Omar Khadr's defense paints different picture of Guantanamo detainee during hearing

The Miami HeraldOctober 28, 2010 

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba -- An Air Force defense lawyer used a forensic psychiatrist's own files Wednesday to paint a far more westernized, tolerant image of confessed teen terrorist Omar Khadr -- one day after the doctor called the Canadian radical, angry and "highly dangerous.''

Tuesday, Dr. Michael Welner said Khadr read only Harry Potter and the Quran, and memorized Islam's holy book while "marinating inside a radical Islamic community'' inside the prison camps here.

Air Force Maj. Matthew Schwartz, in a feisty and at times disorganized cross-examination, got the government-hired psychiatrist to pull from his notes more of Guantánamo's youngest captive's reading list:

Nelson Mandela's Walk to Freedom, Barack Obama's Dreams of My Father, Ishmael Beah's A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series plus unnamed thrillers by John Grisham and steamy novels by Danielle Steel.

Khadr, 24, pleaded guilty on Monday to committing five war crimes in Afghanistan in July 2002, admitting that at age 15 he hurled the hand grenade that mortally wounded an American commando, trained with al Qaida and planted anti-tank mines targeting U.S. forces.

Now, lawyers are calling witnesses to help a seven-member military jury decide what sentence to give him for crimes punishable by life in prison. They do not know that a senior Pentagon official promised the Toronto-born Khadr that, at most, he will spend another year at Guantánamo and serve up to seven more in his native Canada.

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