You Call This an Interrogation?

Lawyers for a Guantanamo Bay detainee have released a video of a Canadian military official interrogating their client, 16-year-old Omar Khadr (now 21). Khadr, a Canadian citizen, was 15 when U.S. forces captured him after a firefight in Afghanistan, during which he allegedly killed a U.S. soldier with a grenade. Khadr's interrogation is about as explicit as a Miley Cyrus photo shoot, but it's disgusting nonetheless considering that he probably didn't throw the grenade. It's also important to note that while the video blacks out the faces of Khadr's interrogators, a Toronto Star article reveals that they were the worst of the worst:

Khadr's interrogators included members of a unit implicated in the December 2002 beating deaths of two Afghan detainees, named Dilawar and Habibullah, [Navy Lt. Cmdr. William Kuebler] said.

Kuebler showed the judge a photograph of Khadr after his capture, with two gaping exit wounds in his chest from gunshots to his back, and said he would have been particularly vulnerable to coercion when he arrived at Bagram.

I'm starting to wonder if the military wanted this to get out in the hope that viewers would question the legitimacy of reports like this one.

Read the Rolling Stone profile of Omar Khadr here. Al Jazeera International footage below:

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  • ||

    So, the report was wrong and it's the goverment's fault?

    Do you see conspiracies everywhere?

  • ||

    Do you see conspiracies everywhere?

    Don't you? You must not be looking very hard.

  • TheExpatriate||

    You didn't actually expect them to release a video showing torture, did you?

    Any documentation demonstrating torture is disappearing down an Ollie North model shredder in the Pentagon as we type.

  • Abdul||

    With the usual caveats about how awful the alleged interrogation tactics are-yadda, yadda,

    The Rolling Stone article suggests that there is no doubt about Omar throwing the grenade. Several Specical Forces soldiers were on the spot witnesses, as was their medic. The only evidence that he didn't do it was an allegation by the defense attorney that the commander who wrote the after-action report initally stated that the grenade-thrower was killed, but later revised the report to say that the thrower was only "engaged."

    I don't know much about military after-action reports, but unlike police reports, they're not routinely used as evidence. Even with police reports, it's common for defense attorneys to seize upon any discrepancies (transiterated license plate digits, etc) and later corrections as evidence of a "cover-up." This is not to say that cover-ups don't happen, but they don't happen in this manner as often as defense attorneys would have you believe.

    It's possible that the commander who wrote the report near the time of the battle believed the grenade tosser had been killed or was about to die since he was severely wounded with three close-range bullets to the chest. Seeing as how after-action reports are usually not evidence, strict factual accuracy probably took a back seat to fighting the war. The commander may only have revised the report upon learning that Omar survived, not because he wanted to engage in a cover-up to keep a 15 year old in custody.

  • TheExpatriate||

    Abdul,

    First of all, I am having a hard time seeing why the Americans are holding Mr. Khadr. With all due respect to Sgt. Speer's family, what happened did not amount to murder. Sgt. Speer was not a civilian, as in the case of a terrorist attack, but a soldier bearing arms in a foreign country / war zone. Only through technicalities such as who is a lawful combatant can this be seen as murder.

    Second, Mr. Khadr was not of legal age at the time. Technically, he is what would be called a child soldier. He should not have been carrying arms at all, and the level of responsibility he carries is small at best.

    I believe he should be released into Canadian custody. This would not rule out the possibility of the Canadians charging him for having fought in Afghanistan, but it does take murder off the table.

  • Abdul||

    Expatriate,

    Because Omar was not a member of a military unit, he really can't claim that throwing the grenade was a military action. At best, he's an enemy combatant, in which case he could still be held indefinitely. In most states, fifteen year olds tried for murder are tried as adults so it's not an exculpatory factor over here.

    As far as the jurisdictional issues (how a Canadian of Egyptian/Palestinian descent is tried in America for acts committed in Afghanistan) I'll admit I don't know.

  • NO2WAR||

    If there were any justice in this world all members of the Bush Crime family would be locked up and held to account for the devastation they have thrust upon us.

  • smartass sob||

    You didn't actually expect them to release a video showing torture, did you?

    Hell, I thought maybe we'd at least see someone getting his head or limbs sawn off with a dull knife. No? How come?

  • TheExpatriate||

    Abdul,

    What you said doesn't change the fact that the Sgt. was a legitimate target. Complaining that the attacker didn't wear a uniform is just legalistic bull. I don't seem to remember the colonial militias fighting the British or the French Resistance wearing uniforms, either.

    It is also worth noting that using child soldiers is an offense not only against American, but international law, which would seem to have more jurisdiction in this case.

  • TheExpatriate||

    I would like to clarify by adding that I do not see the Sgt.'s death as a good thing, nor am I rooting for the enemy. I was just emphasizing that, as a volunteer in our military, Sgt. Speer had knowingly taken the risk of entering a war zone in uniform.

  • ||

    """Because Omar was not a member of a military unit, he really can't claim that throwing the grenade was a military action."""


    He would be as lawful of a fighter as many Texans if the Mexican army crossed the Rio Grande. Our country recognizes the right of civilians to defend against an invading army. At least when it applies to ourselves.

    The real problem is we are starting to have this concept that in war we can shoot and if you shoot back it's a crime. Or maybe as Expatriate is hinting at, some of us are adopting a false belief that our troops are not legit targets in war. An interesting question to highlight this issue is how many POWs are we currently holding for the two wars?

  • ||

    """As far as the jurisdictional issues (how a Canadian of Egyptian/Palestinian descent is tried in America for acts committed in Afghanistan) I'll admit I don't know."""

    I agree.

  • ||

    "What you said doesn't change the fact that the Sgt. was a legitimate target. Complaining that the attacker didn't wear a uniform is just legalistic bull. I don't seem to remember the colonial militias fighting the British or the French Resistance wearing uniforms, either."


    Legalistic bull my ass. How are you supposed to not shot civilians if the enemy won't wear uniforms and tries to blend in with them? Throughout most of history, this kid would have been hung on the spot for not wearing a uniform and making mischief on the battlefield.

    This guy should not have been tortured. But that is a separate issue from his not wearing a uniform and attacking soldiers. Without a uniform and abiding by the rules of war, he loses his combatant immunity and is nothing other than a common criminal. I don't care if he is 15. As Abdul points out 15 year olds are routinely tried as adults for murder.

    "He would be as lawful of a fighter as many Texans if the Mexican army crossed the Rio Grande. Our country recognizes the right of civilians to defend against an invading army. At least when it applies to ourselves."

    No that is not true. If the Mexicans invaded and American citizens shot back without wearing uniforms, they would be partisans and would be subject to criminal penalties under Mexican law. I know that wouldn't be a politically popular answer, but that is the answer. Now, Americans could form militia units and as long as they distinguished themselves from the civilian population while they were fighting, they would be lawful combatants under the 1979 protocol to the Geneva Convention. But they could not act as terrorists and fight out of uniform and not distinguish themselves from the civilian population when they were fighting. That is how partisan war works. If you want to hang out in the civilian population and ambush soldiers, you can't bitch when they hang you as soon as the catch you.

  • Abdul||

    Complaining that the attacker didn't wear a uniform is just legalistic bull. I don't seem to remember the colonial militias fighting the British or the French Resistance wearing uniforms, either.

    I remember that Nathan Hale--among others--was hanged for assisting the colonials while not wearing a uniform. Members of the French Resistance who were captured were also hanged as enemy combatants, while members of the French Army who were in uniform were treated as POW's. We hanged non-uniformed German saboteurs and spies that we caught in WWII. Do you suggest the same thing for Omar?

    He would be as lawful of a fighter as many Texans if the Mexican army crossed the Rio Grande. Our country recognizes the right of civilians to defend against an invading army. At least when it applies to ourselves.

    Where does our country recognize this right? Civilians may have some natural rights of self defense, but by all accounts Omar was not involved in an act of self-defense, he was engaged in hostilities. For example, Iraqis in Saddam's army who fought against the American invasion were treated as POW's. Non-uniformed resistance were treated as enemy combatants.

  • ||

    I wonder how many terrorists have been killed because it was more palatable for them to die than to be interrogated? Because if I were a Soldier or Marine, having seen what has happened by second-guessers outside the battle zone, I would make sure to take no prisoners unless explicitly ordered to.

    It just baffles me that torture is worse than killing?

  • Leland||

    Complaining that the attacker didn't wear a uniform is just legalistic bull.

    Apparently you are unfamiliar with the Geneva Convention.

  • ||

    I don't seem to remember the colonial militias fighting the British or the French Resistance wearing uniforms, either.

    Actually, the members of organized militias did wear uniforms in the field.

  • Dave W.||

    Because Omar was not a member of a military unit, he really can't claim that throwing the grenade was a military action. At best, he's an enemy combatant, in which case he could still be held indefinitely. In most states, fifteen year olds tried for murder are tried as adults so it's not an exculpatory factor over here.

    Everybody gets this issue wrong. Uniforms have nothing to do with it and neither does his age.

    If a foreign military bombs the building you are in from aircraft, then you should not be accountable for fighting back after the bombing. When a foreign military puts a bomb in your building from a plane, you should pretty much be able to do whatever you want to whomever you want on a reasonable self defense theory. Because they are trying to kill you.

    Maybe there should still be liability for what you did before the bombing, but we should not be asking people in bombed buildings to behave, in the wake of the bombing, as reasonable people do in peaceful circumstances.

  • Les||

    So if the kid had been wearing a uniform and thrown a grenade that killed a U.S. soldier, where would he most likely be today?

    I'm trying to imagine living in a town that's been invaded and having to wait for a uniform before I fight the invaders. I'm not taking sides on the "illegal combatant" thing (mostly because I'm pretty ignorant of the laws), it just seems strange.

  • ||

    We're talking about a 15 year old kid...probably terrified..and didn't think he had a prayer. What would any kid do in that situation. John doesn't care if Omar was 15! I'm sure he'd have the balls to sit there and take that crap...Talk about bullies...The military has a carload of them. I call it self defence...and that's what it was..Let him go...and see if anyone has the intestinal fortitude to do something about the situation in Darfur...etc.

  • ||

    "I'm trying to imagine living in a town that's been invaded and having to wait for a uniform before I fight the invaders. I'm not taking sides on the "illegal combatant" thing (mostly because I'm pretty ignorant of the laws), it just seems strange."

    All fight fine. You go and start shooting people while looking and acting like a civilian. What do you expect the soldiers you are shooting at to do? Stand there and let you kill them? No. They are going to get real antsy and start shooting anyone civilian or not that comes near them. Unless you want to give the invading army carte blanche to indescriminately kill civilians, you better find a way to distingiush yourself from them.

    Partisan warfare does terrible damage to a society. It may be that you are better off running away or doing nothing and letting the military settle matters than you would be if you subjected your population to a partisan war.

  • ||

    "We're talking about a 15 year old kid...probably terrified..and didn't think he had a prayer. What would any kid do in that situation. John doesn't care if Omar was 15! I'm sure he'd have the balls to sit there and take that crap...Talk about bullies...The military has a carload of them. I call it self defence...and that's what it was..Let him go...and see if anyone has the intestinal fortitude to do something about the situation in Darfur...etc."

    So the soldiers there should just have sat there and let them kill them? Or when they caught him patted him on the head, let him go and said "better luck next time"? That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard in my life.

  • Episiarch||

    That's nothing. Watch The Evil That Men Do for some serious torture.

  • ||

    TrickyVic, Dave W.,

    here and here.

  • ||

    John has a pretty good idea of why the Laws of War are the way they are.

  • Les||

    Well, that does make sense, John, thanks. If invaded, I will be patient for uniformed vengeance.

    Now, what should happen to this kid?

  • ||

    "Well, that does make sense, John, thanks. If invaded, I will be patient for uniformed vengeance.

    Now, what should happen to this kid?"

    We have all seen Red Dawn. If we were invaded I would like to think I would have the balls to be out shooting people. Thankfully, I will likly never have to find that out.

    As far as this kid goes, he really ought to be turned back over the Afghan government and tried as a local criminal. At this point what is our interest here? He is hardly an international terrorist. We shouldn't be policing everyone up and dragging them to GUITMO. Since he wasn't wearing a uniform, he doesn't have combatant immunity. He committed his act in Afghanistan. He ought to be subject to local Afghan law and prosecution. It is their country, what they do with him is their business.

  • ||

    One thing I would like to know, would the Taliban have afforded an American POW such rights as poor mr. Kadar has been afforded? Would the Taliban even keep American prisoners alive in the first place? I've seen videos of what The Taliban does to women who don't wear Burkas, I highly doubt that any American prisoner would not meet the same fate. Why shouldn't America torture these people? This is a war and wars are a dirty business.

    Bottom line is: Mr. Kadar chose to fight in Afghanistan, whether he actually threw the Grenade that killed the medic is irrelevant. He was an enemy combatant taken prisoner. Now he must account for his actions.

  • Dave W.||

    TrickyVic, Dave W.,

    here and here.


    Right. And I am arguing that those inapplicable provisions don't matter because Khadr still deserves the benefit of this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_of_self-defense

    call it commonlaw. Call it an inaliable right. Whatever you call the legal doctrines described at my link, Khadr deserves them in the context of his story. Nowhere does the Geneva convention say that it is an exclusive measure of rights, POG-go. I know, I know, over your hed.

  • Abdul||

    If a foreign military bombs the building you are in from aircraft, then you should not be accountable for fighting back after the bombing. When a foreign military puts a bomb in your building from a plane, you should pretty much be able to do whatever you want to whomever you want on a reasonable self defense theory. Because they are trying to kill you.

    According to the Rolling Stone article, this kid left Canada to go to Afghanistan to engage in hostilites against America. He wasn't sitting in Afghanistan patiently flying kites when we bombed his building.

    American forces didn't go to Afghanistan to kill Afgani adolescents--which is why most Afghani adolescents didn't engage in hostilities and didn't get shot. Had Omar's actions been legitimate self-defense (eg., rogue soldiers targeted him) I'd be more sympathetic to your arguments.

    Omar was a Canadian of Palestinian/Egyptian descent. He had no national ties or citizenship in Afghanistan. Maybe the Afghanis should have been shooting at Omar because he invaded their country.

    Does Omar's choice to go to a foreign country to engage in hostilities against a foreign enemy make him as legitimate a target as Sargent Speer? Was Omar a more legitimate target since he intentionally hid among civilians when engaging in hostilities? Or is he less legitimate because he's only 15, and we all do crazy experimental things at that age?

  • peter||

    The soldier who died was part of an invading army. It is ridiculous to insist that it is "unfair" for such soldiers to be targeted by anybody who is not wearing a uniform. Why should invaders deserve special treatment?

  • ||

    The kid KILLED A MEDIC. thats a war crime in itself. let the pos rot

  • Abdul||

    Where did anyone get the idea that Omar killed a medic? Omar killed an SF soldier and was saved by a medic.

  • ||

    Dave W., what Abdul said. But if you want to portray the kid as some youthful innocent defending his "homeland" from the "Ugly Americans", go right ahead. It's not over my head, it's just nonsense, Dave W. to claim that the Law of Warfare applies to you in one instance, then civilian law in another, whenever it benefits a person. A person is lawful combatant, unlawful combatant, lawful noncombatant or civilian.

  • ||

    It is ridiculous to insist that it is "unfair" for such soldiers to be targeted by anybody who is not wearing a uniform. Why should invaders deserve special treatment?

    We as Americans are fortunate to have not had to fight a war on our own soil since the 1860s. However, this contributes to a lot of Americans who have never served in the military to be genuinely clueless as to why there is the Law of Land Warfare. peter, did you miss the rest of this thread and are you completely unfamiliar with the Hague Conventions?
    Also,
    Standard Disclaimer: War is a terrible thing, etc., but have you forgotten why we were in Afghanistan in the first place?

  • ||

    abdul Sgt. Speer was a medic.

    heres a memorial page http://www.groups.sfahq.com/3rd/speer_kia.htm

    A former medic with the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne)

  • ||

    Good find, Tony.

    I think the important thing here is that Omar gets a fair trial.

  • ||

    Note to self, never be a medic. On every army post in the world there is a clinic named after some poor medic who won a medal of honor or DSC for doing some insanely brave act to save some wounded person or persons and getting shot and or blown up in the process. The medals are always given postumously.

  • Abdul||

    Tony,

    I am corrected.

  • ||

    John,

    Medics are some of the most righteous dudes and dudettes I've known in the Army. They were always the coolest guys to hang around (but like combat arms, fairly often disturbed emotionally).

  • Les||

    John, not only have I learned something from you today, but I completely agree with your opinion on what to do with the kid. I will remember this moment the next time I slap my forehead in disagreement with you.

  • ||

    It is ridiculous to insist that it is "unfair" for such soldiers to be targeted by anybody who is not wearing a uniform.

    I dunno about unfair, but be willing to pay the price, both personally and societally, if you give a hostile armed force no way to distinguish civilians from fighters.

    The requirement for a uniform was not made to protect the other soldier, it was made to try to protect civilians. This idiot Canadian put a lot of Afghanis at risk with his stupid stunt.

    Its a testimony to the ballistic suckitude of the .223 and 9mm rounds that our forces go into battle with that he's alive; if they were still packing .308s and .45s, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

  • Buster||

    "but it's disgusting nonetheless considering that he probably didn't throw the grenade"

    Yes it is disgusting.

    It's disgusting that this piece of shit went all the way to Afghanistan in order to be an accomplice to murder.

    Fucking piece of shit.

  • Buster||

    "The soldier who died was part of an invading army."

    Psssst...they blew up New York and the Pentagon.

  • ||

    As far as the jurisdictional issues (how a Canadian of Egyptian/Palestinian descent is tried in America for acts committed in Afghanistan) I'll admit I don't know.

    What does his decent have to do with his legal rights?

  • ||

    Why shouldn't America torture these people?

    Because we're better than that. Maybe worse stuff did happen than is on the tape. I almost hope so, because otherwise Khadr's lawyer is trying to "shame" the government with film of a "standard", acceptable interrogation.

  • ||

    "Its a testimony to the ballistic suckitude of the .223 and 9mm rounds that our forces go into battle with that he's alive; if they were still packing .308s and .45s, we wouldn't be having this discussion."

    Very true. The 9mm has been on the losing end of every war of the 20th century.

  • ||

    I agree with other posters, the "murder" charge is a stretch. He killed an armed soldier in a fire fight. That makes him a combatant. As such, he can and should be held prisoner until the war is over. "War being over" can be defined as US combat forces leaving Afghanistan.

  • ||

    He did (allegedly) kill a medic.

    The care of the sick and the wounded is facilitated by making medical personnel noncombatants



    unofficial citation here.

  • ||

    John, warfare by nature is partisan, one side against another. There is no such thing as an non-partisan war, people take sides.

    Certainly, anyone defending his country or any other is fair game as a target by invading forces. That's part of war. You fight those fighting you. But to claim one doesn't have a right to fight, for their country, someone elses country, their beliefs, or just in self defense doesn't make sense. It also implies you have a right to die under any of those circumstances too. Maybe right is a little too strong, but you have the ability and our country, when it benefits us, promotes defending other nations since 1775.

    Besides how many special forces have you seen not wearing a uniform? I've seen many photos where they are not in uniform and on patrol, so our government doesn't really buy into the must be uniformed concept either, except when they can use it against other people. What uniform does the CIA wear or military contractors, or Blackwater wear?

    As far as attacking civilians, we do it often. We thought so-and-so bad guy was in that building so we'll kill everyone in it with a bomb or two. I know we do try to minimize it, but at the end of the day we don't care if we think it will get us what we want, whether or not it really does. We could send some troops and clear the building but the bombs are just easier and we don't have to put troops in harms way, screw the civilians. Not that agree or disagree, it is the way we do it.

    One thing I really have to disagree with is that I'm NOT suppose to stand up and fight for my country if we are invaded and I should run until the U.S. Military arrives. I doubt any founding father would agree. An important reason to own guns, so important that it's actually in the 2nd Amendment is to defend from an invading force. Were uniforms required for militias in those days? If I was killed defending my nation, then I died for my freedom. I don't think it's wrong for little Omar to die for his beliefs, if he chooses to fight.

    """it's just nonsense, Dave W. to claim that the Law of Warfare applies to you in one instance, then civilian law in another, whenever it benefits a person."""

    At face value I agree, but it gets complicated when you remove them from the battlefield to an area where American law rules, and have FBI agents take part in interviews. And even more complicated when the President wants to re-write the laws of war after the fact. If Bush and co would have followed existing procedure, we probably wouldn't be talking about this. Besides, our government has no problem blurring the lines we they want to.

    """I think the important thing here is that Omar gets a fair trial."""

    At this point, despite how he got there, I do agree, but many in this country have no problem with a kanagroo court for them.

    """He killed an armed soldier in a fire fight. That makes him a combatant. As such, he can and should be held prisoner until the war is over. "War being over" can be defined as US combat forces leaving Afghanistan."""

    Most of that I agree with, but are we still holding prisoners from Korea, Vietnam, and Gulf war I? You picked a bad way to define "war being over".

  • ||

    From Art's link

    "Some of the central principles underlying laws of war are:

    Wars should be limited to achieving the political goals that started the war (e.g., territorial control) and should not include unnecessary destruction
    Wars should be brought to an end as quickly as possible
    People and property that do not contribute to the war effort should be protected against unnecessary destruction and hardship
    To this end, laws of war are intended to mitigate the evils of war by:

    Protecting both combatants and noncombatants from unnecessary suffering;
    Safeguarding certain fundamental human rights of persons who fall into the hands of the enemy, particularly prisoners of war, the wounded and sick, and civilians; and
    Facilitating the restoration of peace. "

    We obviously are not following a few of those "laws of war" either.

  • ||

    "You picked a bad way to define "war being over".

    I agree, but finding a "war over" definition for the War Against Terrorism can be very difficult. The war can last forever.

    So, I think that since he was captured in Afghanistan, the definition of "war over equals US Combat Forces leaving Afghanistan" is a good compromise.

  • ||

    "What uniform does the CIA wear or military contractors, or Blackwater wear?"

    That is a good point and a serious problem. One of these days, the otherside is going to catch some fat guy in a beard working for KBR and participating in a firefight and hang him and they are going to have every right to do so.

    As far as going after invaders, yeah, you can launch a partisan war. I would to. But, you can't bitch and moan when the otherside shoots back and starts recriminating against civilians. What else are they supposed to do when people are hiding within the civilian population and trying to kill them?

  • ||

    We obviously are not following a few of those "laws of war" either.

    The only obvious gripe I have with the way Operation Enduring Freedom has been conducted has pertained to legal statuses and rights abuses involving "enemy combatants". Medics (and engineers) are often the ones who do the most good for the local civilian population, incidentally.

  • ||

    One other thing TrickyVic. In 1775, the US had formal militias. They were organized and wore uniforms. Their wasn't any terrorists hiding in civilial populations at Concord and Lexington. There were uniformed militiamen who met the English on the field of battle fair and square.

  • ||

    That is a good point and a serious problem. One of these days, the otherside is going to catch some fat guy in a beard working for KBR and participating in a firefight and hang him and they are going to have every right to do so.

    The ROE are very, very important here. I should note that I've seen SF operators in actual uniform during combat missions (in photographs), but also looking like hippies carrying M-4s.

  • ||

    Well, not M-4s. Something better.

  • ||

    The War on Terrorism will be over when Terrorism surrenders.

  • ||

    The issue of the deceased US soldier being a Medic is not material. Everyone is a fighting combatant on a Special Forces team. Some S.F. combatants, however, are trained as very skilled "medics".

    Khadr is an enemy combatant who killed one of our armed combatants. He is a POW and should be held until the "war is over" The only problem is.... defining "when the war is over".

  • ||

    ARt,

    That is why you get the big bucks to be SF. Sometimes those guys are out of uniform and do so knowing that they will be disavowed if caught. As far as looking like hippies, anything can be a uniform as long as it is recognizable and distinctive.

    Contractors on the battlefield really bother me. They are responsible to no one and do stuff the average Joe can't do. For example, there was an article that made the rounds in gun circles about a contractor in Iraq who used some hopped up hollow point round in a pistol in Iraq and shot some Iraqi in the butt with it. The round caused so much trama it killed the guy. Now, hollow point bullets are illegal under the rules of war and not used by the US military. Yet, this guy was in a combat zone fighting for the US using one. Mark my words the ICC is going to get a hold of one of these guys one of these days and it is going to be a mess. I don't think the ICC has the balls to go after a US Soldier, but they would go after a contractor.

  • ||

    John you are aware that the war on terror is just a catch phrase, right? Like the war on Drugs, war on poverty, war on crime, ect. You can't defeat terror. In the same respects we should keep drug users in jail till the war on drugs is over.

    Since we keep combat forces in a country well beyond anything close to war, I still disagree. The definition of war over should not ebb and flow. Sounds like something our enemies would do to justify oppression in other lands by their military forces.

    When you accept the ideology of tyrants and dictators to fight tyrants and dictators, the fight becomes a war among tyrants or dictators and freedom has lost.

  • ||

    Hmm. Very informative about the contractors, John.

  • ||

    Since we keep combat forces in a country well beyond anything close to war, I still disagree.

    I really don't think the Taliban thinks the war is over, TrickyVic. I get your point about the "War on Terror". It's more rational to refer to OIF and OEF.

  • ||

    Did you catch the Iraqi gov't denying SOFA to US forces, btw?

  • ||

    """One other thing TrickyVic. In 1775, the US had formal militias. They were organized and wore uniforms. Their wasn't any terrorists hiding in civilial populations at Concord and Lexington."""

    Sure about that? I do seem to remember a call to arms that didn't require passing out uniforms.

  • ||

    """I really don't think the Taliban thinks the war is over, TrickyVic."""

    I didn't know their opinion really matters. NATO is in control and that's a better metric than what someone thinks.

  • ||

    I didn't know their opinion really matters. NATO is in control and that's a better metric than what someone thinks.

    ????

  • ||

    "Sure about that? I do seem to remember a call to arms that didn't require passing out uniforms."


    A uniform can be anything that distinguishes you from a civilian. They passed out arms and carried them openly. Just because they were not wearing a pretty red uniform doesn't mean that they were not in "uniform" under the laws of war. They stood out in the open in ranks and carried their arms openly. There was no mistaking them for civilians. Yes, they hung out in the woods and took pot shots at the retreating British. But they didn't hang out in crowds of unarmed civlians.

  • ||

    "Did you catch the Iraqi gov't denying SOFA to US forces, btw?"

    I don't blame them. The US wanted a bunch of stupid shit in it. I would like to think we are smart and made a bunch of dumb demands so that we could later back down and make the Iraqi government look independent to its people. The reality is that we are probably just stupid and will end up having to back down.

  • ||

    I like the Iraqi gov't showing an independent streak as well.

  • ||

    The Taliban keeps taking land, and have regrouped, this would be bad if we were truly engaged in the war since it would be a sign of us sucking at war. I don't think we suck.

    We kick Germany's and Japan's asses in less time. Why can't we keep the Taliban down? We can if we were really at war. We did, until we left it to NATO.

  • ||

    """A uniform can be anything that distinguishes you from a civilian."""

    Do you really need to look up the defintion of uniform?

    ""I like the Iraqi gov't showing an independent streak as well.""

    Hell yeah, it's about time. Good for them. But if they let us keep any bases, then John thinks the war is still on. :-)

  • ||

    John, What other things distinguished them from civilians other than carrying arms openly? If that really did the job.

  • ||

    "John, What other things distinguished them from civilians other than carrying arms openly? If that really did the job."

    Actually people have put a lot of thought into this. A good example is Liberia. When the Marine Corps was in there in the 1990s evacuating Americans there was a group of people they called the "Butt Nakeds". These guys were in the service of some warlord there and only wore a service green web vest and carried an AK 47 and were naked otherwise. The fact is that you could always tell in a crowd who was a Butt Naked and who was a civilian. That web vest and AK 47 for the purposes of international law counted as a "uniform".



    As far as AFghanistan goes, I think that when we had Bin Ladin trapped at Tora Bora, Bush should have used tactical nukes and killed the whole lot of them. That sounds crazy but think about what would have happened. The entire leadership of Al Quada would have been killed. The world would have known once and for all that we are willing to use nukes. You don't think SAddam wouldn't have shit his pants? He would have rolled over and begged for mercy and there wouldn't have ever been an Iraq war. Yeah, the world would have whined and complained, but he blasts would have been bunker busters detonated underground and would not have hurt anyone other than the Taliban and Bin Ladin so they would have gotten over it. I think it would have solved a lot of problems.

  • ||

    """Actually people have put a lot of thought into this. A good example is Liberia."""

    Since we were talking the revolutionary war I was looking for an example during that time. Oh well. Reducing a uniform down to your Butt Naked example really lowers the bar. Did the Taliban militia or AQ wear anything that would seperate them from the locals? The locals always seem to know who they are, when it's their own interest. I would prefer to consider a higher bar for a uniform, call foul on the Butt Nakeds for not wearing one, and not have to consider what color vest the Taliban or terrorist wear.

    """As far as AFghanistan goes, I think that when we had Bin Ladin trapped at Tora Bora, Bush should have used tactical nukes and killed the whole lot of them. That sounds crazy but think about what would have happened."""

    Just a little crazy. Saddam would have shit his pants big time. Every leader in the world would have. It would give every one of them a profound understaning of why they need to have there own. Something we really don't want to happen. I would bet that the Tora Bora complex had Russian nukes in mind when it was built. I'm not convinced nukes would have really worked. Maybe, maybe not. I thought we would surround the area with U.S. and allied troops. Close in and find the target. The mission seemed pretty basic, just commit the resources. I believe we could have gathered the resources for the job. I guess the savings we got by using the Northern Alliance instead of U.S. forces had strong appeal in the Whitehouse. But hey who knew that a bunch of Afghanis who let OBL stay would also give him a free pass out? Tora Bora II is probably 3/4 finished by now and better than ever.

  • Paul||

    I was just emphasizing that, as a volunteer in our military, Sgt. Speer had knowingly taken the risk of entering a war zone in uniform.

    Could one also argue that Khadr knowingly took a risk by entering a war zone without a uniform and [allegedly] lobbing grenades?

  • Les||

    Are there any rules of war regarding how to treat prisoners who aren't legally adults?

  • Rob||

    I think we're losing focus. Remember, the most important thing is whether he was or was not wearing the appropriate costume. Like Halloween. Or a Gay Pride parade.

  • dave w.||

    According to the Rolling Stone article, this kid left Canada to go to Afghanistan to engage in hostilites against America. He wasn't sitting in Afghanistan patiently flying kites when we bombed his building.

    Like I said, he may be liable for things he did before they bombed his building. However, I don't believe there is any evidence he did engage in hostilities until his building was hit by a bomb. So that is where your claim falls to the ground. His guilty mind (supposedly when he was on the plane from Canada) and his guilty act (throwing the grenade) don't coincide in time, to put it in a fancy way.

  • Dave W.||

    That is a good point and a serious problem. One of these days, the otherside is going to catch some fat guy in a beard working for KBR and participating in a firefight and hang him and they are going to have every right to do so.

    This already happened and you saw the pictures. Food caterers, my hairy backside!

  • ||

    Dave W.,
    From the Rolling Stone article.

    The soldiers called for the men to surrender. The men refused. The soldiers sent Pashto translators into the compound to negotiate. The men promptly slaughtered the translators.



    I think he knew the sort of guys he was hanging around with.

  • ||

    Also, dude. It's Afghanistan. I can't think of a reason for anybody in their right mind to ever go there, except to A) Traffic heroin B) Visit relatives or C)Help fight a war.

    So unless Khadr was about to smuggle some heroin, I think it's safe to assume he went there for t3h Jihad.

  • Abdul||

    What does his decent have to do with his legal rights?

    Some countries grant citizenship to people based on their descent. It's possible that a person of Egyptian/Palestinian descent born in Canada could also be a citizen of either Egypt or Palestine as well.

  • MJ||

    "What you said doesn't change the fact that the Sgt. was a legitimate target. Complaining that the attacker didn't wear a uniform is just legalistic bull."

    If saying that the guy throwing the grenade was not wearing a uniform and therefore has more culpability is "legalistic bull", then how is saying that the Sgt. was a legitimate military target not legalistic bull itself?

  • Dave W.||

    So unless Khadr was about to smuggle some heroin, I think it's safe to assume he went there for t3h Jihad.

    Since he was 15, I think it is safe to assume that he went where his parents told him to. Did you choose your living arrangement when you were 15. I didn't.

    And the story about sending in unarmed men because the armed men could not get a surrender sounds: (i) ridiculous; and (ii) like a lie. It the armed men can't get a surrender then they can seige or storm using their weapons. That is how war works. Sending unarmed locals into a place being seiged is so cowardly that I don't believe the US military actually did that.

    Even assuming that the lies are true, failing to surrender did not make Khadr a combatant or mean that he engaged in hostilities at the time his building was bombed and it became righteous and incumbent on him to defend his life by all means necessary. Khadr didn't shoot the translators.

  • Abdul||

    Khadr didn't shoot the translators.

    How do you know that?

  • Dave W.||

    How do you know that?

    Because no living witnesses have said that he did in all the years since this alleged crime took place.

    Because we only have cooked up military reports, and not Khadr's version of events, we can only guess at what happened. Military bombed a set of buildings that had more civilians and less militants than expected. So they shoot a couple of the corpses and call them "translators," and take the one living witness to Gitmo on trumped up war crimes charges.

  • Abdul||

    we can only guess at what happened

    So, you think that your guess is more accurate then any eye-witness accounts of the incident we do have?

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