10 years for Omar Khadr

by Aaron Wherry

Liberal Senator Romeo Dallaire releases a statement on the tenth anniversary of Omar Khadr’s capture in Afghanistan.

Today marks the 10th anniversary of Omar Khadr’s capture—a Canadian citizen and former child soldier. During his decade at Bagram and Guantánamo Bay, Mr. Khadr’s rights have been consistently violated. He has been denied the right to due process and a fair trial, the right to protection from torture and the rights afforded to him under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

“After years of inertia, Canada finally agreed to Mr. Khadr’s return in 2010, as long as he served one additional year in Guantánamo. That year has passed, and yet the transfer request continues to gather dust on Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews’ desk, awaiting his signature.

Jennifer Turner of the American Civil Liberties Union reviews Mr. Khadr’s case. The UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict calls for him to be repatriated.

The Canadian Press looks at some of the psychiatric assessments that are now being sought here and here.




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10 years for Omar Khadr

  1. When the history of this cringe-inducing government is written, the Khadr situation will certainly be in the top ten clusterfucks among a very crowded field. In a civilized country, Vic Toews would be shunned like a leper by his own party. In this country, under this regime, he is allowed to disgrace and debauch every principle that we profess to hold. And he does it with the steadfast support of the Prime Minister and all of his colleagues. This is corruption that goes beyond the merely illegal, it is moral rot, it is corruption that is entrenched and embraced and endemic.

    Beyond shameful. Sickening.

    • Where do I find the outrage switch on my emotion amplifier?

      • They apparently removed it to make room for that over-sized blind loyalty module.

    • It certainly deserves to be recalled in the manner you describe, but I have a fear it will be just another incident thrown down a 1984-like memore hole with the blessing of Harper & Co.

  2. He’s NOT a child soldier.
    CANADIANS can join the armed forces at 16. It was less than 2 months to his 16th birthday when he murdered that MEDIC.
    He would have killed Canadians if they had been there. How can we have people in our country that are willing to harm true citizens. I don’t care where he was born, his parents should have been stripped of their citizenship and him too by default. His family is the epitome of our immgiration failures.
    I don’t feel sorry for him at all.
    And no I’m not a conservative and I am not against immigration. I’m just sick of the demented legacy of multiculturalism and the naive belief that we should take anybody that shows up. Canada needs to start having SOME freaking standards.

    • You’re sort of right. It’s been a long time since he was a child soldier. But that’s barely what this post is about, actually. Other things it’s not really about: Omar Khadr’s family, your misunderstanding of Canadian immigration policy, your misunderstanding of multiculturalism.
      So – try and focus, okay?

    • Omar Khadr is just as much a Canadian as Paul Bernardo. How come you ignorant people never deny Bernardo’s citizenship? The debate is not about what Omar Khadr did, the debate is about whether or not this government can carry a stick 300 yards without putting out an eye. By all of the evidence, they can not.

      It’s one thing for Vic Toews to be a dishonourable, pathological liar in his personal life, as he is. It’s quite another for Vic Toews to be a dishonourable pathological liar in the name of my country. This country used to stand for something, now it lies down for anything.

      • Lets recognize him and give him the same sentence as Barnardo

        • He’s been sentenced already (by a court of questionable legality) and his sentence was accepted by the Canadian government when it signed off on his plea bargain. If Canadian prosecutors want to bring new charges against him, so be it. Let him face his accusers in a Canadian court with the same legal protections as we all enjoy.

    • In any instrument ever negotiated on the topic of child soldiers, the definition would include Omar Khadr. All these angry people disputing it because of this or that . . . well, I’d dismiss you as a bunch of blowhards, but you’re more insidious than that, because in any place where child soldiers are a problem, there are people using reasons like yours to deny culpability.

  3. Canadian by convienience you mean? They get a card and all of a sudden they are exempt from all crimes just because they are “Canadian?” Typical Dippers N’ Grit mentality. He and his father both trained under BinLaden to KILL westerners and he DID! ..He threw a live hand grenade and killed a young medic there to help. Then they want to run home to Canada to be protected?.his father has a long history of funding terrorists camps as well. I’m sick of bleeding hearts saying they are “Canadians” and are NOT GUILTY of anything and should be set free, awarded millions and put in the Santa Claus Parade. Need I even need to get into all the other untold innocent people murdered by the likes of Khadr? Why should we pay for his upkeep? He should be left to rot in a cage in the Cuban sun where he belongs. Thank God for Harper trying to restore the damage caused by years of Liberal regime, corruptiion, boondoggles and theft. and the weak law giving bleeding hearts of them and the NDP. And people want to give them the keys to the country? God help us all, and kiss Canada goodbye forever!

  4. Leave him in Guantanamo and send igarvin there too. The two traitors should be happy together. Both are Canadians of convenience.

    • I’m 7th-generation, baby, and more dedicated to the principles of this country than you can even imagine. Hell, I even support your right to vote, which might be charitable to a fault.

      • You can be a 7th-generation baby and still be misguided enough about the principles of a country, that has willingly accepted people from around the globe on the simple provision that they do no harm to this country, to think that it is charitable of you to allow a fellow good citizen to vote while at the same time encouraging the return of someone who traveled to Afghanistan to do war against Canadians.

        • Dude, Omar Khadr was born in this country. He’s a native-born Canadian just as you are (I presume) and just as I am. He’s not a ‘conditional’ Canadian, an immigrant or a refugee. He’s a Canadian, full stop. Our government has a duty to protect his rights regardless of what crimes he has been accused of, and our government has failed in that duty.

          It’s not about Omar Khadr, it’s about a government that flatly refuses to do it’s duty.

  5. I’m troubled by a number of things regarding this situation. First and foremost, most of us seem to have forgotten that the “murder” he has been convicted of committing happened when the location he was inhabiting came under attack by US military forces. I’ve never quite understood the argument that makes what might otherwise be considered a self defense action “murder”. If a civilian kills a soldier and it’s “murder”, what do we then call a soldier killing a civilian? Have we forgotten that the soldiers in question were arguably “invaders” – that makes them the aggressors! I’m not in any way defending the terrorists and their friends, I’m just trying to point out that I don’t think you can logically call someone defending themselves against a foreign invader a “murderer”.

    • Your argument is certainly compelling except for one small detail. It was a group of medics on the field, not combat soldiers when Mr. Khadr launched his so-called defensive action. Those medics were not armed. Those medics weren’t attacking anyone but rather offering medical aide to the wounded. It is univerally understood that medics in a war are given protection from all sides because they offer medical aide to both sides in a conflict and they NEVER inflict injury on anyone. The role of medical providers in a war is clear….you do not fire on them. They are also easily identified by the clothing they wear.

      • I understand your point, however I’m not at all certain that your version of the incident is correct. Initially I too believed the version that you put forth, but further reading seems to suggest that the situation wasn’t quite so clear cut, and the fire-fight might not have been over when the “murder” occurred. In any event, given that we are often quick to use “fog-of-war” as an explanation for unfortunate events that involve “our” forces, why are we unable to accept that our opponents might sometime be dealing with the same “affliction”? Especially when the enemy is 15 years old and not a highly trained soldier. By the way, are you absolutely certain that the US Medics are not armed? I recall seeing pictures of US Medics in the field and I’m certain many of them were wearing side-arms.

        • It seems you are right oldfart, medics and army doctors are often armed with a side and not only the US ones because although the Geneva Convention protects them from being fired upon people like Mr. Khadr often don’t respect the rules of the Geneva Convention and fire upon them anyway. The rules for medics and army doctors are clear however….they are only allowed to use their firearms for self-defence. It seems that some enemy combatants actually come upon doctors and medics treating wounded in the field and murder them while they are trying to save lives. They are trained to use their side arms to protect their own lives and those of the wounded. It is ridiculous to believe people who have taken an oath to save lives are interested in being aggressors. Further, those medics who were i the field that day would have had no interest in firing on anyone. Certainly a sidearm is ineffective against grenades. The medics and physicians do all wear a Geneva Convention white band with a red cross on it. They are clearly identified as healtchare providers.
          As for your suggestion that my understanding of the events is incorrect, I would highly doubt that the US would send in their medics while there was an active fire-fight still raging. They would never have knowingly put their medics in harms way.
          Further, your suggestion that Mr. Khadr acted appropriately because the US was an invading nation in Afganistan is beyond disengenous given that Mr. Khadr was a Canadian citizen who was himself a “visitor” to the country. Why should he feel compelled to take up arms against the US, not to mention troops from his own home country, Canada, which had also invaded Afghanistan.

    • You seem to forget that Bin Laden who founded al Qaeda with multinational mostly Arab mujahideens most of whom had fought the Soviet, had declared war or global jihad against the US and the West (Canada specifically mentioned). Afghanistan under Taliban rule refused to hand over Bin Laden. What you like to call “invasion” was legal under the international law. What was Canadian Khadr’s doing there? Taking up arms against our allies, terror financing and training. Omar took part in it independently by that time as he was no longer under his father’s direct supervision. He had chances to surrender in that compound under heaving shelling by the US forces, but choose to wait out and ambush the US medic.

  6. Maybe we don’t want him back……

    • We don’t want him back, that much is clear, but we have an obligation. Mature people and mature governments honour their commitments. I’m shocked at how shallow Conservative partisans are when they decry the lack of integrity and accountability of previous governments. What about this government, people?

      Where is the integrity in letting a sexual predator, deadbeat like Vic Toews smear the good name of Canada by welching on a deal with our main ally? This isn’t just his own kids he is stiffing on child support, he is stiffing all of us and poisoning the most important national relationship we have. And why? So that he can pander to the most pig-ignorant morons in the CPC base? God, how cheaply you people sell out your supposed values.

  7. Romeo Dallire is a phony . He suffered from Post traumatic stress while his young foot soldiers did his fighting. .His heroism and bravery has been blown out of all proportions. You would swear this was the only soldier who survived desparate times.Omar never was and never will qualify as a foot soldier and Dallire never was a great General.

  8. Romeo Dallaire, a General for the failed UN mission in Rwanda, as if he should be lauded for mere confession of UN corruption and incompetence which he was part of, expression of his mental anguish, has made a career out of his trauma. He is unfit to comment on this or any other issue of significance.

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