They have just given Omar Khadr a 40 year sentence for a battlefield death that may or may not have been his fault -- probably wasn't -- in a show of "toughness" (read: vindictiveness).
Here's a report from the Globe & Mail:
Omar Khadr was sentenced to 40 years for murder, terrorism and spying by a military panel today that was unaware that the confessed Canadian war criminal had agreed to plead guilty in exchange for a sentence capped at eight years and the chance to return to Canada after one more year in Guantanamo.I have no love for Omar Khadr. He comes from a terrorist family. I'm sure he violently hated Americans. But he was brain-washed by his father, a senior Al Qaeda figure. His only "crime" was to be a 15 year old "child soldier". Normally a child soldier would be taken in an rehabilitated. But the US wants to show they are tough... not only will the torture anybody they please, they will take a child soldier and torture than and bury them in jail for 40 years to make the point of how "tough" they are. Nutty. And infinitely cruel.
I think Ingrid Rice puts it best in a recent cartoon she drew:
Well it took 8 years: bullying, hooding, torture, threats of gang rape in afghanistan, denial of a lawyer for 2 years, years of interrogation in Guantanamo, threats of being sent to the Middle East to be tortured, being put through a kangaroo court but we did it! We finally got a guilty plea out of Omar Khadr.I thought the election of Barack Obama indicated a step back from the barbarities of George Bush. Obama pledged to close Guantanamo. He didn't. He has allowed the obscene "military tribunals" to proceed, and now he gets this "victory" by getting an outrageous sentence, a vicious, pitiless, unjust, and inhumane sentence against a child soldier. Obama now wears the shame along with the rest of America for this hideous sentence.
The outrage is that the "military tribunal" was even more vendictive than the prosecutor who asked for 25 years. The "jurors" gave him 40 years. Serial killers get less time than this in the US!
In an impassioned closing argument Col. Jackson said the teenage jihadist was “misled by his father” and had no option but to fight in the fierce gun battle in Afghanistan in July 2002 where he was severely wounded and a U.S. special forces medic was killed.Americans can now expect "American justice" to come home. They can start expecting that 12 year olds who have knife fights at school that kills somebody will get 40 years in jail. Yes... the "legal standard" of the US has been "tightened up".
Prosecutors wanted Mr. Khadr to be sentenced to at least 25 years in prison.
“The world is watching,” said a U.S. Justice Department lawyer and former U.S. Marine, Jeffrey Groharing, who led the prosecution of Mr. Khadr, the only Canadian held in Guantanamo.
I feel like the prophets of old in Israel: "Woe unto you America, for what you have done will come home to visit you. The shame will be upon you. The torturing and violence will take root among you. You have turned aside the mercy which was available, you have taken wrath and vengence to a new and terrible high. It shall come back to be live among you for generations. You shall feel the wrath of anger amongst you for this outrage you would inflict upon a youth shall be dealt unto your own children for generation after generation." Has the US no shame? America has become the outcast of nations for its barbarity. This sentence reeks of injustice.
I would hate to be an American soldier in any future war. They will be judged by this "Guantanamo standard". Any American soldier captured on any battlefield in the future must expect to be tortured, brought before a "kangaroo court", and sentenced to half a century in a dungeon chained to a wall. That's the "new standard" put forth by the US to replace the humane standard of the Geneva Conventions on war.
There is an old saying that applies: "Do unto others and you would have done unto you." American has sewed seeds of violence and hate that it the black fruit of their vindictiveness like dung for generations to come.