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Second Detainee Convicted Under Obama Administration

Omar Khadr, the Canadian pick up off the Afghan battlefield in 2002, when he was 15 years old, was convicted Monday as part of a plea deal.  The trial has garnered much international criticism, because of Kadr’s age, information allegedly obtained through inhumane treatment, and because of the nature of the commissions themselves.

Khadr plead guilty to five charges:  murder in violation of the laws of war; attempted murder in violation of the laws of war; conspiracy; providing material support for terrorism; and spying—and agreed to a 50-page stipulation of facts admitted by the prosecution.  Sentencing began on Tuesday.  Although there is almost certainly a sentencing limitation in the pretrial agreement—rumored to include one more year in Guantánamo and  then seven in Canada—under the Military Commission system, Khadr will be sentenced by a panel of military officers, and then get the lesser of the two sentences.

Khadr’s guilty plea included an agreement that he will not challenge the legality of his detention, trial, interrogation or confinement.  Ibrahim al Qosi, who plead guilty in July 2010, and the only other detainees sentenced under the revised Military Commission Act of 2009, agreed to similar post-trial restrictions.  It seems like the military is seeking to avoid the problems of the other two military commissions, or is at least avoiding anyone pointing out those problems in front of the Supreme Court.

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