Thursday, July 06, 2017

Get Over It

Once again, the case of  Omar Khadr is causing a firestorm. The Conservatives are up in arms. But Jamie Carroll reviews the facts of the case:

Notwithstanding his sins — or the sins of his family — Omar Khadr was a 15-year-old boy with Canadian citizenship when he was captured by U.S. troops following a firefight at a suspected al Qaida compound in Afghanistan in 2002 that resulted in the death of American army medic Sgt. Christopher Speer. His country didn’t give a rat’s ass about whether he lived or died for more than a decade.

Brought from Mississauga to the tribal regions of the Afghanistan/Pakistan border by his jihadist father when he was 14, Omar Khadr was taken from the scene of that firefight unconscious and very seriously wounded. When medics discovered him under the rubble left behind by A-10 Warthogs and other heavy ordinance, he repeatedly begged them to kill him. He was given initial medical treatment at Bagram AFB by United States military personnel. The extent and quality of that (and subsequent) treatment has never been clear.

For the next ten years — from the age of 16 to 26 – Omar Khadr was a prisoner of the United States government in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Housed with adult prisoners, he was subjected to ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ for months on end (following the death of another inmate, Khadr’s principle interrogator, Joshua Claus, was convicted of maltreatment and assault). Khadr eventually confessed to his captors.

During those same ten years, the Canadian government did almost nothing to secure Khadr’s removal to a non-military jurisdiction in the U.S., or to repatriate him home for trial in Canada. Oh, the usual paperwork was filled and letters sent, and a series of ministers (and prime ministers) expressed concern before the cameras when asked from time to time about “that Canadian kid in Gitmo.” But that was it.

The Supreme Court has decreed that Khadr's fundamental rights were violated and has directed the government to initiate a remedy.  There is a price to be paid when justice is delayed. You can bet that almost no one wanted to pay that price. But you can also bet that price comes with good legal advice.

The money should be paid -- and we should get over it.

Image: Awareness Film Night


Lorne said...

I was disappointed to see Trudeau end his little press conference yesterday when someone asked him about the settlement, Owen. It would appear that he is reluctant to do anything that might affront the Orange Ogre, soon to be joining him at the G20 Summit.

Anonymous said...

Sad to see Carroll repeat the zombie lie that Spears was a medic. For the millionth time, Spears had some medic training but WAS NOT acting as a medic on the day he was killed. He was on a combat mission, and was not visibly identifiable as a medic as required to claim medic status. In fact, he was dressed as an Afghan civilian, which raises the question of whether he was engaged in the prohibited act of perfidity.


Owen Gray said...

So far, Lorne, only Angela Merkel has had the courage to confront Trump.

Owen Gray said...

This has been about revenge from the beginning, Cap. The Americans are not given to seeing anything from anyone else's perspective.

Toby said...

The nasties are sure coming out from under their rocks over this one. Sheer, Harper, Kenny, The Canadian Taxpayers Federation, etc. They all know the Court made a decision but they are politicking to their narrow minded audience, stirring up the hatred while the sun shines.

Owen Gray said...

It's interesting that the law and order candidates have such undisguised contempt for the courts, Toby.