The Collapse of Omar Khadr’s Guantánamo Trial

by Andy Worthington, Antiwar.com, Oct. 28, 2008

Hardly a day goes by without some extraordinary news from the military commissions, the system of “terror trials” conceived in the office of the vice president in November 2001, and their days now seem to be as numbered as those of the Bush administration itself.

Following the outspoken resignation of former prosecutor Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld and the Pentagon’s desperate decision to drop charges against five prisoners to prevent Vandeveld from testifying for the defense, the latest news to rock the commissions is that the trial of Omar Khadr – a supposedly flagship case, along with that of the Yemeni Salim Hamdan, who received a surprisingly light sentence after a trial this summer – has been delayed until after the administration leaves office.

This is a bitter blow for the government, which has been pushing to prosecute Khadr for war crimes since 2005. Its first attempt failed, when the Supreme Court ruled that the whole enterprise was illegal, but after the commissions were bandaged up by Congress and resumed their ghoulish existence in 2007, Khadr was once more put forward for trial.

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