Khadr Prosecutors Trying Desperately to Hide Bigoted Article

I eagerly await Jeff Kaye’s take on the defense cross-examination of Dr. Michael Welner, whose anti-Muslim bias Jeff laid out here. Thus far, the defense has shown Welner didn’t read one of the studies he relied on for his Khadr profile, shown his work was not peer reviewed, and challenged Welner on his research methods: “Your sample size was Omar Khadr?”

But in the meantime, I wanted to point out something about this interview the prosecution is “fiercely” trying to prevent coming in as evidence. It reveals the anti-Muslim views of Nicolai Sennels, a Danish psychologist on whose work Welner relies. The interview as a whole is a pretty repulsive demonstration of bigotry. But I was particularly interested in the claims Sennels made about differences between “Western” and Muslim approach to anger.

Sennels: The most important characteristics that I found concerns aggression, self-confidence, individual responsibility and identity.

Concerning anger, it quickly becomes clear that Muslims in general have a different view on aggression, anger and threatening behaviour than Danes and probably most of our Western world.

For most Westerners, it is an embarrassing sign of weakness if people become angry. This view on anger is probably consolidated already in early childhood. I have been working as a school psychologist for several years and bullying is a continuous problem at the schools that I work in. The interesting thing is that the children who are most likely to be the target of being bullied are the children that get angry the easiest. If people get angry we have a tendency to lose respect for them and in many cases we try to tease them to provoke them even more – with the pedagogical aim of helping the person to realize the childishness of his or her behaviour. Trying to get one’s will by acting aggressively or using threats is seen as immature and our reaction is often to ridicule or simply ignore them. Thus, the shortest way to lose face in our Western culture is to show anger.

It is completely opposite in the Muslim culture. While most of my Danish clients who had problems with anger felt embarrassed about it, none of my Muslim clients ever seemed to understand our view on anger. I spent countless hours doing Anger Management therapy with both Danish and Muslim clients and hence I had very good opportunities to experience the cultural differences concerning this specific emotion, ways of handling it and reacting to it.

In Muslim culture, it is expected that one should show anger and threatening behaviour if one is criticized or teased. If a Muslim does not react aggressively when criticized he is seen as weak, not worth trusting and he thus loses social status immediately.

This cocktail of cultural differences has sparked the ongoing debate on free speech all over the world. [my emphasis]

Sennels claims to be making an observation about a distinctly Muslim approach to anger. But it seems laughable, reading it even as the right comes out in support of Rand Paul’s supporter’s attack. Not to mention so shortly after eight years during which George Bush sustained respect from his supporters by carefully performing anger.

If a willingness to express anger is a sign of dangerous anti-social behavior, then Sennels might as well be condemning a great number of angry Americans. If respect for those who become angry makes one Muslim, then I guess we’ve got a lot more sleeper Muslims in the states than even the fearmongers claim!

And given that much of our insistence on military commissions comes out of an anger-driven desire to humiliate our opponents, I can see why Khadr’s prosecutors want to prevent it from being introduced as evidence.

For more on this cross-examination, follow Carol Rosenberg, Muna Shikaki, and Michelle Shephard.

  1. karenr says:

    thank you marcy! Unbe.freakin.lieveable.

    Sennels draws these conclusions from his experience…

    Well., many people think that I took the prison job because I wanted to get a closer look at Muslim mentality, failed integration and Islam. But I did not. I was just looking for a job and having worked as a social worker taking care of teenagers for several years part time while studying at Copenhagen University to become a psychologist, it was natural for me to applyfor a job involving juvenile offenders. I had no idea that seven out of ten teenagers in the average Danish youth prisons have a Muslim background. Since I was the first psychologist at the institution I was very free to develop my position as psychologist.

    more on muslim anger…

    While most of my Danish clients who had problems with anger felt embarrassed about it, none of my Muslim clients ever seemed to understand our view on anger. I spent countless hours doing Anger Management therapy with both Danish and Muslim clients and hence I had very good opportunities to experience the cultural differences concerning this specific emotion, ways of handling it and reacting to it.

    and further down…

    Unfortunately, the Muslim concept of honor transforms especially their men into fragile glass-like personalities that need to protect themselves by scaring their surroundings with their aggressive attitude. The show of so-called narcissistic rage is very common among Muslims. The fear of criticism is in many cases not far from paranoia. It is not without reason that self-irony and self-criticism is completely absent in the Muslim societies. Seen from a psychological perspective – whose aim is to produce self-confident, happy, free, loving and productive individuals; and not to please a hateful God or culture traditions – Muslim culture is in many ways psychologically unhealthy to grow up in.

    Paging Jeff Kaye…!

  2. harpie says:

    Thanks for pulling these threads together, EW.

    The only word that comes to mind for me is “racist”.

    And if Sennel’s work [and evidently only part of it] is all that Welner relied on to support his accusations, what a laughable [but unfortunately powerful] “academic” he is.

    I, too, hope that Jeff will expand on your thoughts here.

    Shephard is dealing with Thugs:

    Note to my dedicated emailers. Thanks for suggestions to stay here in #Gitmo, marry #Khadr, or just go and die. Don’t shoot the messenger. 5 minutes ago via web

  3. Peterr says:

    “Your sample size was Omar Khadr?”

    As my old statistics prof used to say with great seriousness when discussing survey sampling, “size matters.”

    Woe be unto the student working at the chalkboard* who was on the receiving end of this line.

    Yes, everyone would laugh, but obviously his mathematical admonition has stuck with me for many years.


    *Yeah, I’m showing my age. I also know how to use a slide rule. So there.

  4. Peterr says:

    In Muslim culture, it is expected that one should show anger and threatening behaviour if one is criticized or teased.

    Bill O’Reilly is Muslim?

    • Mary says:

      Tea Partiers are Muslim?

      Glen Beck-watching gun-toting would-be assassains in shootouts with police are Muslim?

      Some guy in a movie somewhere, lovin the smell of napalm – he was Muslim?

      • NCGal says:

        exactly. Interesting to learn that our Tea Partiers are a secretly Muslim bunch. And does Rand Paul know he has a Muslim supporter stomping on the infidels? Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

        The idea of someone stereotyping the anger tendencies of a billion people – wow. this is the level to which our government has sunk. And our leader won the Nobel peace prize???

  5. harpie says:

    The results of My Scientific Study:

    Sennel’s screed sounds exactly like what we hear from anti-immigrant hate-mongers here. He lashes out aggressively because he is afraid and feels weak, but wants to look strong.

    Sennels: […] We are in the historical embarrassing situation that we have invited millions of people to our continent that do not want to integrate and are also not able to. Since the integration of Muslims will never happen – a fact I think that has already been proven years ago – we will end up with a significant part of our population that are actively working to Islamize our societies. There exist both Muslims and non-Muslims that see this Islamization as Islamic jihad – but it is more than that: it is human nature. People who do not feel at home where they live will naturally strive to change their surroundings. Muslims attempts to Islamize our societies have just begun — as they are feeling stronger and stronger in power and numbers. This process is pushed forward by Muslim leaders inside and outside Europe and helped on its way by a kind of collective cowardice called Political Correctness. […]

    Welner, too.

    When do I get paid?

  6. karenr says:

    They took lunch break. Michelle Shephards tweet:

    shephardm #GTMO court in #Khadr case stops for lunch. Judge warns lawyers not to talk to prosecution witness Welner during break.

    and dont bother him (Welner) while he goes to read that article.

  7. tjbs says:

    “Unfortunately, the Muslim concept of honor transforms especially their men into fragile glass-like personalities that need to protect themselves by scaring their surroundings with their aggressive attitude. The show of so-called narcissistic rage is very common among Muslims.”

    “Unfortunately, the bush concept of honor transforms especially their men into fragile glass-like personalities that need to protect themselves by scaring their surroundings with their aggressive attitude. The show of so-called narcissistic rage is very common among bushies.”

    Remember the testosterone boast of george the senior when he ” kicked a little ass” in the vice presidential debate with Christine Farrow (?).

    Rotten apples don’t fall far from the tree.

  8. karenr says:

    I dont see Daphne in the live tweets but heres her article yesterday on this

    Daphne Eviatar: Govt Witness Testifies Gitmo Prisoner’s Religiosity Makes Him Dangerous

    In testimony this afternoon that literally had my jaw dropping, a forensic psychiatrist called by the U.S. government testified that Omar Khadr, the Canadian who yesterday pled guilty to a slew of terrorist acts including murder, is too dangerous to be released because he is sincerely religious and became even more devout at the Guantanamo Bay prison.

  9. 1der says:

    Angry people really piss me off. Ask Dr. Dobson he’ll tell you how to handle angerers, they should be stoned or droned. Bin Laden’s gotta’ be sitting in his cave shaking his head: “I had no idea Bush & Obama would show their anger when I teased them. Westerners are so confusing in their democracies and I no longer respect them.” Sennels, a modern man who thinks outside the box.

  10. harpie says:

    Thanks for that, karenr.


    Welner also based his opinion on the written documents in the government’s file on Omar Khadr, on television interviews that Khadr’s relatives have given on English-language TV, and on one interview with Khadr in the Gitmo prison. And he relied on unspecified data given to him by the government about recidivism among Guantanamo inmates. The numbers of former Guantanamo prisoners who have turned to terrorism is hotly debated.

    Very fair and balanced.

    Somehow, I don’t think This was the recidivism info he got from his paymasters:

    Released Guantanamo Detainees And The Department of Defense: Propaganda by the Numbers?; Denbeaux; Seton Hall School of Law

  11. harpie says:

    * #Khadr Defense team is questioning Dr. Welner to get some of his Dane colleague’s political ideas about Islam before military jury.

    * Dr. Welner said he disagrees with his Dane colleague’s belief that the Koran is “an evil book that causes people to do criminal things.”

    * Welner said he did not consider Dane doctor’s “political positions”: “It’s my understanding Omar #Khadr is not a product of inbreeding.”

    * Defense asking Dr. Welner about Dane colleague whose study helped him decide #Khadr was a future danger. Dane wrote many Muslims are inbred.

  12. Jeff Kaye says:

    Believe me, I’d like to be writing a full article on this, and thanks to you, Marcy for highlighting the despicable Welner and his reliance on the racist ideologue, the Danish psychologist Nicolai Sennels. One could make a tremendous list of all the outrageous comments buy Welner and Sennels, on their pseudo-scientific racist language. I think Marcy and the commenters above have done a good job in listing some of this.

    But in the brief time I have to write this (I have another, professional commitment), I want to point out that Welner and Sennels are part of a much larger, sicker group of anti-Muslim racists who have been spouting their filth in professional forums and right-wing websites. Much of this harkens back to the eugenist program of yesteryear, which is apparently alive and well in 21st century America.

    Consider one of Sennels’ essays entered into an exhibit in the trial, as quoted by Medicine Hat News:

    “Massive inbreeding within the Muslim culture during the last 1,400 years may have done catastrophic damage to their gene pool,” he wrote. “The consequences . . . often have serious impact on the offspring’s intelligence, sanity, health and on their surroundings.”

    Sennels has also stated that Muslim integration into western societies is not possible.

    Take a look at what Nancy Kobrin wrote in her introduction to Nicolai Sennel’s essay, “Muslims and Westerners: The Psychological Differences”, posted at New English Review. Kobrin is said to have a “Ph.D. is in romance and semitic languages, specializing in Aljamía, Old Spanish in Arabic script” and yet she is also “a psychoanalyst with a clinical specialty in trauma”? One wonders what psychoanalytic school certified her, as she lacks either an MD or a doctorate in any clinical specialty.

    In any case, this is the kind of milieu in which a Welner or a Sennels find their followers. From Kobrin, introducing Sennels (and note, this doesn’t mean that Dr. Welner, for instance, has relied on Kobrin’s writings or ideas):

    Islam is the perfect religion to give justification for those who feel under attack and to maintain the eternal “victim” fantasy. Islam is also “higher” than Christianity because it comes last in co-opting the revelations of Sinai and the New Testament. What a perfect receptacle for projecting hatred. Islam incites, encourages and permits hatred of the Jew and Jihad. It’s perfect for a fragile personality that has the need to hate and the need to have an enemy. There are billions of people out there who share those sentiments and that profile….

    We are dealing with nothing more than paranoia. Sennels stresses that the West must set boundaries because otherwise they will kill you. This kind of rage is malignant borderline behavior as in serial killing.

    This is fear-mongering on a significant level. “Billions of people” are out to get you. Yikes!!

    If we needed more evidence of the sickeness and rot that lies at the heart of the U.S. military imperial enterprise, we need look no farther than the “experts” brought into court to indict this former child “soldier”.

    • harpie says:

      From the Medicine Hat News article Jeff links to @19:

      None of his professional colleagues ever reviewed his opinion to ensure a lack of bias and that best practices were followed, Welner admitted under cross-examination. It was also the first time he had assessed a radical jihadist for any risk to public safety, he added.

      Jurors also heard there are no tests to determine the “future dangerousness” of Islamic extremists.

    • ottogrendel says:

      Yeah, that last paragraph by Kobrin: “Muslims are just a bunch of paranoids. So be ever vigilant or the serial killers will get you.” Either no thought or self-reflection, or else racist fear-mongering.

      Bizarrely, most of what is in her first paragraph here could be applied to any of the big three monotheistic religions, all of which posit a single, immutable, ultimate authority and are defined specifically in relation to an inferior, largely irredeemable “other.” Perhaps what we see here between her, Sennel and Welner is a case of projection? We see the world not as it is but as we are? And projection and a lack of questioning self-reflection is practically a hallmark of the military (well, it does attract a high percentage of authoritarian followers).

      And in re the “sickness and rot that lies at the heart of the US military imperial enterprise,” while reading this I immediately thought of both Huntington’s racist screed, “Clash of Civilizations” (a big seller in military circles, by the way), and General Mark Clark’s comments during the US slaughter in Vietnam about how those “Orientals” placed no value on human life.

  13. harpie says:

    This is exactly what Jeff was talking about in his original article about Welner which Marcy links to above:

    From Rosenberg:

    *Dane’s study found militant Muslim youth cannot be rehabilitated. Also cast Muslim patients as “someone from another planet on my couch.”

  14. harpie says:


    Take a look at what Nancy Kobrin wrote in her introduction to Nicolai Sennel’s essay, “Muslims and Westerners: The Psychological Differences”, posted at New English Review. […] One wonders what psychoanalytic school certified her, as she lacks either an MD or a doctorate in any clinical specialty.

    OK. From the Korbin piece at New English Review:

    Happy well-adjusted children do not become suicide bombers nor do they become criminals. Let us choose to know what we are dealing with rather than bury our heads in sand out of terror. Let us meet the challenge straight on as Sennels has. If the Swedes had intellectual fortitude, Nicolai Sennels, the Dane, should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for standing up and proclaiming that the “Emperor Has No Clothes.” But then again, that is a Danish tale and the Swedes are left with Ingmar Bergman’s drama. Need I say more?

    Here’s a link to the New English Review-Editorial Staff

    …Wall Street Journal, Cato Institute, The Spectator, Daily Telegraph, New Criterion, City Journal, National Review and Jihad Watch affiliations, as well as something called “World Encounter Institute”, which is linked to on their website:

    The World Encounter Institute is a non-profit corporation dedicated to defending the values of Western civilization, including the freedom of the arts and music, women’s and children’s rights, the abolition of slavery worldwide and the defense of the Constitution of the United States of America through research, publications and educational outreach.

    WEI provides funding for: New English Review and the New English Review Symposium

    World Encounter Institute is a 501 (C) (3) corporation as of July 6, 2006.

    • Jeff Kaye says:

      World Encounter and the New English blog can be seen at this link seeking to defend Geert Wilders, who is the Dutch anti-Islam fanatic.

      Now this is someone Dr. Welner hangs out with Wilders is part of a huge anti-Muslim backlash in Europe, much like the anti-immigrant demagogues in the U.S. This is from a recent BBC report:

      Dutch MP and Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders has been busy this week in both Philadelphia and New York at a number venues including Temple and Columbia University. Yesterday, we had a full day with events at both the Harvard Club courtesy of Nina Rosenwald and the Hudson Institute and later in the evening at Columbia. Among the people besides yours truly who attending the Hudson Institute event were Nobel Laureate Elie Weisel and his wife Miriam, David Horowitz, New English Review colleague Ibn Warraq, U.K. apostate Dr. Sam Solomon, Warrior Rabbi Jon Hausman, Tom Trento and CJ Sculnick from the Florida Security Council, Security consultant David Moore, blogger Larry Auster, Brooke Goldstein formerly with the MEF legal project, Jed West, west coast based publicist and brother of columnist Diane West, Jamie Kirchick assistant editor of The New Republic, Judy Jacobson of the Columbia Chapter of Schollars for Peace in the Middle east (SPME), her husband Leon and son Matthew and Dr. Michael Welner, ABC, CNN forensic psychiatrist and consultant and his wife Orli.

      Yes, the same Geert Wilders who is being prosecuted for hate speech:

      …Dutch judges moved in January 2009 to try Mr Wilders for inciting hatred and discrimination.

      Explaining their decision, they said: “By attacking the symbols of the Muslim religion, he also insulted Muslim believers. In a democratic system, hate speech is considered to be so serious that it is in the general interest to draw a clear line.”

  15. harpie says:


    *Yesterday, Dr. Welner testified #Khadr read Harry Potter and the Koran but had no interest in Western studies. Today we learn, on cross:

    Today [cross examination]:

    *Doctor’s notes show these books too: Nelson Mandela: “Walk to Freedom,” Obama: “Dreams of My Father,” John Grisham, Danielle Steele novels.

    • harpie says:


      Doctor’s notes show, at #Guantanamo, #Khadr also read, Ishmael Beah’s “A Long Way Gone: Memories of a Boy Soldier,” “Chronicles of Narnia.”

  16. harpie says:


    From Shephard

    *Author Ishmael Beah has advocated for Omar #Khadr in the past. Calling him a “child soldier” like himself.

    Here’s whats at that link:

    Child soldier’s rehab offers lessons for Khadr; Michelle Shephard; The Star; 4/5/08

    […] Ishmael Beah is humble, articulate, with a smile that captures half his face when he flashes it. If publicists were to create the perfect spokesperson to discuss the plight of child soldiers and road to recovery, they could do no better than the real-life Beah. […]

    • harpie says:


      “But you can’t say that one person’s life is more valuable. So, if a 15-year-old kid in Sierra Leone, in Congo, in Uganda, in Liberia, if they kill somebody and shoot somebody in the war it’s fine, but as soon as that kid kills an American soldier or … they are no longer a child soldier, they are a terrorist.”

  17. karenr says:

    from above link CR

    Hes highly dangerous, Welner said. He murdered. He has been part of al Qaeda. And were still at war.

    In one of those curious twists of coexistence between captives and captor at Guantánamo, the Army judge interrupted the doctors discourse on the dangers of radical Islam to give Khadr time for his afternoon prayers.

  18. harpie says:

    The al-Aulaki charge:

    [Rosenberg] *Welner just summed up #Khadr: “His future risk is actually more in his capacity to inspire and be incendiary” than to do violence himself.

    • karenr says:

      posted by reporter Andrew Mayeda which is one and the same as tweeter *amayeda* (duh) ((Im still getting the hang of the twitter thang))

    • harpie says:


      From that article:

      In another article published online, Sennels argues that it is unavoidable that Western European countries will enter into “conflict” with Muslims.

      ‘A popular movement composed of average citizens standing up against the immature and psychologically unhealthy culture of Islam is the way and the goal,” writes Sennels.

      In an email to Postmedia News, Sennels confirmed that he wrote the works cited.

      Questioned by air force Maj. Matthew Schwartz, Welner admitted he had read the Sennels article that calls for a popular uprising against Islam.

    • harpie says:

      From the article:

      In a recent “open letter” to British Prime Minister David Cameron, Sennels said that Turkey shouldn’t be allowed to join the European Union. He argues that, because of inbreeding, Turks wouldn’t be able to integrate into “our high-tech knowledge societies.”

      Sennels goes on to call the Koran a “criminal book that forces people to do criminal things.”

      “We Europeans are sick and tired of criminal foreigners being invited to our countries,” Sennels says in the letter.

      Here’s the letter [if you think you can stand it]:

      • ottogrendel says:

        In re the Koran as a “criminal book that forces people to do criminal things”:

        One of many like it:
        “Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.” 1 Samuel 15:3 (KJV)

  19. harpie says:

    Sgt. Major Y is on the stand…choking up.

    It’s mindboggling really.

    Speer is evidently the ultimate in human evolution.

    Khadr is not even human.

  20. IntelVet says:

    I cannot believe our (highly touted) military is using these discredited “witnesses” and ideas to prosecute someone.

    I wonder if Khadr has read “Alice in Wonderland”.

  21. Jeff Kaye says:

    This is standard prosecution tactics, even in the civilian world. I’m sure attorneys who’ve worked capital cases could verify that. I saw one such up close and was shocked at the barbarity and blood lust unleashed. Quite primitive, but very real.

    • harpie says:

      I certainly hope Khadr’s defense team had a chance to warn him about it.


      Now Capt. E is reading the eulogy he gave at Chris Speer’s funeral to the seven-officer U.S. military jury deciding Omar #Khadr’s sentence.

  22. hijean831 says:

    The interesting thing is that the children who are most likely to be the target of being bullied are the children that get angry the easiest.

    That he sees this as a causal relationship but assumes it in one direction rather than the other reflects his intellectual laziness – he implies that children who are disproportionately bullied have no right to be angrier than their mates, because it’s their own fault.

    What a douche.

  23. harpie says:

    From the original Steven Edwards interview with Welner:

    Being Omar Khadr means never having to say you’re sorry; 10,20/10

    Welner also discounts much-cited comments by some U.S. guards at Guantanamo that the Toronto native is a “good kid” and “salvageable” – calling them “shallow in their prognostic significance.”

    “When one leaps to the conclusion about Omar Khadr’s future because he is friendly, one might recall that Osama bin Laden has always been described as gentle, likeable and charming,” New York-based Welner told Postmedia News.

    This seems to be where those comments come from:

    From Shephard:

    Part of Welner’s research was reading reports by Canadian consular officials who visited Khadr. Here’s an 08′ sample.

    Report of Welfare Visit with Omar Khadr; May 7,8,9,2008

    I’m in tears after reading this.

    • skdadl says:

      I don’t think we’ve seen that doc before, although we’ve had other DFAIT and CSIS memos (usually shorter) from the early visits, some of them quite brutal. (One DFAIT rep referred to Canada as a “Christian country,” which I’m still choking on.)

      Thanks very much everyone who’s gathering in the links here — very valuable stuff. Karen @ 43, I just started following amayeda today too — he did a great job. I know the journos have to appear to be neutral, but you can sense their shock sometimes at witnesses like Welner.

      I don’t mind seeing the defence let people like Morris or Speers’ widow go by without cross. They’re pathos; that’s their role, and leave them to it. I would like to see the two comrades questioned closely, though, about what it means to be a medic if you’re also a Delta Force attacker, as Speer was on that day. I’m sorry he was killed; I’m always sorry anyone is being killed; but it is a sentimenalizing zombie lie that he was there as a medic.

      • harpie says:

        “pathos” and “sentementalizing”

        Thank you, skdadl…those are the words which,

        my aging mind,

        could not find.

        I’m glad you find the links helpful. :-)

    • R.H. Green says:

      “I’m in tears after reading this”.

      Tears? Don’t you get how pitifully vulnerable this makes you look in this western macho society?

      (or does that only apply to anger?)

  24. maadcet says:

    In Islamic culture anger is supposed to be controlled and it is sign of strength (Now Muslim dont practice, that is a different issue). This Dane is full of it. How many Muslim are in Denmark and how many were his patients.

  25. skdadl says:

    Very odd fact: Christopher Speer used to have his own Wikipedia entry — I know he did, and it was there that his training and his role that day were explained in full. It doesn’t seem to be there any more. Google him and you get the Khadr entry. Scroll down to his name, click on it, and … you get returned to the Khadr entry. Huh?

    • Jeff Kaye says:

      Go here to learn the history of the Christopher Speer Wikipedia page. Checking there, I see as recently as October 1, 2010, there was a very different page of text there. Indeed, this text is very, very different:

      Sergeant First Class (SFC) Christopher James Speer (September 9, 1973–August 6, 2002)[1] was an operator with Delta Force, who was mortally wounded during a skirmish in Afghanistan, on July 27, 2002. Speer, who was not wearing a helmet at the time,[2] suffered a head wound from a grenade and died of his injuries approximately two weeks later.

      The incident received attention because of the alleged involvement of a fifteen-year-old Canadian citizen, Omar Khadr, in the firefight.[3][4] Khadr was captured and subsequently imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay, and became the focus of several legal disputes. On February 4, 2008, US officials accidentally released an unredacted version of sworn testimony which — according to Khadr’s lawyers — shows that Khadr was not responsible for Speer’s death.[5] In January 2006 Colonel Morris Davis, Khadr’s prosecutor, in statements to the press, said that Khadr owed his life to American medics who stepped over the dead body of their colleague to treat Khadr’s wounds. Speer died from his wounds on Aug 6 2002 at the age of 28.[6][7] However, the accidentally-released sworn testimony revealed that medics dressed Speer’s wounds before they dressed Khadr’s.[8]….

      Speer received paramedic training at the Joint Special Operations University, in Hurlburt Field, Florida. Under international humanitarian law (the law of war), medics are a specially protected class of noncombatants, the killing of which is considered a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions.[11] However, according to Article 24 and Article 40, in order to qualify as noncombatant medical personnel, the individual must display certain insignia.[12][13][14] At the time, however, Speer was not acting as a medic, and was not afforded “non-combatant status” under the Geneva Convention.[15]…

      …. and the article continues. Poke around. Lots of discussion in the background pages.

      The redirect to the Omar Khadr page was made by Wikipedia user Fram, supposedly under a rule re people who are notable for only one event. The actual “rules” are somewhat vague. The change (redirect and deletion of the original article) was on October 12. Fram is a very busy editor (see this list).

      It looks like the edit can be undone. Any Wikipedia types hanging around here?

        • harpie says:

          In 2007-2008 there seems to have been somewhat of a “wiki-war” about whether or not Speers should be identified as a medic, since he wasn’t actually preforming or identified by uniform as one at the time of the “firefight”. I think that mostly begins here:

          Revision as of 17:09, 3 July 2007 (edit) (undo)


          (Added legal analysis as to whether Speer was a “medic,” original entry assumed that Speer’s medic status is an uncontested fact.)

          And then, someone states as a fact that Khadr threw the grenade:

          Revision as of 17:01, 17 July 2008 (edit) (undo)


          Next edit →

          But that is removed the next day.

          In February of 2008, a Pentagon document was accidently given to the press:

          Khadr secret document released by accident; Michelle Shephard; 2/4/08

          GUANTANAMO BAY — A classified document mistakenly released to reporters today revealed that Omar Khadr wasn’t the only one alive in an Afghan compound when an American soldier was fatally wounded. […]

          Here’s the 3/17/04 document [testimony of OC-1]

            • shekissesfrogs says:

              Some of these edits seems to be politically motivated, but there’s a lot of that going around.

              Speers page will be voted on for merging with Khadr rather than just a redirect, but for now it’s undone.
              Adding the relevant information about Speer to Khadr’s page will prevent this information from disappearing.

              Dr. Michael Welner’s wiki page reads like a resume, rather than a wiki page and should be cleaned up as well. I hope his anti-muslim bias gets some wide exposure in this trial. Googling his name, apparently he makes a living at “exposing” the criminal mind.

              The smart people that are very tuned into the facts in this case, and are neutral observers should get themselves a login at wiki so you can do edits, at least minor ones.

              • harpie says:

                Huh! I have no idea how wiki works. Thanks.

                I read Welner’s the other day, and that’s exactly what I thought.

                Yep. The Expert on Evil.

    • ottogrendel says:

      Wikipedia as propaganda: framing, language and associated pictures. The disappearing of the Speer content courtesy of Winston “Fram” Smith. (Thanks, Jeff)

  26. skdadl says:

    The interesting thing is that the children who are most likely to be the target of being bullied are the children that get angry the easiest. If people get angry we have a tendency to lose respect for them and in many cases we try to tease them to provoke them even more – with the pedagogical aim of helping the person to realize the childishness of his or her behaviour. Trying to get one’s will by acting aggressively or using threats is seen as immature and our reaction is often to ridicule or simply ignore them.

    Want to come back to this tomorrow; too tired now. But interestingly male, patriarchal view of teasing. Sadistic, even. Teasing is pedagogical?

  27. Jeff Kaye says:

    Did I predict it or what? Here’s Welner on being caught out by the racist, anti-Muslim rants of Danish psychologist, Nicolai Sennels. After admitting he hadn’t read much of Sennels’ work, and being told to review certain articles during the lunch break, Welner told the court “that while he does not agree with all of Sennel’s statements, ‘I feel more confident that his conclusions are useful,’ adding ‘he had an opportunity to sit and work with people he wanted to help and gained important understandings.'”

    More confident? It’s amazing with what ease Welner casts asides all sorts of prejudicial and racist remarks. Only a sociopath would be less embarrassed than that.

    The story is told in Daphne Evitar’s reporting at Huff Post. Hey, she gives me and Marcy a shout-out. Thanks, Daphne. And thanks for the report from the courtroom. I look forward to hearing about how the defense team does. I’ll try and not think about Mrs. Speer’s testimony. I think skdadl said it best about that. Endure it and leave it at that. One can grant a grieving spouse much, though in my opinion, the prosecution is using her. Hell, it was the U.S. government that kept the case out of a courtroom for about eight years, prolonging her agony. Why doesn’t she say something about that?

    • harpie says:

      I’ll bet Welner feels Sennel’s conclusions are more “useful” than ever…to him and his interests.

      Very interesting info on the Speer wikipage, Jeff. The Pentagon owns all the “facts.”

      “The question is, who will be Master. That’s all.”-Humpty Dumpty

      Why should anyone believe anything these propagandists say? Forget about “trust but verify”.

      Distrust is the only way to respond to all the crap, imo.

      skdadl: About that report linked @54: Do you think tis one, in particular might have been repressed…and why? Because Khadr is described in a more positive light?

      And for anyone who might be worried that I’ll go off on Mrs. Speer, I won’t. She, [and her grief] is being used by monstrous forces. They are the ones who deserve our condemnation.

  28. harpie says:

    Here’s the earliest “Speer” entry from the wiki revisions history page Jeff linked to @61.

    This is an old revision of this page, as edited by Geo Swan (talk | contribs) at 21:05, 27 March 2005. It may differ significantly from the current revision.

    Sergeant Christopher J. Speer was a member of an American special forces unit, who was mortally wounded during a skirmish in Afghanistan, on July 27, 2002. Sergeant Speer died of his head wound approximately two weeks later.

    The incident where Sergeant Speer was wounded received attention because he was injured by a fourteen year old Canadian, Omar Khadr.

    On the second anniversary of the skirmish Sergeant Speer’s widow Tabitha and a comrade of his, Layne Morris, initiated legal proceeding to claim compensation from the estate of Omar Khadr’s father Ahmed Khadr.

    The circumstances of Sergeant Speer’s wound are widely misreported. Most newspaper accounts say that Omar Khadr killed a “medi”, implying that Khadr had pretended to surrender, in order to kill a noncombatant, coming to treat his wounds. Widely reported was that Sergeant Speer had provided some first aid to some Afghani children just a few days before he was wounded.

    Sergeant Speer had received training as a medic, earlier in his military career. But, on the day of the skirmish he was leading a squad assigned the task of going through the ruins, looking for weapons, and evidence of terrorism.

  29. harpie says:

    From Michelle Shephard:

    *Surreal #Guantanamo moment 345.. ah I’ve lost track. Halloween Pet Parade here this weekend. Maybe I’ll catch a banana rat and call him Tom.

    Maybe she should call him Banana Republic.

    [She’ll be in the eltronics’ free courtroom to cover Speer’s widow’s testimony.]


    as @carolrosenberg notes, Pentagon witness Michael Welner just came in media room as we’re filing stories to see court sketch of himself.

    about 13 hours ago via web

  30. harpie says:

    From the Daphne Eviatar article Jeff links to @69:

    Welner himself has exhibited Islamophobia in his own writings. In Frontpage magazine, for example, he wrote that Israeli Jews living in Gaza “have provided a buffer zone for Israel, stemming the tide of Islamo-chaos,” yet are forsaken by more secure Israelis. He continued: “Like the happy family living next door to a drug addict, Israeli Gazans’ success shows the violent and destitute that other behavioral paths exist.”

    Eviatar is right. Welner really does show his colors in this one:

    The Jews of Gaza ; Michael Welner M.D.;; 1/17/05

    We are paying this man big money. WHY?

  31. harpie says:


    <blockquot.*Pat McCarthy, Navy captain and lawyer from Afghanistan to #Guantanamo: "My opinion is that Mr. Khadr does have rehabilitative potential." less than 20 seconds ago via HootSuite

  32. mui1 says:

    Yes why is the “prosecution” using this totally toxic self-promoting twit who sounds like his license to practice medicine should have been revoked a long time ago? The entire testimony and the article itself counts on the public’s ignorance about Gitmo. Virtually everything the prosecution says can be rebutted. the Bloc Leader part for instance. I do believe that’s might be a revolving position leading prayers (akin to bible study/reading I believe), and piousness in itself is not fundamentalism.
    Now this really really gets me, because it’s so anti-mental health: “Unlike more recalcitrant inmates, Khadr doesn’t get into fights or throw feces at guards. Rather, Welner described him as a smooth operator . . . ”
    I have read of one prisoner who is very very mentally ill, maybe brain damaged, maybe schizophrenic, maybe epileptic, who “eats feces” –still in Gitmo, inspite of the fact it seems he was never well enough to be anything but ill, never mind a terrorist. Is that what dr. Welner calls “recalcitrant.” Not ill, but recalitrnat???

  33. harpie says:

    From a later report:

    Report of Welfare Visits with Omar Khadr; June 3 17, 19 &20, 2008

    […] Finally, I observe continued positive interactions between Omar and both the JTF GTMO Staff and the Military Police at Camp Iguana. In keeping with this dynamic, US interlocutors representing various elements of the Detainee Operations continued to seek me out on several occasions to strongly reiterate past messages regarding their views on Omar (a more detailed discussion on this point is set out in a separate report). […]

    I’m looking for this separate report. Wonder if defense has had access to it.

    • mui1 says:

      Now this is interesting in so many ways.
      Also reminds me. I sent a couple of the Gitmo prisoners origami plus diagram instructions (in case the guards f*cked it up, they’d know how to put it back together.) I wonder if the prisoners ever received it.

  34. harpie says:

    From Michelle Shephard:

    *@m_beauchemin was sitting in court behind yesterday’s witness, Dr. Welner. He was handing notes to the prosecution.

    *Delay in #Khadr case now until 14:30. Unclear who defence will put on the stand. Lawyers huddling.

    • harpie says:


      *RT @m_beauchemin says one [note] read: “Wasn’t Ayman al-Zawahiri only 15 when he became a radical?” Prosecution didn’t raise in #Khadr case.

  35. harpie says:

    On 7/23/05 contributor Geo Swan added an external link to a condolence page for Speer.

    Revision as of 00:11, 23 July 2005 (edit) (undo)

    Geo Swan (talk | contribs)

    m (+ external link)

    This is the page:

    Speer, a Special Forces medic, suffered a head wound during a search of the Ab Khail village in Afghanistan on July 27. He was evacuated to Germany, where he died Aug. 6. He was 28

  36. harpie says:

    Here’s a CBC article about the ramifications of that inadvertantly released document:

    New witness account shows Khadr charges should be dropped: lawyers; CBC; 2/5/08

    Lawyers for Omar Khadr called on U.S. authorities Monday to dismiss a murder charge against the Canadian, saying a newly revealed eyewitness account that had been covered up by the Pentagon casts doubt on the official version of events.


    Pentagon officials later backtracked slightly after it was revealed nobody witnessed Khadr throw the grenade. Pentagon officials said an eyewitness wasn’t needed, because Khadr was the only al-Qaeda fighter left alive and the only person who could have thrown the grenade.

    However, a classified document, inadvertently released to reporters at the military prison by a Pentagon official Monday, provides a different eyewitness account of the events.

    A U.S. soldier at the battle said in sworn testimony that two al-Qaeda fighters were alive after the fatal grenade attack. […]

  37. karenr says:

    Thursday afternoon, back in session and following #Khadr

    shephardm:: #Khadr jury back now. Prosecution officially rests case in #GTMO case. Defence calls Arlette Zinck, Kings University College Dean.


    carolrosenberg:: Judge Parrish: #Khadr jury to return, be told government rests its case in chief and defense will proceed with its mitigation testimony.

  38. harpie says:

    Those clueless Americans!


    American #GTMO colleagues need translation of what “putting a toonie in the jar” means.


    • harpie says:



      *Prof’s #Khadr testimony over. Recess. My Canadian colleagues are marvelling that US military didn’t ask, “What’s a toonie?” ($2 Canadian.)

  39. harpie says:

    It’s so neat that Khadr wrote a book report on “A Long Way Gone” [The story of a child soldier…I mentioned @25.] The Professor is testifying now.

  40. harpie says:


    *Zinck, English Professor, calls #Khadr “very poetic” in his letter-writing.

    *#Khadr would like to go to university in Edmonton as a mature student and signed letter to Zinck, “your future student.”

  41. karenr says:

    amayeda:: Prosecution now cross-examining Zinck at #Khadr hearings


    shephardm:: *You are an advocate for Omar #Khadr?* 8Absolutely,* answers Zinck. A polite back and forth with prosecution.

  42. harpie says:


    *A junior prosecutor AF Capt. Grant asked professor if she was knewt his plea included his desire as teen to kill at “1,500 a pop.” (Yes.)

  43. karenr says:

    Shephard:: #Pentagon prosecutor asks in #Guantanamo case if Kings University College has *deradicalization program on campus.* Zinck: *No.*

  44. harpie says:


    *”That’s enough for you to form your opinion?” of #Khadr asks prosecutor to Zinck. She has received five short letters from him.

    I hope she says she knows him better than Welner ever will, despite his supposed 600 hours of research.

  45. karenr says:

    I hate that. This is same *detainee* who was threatened by interrogator w gang rape in US prison, no? wonder where kid got such language? tsk tsk :-/

  46. harpie says:


    *Juror asks, “Do you have much personal experience with devout Muslims?” Zinck says has gotten to know one student and women at local mosque.

  47. harpie says:


    “My name is Omar Khadr”


    #Khadr: “That’s my biggest dream – my biggest wish to get out of this place. Being in this place I’ve really known and understood the..

    less than 10 seconds ago via web .

    *#Khadr talking about his injuries in firefight when captured. “I lost the sight in my left eye . . . I was shot twice in the back.”

    less than a minute ago via web .”I decided to plead guilty to take responsibility for the acts I’ve done.” 2 minutes ago via web .

    *”My name is Omar Khadr. I am 24 years old. I finished eigth grade. My hobbies are sports and reading.” 2 minutes ago via web .

    *Wow. Omar #Khadr called to the stand. Had not expected him to testify in #Guantanamo sentencing. 3 minutes ago via web

  48. harpie says:

    Khadr stands up and says to widow: “I’m really really sorry for the pain I caused you and your family.”

  49. harpie says:


    #Khadr to Speer widow: “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.” Khadr says to widow of soldier he confessed to killing in Afghanistan.

    • harpie says:

      Yeah. Now what will the story be? They can no longer try to convince people that he’s unremorseful…at least not people that listen with their hearts as well as their heads [like Zinck said]

  50. harpie says:

    Quotes from MS tweets:

    “My name is Omar Khadr. I am 24 years old. I finished eigth grade. My hobbies are sports and reading.”

    “I decided to plead guilty to take responsibility for the acts I’ve done.”

    “I lost the sight in my left eye . . . I was shot twice in the back.”

    “That’s my biggest dream – my biggest wish to get out of this place. Being in this place I’ve really known and understood the beauties and wonders of life.”

    “Have the chance to have true relationships, an experience I’ve never had in my life.”

    “Education is knowledge. I have a fascination with knowledge . . . I feel people who give me a chance without knowing me means a lot.”

    “Most important thing I wish for is being a doctor.” “I know what pain means. I’d really love to relieve a person who is suffering from such pain,”

    [Khadr is standing and addressing widow directly]

    “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.”

  51. harpie says:

    Carol Rosenberg:

    From courtroom: #Khadr did NOT read a statement. Widow wept as he spoke to her then vehemently shook her head, no. Apology not accepted.

    Very sad.

  52. skdadl says:

    Sorry to have missed this discussion this afternoon. I figured the most decent thing to do during Tabitha’s testimony was take my daily nap and avoid tweeting.

    It is a terrible thing to lose a partner. I can testify to that, and I empathize with Tabitha Speer on that turf. What possible relevance her testimony could have to Khadr’s trial escapes me, but the victim-impact statements always bother me. I don’t think that justice should be a popularity contest.

    After what she said to him, I thought it was amazing that Omar would stand up and speak back directly to her. He is central to the story; she isn’t, really, although she appears not to know that. I blame Walt Disney.

    • harpie says:

      Hi, skdadl.

      Just saw someone named jlocke123 quote you on Glenn Greenwald’s tread, today:

      someone on firedoglake

      has already given a good explaination of Obama’s policy regarding child soldiers:

      “it’s perfectly logical. Some child soldiers are child soldiers, and some are not.” – skdadl


      • skdadl says:

        Hi, harpie. Gee. I don’t think that’s my best work, but … ;-) Obviously a kindred spirit if he signs self jlocke. Let’s hear it for the Enlightenment!

        We do the victim-impact thing here too, and it bothers me. I know judges who are bothered by it. It often reinscribes class privilege, eg — some people have attractive friends and relatives to speak movingly for them, but many people don’t. I just try not to pay attention. People deal with grief however they deal with it.

        • harpie says:

          That’s a very interesting observation about the class aspect, skdadl. Unfortunately, it seems many people who do, don’t have the experience, imagination or empathy to even see that many people don’t, and what a huge difference that makes.

  53. harpie says:

    Omar Khadr apologizes to U.S. soldier’s widow at tribunal; Paul Koring; Globe and Mail; 10/28/10

    […] In his brief statement, Mr. Khadr said he carried no anger in his heart.

    He said he had learned from reading Nelson Mandela that “you won’t gain anything from hate.”

    “Love and forgiveness are more constructive, they will bring people together and solve lots of problems,” he added. […]

  54. mui1 says:

    Excuse me. I find this widow at the trial thing completely manipulative in a sleazy Nancy Grace way. First, does this widow know for a fact that it was Khadr that killed her husband? If so, does she truly believe this is justice? And what if she had doubts? Why does she want to contribute in any way shape or form to the perceived legitimization of this kangaroo court. If I were her. I would not show up at this so-called trial. I would be angry that the military had used my husband as bullet fodder. I’ve had an ex die in the military, and my anger was directed at the military’s incompetent medical services.

  55. mui1 says:

    Or worse yet, is the military manipulating a widow for their own screwed up purposes? That seems to be the case.