Cotler on Khadr


The former attorney-general, law professor and international human rights lawyer (who lists Nelson Mandela among his clients) keeps up his condemnation of Canada’s treatment of Omar Khadr.

As I have written previously, when our government stands back while one Canadian’s rights are abused abroad, we all become at risk. For our prime minister to leave the decision on Khadr’s repatriation entirely at the whim of the U.S. government is a sorrowing abdication of responsibility — a responsibility that is owed to everyone with a Canadian passport.


Cotler on Khadr

  1. That’s funny, I seem to recall that a fellow named Irwin Cotler was the Attorney-General of Canada for a couple of years, about the same time that young Khadr started cooling his heels in the tiger cages of Guantanamo. Presumablty that Irwin Cotler could have done something to get the sixteen-year-old sent back to Canada, but didn’t.

    Of course, there might be two Irwin Cotlers, or a split personality (“my other identity was Attorney-General”), or maybe just an evil twin. In any case I think “international human rights lawyer” Irwin has some splainin’ to do.

    • I would hope that Cotler made this same arguement while AG! The circumstances may have changed, new evidence whatever. At least i hope that’s what it was.

    • I was thinking the same thing hc.

  2. While I fully agree that Canada has acted shamefully in how it has dealt with this Khadr situation, Cotler is an absolute hypocrite in making these statements, considering his own actions on the matter while he was in office.

    • “considering his own actions…” How do you know? Were you in cabinet at the time. Perhaps we shouldn’t judge without evidence. Admittedly it doesn’t look so good on the surface.

  3. Come on folks don’t be so hard on the guy he’s a lawyer who specializes in this area. I mean after all he can’t come out and say : as Attorney General I did nothing to help the guy but what can I say Chretien yelled at me and threatened to choke me if and when I bought the subject up. If he did all of his speaking engagements and travel vouchers for dozens of conferences would dry up faster than a Liberal fundraising drive.

    • He might’ve been a coward and is consequently a hypocrite but i have a feeling Cotler’s a cut above yr run of the mill lawer. Can’t tell without having been there.

    • Actually IC was A-G in Paul Martin’s gov’t Wayne.

      Normally I have a lot of time for the member for Mont-Royal, but on Khadr he’s being just plain silly. If he is going to criticise Harper’s actions (or lack of actions) on Khadr, he needs to explain what has changed since he was in a position to do something about it. Perhaps he had good reason not to have Khadr brought back to Canada in 2005. If so, he should explain that reason, and then explain what circumstances have changed. He could even offer a mea culpa (as Warren Almond did after he ordered Leonard Pelletier sent back to the US for trial). But, failing that, he’s being intellectually dishonest in attacking the Harper gov’t for taking the same approach that the Martin gov’t did when he was its chief legal advisor.

      I really expect more of IC.

      • Agreed. Personally i hope it wasn’t just crass politics, i too like Cotler.

      • dude the AG is not the PM, nor he is he every member of Cabinet. You, nor I, nor most people know what IC argued at that time.

        • Well then, if Martin’s position was such an affront to the “rule of law”, why didn’t he resign from cabinet?

      • Oops….Its Warren Allmand. I knew something looked wrong.

        BTW….I note that IC didn’t go so far as to offer young Khadr a place to live in his community. That would seem the next logical question to ask.

  4. We can argue about what they did or didnt do back then, but it seems futile. The only thing we can change is what they do today! Today it is apparent that the rule of law has been circumvented. That a responsible government would take responsibility of its citizen. Today we must take responsibility for the international laws that we have promised to protect.

    Yesterdays excuses are not a good reason for inaction today!

    • How convenient that this position tends to absolve Liberals from all blame, and fuel Wherry’s masturbatory Tory-bashing fixation.

      • No one’s absolved, read more slowly. And feel free, just remember it make yr palms hairy.

      • I absolve no one. Mistakes were made. Sad part is they are still being made today.