Omar Khadr plea not indicative of actual guilt
"This morning, wearing a dark suit, a white shirt and a dark tie, Omar Khadr, the Canadian citizen who was just 15 years old when he was seized after a firefight in Afghanistan in July 2002, ended an eight-year struggle -- first by the Bush administration, and then by the Obama administration -- to convict him in a war crimes trial at Guantánamo, when he accepted a plea deal in exchange for a reported eight-year sentence.
According to an article in the Miami Herald, drawing on comments made by “two legal sources with direct knowledge” of the deal, Khadr said he “eagerly took part in a July 28, 2002 firefight with US Special Forces in Afghanistan that mortally wounded Sgt 1st Class Christopher Speer.” This was the crux of the case against him, and a charge that he had always previously denied. He also apparently said that he had “aspired as a teen to kill Americans and Jews,” and described his father, Ahmed Said Khadr, who had been responsible for taking him on numerous visits to Pakistan and Afghanistan as a child, leading to the events on the day of his capture, as “a part of Bin Laden’s inner circle, a trusted confidant and fundraiser.”
Khadr’s plea was submitted to the judge, Army Col. Patrick Parrish, by his military defense lawyer, Army Lt. Jon Jackson, and Col. Parrish made sure that he knew what he was doing as he ran thought the charges. “Yes,’’ Khadr replied. “You should only do this if you truly believe it is in your best interests,” Col. Parrish then told him. “Yes,” Khadr replied again. According to the Miami Herald, his voice was “a near whisper,” but became stronger as Col. Parrish read out the charges."
~Andy Worthington | CagePrisoners.com
A "pentagon-approved" photograph of a sketch by pool artist Janet Hamlin, Omar Khadr pleads guilty under oath, addressing Capt Michael Grant, USAF with Military commission Judge Parrish confirming, on Monday October 25, 2010, in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. On Khadr’s right, Canadian lawyer Dennis Edney. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Janet Hamlin
The news of Omar Khadr’s guilty plea in Guantanamo today comes as no surprise to Cageprisoners and others who have been fighting for justice for him over the past decade.
Khadr, Guantananmo’s youngest prisoner and last remaining western national, was brought into US custody barely alive, suffering horrific wounds. Despite his tender age he was not afforded the rights granted to children in a war zone and was designated an ’enemy combatant’ accused of killing a US soldier and other ‘war crimes’.
Omar Khadr, photographed before his capture, and at Guantanamo last year.
Over 600 people have been released from Guantanamo but none of them faced a transparent and internationally recognised legal process. Instead, most were repatriated to countries of origin or resettled in third-party nations (around 30). Six men left Guantanamo in a coffin while and others took plea-bargains. Within a period of three years all western nationals were repatriated and released to their countries of origin - all except for Australian David Hicks who took a plea-deal and returned to Australia shortly after and Salim Hamdan who returned to his native Yemen.
Offering a plea-bargain under the rules of the much discredited military commissions is an exercise in face-saving by the US administration - especially since the President Obama resurrected them instead of closing down the prison as he’d promised.
When the dust cleared, OC-1 saw Khadr crouched on his knees facing away from the action and wounded by shrapnel that had just permanently blinded his left eye, and shot him twice in the back.
Khadr was given on-site medical attention, during which time he repeatedly asked the medics to kill him, surprising them with his English. An officer present later recorded in his diary that he was about to tell his Private Second Class to kill the wounded Khadr, when Delta Force soldiers ordered them not to harm the prisoner. Source
Cageprisoners Director, Moazzam Begg, said:
“Under the circumstances, Omar Khadr accepting a deal should not be seen as an admission of guilt, rather it is one of the few but paradoxical ways of finding a way out of Guantanamo. Shamefully, the Canadian government was unwilling to do what almost all other western nations did: take back its own citizen and treat him with some level of dignity. Instead, even though he‘ll be repatriated he will now have to learn to live in a new prison environment all over again. This child who became an adult in the world‘s most infamous prison. At least though his family will be able to visit him and, his ordeal finally has an end date.”
Cageprisoners is a human rights NGO that exists to raise awareness of the plight of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and other detainees held as part of the War on Terror. We aim to give a voice to the voiceless.
Give a voice to the voiceless.
27 Old Gloucester Street
Telephone: (+44) 203 167 4416 (+44) 203 167 4416
Article from: cageprisoners.com
The Betrayal of Omar Khadr – and of American Justice
Judge denies Guantánamo prisoner’s habeas petition, ignores torture in secret CIA prisons
Khadr trial: A travesty of justice
Omar Khadr trial imperils all child soldiers
Khadr: "I will not willingly let the U.S. government use me"
Seized at 15, Omar Khadr turns 22 in Guantánamo
Latest News from our Front Page
41% of Americans Support Criminalizing "Hate Speech"
The following are from a recent poll about what some are calling on for "hate speech"
1. Support for Hate Crimes Legislation
Do you support or oppose the federal law that requires increased penalties for hate crimes committed on the basis of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or gender of any person?
2. Support for Expanding Hate Crimes
FBI Admits No Major Cases Cracked with Patriot Act Snooping Powers
FBI agents canâ€™t point to any major terrorism cases theyâ€™ve cracked thanks to the key snooping powers in the Patriot Act, the Justice Departmentâ€™s inspector general said in a report Thursday that could complicate efforts to keep key parts of the law operating.
Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said that between 2004 and 2009, the FBI tripled its use of bulk ...
Sweetener Stevia Was Once Hailed As An Anti-Fertility Agent for Population Reduction
Maybe it's not so sweet now... If you've thought stevia, the natural alternative to sugar and artificial sweetners with aspartame, et al., is too good to be true, there may be a catch. Check out this textbook written in 1970 by Paul and Anne Ehrlich, the precursor to the textbook Ecoscience they wrote with Obama Science Czar John P. Holdren ...
TPP Aproved: Senate Republicans Give Obama New Powers - Details Remain 'Classified'
President Obama won a big victory for his trade agenda Friday with the Senateâ€™s approval of fast-track legislation that could make it easier for him to complete a wide-ranging trade deal that would include 11 Pacific Rim nations.
A coalition of 48 Senate Republicans and 14 Democrats voted for Trade Promotion Authority late Friday, sending the legislation to a difficult fight ...
Circumcision battle: Mom seeks release from jail after federal lawsuit is dismissed
West Boynton mother on Wednesday gave up trying to get a federal judge to stop her 4 1/2-year-old son from being circumcised as his father wishes â€” a battle that also led to her arrest May 14 on a state court warrant.
An attorney for Heather Hironimus, who lost similar legal challenges in two state courts, notified U.S. District Judge Kenneth ...
|More News » |