Today, a U.S. military judge dismissed charges against Omar Khadr, a Canadian detainee accused of throwing a grenade in Afghanistan which killed U.S. Army Sgt. Christopher Speer. The judge dismissed the charges because Khadr was classified as an “enemy combatant,” whereas the law enabling the military trials applied to “alien unlawful enemy combatants.” The same defect apparently applies to all of the other detainees subject to military trials.
I haven’t read the decision yet, but John Armor at the ACRU blog says the charges were dismissed without prejudice, and that the government need only change the labels on the prisoners as appropriate in order to proceed with this trial and all the others.
Armor also says that the story is already being misreported around the world as a meaningful setback for the U.S. government. That wouldn’t be much of a surprise.
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