Omar Khadr, the teen terrorist at Guantanamo Bay, recently plea bargained a deal with the Obama Administration. Speaking with FrumForum, Layne Morris, a Special Forces soldier blinded in the right eye in a firefight with Khadr and the Taliban, criticized the deal and emphasized that Khadr has yet to renounce his terrorist violence.
As part of the plea, Khadr pled guilty to a number of war crimes including the murder of an Army medic. He will be imprisoned at Gitmo for at least one more year and probably serve out his remaining seven years in Canada where he maintains citizenship. But Canada’s parole laws could see him released in as soon as two years.
Layne Morris was part of the special forces unit sent to an Afghan village to rescue women and children held captive by Al Qaeda operatives in July of 2002. In the operation, two Afghan interpreters were killed, Morris was blinded, and Christopher Speer, an army medic, was murdered by Khadr. Omar Khadr was fifteen at the time. In the firefight, Khadr was shot but saved by another American medic.
Morris stressed that Americans need to understand that Khadr was not an innocent child but a ruthless terrorist who fought for Al Qaeda. There were a number of times during the battle when Khadr could have chosen to lay down his weapons: when the woman and children had escaped and after the firefight was over. In his interview with FrumForum, Morris emphasized that when the shooting had stopped Khadr, the only terrorist left, decided to restart the battle by making a
careful and deliberate decision to shoot and throw a grenade that ended up killing Christopher Speer. He acted, on that day, with the maturity, reasoning, and determination far beyond the years of a typical teenager.
Morris added that during the course of his trial Khadr showed no remorse; he called himself a political prisoner, and laughed after being sentenced. All the evidence shows him to be an unrepentant terrorist. A psychiatrist testified at the trial that he is a bigger threat today than he was eight years ago. Never did he renounce violence or jihadism. Khadr is also known as a member of the ‘first family of terrorism in Canada.’ His father was accused of being an al-Qaeda financier and Khadr’s own brother was paralyzed in a raid by Pakistani security forces.
Morris is outraged with the plea bargain. He believes that:
the Obama Administration jammed the plea deal down the prosecutor’s throats. For as long as I have known the prosecutor he has insisted that there was not going to be a deal since they had a great case.
According to Morris and others, Hillary Clinton negotiated a deal with the Canadian government whereby Khadr would admit his guilt and be given a maximum sentence of eight years. The deal included a ridiculous provision where the jury would not be informed about the deal, and if they sentenced him to less than eight years he would be given the lesser of the two sentences. In other words Khadr could roll the dice and get the better of the two sentences. At the sentencing the prosecutor had asked for Omar to be incarcerated for sixteen years, but did not get his request. Instead, the jury which heard all the evidence went beyond the prosecutor’s request and sentenced him to forty years.
Why did the Obama Administration bend over backwards to grant Omar Khadr such a short sentence since he is obviously a threat to America’s national security? Thomas Joscelyn, a terrorist expert, felt that this was all about political correctness since “the PR far outweighed the reality of what he did and who he is.” Joscelyn added:
It is not who he targets but who he works for. He works for an organization that makes a whole career out of circumventing and the violating the rules of law. He is part of a global terrorist campaign.
There are those on the Left who argue that Khadr should not be given a long sentence since he was a “child soldier.” Yet, on U.S. soil another teenager was convicted of an adult crime and was given a life sentence without the possibility of parole. There was not much outcry and there were no plea deals for the “beltway sniper”, Lee Boyd Malvo.
Looking at all the evidence and using Malvo as a precedent Morris regards the plea deal as a mockery of the American legal system. Morris also sees the plea agreement as
a reflection of the complete distrust, disdain, and lack of respect for the military commission process by the Obama Administration. After all, the Military Commission Act was passed in 2009 by one of the most liberal Congress’ and signed by one of the most liberal Presidents, Obama.
Morris will need to live with the injuries inflicted by Khadr and the Taliban for the rest of his life. Khadr though could be out of prison in as soon as two years.