Military Revises Tribunals at Guantanamo

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The U.S. military is reviving its tribunals at Guantanamo Bay. Its first hearing is for Omar Khadr, a Canadian child soldier accused of killing a Green Beret in Afghanistan.

Dahlia Lithwick, legal analyst for the online magazine Slate, says Khadr is accused of throwing the grenade that killed a U.S. solider during a firefight in Afghanistan. If Khadr goes to trial, he would be the first detainee to go before the controversial tribunal system.

The Supreme Court struck down the tribunal system in 2006, Lithwick says. Khadr's case was thrown out again when a judge found he was designated an "enemy combatant" not an "unlawful enemy combatant" — an important distinction under the Geneva Conventions. After the Supreme Court's 2006 decision, Congress passed the Military Commission Act, which said the tribunals can only try unlawful enemy combatants.

Lithwick says this latest effort is the third time military officials have tried to try Khadr — and it is still possible that something could go wrong with the tribunals.

Lithwick talks to Alex Chadwick about the case.



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