So much for the hope create by Obama’s election. In one way, he is behaving like the third Bush. On coming to office, there was a solemn promise to close Guantanamo Bay within a year. That deadline came and passed. He is still pursuing with the Military Tribunals – a judicial black hole where ‘normal’ trial rights are suspended, where public reporting is suspended, where evidence based upon hearsay, coercion, and torture is admissible. There are those who argue that the pursuit of the military tribunals is a war crime in itself!
We now have the case of Omar Khadr. A young man from Canada who was coerced into a confession by the threat of being gang raped to death has now entered into a plea bargain with his US prosecutors. If he pleads guilty, which he has, he will be eligible to serve any remaining time in his native Canada. It is hard to see which injustice cries the loudest.
Is it the extraction of a confession under duress? Is it a plea bargain where a guilty plea brings a much lighter sentence? Is it his complete abandonment by Canada?
I have never thought highly of Obama – to me he is just another US President of the same mould, more hype than hope, perhaps – but I did used to think highly of Canada. I’m less inclined to do so now.© The European Futures Observatory 2010
BBC News - Canadian militant pleads guilty at Guantanamo tribunal