Officer rejected for military commissions jury in Khadr trial because he agrees with Obama

This week, a jury-like panel was assembled to hear the case of Omar Khadr. During examination, an Army lieutenant colonel who was being considered for the panel said he agreed with Obama’s view that the offshore prison has compromised American values and diminished America’s international standing.

“America seemed to lose its status as a beacon of freedom, liberty and justice” through its interrogation methods, secret prisons and extraordinary renditions, said the lieutenant colonel, who couldn’t be named under courtroom rules. “I don’t believe my position is any different from the president’s.”

The military judge, Col. Pat Parrish, refused to dismiss the officer, so prosecutor Jeff Groharing, a Justice Department attorney who started as the Khadr prosecutor in 2005 when he was a Marine major, used his single peremptory challenge to remove him from the commission.“ He said repeatedly he agrees with the president,” Groharing said.

In the meantime Omar Khadr’s lone defense attorney, Lt. Col. Jon Jackson,
collapsed in court Thursday and was taken away to a base hospital on a
stretcher, halting the first day of the Canadian’s war crimes trial. At best, Pentagon deputy chief defense counsel Broyles said, if the defender could be treated at this remote base, the trial could resume Monday. At worst, he said, Jackson would need to be airlifted to the United States — indefinitely delaying the first war crimes trial of the Obama administration.


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