October 25th, 2010
10:08 AM ET

Gitmo detainee pleads guilty to terror charges

Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr pleaded guilty to all charges against him Monday, a Canadian diplomat said, in the first military commission trial there since Barack Obama became president.

Khadr pleaded guilty to the five terrorism charges he was facing, Catherine Loubier, spokeswoman for the Canadian Foreign Ministry, told CNN.

She declined to make further comment.

"This matter is between Mr. Khadr and the U.S. government and we will not have further comment on this today," she said.

Khadr was 15 when he allegedly threw a grenade during a 2002 firefight in Afghanistan that resulted in the death of Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer.  Khadr could have faced a maximum life sentence.

A military commission began in August but was stopped in the first week due to the illness of Khadr's military lawyer. It's the first such commission conducted during the Obama administration.

- CNN's Jeanne Meserve contributed to this report.

Clinton involved as US, Canada discuss Guantanamo detainee plea deal

soundoff (187 Responses)
  1. David in Three Hills

    I'm confused about your headline on the Omar Khadr article. He is not a former detainee, as your story points
    out: "Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr pleaded guilty to all charges against him Monday..."

    October 25, 2010 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  2. Canuck

    He was 15 years old at the time , he has been held for 8 years with no trial. How can you be chraged with murder in a combat zone??? Whatever he has or has not done this is shameful.. .I hope you are proud America.

    October 25, 2010 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • guest432

      ...this happened 8 years ago, it wasnt a war zone then. We are proud, thank you for your support. GOD BLESS THE US.

      October 25, 2010 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim from BC

      Uh... Yes it was.

      October 25, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      Under the Geneva Conventions he can be charged with murder for being an illegal combatant. Since he's Canadian and not representing any government nor was he wearing a uniform, it was murder. Plain and simple really. Actually, he's lucky, in WWII he would have already been shot, probably by a Canadian firing squad.

      October 25, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Harvey

      You statement of support for an admitted murderer only shows the mental capacity of all Canadians.
      I hope you're proud Canada.
      There...how does it feel to be generalised?

      October 25, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Phoenix

      "...this happened 8 years ago, it wasnt a war zone then. We are proud, thank you for your support. GOD BLESS THE US."

      It wasn't a warzone?? Are you crazy? Have you even read the details of the 'murder'? I would suggest you look it up and then comment.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • the truth

      Not proud, we should have hung hima long time ago and not wasted tax payers money for so long

      October 25, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • JJ Cooper

      Right he leaves Canada for a country has doesn't respect Canadian Laws... but a soon as the piece of garbage is in trouble he screams for his Canadian rights... personally hang the garbage.... Wake up Canadians,,, why should we have him back...he made his choice, now live with it...

      October 25, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Robert Fast

      Uhh....No it wasn't, not where and what they were doing was in a combat zone idiot. Why don't you bleeding hearts at least try to get the facts straight...And OBTW, if your not an official member of an Armed Force in combat...You are a terrorist.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • thedude

      Doug, you make some broad leaps here with you Geneva Convention comments. First he is a child, please read the convention rules that apply to children. Second he was there legally since he was a guest of the Taliban and like it or not they were the government at the time. Third, we invaded them, and he was defending himself and or his comrades. Last there was no declaration of war, and their information sources were limited, so it could be argued that they had no knowledge of why were even there in the first place and simply were defending their base.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • yankee cowboy

      We would be proud had he been executed in Afghanistan, like this animal deserves.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      You Americans chose to comment without knowing the facts of the case as well as us Canadians.
      He was not firing at the US troops. They were in a compound. The US troops surrounded them and started attacking when they refused to leave.
      They defended themselves. There is no evidence that he actually killed the guy. Initial reports are that it was friendly fire.
      He was brought to court several times before but the trials were stopped when his lawyers got the upper hand and so he must have decided to cop a plea to end the Kangaroo court that makes Iranian justice look good.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • KC

      Canuck, it's been 8 years because of various defense ploys, motions, changes of venue, etc. not because attempts haven't been made to try him.

      As for him being a "child", there were many, many Canadians and Americans alike serving in WWII that were 15, even younger. He knew full well what he was doing, and so did those he was with when they chose to refuse to surrender and chose to fight instead.

      October 25, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest518

      Afghanistan has been a war zone for USA since 2001, how can you say it was not a war zone 8 years ago

      October 25, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Western Canuck

      Canuck does NOT speak for most Canadians I know.
      Khadr and family are personna non grata in Canada!

      October 25, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • freedtoo

      I am a Canadian.....Keep him please. If you like, we can send you the rest of his demented family who openly support terrorists and Osama Bin Laden and "hate Canada" I believe that it is safe to say, that the Khadr family, are probably the most disliked family in the whole of Canada. God bless Canada and the United states, our best friend.

      October 25, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      Omar Khadr isn't really the point here. The point is that the rule of law no longer applies in America. A 15 year old child soldier has been detained for 9 years without bail or any legal recourse other than a military tribunal set up to obtain convictions. Now he pleads guilty as he cannot trust that justice will be done in an American court. Shameful, Obama, shameful.

      October 25, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Scott

    This was posted on another forum. I can't say it better myself.

    "A guilty plea bargain by Mr. Khadr in any form would be an historic low for American justice. So low it can hold a 15 year old boy for eight years w/o trial, throw in some torture and lack of representation (by his "lawyers" and own government), a military kangaroo court, and then threaten him with a cruel sentence to get a plea on a lesser charge.

    History books will mark such an event as America's (and Canada's) shame."

    October 25, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Justice

      We were just waiting for him to become an adult 🙂

      October 25, 2010 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      Yes, it is sad that a child did this, but you know what, I'm sick of "children" getting away with anything they want. If a 15 year old points a gun at me, I'll kill him, and morn the fact it happened, but I will not morn that it was a child it happened to. As for wether he is a terrorist or a combatant, well, that is just stupid, if you are attacked, you have the right to defend yourself, he was attacked. However, he is still a combatant, and he chose the wrong side, he will now pay for that mistake. It could be worse, he could be dead.

      October 25, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • KC

      I doubt history is going to mark this event much. Really, it's just one terrorist trial out of hundreds to come. And it's pretty much a non-event. He wouldn't be pleading guilty if 1) He didn't do it, or 2) He didn't want to use it to his advantage in some way. His defense team has managed to hold it off for 8 years, they would have kept going or gone to trial if there weren't a reason for a plea deal.

      October 25, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Einar Darwinsen

    This is just sick. Kidnapping a child, torturing him for 8 years and then holding a charade of a trial. If he is charged for fighting in a war, then the U.S. will have to charge all of their own troops.

    October 25, 2010 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • yankee cowboy

      Which is more sick, genius, the brainwashed 15 year old fighting a holy war against the West who surrenders only to attack an unarmed medic with a grenade he was hiding? They should have hung him in Afghanistan.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      yankee cowboy, he was there fighting the Northern Alliance when the Ameicans decided to arrive.
      He was there before 9/11.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • If the shoe fits

      Certainly not a child. If he killed someone on US soil he'd have life without parole or death penalty, 15 is certainly old enough to know what murder is.

      October 25, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • KC

      So, you're saying at 15 he was not old enough to know what he was doing? He wasn't old enough to know that he was leaving Canada to fight for the Taliban? Wasn't old enough to understand the request to surrender made by the troops? Was "just a child" and didn't know that he was there to kill people (soldiers or not, he was NOT on a peace mission, moron)? Then why did he do it? Did some other Canadian coerce him into it? Was he forced to do it? Was he forced to throw the grenade by someone holding his hand a pushing it forward? No, he knew what he was doing, 15 is old enough to know that.

      October 25, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jim from BC

    This is an unbelievable disgrace to both the US and Canada.

    October 25, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  6. observatory

    Threw a grenade during a firefight? Sounds like a combat soldier (even at 15), but not a terror suspect.

    October 25, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  7. Shane

    He was 15! He new the difference betweeen right and wrong. In the United States, we treat children of that age as Adults if they commit capital offenses and sentence them as such. YOU CAN BET THEY DO THE SAME IN THE MIDDLE EAST! He did not commit his crime on US soil, but rather on foreign soil during a time of war. He was captured on the battlefield. All rules of criminal law do not apply here. If you don't like it, get the heck out of this country. If you live here and you are foreign and do not like or rules of war, go home. If you are an American, and you don't like it, renounce your citizenship and go somewhere else. Quit your badmouthing your own country......else i say pick up a rifle and follow me!

    October 25, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • KingShane

      I'm with you Shane. I have my rifle... Just point me in the right direction!! He threw a grenade and killed someone. EXECUTE this monkey!

      October 25, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      There is conflicting evidence over whether or not he threw the grenade. Nobody saw him throw it.
      I wouldn't be surprised if it was friendly fire as originally stated.

      October 25, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dave S

    @ Canuck, please shut your cake hole as you are out of touch, this clown should be and i hope he is executed for his crime. And yes the U.S should be proud they captured this weasle

    October 25, 2010 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Dave S. – grow up.

      October 25, 2010 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Harvey

      No...dave has a right to express the truth.
      No matter how bad it makes you feel about your beloved murdering countrymen.

      October 25, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Phoenix

      To be executed for an act he committed when he was 15 would be irresponsible. You think that just killing this one that it sends some sort of message that we're not to be trifled with? It doesn't work that way. Oh yes, so proud of capturing a 15 yr old, how about a real target like Bin Laden, how long has he been evading capture now?

      October 25, 2010 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  9. Dave

    Forces declare war on Afghanistan. People defend themselves and they are considered criminals. If an Afghan rebel flew to your house in the United States with the intent to kill you or capture you and your teenage son shot them and killed them, they would be seen as a hero.

    October 25, 2010 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Miguel

      He'd be charged with ADW and tried in court if a prosecutor thought it could be pursued, in fact.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Mebeebo

      Yes Dave and if he were captured by an Afghan soldier, he would have been mutilated w/out a trial.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Miguel – yes – they would prosecute, there would be protests in front of the courthouse, he would get counseling because he's a child who was forced to defend himself in a violent way. Then he writes a book and he's on Dancing with the Stars.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  10. true

    Shane I'm with u on that I got my rifle.

    October 25, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  11. Dan from NS

    Canuck wrote, "He was 15 years old at the time , he has been held for 8 years with no trial. How can you be chraged with murder in a combat zone??? Whatever he has or has not done this is shameful.. .I hope you are proud America."

    To our American friends – please don't take this person's opinion as a reflection of what the vast majority of us Canadians feel. Omar Khadr belongs to a family renowned for supporting terrorism. Omar Khadr murdered an American soldier, has admitted it twice and is now getting a sentence.

    Some of the bleeding hearts of the left, like Canuck, feel this whole ordeal is somehow America's fault – which is ridiculous. He murdered a US soldier at 15 years old, had ties directly with the Taliban and got what he deserved. The people like "Canuck" are a national embarassment and from this Canadian – I apologize for you having to be subjected to such idiocy.

    IMO, he (Khadr) should thank his lucky stars that he got off a lot easier than he should have.

    October 25, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Dan from NS – you don't reflect my view as a Canadian. You can't pretend to understand what was going on in his head. The truth is that an armed American Soldier with the intent to do harm to locals (and visitors from Canada) was close enough that a grenade could get him.... I'd say that's what war is about. I don't care about uniforms. War is War. He should not labeled a criminal, despite what you may believe was his intent.

      October 25, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Harvey

      That's right Dave.
      They should have put a bullet in his head on the spot and saved the tax payers a whole lot of money.
      Why capture this animal. just put it down.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Miguel

      Who? The medic who died? Yeah, he was a huge threat. Way to be a screaming reactionist, Dave. Also read the Geneva convention some time – especially the bits on uniformed combatants and why the strictures exist.

      In the end this case had pulled all the pro and anti screaming loons out of the woodwork, so I shouldn't be surprised by alternating screeches of "kill him" and "free him" – just disappointed by the idiocy.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Kyle

      Dave : "You can't pretend to understand what was going on in his head. The truth is that an armed American Soldier with the intent to do harm to locals (and visitors from Canada) was close enough that a grenade could get him...."

      So, you can't pretend to understand what was going on in the terrorist's head, but you can pretend to understand the intent of the soldier. Double-standard, eh, Dave?

      October 25, 2010 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Harvey – beleive it or not, I agree – though perhaps not with the same language. It's a war. When you start to label combatants are criminals and remove them from their country and throw them in prison it creates a false impression of civility to justify your cause, regardless of how misguided it is. Instead, kill him along with the other 100000 men, women and children and sort it out later. Then your invading forced get to execute on their intent – not mask it with the pretense of freeing the citizens of Afghanistan.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan from NS

      In response to Dave, taint the story as you see fit – I found it especially amusing that you included a little twist of suggesting the, "Armed American soldier had a (premeditated) intent on harming locals and Canadians."

      You tell me I can't pretend to know what was going on his head. I think perhaps, with all due respect, you had better get your facts straight before you embarass yourself. Khadr has admitted in open court that he not only killed Sgt. Speer but also conspired directly with Osama bin Laden. I think that's a pretty good reflection of what was in this innocent "Canadian's" head when he was defending himself from "Canadian-attacking" Americans. Get a grip dude.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Kyle – So the soldier was their to give candy to the 15 year child that killed him? Sorry, but he joined the armed forces and went to a foreign land with a gun in his hand. I think I can guess at his intent.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Kyle

      Dave, you're hopeless. How can you say that someone cannot guess the intent of one person, but can guess the intent of another?

      Using a similar argument to what you just made: So, a 15-year old Canadian went to Afghanistan in the middle of a war to talk to Osama bin Laden about golf? Come on.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Dan from NS, speak for yourself. A lot of Canadians are embarrassed at our government's refusal to help this guy.
      They are disgusted at the US holding someone without trial for 8 years, or holding trials and then canceling them before they were finished because they didn't like the direction they were going it.
      It has been a farce from day 1.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Harvey, that is a war crime. We have just had a case similar to what you are describing here in Canada this month. You cannot shoot dead a wounded enemy legally.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Miguel, people were shooting at him and probably firing rockets or similar weapons. There is no evidence that he knew he was throwing anything at a medic. There is really conflicting evidence that he even through the grenade in the first place for that matter.
      That being said, what is a medic doing running alongside people in uniform? That is called using human shields.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Bootch

      You all are missing something big here. The Geneva conventions can't apply here because they are designed to regulate wars that occur between the soldiers of warring nations. That isn't the case here. The US invaded Afghanistan to root out an enemy that doesn't have an army or a nation. By the rules of the convention, every single person against whom Americans (and Canadians) has fought in Afghanistan is an unlawful combatant!

      October 25, 2010 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Bootch, you do realize the US made up the term "enemy combatant" don't you? It exists nowhere else.

      October 25, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      I can not remember any age when I was unaware or unclear of the consequences of killing some one, especially by the age of 15. I am sure he knew exactly what he was doing and he should pay the full consequences. If he is turned over to Canada (my country) the bleeding hearts over here will make sure that he is released in very short order–then Heaven help us.

      October 25, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Another Canuck

      1) He was a child soldier, someone whom the Americans would defend enthusiastically were he NOT captured in Afghanistan.
      2) The Taliban was the government of the day when he was captured so he was an enemy combatant.
      3) He arrived well before the American(NATO) invasion and was captured as part of a military action
      4) There is no concrete evidence he threw the grenade which killed the American soldier.

      The simple fact remains that this is yet another prime example of the Islamaphobia gripping the American nation and his plea bargain is a reflection of treatment and threats from the Americans and really has little to do with the reality of what actually happened that day over 8 years ago in Afghanistan.

      October 25, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Doug

    I for one do not believe he should have been held for 8 years with no legal representation. I believe he should just have been shot in the first eight minutes. This would have saved the U.S. taxpayer the expense of keeping such garbage alive. This was not an "act in combat". This was some piece of garbage in civilian garb murdering or attempt to murder U.S. soldiers. We cannot target people in civilian garb until they fire on us. Combat is a confrontation of opposing forces that are readily identifiable. Not some piece of garbage hiding in civilian clothing waiting for the opportune time to strike. In any war a combatant caught in civilian clothing is treated as a spy and usually tried, convicted and dealt with by execution. This trash deserves no better. If you foreigners consider this a "low point" of American Justice then maybe you should be next!

    October 25, 2010 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      He had legal representation throughout much of the time. It was occassionally dismissed when the judge didn't like the point the lawyers were making.
      This whole case is a kangaroo court.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • bob

      you are so full of yourself it's lughable. this wasnt a case of a combatant hiding in civilian clothing. this kid was working as a TRANSLATOR – not a soldier. the village he was living in came under the attack of afgan warlords supported by us military. he was a CIVILIAN DEFENDING his home. what do you not understand – he was in his home, minding his own business and all of a sudden was under attack from local warlords and hostile foreign forces. had an american done the same thing defending his home from a gang of mexican drug runners he would be held as a hero. you sit are nothing but a coward and a bigot.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ibrahim

    How many counless children 15 and younger did US military killed over there? Its a shame applying different rules for others.

    October 25, 2010 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • yankee cowboy

      How many innocent civilians have the Taliban murdered over there?
      Crawl back in your cave–I think I hear a drone overhead.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  14. Dawn

    .... wait, what?
    Let me get this right... they arrest this kid.... in the middle of a war... for fighting in said war?
    Why don't we go arrest the rest of the middle east?

    October 25, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • TruthHurts

      You're an idiot!

      October 25, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  15. Kyle

    What do you know? A military commission that got a guilty charge. Weren't we told by the Obama administration that they NEVER succeed? hmmm...

    October 25, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
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