A retired U.S. Special Forces sergeant is blasting President Barack Obama over the transfer of a Guantanamo Bay detainee who pleaded guilty to killing a U.S. soldier.
Omar Khadr, 26, was returned to Canada last month to await parole after spending 10 years behind bars at Guantanamo. He received an eight-year sentence after he was convicted in 2010 of throwing a grenade that killed 28-year-old Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer in 2002, when Khadr was 15.
Khadr, the son of an alleged Al-Qaeda financier, was both Guantanamo Bay’s youngest prisoner and its last Western detainee when he was sent back to his native Canada to serve out the rest of his sentence as he awaits parole, which could come as early as spring 2013.
Retired Army Special Forces Sgt. Layne Morris, who lost sight in one eye during the firefight that killed Speer, called Khadr’s release “an outrage.”
“This is somebody who is a demonstrated, committed and unrepentant terrorist. Why do you want to turn this man loose?” Morris told Canada’s Sun News Friday. “If he was just a common criminal, he’d be doing most of his life behind bars. Why, why would anybody be so anxious to get this man loose?”
Morris accused Obama, who once promised to close Guantanamo Bay, of having merely “changed tactics” in “emptying it out any way he can.”
“President Obama declared, you know, on day one that job one was to close Guantanamo,” Morris said. “He has been thoroughly thwarted in that effort by the U.S. Congress. But I think the American people assumed that he had given up on that effort. But I think he’s just changed tactics, and rather than close Guantanamo he’s simply emptying it out in any way he can do that. And Omar Khadr is the perfect case.”
Hear Morris describe the attack that killed Speer: