With the Omar Khadr military commission already fading into the pre-election background, I thought it was appropriate to highlight the parts of the trial that occurred after I left the island and to provide a number of perspectives that flowed from the case involving the youngest detainee who remains at Guantanamo Bay and one of the few who has been tried.

The writers express the frustration that seems inherent in a trip to GTMO and describe the difficulties of being the eyes and ears of the public there. This comes in addition to documenting such logical inconsistencies as the fact that we’ve had several thousand of our military members killed by non-uniformed individuals in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade, yet the only one who has faced punishment for this was a 15-year-old at the time of the killing. The natural beauty of the sky is so incongruous with life at GTMO.

The recent spate of plea deals at the military commissions also leaves a bad taste in my mouth. While I favor the military justice system incorporating the right to waive appeals as part of a plea agreement, I’m troubled that these detainees have no recourse to reverse convictions for actions that aren’t recognized as war crimes. The following documents provide lots of food for thought.

Limits on defense sentencing evidence regarding torture allegations:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daphne-eviatar/judge-hides-evidence-of-t_b_775709.html

Mrs. Speer’s testimony and Omar Khadr’s unsworn statement:
http://www.thestar.com/article/882238–omar-khadr-to-widow-i-m-really-really-sorry
http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/10/29/1897342/soldiers-widow-testifies-in-omar.html

The surreal nature of “justice” at GTMO:
http://www.thestar.com/specialsections/omarkhadr/article/882941

The adjudged sentence:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-na-gitmo-khadr-20101101,0,826752.story
Although journalists requested to speak to the commission members after sentencing, it appears they have all chosen to remain anonymous and have not offered comments on the rationale behind their sentence at this time.

Contents of the plea agreement:
http://media.miamiherald.com/smedia/2010/10/31/20/pleabargain.source.prod_affiliate.56.pdf
Copies of the diplomatic notes exchanged between the US and Canada:
http://media.miamiherald.com/smedia/2010/10/31/20/dipnotes.source.prod_affiliate.56.pdf

Khadr’s case highlights military commission deficiencies:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrea-prasow/the-trial-that-wasnt-the_b_779310.html

More on prosecuting actions that have never before been recognized as war crimes:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/nov/02/omar-khadr-al-qaida-canada

Khadr down, 170 still in limbo:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-gitmo-20101103,0,1647724.story

Tweeting from GTMO:
http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/280/tweeting-from-guantanamo_recording-history-140-characters-at-a-time

Comments are closed.