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View Diary: A Decade in Detention for Former Child Soldier (15 comments)

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  •  Absolutely correct. The willful abandonment of (8+ / 0-)

    a Canadian citizen (and a child at that) to torture, abuse and almost indefinite detention by a foreign government is more than a stain on the Canadian Government; it is a crime and a violation of Canadian principles and beliefs.

    I am ashamed of Canada over this and never stop demanding Omar Khadr be brought home.

    Good Diary. T&R

    Tax and Spend I can understand. I can even understand Borrow and Spend. But Borrow and give Billionaires tax cuts? That I have a problem with.

    by LiberalCanuck on Fri Jul 27, 2012 at 12:33:45 PM PDT

    •  not to mention (7+ / 0-)

      my understanding is that the "crime" he is accused of is rolling a grenade at an American soldier, while part of the Afghan military - such as it existed at the time, even if not in uniform . Normally, when a combatant attacks another combatant, let alone attacks a uniformed soldier serving in an army that has invaded their country, this is referred to as "war" - at worst, "guerrilla war," not as a "war crime." The idea that they are not only prosecuting a child soldier (rather than, say, the people who recruited him) but prosecuting him simply for engaging in combat, is one of the most extraordinary attempts to change the very idea of what's a war crime I've ever heard.

      The US army has long had a habit of referring to any guerrilla forces that might be shooting at its soldier or their proxies (whether Viet Cong or Salvadorian rebels, etc) as "terrorists" just for doing so. But saying anyone who fires on an invading army unless they wear uniform is guilty of a "war crime" appears to be something new. (Especially since the people who tortured confessions out of him are not considered guilty of war crimes, or any crime at all.)

      •  And (6+ / 0-)

        the laws for which he was prosecuted didn't exist when he allegedly committed them, which makes the prosecution itself a war crime.

        Putting a suspect on trial for crimes that did not exist when the acts were committed is a violation of the U.S. Constitution's prohibition on ex post facto laws. It also violates several international treaties, including article 75 of the Additional Geneva Protocol I of 1977, which says that "no one shall be accused or convicted of a criminal offense on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offense under the national or international law to which he was subject at the time when it was committed..." The U.S. has acknowledged that this accurately states customary international law. Putting Omar Khadr on trial in a military commission for the acts of which he's accused, then, according to Professor Glazier, is itself a violation of the laws of war and a "grave breach" of the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions. Such crimes can be prosecuted by other countries under the principle of universal jurisdiction. In the United States they're also federal felonies under the War Crimes Act of 1996.
        •  And check this out, from the (5+ / 0-)

          same piece, about his capture:

          In August, the government presented as a witness a member of U.S. Special Forces who described entering the compound where Khadr was found and ultimately seized in July 2002. The witness, identified as Sergeant Major D, was armed with an N-4 Rifle and a Glock-9mm pistol. The compound had just been shot up by U.S. Apache helicopters and bombarded by two 500-pound bombs. After sensing a grenade and small arms fire coming from an alleyway, he testified, Major D ran to the alley and shot dead a man he saw with an AK-47 and a grenade. Omar Khadr, meanwhile, was seated on the ground in a dusty light-blue tunic, his back to Major D. Khadr was not armed, he wasn't holding or aiming any sort of weapon, nor was he threatening any U.S. servicemember in any way. Yet Sergeant Major D testified that he immediately shot him twice in the back. He then walked over and "thumped him in the eye" to see if he was still alive. He was.

          Targeting a civilian not actively participating in hostilities is normally a war crime. Sergeant Major D testified that he shot Khadr because he viewed him as a "hostile" based on his being in the compound, which was permitted by the military's rules of engagement.

          •  yeah it's quite remarkable (0+ / 0-)

              I'm reading the same piece now.  I hadn't realized how far they had gone. He's basically accused of firing back at invading soldiers who were shooting at him first! Also of helping make and plant anti-tank bombs. They can claim such acts are illegal because in 2006 they retroactively defined "terrorism or material support for terrorism" as a war crime, and defined "terrorism" as pretty much anything done against US troops that isn't done by uniformed members of an army we choose to recognize as legitimate.

               Conclusion: shooting an unarmed child in the back, torturing him, and detaining him without charges for a decade is legally acceptable. Shooting back at people who do that sort of thing is a war crime.

               

        •  Treaties? What are they? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Chacounne, RageKage

          Dubya waived laws and treaties as if they were, you know, the Constitution or some other piece of paper.

      •  Not by the U.S. government anyhow (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chacounne

        Everybody involved in torture got a free pass, but I'm waiting for one of them to slip up and enter a country that doesn't let them off so easily.

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