Above is a picture of Omar Khadr, abducted at 15, now 25 years old, he has spent a third of his life at Guantánamo Bay for a crime he never committed.
“Khadr is accused of throwing a grenade that killed a U.S. soldier in 2002 and conspiring with Al Qaeda. There is no credible evidence to substantiate the charges, some of which date to when he was 11 years old. Charges were not even brought against him until 2007. If convicted, the Obama administration will seek a life sentence for Khadr, prosecutor David Iglesias indicated.
Army Col. Pat Parrish, the tribunal’s presiding judge, on Monday denied defense appeals to bar confessions Khadr made under torture. In hearings held in May an unnamed U.S. military officer admitted that his interrogation unit threatened to gang rape and kill Khadr if he did not cooperate with an interrogation session at Afghanistan’s notorious Bagram air base in 2002.
A U.S. military psychiatrist has said that Khadr, who has now spent a third of his life at Guantánamo, is under extreme psychological stress after years of living through torture, abuse and appalling conditions. He has been subjected to stress positions, beatings, humiliations—including being used as a “human mop” to clean up urine, threatened attack with dogs, long periods of extreme isolation and sensory as well as sleep deprivation. (Read more here)
How come we barely hear about cases like these in the news? If it happend to a white christian male, we would constantly hear about it, but when it happens to a muslim from Afghanistan, silence.
Omar Khadr has himself said:
Khadr wrote to his Canadian attorney Dennis Edney, on May 27. “And if the world doesn’t see all this, to what world am I being released to? A world of hate … and discrimination.”
Lt. Col. Frakt has said:
“It is appalling that the Obama administration is allowing charges to go forward in the military commissions against Omar Khadr. Clearly, Omar Khadr, as a juvenile of 15 at the time of his alleged offences, could not be tried as an adult in federal court, so they are allowing him to be tried as an adult in the military commissions, potentially making him the first child soldier to be tried and convicted as a war criminal in world history.” (Read more here)
The news media is in the entertainment business now.
We don’t hear about it because the media can no longer be trusted to report the news. As Jay Rosen said, “The watchdog press is dead.”
This is why the Internet is so important. This is why SOPA and PIPA are so dangerous; and possibly even *more* important than the NDAA.
As a Canadian, I am horrified at my country’s complicity in the dreadful treatment of Omar Khadr.