August 13, 2010

Pt 1: Omar Khadr's Trial - As the U.S. military commission trial of Omar Khadr continues, Mike Finnerty talks to Omar Deghayes, a former inmate at the U.S. Military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba who knew Omar Khadr while he was detained there. (Read More)

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Pt 2: Nazi Hunting - Meet the man who ran the operation to capture Adolph Eichmann, who in a sense ran the Holocaust. And find out why the Hollywood version of Nazi-hunting might have stretched the truth a little further than you thought. (Read More)

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Whole Show Blow-by-Blow

It's Friday August 13th.

The Hollywood movie The Expendables had its premier this week in London.

Currently, And no, it is not about a young Canadian being put on trial by the American military.

This is The Current.

Omar Khadr's Trial - Omar Deghayes

This morning, another unexpected twist in the long-running effort to bring Omar Khadr to trial. Omar Khadr's defence lawyer collapsed in court yesterday ... just after the prosecution and defence had presented their opening arguments in front of a U.S. Military Commission. Lieutenant Colonel Jon Jackson has stabilized. But for now it's unclear how or if this will affect the trial.

Omar Khadr was captured by the U.S. Military in Afghanistan more than eight years ago. He was 15 at the time. He is charged with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy, supporting terrorism and spying. The prosecution alleges that Khadr threw the grenade that killed U.S. Sergeant Christopher Speer. It has no eyewitness or forensic evidence. But it does have Omar Khadr's confession ... a confession the defence says was obtained by coercion or worse. The defence argues that Khadr was a child soldier and that he can't possibly get a fair trial at a military commission.

The jury consists of seven U.S. military officers -- four men and three women. The prosecution needs to persuade five of them in order to get a conviction. And if Khadr is convicted, he will be the first person to be convicted of a war crime for acts committed as a child since the Second World War.

In the leadup to his trial, Omar Khadr spent seven years at the U.S. Military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. For nearly six of those years Omar Deghayes was an inmate there as well. The British government brought him home from Guantanamo, and this morning he joined us from Brighton, on the South Coast of England.

Omar Khadr's Trial - Radhika Coomaraswamy

There is still widespread debate about whether Omar Khadr should be tried by a U.S. Military Commission and whether he should be viewed as an accused terrorist or a child soldier. For her thoughts on that issue, we were joined by Radhika Coomaraswamy. She's the U.N. Secretary General's Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict. She was in Columbo, Sri Lanka.

We requested an interview with the Prime Minister's Office on this matter. Press Secretary Andrew MacDougall sent the following reply, quote:

Mr. Khadr faces serious charges, including the murder of a medic. As the matter is before the courts we won't comment.


Nazi Hunting - Rafi Eitan

We started this segment with how the United Press International reported the verdict in one of the greatest trials in modern history. It was 50 years ago this year that Adolph Eichmann -- the logistical mastermind of the Holocaust -- was captured in Argentina in a high-stakes operation by the Israeli Mossad. The operation was the result of years of meticulous planning. And it was spearheaded by former Mossad officer Rafi Eitan. He was in Tel Aviv.

Nazi Hunting - Guy Walters

We started this segment with the Hollywood version of Simon Wiesenthal in a scene from the 1974 movie, The Odessa File. And for many people, that version of history -- and that version of Simon Wiesenthal -- have become accepted history. But according to Guy Walters, much of what we think we know about those events simply isn't true. He's the author of Hunting Evil: The Nazi War Criminals Who Escaped and The Quest to Bring Them to Justice. He was in London.

Last Word - Arcade Fire

We gave the last word this morning to The Arcade Fire. A few years ago, the Montreal-based band scored a surprise hit with its debut album Funeral. It released its third album earlier this week. The Suburbs has now topped the charts in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. And Rolling Stone Magazine is calling the band the biggest Indie-rock success of the decade. All in all, a pretty good week.

We played We Used To Wait from the Arcade Fire's new album, The Suburbs.

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