The Islamic Post Blog


Omar Khadr’s Guantanamo Defense Attorney: “What Would Jesus Do?” by Khalida

By Khalida Khaleel, Islamic Post Staff Writer

Lieutenant-Commander William Kuebler, defense attorney for Omar Khadr. (Reuters/Daylife Image)

Lieutenant-Commander William Kuebler, defense attorney for Omar Khadr. (Reuters/Daylife Image)

Defense Attorney Lieutenant-Commander William Kuebler, a born-again Christian from California told Canada’s newspaper the Globe and Mail recently, “What Omar needs is a fair process. That’s not Guantanamo.”
“Jesus was reputed to associate with the unpopular people, the sinners and the outcasts of his time,” Lt.-Cmdr. Kuebler told El Akkad in an interview from his Washington office, saying also, “It’s a powerful way to demonstrate what we believe in as far as God’s grace and forgiveness for sin.”
Jesus, peace be upon him, is the Holy Second to Last Messenger of the God, whose attributes of mercy and love reflect those of the Almighty.
“There’s an interesting parallel between that [imitation of Jesus] and what we do as criminal defense lawyers, because we’re typically encountering people who have done bad things, or are alleged to have done bad things, and are at a pretty low ebb in their lives.”
Kuebler recently released video footage of Omar Khadr, now 21, as a 15 year old boy in Guantanamo Bay, weeping for his mother. Having come of age in captivity, Khadr’s tribunal date is set for October this year.
Khadr’s distraught mother, Maha Elsamnah, broke down in tears upon viewing her “baby face” “tiny boy” on the video. Speaking to the Canadian Press, she revealed her prayer: how she hoped Omar could hear her voice. She said, “‘Oh God, please answer his call. I can’t answer.’ I wish I can tell him. What can I do? I’m here. I wish he can hear me answering back…”
“I always heard his call in my dreams,” she continued, “But I don’t know if he hears me crying.”
In the media attention after the release of the video, former Prime Minister Paul Martin voiced his opinion that Canada should repatriate Khadr and put his case through the court system there.
Mr. Martin told CTV’s Question Period in an interview last month, “I think Bill Graham, who was foreign affairs minister at the time, said it the best; which was, ‘If we had known then what we know now, then we would have taken strenuous steps to repatriate Mr. Khadr to Canada.’”
Earlier this month, Lt.-Cmdr. Kuebler filed suit with the Federal Court of Canada in an effort to ensure Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper will, at long last, intervene for Khadr. Kuebler insists that the Canadian government, after being “the first country to ratify the Child Soldier Protocol and leader in international efforts to protect children involved in armed conflict,” has not honored its “affirmative obligation to cooperate in reintegration efforts,” in a statement released to the Canadian newspaper, the Globe and Mail.
Kuebler also insists that not only were there no eyewitnesses to confirm that Khadr threw the grenade that killed Seargent 1st Class Christopher J. Speer in a firefight in Afghanistan, for which reason, and in which locale, it is claimed Omar Khadr was taken into custody. Moreover, court documents confirm that there was an alleged Al Qaeda operative still alive at the scene who could have killed Speer, as opposed to Omar. Seargeant Speer was also behind an advancing officer when killed; whereas, Khadr was ahead of the two with his back turned.
Khadr was shot at point blank range in the back by the advancing officer; and has since received the nickname “Buckshot” due to horrific exit wounds in his chest, according to Moazzem Begg, who has since been released, but shared a cell with Khadr in Guantanamo Bay. He also claims to have witnessed specific maltreatment and mental abuse of the boy.
Cori Crider, lawyer for the charity Reprieve, told Cageprisoners.com  “in a submission to the UN in May, the Pentagon said that no more than eight youths, aged 13 to 17 at time of capture, and were held at Guantánamo Bay. But a prisoner list released in 2006 in response to US Freedom of Information Act Litigation names 21 inmates under 18 when they arrived. A separate defense department admission brings the total to 22. Testimonies collected by Reprieve, which represent 30 inmates at Guantánamo, indicate the actual number is much higher.”
According to the Mail, the court documents related to Seargeant Speer’s death, which were mistakenly released to the media, states that the advancing officer, whose identity apparently cannot be disclosed, “believed Khadr and the [Al Qaeda] man with the AK-47 rifle were the only two men alive at the time of the assault.” The damning evidence rests on the operative’s belief that Khadr threw the grenade, as opposed to the other man present, because the “nature of the … [grenade’s movement, or] lob was inconsistent with [it]being thrown by someone who was shooting.”

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