When Concentration Camps become an Instrument of “Democracy”:
The Railroading of Omar Khadr
By Becky Akers, Global Research
This time, it’s not just liberty’s lovers excoriating Our Rulers: their persecution of so-called “child-soldier” Omar Khadr has infuriated many international elites, albeit for the wrong reasons.
Omar Khadr is a Canadian citizen whose family travelled back and forth between there, Afghanistan and Pakistan throughout his boyhood. Omar’s late father may actually be among the world’s very few real members of Al Qaeda, as opposed to those the Feds manufacture to substantiate their silly war: he was a friend and financier to Osama himself.
In 2002, Mr. Khadr agreed when an associate asked if Omar could travel with him as a translator. Tragically, this adventure put Omar in the wrong place — a “compound with . . . a mud wall surrounding a homestead with buildings and animal pens” outside a small Afghan village — at the wrong time: just as American troops attacked. Their excuse? The handful of men — sorry, militants — the Americans had spied inside with their AK-47s in view refused “our boys'” order to surrender.
The ensuing battle turned Omar the Translator into Omar the Terrorist whom the Feds allege to have murdered — not simply killed — an American sergeant. Reports disagree about exactly what happened during that skirmish eight years ago, but no one disputes that “our boys” initiated things.
What are we doing in Afghanistan? Why are we invading this sovereign country, let alone its citizens’ farms? What gives Americans wearing funny hats and bulky clothes the right to pester villagers on their own turf, let alone disarm them? Oh, of course: might makes right. Well, guys, listen up: you’re already in the wrong here. You were wrong the day you headed to the recruiter’s office and signed up to kill people; you’re still wrong no matter how many Afghanis shoot back when you trespass.
Eventually, at least 100 American troops surrounded the farm while F-18 Hornets flew to their rescue and “dropped two 500-pound bombs” on the place. Yet “our” butchers still failed to massacre everyone inside: 15-year-old Omar and a badly wounded man survived the lop-sided battle.
Some of the hundred troops secured the farm after this glorious victory, while others covered them by tossing grenades. Those reconnoitering the devastation discovered the wounded man “moving” — writhing? — near an AK-47, so one of them finished him off.
Shrapnel had hit Omar’s eyes during the fight and permanently blinded the left one. The troops found him “sitting up facing away from [them] leaning against brush.” One shot him twice in the back.
That’s according to the shooter himself. The Pentagon suppressed this admission until 2008, when it “inadvertently released” it. No wonder Our Rulers “covered [the report] up”: it contradicts the less-damning “official” account in which Omar “pack[s] a pistol in the rubble of a suspected al Qaeda compound” and hurls a grenade despite the shrapnel in his eyes. That’s why they shot him — in the chest, mind you, not the back.
Despite the “friendly” grenades falling around the troops, the Feds insist the one that killed Sgt. Christopher Speer at this point came from Omar. If so, he’s a boy of remarkable resources, as wearers of contact lenses can attest. When an errant speck finds it way between plastic and eye, the excruciating pain pretty much disables the victim: you can think of nothing else, not even self-defense or survival. Imagine the agony should shrapnel sharp enough to blind you embed itself. Now imagine you’re also 15 and have just survived Armageddon. Are you up for lobbing grenades?
But even if Omar did throw it, since when is self-defense a crime? OK, let’s rephrase that since the anti-Second Amendment wackos have indeed made it so. Since when is firing back at attacking armies a crime? As the New York Times notes, “Usually in war, battlefield killing is not prosecuted. But the United States contended that Mr. Khadr lacked battlefield immunity because he wore no uniform, among other requirements of the laws of war.” Yo, kiddies: if you’re ever caught in the Amerikan Empire’s crossfire, cadge a uniform before defending yourselves.
And so the same sociopaths who dismiss waterboarding as a “dunk in water,” who contend that torture is perfectly Constitutional if the intent is to elicit information rather than to punish, who pretend that 9/11 resulted because Moslems “hate our freedoms” rather than as predictable payback for a century of meddling in other countries’ business — these same sociopaths accused Omar of murder. Then they imprisoned him at Guantanamo Bay.
Meanwhile, they withheld medical treatment (after initial triage and surgery) as well as sunglasses to protect his injured eyes, refused him all contact with his family except for a couple of phone calls, “locked [him] in solitary confinement for more than two years with no relief from the overhead fluorescent lights,” short-shackled his hands and feet to the floor for hours, beat him, ridiculed him, threatened him with dogs, with gang-rape, and with transfer to nations where torture is a blood-sport.
Like Gitmo’s other inmates, Omar endured years there before the Feds bothered charging him. That directly violates the Constitution: its Sixth Amendment orders government to give “the accused” — all accused, without regard to their politically invented and convenient status of “enemy combatant” — a “speedy and public trial.” Ah, the Feds might protest with a crafty smile, but the phrase “the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed” indicates that the Sixth pertains solely to citizens. If so, then the amendment also implies that the government may arrest and imprison only on American soil.
Beginning in 2004, Our Rulers embarked on a series of military tribunals, legal memos, and motions to convict Omar, to justify their abuse of him without the hassles of that “speedy and public trial.” Ever notice that the more illegal, unconscionable, and inhumane police states become, the greater their appetite for legality, rules, and procedures? But our poor, prevaricating politicians hit snag after snag, including the universal outcry against the military tribunals as patent charades.
Then, in 2010, “after working for a year to redeem the international reputation of military commissions, Obama administration officials [were] alarmed by the first case to go to trial under revamped rules: the prosecution of a former child soldier whom an American interrogator implicitly threatened with gang rape.” Yeah, that does tend to undermine a kangaroo court’s credibility. And so Our Rulers indulged in “a complex flurry of negotiations” to save face, not justice. Last week, we saw the fruits of their corruption when Omar, who has steadfastly maintained his innocence, agreed to the Feds’ lies against him.
The government suborned him as it has so many other defendants with a plea deal: “Look, we both know we’re lying, that you’re innocent of what we allege, but save us the trouble of `proving’ you guilty, and we’ll steal fewer years from your life.” In this case, no more than an additional 8 years beyond the 8 Omar has already languished in Gitmo, rather than the rest of his life.
Thus did the Feds finally succeed in coercing Omar to lie. He pled guilty “to committing murder in violation of the law of war, attempted murder in violation of the law of war, providing material support to terrorism, conspiracy, and spying.” (Spying? When he’s been incarcerated since he was 15? What exactly are they smoking over there at the Pentagon?) Dennis Edney is a Canadian lawyer representing Omar; he said his client has “`not much choice’ but to plead guilty to avoid a trial because, he claimed, the proceeding at [Gitmo] would be `unfair.’ `That’s not my comment; it’s the comment of former military prosecutors,’ he said in reference to two who resigned from the military commission prosecution office in recent years.” Not surprisingly, Mr. Edney added, “There is no justice here.”
Instead, there’s a boy horrifically wounded while defending himself from invaders whom the Feds have imprisoned sans a conviction for eight years despite the Constitution’s insistence on habeas corpus. They’ve tortured him the while, again despite the Constitution. He finally caves to the government’s bribery and confesses to “crimes” that aren’t and that he almost surely didn’t commit. Can the Feds possibly add to their mockery here of all that’s just and decent?
Yes! No evil is too difficult for our subhuman Feds! After Omar’s “confession,” they wasted more of our taxes on the travesty of a “sentencing hearing”: “in all military commissions” the Department of Unlimited War to Extend the Amerikan Empire—sorry, Defense explained, “a panel of military officers known as `members” determines the sentence,” — now there’s a model of objectivity– “regardless of whether the plea was guilty or not guilty.” . . .the defense and prosecution will each . . . present evidence and argument to the members to aid them in determining a sentence.”
As if to prove the world’s suspicions of this sham, Our Rulers’ “evidence” included the widow of the sergeant Omar supposedly slew and a “forensic psychiatrist” (sic for “witch doctor”) who read Omar’s mind and assured the “members” that Omar must remain in prison because he seethes with plots against the West. Ahem: can we blame him?
The Widow Speer provided the heart-wrenching spectacle Americans now accept in lieu of justice from courts dispensing “fairness.” She described the “harrowing” horror of telling her daughter, then not even four years old, of her father’s death. She read letters from the girl and her 8-year-old brother that discuss growing up without their dad. The lady herself praised her husband as a “good man.” And she regurgitated the “official” story on Omar despite the conflicting testimony a notoriously deceitful Pentagon stifled and the likelihood of “friendly fire” as her husband’s killer: she denounced Omar as a “murderer” and someone “so unworthy” to have ended Sgt. Speer’s life.
Some will say she’s entitled because she’s lost her husband. But the widow also has $102 million at stake: several years ago, she and the American soldier who claims he shot Omar in the chest filed a lawsuit against Omar’s father, the late financier (apparently, the American genius for making money never sleeps, even among the grieving). Need I add they won? And so “the [Khadr] family’s assets, which are of unknown value, have been frozen by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control [yes, our taxes actually fund such a monstrosity as part of the Treasury Department].” While awaiting the thaw, those hoping to get rich quick toe the line though an innocent man rots in prison.
Mrs. Speer also made much of Omar’s “choice,” by which she meant he could have left the farm at the beginning of the skirmish, as did several women and children. But can’t we say the same of her husband? Sgt. Speer enlisted 9 years before his death, when he was 19; he had plenty of time to reconsider his utterly immoral, inherently dangerous career. Ditto for Mrs. Speer, who could have pleaded against his re-enlisting. And if she “supported” his wickedness, well, widowhood is part of what she’s advocating, not only for herself but for all the women whose husbands died that day.
Just as tainted a witness is the “forensic psychiatrist.” Dr. Michael Welner despises Moslems, according to an article he published in 2005: he compared them to a drug addict “living next door” while condemning their “Islamo-chaos.” As if his own bias weren’t sufficiently rabid, Welner’s statement against Omar relied heavily on the opinions of a Danish psychologist. Nicolai Sennels believes that being “raised in a Muslim environment — with Muslim parents and traditions — includes the risk of developing certain antisocial patterns” and that “the Muslim concept of honor transforms especially their men into fragile glass-like personalities that need to protect themselves by scaring their surroundings with their aggressive attitude.” For the Feds to pay this bigot to babble about Omar is akin to soliciting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s assessment of Anne Frank.
Yet Welner apparently convinced Omar’s jury of military officers that he’s “highly dangerous.” On November 1, they sentenced him to 40 more years in prison (his plea-deal reduces that to 8).
Look closely, and alongside Omar as a victim of the Feds’ atrocities you’ll see our battered, bloodied, dying Constitution.