On Khadr's guilty plea - Macleans.ca

On Khadr’s guilty plea


To anyone tempted to imagine that Omar Khadr’s acceptance of a plea bargain somehow means everything the U.S. government has done to him, and the Canadian government’s refusal to intervene on his behalf, is just fine after all, I recommend a close reading of Dan Garnder’s column from today’s Ottawa Citizen.

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On Khadr’s guilty plea

  1. Agree.

  2. That the interrogation revealed the placement of roadside bombs,

    and thus saved the lives of innocents,

    appears not to be the slightest of interest to those condemning Kadre's treatment.

    To admit that interrogation resulted in saved lives would be cataclysmic to the anti-interrogation/leftists.

    It is so much easier to frame the issue (as much of the leftist media has) as the choice between being barbaric and interrogating, or "peaceful" and not interrogating.

    The notion that not interrogating, and hence willfully allowing innocents to die, is far, far more barbaric than the alternative is unthinkable,

    and so these facts are stricken from the public record.

    The price of the moral preening and self-righteous indignation at the notion of interrogation, is the death of innocents. A price politically correct crowd dare not speak about in polite company.

    • You're right, the upholding of principles is for damned lefties. Strip their citizenship and if they want to live under such principles as human rights, equality, rule of law… let them move somewhere where people are willing to defend such empty notions.

    • By "interrogate", you really mean torture, don't you? Why don't you just say so? I don't think anybody has a problem with just interrogating people.

      And remember that most of the prisoners who were detained and tortured by the Americans were released without charges (after several years). Are they just collateral damage, nothing for us to be concerned about?

    • What bombs? You mean the ones suggested by the US military torturers, I mean interrogators?

      • No, the ones Khadr is seen manufacturing on the videotape that was recovered at the scene.

        • If I'm not mistaken, those videos were videos of Khadr from months (if not YEARS) before he was captured. Are you seriously suggesting that once he regained consciousness and recovered from his wounds Khadr was able to give actionable intelligence on the location of bombs that he may have been videotaped putting together, say, 6 months earlier? I'm not convinced Khadr would have known where those bombs ended up 5 minutes after they stopped recording him, but I'm almost CERTAIN he'd have had no knowledge of their whereabouts when he was actually captured.

          I see no evidence that any lives were saved by the interrogation of Omar Khadr.

    • Chut (since you seem indifferent to the accepted spelling of Khadr's name, I don't care about yours), I expect you'll be silent on these boards the next time some middle eastern regime captures one of ours and subjects him/her to torture and a show trial. You'll have no grounds for moral outrage, without betraying your hypocrisy.

    • Righties are such a bunch of chicken hawks running around and squawking about a criminal element that kills how many people per year? 10? 15? 150? Christ, getting behind the wheel of my car is more life threatening that some punk ass terrorist. Grow a pair, will ya Chet? We are a nation of laws. This guy could have opened up on an elementary school with a machine gun- he is still owed a fair trial. As nasty and tasteless and vile as it seems, he is owed a fair trial. It's the very basis on which our country was founded.

      And no, as Shep Smith said on Fox, "we don't f**king torture!!"

    • Chet, I think you'd do your argument a favour if you defined 'interrogate'. As Lee_JD posted, I don't think anybody has a problem with interrogation. But, I think you would agree the manner in which he was interrogated would never be allowed in Canada. SO… should we begin using Gitmo interrogation techniques here in Canada to 'save lives'?

      • First of all, he wasn't in Canada.

        One of the drawbacks of deciding to put up stakes in an Afghanistan terrorist training camp where cutting off infidel heads is acceptable stuff.

        But more importantly, if the debate is framed, as it properly should be, as to what lengths our society is prepared to go to extract information that we know (or have reason to believe) will save innocent life it becomes much more grey than "interrogation is barbarous".

        Because the act of NOT interrogating involves a choice of likely letting innocents die, rather than not putting the detainee through discomfort or anquish.

        Put another way, in order to make sure we don't make a detainee unduly stressed or anquished (via interrogation) someone innocent (perhaps many children seeking to take candy from soldiers as has been done), will die.

        It seems to me, that choosing to let the innocents die is far more barbaric.

        • So… torture is ok, then. Ends justify means. Good to know.

          • So knowingly letting innocents get killed, in order to maximize the comfort/minimize the discomfort of an avowed terrorist is OK.

            Good to know.

          • So would threatening to hurt a terrorist (with no real intention of hurting him), would you let a child get killed to avoid that?

            How about shaming a terrorist? Let him believe he is attracted to an "infidel" woman? Would you avoid that, and let an innocent child get blown up?

            Or do you choose to do nothing…to maximize the avowed terrorsts feelings of comfort and security, with the price that a group of children on a roadside gets blown up?

            When does the life of a child win out over the comfort of a terrorist?

          • Can you produce any substantiated evidence that subjecting captives to torture extracts credible information (thereby saving the life of this hypothetical child you've conveniently introduced into the scenario)? Critics of the practice argue compellingly that knowledge or belief in the occurrence of such practices stiffens jihadist resolve and enables their recruiters.

            You are advocating practices that evoke methods used by the Inquisition and Salem witch hunters and hold the same risks (i.e., state-sanctioned persecution of innocents). How enlightened.

          • The kid was 15. He should have been sent home and rehabilitated. It was our responsibility. We failed. Period.

          • I don't think I (we) have enough facts on the case to either agree or disagree on repatriation for rehabilitation as an outcome, but how's that relevant to my comment?

          • There's an interesting point. So, if Little Khadr comes home to Canada and organizes an attack on, say, a synagogue, perhaps you won't mind going to jail with him, as a gesture of solidarity with the "victim" that everyone paints him to be. Or perhaps if he blows up your home, you won't be angry, because he was mistreated at Gitmo?

          • Since we're being hypothetical today, would not our brutal treatment of prisoners thereby encourage more extremism and cause more children's deaths in the long run?

          • Number of children killed on roads last year in Ontario (2009)- 77

            Number of children killed by terrorists in Canada since confederation (1867)- 9

        • Then the the enemy's use of torture in retaliation is OK too? Military critics of torture as a means of extracting information are concerned that such practices endanger our own troops if/when they fall into captivity.

          Because, count on it, if anyone is ready to apply the "principle" of an eye for an eye, it will be extreme fundamentalists, given the opportunity and justification. And our use of torture gives them both.

          • Except you and your kind are doing that by equating, shaming, yelling or other pressure techniques,

            with cutting off heads, pouring acid into eyes and murdering family members before captors' eyes, which is what they consider "torture".

            They then go to the West's useful idiots and say "see, see, the West does it too."

            By equating our interrogation, with their real torture, the left is essentially saying we have to leave terrorst captors alone.

            Further, they cut off heads on camera. There is no quid pro quo with terrorists. They don't operate under the Geneva conventions. To think if we should be 'nicer" to them that they'll stop being radical jihadists is folly.

          • I can't speak for "my kind", but I'm not equating anything with"cutting off heads, [etc]". I'm referring to the International Convention Against Torture. There is legitimate concern that the convention was violated in Khadr's interrogation.

            Or is that not an acceptable standard of conduct in interrogation for you?

  3. Cons….after this disgraceful behavior…are pretending they don't know what a 'plea bargain' is.

    Khadr is no more guilty of anything now, than he was before he agreed to this deal.

    Others will note he even pleaded guilty to things he wasn't charged with in an effort to get out of that hell-hole.

    We can never again condemn China or Iran for human-rights abuses after going along with the corrupt kangaroo courts and 'justice' of the US all these years.

    We have no moral leg left to stand on.

    • So the video of him making bombs in the camp,

      and the bombs that were dug up on the road where he said thay would be,

      that he was captured in a terrorist training camp designed to train to kill infidels,

      All to be ignored?

      Interesting sense of "justice" you have there. No doubt any terrorist out there would love for you to be on their military tribunal.

      • Sources? And while you're at it

        • Nah, why bother, chet doesn't understand basic justice and decency applies to everyone.

        • So you haven't read the reports that have come out then?

          And aside from the details in the reports,

          where did you think Kadre was captured from, a Toronto schoolyard?

          You honestly didn't know that he was taken in a terrorist training camp? Or is that such an inconsequential fact for you in your desire to assume some grand conspiracy that even though he walked like a duck, talked like a duct, vowed to the world he was a duck, and was in a duck training camp for ducks, he most certainly could not be a duck.

          It's remarkable at how the left will do the most logical gymnastics to attribute malice to the most benign things in thier political opponents (did you hear….HARPER DIDN'T EAT THE COMMUNION WAFER!!!),

          But bend over backwards to defend and excuse radical terrorists who want to kill our children, stone our gays and enslave our women.

          • He was a child soldier and we had an obligation to treat him as a child soldier. He was 10 when his father took him to Afghanistan and started him being trained to use weapoons. HE HAD NO FRICKIN CHOICE, you miserable self righteous hypocritical judgmental coward.

    • o yes, we're no better than iran. o.k. let's see now, what 's your address so we can send secret police to arrest you and then hang from cranes all those in the town square for merely speaking their minds(and don't you worry about those who actually carry out acts of war against us-we'll just torture their family members which we've already arrested for such occasions).
      it's funny how leftards like you cheered when we defeated germany(the nazis had secret pacts with the grand mufti of jerusalem to destroy the jews, btw) in spite of the fact we executed numerous nazi nonuniformed combatants in the field LEGALLY, including teenage hitler youth partisans. This is/was a necessity to actually WIN against enemies who play by absolutely NO rules, like strapping suicide bombs to small children, not just young adults.

      • And even funnier that rightie wingnuts like you were swearing that the jews we conspiring to destroy Europe, prior to WW2. It's a funny old world.

    • There is a difference between a coerced confession and a false confession. I have no sympathy for the "real" criminal from whom a confession is coerced, although I disagree strongly with torture. I feel very differently about a false confession. I don't buy the notion that Omar Khadr was an innocent bystander. I don't have first-hand knowledge of the evidence against him, but the reports of his bragging about the crime don't pass the sniff-test of innocence. I don't agree with your position that we as Canadians have the right to foist our notions of right and wrong on another nation. It was the US whose soldier Khadr murdered. I don't want Khadr back, unless it's for indefinite incarceration.

  4. This column basically sums it up. Khadr may be a terrible human being. But the way we've treated him so lowers us as a society. If we're willing to treat citizens as poorly as Iran, China, Afghanistan, etc. treats their own citizens, we have no moral authority whatsoever. I'm angry and embarrassed. Some people here are defending profoundly unethical, and I dare say evil behaviour, and it is despicable.

  5. In a different era, Canada would have killed Khadr by now after trying/convicting him for Treason. I don't understand why people direct their sympathies to an odious character like Khadr.

    Why so much msm coverage for Khadr? There are Canadians abroad who deserve much more of our attention, Huseyincan Celil for one, than Khadr does. Khadr is lucky to still be alive.

    • In a different era, Canada wouldn't have allowed women to vote, would have used Chinese immigrants as expendable labourers, etc., so what's your point? That human rights are a bad thing? Why doesn't the US just use a real court and convict Khadr that way?

    • You don't seem to get it. What you're framing as "sympathies" for Khadr is, more accurately, respect for human rights and due process for everyone, regardless of the enormity of their alleged offenses. It's what distinguishes our system from the tyrannical regimes we all oppose.

      I don't think many thoughtful opponents of Khadr's show trial are advocating his unconditional acquittal (although that might be the outcome of a fair hearing). We're arguing that his guilt or innocence should be determined by applying the same presumption of innocence until convicted as you would expect if you were before the courts.

      What's so misguided about that concern?

      • My thoughts exactly.

      • "What's so misguided about that concern?"

        Khadr's a soldier for the side we are at war against, not a common thief prowling streets of toronto, for one. So all this talk about trials and fair hearings and the like is naive, at best.

        And second, we don't really have human rights and due process in Canada anymore. How are the natives doing under our stellar human rights record? I wonder what Rev. Stephen Boissoin thinks of Canada's belief in due process?

        • "Khadr's a soldier for the side we are at war against, not a common thief prowling streets of toronto, for one. So all this talk about trials and fair hearings and the like is naive, at best."

          So, fill me in on when Canada decided to ignore the rights of enemy combatants. I don't recall learning anything about Canada formally abridging the rights of German POWs, for example, during WW2.

          "…we don't really have human rights and due process in Canada anymore."

          That's a stupid and fatuous statement that only serves as a convenient rationalization of specific abuses.

  6. it's amazing how many people haven't thought about what could happen – i a few years Khadr can ' Apply ' to come back to canada – what if Harper is still PM and this certainly looks likely and if ol Stevie Boy says = FORGET IT!

    • Does he even have to apply? I rather assume that was all worked out behind the scenes – He'll spend another year in U.S. custody, and then be transferred to Canada to serve out the rest of his "sentence". If we were any other Western nation I'd bet, as Andrew Sullivan appears to have for Canada, that he'd be released the second he got off the plane, but I'm pretty sure he'll end up serving every second of those last seven years.

      After that, of course, he's a free man, so he can go where he pleases.

  7. Khadr was in front of a US military court. It was purposely situated where no US laws apply and where international law is in question. The interrogators were US soldiers. They told him US soldiers would gang rape him to death. The judge was a US soldier. The prosectution lawyers were US soldiers. The jurors were US soldiers. The defense lawyer was a US soldier. The jailors were US soldiers. The messhall was run by US soldiers.

    It stands to reason that ANYONE held for almost nine years under these circumstances, with the prospect of a lifetime of these conditions, just might confess to anything a US soldier suggested.

    Khadr got what you might expect him to receive on a battlefield in a third world country, not the due process expected in a civilized courtroom. No court in the western world would have accepted this "confession".

    • He has admitted to to being a member of Al Qaida, let him rot, those terrorist are less than human.
      Truely innocent people throughout history have maintained their innocence through actual torture not American mind games. Time was on Kahdr's side, he could have maintained his innocence, he already has all the useful idiots on his side, the Americans would have eventually let him go but instead he pleaded guilty.

      • " …the Americans would have eventually let him go …" The people who shot him and tortured him and threatened to gang rape him and railroaded him into a kangaroo court?

        Go back to la-la land.

        • The Americans had already let several Guantanamo inmate go. Several of whom continued their jihadist ways. So yes it is entirely plausible that the Americans would have let him go eventually. If he was truly innocent he could have waited them out.

  8. After a brief respite following revelations of Khadr's joy at killing, the Khadrophiles are back, emboldened by Andrew Sullivan and Dan Gardner. Where to start?

    How about "torture"? I have no doubt we all have our own concept about what constitutes "torture", but can we all please – please agree that "nasty talk" by guards doesn't qualify. And that shackling persons so they can't strangle interrogators isn't "torture". And that being mad and throwing furniture around isn't "torture".

    And can we please not forget that, contrary to Andrew Sullivan's inane comment that there was "next to no proof" of his guilt, other than his confession, there was lots of other evidence that was obtained entirely independently of anything involving Khadr. Those who whine about the US process being a "kangaroo court" – in what "enlightened" court system would the video tape found under the floorboards of the bombed out compound been excluded as evidence?

    And what of the whole "child soldier" cannard? Assuming they even applied (which, of course, is entirely disputable), do the "child soldier" protocols provide for the complete exoneration, regardless of circumstances, of anybody who commits a crime when they happen to have failed to attain an arbitrarily established age? In even our sacrosanct Canadian judicial system, the Crown regularly applies to have "children" who are accused of particularly heinous crimes tried as adults, with the full approval of our Charter-loving judiciary. Or is being classified as a "child soldier" truly a get-out-of-jail free card and, if so, why?

    To the Andrew Sullivans and Dan Gardners and Dennis Edneys and the lesser "useful idiots" of the proggie left who demand us to feel shame and contrition: I am proud of how my nation, and our very good neighbours to the south, have handled the whole Khadr affair. He may not have received the same extent of "due process" as is offered persons other than terrorists involved in firefights, but he is hale and hearty today and will someday walk the streets a free man, something that would not have occurred, were virtually any other nations involved than the ones that were.

    • Threatening to kill a person by letting prisoners gang-rape them IS torture.
      Withholding medical treatment IS torture.

      As for the evidence, that's my whole point for God's sake. If they had strong evidence why didn't they use a real court instead of this ridiculous military one? Why did they need to hold him FOR EIGHT YEARS before trial? Why did they need to force a confession? Why did they need to with hold a lawyer for two years? Why did they need to do any of this?

      If they would have just tried him in a normal court in a reasonable amount of time I would have been happy that justice was served. If the evidence is as strong as you say it is then there would have been no problem and Khadr would still be in prison. But legally.

      • "Threatening to kill a person by letting prisoners gang-rape them IS torture."

        If mere threats are torture, I suspect Canadian police commit torture dozens of times a day.

        "Withholding medical treatment IS torture."

        Or just the informed view of the attending physician, although you've given me food for thought for the next time I'm stuck in emergency for 18 hours.

        "If they had strong evidence why didn't they use a real court instead of this ridiculous military one?"

        Because Khadr had the misfortune of commiting his crimes in circumstances that caused the "ridiculous military one" to have jurisdiction over him. Funny thing about courts – they tend to prefer not to want to hear cases over which they have no jurisdiction.

        "Why did they need to hold him FOR EIGHT YEARS before trial?"

        A major reason they held him FOR EIGHT YEARS was he delayed proceedings himself by changing lawyers, bringing lawsuits. And what of the delay? It just means he'll do eight more years now, rather than the 14 or 15 he would have done had he been tried in 2003 or 2004.

        "Why did they need to force a confession?"

        I'm quite confident they didn't need to force a confession – they had lots of evidence already.

        "Why did they need to with hold a lawyer for two years?"

        I suspect because, for at least a year or two, they were deciding whether it was more appropriately to treat him as a prisoner of war who, if I remember my "Hogans Heros", don't typically get lawyers.

        "If they would have just tried him in a normal court in a reasonable amount of time I would have been happy that justice was served."

        He'll be free in 8 years, if not sooner, having been convicted of murder – how was justice not served?

        • -Any evidence of police making these statements and a civilian judge would throw out the confession.
          -Seriously, get a better hospital.
          -These military commissions were set up after the fact rather than using existing military justice.
          -I think the 8 years has something to do with the fact that the Supreme Court ruled the first kangaroo court unconstitutional and they had to make up a new one.
          -The 2 years was because they were forced (by the Supreme Court) to give some due process of law to the detainees after this time and they were refusing to before.
          -Justice was not served because they made up the rules as they went until they could convict him. If I was held in Guantanamo Bay for 8 years I would agree to a plea deal too. Anything to get out of there.

          • "-Any evidence of police making these statements and a civilian judge would throw out the confession."

            Well, we know you're not a criminal defense lawyer…

            "-Seriously, get a better hospital."

            …or Canadian.

            "-I think the 8 years has something to do with the fact that the Supreme Court ruled the first kangaroo court unconstitutional and they had to make up a new one."

            No doubt – so are you saying he should have been released in the interrim?

            "-Justice was not served because they made up the rules as they went until they could convict him. If I was held in Guantanamo Bay for 8 years I would agree to a plea deal too. Anything to get out of there."

            He would have been convicted under any rules, but keep chanting the mantra. As for getting out of Guanatanmo, I suspect he won't be getting prayer rugs and Korans and halal meals where he'll be going next.

            "I missed the confession point: the fact that Khadr only pleaded guilty after the US agreed to the plea bargain suggests that they weren't all that confident, otherwise they wouldn't agree to let a terrorist off easy, right?"

            Or that Obama wanted him dealt with before the mid-term elections next month.

          • "He would have been convicted under any rules". That's like using loaded dice and justifying it by "I would have won anyway even if I didn't cheat"

            And politics should never enter into the justice system so the point about Obama just reinforces my argument.

            I can completely understand the fact you want Khadr imprisoned, but you don't find anything embarrassing about the process? Seriously, as far as you're concerned everything is hunky-dory and you're proud of how it was handled? All I'm looking for is an admittance that this wasn't handled well.

          • "He would have been convicted under any rules". That's like using loaded dice and justifying it by "I would have won anyway even if I didn't cheat"

            No, it's like saying "he would have been convicted under any rules". It's an attempt to respond to the proposition "his conviction is tainted because they didn't follow rules "X"" by suggesting "so what – he would still have been convicted had they followed rules "X""

            "I can completely understand the fact you want Khadr imprisoned, but you don't find anything embarrassing about the process?"

            I find not a single thing embarrassing about "the process" because the alternative to "the process" was summary execution on the battlefield. Instead, Khadr's life was saved, his wounds were treated, his basic physical, mental and spiritual needs were met while detained and he'll be a free man in a few years.

            " Seriously, as far as you're concerned everything is hunky-dory and you're proud of how it was handled? All I'm looking for is an admittance that this wasn't handled well."

            I admit everything wasn't hunky dory or handled well, but I'm still proud of how it was handled. "Us – save the lives of terrorists, feed and house them and let them go after 12 or 15 years" "Them – kidnap innocent journalists, videotape themselves cutting his head off and gleefully send the video around the world via internet".

        • I missed the confession point: the fact that Khadr only pleaded guilty after the US agreed to the plea bargain suggests that they weren't all that confident, otherwise they wouldn't agree to let a terrorist off easy, right?

      • You're overlooking the objective of detaining and continuing to interrogate (sorry.. torture) him. The interrogators were looking for much more than a confession. They were looking for intelligence that would compromise future actions by Khadr's fellow combatants. If the information obtained was valid, and attacks were prevented, then I can't let my discomfort and distaste of tactics convince me that the information should be rejected. After all, as it has been pointed out by other writers, Khadr didn't let notions of right and wrong get in the way of throwing that grenade.

    • Name one of those pieces of evidence against Khadr. Just one.

      For Pete's sake, there was eye witness testimony form U.S. soldiers that Khadr WASN'T the one who threw that grenade.

      • "Name one of those pieces of evidence against Khadr. Just one."

        Just one, eh – I pick…the videotape showing Khadr building IEDs.

        "For Pete's sake, there was eye witness testimony form U.S. soldiers that Khadr WASN'T the one who threw that grenade."

        And so who do these alleged eye witness say threw it? All the other "insurgents" were dead.

        Look, I think it's way past the point there's any doubt among reasonable and objective people that Khadr was doing very bad things in July/2002, such that his conviction for having done them is not an outrage. The debate is now simply whether the convictions are meaningless because of flawed due process and/or the fact he was of a tender age when he did them. Those who cling to the notion he actually DIDN'T do very bad things in July/2002 are, at this point, beyond delusional.

        • If the U.S. government thought everything was hunky dory, why did they not try him in a regular court of law in the U.S.?

          • The US govt's decision to try him by military tribunal had nothing to do with things not being "hunky dory" and everything to do with the legal/political battle that rages to this day over dealing with suspected terrorists in a way that affords an acceptable amount of due process, while not compromising national security. Kind of the same thing I recall that charter member of the evil conservative cabal, Anne McLellan introduced in Canada back in 2002.

  9. I am going to go out on a limb here and suggest that the mistreatment of Khadr did not result in the creation of the videotape where he is seen manufacturing and planting IEDs that likely blew the limbs off soldiers fighting the Taliban and Al Qaeda in 2002.

    Furthermore, Khadr's older brother Abdulrahman, at age 15, refused to participate in the jihadist war against the West.

    I am not saying that the Guantanamo Bay sentencing was a high point in the annals of Western Justice, and the mistreatment and delays were unforgivable, but let's not lose sight of some of the key facts.

    A flawed system, abuse and mistreatment, and his age, even taken together, does not automatically mean that he is innocent.

    • He may not be innocent of killing a man or believing in the cause. He may believe in the cause and he may have killed a man. But the Child Soldier thing is pretty cut and dried. Many of us think that children have more ability to be moral than international rule states, but if you believe in the rule of law, you can't be comfortable with his fate.

      • Yes but again, International Law does not prohibit the prosecution of child soldiers.

        • Khadr was 10 or 11 when he was taken to Afghanistan and trained to be a child soldier. How much choice did he have?

          • How much choice did have to do what? Little choice to move to Afghanistan. But it seems by most accounts that it was his own choice four years later to move into the encampment where he received his training when he was fifteen. He was clearly influenced by his father, however.

          • No, you did not read my link. Where does CBC say he started training at the age of 15 instead of 10?

        • But it is straightforward about how you process them. Are you arguing that prosecution is a form of psychological recovery? Or simply that psychological recovery and prosecution can exist in harmony?

          Article 6.3 from the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict.

          States Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons within their jurisdiction recruited or used in hostilities contrary to the present Protocol are demobilized or otherwise released from service. States Parties shall, when necessary, accord to such persons all appropriate assistance for their physical and psychological recovery and their social reintegration.

          • I argued no such thing.

    • A flawed system, abuse and mistreatment, and his age, even taken together, does not automatically mean that he is innocent.
      Nor does it smell like justice.

      So you are prepared to replace the principle that people are innocent until found guilty in a fair trial with some other principle. Please describe this new principle of justice you have in mind. NATO forces entered Afghanistan with the idea of replacing an unprincipled regime with a regime based on principles commonly accepted in the western world. Exactly how does this "confession" obtained in a flawed system accompanied by abuse, mistreatment and delays to an underage individual promote these principles.

      • Do I think that Khadr deserved a better process? Absolutely. Do I think that in the absence of such a process he is "innocent"? No.

        Again, I saw the videotape of Khadr manufacturing and planting IEDs with my own eyes, and am able to draw reasonable conclusions from it, without the assistance of a judge and jury.

        He was clearly prepared to western murder soldiers with IEDs, and planted the bombs to do so. That much I can say with certainty.

        • In which case a "time-served sentence" may be appropriate with some parole conditions to ensure he doesn't interact with any terrorist elements. He's already served 8 years; that is a long time for a 15 year old.

          • Agreed

    • Actually, "innocent until proven guilty" isn't just a saying.

      I thought you were a Crown? that's particularly unsettling.

      • Sorry that you are unsettled. BTW I don't want to rock your world, but I also think O.J. did it.

        • Professional standards just aren't what they used to be, I guess.

          • I guess we'll have to agree to disagree, Mike.

  10. Ya have to admit some sneaky respect for his dedication to killing American soldiers.
    I mean, first of all he had to elbow aside those hordes of Tongans, Moldovans, Argentinians,
    Angolans, and whatever just hangin' around and gettin' in the way. Then, when American
    soldiers started shooting and bombing and killing all his soul-mates he had to make a
    deliberate decision to set aside his loin cloth and his inner debate on the wisdom of drinking
    his own urine in order to stave off people intent on killing him. Apparently an act of murder with
    intent. And when you murder an American soldier in a war zone, you get tried and sentenced
    by American soldiers in an off-shore legal haven. What could possibly go wrong ?

  11. A few points to consider
    IF Khadr had been Ugandan, Rwandan or from Sierra Leone, would he have been imprisioned and tortured?

    Also, if there was ever ANY chance of rehabilitating this child? We've lost it…he has no reason to feel anything but hate towards all Westerners now.

    • There have been prosecutions of Rwandan child soldiers.

      • By Western countries who decry this very practice and sign international agreements to eradicate it?!?!?

        • What agreements are you speaking of?

    • You lost me. Rehabilitation is a wonderful concept, but the reality is that terrorists become much more adept at hiding in plain sight than changing their stripes. It is typical of our country to assume that every person who commits a crime is automatically a candidate – or entitled to be entrusted with candidacy for – rehabilitation and reintegration. To my knowledge the only contribution Khadr's family, as a unit, has contributed to Canada is to deplete our coffers and continue to preach hate. Anybody who wants to repatriate this criminal should be required to financially support him – NOT the taxpayers of Canada.

  12. ooohh…the UN Conventions on Rights of a Child, for instance…or unless I'm mistaken there's a ruling by the International Criminal Court? (I'm pretty sure I read that somewhere!)….and I'm postive there are others.Does the UN not convene on the very issue of child soliders on a regular basis?

      • I stand corrected, what was agreed under The United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child according to your link was:

        'arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child must be ''in accordance with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time.'

        mmmm….nope. not seeing how any of those conditions were met.

        • and what I asked was would he have been imprisoned or tortured. He should of course, have been prosecuted, his age taken into consideration in sentencing, had the benefit of counsel, not have been tortured and met all the other criteria clearly set out in your own link…..

          • I wasn't trying to establish that he would have been tortured had he been Rwandan. Only that he is not the only child soldier to have been prosecuted (and by implication, imprisoned). I am not certain I follow your point, though.

          • My point is: Western countries like the US and Canada decry the use of child soliders in African or Asian countries for example, and agree that they should only be 'imprisoned as a last resort' and certainly not tortured to obtain 'admissions' of guilt -and protest – and may even invoke sanctions against countries that don't follow that international rule of law….yet they turn around and do the same to THIS child.
            The only difference I can see is that this child is Muslim and the person he is accused of killing isn't…..I'd LIKE to think I'm wrong.

          • One can speculate. There are too few cases to be able to prove the case one way or another, in my view.

  13. I think everyone can at least agree that the "confession" is essentially meaningless. I mean, for Pete's sake, they apparently got him to "confess" to things they hadn't even charged him with! What lawyer lets his client confess to things that he hasn't even been charged with (don't bother, I know the answer… a lwayer who know that the government maintains their right to keep his client in jail INDEFINITELY, even if he's found not guilty). More importantly, who WOULDN'T offer to confess, given his choices? If you don't confess, and are found guilty, you'll be held for an unspecified amount of time. If you don't confess, and are found not guilty, we maintain the right to hold you here indefinitely anyway. If you confess, we'll sentence you to eight more years and let you serve the last seven in Canada.

    So, let me see, my choices are a) eight more years, then freedom or b) an unspecified number of more years, maybe forever, and whether it's 1 more year or 100 more years won't necessarily be effected in the slightest by whether I'm found to be guilty or innocent (by a military tribunal which is allowed to consider evidence that no country in the Western world would allow to be admitted as evidence in a court of law).

    I know I'd have confessed! They wouldn't have had to keep me in stress positions, or withhold pain medication, or threaten me with gang rape, or hold me in prison for two years before letting me see a lawyer in order to get me to do it either. Hell, Khadr's spent his last NINE birthdays in Gitmo. He's probably so messed up by now that he figures he could do eight more years in a regular jail standing on his head!

    Frankly, I'm surprised they didn't get him to confess to more. The FBI could have cleared a whole warehouse full of open cases!

    • These are all very valid concerns with the content of the arrangement.

  14. Khadr killed and terrorized people in Afghanistan, he must be sent there for trial. Afghans should see justice being done too. Or are his Afghan victims not as worthy according to liberals/lefties?

  15. To me the most telling aspect of the coercion is the stipulation in his plea that Khadr will never take legal action against the USA.

    The US prosecutors, and I don't know how far up in the administration, but far, know what the US did to him in Guantanamo was wrong, and wouldn't stand till the end of the day in a real court.

    Completely shameful, and I have to say, I'm afraid for my country that so many educated people are willing to just go along with this atrocity against the rule of law.

    • battlefield terrorists are not for civilian courts to weigh. that islamofascist (along with most his family)is at war with us. you make it sound as though he was caught shoplifting at walmart!
      military law clearly allows the execution of nouniformed or undeclared enemy combatants, including young adults.
      civilian law allows us to lift citizenship/deport or even try as a traitor any muslim migrant lucky enough to have a canadian citizenship who supports jihad, like khadr's family.

      • Thanks for your shallow ideological reply. Are you a paid up member of the Taliban? If not, what is it that we are fighting for if not the rule of law?

          • Thanks for this Holly, I didn't know that was going on.

  16. Good article.
    A forgotten aspect. In the old days a Western POW only gave his name rank and number even when facing torture. Now our soldiers are taught to agree to any accusation the enemy wants from them – to save their life – and knowing full well that the whole world will know that it was coeerced. Ibid. for Khadr and the trumped up US accusations

  17. Harper may not have eaten a communion wafer, and the left goes nuts with grand statements of malice.

    But a guy caught in a terrorist training camp, building bombs, proudly declaring his joy for killing "unbelievers" (us that is),

    he just MUST be innocent!

    • Are you proposing that we torture Harper until he gives up the goods on the communion wafer? Keep him in prison until he confesses out of hopelessness?

  18. Good on you Dan Gardener…anger is the only appropriate response.

  19. Keith. It sounds like you would be comfortable living under the Iranian regime.

  20. I agree with Stephen Harper. You can keep your Harvard wanna-be.

  21. I feel embarrassed and a little sick to my stomach. That this kid is alive should be seen as a major act of kindness to him. What about the Gitmo prisoners who were repatriated to their countries? Or are "we" – except for "me" – asserting that because he was retained in custody, he was therefore innocent?