The War On Children

The United States of America becomes the first country in the history of the world to charge a child with war crimes.

The U.S. military has charged a 20-year-old Canadian held at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as a suspected terrorist with murder and other crimes, the Pentagon announced.

Omar Ahmed Khadr, captured by U.S. troops in Afghanistan when he was 15, was formally charged with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy, providing material support for terrorism and spying, according to the Pentagon’s announcement on Tuesday.

The charge of murder stems from a gunfight during which he threw a grenade that killed a U.S. soldier, Sgt. First Class Christopher Speer, before being captured by U.S. troops.

Khadr received about a month of one-on-one training from an al Qaeda member on rocket-propelled grenades, rifles, pistols, hand grenades and explosives in June 2002, according to his charge sheet. It said he spied on the U.S. military, converted land mines to roadside bombs intended to target U.S. troops and engaged coalition troops in small arms fire.

In charging Khadr, the U.S. becomes the first country to try a war crimes suspect who was a child at the time of the alleged violations, The Associated Press cited his Pentagon-appointed defense attorney, Marine Lt. Col. Colby Volkey, as saying.

Opponents of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay criticized authorities for subjecting Khadr to the same military trial system as adult terror suspects, AP reported. In any other conflict, he would have been treated as a child soldier, AP quoted Jumana Musa, advocacy director of Amnesty International, as saying.

5 thoughts on “The War On Children

  1. I will wait with bated breath for the condemnation from Focus on Family and The Child Protection eNewsletter.

  2. In some respects, this is in line with the way we treat our own American children — not that I am saying that the whole “enemy combatants” idea and implementation isn’t horrendous and an assault on our values as Americans, and not that I am saying that the way we treat our own children is virtuous or good.
    Considering how eager our politicians are to charge ever younger children as adults in criminal cases, how quick our system is to abandon children at the slightest hint of wrongdoing, it’s not out of line with our cultural values to treat a 15 year old foreigner as some kind of war criminal, when the real war criminals hide behind executive privilege.

  3. how can an act of war be murder? taint we killing them too? is it considered murder?(not counting the prisoners we killed-oops)

  4. We should continue having diplomatic relations with the US why? I’ve never wanted Stephen Harper out of office as badly as I have in the last couple of days. Harper is all about calling people terrorists, even when they’re demonstrably not (see l’Affaire Maher Arar).

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