noworldsystem.com


CNN: Egyptian VP Suleiman a ‘feared man’

CNN: Egyptian VP Suleiman a ‘feared man’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMz0VzftXrw

Torture Victim of Omar Suleiman Speaks Out

Omar Suleiman: CIA’s Torture Chief in Egypt

 



Torture Victim of Omar Suleiman Speaks Out

Torture Victim of Omar Suleiman Speaks Out

Antony Loewenstein
Desertpeace
February 12, 2011

Australian citizen Mamdouh Habib was captured and tortured in the years after September 11 in both Egypt and Guantanamo Bay.

For years, “war on terror” supporters defamed Habib and claimed he was lying about his allegations of mistreatment. However last year in just one case against the Australian Murdoch press, he won a small victory:

    The courts have delivered another win to former Guantanamo Bay inmate Mamdouh Habib, declaring that he was defamed by News Ltd columnist Piers Akerman, paving the way for a hefty payout.

    The New South Wales Court of Appeal overturned a 2008 judgment in favour of Mr Akerman’s publisher Nationwide News and yesterday ordered them to pay Mr Habib’s legal costs in the five-year-old battle.

    It was the second win for Mr Habib in a month after the full court of the Federal Court upheld an appeal in his mammoth compensation case against the federal government for allegedly aiding and abetting his torture by foreign agents.

    Another hearing will now be held to determine what damages he will receive for the 2005 article in The Daily Telegraph and other News Ltd newspapers, headlined ”Mr Habib, it’s time to tell the full story”.

Today, with the Egyptian uprisings in full swing, the man tapped by the US, Israel and the West to lead the country, Omar Suleiman, was one of Habib’s torturers and there is intense scrutiny of who this man truly is.

I interviewed Habib exclusively tonight in Sydney about Suleiman, his calls for the torturer-in-chief to be charged, his knowledge about all the figures complicit in his rendition and his support for the Egyptian protests. He stressed that Suleiman was a CIA/Mossad agent who was willing to do anything for a price:

I reviewed Habib’s book, My Story, in 2008 for the Sydney Morning Herald and it tells a powerful story. The extracts below are all the references to Suleiman:

    pp.112-115

    The guard quickly told me that the very big boss was coming to talk to me, and that I must be well behaved and co-operate. Everyone was nervous. I have since found out that the boss was Omar Suleiman, head of all Egyptian security. He was known for personally supervising the interrogation of al-Qaeda suspects and sending reports to the CIA. In the beginning, he was often present during my interrogations. He must have thought that he had a big fish when I was sent to him by the Americans and Australians.

    I was sitting in a chair, hooded, with my hands handcuffed behind my back. He came up to me. His voice was deep and rough. He spoke to me in Egyptian and English. He said, “Listen, you don’t know who I am, but I am the one who has your life in his hands. Every single person in this building has his life in my hands. I just make the decision.”

    I said, “I hope your decision is that you make me die straight away.”

    “No, I don’t want you to die now. I want you to die slowly.” He went on, “I can’t stay with you; my time is too valuable to stay here. You only have me to save you. I’m your saviour. You have to tell me everything, if you want to be saved. What do you say?”

    “I have nothing to tell you.”

    “You think I can’t destroy you just like that?” He clapped his hands together.

    “I don’t know”. I was feeling confused. Everything was unreal.

    “If God came down and tried to take you by the hand, I would not let him. You are under my control. Let me show you something that will convince you.”

    The guard then guided me out of the room and through an area where I could see, from below the blindfold, the trunks of palm trees. We then went through another door back inside, and descended some steps. We entered a room. They sat me down.

    “Now you are going to tell me that you planned a terrorist attack”, Suleiman persisted.

    “I haven’t planned any attacks.”

    “I give you my word that you will be a rich man if you tell me you have been planning attacks. Don’t you trust me?” he asked.

    “I don’t trust anyone”, I replied.

    Immediately he slapped me hard across the face and knocked off the blindfold; I clearly saw his face.

    “That’s it. That’s it. I don’t want to see this man again until he co-operates and tells me he’s been planning a terrorist attack! he yelled at the others in the room, then stormed out.

    The guard came up to me, upset that I hadn’t co-operated.

    I said to him, “You have to let me go soon; it’s nearly 48 hours.”

    He looked at me, surprised, and asked, “How long do you think you’ve been here?”

    “A day”, I replied.

    “Man, you’ve been here for more than a week.”

    They then took me to another room, where they tortured me relentlessly, stripping me naked and applying electric shocks everywhere on my body. The next thing I remember was seeing the general again. He came into the room with a man from Turkistan; he was a big man but was stooped over, because his hands were chained to the shackles of his feet, preventing him from standing upright.

    “This guy is no use to us anymore. This is what is going to happen to you. We’ve had him for one hour, and this is what happens.”

    Suddenly, a guy they called Hamish, which means snake, came at the poor man from behind and gave him a terrible karate kick that sent him crashing across the room. A guard went over to shake him, but he didn’t respond. Turning to the general, the guard said, “Basha, I think he’s dead.”

    “Throw him away then. Let the dogs have him.”

    They dragged the dead man out.

    “What do you think of that?” asked the general, staring into my face.

    “At least he can rest now”, I replied.

    Then they brought another man in. This man, I think, was from Europe – his exclamations of pain didn’t sound like those of someone from the Middle East. He was in a terrible state. The guard came in with a machine and started to wire up the guy to it. They told the poor man that they were going to give him a full electric shock, measuring ten on the scale. Before they even turned the machine on, the man started to gasp and then slumped in the chair. I think he died of a heart attack.

    The general said that there was one more person I had to see. “This person will make you see that we can keep you here for as long as we want, all of your life, if we choose.”

    There was a window in the room, covered by a curtain. The general drew back a curtain, and I saw the top half of a very sick, thin man. He was sitting on a chair on the other side of the glass, facing me.

    “You know this guy?” the general asked.

    “No”, I replied.

    “That’s strange – he’s your friend from Australia.”

    I looked again, and was horrified to see that it was Mohammed Abbas, a man I had known in Australia who had worked for Telstra [Australian telecommunications company]. He had travelled to Egypt in 1999, and had never been seen again.

    “He is going to be your neighbour for the rest of your life.”

    It was then that I knew I was in Egypt, without a doubt. They then took Abbas away and closed the curtain.

    p.118

    After the first interrogation with Suleiman, I believed the Egyptians weren’t interested in where I had been; they only wanted me to confess to being a terrorist and having plotted terrorist attacks so they could sell the information to the United States and Australia. I decided then that I wouldn’t answer questions or explain anything; but, as a consequence, I was badly tortured in Egypt.

    p.133

Read Full Article Here

Suleiman: We will unleash “dark bats of the night… to terrorize people” if protests continue

Omar Suleiman: CIA’s Torture Chief in Egypt

 



Omar Suleiman: CIA’s Torture Chief in Egypt

Omar Suleiman: CIA’s Torture Chief in Egypt

James Ridgeway
uruknet.info
February 4, 2011


Chief of Torture Omar Suleiman (right) to replace Dictator Hosni Mubarak (left).

As things now stand, the United States appears ready to have Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak tossed out in exchange for his newly-named Vice President, Omar Suleiman, the Egyptian spy master. That is, maintain the status quo by swapping one dictator for another.

Of course, Israel must sign off on this deal aimed at assuring that Egypt can remain as America’s main base in the region, straddling as it does North Africa and the Middle East. Without that status quo, the U.S. would have to rethink its entire neo-colonial policies in the region.

But Suleiman looks like a nasty piece of work.

You don’t get much about him in the US corporate media, but Agence France Press has pulled together the basics:

“For US intelligence officials, he has been a trusted partner willing to go after Islamist militants without hesitation, targeting homegrown radical groups Gamaa Islamiya and Jihad after they carried out a string of attacks on foreigners. A product of the US-Egyptian relationship, Suleiman underwent training in the 1980s at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare School and Center at Fort Bragg in North Carolina….

“After taking over as spy director, Suleiman oversaw an agreement with the United States in 1995 that allowed for suspected militants to be secretly transferred to Egypt for questioning, according to the book “Ghost Plane” by journalist Stephen Grey. ..

“In the run-up to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, the CIA relied on Suleiman to accept the transfer of a detainee known as Ibn Sheikh al-Libi, who US officials hoped could prove a link between Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda. The suspect was bound and blindfolded and flown to Cairo, where the CIA believed their longtime ally Suleiman would ensure a successful interrogation, according to “The One Percent Doctrine” by author Ron Suskind. A US Senate report in 2006 describes how the detainee was locked in a cage for hours and beaten, with Egyptian authorities pushing him to confirm alleged connections between Al-Qaeda and Saddam. Libi eventually told his interrogators that the then Iraqi regime was moving to provide Al-Qaeda with biological and chemical weapons. When the then US secretary of state Colin Powell made the case for war before the United Nations, he referred to details of Libi’s confession. The detainee eventually recanted his account.”

Thus our loyal ally Egypt provided the fake information used by the United States to justify go to war in Iraq.

Stephen Soldz of the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis and co-founder of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology provided the following excerpts from authors who discussed Sulieman:

Jane Mayer, in The Dark Side, pointed to Suleiman’s role in the rendition program:

“Each rendition was authorized at the very top levels of both governments….The long-serving chief of the Egyptian central intelligence agency, Omar Suleiman, negotiated directly with top Agency officials. [Former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt] Walker described the Egyptian counterpart, Suleiman, as ‘very bright, very realistic,’ adding that he was cognizant that there was a downside to ‘some of the negative things that the Egyptians engaged in, of torture and so on. But he was not squeamish, by the way'” (pp. 113).

Stephen Grey, in Ghost Plane, his investigative work on the rendition program, also points to Suleiman as central to the program:

“To negotiate these assurances [that the Egyptians wouldn’t ‘torture’ the prisoner delivered for torture] the CIA dealt principally in Egypt through Omar Suleiman, the chief of the Egyptian general intelligence service (EGIS) since 1993. It was he who arranged the meetings with the Egyptian interior ministry…. Suleiman, who understood English well, was an urbane and sophisticated man. Others told me that for years Suleiman was America’s chief interlocutor with the Egyptian regime — the main channel to President Hosni Mubarak himself, even on matters far removed from intelligence and security.”

Suleiman’s role in the rendition program was also highlighted in a Wikileaks cable:

“The context of the close and sustained cooperation between the USG and GOE on counterterrorism, Post believes that the written GOE assurances regarding the return of three Egyptians detained at Guantanamo (reftel) represent the firm commitment of the GOE to adhere to the requested principles. These assurances were passed directly from Egyptian General Intelligence Service (EGIS) Chief Soliman (sic) through liaison channels — the most effective communication path on this issue. General Soliman’s word is the GOE’s guarantee, and the GOE’s track record of cooperation on CT issues lends further support to this assessment. End summary.”

“Shortly after 9/11, Australian citizen Mamdouh Habib was captured by Pakistani security forces and, under US pressure, torture by Pakistanis,” writes Soldz. “He was then rendered (with an Australian diplomat watching) by CIA operatives to Egypt, a not uncommon practice. In Egypt, Habib merited Suleiman’s personal attention. As related by Richard Neville, based on Habib’s memoir”:

“Habib was interrogated by the country’s Intelligence Director, General Omar Suleiman…. Suleiman took a personal interest in anyone suspected of links with Al Qaeda. As Habib had visited Afghanistan shortly before 9/11, he was under suspicion. Habib was repeatedly zapped with high-voltage electricity, immersed in water up to his nostrils, beaten, his fingers were broken and he was hung from metal hooks. That treatment wasn’t enough for Suleiman, so:

To loosen Habib’s tongue, Suleiman ordered a guard to murder a gruesomely shackled Turkistan prisoner in front of Habib – and he did, with a vicious karate kick.

After Suleiman’s men extracted Habib’s confession, he was transferred back to US custody, where he eventually was imprisoned at Guantanamo. His “confession” was then used as evidence in his Guantanamo trial.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7sK9gUczkA

Obama Scrambling To Replace One Crony Egyptian Government With Another

Mohamed ElBaradei: Globalist Pied Piper Of The Egyptian Revolt

 



U.S. Soldier Waterboards 3-Year-Old Daughter

U.S. Soldier Waterboards 3-Year-Old Daughter

NWCN.com
September 2, 2010

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWgoFU4fkVQ

TACOMA, Wash. – Army Sergeant Joshua Tabor was sentenced to 60 days in jail this morning after investigators say he “water boarded” his three-year-old daughter.

Police said 27-year-old Tabor punished his daughter last January in their Yelm home because she did not know her ABC’s and was having trouble learning to use the bathroom. Authorities said he pulled his daughter’s head backward into the kitchen sink.

Yelm Police Chief Todd Stancil said Tabor knew she was afraid of water and thought it was an appropriate punishment.

At first Tabor entered a not guilty plea to the charge but then entered no contest please in August.

Tabor will not be allowed to see his daughter for the next five years.

Tabor’s attorney said his client suffers from post traumatic stress disorder after serving tours as a helicopter mechanic in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Another JBLM soldier, Ruben Colon, is awaiting trial for allegedly waterboarding his foster son as punishment last year.

 



Video: Tour of Gitmo on the Platte

Video: Tour of Gitmo on the Platte

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGXaGE-08WU

DNC Police Bulletin: People With City Maps Could Be Planning Violence
http://www.infowars.net/articles/august2008/210808.htm

 



Concentration Camp Set Up For DNC Protesters

Concentration Camp Set Up For DNC Protesters
Cells topped with barbed wire to be used to hold protesters rounded up in mass arrests

Steve Watson
Infowars.net
August 15, 2008

A CBS news crew has uncovered a huge warehouse holding facility in Denver, consisting of steel cages topped with barbed wire, ready to receive thousands of protesters at this year’s Democratic National Convention.

“This is a building filled with metal holding cells,” described CBS reporter Rick Sallinger. “We showed up at the facility unannounced today, the doors were wide open, and we managed to shoot for several minutes until a Denver sheriff’s captain asked us to leave.”

The warehouse is located on the north-east side of Denver and is owned by the city. It appears that officials wanted to keep it a secret until the convention began. The police captain captured on film warned that if made public, the facility could be compromised “by people who are potentially trying to be disruptive.”

The CBS footage shows a huge area of metal chain-link cells that measure 5 yards by 5 yards, topped with rolls of barbed wire. Each pen is adorned with an identifying letter.

Signs on the walls of the warehouse read “Warning! Electric stun devices used in this facility.”

On seeing the footage one local political organizer told the crew it resembled a “concentration camp”, while another described it as a “meat processing plant”. The facility has already been dubbed “Gitmo On The Platte”.

Watch the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQEc3ejHIaM

Such “prison camps” were also used in 2004 during the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. The areas close to the DNC in Boston consisted of concrete walls, barriers and metal cages with barbed wire.

The areas were invisible to the Fleet Center where the convention was held and were referred to as “Boston’s Camp X-Ray”.

At the 2004 RNC in New York holding pens were also employed as protestors and innocent people were swept up in mass arrests and transferred to then-recently closed Hudson Pier Depot at Pier 57 on the Hudson River in Manhattan.



The facility was quickly dubbed “Little Gitmo” as thousands were bound and paraded into a large warehouse area behind steel caging.

This was taken from inside a portable bathroom at Pier 57. You can see people being lined up to get inside the huge pen. Throughout this 30 second clip, a chant of “Let Us Go!” starts in one part of the complex and quickly spreads to every corner. Learn more about the photographer’s experience here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6PNQGKTj6k

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9bCfM8EDd0

More recntly, such holding areas have been employed in conjunction with the Orwellian concept of “free speech zones”.

The Secret Service has been granted the power to declare “first amendment areas”. They scout locations where the president is scheduled to speak, or pass through, target those who carry anti-Bush signs and escort them to the protest pens prior to and during the event.

Inevitably the pens are far away from the event location and well away from any media spotlight.

Holding pens will also be employed at the RNC later this year with local law enforcement working with the secret service to designate the areas in Minneapolis.

 

We Are Change Colorado Check Out DNC Detention Camps and Break Exclusive Footage

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_-CIat6Bdw

Photos and Videos From Inside New York’s Pier 57 Detention Center
http://www.thememoryhole.com/policestate/pier57/

Bush protesters get $50,000 settlement for unlawful strip-search at RNC 2004
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-ia-bushprotesters,0,2510112.story

City Defends ‘Secret Jail’ Built For DNC
http://www.9news.com/news/article.aspx?storyid=97741&catid=188

Huge protests expected at political conventions
http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSN1250765520080815

DNC Protesters Outraged Over Makeshift Razor-Wire Jail in Denver Warehouse
http://www.breitbart.tv/?p=154223

News Crew Crashes DNC Concentration Camp
http://rawstory.com/news/2008/News_..s_DNC_massdetention_0815.html

 



McCain Flip-Flops on the Waterboarding Torture Issue

Forgetting His Vote To Allow Waterboarding, McCain Says ‘We Could Never Torture Anyone’

Think Progress
July 28, 2008

In February, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) voted against a bill banning the CIA from waterboarding and using other torture tactics in their interrogations. When the bill passed, McCain urged Bush to veto it, which he did.

In an interview with Newsweek published today, McCain defended his position, insisting that the CIA plays “a special role” in defending the U.S. and thus should be allowed to use harsh interrogation tactics such as waterboarding:

NEWSWEEK: On torture, why should the CIA be treated differently from the armed services regarding the use of harsh interrogation tactics?

MCCAIN: Because they play a special role in the United States of America and our ability to combat terrorists. But we have made it very clear that there is nothing they can do that would violate the Geneva Conventions, the Detainee Treatment Act, which prohibits torture. We could never torture anyone, but some people misconstrue that who don’t understand what the Detainee Treatment Act and the Geneva Conventions are all about.

McCain’s vote against the waterboarding ban did make one thing clear: that he condones torture. With Bush’s veto, waterboarding remains a distinct option for the CIA:

Still, waterboarding remains in the CIA’s tool kit. The technique can be used, but it requires the consent of the attorney general and president on a case-by-case basis. Bush wants to keep that option open.

“I cannot sign into law a bill that would prevent me, and future presidents, from authorizing the CIA to conduct a separate, lawful intelligence program, and from taking all lawful actions necessary to protect Americans from attack,” Bush said in a statement.

McCain is either clueless or ignorant about the fact that his vote allows the CIA to waterboard detainees. And as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), one of McCain’s chief surrogates, has said about waterboarding, “I don’t think you have to have a lot of knowledge about the law to understand this technique violates Geneva Convention common article three, the War Crimes statutes, and many other statutes that are in place.”

 



Leaked Photo Shows Detainee’s Lips Sewn Shut

Leaked photo shows detainee’s lips sewn shut, wires coming out of the face

Wikileaks
July 22, 2008

Photo leaked from a military computer

Photo of a detainee held by the United States, with his face wired, lips sewn, red eyes and torso sacked. According to digital camera metadata the image was taken on Feb 9, 2003 03:49:25. The 6 Aug 2004 is also mentioned in relation to this photo. The facial wiring is clearly non-medical. The location of the detainee is unknown, possibly the US Bagram Theater Internment Facility in Afghanistan. Although there is a resemblance to the US Taliban supporter John Walker Lindh, the connection is superficial. The negative image to the right was created by Wikileaks to draw attention to certain regions of the photo on the left. Wikileaks staff have verified that the photograph came from a US military computer network.

Read Full Article Here

 

ACLU: AG Wants Congress To Subvert Constitution

Raw Story
July 21, 2008

Attorney General Michael Mukasey prompted Congress Monday morning, during a speech to the conservative American Enterprise Institute, to create new rules governing the rights of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The American Civil Liberties Union immediately responded to Mukasey’s request, calling his proposals nothing short of asking Congress to subvert the Constitution.

Mukasey “proposed that Congress subvert the right of habeas corpus with a new scheme of procedures that will hide the Bush administration’s past wrongdoing – an action that would undermine the constitutional guarantee of due process and conceal systematic torture and abuse of detainees,” the group charged.

“Mukasey is asking Congress to expand and extend the war on terror forever,” said Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office, in a media advisory. “Anyone that this president or the next one declares to be a terrorist could then be held indefinitely without a trial. This is clearly the last gasp of an administration desperate to rationalize what is a failed legal scheme that was correctly rejected four times by the Supreme Court.”

The Associated Press, acknowledging a Congress eager to transition into a busy election season, notes the rules are not likely to be approved. Mukasey’s requests come on the heels of a Supreme Court decision granting detainees the right to challenge their captivity in US federal court. Under Mukasey’s proposals, a detainee would be able to challenge their detention, but would receive no extradition to the United States for the proceedings.

According to the Washington Post: “Under the Justice plan that Mukasey talked about today, the U.S. government could hold prisoners indefinitely so long as the armed conflict with al-Qaeda persisted.”

Read Full Article Here

Author: Officials against torture memo feared wiretaps, physical danger
http://rawstory.com//news/2..ps_over_opposing_0721.html

Lawyer: U.S. Military Jails Are Legal Black Holes
http://rawstory.com/news/afp/US..black_holes_say_U_07202008.html

US tells lies about torture, say MPs
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jul/20/humanrights.uksecurity

Conservative Lawyers Urge Bush To Issue ‘Pre-Emptive Pardons’ To Officials Involved In Illegal Programs
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/07/21/bush-preemptive-pardons/

Guantánamo children
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/20..gusrc=rss&feed=worldnews

 



New Gitmo Video: Child Detainee Cries During Interrogation

New Gitmo Video: Child Detainee Cries During Interrogation

Current
July 15, 2008

http://youtube.com/watch?v=dQ1gwXIX05g

For the first time ever, a videotaped interrogation of a Guantanamo Bay terror suspect has been released to the public.

Omar Khadr was captured as a 15-year-old after being accused of throwing a grenade that killed a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan in 2002. Now his lawyers have released excerpts of a video showing their client being questioned by Canadian officials at Guantanamo Bay prison. The video is said to provide insight into the effects prolonged interrogation and detention had on Khadr.

The video was shot in 2003 over four days of interviews and is seven hours long in total. It was originally marked “Secret/No Foreign”.

 

Keeping America Safe: Prosecuting Children as Terrorists

Common Dreams
June 21, 2008

President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and the rest of the warmongers and terror-pimps in the White House would have us believe that Omar Khadr is a monster. Khadr is the 21-year-old Canadian who is facing one of the first show-trials at Guantanamo.

But let’s just step back a minute and consider Mr. Khadr’s case.

The son of an alleged Islamic fundamentalist, Khadr was sent to one of those fundamentalist madrassa schools in Pakistan back when he was 14. From there, he went to Afghanistan, to join with the Taliban in fighting against the remnant warlord backers of the Soviet Union, which had attempted to run Afghanistan as a vassal state.

Then came 9-11 and the October 2001 US invasion of Afghanistan. Young Khadr suddenly found himself fighting against the world’s most powerful military.

In 2002, after the Taliban government had fallen, Khadr was still out in the hills with the forces of resistance. The Taliban government was gone, but the war was not over. In fact it’s still not over, with the Taliban resurgent in much of Afghanistan.

In this situation, with some 20,000 US and European troops battling across Afghanistan, Khadr, by then at the ripe age of 15, found himself with a group of five older fighters in a compound up in the hills. Some US Special Forces came on the location, and, peeking through cracks in the door, saw the group, armed with AK rifles. They called on the men to surrender, but the men allegedly refused.

At that point the brave Americans called in an air strike, and clobbered the building. After that softening up, they went inside to pick up the pieces.

Someone at that point, and US military prosecutors claim it was the wounded Khadr, tossed a grenade while lying injured on the ground. The grenade killed Special Forces Sergeant Christopher Speer. Speer’s comrades opened fire, with three of them hitting Khadr.

When they went to check on him, the critically injured, yet miraculously still living Khadr reportedly pleaded, “Shoot me!” Reportedly, some of Sgt. Speer’s buddies were ready to do just that. Apparently the “clicking” of injured captives by American forces (a war crime) is not uncommon, and even has its own slang word. But a medic with the group interceded and stopped the battlefield execution, and took action to save Khadr’s life.

Khadr was eventually shipped off to Guantanamo, at the age of 15, in violation of a 2002 protocol signed by the US which extended the protection of the Geneva Conventions against imprisoning child soldiers from the prior “under 15″ standard to “under 18.” No matter, “bad guy” Khadr would be one of at least 2500 children that the US has admitted to incarcerating in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo and elsewhere as “enemy combatants.”

Today, Khadr is 21. He has spent the second half of his teenage years confined in a prison camp on the naval base at Guantanamo.

This is what Bush and Cheney are really referring to when they assure us that they are holding “the worst of the worst” on the island of Cuba.

They are keeping us safe from 15-year-old boys.

And what, exactly, is Omar Khadr’s “crime”?

As far as I can tell, if he did toss that grenade (and there is testimony from American witnesses that the thrower may have been another man, who was killed in the resulting US barrage of fire), Khadr was simply demonstrating extraordinary bravery of the kind that would earn a silver star, at least, had it been a US soldier or marine doing the same thing under the same circumstances. Consider: he and his comrades-in-arms, battling in defense of their religion and, in some cases, their nation, were bombarded from the air. They were then approached by armed US troops-the very ones who had called in the air strike. This was a battle, and it was not over yet. For all Khadr knew, those US soldiers were going to kill them all. And in any event, Khadr and his fellow fighters had a right to defend themselves to the death to prevent capture. Sure it’s unfortunate that Sgt. Speer was killed, but that’s what happens in wars.

Still, a fighter killing another fighter during warfare is not the act of a “terrorist.” It may be brutal and it may be tragic, but it is the act of a soldier. That soldier, if captured, is not a criminal, but a POW. Moreover, if he is a child, the Geneva Conventions and the subsequent protocol mentioned above, require that he be treated not as a POW but as a victim of war.

Bush and Cheney don’t want to admit that the people fighting US forces in Afghanistan are legitimate soldiers, entitled to protection under the rules of war. They want us to believe that anyone who takes up a gun in defense of their homeland or of the homeland of their allies, and fights against the US military forces that are spread all over the globe like Roman Legions of old, are “terrorists,” deserving of whatever fate we hand them, by whatever rules we want to gin up.

But it’s worth remembering that this particular “terrorist,” at the time of his “crime,” was simply a scared and badly-wounded 15-year-old kid who had the balls to toss a grenade at well-armed soldiers on a search-and-destroy mission.

In an interesting twist that further highlights the absurdity of calling a 15-year-old a hardened terrorist, Speer’s widow, Tabitha, and another soldier who lost an eye in the grenade blast, sued not Khadr, but his father’s estate, claiming that his “failure to control his son” had been the proximate cause of their losses. A federal district judge, in February 2006, awarded the two $102.6 million in damages. In other words, the court concluded Khadr wasn’t responsible for his actions; his father was. And yet the US is prosecuting Omar Khadr for being a hardened terrorist at an age when he was too young to drive!

The Bush/Cheney administration’s incarceration and prosecution of this boy was a war crime. His continued incarceration and the attempt to prosecute him as a terrorist today makes a mockery of America’s motto: Home of the Brave.

We should all be ashamed.

Canadian PM brushes off evidence of Guantanamo abuse
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/..c;_ylt=ApU100eyhTE7E6X04pjztsIWIr0F

ACLU: U.S. blocking payments to Guantanamo attorneys
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/43453.html

Gitmo Suspect Wants Classified Docs
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/200..ydW6ZuxuSioZmJznfRg.3QA

Iraqis Tortured By UK Military Settle For $6M
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080..7dWGmjBETqpCRueqUl5bbBAF