Tag: Omar Khadr

War Court vs. Civilian Trial

Well what do ya know, Justice {Civilian Courts} still works in the U.S.! Another of the Gitmo detainee’s, only this one went to trial, was found that the U.S. Government didn’t have much evidence of his guilt. Same for the hundreds let go after years being held and most likely tortured after the bush admin picked them off the streets or wherever and whisked them away to other countries prisons, so the U.S. could denie the torture, and to Guantanamo and held incommunicado from the outside world, human rights, defense of charges and any evidence of what they were charged with!

sham/e UPDATED

Michelle Shephard’s tweet:

#

40 years. Wow. #Khadr looked straight ahead. Widow of soldier he was convicted of killing cheered out in court.

#

#Guantanamo sentence 15 more than even Pentagon prosecutors asked for in #Khadr case.    

# The 40 year #Khadr sentence unexpected. Pentagon lawyers asked for 25. Prosecutor had said, “send a message.” I’d say they sure did that.

Ill try to come back later to add updates and more info.

Sick. Just sick. The widow cheered.

shephardm

#Guantanamo prosecutors, #Khadr lawyers on the way to media hangar for press conferences. #Military jurors have declined to be interviewed.

updates below

For Omar [updated x 3]

[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.

Omar Khadr Trial SUSPENDED ! Defense lawyer collapses in court !

Yesterday evening the news broke that Omar Khadr’s only attorney, Lt Col Jon Jackson, collapsed in the Guantanamo courtroom during the beginning of the trial !

(previous diary on the trial & background history here: https://docudharma.com/diar…  )

A witness posted this at Huffpo:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…

On Thursday afternoon I watched Omar Khadr’s sole defense lawyer, Lt. Col. Jon Jackson, collapse in the Guantanamo Bay courtroom in the middle of conducting a cross-examination of a key government witness. He was taken away on a stretcher by ambulance, hooked up to an I.V. Fortunately Jackson, who’s only 39 years old, was breathing normally at the time, though as an observer in the courtroom I was stunned. It all happened so suddenly and he seemed to be in perfect health and in complete control of his questioning. I learned Friday morning that the trial has been suspended indefinitely.

This morning’s update says that Lt Col Jackson suffered a gall stone attack (after having had surgery 2 months ago)  and is being evacuated from Guantanamo to a hospital in the US for medical treatment.   Reporters were told by an official that the trial has been suspended for at least 30 days.  

Emptywheel at FDL also has this:

http://emptywheel.firedoglake….

There is a comment about removing one of the jurors from the case for having so called pre conceived notions


He said he thought that some earlier policies had lost America its “reputation for being a beacon of freedom.”

Asked specifically which policies had led him to this conclusion he authoritatively cited examples including; charge without trial, torture, rendition and the denial of access to members of the International Committee of the Red Cross to detainees held in secret locations. He went on to say that he believed a small number of detainees may have been killed while in American custody but added: “I don’t think my views differ from those of the President.”

By the time he had admitted that he would be “suspicious” of any evidence obtained under torture his fate was sealed.

Carol Rosenberg’s McClatchy Miami Herald

http://www.miamiherald.com/201…

We know from her report Khadr was in the courtroom after all,

Jackson was put on “convalescent leave,” according to Broyles, a status that allows him to continue to draw a salary and not use up vacation days.

He cited privacy reasons for not releasing the lieutenant colonel’s health condition but said he was likely being airlifted to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the Pentagon’s premier hospital. He was on a morphine drip Thursday night at the base hospital.

Jackson, who has been on the case for about a year, became Khadr’s lone lawyer within a week of his surgery after the Toronto-born teen fired volunteer civilian attorneys Barry Coburn and Kobie Flowers from Washington D.C.

Parrish ordered the Army defender to stay on the case, but the Pentagon Defense Office provided him no additional assistance beyond two enlisted paralegals who had already been on the case.

Khadr, who sits in court with three guards behind him, leaped to his feet when his Army defender collapsed about 4 p.m. Thursday, according to Khadr family lawyer Dennis Edney, who functions in the war court only as a consultant because he is not a U.S. citizen. The guards didn’t interfere.

“We were all shocked,” Edney said.

Canadian:

http://www.torontosun.com/news…

Ottawa Citizen

We Should Be Embarrassed 8/13/2010

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/n…

A United Nations special representative for children and armed conflict issued a statement on Aug. 9, saying “the Omar Khadr case will set a precedent that may endanger the status of child soldiers all over the world.”

“Even if Omar Khadr were to be tried in a national jurisdiction, juvenile justice standards are clear; children should not be tried before military tribunals,” the statement from Radhika Coomaraswamy explains. “The United States and Canada have led the way in creating and implementing these norms. … I urge both governments to come to a mutually acceptable solution on the future of Omar Khadr that would prevent him from being convicted of a war crime that he allegedly committed when he was a child.”

Canada’s government has ignored this, as it has ignored questions about the implications of Khadr’s age all along.

His age, though, is not the only factor that makes many observers of his trial queasy.

There is also the fact that the judge has ruled that statements Khadr made to his interrogators are admissible, even though they were, as Khadr’s defence argued, “fruit of a poisonous tree.” Khadr was, in the words of a defence submission, “asphyxiated, terrorized by dogs, doused with freezing water and left in the cold.” He was threatened with rape.  

More Canadian opinion from Chantal Hébert at Toronto Star 8/11/2010


Canada’s top court described Khadr’s treatment as “. . . state conduct that violates the principles of fundamental justice.” It added: “Interrogation of a youth, to elicit statements about the most serious criminal charges while detained in these conditions and without access to counsel (. . .) offends the most basic Canadian standards about the treatment of detained youth suspects.”

About violations of Khadr’s Charter rights, the Court found that: “. . . their impact on Mr. Khadr’s liberty and security continue to this day and may redound into the future.”

Despite those prescient words, the ruling stopped short of prescribing a remedy to the federal government.

On the face of it, the absence of Supreme Court prescriptions in the Khadr case falls short of its own, recently reaffirmed, deterrence principle. In a matter that involves state abuse of the right to liberty and security of a person in a fundamental way, that absence has ultimately tipped the scale towards virtually unfettered government discretion.

Got to love our northern sisters and brothers, “unfettered government discretion” is used to describe being held without charges or legal counsel, then put on trial in a foreign country in front of a jury of military officers, apparently selected to have no pre conceived notions about whether your age was relevant years ago, or how the “confessions” or just witness statements were obtained –  by shooting you in the back, first, then isolating you for years in the disgrace of Bush & Cheney’s little waterboarding gulag where you no doubt heard what happened to the prisoners who didn’t cooperate– or sometimes did.

No wonder poor Lt Col Jon Jackson might be feeling some physical stress attempting to navigate this.  Kids don’t get to select their parents.  

Omar Show Trial on Hold

I want to point you to this very nicely written piece by HRW’s G’mo attendee, Andrea Prasow:

The Man Gitmo Raised, Omar Khadr’s trial is a reminder of everything that went wrong with justice at Guantánamo Bay.

It’s not very long and she neatly recaps the back story for you, then touches on a couple of key points as well. Go read it. I’ll wait. Okay, here’s a teaser:

Khadr’s trial was about to begin in January 2009, when the newly-inaugurated President Barack Obama ordered a stay of all military commission proceedings. Many believed that Obama would scrap the military commission system altogether, but that May, he announced his plan to revive an improved version of them. The resulting legislation did have better rules limiting the admission of hearsay and evidence obtained through coercion. So Khadr was charged yet again — this time with murder, attempted murder in violation of the laws of war, conspiracy, providing material support for terrorism, and spying. A military judge ruled this week that almost all of the statements Khadr made to interrogators were reliable, including those made following a threat of rape, and would be admissible at trial.

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“Kildeer” Gibbs and Omar Khadr Trial

My contention is that White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is doing the Kildeer maneuver, like the bird who cries to draw you away from its nest,  as a distraction from what is going on with the trial of Omar Khadr, who has been held in U.S. custody as an enemy combatant for 8 years and since he was only 15 years old.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O…

Since Khadr was not yet of legal age when he was nearly killed then revived by the U.S. military, then used as part of Bush and Cheney’s sadistic little game to “prove” that this country needed to invade Iraq on false pretenses, it looks really awkward, not to mention immoral, to be trying the prisoner with the idea of permanent incarceration or the death penalty. (if the prosecution is to be believed, the maximum penalty in this case is life imprisonment)  Even more so that he was born in Canada.

Hence Kildeer Gibb’s dig about not being satisfied until we had Canadian healthcare.  Obviously we have the finest healthcare in the world because we can revive almost indefinitely people who have nearly been tortured to death.

Because I checked the usual suspects on the kick a hippie sh*t stirring list, the OFA/DNC paid campaigner and Beltway insider types, the ones who like to use the word “firebaggers,”   and they’re all ignoring this like it’s his turn.  Like they radioed in the strike coordinates to the WH @ PressSec office.

Or they are going to actually proxy bomb Iran next.  But then I remembered the game right wing people like to play called “you’re insincere in your concerns.”

Maybe Kildeer Gibbs could diss the Canadians’ troops next and they could pull out of Afghanistan like the Dutch did.

http://www.aolnews.com/world/a…

Aug 3 2010


“This is the start,” an Afghan political analyst, Haroon Mir, told Agence France-Presse. “It’s a chain — the Dutch start to withdraw, followed by the Canadians, then the British by 2014. In the middle I think we will see a number of other NATO members… setting a timetable to leave.”

The Dutch will be replaced by U.S. and Australian, Slovak and Singaporean soldiers.

Canadian press, this am:

Montreal Gazette Aug 12, 2010

Khadr trial to hear first arguments

http://www.montrealgazette.com…


More than eight years after U.S. forces captured a 15-year-old Omar Khadr on an Afghan battlefield, prosecution and defence lawyers present their opening arguments today in his war crimes trial -the first such case proceeding under the Obama administration.

Seven U.S. military officers will sit in judgment of the Canadian-born terror suspect after the military judge in the case yesterday excused eight others from the initial jury pool, acting on requests and challenges from either the defence or prosecution.

Postmedia News has also learned that the defence has been seeking to present two Canadian government officials as defence witnesses – a request likely to rankle the Conservative government, which has resisted calls from human- rights and other activist groups calling for Khadr’s immediate repatriation.

The officials – Sabine Nolke and Suneeta Millington – have over the years been dispatched to visit Khadr at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as part of the Canadian government’s bid to monitor his confinement conditions and other aspects of his treatment.  

Omar Khadr is so far intending on being tried in absentia because he considers the entire proceedings a sham and has fired his U.S. civilian lawyers. He has a Pentagon appointed attorney.

Have Not, Want Not

I was jerked awake (off my cloud!) today by recent developments with the military commissions scenario with Guantanamo prisoner, Canadian Omar Khadr.  Here’s a brief analysis from Michelle Sheppard, the Canadian journalist who literally wrote the book on Omar Khadr.

Khadr told his lawyers he has lost hope and doesn’t believe in the system.

How can I ask for justice from a process that does not have it,” he told the court this week, reading from a statement he wrote.

Kinda nails it right there, doesn’t he?

I’m doing a presentation on Omar Khadr, in Vancouver, BC, Canada

Hello Friends,

   Just a word for those is the Pacific Northwest, especially Vancouver.

   I will be doing a presentation entitled:

   “Omar Khadr, American Torture and Why You Should Care”

   Friday, May 21st

   7pm

   St. Mark’s Anglican Church, Kitsilano

       1805 Larch St.

       Vancouver

       (2nd and Larch)

   $5

   You are all invited and very welcome.

   (Sorry to be so cryptic, but it’s easier to make details clear.)

             Hugs,

             Heather

   

Speechless UPDATED w Rachel vid

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WASHINGTON – The Pentagon Thursday banned four reporters, including one from McClatchy Newspapers, from covering future military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, charging that they’d violated ground rules by publishing the name of a former Army interrogator who was a witness at a hearing there this week.

The news organizations – McClatchy, the Toronto Star, the Toronto Globe and Mail and CanWest Newspapers of Canada – said they’d appeal the Pentagon’s decision and that their reporters hadn’t violated the ground rules.

Col. David Lapan, the director of Defense Press Operations, said the ban affects only the individual reporters and that their organizations would be allowed to send others to future hearings. The banned reporters were Carol Rosenberg of McClatchy’s Miami Herald, Michelle Shephard of the Toronto Star, Paul Koring of Toronto’s Globe and Mail and Steven Edwards of CanWest Newspapers.

Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/201…

(UPDATES x 2 at the end)

Short Takes: Obama, APA, & Omar Khadr

Arch-neocon William Kristol and the New York Times seem bent on shoving their racial swiftboating tactics down our throats. Kristol was forced to issue a partial retraction after writing a story that claimed Barack Obama lied when he said he wasn’t present at a sermon by his pastor Jeremiah White that purportedly blamed blamed “the ‘arrogance’ of the ‘United States of White America’ for much of the world’s suffering, especially the oppression of blacks.” Kristol and the right-wing want to paint Obama as a racial extremist, or someone who cynically manipulates racist extremists, and this to frighten white Americans.

Of course, Obama was never at such a sermon. And frankly, it wouldn’t have mattered if he were. Obama spoke his piece on the anger of black America the other day, in a well-received speech on the impact of racial divisions on the United States. While I think Wright’s comments weren’t “divisive” — comments Obama felt he had to disavow — nevertheless, he said they were understandable, given the history of slavery, Jim Crow, and other racial discrimination. And that’s more than any other U.S. politician would give towards the validation of black rage, much of it, as Obama pointed out, directed impotently at misplaced or non-powerful targets, or turned inward.

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Noted bioethicist and physician, Steven Miles, comments favorably on my analysis of the APA’s new resolution language concerning a ban on psychologist participation in torture in Bush’s prison gulag abroad:

U.S. on Canadian Torture Watch List – Updated

Guards sit in a tower overlooking Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, Cuba. This image has been reviewed and approved by U.S. Department of Defense.

Canada puts U.S. on torture watch list: CTV

Omar Khadr’s lawyers say they can’t understand why Canada is not doing more to help their client in light of new evidence that Ottawa has put the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on a watch list for torture.

Khadr — a Canadian citizen who was just 15-years-old when he was captured in Afghanistan more than five years ago and taken to Guantanamo — has claimed that he has been tortured at the prison.