The Boys of War

One more boy got dragged into the horror of our country’s war on terror today: Tanner Speer, the 8 or 9 year old son of Christopher Speer, whose death Omar Khadr confessed to. Tanner’s mother read a note the boy wrote for (I think) Memorial Day.

“Omar Khadr should go to jail because of the open hole he made in my family,” wrote Tanner. “Army rocks. Bad guys stink.”

Shortly thereafter, Khadr made an unsworn statement, confessing to killing Speer, but spending time too talking about his biggest dream, to get out of Gitmo, describing how he wanted to be a doctor to help heal the pain of others. He turned to Speer’s widow and apologized for the pain he caused her family; the widow shook her head no in response.

“I’m really, really sorry for the pain I’ve caused you and your family. I wish I could do something that would take this pain away from you,” he said, standing in the witness box and looking at the widow of U.S. Delta Force soldier Christopher Speer.

Also today, Josh Rogin got a copy of the memo the State Department wrote explaining why the US needed to tolerate Yemen’s recruitment of 15 year old boys–the same age Khadr was when we captured him.

Imposing the section 404(a) prohibition against Yemen at this time would harm the cooperative relationship we have begun to rebuild with Yemen at a pivotal point in the fight against terrorism and have a negative impact on U.S. national security.

[snip]

Cutting off assistance would seriously jeopardize the Yemeni Government’s capability to conduct special operations and counterterrorism missions, and create a dangerous level of instability in the country and the region.

It’s not enough for the Speers apparently, for Khadr to apologize. Because that won’t fix the hole in the Speer family.

I believe that, and I am sorry for their loss.

But these boys conscripted by all sides into the war on terror are not the ones putting the holes in families.

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel Awesome that State is moving up the weekend doc dump from 5:30. Respectful of this important holiday weekend. https://t.co/V0G0eH2eSW
9mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Uncle_Jimbo You don't talk about any program at all! (But I suspect you don't know which NSA program is my fav) @AlJazeera
10mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel I wonder if FBI uses Roving Wiretap provision in its efforts to attack Tor relays in US? Is that possible? https://t.co/1JSMrrnGSt
24mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel What's funny abt "if a bomb went off, rush to see if network" is phone dragnet wouldn't have worked w/Tsarnaevs. http://t.co/YYtl97Szg8
36mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @april_anita That it didn't happen in Chicago surprises me. They have even further to drive to their weekend homes!
39mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @joshgerstein Indeed.
43mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Comey’s Emphasis on Expiring PATRIOT Provisions: Other 215 Uses & Roving Wiretaps https://t.co/1JSMrrnGSt
45mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @FaizaPatelBCJ If only someone can get standing to make that argument... @AlexanderAbdo @AmosToh
50mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @SeanVitka Yeah. Point is just that bulk is utterly meaningless in USAF because it only means not-all, not not-bulk-as-normal-humans-think
51mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @SeanVitka "Must reapprove order with every Gig of collection." I could live with that.
56mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @SeanVitka Well then they can come back to congress or at least FISC and bump up their memory allowance for non-bulk collection.
57mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @AlexanderAbdo And also consistent w/language in 702 MPs, to which these appear VERY closely tied. @FaizaPatelBCJ @AmosToh
57mreplyretweetfavorite
October 2010
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