For Omar [updated x 3]

(2PM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

[Updated below after the click]

Forgive my inability to fully express the depth of grief I feel.

For Omar.

For justice. For peace.

For a future for my daughter and all our children sold off to the highest bidder.

God help us all.

See… Carol Rosenberg’s report here: Canadian pleads guilty to war crimes at Guantánamo court.

Carol’s tweet feed here.

or FDL’s emptywheel here.

[UPDATED noonish]:  CNN has this, just the facts Ma’am, for the quick refresher:

Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr pleaded guilty to charges against him Monday, the Pentagon said, in the first military commission trial there since Barack Obama became president.

Khadr, 24, was accused of throwing a grenade during a 2002 firefight in Afghanistan that resulted in the death of Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer, a Special Forces medic.

Khadr, the youngest detainee at Guantanamo Bay, was 15 at the time. He faced a maximum sentence of life in prison.

He pleaded guilty to murder in violation of the laws of war, attempted murder in violation of the laws of war, conspiracy, two counts of providing material support for terrorism and spying in the United States, a Canadian diplomat said.

Also, there will still be a jury hearing on sentencing, apparently mostly a formality… unofficial word is the deal includes one more year at G’mo then he transfers to serve out the remaining 7 years in Canada (as opposed to the life sentence he was likely to get had he refused this “bargain”.

Details of the plea agreement are not made public, Lapan said, because the seven military officers on the jury “get the case without any knowledge of the pretrial agreement. They will issue a sentence for the record, and after that — if the judge allows it — the pretrial agreement can be revealed.”

If the jury’s sentence is different from the plea agreement, the shorter sentence will be imposed, Lapan said.

and more from Rosenberg’s tweets…

# #Guantanamo judge: I’ll release Pentagon deal, which states sentencing cap for Omar #Khadr, once jury has deliberated.

# The guilty plea is an eight-page, 50 paragraph stipulation of facts, a narrative style confession and judge said we’ll get it Tuesday.


Judge: In his deal Omar #Khadr agrees to be “interviewed by U.S. personnel” while at #Guantanamo. At prison camps interview=interrogation.

[UPDATE #2 12:20PM]:  Human Rights First: Khadr Plea Deal Spares United States Further Scrutiny in Flawed Military Commission Case:

Following the announcement, Human Rights First’s Dixon Osburn stated, “The United States has an obligation to rehabilitate and repatriate a child soldier under the age of 18, and it failed to live up to that obligation with Khadr.  The plea deal means that the United States will not face possibly embarrassing details of torture against Khadr, or be subject to endless rounds of appeals that would challenge the constitutionality of the charges against him and the constitutional defects of the military commissions themselves. Today’s plea deal ends a flawed case in a fundamentally flawed system.

Khadr was charged with murder in violation of the laws of war, conspiracy and material support of terrorism for acts that were not war crimes at the time of commission.  Had Khadr proceeded with trial and not accepted the government’s plea deal, appeals of the serious constitutional problems would likely take many more years to resolve. In addition, facts revealed during Khadr’s preliminary hearings suggest that the evidence against him was procured through torture.

Today’s plea agreement brings the total number of U.S. terrorism convictions in military commissions to five, including three plea agreements. Two of those individuals are already free. In sharp contrast, U.S. federal courts have convicted more than 400 terrorists since 9/11, including its most recent conviction of Faisal Shahzad to life in prison for his May 2010 botched Times Square car bombing attempt. Shahzad’s conviction came within six months of his attempted attack. {bolds mine}

[UPDATE #3, 1:48PM]: I was kinda wondering about this: Daphne Eviatar (I urge you to go read in full ~LL)

The lone survivor of a 2002 U.S. assault on an Afghan compound, Khadr was accused of throwing a grenade that killed a U.S. soldier.

But as he entered his guilty plea this morning — after the government agreed he’d serve just one more year at Guantanamo Bay, and an as-yet-unspecified number of years in Canada — it was clear that prosecutors had taken the opportunity to throw the kitchen-sink-full of charges at him – including far more crimes than he’d even been charged with. Most importantly, Khadr pled guilty to the murder of two Afghan soldiers who accompanied U.S. forces in the 2002 assault on the compound. The government has never presented any evidence whatsoever that Khadr was responsible for that.


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  1. I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it.  ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

    • Edger on October 25, 2010 at 17:34

    CTV, June 03, 2007

       Khadr, who was only 15 years old when he was taken into custody, presents a special challenge as the first juvenile to face war crimes charges in decades.


       For activists, Khadr’s as much of a victim as Speer and Sgt. Layne Morris, who was nearly blinded during the firefight.

       “We have a kid who was dragged to meet al Qaeda leaders from the age of 10, sent to military training camps at age 15 and then out to the battlefield to be shot at,” said Jennifer Daskal at Human Rights Watch.


       Authorities insist international law permits them to prosecute Khadr as an enemy combatant without the rights afforded prisoners of war while others argue the United States has an obligation to rehabiliate child soldiers under a United Nations treaty it has ratified.

       Meantime, some find it strange that Khadr is among only three prisoners to be formally charged since the military commission system was revamped last year [in 2006] after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it was illegal.

       “You have to wonder why it’s Omar Khadr who may be the first to go on trial,” said Jameel Jaffer, director of the national security project at the American Civil Liberties Union in New York.

       To give others with links to the Sept. 11 attacks a hearing may expose some uncomfortable information about interrogation techniques employed by the CIA, he said.

       “They don’t want that information on the front of the New York Times.”

    Omar Khadr “…was dragged to meet al Qaeda leaders from the age of 10, sent to military training camps at age 15 and then out to the battlefield to be shot at,” said Jennifer Daskal at Human Rights Watch.

    When a young kid is exposed to and indoctrinated in, for example, a dogmatic religion such as Roman Catholicism (or any other doctrine), from a young age the mindset created is nearly impossible to break out of, and the entire world is seen through the lens of what s/he has been taught. Anything that questions it is seen as threat.

    Khadr’s entire experience with Americans took place after he had already been indoctrinated, and consisted of being shot at and bombed by Americans.

    The US troops entered the flattened compound and the kid jumped out from behind a wall and killed one US troop and maimed another with a grenade.

    Should anything different have been expected?

  2. from a poster over at ew’s place:

    Remember when we used to measure the oppressiveness of other nations by how many people they had in prison? The US now has more people incarcerated, both in total numbers and as a percentage of the population, than any other country on the planet.

    Here we see a case of a child sent to the Gulag whose only recourse is a public confession in a kangaroo court that he is an enemy of the state, while his prosecutors insist, despite his utter powerlessness, that he has control over his own best interests thus relieving themselves of the moral culpability of having destroyed a human being after first rendering him a non-person.

    “I wish you’d stop being so good to me, Boss.” -Cool Hand Luke

  3. The Miami Herald piece is typical of MSM “reporting”. Because Omar is now an adult we are supposed to be fearful because he is bearded and over 6 feet tall, and, of course, have to mention OBL.

    The Harvard Crimson article shows much more basic truth telling.

    `Yes,” said the full bearded now strapping 6-foot-plus son of a now dead Osama bin Laden acolyte who moved is family to Canada when Omar was a boy.

    From Miami Herald.


    Even more disturbing is the fact that the charges Khadr is facing are not actually war crimes under the Geneva Conventions. For the sake of argument, let us just assume Khadr is guilty of the charges brought against him. Even if this were true, since when has killing the enemy on the battlefront become a war crime?

  4. we should be hearing more details tomorrow when they release that document…

  5. give her some recs if you got ’em…

  6. and civil liberty, civilization and our collective humanity, along with the earth itself, are coming at me so thickly at this point I am barely able to assimilate one horror before another comes slithering out. The reality is their are no deals to plea, it’s just the Iron Heel coming down hard.    

  7. if you have time…

    emptywheel and also worthington.

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