe treatment, if not torture."

Ari Fleischer, President George Bush's spokesman, said that America
had not yet decided what should happen to Mr Walker, who some people
accuse of treason. He said the Department of Defence was
investigating the case.

The CIA said it was not ready to comment on the behaviour of its
operatives on the video.

Source: Independent (UK)



'He's Got To Decide if He Wants to Live or Die Here'
By Colin Soloway
December 6, 2002

EXCLUSIVE: Just hours before his death, CIA agent Mike Spann
interviewed John Walker, the American Taliban. Here is an excerpt
from that videotaped interview

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 sweater?

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?

Long pause.

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

An Afghan soldier pulls Walker's hair back, and holds his head up for
the picture.

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.

Dave: Mike!

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 chance.

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 boot.

Spann [to Dave]: Did you get a chance to look at any of the

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.


homepage: homepage: http://www.iisna.com

also note.. 15.Feb.2002 20:58


3000 POWs are at this moment suffering under horrendous conditions in the prison ministered under Dostem's troops around Mostar, lending credence to the threat of death given by the two CIA war criminals.