Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It Makes Me Want To Puke

First, two U.S. presidents and Canadian prime ministers ignored their international legal obligations under the UN Conventions On The Rights Of The Child and locked up a kid, without trial for eight years. Then, they forced the kid to choose between life in prison in the U.S. or self-denunciation with repatriation (eventually, maybe). Having taken the only logical course, the U.S. government then entered all kinds of suspect testimony into the record, duly and uncritically reported by the corporate press (and the state owned CBC). Next, the kid, who should have been home 8 years ago had to sit in court and listen to a government psychiatrist testify that the kid is dangerous because he spent eight years in Gitmo (as if he had a choice). Finally, even as Khadr was being railroaded, the current sick fuck to occupy the White House, was signing exemptions so that his allies can press more kids into the meat grinder (h/t to pogge), again contrary to both U.S. and international law. All in all, a disgusting display of hypocrisy and an arrogant display of victor's justice. Now excuse me while I go have a shower.

Correction: I don't want to forget Jean Chretien's contribution to this mess, so that makes three PM's who failed to live up to international treaty obligations.

Update: Andrew Sullivan (an American no less) is the only journalist with the balls to call bullshit. Why are Canadian pundits hiding under their desks?

Updater: Behold an example of a Canadian pundit who also calls bullshit.

Updaterer: And Jesus, George Jonas too.  I am beginning to see a pattern here. 

Updatererer: Bejing York points to this really interesting interview with David Lindorff.
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  1. This trial stands as a powerful indictment of the United States. America is a signatory of the Child Soldier protocol. That recognizes that child combatants can be made to do and believe almost anything. It is precisely because of their susceptibility to manipulation that, when captured, they're to be treated as victims and rehabilitated.

    The 'child soldier' issue isn't just a defence to the military trial but a positive duty on the United States that was flagrantly breached. Instead of isolating and rehabilitating Khadr his American captors instead threw him into what they describe as a cauldron of Islamic radicalism - their own Guantanamo detention camp.

    If you acknowledge that child soldiers are highly susceptible to manipulation and require rehabilitation, how can you possibly leave the victim for years to be further indoctrinated in radical Islam? And then, having done just that, invite the court to further punish the victim for what you yourself have allowed to be done to him?

    This argument is to stand all logic, integrity and decency on its head. No legitimate court would ever entertain this argument. A genuine judge would have the prosecutor's head for this. Yet the argument is admissible in Khadr's Kangaroo Kourt.

  2. You may want to update this post with the following interview with David Lindorff, a former US Constitutional law professor.

    P.S.: This is the first time I've heard about Camp Iguana where they held 10-12 years old.

  3. I was going to ask which PM you exonerated.

    Yes, three have grappled with this issue.