Captain Kangaroo Court

Col. Peter Brownback, the US military judge presiding over the trial (if you can call it that) of Canadian-born Omar Khadr, has rejected a bid by Khadr’s attorneys to dismiss the case on the grounds that it contravenes international law. Khadr, who has been held at Guantánamo Bay since 2002, was 15 years old when he was pulled off the battlefield in Afghanistan. (He allegedly threw a hand grenade that killed a US operative.) U.S. Lieut. Cmdr. William Kuebler, Khadr’s attorney, argued earlier this year that trying Khadr in this context violates international laws, including the Child Soldier Protocol, of which the United States is a signatory. In today’s ruling, Brownback upheld the Pentagon’s argument that a person of any age can be brought before the US war crimes commissions at Guantánamo. Dark times, indeed.

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