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Omar Khadr is leaving Guantanamo Bay

Canadian terror suspect will stand trial on American soil


 

Omar Khadr is one step closer to coming home—though not the step his lawyers were hoping for. At a news conference this morning, the White House announced that the 23-year-old Toronto native will be transferred to an American jail cell, along with nine other high-profile inmates currently locked away at the U.S. prison camp. Exactly when he will be moved is unclear, but the announcement means Khadr’s seven-year stint at the world’s most infamous prison is about to end. His freedom, though, is still far off. Accused of throwing a grenade that killed a U.S. army medic on the battlefields of Afghanistan, Khadr has been ordered to stand trial for war crimes in front of a military commission. A date for the trial has not yet been set. Khadr was just 15 years old when he was shot and captured by U.S. troops in July 2002, and his lawyers have spent years arguing he was a child soldier at the time, and therefore not responsible for his actions. Newly-released photographs also suggest the teenager was badly wounded and buried in rubble when he is alleged to have tossed the fatal grenade—raising doubts about his guilt. Barry Coburn, one of Khadr’s lawyers, says he is “shocked” that Barack Obama remains committed to prosecution. “We thought that the incoming Obama administration signaled a new day with respect to these cases—a new respect for civil liberties, an abhorrence of torture, a respect for the time-honoured legal procedures and protections that are mandated by the constitution and enforced by the federal courts.” The announcement comes on the same day the Supreme Court of Canada is hearing arguments about whether Prime Minister Stephen Harper should be ordered to ask the U.S. to repatriate Khadr to Canada.

CBC News

Maclean’s


 
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Omar Khadr is leaving Guantanamo Bay

  1. I wonder what will be quicker the SOPC decision for the PM or the American firing squad!

  2. Sorry, by being committed to prosecute, Barack Obama is against civil liberties? Trying people that are accused of crimes is the core of any civil libertarian position.

  3. No way Obama is going to turn him over now…even if the Supreme Court orders Harper to request a "get out of jail free" card.

    Let Omar have his day in court…in the US.

    • The dangerous precedent set here is that Canada is taking a contrary position on the UN's Convention on Child Soldiers, to which Canada is a signatory. You can't argue both ways (that Khadr is A- a child soldier by definition but B- guilty of allegedly killing a US soldier in a combat zone). Harper (and Martin before him) has ignored the fact that this is a Canadian citizen who was under the age of legal consent (for military service) and should have been repatriated and rehabilitated here.

      • Who's arguing that Khadr is indeed a "child soldier?"

        Not me.

        Just because he was 15 doesn't automatically make him a child soldier anymore than it does a Toronto gang banger caught in a shoot out with police.

  4. Just because he was 15 doesn't automatically make him a child soldier…

    Of course not. Being a soldier while in the process of being a child is totally different from being a child soldier.

    In World War Two, Canada captured hundreds of hardened, vicious teenaged thugs of the Hitlerjugend battalion of the Waffen SS Division–Germany's most feared and murderous legion–whilst fighting its way through North-West Europe. These boys were interned, humanely, as POW's and then released at the war's end. Funny how a kid who may have killed one American is being dragged to a crucifixion while hordes of kids who definitely killed dozens of Canadians were accorded the basic rights that civilised nations grant to their foes.

    I wonder what has changed. Is it that Canada has lost its sense of battlefield honour, or is it that we now believe that the life of one American is worth more than the lives of hundreds of Canadians?

    Perhaps it's both…

    • There is a serious distinction in that Word War II war ended.

      As well that it is not a dishonour to value the life of a foreigner more than of a countryman and to treat their loss at the hands of one of our own with more deference than if it was our own loss.

      However, I still mainly agree with you. I think, though, that part of the loss of battlefied honour is due to the new attitude of war as a crime which is regrettable in a sense but doesn't reflect so badly on us.

  5. The entire Kahr family were Canadians of convenience. Not only the father but Omar's siblings are deeply rooted in Al Quaeda, to this day.
    Let the Americans deal with him — if any other "Canadian" killed an American, they are still subject to American law. So be it. He has never expressed once ounce of remorse for the death of the American medic. If you want him back in Canada, hope he is your new neighbour.

  6. Maybe he'll be back in Canada in time for the Liberals to nominate him to run for MP in a Toronto riding.

    • *yawn*

      Your wit reeks of dead talking points.

      • Ok, I'm a factitious instigator, but it actually won't surprise me if there is a Liberal MP waiting at the airport for a photo-op when Khadr does eventually make it back to Canada.

        • When he lands, what is he going to be charged with anyways?

          Charge a child soldier with a war crime for an act that occurred during combat that was not war by the prisoner of war Khadr who was unlawfully engaged in non-war war because the people he was fighting with were not uniformed solders and had not declared war, since such groups cannot legally declare war. The war non-war soldier non-soldier who was a child but not a child soldier will be charged with non-war war crime crimes in an open public or military court, neither of which have jurisdiction and definitions under the Geneva Conventions both will and will not be admissible while solder requirements will be placed on the non-war war combatant soldier non-soldier who was a child but not a child soldier.

          Justice will never be done in this case. For anyone. We are all going to lose in this debacle and sham and the longer it drags out the more embarrassing it becomes.

          Errr… I mean, I don't really care who greets him at the airport. The situation is a big grey blob of sucks.

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