Last week, the Canadian government received a formal request for the return of Omar Khadr from Guantánamo Bay. Julie Carmichael, an aide to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, told the Globe and Mail, “The government of Canada has just received a completed application for the transfer of prisoner Omar Ahmed Khadr. A decision will be made on this file in accordance with Canadian law.”
TheRealNews on Aug 26, 2010
Carol Rosenberg: Khadr confession ruled admissible by military judge
Carol Rosenberg is a senior journalist, currently with the McClatchy News Service. Rosenberg works at the Miami Herald, which has provided extensive coverage of the operation of the Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba.
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Last week, while the UK Court of Appeal was shining a spotlight on the case of Binyam Mohamed, ordering details of his torture by US agents to be revealed to the public, Binyam himself — a British resident, subjected to “extraordinary rendition” and torture, who was released from Guantánamo last February — was thinking about someone else.
Binyam was thinking about Omar Khadr, the Canadian citizen, who was just 15 years old when he was seized after a firefight in Afghanistan in July 2002, and who now faces a trial in the much-criticized Military Commission trial system that was ill-advisedly resuscitated and revived by the Obama administration and Congress last summer. I have written extensively about Khadr’s case (and would be delighted if you checked out one of my favorite articles here), and was dismayed when Attorney General Eric Holder announced in November that Omar Khadr would face a trial by Military Commission.
Sister of Guantanamo inmate condemns detention – 13 Nov 09
November 13, 2009
The US has announced that five people held at Guantanamo Bay will face trial before a military commission.
Among them is Canadian detainee Omar Khadr. Khadr was only a teenager when he was brought to Guantanamo after being captured in Afghanistan for allegedly killing a US soldier there.
Canadian courts have ordered their government to request his repatriation. But the government is now fighting that ruling before the supreme court.
Al Jazeera’s Monica Villamizar sat down with Khadr’s sister Zaynab for an exclusive interview and began by asking her how her brother has been treated over the past seven years in detention.
At Guantánamo this week, the Military Commission trial system convened for only the second time since President Obama announced a four-month freeze on all proceedings on his first day in office to give the new administration’s inter-departmental Guantánamo Task Force an opportunity to review the best ways in which to deal with the remaining prisoners inherited from the Bush administration.
Reviving the Commissions, ill-advisedly
In May, in a major speech on national security, Barack Obama signaled that he was planning to revive the Commissions, arguing that, with some amendments, they would be “fair, legitimate, and effective,” and promising to “work with Congress and legal authorities across the political spectrum on legislation” that would fulfill these aims.
If President Obama is serious about ever closing Guantánamo, and bringing justice to any of the 239 men still held there, the chaotic events on Monday, in the first hearing of the Military Commission trial system since the President’s four-month freeze on proceedings expired, should persuade him that all that awaits him, if he proceeds with his plan to revive the trials, is ridicule, frustration and injustice.
Last month, evidently scared by the advice of paranoid officials who suggested that, in some cases, trials in federal courts might fail (and ignoring the fact that no US jury would fail to convict a terror suspect against whom the merest shred of genuine evidence could be mustered), Obama announced that he was planning to revive the Commissions.
Critics bayed in disbelief. After all, the much-criticized system, conceived by former Vice President Dick Cheney and his legal counsel David Addington, ruled illegal by the Supreme Court in 2006, and then revived by Congress, was, essentially, a shape-shifting legal quagmire, which, over six years, had led to only three convictions (of David Hicks, Salim Hamdan and Ali Hamza al-Bahlul, each of which had its own problems), the resignation of several prosecutors (including one Chief Prosecutor), the sacking of the Pentagon’s legal adviser, and a permanent state of semi-open revolt against the government in the military defense teams.