Omar Khadr to Boycott Military Commission, Issues Statement

Former child soldier, Canadian Omar Khadr, told the judge at his Guantanamo military proceeding he wanted to fire his lawyers. His request was refused. Now, he will boycott the proceedings.

“The unfairness of the rules will make a person so depressed that he will admit to any allegations or take a plea offer that will satisfy the U.S. government.”

...I will not willingly let the U.S. government use me to fulfill its goal,” Mr. Khadr said. “I have been used too many times when I was a child, and that's why I'm here – taking blame for things I didn't have a choice in doing, but was forced to do by elders.”

He called the process a "sham" and denounced the plea bargain that had been offered to him. The deal was:[More...]

...release from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay in five years, to serve the rest of a 30-year sentence in Canada, if he pleaded guilty.

The ACLU, which is in Guantanamo following proceedings this week, says:

"The Obama administration should shut down the illegitimate military commissions system that has become a stain on our nation's reputation and prosecute terrorism suspects in the time-tested federal criminal courts. The commissions system is unfit to try any Guantánamo detainee, especially an alleged child soldier who has been held in U.S. custody for over a third of his life and subjected to years of abuse. Omar Khadr, like all Guantánamo terrorism suspects, should be tried in federal courts that guarantee due process. If that isn't possible, the U.S. must send him home to Canada."

The unedited version of the statement says:

your honor I'm boycotting this Military Commission because *Firstly the unfairness and unjustice of it. I say this because not one of the lawyers I've had, or human rights organizations, or any person, every say that this commission is fair or looking for justice, but on the contrary they say it's unfair and unjust and that it has been constructed to convict detainees, not to find the truth (so how can I ask for justice frmo a process that does not have it or offer it) and to accomplish political and public goals.

And what I mean is when I was offered a plea bargain it was up to 30 years which I was going to spend only five years so I asked why the 30 years. I was told it makes the U.S. government look good in the public's eyes and other political causes.

Secondly: The unfairness of the rules that will make a person so depressed that he will admit to allegations made upon him or take a plea offer that will satisfy the U.S. government and get him the least sentence possible and ligitimize this sham process.

Therefore, I will not willingly let the U.S. gov use me to fullfil its goal. I have been used to many times when I was a child and that's I'm here taking blame and paying for thigns I didn't have a choice in doing but was told to do by elders.

Lastly I will not take any plea offer or because it will give excuse for the gov for torturing and abusing me when I was a child.

All of our coverage of Omar Khadr is available here.

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    So much for (none / 0) (#1)
    by JamesTX on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 09:21:19 PM EST
    the concern for children which drives the American justice system...

    That's a funny comment because (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 10:59:01 PM EST
    the whole point here is that what's happened ot this guy is entirely outside the American justice system.

    Bad as the American justice system is for children, it's vastly superior to this jury-rigged military/intelligence-driven system.


    Deja vu (none / 0) (#4)
    by lentinel on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 07:39:12 AM EST
    So much of what I loathed during the Bush administration is with us still.

    Not too many people associated with the democratic party have said so in so many words.

    Judge told him (none / 0) (#5)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 08:48:41 AM EST
    If he fired his lawyers (and represented himself) , he could not boycott the proceedings.

    Trial set for August 10.

    What we have here is called (none / 0) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 08:56:17 AM EST
    conflicting claims.

    The US says he tossed a grenade and killed.

    He says he did not.

    What we do know is this. He was in the company of terrorists in the middle of a war in a combat zone.

    In the resultant fire fight he was wounded to the point that had not we given him treatment he would have died.

    He claims to have been used. Perhaps he was used by his parents and other radicals. But no more so than a teenager who takes bad advice and drives the getaway car in a robbery that results in multiple deaths and destruction.

    For some things there is no reset button.

    There is no reset button for torture and (none / 0) (#7)
    by observed on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:13:33 AM EST
    illegal detainment.
    That we know for certain.

    Let me see (none / 0) (#8)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:54:21 AM EST
    There is no disagreement that the young man was in the company of terrorists and that he was present during a fire fight between the terrorists and American forces.

    There is no disagreement that an American soldier was killed by a hand grenade.

    There is no disagreement that the young man's life was saved by American doctors, nurses and American medical technology.

    He is charged with throwing the grenade that killed the American soldier.

    He has been held under that charge.

    He has not been tortured.

    I would agree that he should have been tried years ago, and based on my understanding, convicted and sentenced to life in prison.


    Yeah (none / 0) (#9)
    by squeaky on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 12:19:12 PM EST
    And there is no disagreement that he was a child when captured. And there is no disagreement that he was tortured.

    In September 2002, the United States ratified an Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, coming into force for the U.S. in January, 2003.....

    By the terms of the Optional Protocol, the U.S. agrees that children may not be combatants and will cooperate in the implementation of rehabilitation and social reintegration of persons who are victims of acts contrary to this protocol.

    On the other hand this bit of information seems to have been altered:

    In fact, military officials had originally reported that another of the surviving militants had thrown the grenade just before being killed, and later rewrote their report to implicate Khadr instead.


    And in fact that forensic evidence suggests friendly fire:

    Upon examination of the X-rays of the soldier wounded by the grenade Omar Khadr was accused of allegedly throwing, the ballistics expert concluded, "The F-1 is a heavy grenade (Russian made, pineapple-shaped grenade used by Afghanistan forces)... that results in the erratic dispersion of a few large cubical fragments. Based upon the wide distribution of penetration wounds... coupled with the lack of burn injuries to his body,- (See Defense Motion 13 June 2008) SSG Speer's injuries are consistent with an M67 grenade exploding a few meters away like those being thrown by coalition

    Squeaky, I lke your link (none / 0) (#19)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 03:24:55 PM EST
    (he) accompany a group of Arabs associated with Abu Laith al-Libi, who needed a Pashto translator during their stay in Khost.[21] Khadr promised to check in regularly with his mother.[11][21][28][29]

    At that point he became an illegal combatant. He was 15, perhaps 16, and was certainly familiar with what was going on.

    As for the defense's claim that Speer was killed by friendly fire, I give them E for Effort but F for Factual.

    But either way he was, as I noted above, as guilty as a LA 15 year old gang member driving a get away car in a robbery in which people were killed.

    That is the undisputed facts that will not go away. You can argue about everything else but that alone should put him in prison for a long time.

    And no. There are no reset buttons for such acts. Young Muslim males need to start understanding that when the radicals come calling with their lectures and promises.


    Not Tortured? (none / 0) (#10)
    by canuck eh on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 12:53:10 PM EST
    You state that he was not tortured as if it's an established fact, I'm curious to know how you came to such a conclusion given the vast amount of evidence to the contrary?

    Bush Said It (none / 0) (#11)
    by squeaky on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 12:55:01 PM EST
    "we do not torture", and if Bush said it, ppj believes it, end of story.

    And your proof that he was (none / 0) (#12)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 01:15:44 PM EST
    tortured is?

    Your turn.


    Links (none / 0) (#13)
    by canuck eh on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 01:44:23 PM EST
    Neat how you made your assertion first, made no attempt to prove it whatsoever and then said it was my turn to provide proof.

    Anyway, I did not say that he was tortured as a fact, I asked how YOU knew it to be a fact that he was not tortured.

    As for my information- it is a matter of record in the Canadian courts


    Sorry, new to linking (none / 0) (#14)
    by canuck eh on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 01:45:49 PM EST
    and apparently did not do it right


    You can't do links in a Stubject line (none / 0) (#16)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 02:27:23 PM EST
    only the body of the comment.

    squeaky has an excellent method of linking, perhaps she'll share...


    Plain text (none / 0) (#15)
    by canuck eh on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 02:22:31 PM EST
    Sorry to make you copy and paste but here it is:


    I hope that's okay for the site

    Easy Link (none / 0) (#17)
    by squeaky on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 02:30:28 PM EST
    1. add bracket [

    2. add word such as "link" or read more..

    3. add url

    4 add closing bracket ]

    Gee you mean he was kept awake? (none / 0) (#18)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 03:14:08 PM EST
    I thought you meant they sawed his head off like David Pearl.

    I am well aware of his claims. Standard defense stuff from radical Muslims.


    Pearl (none / 0) (#20)
    by squeaky on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 03:28:44 PM EST
    David Pearl's death is a poor analogy here, as he was not tortured.

    A better analogy would be:

    Abed Hamed Mowhoush [was] a former Iraqi general beaten over days by U.S. Army, CIA and other non-military forces, stuffed into a sleeping bag, wrapped with electrical cord, and suffocated to death," Human Rights First writes. "In the recently concluded trial of a low-level military officer charged in Mowhoush's death, the officer received a written reprimand, a fine, and 60 days with his movements limited to his work, home, and church."

    Knowing that you are going to have your (none / 0) (#22)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 06:05:50 PM EST
    head sawed off is not torture?

    But not be allowed to sleep is?

    You have exceeded your own silliness.



    Human beings physically NEED to sleep (none / 0) (#24)
    by Dadler on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 07:18:25 PM EST
    Depriving human beings of a physical necessity is, indeed, torture. The logic is so obvious I can hardly believe you fail to recognize it. Just like if you withheld food or water, or failed to let someone go to the bathroom.  

    And no one would argue your beheading scenario isn't torture. And no one has. You have firmly hoisted the obvious into the air and exclaimed "Eureka!!!"  Congratulations.



    Yeah (none / 0) (#28)
    by squeaky on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:14:28 PM EST
    Cutting ones head off........, or what is known as torture: applying drills to the teeth, electrodes to the genitals, bamboo up the fingernails, drowning, sleep deprivation, hanging by feet, extreme conditions: temperature, noise, light... for weeks and weeks at a time, over years.

    And then surviving as a damaged human being forever with no where to go.

    they both seem pretty bad to me, I would probably go for the decapitation.


    You would? (none / 0) (#31)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:30:06 PM EST
    Your straw man is laughable.

    Perhaps You Missed This Part (none / 0) (#21)
    by canuck eh on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 04:18:30 PM EST
    The decision by a Foreign Affairs official to proceed with the interview implicates Canada in cruel and unusual treatment, as it is defined in international law.

    And your point is? (none / 0) (#23)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 06:09:29 PM EST
    I don't believe not being allowed to sleep is torture.

    And yes he has made a bunch of other claims.

    That he is alive at all is by the grace of the US military medical folks.


    You don't believe (none / 0) (#29)
    by Raskolnikov on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:37:41 PM EST
    being deprived sleep for an extended period of time (days, weeks) is torture?  Really?  How about the more honest version: "I don't care if they tortured him, he murdered one of ours"

    How about this version from you (none / 0) (#30)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:28:51 PM EST
    "I will believe anything that harms America."

    Is that honest about you?


    Ha (none / 0) (#32)
    by Raskolnikov on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:44:15 PM EST
    Fair enough, point taken, no need to put words in your mouth.  FWIW, I'm pretty big on America, have dual nationality and choose to live here after trying London...the grass isn't any greener.

    But you are putting words in my mouth (none / 0) (#34)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jul 14, 2010 at 07:27:46 AM EST
    The man is alive only because we saved him.

    You arrived in both places in the middle of a war. It is going to get worse before it gets better.


    lol (none / 0) (#36)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 14, 2010 at 12:53:59 PM EST
    The man is alive only because we saved him.
    Yeah, and you would be fine with hanging the guy after we were sure that the torture got us all the information we needed.

    How can that be?? (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jul 14, 2010 at 01:03:19 PM EST
    You keep on telling everyone that information provided by torture can't be trusted.

    Huh? (none / 0) (#38)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 14, 2010 at 01:37:39 PM EST
    I am responding to your bs implication that the US saved his life because it was humane.

    They did nothing of the sort. Like you, there is no humanity involved, just sadism... prolonging his life to get the pleasure out of torturing those who are symbols of the "enemy".

    No different from a pinata, or a punching bag with a face on it.


    Yeah. like people at fire fight (none / 0) (#39)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jul 14, 2010 at 09:28:41 PM EST
    just look around to find some shot up dude and take him home to torture...

    You again exceed your standard level of silliness.


    But no standard PROSECUTION stuff? (none / 0) (#25)
    by Dadler on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 07:23:54 PM EST
    It's only the defense that has standard b.s., huh?  

    Interesting how you narrow it down.



    No, I don't believe him and yes I believe (none / 0) (#27)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 08:15:10 PM EST
    our troops descriptions.

    I have a bias towards supporting our troops.

    If you don't, that is your burden, not mine.

    Beyond that, I indicated that I would be pleased if they just put him in prison for a long time just based on the agreed to fact that he knowingly joined with the terrorists (see my quote from Squeaky's link).


    Sleep deprivation can even kill (none / 0) (#33)
    by Jack E Lope on Wed Jul 14, 2010 at 01:34:30 AM EST
    ...and along the way, it impairs one's ability to drive a car...which leads me to believe that it would also impair one's ability to participate in one's own legal defense, make a reasonably accurate account of past events, et cetera.

    David Pearl?  How is he still alive with his head sawn off?

    Did they use a saw on Daniel Pearl?  I can't find anything to back up that claim, but "saw" sounds like a tortuous method of beheading.  Is that the effect you were going for?


    Yes, they use a knife (none / 0) (#35)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jul 14, 2010 at 07:32:08 AM EST
    and saw back and forth like cutting up a piece of meat taking quite a bit of time to finish the job.

    Throwing hand grenades can also kill. Ask soldier Speer.


    actually it's not ok (none / 0) (#26)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 07:41:17 PM EST
    to just put a url in your comment because long ones skew the site and I would have to go through every thread to find the culprit. So please do not do that.

    do you see the link button?

    type your comment  Eg "I read in the NY Times...."

    Use your mouse to highlight "NY Times"

    click the link button

    paste in the url, hit "ok"

    preview your comment, the link should be there.