Feel sorry for him?
What did this “kid” do? He threw a grenade that killed a American soldier plus:
After his capture a video was found that shows Khadr toying with detonating cord as other men including Abu Laith al-Libi assemble explosives in the same house that had been destroyed in the firefight. He was also seen planting landmines while smiling and joking with the cameraman. It has been suggested that these were the same landmines later recovered by American forces on a road between Gardez and Khowst.
He is charged with five war crimes including murder.
Still feel sorry for him?
And now the fallout from the Boudemaine decision is being felt:
Omar Khadr appears for the first time Wednesday before a military judge whose reputation for working quickly through trial preliminaries has earned him the nickname “rocket-docket.”
As the prosecution presses for an early trial date, army Col. Patrick Parrish is expected to process a virtual conveyor belt of defence motions more rapidly than his predecessor, who refused to be rushed.
Khadr’s defence team does not want to go to trial, arguing the proceedings before the United States war crimes commissions at the U.S. naval base in Cuba, are unfair.
But Parrish, who has been on the job for a little more than two weeks, has already shown his determination to press on.
On the weekend, he rejected a request from Khadr’s defence lawyers to postpone Wednesday’s hearing to give them more time to assess the implications of last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling on detainee rights.
In a 5-4 decision, the court placed a question mark over the Bush administration’s policy on holding foreign terror suspects, saying they have a “habeas corpus” right under the U.S. Constitution to challenge their detention in U.S. civilian courts.
Against that backdrop, navy Lt.-Cmdr. Bill Kuebler, Khadr’s military-appointed defence lawyer, will use Wednesday’s hearing to argue that the entire case against the Toronto-born accused terrorist should be thrown out on grounds U.S. authorities have never told him of his rights.
The lawyer had previously argued that the interrogators had destroyed their notes in some evil plot to withhold evidence.
The Pentagon urged interrogators at Guantanamo Bay to destroy handwritten notes in case they were called to testify about potentially harsh treatment of detainees, a military defense lawyer said Sunday.
The lawyer for Toronto-born Omar Khadr, Lt. Cmdr. William Kuebler, said the instructions were included in an operations manual shown to him by prosecutors and suggest the U.S. deliberately thwarted evidence that could help terror suspects defend themselves at trial.
Kuebler said the apparent destruction of evidence prevents him from challenging the reliability of any alleged confessions.
They left out one thing. Alex Knapp reports that the notes we’re ordered destroyed after a typewritten copy was finished.
Now that I’ve delved a little more deeply into this, a few more things have come to light.
(1) The operations manual apparently only orders the destruction of the handwritten notes after the creation of formalized typed notes or a formal intelligence report.
(2) Under normal circumstances, that type of procedure would probably be acceptable, and there’s not too much to object to there.
(3) The key words, though, are “under normal circumstances.” The Defense counsel in this case are making the argument that the handwritten notes should be preserved in order to impeach hearsay testimony. In a normal court of law, of course, this would not be necessary because hearsay is typically inadmissible (although there are exceptions). In the detainee trials at Guatanamo, however, hearsay is admissible, and so defense counsel wants access to the original notes.
As a policy matter, I would prefer that these notes be kept for detainee hearings. This is because I generally favor a maximum amount of transparency when it comes to prisoner interrogations in any setting. Indeed, if it were up to me, every interrogation in the criminal justice system would be videotaped (as is the law already in a handful of states). That said, from the standpoint of the current law, there may not be anything illegal in what has been ordered. And given that the handwritten notes are replaced with formal notes and/or reports, the taint of coverup in the initial reports is markedly diminished.
The only thing to cry about in this case is that it only proves we have completely reverted back to September 10th, 2001.