Sunday, September 30, 2012

Khadr Comes Home

The Conservatives aren't happy about it, but Omar Khadr has come home. They have done everything in their power to avoid this outcome.  John Ibbitson writes this morning:

Not only did the Harper government continue its predecessors’ policy of not assisting Mr. Khadr’s efforts to return to Canada, they made it abundantly clear that he could languish in Guantanamo for the rest of his life, as far as they were concerned.

For the Harperites, when it comes to crime and punishment, there is no such thing as extenuating circumstances. Justice is delivered from on high; and sentences are completely absolute. The problem is that the Khadr case is loaded with extenuating circumstances. Mr. Khadr is an example of precisely what is wrong with Harperite crime and punishment.

Ibbitson believes that the next six years will be full of controversy:

From now until he completes his sentence in 2018, Mr. Khadr will be in the news. There will, doubtless, be incidents in prison. There will be parole applications. There will be petitions for his release. Both the left and the right will demand that justice, as each side perceives justice, be done.

We shall see. Khadr might spend the next six years quietly. There will be controversy when his sentence is up. But by then -- perhaps -- Mr. Harper's time will be up.


Lorne said...

Owen, in addition to the fact that Omar Khadr was a child soldier and should have been treated as such, I find it reprehensible that the announcement of his return made yesterday by Vic Toews was designed to stoke anger and hatred as he reviewed the list of Khadr's 'crimes, using the word 'terrorist' several times.

To me, that kind of inflammatory language epitomizes the unforgivably divisive nature of the Harper regime; Canadians deserve much better from their government.

Owen Gray said...

Many years ago, I was called for jury duty, Lorne. I showed up on the appointed day. And when I stood up in court to announce that I was present, I was immediately rejected.

When I returned to school, I was told that teachers rarely found themselves on juries, because it was usually assumed that we have a "punishment mentality."

I didn't think that was true. But every time Vic Toews opens his mouth, I am reminded of what the phrase means.

Beijing York said...

Hearing Toew's poisonous statements makes my blood boil. Omar Khadr has suffered one travesty after another is his short life. The fact that Mr. Crime and Punishment minister chose to put him in a maximum security penitentiary is so telling. Of course he needed the rhetoric to back up that choice. (And you must know that in the backrooms of the Harper Regime, they are salivating for an opportunity to bring back the death penalty.)

Owen Gray said...

I don't doubt that a significant number of these folks would favour the death penalty, Beijing.

It's the most absolute sentence there is.