About that process


The Globe talks to Darrel Vandeveld.

Lieutenant-Colonel Darrel Vandeveld had been a prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay for one year when he went to seek advice from a priest. He wondered whether he should resign from a legal system he had come to believe was a sham, but he expected to hear he should stick with it and work within the system.

The priest offered no such advice. Instead he told the lawyer: “Quit. Do not co-operate with evil.”

Last fall, Mr. Vandeveld did quit the controversial Guantanamo Bay military commissions system, becoming the latest member of the U.S. military to resign for ethical reasons. Last week, he spoke to The Globe and Mail about his transformation from a hardened prosecutor bent on revenge, to one of Guantanamo Bay’s harshest critics – a man who now believes that many of the Guantanamo detainees, including Canadian Omar Khadr, were grossly abused.

“We’ve mistreated that poor fellow,” Mr. Vandeveld said of Mr. Khadr, “regardless of what he’s done.”


About that process

  1. It takes strength to do the right thing. Good on you for speaking out sir.

  2. Clearly Harper has no intention of changing his tune on Khadr no matter what the evidence. He assumes that however preposterous be his position on the plight of this young man, no-one who votes or who may vote Conservative will cares.

    Sadly, it appears so far that his political calculation is correct. No-one seems to be thinking about how the Khadr affair sends a signal to governments abroad that, no matter how unjust or horrific the circumstances, there will be no real pressure from the Canadian government if Canadians are detained.

    • Because foreign governments have lived in fear of Canadian diplomatic pressure up until this point?

      • uhmm… avr do you not think if Obama is indeed going to make an ask re Afghanistan, we might have some leverage?

  3. That interview felt sort of cut off to me. I wonder if there is more to come. I’d love to hear from some of the others who have quit (its easy to simply ‘say’ they quit for ethical reasons, but do we really know that?)

    Anyway, very interesting that looking back he feels he should have moved sooner. It is difficult when you are right in the middle of an issue to see the big picture, and see that this thing, right here, right now, must be your career-ending line in the sand, I think.

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