We Are the World
We don’t get it. We truly can’t imagine what it was like.
We can’t imagine how dreadful, how terrifying war is;
and how normal it becomes.—Susan Sontag,
Regarding the Pain of Others
The money, said the man in the witness box, was to be “used for shooting
and killing of innocent people” in the north Indian province of Punjab.
Harjit Singh, who was a government witness, could understand English
but spoke in Punjabi, his words translated by the interpreter standing
next to him. Singh was in his mid-thirties, tall and gaunt, a clean-shaven
Sikh with a receding hairline. The interpreter, a short and pudgy bespec-
tacled Pakistani man in his forties who was a former actor, wore a jet-black
Singh had signed a cooperation agreement with the FBI’s Joint Terror-
ism Task Force. He had been arrested for credit card fraud but was hoping
for a reduced sentence because he wore a wire to record conversations with
the man who was sharing his cell in a Brooklyn detention facility. That
man, a Pakistani called Khalid Awan, was the defendant. He too had been
convicted for defrauding credit card companies, to the tune of $2.5 mil-
lion, but, thanks to Singh’s work, he was now on trial for providing ma-
terial aid to terrorists. He was accused of sending money to the Khalistan
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