From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor's rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own. Carl Schurz

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Harper Dooms Omar Khadr to Languish in Hell

Today's Star points out that ‘Bureaucratic delays’ keep Omar Khadr in Guantanamo well past the November 2011 date that the terms of his plea deal strongly signalled.  No surprise here, after all this is a government that has been censured by the Federal Court a number of times for their refusal to repatriate prisoners held in foreign jails.

However their ragging of the puck on Khadr appears to have wider implications as this snippet from the Star piece suggests.

 He is the first inmate who appeared ready to be transferred home as a result of a plea deal under the Obama administration’s revised system of tribunals, a prospect that prosecutors are now aggressively dangling before other Guantanamo detainees.
Since taking over as chief military prosecutor last fall, Mark S. Martins, a brigadier-general in the Army, has sharply increased efforts to strike plea deals with low-level detainees in return for agreements to provide voluntary testimony against more significant terrorist suspects, adopting a familiar tactic in the traditional civilian criminal justice system.
But as months pass and Khadr, now 25, remains at Guantanamo, his fellow inmates are growing distrustful that the main inducement prosecutors can offer them — the prospect of leaving by a defined date — is meaningful, defence lawyers say. That mistrust, in turn, is complicating efforts to win more plea deals.

One can imagine that the Yanks are applying a considerable amount of pressure on the Harper regime to take Omar off their hands, which does offer some hope that he may come home before the end of his egregious sentence won chiefly through torture and the abrogation of civil and human rights. But then bringing Omar home will be extremely unpopular not just among Harper's base but also a large chunk of the general public, it'll be interesting to see which holds more sway.

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