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.


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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bmaz @emptywheel Whaaaa? You didn't stay up until Pat's first pick? I'd kill if the Cards on the clock took MSU QB, but don't think they will.
bmaz The last smart play the 49ers executed was to get rid of Kaptain Khaki. Since then, 0 fer 9ers
bmaz Have to say, every time I see Roger Goodell at the podium, I want to massively heave.
bmaz @theurbansherpa No matter what, gotta grant the guy his performance, especially in the clutch. Other than that though, what a horrible human
bmaz @theurbansherpa I don't know what that was that was the red ooze. But dude was on bad ass pitcher. Saw it up+close, inc. World Series, here
bmaz RT @theurbansherpa: @bmaz Remember that day we thought it was blood from a torn ligament soaking into his sock, but it turned out it was hi…
bmaz Dunno about that, but if so, there is one less with the firing of Schilling
bmaz @RMFifthCircuit It really is
bmaz RT @RMFifthCircuit: This is possibly the worst man's shirt ever.
bmaz @tomecurran @richeisen Uh, whut??
bmaz Roger Goodell and the @NFL are out of control.
bmaz Also, still, @ESPN's Jon Gruden is one of the most overrated humans on the face of the earth
October 2010
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