Keeping pace with the French


Lawrence Cannon comments after his meeting with Hillary Clinton.

Cannon also said he brought up the case of Canadian Omar Khadr — accused of murder in the death of a U.S. soldier during a firefight in Afghanistan in 2002 — and being held at the naval prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

He said the case was raised in the context of Obama’s directive to shut down the prison within a year. “I wanted to get an idea from Secretary Clinton as to what the steps forward were to be, and secretary Clinton gave me a brief description of where this process was probably going to lead in the coming months,” he said, without elaborating.

In other news, Khadr’s legal situation seems to have gotten somehow even more complicated.


Keeping pace with the French

  1. Canada. It’s an ancient aboriginal word meaning “the opposite of pro-active.”

    • Did you mean Can’tada?

  2. From the AP article Aaron linked to:

    Kuebler and three other lawyers assigned to Khadr, were ordered not to visit their client until officials had looked into “ethical issues” involving the legal team, Berrigan said in a statement.
    “This action was taken because of a concern with various professional responsibility issues currently surrounding the Omar Khadr defense team,” he said. “The chief defense counsel is currently investigating those issues.”

    My guess is that Khadr’s lawyer, Lt. Cmdr. William Kuebler, is about to be sacked by the Pentagon for interfering in foreign politics (his efforts with Canada’s opposition party leaders). Kuebler was a zealous representative of his client’s interests. Unfortunately, his zeal may have pushed him to go too far.

    • That’s an interesting guess, CR. Assuming you are correct, it makes me wonder a few things.

      I wonder: If you are military and you are fired, is that the same as a court-martial, or can you be just fired for cause? I further wonder: If you are a military lawyer, I presume that means you are a lawyer, and you are in the military. In other words, was the bar you passed outside the military system? Wondering some more: So if your employment ends with the military, yet you are still recognized as a lawyer, would you be able to be a defense lawyer for a client at Guantanamo? I realize Omar can’t pay this guy so he’d have to be lawyering for free right when he’s out of a job, but I still wonder.

      But most of all I wonder: who complained? Did the Pentagon notice this all by their lonesome? Huh, because I thought nobody in the U.S. paid any attention to us so it’s kind of strange they’d even notice interaction between opposition leaders and this lawyer. But surely Harper et al didn’t go running to the Pentagon with tales out of school? To me, that would be so much worse than this lawyer trying to do everything he could for his client. And yet, I don’t want Americans interfering in (our) foreign politics. I’m going to have to think about that, and think about my reaction–or lack thereof.

      • Thanks, Jenn.

        First, I should point out that the official reason for the Pentagon’s investigation of Kuebler is “his criticism of Air Force Col. Peter Masciola, the military’s chief defense counsel”. However, the official reason for anything the Pentagon does is often at odds with the actual reason, which is classified information.

        Second, I have no idea whether the Canadian government complained about Kuebler through private diplomatic channels. I think the Pentagon watches sensitive matters like the Khadr case extremely closely. To give you an idea of how closely I think the Pentagon is watching things, I’m fairly certain that a pair of low-level eyes at the Pentagon will eventually be reading this very blog posting (and all of Wherry’s other blogs on the matter).

        If the Pentagon was indeed rankled by Kuebler’s unauthorized international efforts, they are unlikely to say so publicly to avoid friction with Canada. We shall see what happens with Kuebler – perhaps they will let him off with a very stern warning to avoid disrupting the trial.

    • Too far for a defense counsel? I doubt it, far’s i know Kuebler’s a remarkable man. He can rep me anytime he wants. He’s a consevative born again kind of guy, but seemingly one who practises what he preaches. He’s spoken out before against the crowd who he sees as soiling his countries reputation.
      The powers that be have fired or removed at least one judge and maybe now kuebler for not coming to preordained conclusions – bring the kid home this gets more embarassing by the day!

      • kc the fact that Khadr is a “kid” has been my contention all along; the inexcusible manner in which his case has been handled by Canadians who are supposed to defend the rights of Canadian children is very telling.

        ever since the defense of the “pedophile” comment labelled at Martin by the conservatives, it struck me that the conservatives, especially, lack understanding of their duties as public officers to represent us and the rights of even someone like Khadr.

        i have also come to believe that they lack understanding of how serious a matter it is that they did not protect Khadr choosing instead to let some other body (which routinely used abusive methods to extract confessions) to harm this child. it has made them party to the abuse. if they can’t accept that he is a “kid” the fact that he is a “child soldier” with rights is just as vital an argument for Khadr’s right of expectation as a Canadian to be protected from harm and unlawful detention.

    • It’s gotta be Demi Moore’s fault.

  3. I find the Harper government stance on Kadr to be monumentally disgraceful and embarrassing. As long as the Harperites are in power, no Canadian abroad who runs afoul of the law has any reason to think that our Government will be of any assistance to them in the manner in which most countries represent their citizens. No matter how horrendous and unjust might be the legal proceedings against them, our Government will just play politics. This is a shameful abdication of what our Government’s are supposed to do.

    – JV

    • they’ve spent us into the ground; maybe there isn’t any money left; i certainly sense the moral bankruptcy of representation we have right now in govt.

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