Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Omar Khadr: Now We Know What Really Happened
I didn't think it was possible the case of Omar Khadr could become even more of a travesty of justice than it has been since the very beginning.
But I was wrong. Now it's even MORE obscene...because now we know what really happened.
Khadr was 15 when he was captured after a 2002 firefight at an al Qaeda compound in Afghanistan. He is accused of throwing a grenade that killed an American soldier, Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer, a Special Forces commando. Khadr has been held in detention ever since.
Prosecutors said Khadr, who is now 21, was the only person alive at the compound (which had been hit by U.S. air strikes), and so was the only person who could have thrown the grenade that fatally wounded Speer.
On Monday, reporters attending the tribunal were handed a packet of pretrial motions by a spokesperson for the Office of Military Commissions, which included previously classified testimony by an unnamed witness who said Khadr wasn't the only living person at the scene, and may not even have been in a position to throw a grenade at all.
The U.S. military knew that but they didn't tell anyone. Just like they didn't tell anyone how the Delta Force soldier shot Omar in the back.
OC-1 says that as soon as the soldiers entered the compound, they came under fire, possibly from a rifle. The witness described the fire as “directed,” not random. While the soldiers were under fire, OC-1 says he saw a grenade lobbed toward him over a three-metre wall leading into an alley.
When the witness stopped and ducked at one corner of the alley, he heard a man moaning near the back of the compound. When the dust cleared, he saw the man lying near him — he was still moving, and an AK-47 rifle lay beside him. OC-1 shot the man in the head, killing him.
When the dust rose from that shot, the witness saw another person sitting up against the brush, facing away from him. It was Mr. Khadr.
OC-1 shot Mr. Khadr twice in the back.
Which of course begs the obvious question:
If one of the survivors of the multiple air strikes .... that had reduced the compound to rubble.....was healthy enough to fire an AK-47. And Omar Khadr was riddled with shrapnel from the air strikes as his medical reports clearly show. As do the bits of shrapnel still inside him.
And was SITTING facing away from the action...as a person hit in the head with their ear drums blown out and blinded in one eye might do. Who do you think was more likely to have thrown the grenade? Omar or the other guy?
Right. But still they tortured him.
And our Liberal and Conservative governments did NOTHING to stop that , or get him out of Guantanamo. Unlike every other country in the world that had detainees in that hell hole.
Even though our detainee was a CHILD soldier. A victim of his crazy religious fanatic parents. And should NEVER have been in Guantanamo in the first place...or have had to appear before that Pentagon kangaroo court.
You know some shameful episodes in the life of a young country can be semi-excused....buried in a trunk labelled "Horrible Youthful Mistakes"...... and hopefully forgotten or forgiven.
But this ain't one of them. We're going to be wearing this one for a long long time.
It's that bad.
It's that SHAMEFUL...