Married to the Jihad
Jeanne D'Arc of Body and Soul has an excellent post today on the latest in the torture scandals. The middle section of her post talks about 18 year old Canadian Omar Khadr who has been imprisoned for 3 years, since age 15. This week the Toronto Star called for a trial by impartial tribunal or his release.
Last year we wrote a long piece on Omar's family--which stemmed from an article titled Married to the Jihad. It depicted a reporter's interview with two Canadian al Qaeda wives, one of whom was Omar's mother, who expressed their expectation and approval of their sons joining the call to fight.
Abdurahman and Omar were captured by the Americans and imprisoned at Guantanamo. Abdurahman, who liked to posture around the bazaar, swigging from an imported bottle of tabasco sauce to impress his buddies, has blamed greedy Kabul acquaintances for "selling" him to the Americans for a bounty. Omar, who was only 15 at the time, hunkered down with some fleeing Arab fighters in Khost, eastern Afghanistan, until American troops attacked the hideout. Despite being described by his mother as the most sensitive of the brothers, he is reported to have killed an American medic during the gunfight before taking a bullet himself, in the eye. He was soon whisked off to Guantanamo, where he was not allowed to speak with his incarcerated brother and where he remains under interrogation.
The original article is now subscription only, but we quoted so much of it you'll get the full flavor. It's quite a tale.
Nonetheless, the Star is right:
Canadian troops fought alongside Americans in Afghanistan, to defeat Al Qaeda and to defend our way of life. That way does not include jailing 15-year-olds forever, under abusive conditions, for crimes committed under fire, which have not been weighed publicly in a credible court. [Prime Minister] Martin must press for Khadr to be tried, or released.
The problem is, Omar Khadr is as much a victim of these people as a member of the family. He's eighteen years old. When he was captured in Afghanistan, he was fifteen -- a child turned into a soldier by parents from hell. And our government's response to this victim of child abuse was to abuse him further.
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