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Guantanamo's Child: The Untold Story of Omar Khadr Hardcover – Mar 20 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; Canadian First edition (March 20 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470841176
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470841174
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 16.4 x 23.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #112,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By T. Quiggin on March 31 2008
Format: Hardcover
Canada's Problem Child

Guantanamo's child is about to become Canada's child. The nearly six year old case against Omar Khadr is imploding in slow time as each new revelation exposes false information, accusations of torture and tampering. It is a legal process so appalling that the US Supreme Court, dominated by Republican appointees, declared the entire "Military Commissions" process unconstitutional in 2006. Whatever the outcome, it is becoming clearer by the day that Omar Khadr will be back in Canada in less than a year. How Canada deals with this problem when he arrives is not clear.

The newly launched book by reporter Michelle Sheppard, Guantanamo's Child, gives the reader a direct insight into Omar Khadr and how he became the world's most (in)famous child soldier. Contrary to the views of many in government agencies, the interest of Canadians is best served when national security matters are intelligently discussed in the public eye. It is ironic that in Canada, it is reporters such as Stewart Bell, Kim Bolan, Nazim Baksh, and Ian MacLeod who have the most knowledge and long term experience in critical matters such as terrorism and extremism. This work by Michelle Sheppard adds further to that body of knowledge.

The book reveals Omar Khadr's life voyage as extraordinary by any standard. From Toronto to the means streets of Jalalabad Afghanistan, and then to primitive mountain shelters in Pakistani Waziristan, Omar Khadr travelled more in his first 15 years than most people do in a lifetime. Omar Khadr has also brushed shoulders with the famous and the infamous. He met Prime Minister Chretien, lived with Osama bin Laden and worked as a translator for Abu Laith al Libi , who would become an Al Qaeda spokesman.

The question must arise.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Tarek Fatah on May 9 2008
Format: Hardcover
Michelle Shephard tells the story of a young man few Canadians feel any sympathy for. However, only a cold-hearted person would not be affected by the tragedy of this young boy, who lost his childhood to his late father's dream of a global jihad. Shephard takes on a huge challenge and accomplishes her goal admirably. As I put down the book, I could not help but feel deep compassion for Omar Khadr. The book has left me feeling that I should do something to help him. This despite the fact I have a lifelong distaste for jihadism and nothing but contempt for the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Omar Khadr deserves a second chance in life, and if he ever wins freedom, he will owe it partly to Michelle Shephard's fine book. For making me look at the young man as a fellow human being, "Thank you Michelle Shephard."
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Hilary Homes on April 2 2008
Format: Hardcover
As a long-time human rights campaigner who has followed the case of Omar Khadr since 2002, I think some people may be surprised by Michelle Shephard's timely book. Amidst a polarized debate, this book simply tells the story so far from a variety of perspectives and lets the intelligent reader do the rest. And that's a hard thing to do: try to unwind the spin that has dominated the discourse around the so-called "war on terror".

For most people, the story of Omar Khadr begins and ends with a firefight in Afghanistan in the summer of 2002. Both he and soldiers involved are symbols of a post-9/11 context dominated by "us" and "them". The now-famous Department of Homeland Security colour-coded National Threat Advisory does not contain a level where safety actually exists. The best you get is green for "low risk of terrorist attacks". The price for this approach - which has all too often falsely cast human rights and security as opposing concepts - has been high. From black sites, torture and indefinite detention to the intentional targeting of civilians, it's all bad. No "side" in this "war" has clean hands.

In Guantánamo's Child, the story of the Khadr family, and Omar's eventual capture and detention in Guantánamo Bay, are set in the context of history: personal histories, the decades of successive armed conflicts in South Asia, and the pre and post-9/11 national security policies of the USA and many of its allies. Also brought to life are the soldiers, lawyers, interrogators, fellow detainees, politicians, bureaucrats, and others who populate the landscape of this complex case. We see how the various players are drawn in one way or another, both willingly and unwillingly.
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