Obama wants Canada to ask for Khadr back - Macleans.ca

Obama wants Canada to ask for Khadr back

Administration insiders don’t want to prosecute him


Officials in President Barack Obama’s administration with backgrounds as human rights advocates are reportedly behind a quiet move to persuade Canada to take back Omar Khadr. But Prime Minister Stephen Harper has often said Canada will not seek Khadr’s return, since the Canadian citizen faces serious charges in the U.S. The case is problematic largely because Khadr was just 15-years-old when he allegedly threw a hand grenade that killed an American soldier, Sgt. Chris Speer, in a battle in Afghanistan in 2002. Khadr was to have been tried before a military commission, an alternative to regular court set up under former president George W. Bush. The Obama administration has named Khadr as one of just five prisoners at the notorious Guantanamo detention centre whose cases would stay before the controversial commissions. But the fact that he was only 15 when he allegedly committed war crimes makes his case particularly uncomfortable for some of Obama’s top advisers.

Ottawa Citizen

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Obama wants Canada to ask for Khadr back

  1. Joe Biden already has him packed up in his van and is just waiting on orders to drop hin off, halfway across the Peace Bridge

  2. I think anyone with half a clue has known this was the case for some time. Leaving the White House to deal with our problem is not winning us any gratitude in Washington.

    • Unlike frenchie101, Andrew, it looks like someone has some humanitarian impulses and is made nervous about (further) torture of child soldiers.

      It is not only 'the right thing' to do – it is politically advantageous.

    • I'm infavour of repatriating Khadr, but its a little disingenous to say he's "our problem." The U.S captured him, imprisoned him, chared him, and continue to hold him. They could make him completely our problem by dropping the charges and releasing him from Gitmo – but they can't do that either. The problem is of their making; Canada has just not been helpful in getting them out it, because basically, no one wants this guy.

    • exactly, who didn't see this coming?

  3. Leave him with the Americans, he's their problem.

  4. Perhaps Iggy or and Jack could pick him up.Wile they are at it, they can keep him! literally

  5. He was not a child, people of that age are inducted into the military all the time. He was trained from a very young age by his father to be a successful terrorist. He was there as a soldier. He will not come back as an innocent youth.

  6. Obama under his breath concerning Harper, " God this guy is thick"

  7. The US should drop the charges. They captured him and charged him. If they no longer have a case or dont want to make the case then drop the charges or cut a plea with him.

    The other prisoners there have all had a similar thing happen, usually a plea that admits guilt, some prison time that is then served at home. This was always an option, it still is. IF the Canadian government takes Khadr off Obama's hands then I sure hope there is some favour that comes our way. Obama can end it tomorrow by dropping the charges, but he doesnt want to pay the political price. This isnt our problem….yet.

    • What exactly should he plead guilty to, assuming he believes he didn't kill the medic? Has Khadr broken some other international laws? How bout some Canadian ones, that at least would be more relevant. If he pleads not guilty to killing the medic, what else is left, as far as the law goes? Honest question, i'm not particularly familiar with international law.

      • I wasnt saying he should if he isnt guilty. I am just pointing out that other detainees have pled guilty and then been shipped home to serve time. Some have jsut been shipped home when the US dropped charges.

        The US needs to decide what to do with him, not us. They want to drop the charges, fine he can come home. They want to prosecute, fine, if he is found guilty then he can come home and serve time, if not guilty then he can come home. This has nothing to do with us in the strict sense. As I said, if they dont want to prosecute then drop the charges and let him go, if they want us to aks, then I sure hope we are getting something for the favour.

  8. Why is it we Albertans search the foulest of dung heaps for our politicians…how is it we are so successful in the search??

  9. the kid is a Canadian and he has not been convicted of anything….what happened to our values here?

  10. OBAMA: I'd love to hand you this hot potato, but not until you ask me to.
    HARPER: Nunh-uh, pal. I'll take him if I have to, but I'm not gonna ask for him.
    OBAMA: C'mon, Steve, just give me a reason, and he's yours.
    HARPER: Read my lips: I. Don't. Want. Him.
    OBAMA: You know I can't just hand him over.
    HARPER: Great! Keep him then. Laureen's on Two, gotta go!

    Wow. The USA is now in the position of a grade nine girl desperate for her crush to ask her for a date, but too timid to just take the initiative, go over to him and ask him out instead. Welcome to the sophisticated universe of international diplomacy.

  11. See, what the Obamans need to understand is that the Harperites would gladly hang Khadr themselves from the tallest tree but the death penalty is illegal in Canada.

    So the Harperites are hoping that the Americans will do the dirty deed for them.

    There is also the troublesome fact that Khadr would likely be acquitted in Canada and would probably become a multi-millionaire from the lawsuit against this government that he will most likely win.

    This is what happens when we elect a bunch of amateurs to power. Especially when the amateurs in question are Reformers who don't believe in the rule of law.

  12. The party in power today in Canada is not the Conservative party, but CRAP. And that is exactly what Canadians are getting from the decisions being made by Mr. Harper. Isn't it time to flush the toilet and send the CRAP down the drain? The stench is becoming unbearable.