Give Omar Khadr His Chance at Justice

By Njambi Good, Counter Terror with Justice Campaign Director

The U.S. Constitutional amendment protecting everyone’s right to a fair trial is under attack.

On October 18, the desperately flawed trial of Omar Khadr, the young Canadian man who has been in U.S. custody since age 15, is scheduled to resume – lack of transparency, fairness, credibility and all.

The trial is flawed because it is not happening in a real court. Omar Khadr has been tortured, threatened with rape, and denied basic legal rights. Yet despite all that, his fate now hangs outside a traditional judge and jury, but rests with politicians and military personnel.

But three decision-makers, responsible for guiding policies from three different federal offices – the Department of State, Department of Justice and Department of Defense – have the power to steer this runaway trial back on course.

They can be the ones who rise above the noise and send this powerful reminder:

In this country, when a person is suspected of doing something that violates the law, no matter how heinous the alleged act, they are entitled to a fair trial in a U.S. federal court.

We do not create new systems of justice to match the crime or to secure a conviction.

That’s why we’re asking you to join us in calling on these three officials to stop this trial before it starts on October 18: Harold Koh – Legal Adviser for Department of State, David Kris – US Assistant Attorney General for National Security and Jeh Johnson – General Counsel in the Department of Defense.

The fight against torture and terrorism can also be won in the courtroom, but it begins right here. Right now.

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

22 thoughts on “Give Omar Khadr His Chance at Justice

  1. Shahid, I would agree to the extent that I haven't heard anything about this case, so I can't say I'm horrified either, because, like you, I don't know if it is as bad as all that.

  2. Shahid, I would agree to the extent that I haven’t heard anything about this case, so I can’t say I’m horrified either, because, like you, I don’t know if it is as bad as all that.

  3. INcredible …

    Your name is shahid, & you don't know yet of Omar Khadr ??

    The 15 year old boy captured by the USA from a battlezone in Afghanistan ??

    The boy (mis) treated & abused as an adult by the USA ??

    The child sent to Guantanamo, who spent the remaining years of his childhood in the gulag of Guantanamo ..

    All of whose rights under the Convention of the Rights of the Child, which the USA ratified, were denied & violated by the USA ??

    Who was tortured in the gulag by the USA ???

    Who was threatened of gang rape by the USA ???

    Who has refused to participate in his farce of a "trial" by a US military court, the socalled "Military Commisson" of the USA ??

    Omar Khadr, still hidden away from your sight inside the belly of the Beast ???

    Welcome then to the officially approved & authorized underworld of raped & stolen childhoods, & unto you both my Brothers, shahid & Joe, i wish Peace & Knowing.

  4. INcredible …

    Your name is shahid, & you don’t know yet of Omar Khadr ??

    The 15 year old boy captured by the USA from a battlezone in Afghanistan ??

    The boy (mis) treated & abused as an adult by the USA ??

    The child sent to Guantanamo, who spent the remaining years of his childhood in the gulag of Guantanamo ..

    All of whose rights under the Convention of the Rights of the Child, which the USA ratified, were denied & violated by the USA ??

    Who was tortured in the gulag by the USA ???

    Who was threatened of gang rape by the USA ???

    Who has refused to participate in his farce of a “trial” by a US military court, the socalled “Military Commisson” of the USA ??

    Omar Khadr, still hidden away from your sight inside the belly of the Beast ???

    Welcome then to the officially approved & authorized underworld of raped & stolen childhoods, & unto you both my Brothers, shahid & Joe, i wish Peace & Knowing.

  5. Also please learn more about the life of Special Forces medic Sgt.1st Class Christopher J. Speer from Pinehurst, NC who is being detained six feet underground in a cemetery for the rest of eternity thanks to little child soldier Omar Khadr.

    Christopher Speer was as a medical officer giving aid to wounded and thus was protected under the Geneva Convention from attack when Omar killed him.

    Of course immediately after Omar killed Christopher Speer, Speer's fellow medics stepped over the body of thier fallen comrade and proceeded to give Omar excellent first aid and saved Omar's life only feet from the where the body of their friend laid.

    Six days before Omar Khadr killed Speer, Christopher Speer walked into a minefield to rescue two wounded Afghan children. He applied a tourniquet to one child and bandaged the other. Then he stopped a passing military truck to take the wounded children to a U.S. Army field hospital. Speer saved those children.

    Thanks to little child soldier Omar Khadr, Speer left behind a widow Tabitha and two small children, Taryn and Tanner who will never get to know their father.

    Before deploying to Afghanistan, Speer left a notes to his wife, Tabitha,
    "You are always on my mind and forever in my heart."

    Speer wrote a note to his two small children, Taryn and Tanner,.on a card that had two whispering puppies on the cover, Jackson said. One puppy said to the other, "Do you want to know a secret?"
    The card said, "I love you."

    Speer then wrote, "It's no secret how much I love you. Take care of each other.
    "Love Daddy"

  6. Shahid, your ignorance flabbergasts me, with the advent of google and wikipedia your lack of awareness can be remedied. Omar Khadr is a child prisoner who has undergone tremendous human rights violations, the Supreme Court of Canada declared it was against Canadian constitution to let him continue to stay in GITMO — he is innocent — a judge even resigned because of this, i cannot believe you do not know who this is, and your name is Shahid! This boy has grown into a man in GITMO, was stripped naked and kept in isolation under complete sensory deprivation for months. there is no evidence against him, they have no reason to keep him, his suffering and injustice is beyond all measure.

  7. Also please learn more about the life of Special Forces medic Sgt.1st Class Christopher J. Speer from Pinehurst, NC who is being detained six feet underground in a cemetery for the rest of eternity thanks to little child soldier Omar Khadr.

    Christopher Speer was as a medical officer giving aid to wounded and thus was protected under the Geneva Convention from attack when Omar killed him.

    Of course immediately after Omar killed Christopher Speer, Speer’s fellow medics stepped over the body of thier fallen comrade and proceeded to give Omar excellent first aid and saved Omar’s life only feet from the where the body of their friend laid.

    Six days before Omar Khadr killed Speer, Christopher Speer walked into a minefield to rescue two wounded Afghan children. He applied a tourniquet to one child and bandaged the other. Then he stopped a passing military truck to take the wounded children to a U.S. Army field hospital. Speer saved those children.

    Thanks to little child soldier Omar Khadr, Speer left behind a widow Tabitha and two small children, Taryn and Tanner who will never get to know their father.

    Before deploying to Afghanistan, Speer left a notes to his wife, Tabitha,
    “You are always on my mind and forever in my heart.”

    Speer wrote a note to his two small children, Taryn and Tanner,.on a card that had two whispering puppies on the cover, Jackson said. One puppy said to the other, “Do you want to know a secret?”
    The card said, “I love you.”

    Speer then wrote, “It’s no secret how much I love you. Take care of each other.
    “Love Daddy”

  8. Shahid, your ignorance flabbergasts me, with the advent of google and wikipedia your lack of awareness can be remedied. Omar Khadr is a child prisoner who has undergone tremendous human rights violations, the Supreme Court of Canada declared it was against Canadian constitution to let him continue to stay in GITMO — he is innocent — a judge even resigned because of this, i cannot believe you do not know who this is, and your name is Shahid! This boy has grown into a man in GITMO, was stripped naked and kept in isolation under complete sensory deprivation for months. there is no evidence against him, they have no reason to keep him, his suffering and injustice is beyond all measure.

  9. To say that there is not enough information given about Khadar is nonsense. Information has been released through internet and television media about Khadar since the day he was arrested. This child is innocent. The USA needs to let go of their prejudices and racist attitudes for justice to be done here. You've succeeded in this occasionally in the past USA, you can do it again! Justice for all people that is what will create peace in the world.

  10. To say that there is not enough information given about Khadar is nonsense. Information has been released through internet and television media about Khadar since the day he was arrested. This child is innocent. The USA needs to let go of their prejudices and racist attitudes for justice to be done here. You’ve succeeded in this occasionally in the past USA, you can do it again! Justice for all people that is what will create peace in the world.

  11. Smeetha & Nancy,

    Thank you for emphasising the truth about Omar.

    When captured, he was so small he looked 13 instead of 15.

    And ahh ! i forget the "humanity" with which he was treated after capture by the compassionate US forces which had come to …. INVADE & OCCUPY the land.

    AS SOON AS Omar regained consciousness, the attentive US forces began his interrogation.

    He asks for pain medication for the 3 big bullet wounds in his chest & the several shrapnel wounds in his body.

    He is REFUSED.

    Army dogs are brought into the room.

    He is threatened with these beasts.

    He asks to use the toilet.

    The Americans ignore his pleas.

    They keep him there til he urinates on himself.

    Brought in on stretchers to the interrogation, he is made to clean floors on his HANDS & KNEES.

    Even while his chest wounds are STILL wet.

    He is hung up by his wrists from a door frame ….

    FOR HOURS.

    An officer who spoke on condition of anonymity says Omar & other prisoners told whatever they thought their torturers wanted to hear, for they believed the Americans were otherwise going to "cut out their livers".

    Such wondrously "humane" ways of treating child prisoners !!!

    And Omar, remember, is not an isolated case.

    Dozens … yes, DOZENS of children have been imprisoned in Guantanamo !!

    But ahh ! how ungrateful these Muslims & Afghans, to resist this compassionate invasion & occupation of their lands in the first place !!

    Just like indigenous peoples all over the world … resisting the gifts brought them by "civilization" !!!

  12. Smeetha & Nancy,

    Thank you for emphasising the truth about Omar.

    When captured, he was so small he looked 13 instead of 15.

    And ahh ! i forget the “humanity” with which he was treated after capture by the compassionate US forces which had come to …. INVADE & OCCUPY the land.

    AS SOON AS Omar regained consciousness, the attentive US forces began his interrogation.

    He asks for pain medication for the 3 big bullet wounds in his chest & the several shrapnel wounds in his body.

    He is REFUSED.

    Army dogs are brought into the room.

    He is threatened with these beasts.

    He asks to use the toilet.

    The Americans ignore his pleas.

    They keep him there til he urinates on himself.

    Brought in on stretchers to the interrogation, he is made to clean floors on his HANDS & KNEES.

    Even while his chest wounds are STILL wet.

    He is hung up by his wrists from a door frame ….

    FOR HOURS.

    An officer who spoke on condition of anonymity says Omar & other prisoners told whatever they thought their torturers wanted to hear, for they believed the Americans were otherwise going to “cut out their livers”.

    Such wondrously “humane” ways of treating child prisoners !!!

    And Omar, remember, is not an isolated case.

    Dozens … yes, DOZENS of children have been imprisoned in Guantanamo !!

    But ahh ! how ungrateful these Muslims & Afghans, to resist this compassionate invasion & occupation of their lands in the first place !!

    Just like indigenous peoples all over the world … resisting the gifts brought them by “civilization” !!!

  13. There's light only if there's darkness.

    The truth comes out only through the lies.

    That's how it is with us humans now.

    The lie about Omar was, & is, that he threw a grenade that killed a US soldier, Christopher Speer.

    To make this lie stand, they tortured Omar.

    Through 42 hideous boouts of interrogations across 90 days in Bagram prison.

    To make the torture stop he readily confessed to all the Americans wanted him to say.

    But the torture didn't stop.

    Then they brought him to Guantanamo.

    Here he was held with adult detainees, in violation of all the rules for juvenile detention.

    Beaten.

    Drugged.

    Sleep deprived.

    Kept in isolation.

    Threatened with deportation to Israel or another Middle Eastern country where he's told he's going to be raped.

    For 2 years he sees no attorneys.

    For 3 years he's charged with no offense.

    Finally in February 2008, something happens that's not supposed to happen — the truth came out about what actually happened on that day Omar was captured in July 2002 in the battle of Ab Khail, a mountain village.

    The truth is contained in a Criminal Investigation Task Force witness report — from 2004 !! — that's accidentally released to the press. In 2008 !!

    In that report an US soldier, identified only as "OC-1", gives an eyewitness account of the battle .

    When the US forces went to a small compund & demanded to search it, 4 / 5 men inside, armed with grenades & assault rifles, refused to let them in.

    After an exchange of fire. the US force called in multiple aerial bombing raids which nearly flattened the mudbrick houses.

    Then, as the soldiers entered the compound, someone from inside started firing at them,& a grenade came flying out over a wall, sailed over the head of the soldier identified as "OC-1", travelled between 30 to 80 feet, & landed 30 to 50 feet from the opening of an alley.

    This is the grenade that allegedly killed Speer, but "OC-1" didn't see it explode.

    He heard a moan from the back of the compound &saw a man lying on the ground near an AK 47 rifle, moving. "OC-1"shot him in the head.

    Then he saw someone who turned out to be Omar, lying against some brush, unarmed & wounded with shrapnel in the head, eye & leg, presumably as a result of the aerial bombardment. "OC-1" shot him twice in the back, even though he was unarmed & facing away.

    "OC-1" admitted that after the US soldiers entered the compound, one American grenade was thrown into the compound FROM OUTSIDE.

    Speer could only have been killed by a grenade thrown either by the man "OC-1" killed, or by Omar, — OR by the AMERICAN GRENADE THAT WAS THROWN FROM OUTSIDE, presumably by a US soldier..

    As Omar's lawyer, Bill Kuebler argued, this raises the possibility that Speer was killed by that Amertican grenade.

    The US initially said Omar was seen throwing the grenade, but there's no eyewitness account to corroborate this.

    The US military commander at the firefight, identified only as "Col. W", initially reported that the man who threw the grenade that killed Speer was subsequently killed in the fighting.

    But in 2008 Omar's lawyers revealed that"Col. W'''s report was altered months later to read that the suspect was merely "engaged" but not "killed", causing an accusation to be made that the US military was "manufactur[ing] evidence to make it look like Omar is guilty."

    Aftr the fighting, when Omar was flown to Bagram prison & regained consciousness, the first thing he was told was he "had killed an American with a hand grenade."

    But for years the US quietly hid the truth about the battle as reported by one of their soldiers, while they spun a web around this boy growing up in their gulag

    They finally charged him with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy, giving material support to terrorism, & so on.

    But fighters firing at each other in war ,if they are captured, cannot be charged with "murder".

    Even if you quote from from one of the dead soldiers' letters or cards expressing his love for his wife & children.

    The actions of armed fighters in war are the actions of soldiers. If captured they are to be seen or treated not as criminals, but as POWs.

    If they are children, they are not POWS.

    They are victims of war.

  14. Judo, Sgt Speer was a great man, but he was not acting as a medic when he was killed. He was acting as a soldier, with a party looking for fighters who might have survived the US massive bombing attack.

    He was not a "protected" person under international law and whoever killed him, Khadr, the other surviving insurgent or somebody else was not guilty of a war crime.

    His service should be honoured but this is not the way to do it. And I, personally, don't think a man who wanted to be a doctor and risked his life to save two Afghan children would want this.

  15. There’s light only if there’s darkness.

    The truth comes out only through the lies.

    That’s how it is with us humans now.

    The lie about Omar was, & is, that he threw a grenade that killed a US soldier, Christopher Speer.

    To make this lie stand, they tortured Omar.

    Through 42 hideous boouts of interrogations across 90 days in Bagram prison.

    To make the torture stop he readily confessed to all the Americans wanted him to say.

    But the torture didn’t stop.

    Then they brought him to Guantanamo.

    Here he was held with adult detainees, in violation of all the rules for juvenile detention.

    Beaten.

    Drugged.

    Sleep deprived.

    Kept in isolation.

    Threatened with deportation to Israel or another Middle Eastern country where he’s told he’s going to be raped.

    For 2 years he sees no attorneys.

    For 3 years he’s charged with no offense.

    Finally in February 2008, something happens that’s not supposed to happen — the truth came out about what actually happened on that day Omar was captured in July 2002 in the battle of Ab Khail, a mountain village.

    The truth is contained in a Criminal Investigation Task Force witness report — from 2004 !! — that’s accidentally released to the press. In 2008 !!

    In that report an US soldier, identified only as “OC-1″, gives an eyewitness account of the battle .

    When the US forces went to a small compund & demanded to search it, 4 / 5 men inside, armed with grenades & assault rifles, refused to let them in.

    After an exchange of fire. the US force called in multiple aerial bombing raids which nearly flattened the mudbrick houses.

    Then, as the soldiers entered the compound, someone from inside started firing at them,& a grenade came flying out over a wall, sailed over the head of the soldier identified as “OC-1″, travelled between 30 to 80 feet, & landed 30 to 50 feet from the opening of an alley.

    This is the grenade that allegedly killed Speer, but “OC-1″ didn’t see it explode.

    He heard a moan from the back of the compound &saw a man lying on the ground near an AK 47 rifle, moving. “OC-1″shot him in the head.

    Then he saw someone who turned out to be Omar, lying against some brush, unarmed & wounded with shrapnel in the head, eye & leg, presumably as a result of the aerial bombardment. “OC-1″ shot him twice in the back, even though he was unarmed & facing away.

    “OC-1″ admitted that after the US soldiers entered the compound, one American grenade was thrown into the compound FROM OUTSIDE.

    Speer could only have been killed by a grenade thrown either by the man “OC-1″ killed, or by Omar, — OR by the AMERICAN GRENADE THAT WAS THROWN FROM OUTSIDE, presumably by a US soldier..

    As Omar’s lawyer, Bill Kuebler argued, this raises the possibility that Speer was killed by that Amertican grenade.

    The US initially said Omar was seen throwing the grenade, but there’s no eyewitness account to corroborate this.

    The US military commander at the firefight, identified only as “Col. W”, initially reported that the man who threw the grenade that killed Speer was subsequently killed in the fighting.

    But in 2008 Omar’s lawyers revealed that”Col. W”’s report was altered months later to read that the suspect was merely “engaged” but not “killed”, causing an accusation to be made that the US military was “manufactur[ing] evidence to make it look like Omar is guilty.”

    Aftr the fighting, when Omar was flown to Bagram prison & regained consciousness, the first thing he was told was he “had killed an American with a hand grenade.”

    But for years the US quietly hid the truth about the battle as reported by one of their soldiers, while they spun a web around this boy growing up in their gulag

    They finally charged him with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy, giving material support to terrorism, & so on.

    But fighters firing at each other in war ,if they are captured, cannot be charged with “murder”.

    Even if you quote from from one of the dead soldiers’ letters or cards expressing his love for his wife & children.

    The actions of armed fighters in war are the actions of soldiers. If captured they are to be seen or treated not as criminals, but as POWs.

    If they are children, they are not POWS.

    They are victims of war.

  16. Judo, Sgt Speer was a great man, but he was not acting as a medic when he was killed. He was acting as a soldier, with a party looking for fighters who might have survived the US massive bombing attack.

    He was not a “protected” person under international law and whoever killed him, Khadr, the other surviving insurgent or somebody else was not guilty of a war crime.

    His service should be honoured but this is not the way to do it. And I, personally, don’t think a man who wanted to be a doctor and risked his life to save two Afghan children would want this.