U.S. Says No One Too Young For Guantanamo Court

I saw this story the other day and was shocked by the headline. Of course, knowing how headlines are written to grab one’s attention (I did use theirs – and it worked didn’t it *wink*), I had to find out what this was about.

Found on Reuters Tuesday, February 5, 2008:

U.S. says no one too young for Guantanamo court

GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) – A Canadian accused of killing a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan should not be tried as a war criminal because he was a child soldier for al Qaeda, too young to voluntarily join its forces, his military defense lawyer told a U.S. war court on Monday.

Navy Lt. William Kuebler asked a military judge to throw out the charges against Canadian defendant Omar Khadr, who was shot and captured at age 15 in a firefight at a suspected al Qaeda compound in Afghanistan in 2002.

“He is a victim of al Qaeda, not a member of al Qaeda,” Kuebler said.

Khadr is the Toronto-born son of an alleged al Qaeda financier. He is accused of throwing a grenade that killed U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer in the firefight and planting roadside bombs intended to kill other U.S. or coalition soldiers in Afghanistan.

Khadr is charged in the Guantanamo war court with murder, attempted murder, conspiring with al Qaeda, providing material support for terrorism and spying by conducting surveillance of U.S. military convoys in Afghanistan. He faces life in prison if convicted.

Kuebler argued that U.S. and international law assume that children involved in an armed conflict are not there voluntarily, because they lack the experience and judgment to understand the risk of joining armed forces. Defense attorneys contend that any charges against Khadr should be pursued in a civilian court in a juvenile system where the goal is rehabilitation rather than punishment.

Of course, on Wednesday, February 6, 2008 we find the Bush Administration’s justification for the above.

As seen on CNN:

U.S.: Al Qaeda video shows armed boys in training

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — The U.S. military said disturbing video that shows masked boys brandishing guns was an al Qaeda in Iraq training and recruiting tool.

“Al Qaeda in Iraq wants to poison the next generation of Iraqis,” said Rear Adm. Gregory Smith during a Baghdad news conference about the release of the tape.

The video, he said, showed boys, “many below age 11” being used “to produce the next generation of al Qaeda.”

Masked boys are seen in the tape armed with grenade launchers, AK-47s and pistols. They’re standing in front of a black banner hung on a wall, shouting slogans. Another video shows a boy, surrounded by automatic weapons and wearing a suicide vest, according to The Associated Press.

Also in the video, armed boys in black hoods, with weapons pointed, shout and force a man off his bicycle, search a car, and clear a building while a male voice off camera instructs them.

Now, don’t misunderstand me here. I am in no way condoning using children in war. In fact I don’t condone using children for any reason, good OR bad. Children should be allowed to be children, they shouldn’t be taught our hatred and prejudices, they shouldn’t be used as emotional blackmail to push special interest agendas either.

I just find it interesting that this video is available the very next day after a story condeming the Bush Administration for taking a 15-year old boy and shipping him off to Guantanamo Bay to be secretly tried in their military court. The video link is in the rest of the story on CNN.

This seems to be a recurring thing with this administration. Either that or they are creating some new fear to panic the citizens with to distract our attention away from something they have done or are doing.

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~ by swfreedomlover on February 8, 2008.

One Response to “U.S. Says No One Too Young For Guantanamo Court”

  1. The United States of America is waging a war against its own Citizens and you think they will shrink from putting a child in prison? I’ll bet you money they even tortured him already. These twisted pukes have no sense of decency. American, hang your head in shame……..

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