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GarthButcher

Khadr Sentenced To 40 Years By Military Tribunal

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We now have good reason why the US military fought tooth and nail to coerce a guilty plea from Omar Khadr before an unlawful military tribunal. A US civil court would never have countenanced the evidence extracted by abuse and torture to sustain a conviction.

This has just occurred in New York state where Ahmed Ghailani, who was implicated in the 1998 terrorist bombings of the United States Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania that killed 224 people, including 12 Americans was put on trial civilly and not under the kangaroo court dreamt up by the US government and administered with no real legal safeguards by the US military.

Ahmed Ghailani was the first former Guantanamo Bay detainee to be tried in federal criminal court and was found guilty on a single conspiracy charge on November 17, 2010 but cleared on 284 other counts.

The court had problems with the evidence tendered by the prosecutors. They rejected the evidence that was "fruit of the poisonous tree" obtained by torture.

Analysis of the verdict is likely to focus on U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan's decision to exclude the testimony of a Tanzanian whom the prosecution had described as a potentially "giant witness." The man was expected to say that he sold Ghailani explosives used in the attack.

But the judge ruled that the government learned of the witness only through the use of coercive interrogations at CIA prisons and that the participation of the witness would taint the process.

"The court has not reached this conclusion lightly," Kaplan wrote, barring the testimony. "It is acutely aware of the perilous nature of the world we live in. But the constitution is the rock upon which our nation rests. We must follow it not only when it is convenient, but when fear and danger beckon in a different direction." The prosecution did not seek to introduce any statements Ghailani made to the CIA.

Luckily for the US the Khadr military tribunal was not bound by such legal technicalities. And in Khadr's case the only real evidence was his coerced statements to his torturers as there was conflicting evidence from the soldiers who witnessed the firefight and photo evidence that supported the evidence that an adult soldier was alive and fighting when the compound was breached, not just Khadr as the military prosecutors tried to claim. That witness only identified as "Soldier 2" (believed to be a Delta Force soldier) had his evidence come to light when military prosecutors inadvertently included his statement in a package of other documents.

http://www.thestar.com/specialsections/omarkhadr/article/717885--omar-khadr-innocent-in-death-of-u-s-soldier

The military prosecutors ably aided and abetted by the military tribunal fought to prevent "Soldier 2" being called as witness for the defence and refused to identify him or order the defence have access to him.

Here is how some view the Ahmed Ghailani verdict. :blink:

Republican lawmakers, however, said the verdict should force the administration to abandon the civilian trials. "I am disgusted at the total miscarriage of justice today in Manhattan's federal civilian court," said Rep. Peter T. King (N.Y.), the ranking Republican on the Homeland Security Committee. "This tragic verdict demonstrates the absolute insanity of the Obama administration's decision to try al-Qaeda terrorists in civilian courts."

As retired Rear Admiral John Hutson, who served as a Judge Advocate in the United States Navy from 1973‐2000 and as the Judge Advocate General of the Navy from 1997‐2000 said in his testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee on July 7, 2009:

If the point of this exercise is to create a court system that will ensure convictions of alleged terrorists against whom we don’t have sufficient admissible evidence, then we have missed the point. You can’t have a legitimate court unless you are willing to risk an acquittal. If you aren’t willing to accept the possibility that a jury will acquit the accused based on the evidence fairly presented, then it isn’t really a court. It’s a charade.

The corollary to that is that you can’t have a real court if the rules of evidence and procedure are so stacked against the defendant that he has no real chance to present his case or defend against the government’s case. The admissible evidence against him based on the facts may be so overwhelming that conviction is assured but that must be the consequence of facts, not rules of evidence tilted in favor of the prosecution.

And as both former military prosecutors and defence counsel have pointed out in detail that is precisely the system that was in place at Guantanamo Bay and resulted in cooked evidence, lack of disclosure of exculpatory evidence and coerced confessions and a coerced guilty plea from Omar Khadr. (see post #583)

As Admiral Hutson points out this is not a real court... a legitimate court - it cannot be so under these abhorrent conditions.

Much "gooder" to get a pre-determined guilty verdict in a system totally rigged against an accused prepared to accept torture and coerced confessions and pleas, eh?

The US should be ashamed of itself because it has let the terrorists succeed and put lie to the rights freedoms for which it claims to be fighting. Hypocrites of the first order.

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You are talking about a process akin to what is known a proceeding by a guardian ad litem for an underage (or incompetent) plaintiff.

http://www.duhaime.o...ianAdLitem.aspx

However Khadr is now an adult and the clock cannot be wound back since he now has legal capacity to sue in his own name.

As part of the plea agreement Omar Khadr gave up any and all rights he had, has or may have in future to sue the US government over his capture, detention, guilty plea and conviction. That agreement was signed when he was an adult and while he was represented by legal counsel. Additionally as basic principle any guardian ad litem,representative, proxy or agent suing on behalf of principal cannot have greater rights than that of the factual plaintiff.

The only possible way around that I can see would be to first have the guilty plea and plea agreement set aside by a US court and that would be difficult to do as I understand US law. Having it set aside in any other jurisdiction other than US would have no real effect since a US court would not recognize the jurisdiction of the foreign tribunal to bind a US tribunal or the US government.

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What if they went the route of mitigating the plea deal by arguing Omar's actual mental capacity or limited capacity based on PTSD or a kind of Stockholm syndrome, with not properly taken into account at the time of signing the deal, and his lawyer wasn't privy to this knowledge either at the time of signing. Would that be an angle of possible attack? If not, why not? If Omar is physically the age of majority but mentally or psychologically still closer to the age of a minor, who has been stunted developmentally, that should be a mitigating factor to set the deal aside, no?

Or are there other derivations of what i'm reaching for here, that you could also see?

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He was represented by legal counsel who crafted the plea agreement, so it would be a claim that would be almost impossible to make out.

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What would be some common reasons for a court to set aside plea deals or rulings in the conext of official abuse or torture....or where could you point me to look at them myself?

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There are a number of US cases but they invariably deal with counsel who lack competence. These cases fall under the rubric of "ineffective assistance of counsel" as guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment to the US Constitution but I do not see that would apply here. The US Supreme Court is taking pretty much a hands-off approach to the military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay as they seem beyond the reach of the US Bill of Rights. in the US a defendant is generally cloaked with many constitutional rights up until his guilty plea (Khadr not so much) is entered. Generally for a US plea agreement to be valid in a normal criminal prosecution (and this was not one of those), the following elements must be present:

  • A voluntary waiver of constitutional rights
  • A knowing waiver of these rights
  • A factual basis for the charges to which the defendant is pleading

Given the acquiescence of the US courts to the military tribunal system (when they already recognized it did not meet the usual constitutional standards of a normal criminal court), I do not see a viable means of setting aside the guilty plea in the US.

In the Canadian context it is quite rare to set aside a guilty plea and I am unaware of any case that would directly support Khadr although there have been cases where guilty pleas have been overturned:

http://www.cbc.ca/ca...les-smith-.html

http://jmortonmusing...uilty-plea.html

Here is a BCCA case that looks at what guilty pleas mean and their effect:

http://www.courts.go...006BCCA0325.htm

As I noted it may well be that the guilty plea could be vacated in Canada given the ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada in January of 2010 but that will not be of much assistance to Khadr in trying to sue the US government.

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There is just more and more news coming out of Wikileaks.

France pressed U.S. on Khadr as Ottawa stood silent: WikiLeaks

Campbell Clark

Ottawa— Globe and Mail Update

Published Wednesday, Dec. 01, 2010 3:00PM EST <h5 class="articledateline sans sm">Last updated Wednesday, Dec. 01, 2010 5:09PM EST

</h5>

France's foreign minister asked the United States to consider releasing Omar Khadr from Guantanamo Bay even though the Harper government adamantly refused to intervene, according to leaked U.S. diplomatic cables.

The memo, released by WikiLeaks, shows that Bernard Kouchner, who was French President Nicolas Sarkozy's foreign minister until three weeks ago, personally asked U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to review the case in a meeting in February of 2009.

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It reveals that leading figures in allied governments were pressing Washington over the case of a Canadian citizen – even though Canada's government was not.

The State Department cable includes a summary of a discussion about U.S. efforts to close the controversial Guantanamo Bay detention facility, in which Ms. Clinton, then only weeks in office, calls the facility a "cancer" but says it will take time to close down.

And after Mr. Kouchner discussed the prospect of accepting some of the detainees in Europe, the foreign minister sought Ms. Clinton's intervention in Mr. Khadr's case, the cable notes.

"At the end of this discussion, the FM handed the Secretary a paper concerning Omar Khadr, a 15-year old Muslim of Canadian origin. The Secretary agreed to review the case," the cable states.

Mr. Khadr was in fact 22 at the time of the meeting – he was 15 in 2002 when he was detained by U.S. forces in Afghanistan, accused of fighting with al-Qaeda and throwing a grenade that killed Sergeant Christopher Speer. He pleaded guilty to murder and terrorism charges in a plea-bargain agreement in October of this year, and is expected to serve part of his sentence in Canada.

For years, however, the Canadian government faced pressure to demand his repatriation from groups who argued he was a child soldier when he was detained. But Prime Minister Stephen Harper steadfastly insisted Mr. Khadr faced serious charges, and refused to intervene with the United States.

Mr. Kouchner, whose pre-politics interest in human rights and humanitarian work included a role in founding Médecins sans frontières, "asked the U.S. for assistance" with Mr. Khadr's case during the meeting, the cable records, without detailing the conversation.

During the meeting, Ms. Clinton asked for help in resettling Guantanamo Bay detainees in Europe, but Mr. Kouchner noted that because of common visa policies the European Union had to address the issue together. EU countries agreed with resettling the detainees in principle, but would judge them on a case-by-case basis to avoid legal issues, he said.

http://www.theglobea...article1820952/

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Omar Khadr is applying to be repatriated to Canada. He is eligible to be returned as of next Monday and will be processed under the existing laws not the amendments as proposed in the omnibus crime bill.

Khadr submits request to come home

Transfer will be handled under existing laws, safety minister says

Omar Khadr's transfer back to Canada from Guantanamo Bay will be dealt with under current legislation, not the new provisions contained in a controversial crime bill now up for debate in the House of Commons, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews confirmed Tuesday.

"I'm not going to comment on any specific case," he said, "All I can tell you is that any application made (through) the International Transfer of Offenders Act will be dealt with in accordance with the legislation as it exists."

Eligible for a transfer back to Canada as of Monday, the 25-year-old war criminal has already submitted his request for repatriation to Canada, his lawyer, John Norris, told AFP.

"He is still in Guantanamo Bay," he said. "We understand that the process is underway."

Last October, Khadr pleaded guilty to war crimes committed when he was 15 in Afghanistan - namely throwing a grenade that killed a U.S. soldier in 2002.

Khadr was sentenced to 40 years in jail but under a plea deal, he only had to serve eight. He became eligible to serve the remainder of that sentence in Canada after spending one more year in Guantanamo.

That year ended this week. Norris said he hoped the transfer would happen "very soon," but ministry officials have said the process is one that could take 18 months.

The government has said in the past that it would respect the transfer agreement. The confirmation came after a diplomatic note between U.S. and Canadian officials surfaced. The note indicated the Harper government was "inclined to favourably consider" a request for transfer.

Reports have suggested Ottawa may ask Khadr to agree to drop any pending legal action as part of his repatriation but the government has refused to comment on specifics of the case due to privacy.

Norris told AFP that "nobody has identified any obstacles to us" though the "bureaucracy may need some time to move."

The opposition suggested Tuesday that the process ought to be expedited.

"This is not a new file for the government so why should it take 18 months is beyond me," said NDP justice critic Jack Harris.

"The government has always found excuses for putting off answering that question about allowing Mr. Khadr to return to Canada."

Though Toews seemed to dismiss the idea, Harris also expressed concern that the government could be dragging its heels to allow time for the Safe Streets and Communities Act to pass.

Among other things, the omnibus bill would amend the International Transfer of Offenders Act to give the minister more discretion over who is and isn't granted a transfer.

The Conservatives have come under fire on a number of occasions for not granting transfers to otherwise eligible applicants on public safety grounds even though that is not among the reasons to quash a transfer request under the current legislation.

http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Khadr+submits+request+come+home/5642369/story.html#ixzz1cj2JLxeI

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I'm gutted this story and his request for repatriation slipped by me.

The Shameful Mistreatment Of Omar Khadr Continues

By Andy Worthington

The Public Record

Nov 7th, 2011

omar-khadr-215x300.jpg

Last week, Omar Khadr, the Canadian citizen and former child prisoner, was supposed to leave Guantánamo after nine years and three months in US custody.

No one thought that Khadr would return to Canada as a free man, as he has another seven years to serve in a Canadian jail as part of a plea deal he made at Guantánamo a year ago, but it was reasonable to expect that he would be transferred to Canadian custody this week, as the plea deal was for an eight-year sentence — with one year to be served in Guantánamo, followed by seven in Canada.

However, as Canada.com explained last Friday, "It could be as many as 18 months before Omar Khadr steps foot in Canada even though he becomes eligible for transfer from Guantánamo Bay on Monday" (October 31).

Throughout this entire story, the behavior of the United States government, first under President Bush, and then under President Obama, has been disgraceful. Khadr was abused, and was never rehabilitated according to the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict, which stipulates that juvenile prisoners — those under 18 at the time their alleged crime takes place — "require special protection," and obliges its signatories to promote "the physical and psychosocial rehabilitation and social reintegration of children who are victims of armed conflict."

In addition, Khadr was put forward for a trial by military commission — a war crimes trial — even though he was a child at the time of his capture, even though it is not clear that he had killed a US soldier by throwing a grenade, as alleged, and even though the entire premise of the trial was wrong.

It was deeply disturbing that the US government was willing to suggest to the world that those who raise arms against US forces in wartime, and in a country where the US is engaged in a war, can actually be defined as war criminals, even if their only target is members of the US military.

And yet this, of course, is exactly what happened to Khadr, when, a year ago, he signed the plea deal that was supposed to guarantee his release, in which he admitted to being an "alien unprivileged enemy belligerent," who had no right, under any circumstances, to engage in combat with US military forces, and who, as a result of doing so, was a war criminal.

That was shocking enough, and it was no more reassuring that, on October 31, 2010, Khadr was given a 40-year sentence by a military jury after a week of hearings at Guantánamo. This was supposed to reassure supporters of Guantánamo and the military commissions that Obama was tough on terrorism, while the plea deal was supposed to send the message to critics of Guantánamo that he was fair. However, from the point of view of fairness and the law, the entire process was an abomination, and represents a low point for US justice and for any reputation for fairness that President Obama hoped to bring to his Presidency.

For Khadr, the plea deal was obviously supposed to be a lifeline, which is what makes the news from Canada so upsetting. The Canadian government's behavior has been shameful ever since Khadr was first captured. Intelligence agents were sent to interrogate him, even though that was a clear violation of his rights, given the disturbing circumstances of his confinement in Guantánamo, and a series of challenges in the Canadian courts culminated in the Supreme Court ruling that the government had indeed failed to protect Khadr's rights, although the Court refused to order the government to seek his return, and the government responded by ignoring the ruling.

Now, however, the signs are that the Canadian government looks set to fail Khadr again. Canada.com noted that the closest the government had come to guaranteeing that Khadr would be coming back to Canada to serve the rest of his sentence was "a diplomatic note between US and Canadian officials," which stated that the Harper government was "inclined to favourably consider" a request for Khadr's transfer back to the country of his birth.

Several weeks ago, Khadr's Canadian lawyers confirmed that "the transfer process had been initiated," but Michael Patton, a spokesman for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, said that securing the return of a prisoner from another country was a "big process." He explained that the Correctional Service had to "determine whether the applicant is eligible for a transfer," then the government holding the prisoner had to agree to it, and then the Correctional Service had to "put together a recommendation to the Minister who must review and approve it."

Patton said, "These files normally take about 18 months to come to a decision," and Canada.com claimed that Khadr's case was "unlikely to be expedited or treated differently," even though the government has obviously had an entire year to prepare for Khadr's return.

In the Globe and Mail, Paul Koring discussed other options, noting that the Harper government could "approve and quickly facilitate" Khadr's return, possibly within months, if he were to "agree to abandon any further constitutional challenges," according to "lawyers familiar with his case."

On the other hand, some lawyers told the Globe and Mail that Khadr could be free "in less than a year if he takes his case again to the Canadian courts." These lawyers believe Khadr could challenge both his war crimes conviction and the sentence he was given, on the basis that "both were illegal under international law."

Koring noted that a constitutional challenge by Khadr "could embarrass the government and force public disclosure of the role its agents played" in his interrogations at Guantánamo, although it would also "cast him again in the spotlight," which might be damaging for his cause in Canada. This is because part of the basis for Khadr's shameful treatment has been that many Canadians have been prepared to ignore his immense ill-treatment by making him the object of punishment for the perceived sins of his father, Ahmed Khadr, who allegedly raised funds for Osama bin Laden.

As Paul Koring also noted, "the Harper government has so far shown no interest in getting Mr. Khadr freed or back in Canada." This shameful situation must end as soon as possible, and Khadr, I believe, should be freed on his return to Canada, as a gesture of support from a government that shamefully abandoned him for the best part of a decade.

Khadr's release from Guantánamo will also focus attention once more on what should be an abiding source of shame for Barack Obama, but has been largely overlooked — the continued presence of 171 prisoners at Guantánamo, even though the government conceded, after a year-long review in 2009, that it did not wish to hold over half of these men.

With their release blocked by Congress, and by judges in the Court of Appeals in Washington D.C., who have gutted habeas corpus of all meaning when it comes to the Guantánamo prisoners, Omar Khadr's release would also remind the world of some of these other men, unjustly overlooked as the 10th anniversary of the opening of Guantánamo approaches.

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Omar Khadr, Canadian Citizen In Guantanamo, Returns To Canada

thecanadianpress_logo.gif

TORONTO - A decade after 15-year-old Omar Khadr was pulled near death from the rubble of a bombed-out compound in Afghanistan, the Canadian citizen set foot on Canadian soil early Saturday after an American military flight from the notorious prison in Guantanamo Bay.

Khadr was immediately whisked off to a maximum-security facility in eastern Ontario following the five-hour flight to CFB Trenton, Ont.

"He's finding it hard to believe that this has finally happened," John Norris, one of Khadr's lawyers, said just after speaking to his client by phone.

"His spirits are good. He is very, very happy to be home."

Under a plea agreement, Khadr was eligible to return to Canada a year ago to serve out the remainder of an eight-year sentence for war crimes handed down by a much maligned military commission in October 2010.

But his politically-wrought transfer was delayed amid sniping between Canada and the U.S., while Public Safety Minister Vic Toews insisted he needed to satisfy himself that Khadr, who turned 26 earlier this month, would pose no threat to public safety.

It will now be up to the parole board to determine how long Khadr will remain in custody, Toews said.

"Omar Khadr is a known supporter of the al-Qaida terrorist network and a convicted terrorist," Toews said in Winnipeg.

"I am satisfied the Correctional Service of Canada can administer Omar Khadr's sentence in a manner which recognizes the serious nature of the crimes that he has committed and ensure the safety of Canadians is protected during incarceration."

In his three-page decision reached Friday allowing the transfer, Toews identified five areas of concern, including that Khadr has been away from Canadian society for so long and will require "substantial management" to re-integrate.

Toews also said Khadr idealizes his late father — a purported high-ranking al-Qaida financier — and his mother and older sister Zaynab "have openly applauded his crimes and terrorist activities," an apparent reference to interviews they gave in a TV documentary in 2004.

Norris, who said "it was finally a time that justice had triumphed over politics," said he was surprised by Toews' position.

"We're at a loss to understand why the government continues to demonize Omar and to stoke public opinion against him," said Norris, who was hoping to visit his client soon.

"We know him to be a kind, intelligent thoughtful young man who has tremendous potential and we know that he will live up to that."

News that their relative was back in Canada caught Khadr's family in Toronto off guard.

"Do we know where he is so we can maybe go see him?" one close relative asked a reporter.

In October 2010, Khadr pleaded guilty to five war crimes committed as a 15 year old in Afghanistan.

The most serious was murder in violation of the rules of war — a crime not recognized outside of the military commissions — for the death of U.S. special forces soldier Sgt. Christopher Speer, who died from a grenade blast following a massive bombardment of the Afghan compound in July 2002.

Khadr, near death and almost blind, was pulled from the rubble and taken to Bagram prison in Afghanistan. He was transferred a few months later to Guantanamo Bay where he was held until Saturday.

The Pentagon confirmed the transfer in a statement that said the U.S. "coordinated with the government of Canada regarding appropriate security and humane treatment measures."

Khadr was the last westerner and youngest inmate held at the U.S. prison on Cuba.

He is the son of Ahmed Said Khadr, an Egyptian-born Canadian who was killed by Pakistani security forces in 2003.

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And of course we get tripe from 'Safety' Minister Vic Toews:

Read Vic Toews' statement

Good morning. I will be making a short statement.

Early this morning, convicted terrorist Omar Khadr was transferred to Canadian authorities at CFB Trenton.

This was done pursuant to a decision I made earlier this week.

He arrived at 07:40 ET aboard a U.S. Government aircraft travelling from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

He has been transferred from CFB Trenton to Millhaven maximum security prison at Bath, Ontario.

Omar Khadr is a known supporter of the Al-Qaeda terrorist network and a convicted terrorist.

He pleaded guilty to the murder of Sergeant First Class Christopher Speer, an American Army medic, who was mortally wounded in a firefight in Afghanistan on July 27, 2002 and died on August 6, 2002.

Omar Khadr also pleaded guilty to: Providing material support for terrorism; Attempted murder in violation of the law of war; Conspiracy and spying

Omar Khadr was born in Canada and is a Canadian citizen. As a Canadian citizen, he has a right to enter Canada after the completion of his sentence.

This transfer occurs following a process initiated by the United States Government and determined in accordance with Canadian law.

The remainder of his prison sentence will be administered by the Correctional Service of Canada.

I am satisfied the Correctional Service of Canada can administer Omar Khadr’s sentence in a manner which recognizes the serious nature of the crimes that he has committed and ensure the safety of Canadians is protected during incarceration.

Any decisions related to his future will be determined by the independent Parole Board of Canada in accordance with Canadian law.

Thank you.

And the demonizing and portraying of Omar as a dangerous terrorist to shape public opinion continues. Pathetic, but we're used to this by the Harper Gov't. Apparently, environmentalists are terrorists too.

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This is wrong on so many levels .. :sadno:

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My favorite face-palming part is how Toews calls him a 'convicted terrorist', knowing full well the only reason he pleaded guilty was so that he could come back to Canada or spend the rest of his life in Gitmo, a place where he couldn't even get a fair trial, and even though through a decade he's denied ever fighting or engaging U.S. troops, let alone being part of Al-Queda.

It's pathetic on so many levels.

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If anyone has not yet seen this film, I highly recommend it to show exactly what they are doing to prove people as 'guilty' in Guantanamo (torture, fear-mongering, threats, creating fake videos and pictures of detainees attending terrorist rallies etc.).

The Road To Guantanamo (a true story about three British youth)

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Omar Khadr 'very happy' to be back in Canada

Wait for repatriation 'painful' for Guantanamo Bay's last Western detainee, lawyer says

Convicted war criminal Omar Khadr has spent his first night in Canada after being held for nearly a decade in U.S. military custody.

Khadr was the last Westerner, and the youngest prisoner, to be held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba when he was repatriated Saturday.

Khadr traded the infamous U.S. military detention camp for a cell in one of Canada's most foreboding maximum-security prisons after leaving Cuba on a pre-dawn flight. After his arrival at CFB Trenton, Ont., he was whisked off to the Millhaven federal penitentiary near Kingston, Ont.

But one of his lawyers, John Norris, said Khadr's spirits are good and he's happy to be back in Canada.

“He’s finding it hard to believe that this has finally happened,” Norris told The Canadian Press just after speaking to his client by phone.

“His spirits are good. He is very, very happy to be home.”

Another of his lawyers, Brydie Bethel, said even though he's still behind bars, her client is glad to be back on Canadian soil.

"He has been anxiously awaiting this day for over a decade. There's no question that the wait has been very painful for him," she told CBC News.

He will be assessed at Millhaven, but his lawyers say he poses no threat to other inmates, that he was a model prisoner during his years at Guantanamo Bay.

Under a plea agreement reached two years ago, the Toronto-born Khadr was eligible to return to Canada to serve out the remaining six years of an eight-year sentence for war crimes.

The Harper government only recently requested that the U.S. return him.

Khadr is eligible for early release within months, but Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said he hopes the parole board will put "robust conditions" in place if it does let him out. More than once on Saturday, Toews reminded reporters that Khadr is a "convicted terrorist."

The Toronto-born Khadr was 15 when he was accused of killing an American medic during a firefight in Afghanistan.

While the Harper Conservatives have branded him a hardcore terrorist, while the Liberals and NDP say Khadr should be treated as a child soldier.

Toews said he has concerns about how the 26-year-old will be able to reintegrate into Canadian society. They include Khadr's idealization of his father, Ahmed Said Khadr, an associate of Osama bin Laden who was killed in Pakistan in 2003.

In addition, Toews said Omar Khadr's mother and older sister have "openly applauded his crimes and terrorist activities."

The minister also said Khadr will require “substantial management” to reintegrate due to the fact that he has been away from Canada for so long.

But Dr. Steven Xenakis, a U.S. Army psychiatrist who spent more than 200 hours with Khadr since 2008 assessing him for his military defence, said he is no threat to Canadian society.

The prosecution's appointed psychiatrist reached the opposite conclusion, but Dr. Xenakis said his colleague assessed Khadr with a bias.

Based on his own experience with Khadr, and looking at transcripts of the prosecution's psychiatrist's interviews, Dr. Xenakis concludes Khadr is a "very decent" man.

"He's gentle. And very mannered. He is a remarkable individual considering the experiences that he's had and what he has had to endure. … I feel confident in evaluating and stating clearly that Omar Khadr does not have a history of violent and aggressive conduct.

"And that as best as anybody can tell, he is a very minimal risk if a risk at all for being dangerous or somehow imperiling the security of Canada," Dr. Xenakis said.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/09/30/khadr-repatriation-sunday.html

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We cry justice. It is reasonable.

However, love or hate the military, this kid is fortunate that some buck sergeant respected the rules of engagement, the laws regarding ununiformed combatants and the chain of command, and did not put a bullet in his head back in Afghanistan.

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