TRIALS BY FIRE - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

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TRIALS BY FIRE - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Military CommissionsIn 2002, US troops captured 15-year old Canadian national Omar Khadrin Afghanistan. The Department of Defense maintains that he threw agrenade that killed an American Special Forces soldier. Khadr’s father wasaffiliated with al Qaeda, and Khadr was an adherent of radical Islam at thetime of his capture.Khadr has been held at Guantanamo Baysince his capture; the US government hastried twice to prosecute him before militarycommissions, but both attempts proved unsuccessfulin the face of significant proceduraland political obstacles. 350 Now the governmenthas new plans to try Khadr before a revampedmilitary commission, and his case—along with other cases like his—have igniteddebate over the use of military commissionsto try terrorism suspects. 351This chapter will explore the history of USPhoto of Omar Khadr, copyrightreleased into the public domain bythe Khadr family in Toronto.Date ca. 2001military commissions and layout the significantlegal challenges faced by the Bush Administrationin its efforts to reinstitute commissions. It will further reviewmajor statutes relating to military commissions. Finally, it will examine thestatus of military commissions under the Obama Administration.Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs | Harvard Kennedy School127

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