Guantanamo Child’s Hearing Set for Thursday


Omar Khadr.jpg
Omar Khadr, the Canadian detainee who has been in lock down at Guantanamo since he was 15 years old is set to be arraigned this Thursday.
His arraignment will be the first military commission hearing since a military appeals court found they had the right to assign the label “unlawful enemy combatants” to detainees last June. A military judge is set to determine whether or not Khadr is in fact an “unlawful enemy combatant” who can be tried by military commissions. This designation is important becuase under the 2006 Military Commissions Act, military commissions at Guantanamo can only prosecute detainees classified as such.
For those not familiar with Omar Khadr’s case read Jeff Tietz’s The Unending Torture of Omar Khadr in Rolling Stone last year.
Yesterday, Human Rights Watch announced that the US makeshift Military Commissions rules were unfair and that the trial of Omar Khadr should be transferred to Federal Court. Read the full statement here.

Jennifer Daskal, senior counterterrorism counsel at Human Rights Watch said “Once again, the military commissions are concocting rules that are fundamentally unfair. It’s time for the Bush administration to recognize that its legal experiment has failed.” The Human Rights Watch news item also raised issue with the US government for turning a blind eye to Khadr’s juvenile status in detaining and trying him as an adult.
I am sure many saw the report in Sunday’s New York Times, which revealed that senior Pentagon officials are considering a proposal that would allow detainees the right to legal representation at preliminary hearings to determine if they are enemy combatants (as of right now, Khadr’s lawyers have been banned from representing him at Thursday’s arraignment.)
The plan would also authorize federal civilian judges to decide the detainees’ legal status, instead of US military officers, officials told the New York Times. These policy shifts are part of a larger administration debate over closing Guantanamo and transferring the current prisoners to the US.
Unfortunately any changes made would be too late for Khadr who has spent his entire adolescence in solitary confinement at Guantanamo. Surprisingly, the Canadian government has taken a “hands off approach” to Khadr’s case and has been relatively silent on US policy at Guantanamo in general.
Jennifer Buntman


4 comments on “Guantanamo Child’s Hearing Set for Thursday

  1. arthurdecco says:

    “What kinds of monsters are these guys?” posted by dasher
    Well, they’re the kinds of monsters the USA breeds, under-educates, indoctrinates, then arms to the teeth before dispersing them to the four corners of our earth where they’re instructed to kill indiscriminately at the slightest whiff of an imagined threat and where they’re trained to destroy everything in their path with a ferocity not seen since Genghis Khan’s hordes swept through Eurasia – all the time self-servingly bragging loudly about their good intentions.
    That’s the kinds of monsters they are, dasher.
    Thank gawd they don’t blow up Buddha statues, because that would define them as cowering, evil, anti-social, uncivilized murderers instead of the beneficent, square-jawed, resolute providers of “de Mock Race, See!” they’re usually soft-lensed as in your sadistic, propagandistic, xenophobic media.
    But back to the fate of young Khadr: What has happened to this boy/now/man is beyond evil – first through his father’s teachings and since through the full weight of the American fascists’ planned destruction of his personality and physical health – their years-long brutalization of his body and brain, courtesy of Israeli “research”. (Oh damn! Did I say that out loud?)
    His mistreatment defines Amerika – a country of thugs, torturers and murderers, (along with their enablers and apologists) – a country with no respect for law and an insatiable hunger for murky vengeance at the expense of any thing that might suggest weakness to a bully recording their behaviour. (Remember Fallujah? Or have you all already forgotten that bloody stain on your collective conscience? I certainly haven’t. Nor have billions of others.)


  2. dasher says:

    Reading the Rolling Stone article, I’m horrified at the conduct of the American soldiers who captured and had custody of this boy. He WAS just a BOY!! 15 and looked as young as 13, and they mistreated him that way?! What kind of monsters are these guys?
    Bush says “We don’t torture.” Yeah, right. Sure sounds like torture to me.


  3. easy e says:

    KUCINICH MOMENT – Cheney Impeachment To House Judiciary Committee
    Fascinating that corporate media and certain progressive blogs aren’t carrying this story.


  4. ... says:

    great example of american freedom and democracy in action.. how many years has the kid been in lock down? this is a classic example of bushs idea of justice.. pathetic.


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