Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Khadr Case Reaches Definitive Turning Point


Guantanamo interrogation tapes having a profound effect

On The Root of All Evil, Lewis Black ruled that YouTube is, in fact, the root of all evil.

In a show comparing YouTube to pornography, Black determined that YouTube has had such a decisively negative impact on western civilization -- transforming us into the words of advocate Patton Oswalt into a "country of Caligulas".

But if YouTube has really had such a negative impact on civilization, it's hard to overlook some of the good it's done as well. When Robert Dzienkaski succumbed to his injuries after being excessively and mercilessly tasered by airport security, it was YouTube that ultimately brought the outrage to the world's attention. When University of Florida student Andrew Meyer was tasered for asking Senator John Kerry a question that somebody didn't like, it was YouTube that prevented the story from being swept under a carpet.

Now, it's YouTube that has brought the severe psychological stress being experiened by Omar Khadr unignorably to the world's attention. And, just as with these and countless other previous cases, YouTube has had an abrupt effect on the case.

Such is the case with a recent National Post editorial in which Jonathon Kay has finally come around to the thinking of those who agree Omar Khadr should be repatriated to Canada:

"As I write this, at 1 p. m. on Tuesday, piteous video images from Omar Khadr's interrogation at Guantanamo Bay are not only the #1 news item on the National Post Web site, but also the lead item on BBC News and USA Today. Millions of people are now wondering why Canada's government has acquiesced-- and as the video shows, even participated -- in the unconscionable treatment of a blubbering boy-soldier.

As someone who otherwise considers himself one of the War on Terror's noisiest Canadian cheerleaders, I submit that the bleeding hearts are right on this one: Omar Khadr needs to come home.

Here's why:

Omar Khadr was a child soldier

During the carnage that gripped Sierra Leone in the 1990s, the most terrifying crimes often were committed by gangs of children who'd been abducted by the Revolutionary United Front (RUF). Isolated from their families, and stripped of any sort of moral compass, these child brigades were renowned for such monstrous acts as hacking off the legs and arms of defenceless villagers. When the RUF's war with the government ended, many of these children were assimilated back into civilized society. No one -- in the West, at least -- blamed them for what they had done. As in Sri Lanka, Congo and other parts of the world where children are abducted and forced into combat, it is universally recognized that child soldiers are not morally culpable for their actions in the same way as adults. That's why the Sierra Leone war crimes tribunal didn't prosecute child soldiers -- it prosecuted the monsters who exploited them. Can someone please tell me why this principle has not been applied to Omar Khadr, who was all of 15 when he allegedly threw the grenade that killed Sergeant Christopher Speer of Delta Force in 2002?

What makes the case for Khadr especially strong is that he was essentially recruited into combat from birth--by his own flesh-and-blood, no less. The true monster in the Khadr narrative is not Omar, but his father, Ahmed Said Khadr, an al-Qaeda lieutenant who moved his whole family from Canada to central Asia so they could share in the glory of jihad.

As a nine-year-old, Omar drank in his father's Islamist propaganda -- spending months by his father's bed as the jihadi patriarch lay hunger-striking against Pakistani authorities, who'd arrested him on terrorism charges in 1995. Following 9/11, Ahmed (who, thankfully, was dispatched to his celestial virgins in 2003) enlisted his son as a sort of sidekick and maidservant to a jihadi cell hiding out in the Afghan outback. It was in this capacity that Omar tagged along with the pack of terrorists who would eventually meet their maker in the June 27, 2002, firefight that claimed the life of Sergeant Speer.

I have been reading a lot of tough talk on the blogs about how Khadr should be "waterboarded until he stops crying" and such. I wonder if those same hard hearts could tell me how they would have turned out if they'd been told --literally, since birth--about the necessity of jihad and the beauty of martyrdom; if, since their early days, they'd been propagandized into believing that the West was waging a genocidal war against Muslims; and that military resistance was the only path of survival. Are we to expect some sort of inborn moral sense to activate -- to tell us that everything being told to us by our own parents is wrong -- even before one is old enough to shave?

I know about 20,000 former child soldiers in Sierra Leone who could tell you the answer to that question. And unlike Khadr, not one of them stands accused of "Violation of the Law of War."

We don't know that Omar Khadr killed anyone

The U.S. government's line on the events of June 27, 2002 -- reported uncritically, for the most part, by the Canadian media -- is that a cowardly Khadr popped up from the rubble in the aftermath of a firefight in the Afghan hinterland, killing a U. S. medic who was looking to treat wounded survivors. In fact, the grenade that killed Speer (who was fighting, by necessity, as a solider, whatever his training as a medic) was thrown when the four-hour long battle was still hot. And it is far from clear who threw it: Contrary to initial accounts, there was a second jihadi still alive when the fatal grenade was thrown -- and since Khadr was badly wounded at the time, the second militant (who later died) is the more promising suspect.

(We might also dispense with the idea that Speer was on a mission of mercy: Post-battle testimony from his battlefield companions suggests they were -- quite understandably --more interested in shooting the wounded than healing them.)

My own view is that Speer may well have been killed by a grenade thrown by one of his comrades. (Reports from the battle suggest that grenades were flying thick and fast from both sides.) As the Pat Tillman scandal shows, the U. S. military sometimes goes to extraordinary lengths to cover up friendly-fire deaths. And in the Khadr case, his U. S. Department of Defense attorney claims, there is at least one instance in which a lieutenant-colonel retroactively amended and backdated a battlefield report to buttress the case against Khadr.

Even if Khadr did kill Sergeant Speer, he did so as a soldier, not a terrorist

There's little doubt that Ahmed Khadr was training his sons to be terrorists -- the sort of people who blow up buses and restaurants, or who wear civilian clothing as they lie in wait to detonate explosives under vehicle convoys. But what Omar Khadr did on June 27, 2002, wasn't terrorism. It was participation in a military engagement -- a fact that can't be changed merely by slapping a label like "unlawful combatant" on him.

Moreover, it was a military engagement fought on American terms: After U. S. soldiers sealed off the village encampment housing Khadr's cell, they prosecuted the siege with about 100 troops, some of them Special Forces, as well as Apache helicopters, F-18 Hornets and A-10 Warthogs. You can say that Khadr was fighting in an evil cause when he was captured, but you can't say that he was preying on the defenceless.

Even if you don't buy anything I've written above, Khadr's treatment still ranks as abominable

Let us assume that Omar Khadr actually threw the grenade that killed Sergeant Speer, that he did so as a cold-blooded killer, not as a soldier, and that his status as a child combatant is irrelevant -- in short, that Omar Khadr is a murderer. Well then, how do we treat murderers in Western countries? Answer: We put them in jail. We don't beat them, or move them from cell to cell every three hours, or terrify them with threats of pedophilic rape, or deny them appropriate medical care -- all punishments that Khadr has endured -- a litany of abuse so traumatic that, according to one piteous detail among many, he took to falling asleep at Guantanamo desperately hugging a Mickey Mouse book brought to him as a gift.

In the space of six years of incarceration, Khadr has endured more brutality than any ordinary jailbird would endure in 60. And if he had any intelligence value to his American captors, it surely has been exhausted. Please bring Omar Khadr home. If he is to face justice, let it be in Canada.
"
Naturally, those who disgustingly insist Khadr should be "waterboarded until he stops crying" will consider Jonathon Kay way off the reservation on this one.

But he's right. Whether it's to be put on trial for his alleged crimes or reassimilated back into society (but absolutely not before his demobilization can be assured, Omar Khadr must be repatriated back to Canada.

Which makes the government's insistence that they can do no such thing all the more unacceptable. In time, as the Khadr tapes continue to make their rounds via the mainstream media and YouTube, this position will become utternly untenable.

Even the alleged arch-conservatives at the National Post are beginning to see that.

12 comments:

  1. Lt.C. Ralph Peters on Omar Khadr Gitmo Tape: "We should have killed that punk on a battlefield where it was legal to do so!"

    Watch video at http://muslimsagainstsharia.blogspot.com/2008/07/ltc-ralph-peters-on-omar-khadr-gitmo.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. Poor little Omar; Always a victim.

    http://tinyurl.com/omarkhadr

    ReplyDelete
  3. Whether or not one agrees that Khadr is a victim, one thing is for certain: he should have been put on trial long, long ago, instead of languishing in Guantanamo Bay.

    That isn't even up for debate.

    ReplyDelete
  4. "That isn't even up for debate."

    Where did you get your law degree? Community college or home school?

    When you present your (dumbass) opinion as facts, it makes you look even dumber than you are.

    ReplyDelete
  5. That we put accused criminals on trial is an opinion now?

    I think you need to get yourself an education. It's a basic fundamental principle of any western justice system.

    You need to get a new schtick, too. Ever since having passingly mentioned you in a blog post about Mark Steyn, I've been informed that "Muslims Against Sharia" is a front group for a right wing Swedish anti-Islam group.

    If you hadn't already been discredited, you would have just discredited yourselves here and now.

    Good day.

    ReplyDelete
  6. We cannot explain to every dumbshit the difference between a criminal and a terrorist.

    "I've been informed that "Muslims Against Sharia" is a front group for a right wing Swedish anti-Islam group."

    We've been informed that you suck off cousin dad on daily basis. But we don't believe everything we hear.

    "If you hadn't already been discredited, you would have just discredited yourselves here and now."

    We can't conform to a Muslim stereotype of every dumbfuck.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Well, what to say to that?

    First off, if you actually knew anything about terrorism, you would know that there remains no solid legal definition as to whether or not terrorism is a crime or an act of war.

    Despite the lack of such definition, there is a general consensus that it falls somewhere in between the two.

    But under the Geneva Convention, prisoners of war have certain rights. Likewise, under criminal law, those accused of crimes also have certain rights.

    Then again, all of this is immaterial. The general consensus among those who are using their brains as anything other than a spacer for their ears is that Omar Khadr should have been brought to trial long, long ago -- such as has been the case with most terrorists. I'll remind you that numerous such trials have been conducted before. Why not one for Khadr now?

    What are you, personally, so afraid of? Why are you so offended by the idea that Khadr deserves a fair trial, just as these other terrorists recieved?

    Hmmm?

    ReplyDelete
  8. "But under the Geneva Convention, prisoners of war have certain rights." And if you weren't a dumbshit and actually bothered to read the Geneva Convention, you could have found out that it does not apply to Khadr.

    "The general consensus among those who are using their brains as anything other than a spacer for their ears is that Omar Khadr should have been brought to trial long, long ago"

    This is general consensus between dumbshits like you. Even if the Geneva Convention applied to Khadr, he could be held bu the U.S. until the cessation of hostilities.

    "Why are you so offended by the idea that Khadr deserves a fair trial, just as these other terrorists recieved?"

    Again, just because some dumbshit claims that Khadr deserves a trial, it doesn't become a fact, it remains an opinion of a dumbshit.

    ReplyDelete
  9. "This is general consensus between dumbshits like you. Even if the Geneva Convention applied to Khadr, he could be held bu the U.S. until the cessation of hostilities."

    You're right, he certainly could.

    But the precedent being set by the United States is that terrorist suspects are not prisoners of war, but rather prisoners to be put on trial.

    That is the precedent they themselves set when they put the Bin Laden conspirators on trial.

    "Again, just because some dumbshit claims that Khadr deserves a trial, it doesn't become a fact, it remains an opinion of a dumbshit."

    No, it is a fact.

    The fact is that the United States has set the precedent, by putting accused terrorists on trial, that terrorists are to be treated not as prisoners of war, but as criminals.

    The fact is that we put accused criminals on trial in Canada, in the United States, in Sweden, and virtually everywhere else in the world possessing a justice system worthy of the name.

    Simple facts. Apparently you aren't smart enough to comprehend them.

    Not that we expect any different from a Swedish fascist.

    ReplyDelete
  10. "But the precedent being set by the United States is that terrorist suspects are not prisoners of war, but rather prisoners to be put on trial."

    That's because those political whore are only interested in getting re-elected and they are too stupid to understand that law enforcement approach does not work with terrorism.

    "No, it is a fact."

    Apparently, you're too much of a dumbfuck to understand the difference between a fact and an opinion. Let's illustrate. "The Earth is not flat" - is a fact. "Patrick Ross is a dumbfuck" - is an opinion. Do you understand the difference?

    "The fact is that the United States has set the precedent, by putting accused terrorists on trial, that terrorists are to be treated not as prisoners of war, but as criminals."

    Facts don't change. Legal precedents do. If the next Supreme Court Justice will be interpreting the Constitution rather than legislate from the bench, this precedent will be reversed.

    "Not that we expect any different from a Swedish fascist."

    An insult from a dumb cocksucker who has no clue what he is talking about is really a compliment.

    ReplyDelete
  11. "That's because those political whore are only interested in getting re-elected and they are too stupid to understand that law enforcement approach does not work with terrorism."

    And what, precisely, do you think works with terrorism?

    "Apparently, you're too much of a dumbfuck to understand the difference between a fact and an opinion. Let's illustrate. "The Earth is not flat" - is a fact. "Patrick Ross is a dumbfuck" - is an opinion. Do you understand the difference?"

    And the fact that terrorists have been put on trial is just that -- a fact.

    The fact that such desicions set precedents in a legal system is precisely that -- a fact.

    The fact that every justice system worthy of the name operates according to the name is precisely that -- a fact.

    "Facts don't change. Legal precedents do. If the next Supreme Court Justice will be interpreting the Constitution rather than legislate from the bench, this precedent will be reversed."

    No, legal precedents do not change. They can be overruled, or they can be ruled inapplicable, but they do not change.

    And we have yet to see any cases in which that precedent has been overruled or ruled inapplicable.

    It's time for you to face up: the facts simply do not line up with you on this one, they line up against you.

    This isn't that difficult to understand. I'm sure even you can manage it.

    "An insult from a dumb cocksucker who has no clue what he is talking about is really a compliment."

    Hmmmm. That's amusing. I was just thinking that myself...

    ReplyDelete
  12. If he killed Speer as a "soldier" like people claim then why is he not simply kept as a POW by the US until the end of the conflict? If I recall my history correctly that is what generally what is supposed to happen to captured soldiers.

    And if he is not a Soldier and therefore not immune to prosecution for actions done in combat, and Canada wants to put him on trial they are more than welcome to (they have jurisdiction based on nationality of the perpetrator), BUT since he killed an America the US DOES have jurisdiction to try him AS WELL based on nationality of the person he killed.

    ReplyDelete

Post your comments, and join the discussion!

Be aware that spam posts and purile nonsense will not be tolerated, although purility within constructive commentary is encouraged.

All comments made by Kevron are deleted without being read. Also, if you begin your comment by saying "I know you'll just delete this", it will be deleted. Guaranteed. So don't be a dumbass.