“The shaming of one Canadian has shamed all Canadians.”
-Liberal MP Paul Szabo, apologizing in the House of Commons for the RCMP’s treatment of lobbyist and arms dealer Karlheinz Schreiber. (Schreiber’s pants had fallen down while RCMP officers led him, in handcuffs, to a waiting cruiser after his testimony before the Commons Ethics Committee.)
You’re 15 years old, in the company of hardened militants who are associates of your father. A foreign army has invaded the country and unleashed a massive bombing campaign. Soldiers come knocking one morning and demand entry. The men around you refuse and a firefight ensues, culminating in the occupying air force bombarding the compound you’re in, killing everyone but you and one other person.
What happens next is disputed. As the soldiers enter the bombed-out compound a grenade is thrown and explodes near one of them. He later dies of his wounds. Based on witness reports, the thrower could have been one of three people: you, the man lying beside you, or a U.S. soldier outside the compound wall.
The man beside you is shot by an advancing soldier as he reaches for an AK-47 lying beside him. Cowering in the corner, you, in turn, are shot twice in the back. As shock sets in, you plead with the soldiers to kill you, to finish the job.
You are Omar Khadr. Your ordeal has barely begun.
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At The Star today:
Lawyers for Guantanamo prisoner Omar Khadr have lost their bid to have his charges dismissed due to unlawful political influence.
The military judge presiding over the Canadian’s case ruled yesterday that senior Pentagon official Brig.-Gen. Thomas W. Hartmann did not improperly influence military prosecutors concerning Khadr’s case.
Hartmann’s conduct as a legal adviser for Guantanamo’s war crimes trials has come under intense scrutiny this year and two military judges presiding over cases of other detainees had already excluded him from the proceedings.
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