What did Ottawa buy Omar Khadr? - Macleans.ca

What did Ottawa buy Omar Khadr?

The feds have mailed Khadr $2,100 worth of ‘comfort items’



During his eight years in a Guantánamo Bay jail cell, Omar Khadr hasn’t received a whole lot of help from his Canadian government. When he was 16, CSIS agents made him cry. When he was 17, a visiting bureaucrat tried to bribe him with chocolate bars. And last year, when a judge ordered the Prime Minister to demand his release, the feds did the opposite: they appealed the ruling, and convinced the Supreme Court that Khadr’s fate should be left in America’s hands.

But in all fairness, Ottawa hasn’t completely abandoned the only Western citizen still locked inside the notorious Gitmo prison. While the Justice Department has spent millions of taxpayer dollars fighting Khadr’s lawyers at every turn, the Foreign Affairs Department has run up its own tab—more than $2,100—buying various “comfort items” for the accused terrorist, who was famously captured on a battlefield in Afghanistan at the age of 15 and charged with murdering a U.S. soldier. According to internal government documents obtained by Maclean’s under the Access to Information Act, the “essential” purchases included a shipment of moisturizer.

What else have the feds bought for Omar Khadr? Those details are blacked out—for privacy reasons. “It is information that is considered personal,” says Monique McCulloch, the Access to Information director at Foreign Affairs. “They could be very basic everyday items, but I’m not going to give any more detail.”

At least one thing is clear: not every item made it to Khadr’s cell. In October 2007, Nancy Collins, a case management officer, spent $113.94 preparing a “care package” for the Toronto native. She photographed the contents, emailed them to U.S. officials for approval, and shipped the parcel with a tracking number. For the next four months, it was lost in transit. When the box finally arrived in Cuba in February, “the contents were covered in green mould, stank up the [staff judge advocate] office, and had to be tossed.”

Filed under:

What did Ottawa buy Omar Khadr?

  1. why does Canada politicians feel the need to get their name in the papers or t.v defending people who turned their back on Canada? Chose to fight Or commit terrorist acts ,collect for terrorists ,then say it isn"t Canadian to not help them ? lets see bamk statements showing how much ,they personally care .they care only if it makes the terrorist community happy

  2. the fact that he is a "western citizen" has nothing to do with his real identity. It is just another example of this country's insane immigration system which is looking more and more every day like one big exercise in national suicide but a least it seems the goverment knows that and thats why there doing everything they can to make sure this "canadian" never see's "home" agian.

  3. Dear Ken,
    Please Google search the term "Child Soldier." After your do, you will find many excellent resources available to help explain why so many Canadians think Omar Khadr has been, and is being, treated unfairly.

    • Omar Kahdr was 15 years old when his parents bought him a ticket to Pakistan in order for him to train as a terrorist at a well known terrorist training camp. He was taped on video assembling a car bomb and threw a grenade at a soldier, killing him. In wars of the past he would have been shot on the spot. Not today; he's kept in Cuban jail on the public's dime. All this time and he has never cooperated with the Canadian or American governments in apprehending the leaders of the terror group he attended. Faisal Khalid deserves more respect than this scum.

      • He was shot on the spot, more than once. He just didn't die.

        • too bad

          • Your reaction is shocking. Are you feeling the same for drone missile pilots who kill entire families from their center in Virginia or Carolina(?). Are they murderers?

        • You might want to finish the rest of that story. It might hinder whatever point you're trying to make, however.

  4. Where do people who spread hatred toward Khadr get their invariably erroneous information? Do they make it up themselves? Are they part of some organized campagn supplied with "talking points"? Just curious.

    For those who would like some actual information about the case, Wikipedia is good. There are thousands of trial documents at the DoD web site which are very informative. Michelle Sheppard's book, Guantanmo's Child, is well researched and balanced, for those who read books.

  5. The government has also spent a fortune fighting in the courts to keep him out Canada, and who knows how much more they will spend fighting a civil law suit, and quite possibly losing, given the Supreme Court declaration that they are a party to a violation of his rights.

    The Supreme Court told them to find a remedy. Their "remedy" was to send a note asking that Canadian evidence not be used, and they announced publically that they didn't care. I don't think many courts would consider that much of a "remedy".

    But, I guess all the people who hate him because of his family, because they raised him mostly in a war zone and because his father set him up to fight in a war for two months the summer he was 15, think they're getting their money's worth.

  6. This write up was such a waste of time. You’re writing abot a $2k expense over an 8 year span??? Our ministers spend that much on a good lunch for crying out loud. But I will give you points for discovering that 113 of that cash turned to green mold. Will the next writeup be a request for a governmental inquiry to see what went wrong?
    Oh and thanks for appealing to my sense of outrage by indicating this was all spent on an accused terrorist. Gee I had no clue our govt supports terrorism.
    Please try harder next time.

  7. Everything and anything regarding war in present day Canadian society is under scrutiny with most of it sympathetic to our enemies. Our soldiers are even on trial for treating them badly. Why but expensive airport body scanners? So we don't offend our enemies by actually asking them hard pointed questions. It's no wonder the situation in Afghanistan is getting nowhere. The Taliban and terrorists know we are soft and pudgy and…confused. The only thing they understand and have respect for is the sword. Khadr killed a medic, a man dedicated to saving lives on both sides. His family must be shaking their heads. Could we ever withstand a larger conflict such as WW II? If our backs were against the wall could we actually stand to hear about the enemy being treated badly, nevermind being killed, by our troops?
    Societies the world over are under cultural attack by Islam. Indonesia and Malaysia have recently gone Sharia hard core. Have Muslims ever come out as a group and denounced the extremists in their midst? NO. This speaks volumes.

    • no proof that the 15-year-old child soldier was the one who threw that grenade. plenty of evidence that he didn't. and actually, plenty of Muslim groups have denounced extremism and violence. As an example, have Christians ever come out as one group to denounce pedophilia or instigating the suicides of young gay people? There's plenty of blame to go around, if you are so inclined. If you aren't part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

  8. It's my understanding from reading Wikipedia and its excellently sourced materials that there's compelling evidence that Khadr did not in fact kill the medic. Regardless, he is legally considered a child soldier, is a CND citizen and should be repatriated.

    I predict the CND govn't will be paying out a large settlement to this man at some point, all because they refused to do the "right" thing, legally and ethically.

  9. What this discussion is really about is Canada is a work in progress. Harper is the last defender
    of protestant christian ideology that euro Canadians have a moral ascendancy and greater value
    than other Canadians. Also Canada is integrated into the western super industry of military arms and
    security apparatus technology. this industry needs an enemy notably the islamic world because
    the financial well being of the west is insured by jewish bankers.-thus muslim life must be devalued
    and dehumanized –torture..CIA rendition…CIA drones killing thousands of innocent pakis and afghans
    the question should be asked if Khadr was a KKK skinhead who killed someone who his parents raised him to believe are animals would he still be tried as an adult or an enemy combatant.

    • well, you have a point or two. Yer stereotyping words, though…

  10. The whole Khadr family should be stripped of their Canadian Citizenship and returned to Afghanistan or wherever they originated. There is no place in Canada for citizens who commit TREASON.
    They like the milk and honey such as welfare and medical care for the Khadr who is in a wheelchair who was paralyzed while committing treason against Canada and its Allies but they don't like our way of life.

  11. Omar Khadr is just as bad as any of the other murderers we destroy in the media, and I think he truly deserves to die as much as the person he killed. Its an absolute atrocity that people are defending him. His age is almost irrelevant. 15 years old is well old enough to make your own decisions, especially in a country or area like that. If someone that age commits a crime of that magnitude, they are clearly able to understand the ramifications of their actions, and he has never once displayed any sign of remorse or displeasure at what he did.

    • Besides the fact that It's far from proven that he did in fact throw that grenade, child soldiers are legally internationally recognized, so no, his age is not irrelevant.

  12. We should not afford him special protection, because one of the basic principals of our justice system and indeed social staples is that people are all equal, regardless of ethnicity, culture or beliefs. There are some deserved exemptions form this, under the beleife that people who cannot understand the consequences of their actions, or who did so involuntarily should be freed, or at least held to a lesser degree of punishment. However, Omar Khadr was well old enough to appreciate the consequences of throwing a grenade at a soldier.

    • That's probably got a lot to do with the fact that medical reports and accounts from the American soldiers at the scene don't add up. In all likelihood, Khadr never threw a grenade and was shot in the back.

  13. He is just as much an enemy of the ideals we hold dear as the criminals who fester on our society, in fact, more so. We cannot be blind to the tructh that this person is not a true Canadian citizen, and if we were to blindly let him free, like some of the morons who defend him beleive we should, then one day he would wind up going to another warzone for a chance to murder another valued member of society. We would then be partially responsible for the death of someone who actually is a good guy, while we fought our hardest to afford all the rights and protections we could think of to a piece of crap terrorist who was ready to place himself in mortal danger to destroy the life of a medic, adn his family who loved him.

  14. I have heard nothing about this man who dedicated his life to healing and stopping extremists, a trtue hero, while this murderer Omar Khadr is being treated like a hero in his country, and indeed in ours as well. We defend an enemy who desires our destruction, on the grounds that his civil rights are being violated. First of all, there is no real evidence to support this, as a judge has actualy said that the allegations of torture and mistreatment were totally unfounded. And even if his civil rights were being violated, waht about the very basic right of the hero who died, whom we seem so ready to dismiss as a statistic. What about his life to right, is this trumped by the right of a terrorist to be treated with gloved hands?I am a 17(as of Aug 4) year old boy living in Ottawa, and I am depressed by the way we treat a criminal. If I were to commit such a crime, even two years ago, I would deserve to die, just like Omar Khadr.