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GarthButcher

Khadr Sentenced To 40 Years By Military Tribunal

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Well, Khadr has agreed to a plea deal. Apparently if it works out he'll get 1 more year at Gitmo, and 7 years in a Cdn prison.

I'd say that it's a complete disgrace how this guy has been treated. Sure, his family hurt him a lot with their CBC interview, but he's the only westerner in Gitmo whose gov't hasn't stood-up for them.

The terms of the sentence are quite low as well considering the charges. My take on it is:

The US wanted to bury the story of holding a child soldier for 8 years without trial, torturing confessions out of him, and then trying him as a war criminal for fighting back when the compound he was in was invaded by US troops.

They seemed to really want to avoid going to trial, and finally sweetened the deal enough for Khadr to take a plea just to get out of Gitmo and come home.

What a joke from Obama's kangaroo court.

Any thoughts?

By the way, sorry for the horrid pun in the title. It was the name of a CBC report on the whole thing.

http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2010/10/25/omar-khadr-trial-resumes.html

The Canadian government has agreed to Omar Khadr's plea deal that allows him to return to Canada to serve the rest of his sentence after spending a maximum of one year in prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, his lawyer says.

The Toronto-born Khadr pleaded guilty Monday to the five charges against him, including murder and supporting terrorism in Afghanistan, as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors at the U.S. military commission at Guantanamo Bay.

Khadr's Canadian lawyer, Dennis Edney, said Khadr will serve no more than eight years in prison as part of the plea deal and then be subject to parole board conditions upon his release.

Edney, in a phone interview with the CBC from Guantanamo Bay, labelled the plea deal "a piece of paper" and said his client "would have confessed to anything, including the killing of John F. Kennedy, just to get out of this hellhole."

"Had Omar refused, then he was faced with an unfair trial based on evidence that would be inadmissible in a real court and the potential of life in prison in Guantanamo Bay," Edney said.

"We supported this decision, and we would have done the same thing with his position."

Sentencing expected Tuesday

Military judge Col. Patrick Parrish accepted Khadr's pleas and told him he will be eligible to apply for transfer to a Canadian prison after serving one year of his sentence in the United States.

In response to the plea agreement, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's spokesman, Dimitri Soudas, would only say the case is a "matter between Mr. Khadr and the U.S. government."

The comment echoed exactly that of a spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon.

"We have no further comment," Catherine Loubier, Cannon's director of communications, added in an email.

The 24-year-old Khadr is expected to be sentenced Tuesday by a jury of seven military officers.

In a sketch by courtroom artist Janet Hamlin, reviewed by a U.S. Department of Defence official, U.S. Air Force Capt Michael Grant swears in Omar Khadr, right, on Monday in Guantanamo Bay. (Janet Hamlin/Associated Press)

Chief prosecutor Capt. John Murphy welcomed the plea, saying "it removes any doubt from what happened."

"Omar Khadr stands convicted of being a murderer and also of being an al-Qaeda terrorist," Murphy told reporters. "And the evidence did not come from a contested trial. It came from a source that the law recognizes as the most powerful evidence known from the law, and that is his own words."

Parrish said details of the plea deal would not be released until jurors have had a chance to review them.

Khadr had earlier maintained he would never confess to throwing the grenade that killed a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan in July 2002. U.S. officials allege he did so after an attack by U.S. forces on a suspected al-Qaeda compound. Sgt. Christopher Speer was killed and another soldier was wounded.

Shortly after 9 a.m. ET on Monday, Khadr withdrew his previous pleas of not guilty to the charges, including murder in violation of the laws of war, attempted murder in violation of the laws of war, conspiracy, providing material support to terrorists and spying.

Parrish asked Khadr if anyone had forced him to change his pleas, to which Khadr answered: "No."

Parrish then questioned Khadr about each of the charges against him. Asked if he had killed Speer in 2002, Khadr answered, quietly, "Yes." When asked if it was true that he conspired with Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, he also answered "Yes."

Khadr 'abandoned': NDP's Harris

U.S. Navy Capt. John Murphy, chief prosecutor for the military commissions, speaks to media after Canadian Omar Khadr pleaded guilty to war crimes at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on Monday. (Colin Perkel/Canadian Press)

His defence and opposition politicians in Canada have argued Khadr was a child at the time of the killing and should be treated according to international law, which provides that child soldiers be rehabilitated, not punished.

NDP defence critic Jack Harris said the Canadian government's response to Khadr's case was "totally inadequate" and goes against human rights and international law because he was a child soldier.

Canada, he told reporters outside the House of Commons, is the "only country in the world who abandoned" a citizen in Guantanamo Bay.

NDP Leader Jack Layton told CBC's Power & Politics with Evan Solomon, "This government doesn't seem to pay any attention to those issues. We think that's unfortunate and wrong. No wonder the world is looking askance at Canada on the international stage, such as we saw with the UN vote." (He was referring to Canada's failure to win a seat on the UN Security Council earlier this month.)

Murphy, however, said Monday's pleas put to rest "the long-standing argument by some that Khadr is a victim.

"Omar Khadr is not a victim. He's not a child soldier. He's not someone whose conviction is not the product of any abuse. He's a murderer," Murphy said.

The federal government has refused to intervene on Khadr's behalf to have him removed from Guantanamo Bay and returned to Canada. Khadr has been held at the high-security U.S. detention facility since 2002, and is the only Westerner still incarcerated there.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2010/10/25/omar-khadr-trial-resumes.html#ixzz13Pdt3NuR

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His abandonment by this government and country has been disgusting. I hope he sues.

Wetcoaster, if you're around, tell me...can he appeal his 7 year prison sentence upon return? Can he sue to get a new trial? Or something along these lines?

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His abandonment by this government and country has been disgusting. I hope he sues.

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Omar Khadr is not a victim. He's not a child soldier. He's not someone whose conviction is not the product of any abuse. He's a murderer," Murphy said.

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8 years and no trial... yeah america. freedom tastes so good.

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I posted on this previously. Former Canadian General (now Senator) Romeo Dallaire who actually knows something of this and is not some ideological idiot politician said this:

Canada has sunk to the moral equivalent of al-Qaeda by failing to treat Canadian Omar Khadr the same way it treats other child soldiers, Liberal Senator Roméo Dallaire said Tuesday.

Dallaire, who appeared before a foreign affairs committee on international human rights, said Khadr is clearly a child soldier who shouldn't be prosecuted by an illegal court system at Guantanamo Bay but reintegrated into society.

Canada is heading down a slippery slope by failing to obey the United Nations conventions on child soldiers to which it is a signatory, he said.

"The minute you start playing with human rights, with conventions, with civil liberties in order to say you are doing it to protect yourself … you are no better than the guy who doesn't believe in them at all," he said.

"We are slipping down the slope of going down that same route."

...

"If you want a black and white [response] … I am only too prepared to give it to you: absolutely," said Dallaire. "You are either with the law or you are against the law. You're either a child soldier or you're not. You're either guilty or you're not."

Canada must be ready to deal with similar situations in the future, Dallaire said.

"If you think this is the last one, then we're really smoking dope because in this era, we're going to face similar scenarios and we've got to be prepared in this multi-ethnic country to handle it," he said.

Canada must protect all of its citizens, "whether we like them and their beliefs or not. That is irrelevant," he said.

Dallaire said Canadian soldiers have helped rehabilitate more than 7,000 child soldiers in Afghanistan. None of them have been prosecuted, he said.

"What is the political reason? What makes [Khadr] different from the others?" said Dallaire.

Dallaire said Khadr is being tried under an illegal judicial system at Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. prison on the eastern tip of Cuba.

"The thing is flawed, it is illegal and we're letting it happen," he said.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/05/13/dallaire-khadr.html

There was great line by Bob Rae commenting upon the federal government's continuing refusal to request the repatriation of Khadr (as has been done with every other detainee who was citizen of a Western democracy years ago) and continue to rely upon the excuse that there is an on-going US legal process:

"They've been in denial for so long," he said. "It's like a Monty Python sketch: This is a dead tribunal."

Khadr's military defence lawyer, Lt. Cmdr. William Kuebler, summed up the case this way:

"This young man's ordeal has gone on long enough and the U. S. can begin restoring its reputation by following international law requiring former child soldiers such as Omar to be treated as victims entitled to opportunities for rehabilitation and social reintegration, rather than as adult war criminals."

The Bush Administration simply ignored international law and changed the rules and the canadian governemnt just meekly allowed it to happen. They were hammered by the US Supreme Court so they just go back and re-write the rules again and again hoping to finally get it right. The term "Kangaroo Court" describes this process to a T.

http://www.iht.com/articles/reuters/2008/0...NAMO-TRIALS.php

As well as being a clear violation of the "child soldier" definition the Bush Administration has condoned coercion and torture to obtain evidence - something that would never be tolerated in a normal court setting - even a normal military tribunal. That is why they have tried to keep the proceedings in Gitmo.

The major problems I have are three fold:

  • The US executive branch has been told time and again that their military tribunal system is unlawful by their own courts

  • Khadr is a child soldier and should not be subject to such proceedings even if they were lawful - Canada has signed on internationally on that one.

  • Britain and Australia all demanded that their citizens be returned from Guantanamo Bay, even adults - and they were.

The western legal system quite properly rejects involuntary confessions as they are not only unconstitutional they are also unreliable.

Here is the classic definition of an involuntary confession:

An admission, especially by an individual who has been accused of a crime, that is not freely offered but rather is precipitated by a threat, fear, torture, or a promise.

The US military prosecutors have pulled a witness who would have shed light on Khadr's treatment. Khadr (then 15) was held incommunicado for two years with no access to counsel, family or Canadian Embassy personnel - the latter another entitlement under international law:

The American government has withdrawn a witness against Omar Khadr in an effort to hide evidence of its mistreatment of the Canadian during his detention at Guantanamo Bay, his Pentagon-appointed lawyer says.

The special agent had been slated to testify at Mr. Khadr's war-crimes trial next month about a self-incriminating statement the prisoner gave in December 2004.

Mr. Khadr's legal team maintains the statement was coerced and wanted to question the U.S. Defence Department agent about the statement.

Lt.-Cmdr. Bill Kuebler, who is defending Mr. Khadr before a military commission, said the government is trying to cut off defence probing of his abuse by U.S. authorities.

“It's a shocking concession by the government that effectively (says) the things that Omar relates about his mistreatment in 2003 and 2004 are true, otherwise they wouldn't be seeking to side-step the issue by withdrawing this witness,” Lt.-Cmdr. Kuebler said from Washington.

“It corroborates or confirms that . . . this kid was absolutely traumatized and mistreated by U.S. government authorities and now the U.S. government is trying to continue to cover that up.”

Marine Maj. Jeff Groharing, who is prosecuting Mr. Khadr, confirmed the withdrawal of the witness but did not offer an explanation.

Mr. Khadr was held at the infamous Bagram prison following his capture in Afghanistan in July 2002 at the age of 15, before being shipped to Guantanamo Bay.

In questioning by intelligence agents during his detention, Mr. Khadr related details of the firefight that left him badly injured and an American soldier dead.

He made several incriminating statements, which he disavowed in February 2003, when he was finally allowed to talk to Canadian officials.

Mr. Khadr, now 22, claims in an affidavit that his recantation sparked reprisals from his captors, including sleep deprivation, being held in stress positions and kept in isolation.

His lawyers argue their client was clearly afraid of what would happen if he didn't say what his interrogators wanted him to say — hence the incriminating statement in December 2004.

“A key 2004 statement allegedly taken from Mr. Khadr as much as acknowledges that an inculpatory statement had to be dragged out of him,” their legal submissions state.

“Mr. Khadr expressed fear of retribution for his initial unwillingness to say what the agents wanted to hear, expressing his hope that his ‘other interrogator would not be mad at him' for initially failing to confess.”

The defence had planned to make Mr. Khadr's treatment during his entire captivity from July 2002 until December 2004 an issue in his trial but corroborating documentation related to the earlier time frame has been lost.

“Evidence is out there to suggest that the reason we don't have (earlier) materials . . . is that the government was in the process of systematically destroying such information to prevent its use in legal proceedings,” Lt.-Cmdr. Kuebler said.

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Wouldn't be unlikely that he would win seeing that he plead guilty to war crimes?

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Is it still legal to shoot child soldier in battle?

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Wouldn't be unlikely that he would win seeing that he plead guilty to war crimes?

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Wetcoaster, i posed some questions for you up thread....care to impart to us your opinion?

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Wetcoaster, i posed some questions for you up thread....care to impart to us your opinion?

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Is it still legal to shoot child soldier in battle?

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No, you have to let him shoot you.

Seriously? Yet another bizarre tangent. :blink:

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Just figuring out where the line is. Do I have to be deeply knowlegable of every international and legal ruling that there is?

Since that's the case suprised with a dead soldier on the co-alition side that there was any prisoners left to take in the first place. In good news the old man that got him into it is in the ground.

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Canada

Section 46 of the Criminal Code of Canada has two degrees of treason, called "high treason" and "treason." However, both of these belong to the historical category of high treason, as opposed to petty treason which does not exist in Canadian law. Section 46 reads as follows:

"High treason

(1) Every one commits high treason who, in Canada,

(a) kills or attempts to kill Her Majesty, or does her any bodily harm tending to death or destruction, maims or wounds her, or imprisons or restrains her;

(B ) levies war against Canada or does any act preparatory thereto; or

© assists an enemy at war with Canada, or any armed forces against whom Canadian Forces are engaged in hostilities, whether or not a state of war exists between Canada and the country whose forces they are.

Treason

(2) Every one commits treason who, in Canada,

(a) uses force or violence for the purpose of overthrowing the government of Canada or a province;

(B ) without lawful authority, communicates or makes available to an agent of a state other than Canada, military or scientific information or any sketch, plan, model, article, note or document of a military or scientific character that he knows or ought to know may be used by that state for a purpose prejudicial to the safety or defence of Canada;

© conspires with any person to commit high treason or to do anything mentioned in paragraph (a);

(d) forms an intention to do anything that is high treason or that is mentioned in paragraph (a) and manifests that intention by an overt act; or

(e) conspires with any person to do anything mentioned in paragraph (B ) or forms an intention to do anything mentioned in paragraph (B ) and manifests that intention by an overt act."

It is also illegal for a Canadian citizen to do any of the above outside Canada.

The penalty for high treason is life imprisonment. The penalty for treason is imprisonment up to a maximum of life, or up to 14 years for conduct under subsection (2)(B ) or (e) in peacetime.

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Canada

Section 46 of the Criminal Code of Canada has two degrees of treason, called "high treason" and "treason." However, both of these belong to the historical category of high treason, as opposed to petty treason which does not exist in Canadian law. Section 46 reads as follows:

"High treason

(1) Every one commits high treason who, in Canada,

(a) kills or attempts to kill Her Majesty, or does her any bodily harm tending to death or destruction, maims or wounds her, or imprisons or restrains her;

(B ) levies war against Canada or does any act preparatory thereto; or

© assists an enemy at war with Canada, or any armed forces against whom Canadian Forces are engaged in hostilities, whether or not a state of war exists between Canada and the country whose forces they are.

Treason

(2) Every one commits treason who, in Canada,

(a) uses force or violence for the purpose of overthrowing the government of Canada or a province;

(B ) without lawful authority, communicates or makes available to an agent of a state other than Canada, military or scientific information or any sketch, plan, model, article, note or document of a military or scientific character that he knows or ought to know may be used by that state for a purpose prejudicial to the safety or defence of Canada;

© conspires with any person to commit high treason or to do anything mentioned in paragraph (a);

(d) forms an intention to do anything that is high treason or that is mentioned in paragraph (a) and manifests that intention by an overt act; or

(e) conspires with any person to do anything mentioned in paragraph (B ) or forms an intention to do anything mentioned in paragraph (B ) and manifests that intention by an overt act."

It is also illegal for a Canadian citizen to do any of the above outside Canada.

The penalty for high treason is life imprisonment. The penalty for treason is imprisonment up to a maximum of life, or up to 14 years for conduct under subsection (2)(B ) or (e) in peacetime.

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What line? The line between surreal and real?

The obvious answer does not require one be "deeply knowlegable (sic) of every international and legal ruling".

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An incarceration based on Charter violation surely must supercede a Canadian court's unwillingness to hear testimony or to re-try an individual based on unsound sentences from a unconstitutional and more importantly, a non internationally recognised legal authority. Isn't that a fair statement and more to the point isn't that a reasonable expectation, by us?

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I find some of the wailing over poor Mr. Kadr to be surreal myself.

Granted it's not right to torture even enemy captured soldiers, but right or wrongly, this is an enemy captured soldier who should be happy he wasn't shot and killed in the firefight that caused all this issue.

Frankly, if they want to rehab him, go ahead, but I don't want him in this country. He's afgani now.

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