Tuesday, March 05, 2013

"Child Soldier" Omar Khadr Canada's Shame In Enabling if Not Taking Part In War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity

Road to Guantanamo -film trailer

These are part of what America and the West and Christendom now stand for . These are our crimes which many in our society even boast about . From denial of due process, habeas corpus, to indefinite detention to wide spread eavesdropping on millions of our own citizens to abuse and torture of POWs now referred by the media as 'Detainees" and the wanton killing of civilians we are told is merely "collateral Damage".

Obama takes part in these brutal immoral acts such as so called targeted assassinations which have killed over the years since Obama took office thousands of innocent civilians. Obama has not bothered to consider the damage these drone attacks on weddings, funerals, family/clan gatherings in which a hundred innocent people are murdered without any due process . Does Obama just simply hate all of these people or is he now just addicted to the Adrenalin rush of having so much power as we saw with Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld ,Karl Rove, John Bolton,and others including the lawyers John Yoo , Bybee, doctors, psychologists, interrogators, guards who all played their parts or are still taking some pleasure and satisfaction in abusing and torturing fellow human beings. Well at least Ayn Rand queen of the "libertarian fascists" and Himmler and Hitler would approve .

And it became extremely disturbing to hear someone as intelligent and well educated as Condoleeza Rice who described the Geneva Conventions and laws against torture as quaint and to watch the media go all gaga over doing whatever it takes to save America even if it would mean abusing, torturing and killing millions as long only a few are Americans. This is the true legacy of the American Empire which as the neocons observed years before 9/11 that America as an Empire could create its own reality or in this case a nightmare for most of the world's population.

Given the horror of what the West has become it is no wonder that we cling to empty promises of Hope and Change and moving forward and not looking back. Because to look back is to see who we have as a society become.

Unwilling to examine our collective past we are unable to learn from our past experiences and to see where we went wrong . Instead with the help of an enabler such as President Obama we can avoid anything that is unpleasant in our society's views on the rest of the world or even on our fellow citizens who dare to speak out .

For instance President Obama defends John Yoo for his giving a legal veneer for allowing torture. Obama does not want to go after Yoo or anyone else involved in these crimes since he appears to believe it might do damage to the presidency or more ominously put further restrictions on what the President can or can not do or what America ought to be permitted to do in the name of " National Security".

Is it because Obama was already involved with the newer re-labeled Torture Lite program and so he himself may be made to face charges at some point. Obama is surely aware that the USA cannot simply write new laws in order to contravene International Criminal Laws on an ad hoc basis.

Keith Olbermann and Jonathan Turley: "Obama Defends Bush Torture Architect John Yoo"

And Obama starts down the slippery slope of questioning efficacy of torture and that it is a technique but not necessarily a crime. So in his first 100 days of his first term Obama was preparing the way to avoid any real prosecutions for torure or other crimes committed by the Bush/Cheney Regime . But he also prepared the for continuing many of the Bush policies from renditions, to torture and indefinite detention, violating the Geneva Conventions and other inconvenient international laws or agreements such as "Child Soldiers" or protections for first responders ion the battle field or journalists or non-combatants-all are targets or just a nuisance to be gotten rid of and their deaths ignored.

Rachel Maddow's & Professor Jonathan Turley's Reaction To Obama's Press Conference Torture Remarks

Uploaded on 29 Apr 2009

On The Rachel Maddow Show, Jonathan Turley and Rachel discuss Obama's troubling remarks in his 100-days-in-office press conference about the Bush Administration's torture program. Plus Jay Bybee speaks! 4/29/09

Canada's Shame By Ignoring "The Rule Of Law" Regarding "Child Soldiers" and abuse and torture of POWs In The case of Canadian citizen Omar Khadr and others

Harper govt.'s complicity in torture of Guantanamo prisoners condemned

Published on 2 Mar 2013

Unscrupulous Canadian journalists and politicians refer to him as a self-confessed "war criminal" but his lawyer, Dennis Edney, argues that he is a victim of war, who, at the hands of genuine war criminals in Western governments, has been unlawfully incarcerated, tortured, and denied basic civil liberties.

Omar Khadr, who is a Canadian citizen, was kidnapped at gunpoint from Afghanistan when he was only 15 years old by US forces. He was then taken to the controversial Guantanamo Bay prison camp where he spent a decade of his life without due process and now the Harper government is making the child soldier spend more time behind bars in Canada.

Note the CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service)interrogator in the video below of Khadr at Guantanamo is unhelpful and even combative and lies about not having any say in getting Khadr returned to Canada. The CSIS personnel has the power to inform the Canadian government about the terrible mental and physical and emotional state Omar Khadr is in. Whatever complaints he makes the CSIS interrogator ignores and dismisses out of hand. The interrogator should have been disciplined if not fired over his inept performance as a representative of the Crown.
Omar is crying and rocking and at times incoherent all signs of stress if not Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and signs of abuse and possibly torture.

And yet many Canadians as he says and we suggest it is true that Canadians do not give a shit about him. While And Americans in general and their fawning media seem to enjoy and take sadistic delight in the very idea of the suffering of POWs in Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib or Bagram and a hundred other facilities. They cheered when Bin Laden was murdered and when Saddam was forced to take part in a Kangaroo court which then had him lynched and they cheered when Gaddafi was murdered in a vile and brutal manner ( butchered with a knife like an animal)by NATO backed mercenaries and thugs. Gaddafi's death which was video taped was an Iconic moment representing all that is wrong with the West as we descend into barbarism.

Guantanamo Bay child soldier CSIS interrogation - Omar Khadr

Uploaded on 15 Jul 2008


A teenage Omar Khadr sobs uncontrollably as Canadian spy agents question him at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in a brief video excerpt released via the internet early Tuesday morning.

The 10-minute video posted just after 5 a.m. ET is of poor quality and the voices are often inaudible, as it was never intended to be viewed by the public. But it shows Khadr, 16 at the time, being interviewed by Canadian officials in late February 2003.

The excerpt is from five formerly classified DVDs consisting of 7.5 hours of questioning, six months after Khadr was captured following a 2002 firefight in Afghanistan.

What is truly troubling about the prevalent use of torture and abuse of prisoners by the USA and some its allies is that there are many otherwise sensible people in our society even those on the left who now act as if torture is at least sometimes defensible. Torture is never defensible.

And torture is no more defensible just by calling it something else ie enhanced interrogation techniques or by obscuring the fact that torture is still being used by saying only acts allowable by Army interrogation manual are permissible-any technique used which conforms to torture , abuse, intimidation, sensory deprivation, sensory over load , stress positions, nudity, sexual assault or threats of sexual assault, faked executions, excessive use of various drugs, with-holding food or water, not permitting an inmate to practice according to their religious beliefs ie prayers, not allowing them access to holy books ie Bible, Qur'an , Gospels, long term isolation and so forth.

Not each and every technique which is considered to be torture or abuse needs to be defined and described in detail -But many people these days are too slow witted or too enthralled by their own sense of righteousness that we need to catalog and categorize all forms of abuse and torture.

The main reason to resort to torture they say is to gather intelligence to stop a future act of "Terrorism" or to uncover who took part in an already committed act of terrorism. But according to experts and a bit of common sense we see torture is completely unreliable for producing actionable intelligence. People especially those who are innocent have no knowledge about what they are being asked but will say whatever will stop the torture. The hardened guilty prisoner has usually been trained as American soldiers are in how to resist torture and not give out any actionable intel so again they make stuff up or confess to something they have done about which nothing can be done or the facts are already know to the interrogators or their handlers and of course they may implicate individuals who are in fact innocent and maybe someone for whom they hold a grudge.

Large numbers of alleged terrorists have been named or even brought to the American troops and others just so the individual can claim a financial reward and/or to get on the good side of the US troops or to get back at someone they dislike or even in some cases turning in someone who was considered an a collaborator with the US and allied forces.

The real reasons for using torture include frustration on the part of officials or prison guards in attempting to acquire actionable intel and so it that is torture is almost always self-defeating unless the actual motivation is something else.

For instance we now know that the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Karl Rove Torture Inc. CEOs if you like wanted to get intel to prove that their erroneous claims about Iraq and Saddam including WMDs, connections to Al Qaeda, connections to 9/11 and so forth.

So the purpose at times was to get detainees to spill the beans though if the allegations against Saddam had no validity then the forced confessions would all be false. But the Bush Regime needed to cover their asses because if they knew that all the claims they made about Saddam were fabrications they needed these false confessions to produce after the fact bogus evidence and they then could claim Saddam managed to cover his own tracks.

Another reason to use torture is just a matter of getting revenge "pay back" so all so called detainees were seen as guilty because they were Arabs or Muslims for the 9/11 attacks and other terrorist attacks and the killing of US troops in Iraq and elsewhere. So the Iraqi and Afghan people were all seen as collectively being responsible for these acts of terror and for the so called insurgency and therefore deserved to be punished in the most vile manner one could imagine.

Deterrence is another possible justification for engaging in torture while knowing it would not result in actionable intel would be to send a message to all would be terrorists that if caught this would be their fate and no one could save them from humiliation, abuse , torture and even death . This does not work as we have seen a rise in terrorism and insurgencies in large part as a response to Western hypocrisy in claiming to be on the side of justice, morality and a belief in the dignity of all human beings and that certain lines are never to be crossed and that all human beings have certain basic human rights and that there must be a consensus on what it means to act within the Rule Of Law. The Rule of Law as I have argued previously is not merely following the letter of a specific law but rather the intent and spirit of the law which is founded upon basic moral values.

America's Torture Policy
Heavy Metal, Strobe Lights & Shackles: Inside a Guantánamo Interrogation Room
Published on 22 Feb 2013

To watch the full interview on Democracy Now!, visit http://owl.li/hXDjR. Former Guantánamo Bay military prosecutor Lt. Col. Stuart Couch provides an inside look at the U.S. prison where 166 men remain imprisoned. Couch reveals shocking details about detainees being subjected to blaring music, blinding lights and other conditions he says amounted to torture.

Mock Executions, Sensory Deprivation: How Torture Derailed a Guantánamo Pro

Published on 22 Feb 2013

To watch the full interview on Democracy Now!, visit http://owl.li/hXDjR. Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Couch's friend died co-piloting the second plane to hit the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Soon after, Couch became one of the first military prosecutors assigned to the U.S. military base at Guantánamo Bay to prosecute men alleged to have carried out the terrorist plot. But Couch would ultimately refuse to prosecute one detainee: Mohamedou Ould Slahi. Why? Couch says he concluded Slahi's treatment amounted to illegal torture. The case would change Couch's life and put him at the center of a national debate around torture, interrogations and ethics. His story is featured in the new book, "Terror Courts: Rough Justice at Guantánamo Bay," by Wall Street Journal reporter Jess Bravin.

Gitmo Video - Guantanamo Bay

Uploaded on 8 Oct 2007


the destruction of basic natural rights - u.s. torture

Omar Khadr when arrested in Afghanistan and sent to Guantanamo when he was 15. Under International Law Khadr at that age was a child soldier.
He did not have the ability to make a decision on his own. His father took Khadr from Canada to join Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. So the choice was that of his parent not his.

A Child Soldier is supposed to be treated differently and with more sympathy and empathy than an adult soldier. The aim of those who arrest a child soldier is to rehabilitate him and to let him know that whatever he did was the fault and responsibility of the adults who merely used him to fight their battles

Interesting that many people in Canada and the USA are always saying how children should behave their parents but in this case Omar did as he was told and is now made to suffer.

Another issue is the conditions under which he was imprisoned he was treated as if he were an adult offender and was abused and tortured.
When he told a representative of the Canadian consulate in the USA who visited Khadr at Guantanamo the Canadian official showed no sympathy whatsoever and called Khadr a liar and treated Khadr a Canadian citizen with disrespect and a dismissive attitude.

After years of abuse and torture knowing he would never get a fair trial he made a deal with the US military and the US government so he could shorten his time in prison. In the American judicial system confessing to a crime which one did not comit is in the long run results in less prison time than actually fighting the case in court.

The problem that faced Khadr and most of the prisoners in Guantaamo and other US prisons holding alleged terrorists is that the officials in the military and the US government all the way up to the White House in public describes all such POWs or detainees as being guilty either wise they wouldn't be in these prisons.

The American justice system and the American media and public have the same attitude towards anyone who is arrested in their country that if they are arrested by the local police, the FBI or DHS then they must be guilty of something . This guilty as charged before a court date is set is a prevalent view in Canada as well as the USA. We are supposed to consider someone innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Part of the reason many of those who were being kept in Guantanamo and not released as soon as it was discovered that the person was not guilty as charged or committed a crime under duress. Khadr whatever acts he committed if they were criminal he did believing that he was doing what his parents wanted him to do.

Often when we hear about Child Soldiers groups such as Kony's Army of God comes to mind in which children are often abducted and trained to be soldiers but we do not consider Child Soldiers as being accountable for their actions.

Another issue is that even if his entire family were proved to be supporters of Al Qaeda or The Taliban this does not mean that their children must pay for their parents mistakes and criminal actions.

The problem for the Canadian government is that they were aware that prisoners in US custody in Guantanamo and Abu Ghriab were being denied their basic rights and were abused and tortured . Many of these prisoners in order to stop abuse and torture were willing to admit to whatever their guards asked them to .

Again according to international Law and I would suggest common sense and common decency that if it is at all possible that a prisoner would be abused and tortured by officials of one nation that another nation having captured an individual is not to then turn them over to a country which abuses and tortures prisoners . Torture as such is to be defined as it is by International Law and not the whims of a particular nation 's government or its delegating representatives ie the military , the secret police CIA, MI6, Mossad , CSIS and so forth.

In the case of Khadr once he informed the Canadian Consulate that he was being abused and tortured this should have been taken as a serious complaint which would require due dilligence in an investigation and not merely taking the word of the prison guards or the US military or White House. The Canadian representative was not visiting Khadr on behalf of the USA but he was to act as representative of the Canadian government and the Canadian people and was supposed to represent Khadr as a Canadian citizens alleged to have committed a crime.

Instead the Canadian representative treated Khadr as if he were guilty and was just making up stories about abuse and torture.

These most Canadians unfortunately now seem to believe everything the USA says and acts as if we as a once sovereign nation must tow the American line that all those detained by the USA are in deed without any question guilty and therefore have no rights and can be abused , tortured or even killed with complete and utter impunity.

So one thing Canadians should learn from the last dozen years since 9/11 is that if we accept America's policies dealing with the so-called war on terror and such notions as taking the gloves off and that anything goes in this fight then our own troops in Afghanistan and elsewhere will be regarded by the members of the Al Qaeda franchise and the Taliban and so forth as being part of the American Empire's ruthless and brutal unnecessary Wars of Aggression and the daily War Crimes And Crimes Against humanity committed by the American troops and those who guide the Drones to blow up entire villages without any concern for the deaths and wounding of innocent civilians.

President Obama may act upset that the Canadian government under PM Stephen Harper has been slow in dealing with the Omar Khadr case but Obam is also to blame by doubling down and claiming that anyone held by the US is guilty by definition . Obama could have reviewed a number of the cases in question and then given out pardons etc. Instead Obama doubled down on the Bush claim that International Law , The Geneva Conventions , the International laws regarding the treatment orf POWs , the International Laws regarding Child Soldiers do not apply to the USA.

President Obama knowing that abuse and torture of prisoners had taken place Obama gave out a blanket pardon to all those who were involved in the Torture regime from the President to Department of Justice on down including the Commanders in the Pentagon and the CIA and Special forces contrary to Obama's responsibility under Internatrional Law to prosecute such offenders .

According to International Law if a government refuses to act on such allegations and offenses it is up to other countries or International Criminal Court to pursue such cases.

Unfortunately the Bush administration and the Obama administration put pressure on various countries and the United Nations by way of intimidation and threats if they even dared to pursue justice in these cases.

So once again President Obama has proven that he like his predecessor has no respect for the Rule of Law but of course will use such laws when it fits with his own agenda as he has done in Libya and Syria and his unconditional support of various brutal and corrupt regimes from Saudi Arabia, to Bahrain to Israel and so forth.

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