Omar Khadr was sixteen when captured in Afghanistan where he allegedly fired and killed an American soldier. Ordinarily, a sixteen year old teenager is treated as a child soldier and not placed in the same prison with older criminals. But, in Bush America all one has to do was to shout, “terrorist” and the rules of war, let alone human decency, were suspended. For seven years Canadian human rights advocates have been urging that Omar be sent to Canada in order for him to have a proper trial, but these efforts have been impeded on grounds he is a “terrorist.” Now, he is on his way to Illinois with a hundred other suspected “terrorists.”
Omar Khadr was seized when he was sixteen and sent to Guantanamo prison where he was interrogated as though he was an adult, kept in isolation, deprived of sleep, threatened with rape and subjected to constant humiliation. There is even a video which depicts the boy crying and calling for his mother– just like those “terrorists” do when confronted with interrogation. What will it take for President Obama to have the courage of recognizing that among real terrorists captured in Afghanistan there are also children and individuals who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time?