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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JimWhiteGNV RT @emptywheel: For 10 years some of America's purportedly top journos have been willingly using euphemism long since proven false, "enhanc…
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emptywheel For 10 years some of America's purportedly top journos have been willingly using euphemism long since proven false, "enhanced interrogation"
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JimWhiteGNV Feels like it some days. RT @bmaz: @laRosalind @JimWhiteGNV @emptywheel Honestly, I don't think Jim is that old.
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bmaz @robertcaruso Dude, I respect you and all, but I live in AZ; I'm supposed to go to VA for decent tacos? #ComeOnMan
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bmaz @robertcaruso What? Where?? Tacos???
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bmaz @laRosalind @JimWhiteGNV @emptywheel Honestly, I don't think Jim is that old.
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bmaz @AZ_Dream_Killer Wait a minute!! Did you get that pole cat avatar from me??
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emptywheel That has to stunt your brain after a while, just like Communist propaganda. It's an empty performance. "Critics say amounts to torture"
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emptywheel I mean, what does it do to your brain if you have to keep repeating "human rights activists consider to be torture" for 10 years?
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bmaz @laRosalind @JimWhiteGNV @emptywheel Bruins basketball has been underwater, and under Arizona Wildcats, for decades now. cc @AZ_Dream_Killer
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emptywheel RT @NicoleOzer: City records we found revealed that San Jose recently purchased a drone with DHS funding http://t.co/Q5rxaWU8Hp
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emptywheel @manish_vij And ends up using "enhanced interrogation." Wish that phrase would die.
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October 2010
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