Canadian Teen Omar Khadr Closer to GuantÃƒÂ¡namo Trial
The trial of Omar Khadr, the 19-year-old Canadian accused of murdering SFC Christopher Speer, is finally moving forward at GuantÃƒ¡namo Bay.
Pentagon Moves To Try 19-Year-Old (Miami Herald)
The Bush administration moved closer Thursday to putting a Canadian teenager on trial at GuantÃƒ¡namo Bay, Cuba, assigning a Marine colonel to run his war-crimes court even as civilian judges have mostly stalled the process. The Pentagon named Col. Robert Chester, 51, a Marine since 1976, as presiding officer of the military commission for Omar Khadr, 19, who was captured in Afghanistan.
The Toronto-born teen is accused of multiple war crimes, including taking part in a July 27, 2002, firefight near Khost, Afghanistan, in which five Americans were wounded while attacking an alleged al Qaeda compound.
U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer, a Special Forces medic from New Mexico, died of his wounds 11 days later, in Germany. Another American lost an eye in the attack, and could be called as a witness.
The irony is that this case is controversial because the United States military is providing less due process than would be the case in an ordinary murder trial, yet far more due process than normally accorded unprivileged belligerents in a combat zone. Khadr should have been given a summary trial in Afghanistan and, if judged guilty, executed there. Taking him to Cuba and allowing this to drag on for years has made him a sympathetic figure.
CBC News has an excellent backgrounder on Sadr and his father, Ahmed Said Khadr, a senior al Qaeda leader who was killed in a raid in Pakistan in 2003.
CTV provides a good overview of the issues in this particular case.
Michelle Malkin has been covering this one for several months.
Update: Substantial discussion in the comments about the nature of unprivileged belligerents and the moral issues surrounding this case.