Does A Defendant Decide Who Are His Lawyers?

Omar Khadr was a fifteen year old boy who was taken to Afghanistan by his father who supported al-Qaeda. During the American invasion, Omar was captured and charged with allegedly killing an American soldier. He is currently charged with five war crimes by US authorities. Ordinarily, in civilized societies a fifteen year old boy is considered a child soldier, but in the world of Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld, if you are a Muslim boy, the heck with you. Hundreds of child soldiers in west Africa have been placed in educational programs, but in Bush America Khadr was placed in Guantanamo prison. For over seven years he has been represented by military lawyers who continually squabble with one another. He has requested that Canadian lawyers represent him, but US military authorities will only allow them to be “foreign attorney consultants.”

Canadian lawyers believe Omar has a right to be represented by lawyers in whom he has confidence but that apparently is not the view of America. Now, that President Obama has called for a review of military trials, the trial of Omar Khadr will once again be put off. Of course, he no longer is a child, but what has happened to the fifteen year old who has spent seven years in the company of men the United States terms, “terrorists?”