Rae on Khadr


From Question Period this afternoon.

Hon. Bob Rae (Toronto Centre, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, to the minister, on the same subject, I hope the minister would agree that there is at least a chance that the American government will decide not to pursue the case again Mr. Khadr. In that case, would we not be wiser now to be negotiating with the United States for a supervised release of Mr. Khadr into Canada where he can be under supervision and under guidance rather than simply being released? Would that not be in the interests of the country?

Hon. Lawrence Cannon (Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I do not share my hon. colleague’s opinion on that. I think that what is in the interests of Canada is that we let the American government pursue the process that President Obama has commenced and when that process that is over with, we will be able to see what the outcome is.

Perhaps slightly more enlightening was Rae’s discussion with reporters after QP. Here are the English portions of that exchange.

Question: How do you think the Harper government should be preparing for the return?

Hon. Bob Rae: To me it’s an example of what’s wrong with ideological thinking and with narrow thinking and with partisan thinking.  The Conservatives have taken such a narrow position on this for so long that they don’t understand it’s in Mr. Khadr’s interest that he come back with some kind of supervision, some kind of guidance, within the structure of Canadian law.  And it’s in Canada’s interests that that happen as well. The risk, not the risk but the reality is, if we don’t do that Mr. Khadr will just come back.  We’re much better off having a legal framework in which that return takes place than not having a legal framework.

Question: What does that mean?

Hon. Bob Rae: Well, it means you’d have supervision in which you’d say the circumstances in which Mr. Khadr should be living, the kind of help that he should be getting.  I mean, he hasn’t been in school.  I mean, his whole upbringing.  There’s a lot of things that he’s missed completely.

He comes now to us as a 22 year old.  He’s blinded in one eye.  He’s got severe, he had severe physical injuries, also severe psychological trauma.  It makes a whole lot sense for us to be working hard to reintegrate Mr. Khadr in the framework of the law rather than just saying well, the Conservatives are playing the game saying we don’t want to touch this thing.  If he comes back, he comes back.  It’s not our political problem.

The fact is, it’s Canada’s responsibility to do this thing right and I don’t think the approach they’re taking is going to get it right.

Question : (inaudible)

Hon. Bob Rae: That doesn’t mean he’s not our responsibility or that one day Mr. Khadr won’t have a right to return to Canada.  He’s a Canadian citizen.  He was born in Toronto.  He’s going to return here.  We can’t just put our proverbial heads in the sand and pretend that the problem’s going to get better.  We have to take responsibility and we have to take the practical steps to make sure that we’re dealing with this in a way that is going to protect Mr. Khadr’s interests better and is also going to protect Canadian interests better.

Question: But how do you do that?  Mr. Khadr is a Canadian citizen.  If there’s nothing to charge him with then there’s no way for the government to hold him and therefore no way for them to force him to do anything.

Hon. Bob Rae: No-one’s talking . we’re talking about Mr. Khadr’s lawyers and Mr. Khadr at this moment, being very willing to enter into discussions with the government of Canada and being very willing to enter into other discussions with respect to his return.  Your point is well taken if you’re referring to what happens if he is simply, if the charges against him are simply dismissed or dropped or if the case takes another turn or twist in the United States.

We don’t know.  What I’m arguing is quite simple.  We’re better off and so is Mr. Khadr if we do this on a negotiated basis and do it now.

Question: But once he lands in Canada, I mean, he could turn around and say, Charter challenge.  You have no reason to force me to do anything.

Hon. Bob Rae: No.  This is part of a discussion that one would have with his counsel and with Mr. Khadr.  I have every reason to believe, having talked with his counsel today, that they’re very willing to enter into those discussions.

That last bit—about having spoken with Mr. Khadr’s counsel—are interesting given this news tonight.


Rae on Khadr

  1. Major head-shake: Omar Khadr’s lawyers are entering into negotiations on restricting his rights as a Canadian citizen upon a (potential future) return to Canada? WTF? They may be the only people in this country with the fiduciary duty of working hard for the exact opposite!

    If government believes him to be a threat to Canadians, they need to work within the law to have surveillance so tight that he can’t so much as jaywalk without seventeen officers loudly clearing their throats within earshot (if he ever returns to the country of his passport).

    But at least finally somebody’s bringing up the what’s-the-Canadian-crime-here-anyways question. Still no useful answer, mind you, but the question is finally out there.

    • I agree, broadly speaking, with MYL. Is there really a way to bargain away your Charter rights? I don’t think so. If he comes home, either he’ll be charged (with what?) or he’ll be a free man.

      So, yeah, let’s invest a bit of money in making the guy more normal. He must be semi-insane by now, and a bit of cash would prevent a major headache down the road. Meanwhile, put a few CSIS guys on him for the next few years.

      • The possible option is a peace bond (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_bond). If the evidence doesn’t convince a judge that he deserves that much, then really, there’s no evidence to let him do anything *but* go free, and on that basis he *should* be free.

        If the RCMP and CSIS want to tail him, I suppose they can, to the limits allowed without a warrant, which means he would more or less secure in his home.

        It’s really going to come down to what credible, admissible evidence actually exists concerning the danger he might pose those around him in Canada. Which is fine. The argument has always been that he should be treated the same as anyone else – within the confines of the law.

        • You’d almost certainly still need the charges to get a peace bond.

      • J@ck, what is “normal”? Your def or myl’s?

        Look, if I was a 15 yr old, in a strange country, indoctrinated by my parents, and found myself surrounded by the US miltary, shooting, killing everyone in sight, and pumping a few into me as well, would I hesitate to do whatever to survive?

        • Oh, I wasn’t thinking of Khadr as of 2001, I was thinking he would be un-normal after 7 years in a maximum security prisoner camp full of human rights violations. God knows what kind of emotional abuse the guy has been subjected to. I think that’s going to need some fixing.

          • I think he has a right or is entitled to any psychological support he requires and wants, but this should not be a condition of his return. No more conditional than it was when Bill Sampson (detained and tortured in Saudi Arabia), Mahar Arar (Syria) or for that matter, the lady that was detained in Mexico. All, it appeared, had some emotional trauma that could have been expressed in various forms upon their return.

            Why is Khadr being singled out for special treatment? The argument seems circular – he may not have been a threat, but he was detained, and now, due to our treatment of him, he is a threat…

      • I should add, I don’t see a legal issue with respect to “bargaining away his Charter rights”. Any surveillance or reporting he *agrees* to does not mean he is giving up his rights. We always have the option of cooperating with the state.

        • But no Canadian (as far as I know) has the obligation to negotiate away his freedoms as a condition to returning to his own country.

          Now are we all starting to get why there has been quiet satisfaction (within government and a not inconsiderable chunk of the public) that Mr. Khadr has not been “Canada’s problem” for several years?

          • No, he doesn’t have the obligation to do so. But he’s offering to do so. You see the difference, right?

          • Sophistry, MYL…

            And to actually imply that this was a “plan” of the CPC all along is simply astonishing…

          • No difference, if his own lawyers are offering up his freedoms– er, cooperation, as a condition to returning to his own country. Why would your own lawyers do that to you, unless it was the only way to get you back into the country? And if the USA lets him go free, brings him to US soil and puts him on a plane to Pearson, why should his lawyers do anything but say “Let him in, he’s one of us!” ? Since when does a Canadian citizen need to make deals with the government to return to his own country?

            If he shows up, the only options I see for Ottawa are charge him, watch him or ignore him. I just don’t get what his own lawyers are up to right now.

          • By “not inconsiderable chunk”, you mean plurality, right?


            Anyway… I’m among the people who were perfectly happy to let Khadr rot at Gitmo, but am also aware that if he is returned to Canada he’s either got to be charged or released.

            Can’t hold a citizen in indefinite detention.

            Won’t lift a finger to help him, but if he’s on Canadian soil, he’s a Canadian citizen with all the rights that come with it.

        • Coercion is always “legally” difficult to prove.

      • If he’s charged at all, it’ll be under the anti-terrorism laws.

  2. Khadr’s lawyers are probably acting in their client’s best interests when they seek to establish a “repatriation plan” that includes “concrete measures and protections”.

    Without such a formal plan in place, it is unlikely that the US would allow Mr. Khadr to be repatriated back to Canada in the first place.

    Putting a few CSIS guys on him may not be enough. We shall see. I expect that Mr. Khadr will be warmly embraced by activists in the Moslem community, and he may even establish a career for himself as a sort of figurehead for political activists.

    • If I was a trial lawyer, I’d claim a “tainted jury” due to the Fifth Estate stories on the Khadr family.

      This is quite evident on this blog, in the general population, and the government.

      • What trial? Somebody, anybody, please, I’m begging here, what oh what part of the Criminal Code would / could / should a Crown Prosecutor throw at this guy? For alleged conduct against US soldiers in a country over which our law does not apply? Last I heard the alleged activities of great interest occurred in a foreign country. I know our military over there hands over prisoners but does Canada have an extradition treaty with Afghanistan to deport Canadian suspects from here for trial over there? I doubt it, and actually I certainly hope not.

        • Trial of public opinion. That’s all that matters on this issue.

          • Alright, I see I must amend my plea to someone, anyone, with a genuinely serious answer, preferably based on some knowledge of our Criminal Code.

        • We do have antiterrorism provisions in the Code that apply extraterritorially. I don’t think they’ve ever been used as such, but they clearly and expressly apply to acts committed abroad. So the possibility is there. Actually securing a conviction might be difficult, particularly in Khadr’s case, but the point is, a trial is possible.

          (Note, I am not saying he has to or should be tried, I’m just providing information about the law.)

        • Without getting into too much detail, there are offences for:

          * knowingly participating in, contributing to, any activity of a terrorist group for the purpose of enhancing the ability of any terrorist group to facilitate or carry out a terrorist activity;
          * knowingly facilitating a terrorist activity;
          * commission of a serious (i.e. indictable) offence for the benefit of, at the direction of or in association with a terrorist group;
          * knowingly instructing anyone to carry out a terrorist activity for a terrorist group; and
          * knowingly harbouring or concealing any person who has carried out or is likely to carry out a terrorist activity for the purpose of enabling the person to facilitate or carry out any terrorist activity.

          Under the Anti-terrorism provisions, a person reasonably suspected of being about to commit a terrorist act may be brought before a judge and released on “recognizance with conditions.” This provision, however, expired in 2008.

          In addition, the old fashioned peace bond is available where there is a reasonable cause to believe that a person may commit harm against a person or property. Normally these are used in respect of convicted and released individuals for whom there is still a serious risk of danger, but it can be used prior to or absent of any conviction. A wide array of conditions can be imposed on a person under a peace bond.

          • Thanks, rumor. Tomorrow I will look up the “terrorist” part of the Criminal Code. If you know…

            Does this apply to young offenders?
            Does the definition of terrorism include defensive hostilities against the belligerent uniformed armed forces of an invading country?
            Does the “child soldier” defence constitute a get-out-of-jail-free card in Canadian law?
            Is there a statute of limitations to bring the matter to justice in Canada?

            And, as for the peace bond: I understand that to be “thou shalt stay at least 100 metres away from this person and/or this place” sorts of edicts. How does that work for “Now, Omar, promise not to kill anyone, and say it like you mean it!” ?

            Sorry for abusing you for any knowledge you may have; I just need to understand what those Canadians actually mean when they say we must bring Omar home to face Canadian justice.

          • Were all these in effect at the time of his arrest by the Americans?

    • CR, do you (or does anyone) know, apart from the high-profile ones who went back to fight under the US military’s catch and release program, what the other Western countries did with the repatriated Guantanamo prisoners? Were there indeed any conditions established between the USA and the receiving country prior to transfer? How does a western country negotiate away the rights of its citizens in its own country, ahead of time, in order to free that citizen from a military detention where there was no charge or conviction?

  3. Try a reality show. Omarosa is on line 3.

  4. Madeyoulook, you’ve asked a very good question. I think it would be a great idea for Wherry (hint, hint) to interview a Canadian legal expert and get some answers.

    • Which question was that? I lost track.

      • By “question” I really meant “collection of questions.” Most important, the question of whether judicial or legal means could plausibly be used to restrict Khadr’s freedoms without violating the Charter

        • Hmm, if I was to frame the charter question, I’d ask:

          ” WTF??”

          in terms of restricting his freedoms.

          • “Restricting Khadr’s freedoms” does not mean the same thing as persecuting him, Dot.

            Not permitting Khadr to own firearms could be considered a restriction on his freedoms.

            Mandatory psychiatric treatment could be considered a restriction on his freedoms.

            Not allowing Khadr to travel without permission could be considered a restriction on his freedoms.

          • Making blind assumptions or Restricting Khadr’s freedoms in the absence of any conclusive evidence could be considered bigotry, CR.

          • Seriously, Dot, are you calling me a bigot? Because that would mean that you are calling Khadr’s own lawyers bigots. Not to mention a large number of Khadr’s supporters, who think that restricting Khadr’s freedoms in some ways, at least temporarily, is a necessary part of his repatriation to Canada.

          • Well, my basic position is that he is entitled to return to Canada as a Canadian citizen. ONLY when he has been convicted of something could restrictions be placed upon him.

            Negotiating away his rights, if in fact that what his lawyers are doing, or his supporters are advocating, appears to me to be a response to the political environment that they are operating within. The reason why I believe it exists I outlined earlier.

        • Frankly, I don’t see how it can be considered right in any way, shape or form to restrict the freedoms of anyone without first convicting that person of a crime. That is not the Canada I want to live in. If Khadr ever makes it back to Canada, and it’s not a prisoner exchange, then he should be free.

      • Well, except for the “Hicks pleaded guilty” part. Wasn’t he transferred to Australia to complete a sentence in an Australian prison?

        • He was. But as I read that Wikipedia entry, his situation was resolved politically, not legally.

      • Thanks for the link, Aaron. Very interesting.

        MYL, the repatriation of Hicks is definitely relevant, even though Hicks had been convicted and sentenced. From the wiki:

        Hicks was released on 29 December 2007 and placed under a control order obtained by the Australian federal police earlier that month. The order required Hicks to not leave Australia, to report to a police station three times a week, and to use only an AFP-approved mobile phone SIM card. On 19 February 2008 he was given special dispensation by federal magistrate Warren Donald to leave South Australia. On 20 February 2008, Hicks moved to Abbotsford, New South Wales. A curfew between 1:00am and 5:00am was imposed.

        Hicks’ control order expired in December 2008 and the AFP did not renew it.

        • Well, I will stubbornly hold out for any info on what happened to those detainees who were not convicted before going “home” to whatever western country they were not in at the time they met up with US forces. Seems to me a convicted criminal must surrender certain freedoms far more willingly to cross borders than anyone else.

          • ‘Tipton Three’ in UK – From Wiki ‘”The three were repatriated to the UK in March 2004, and released, without charge, the next day. They were later made the subject of “Road to Guantanamo” – a docu-drama about the event.”
            AP, Jan 25, 2005 – “Four Britons who were freed after being detained for up to three years at the U.S. military camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were arrested upon their return Tuesday to Britain …. The British government had said it would be up to police whether to arrest the men on their return to Britain and question them about possible involvement in terrorism …. Five other Britons were released from Guantanamo in March, and were not charged with any offense on their return to Britain.”

          • Thanks, jwl. Seems to me this is the sort of parallel we should be studying, not Hicks.

  5. Here’s a thought. Omar Kdahr has serious psychiatric issues. Omar Kdahr doesn’t have a job, nor is he likely to be high up on a prospective employer’s list in the foreseeable future (what with CSIS snooping around and all, that goes for potential terrorist-in-hiding-type employers as well). So, he could live with his mother. How much would YOU trust your mother after what she just allowed/abetted you be put through? How would that clear up the confusion in your head? How would subjecting him to a continuation of the brainwashing he’s had since birth make Canada safer?

    So how about his lawyers strike a deal with the Canadian government that will both protect Canada from any possible terrorist leanings Omar Kdahr still has, while geting him the social, financial and psychiatric help he needs? The man has been treated abysmally by our government when he needed competent adults the most. Part of the mass confusion that must surely live in this young man’s head is our responsibility.

    He gets to come home and start life over again with the help he needs. We get to right a wrong (or at least not continue a wrong) with the procedures in place to minimize any threat to us. What’s not win-win about that?

  6. Ahem. Khadr.

    I don’t know why my fingers can’t do kh (I just did it AGAIN typing that!)

  7. Jenn, unless you are a licensed psychiatrist who examined this person, your diagnosis carries no weight.

    If the USA lets him go, and unless Canada can come up with something to charge him with, I am aware of no law that requires a psychiatric examination as a condition to re-entering your own country. The offer of taxpayer supported mental health, non-mental health and other social services you suggest are available to any Canadian (well, there is that six-month residency requirement for free access but if I recall this great Canadian family got its way around that rule-for-the-rest-of-us already), and every Canadian is free to seek that help, or, here’s the kicker, decline that help.

    Freedom: remember that? There needs to be a compelling issue for freedom to be restricted. Lawyers, judges get involved. If he is charged with something (plea repeated here!), then the criminal justice system is charged with the mental health assessment, the presumption of innoncence shows up, and a full and vigorous defence of the accused is not only a good idea, it is essential. If he is not charged with anything, society (thankfully!) needs to jump over major hurdles to detain someone against his will on mental health grounds (imminent threat to self or others). Jenn’s say-so diagnosis from afar won’t cut it. Somebody’s got to declare the threat, and after a short length of time (callout again to folks in the know: 48 hours?) you’ve got to convince a judge that detention in a mental health facility was (and remains) justified.

    Freedom is not to be trifled with. “Bring him back as long as he sees a shrink” is just not how the system works.

    Contra your “abysmal treatment by Canada” charge: His well-being has not been our responsibility so long as the USA has declared him an unlawful combattant and kept him detained out of the theatre, in their custody, while hostilities are ongoing. His well-being has been the USA’s responsibility ever since they saved his life in A’stan.

    I sure hope brighter minds in the Canadian legal and security establishment are getting ready for any repatriation. They’ve certainly had long enough.

    • I think you missed my point, myl. I’m NOT suggesting locking him up as a mental health issue. And, seriously, have you ever tried to get a psychiatrist on the taxpayer’s dime? Good luck buddy. I did have a niece locked up for mental health, and we couldn’t get a shrink to her even if we had the money. Well, except for the doctor in the hospital who had, I think, fifteen minutes to spend with her once a month. And nothing once released from hospital. Even after the guy she was best friends with in there committed suicide.

      No, my premise assumes Omar KHadr wants this help. Otherwise, you are quite right this scenario doesn’t work. But if he does recognize he needs professional help, if he does realize he needs a more structured environment than just let loose on the streets, this is an opportunity for both ‘sides’ to get what they really want and need. I’m not talking about a hospital situation here. I’m just talking weekly psychiatric appointments or something. Perhaps somebody who will drive him there and everywhere while also keeping an eye on him, for his sake and ours. These are the things they can negotiate.

      • Well, then, Jenn, there’s no “deal” for lawyers to “strike.” Either Omar wants the help and he can ask for it, or he doesn’t want it and there’s nothing else to be done. Some “deal.”

        • Letting him walk as a free man in Canada doesn’t preclude active rehabilitation and monitoring of his progress by the state.

          If he chooses not to seek the help of the government, then his life is basically at an end. The government can actively ensure that he is given the proper tools and education to restart his life if so desired, don’t you think? I would think that this is what his counsel is doing i.e. looking out for the best interests of his client.

          • Whoah, somebody get Austin a copy of the Charter, quick! He seems to believe that an adult Canadian, neither charged nor convicted of any crime, can be both a “free man” and submit to monitoring of his progress in rehabilitation by the state. I don’t want to live in that kind of country, Austin, and neither, I hope, do you.

            Why should an adult Canadian, not declared incompetent by any legal authority, have his future decided by the federal government and his lawyer? Since when does one need a lawyer to sign up for an education?

          • Well, you can’t put him on parole or require him to do anything, but you can put him under surveillance if he’s deemed to be a potential security risk . . . and I’d say that for the first couple of years that’s a reasonable hypothesis to test out.

            On the other hand, if you offered him psychiatric counseling for free, he just might take you up on it.

        • What? This IS Omar asking for help, through his lawyers since they aren’t incarcerated and Harper doesn’t seem to want to visit. Why isn’t this a deal? Obviously, his lawyers will ask for a mansion and six servants, with daily therapy sessions. The government will counter with a walk up single room and a hot plate, and weekly therapy sessions, and then they’ll come to some mutually satisfactory middle ground.

          And yes, I’m assuming again.

  8. Uh…”police surveillance”?

    As Jenn pointed out, there is nothing for Khadr in Canada. A quick glance at the board here should make that obvious, MYL. If he wants to lead a normal life, he has to rely on the state to help him out. And part of that involves addressing the public perception that has been maintained by the current government through its inaction.

    I see where you are going with this, but wasn’t that a point made by Rae? You can’t get stuck in rigid ideology to address unique circumstances.

  9. myl, I gather from your somewhat heartless comments to Diane that you are one of the more well-educated, financially better off Canadian.

    We aren’t all like that, you know. Here in my town we have a group who has raised the funds to raise a building for a few of the many homeless people who have slipped through the cracks between mental health facilities and prison. They are free adult men (and women?), not charged with any crime, and yet receive daily ‘living’ lessons, or in other words are monitored by this group (in place of the state). They are required to pay what I think is a large rent (for homeless people), so it is as self-sufficient as possible.

    I only wish there were more such places so that more of our vulnerable could be assisted. I don’t know where you live or why you begrudge these people this assistance.

    • I don’t know where you live…

      West Island would be my guess.

    • Jenn, not sure at all where you get I begrudge people who need help getting the help. Or how your laudable community project work applies to Omar. Or how that has anything to do with a guy’s lawyers willingly conceding conditions for a citizen’s return to his own country.

      If I may take a turn to get all Jenny-syrupy: how many people show up on our doorstep with absolutely nothing? Not even the prized Canadian citizenship our hero possesses? Not even a team of lawyers to negotiate the terms of government service entitlements (you are defending) or limitations of freedom (I am questioning)? Who’s standing up for them?

      This whole mess (this thread, not Omar), you will recall, was my willingness to stick up for Omar’s freedoms even more, apparently, than his own lawyers.

      • myl, in future when you want to get all syrupy like me, could you please call it jenn-syrupy. I have an issue with the name Jenny. Thanks much.

        I have no idea what immigrants to this country have to do with the issue at hand. We’re not talking about an immigrant, we are talking about somebody who was born here.

        Now, I got that you begrudge people needing help getting it because you told Austin that you “don’t want to live in that kind of country” and I just pointed out that, in fact, you already do. And I find it hard to believe you can’t see the similarities between this community group project and (what I surmise Omar’s lawyers are trying to obtain for him) negotiations with Omar.

        I think your problem is that you can’t imagine Omar voluntarily agreeing to have his freedom somewhat curtailed. Perhaps because you see him as a vicious, hardened terrorist, I don’t know. But just as Americans agreed to give up some of their freedom in exchange for a feeling of safety after 9/11, so too might a vicious terrorist who is also a confused little boy inside.

        • On what basis do you believe that Omar Khadr is a “vicious terrorist”? I thought he was being tried for murder.

        • More specifically for throwing a grenade that killed an American soldier. While under attack.

        • Jenn, help me out. Did you genuinely not get my “don’t want to live in that kind of country” line (if so, here’s a hint: it was about the state’s restricting freedoms without any competent judicial approval) or are you just pretending not to so you can viciously twist words?

          Answer that question honestly, and I promise to restrict my vocabulary in future to “Jenn-syrupy,” even though that doesn’t have nearly the same poetic ring.

          • Oh dear. Am I being dense as well as syrupy? Of course I get that you don’t want anyone in Canada’s freedoms restricted without any competent judicial approval INVOLUNTARILY. I don’t want that either.

            But people can, and do, voluntarily surrender their freedoms to get the help they need. That is all I’m suggesting in Omar’s case. If he is dead set against it, as I said before, it won’t work. This is the part I’m beginning to think you genuinely dismiss because it doesn’t serve your argument.

            But Omar surely isn’t so stupid (or has at the very least been told by his lawyers) that his movements will be monitored, if not restricted–if he’s sent back to Canada with no charges pending. I certainly think there’s enough cause for CSIS or the RCMP to put him on a ‘watch’ list if that were the case.

            That, combined with a genuine need on Omar’s part for education, mental and physical assistance, living accommodations, etc. etc. makes me think he would be very willing to give up some freedoms to NOT be locked up in Guantanamo for another minute.

          • Jenn at noon: Now, I got that you begrudge people needing help getting it because you told Austin that you “don’t want to live in that kind of country”

            Jenn at midnight: Of course I get that you don’t want anyone in Canada’s freedoms restricted without any competent judicial approval INVOLUNTARILY.

            MYL, henceforth: I’m just gonna ignore Jenn’s twisted commentary; taking her seriously has been too headache-inducing.

  10. First, get the Canadian ex-child soldier who’s been held without legal recourse for almost 7 years and tortured back to Canada. Then worry about the details.

    The guy could be the biggest asshole on the planet and that’d still be the minimum our government could do to stop its humiliating condonation of rank illegality upon one of our fellow citizens.

  11. I’m glad someone raised the question of what Canada will or should do if/when Mr. Khadr is repatriated. It depends at this point, on how the U.S. plans to approach it.

    If they plan to dismiss the charges against him, then I’m sure there is some provision for the Canadian Government to intervene on his “freedom” based solely on the fact that he was in the compound and admittedly working as a translator for the organization that the U.S. was after. I think it is irrelevent that he was there on his parent’s demand… at least where the law is concerned. If the U.S. washes themselves clean of him, I think our Government has some options.

    My understanding of it… and I may be wrong… but the U.S. is also considering a form of extradition, that would allow the detainee(s) to be repatriated (and in some cases, sent to an acceptable Country not of a Detainee(s) origin), while still remaining incarcerated on pending investigation and/or prosecution. The point being that since he is Canadian, then he will at least be in his own Country (on our dime, as it were) to face the accusations if or when they are produced.

    I believe that the latter is the reason why Mr. Khadr’s Legal team is trying to get something in the works to prepare for and encourage repatriation. If it does happen, they will want to make sure that all possible avenues are explored to get him the care and help that he needs while awaiting either trial or dismissal.

    (It would tie a nice bow around the package to keep him technically awaiting a decision in Canadian custody, while allowing a period for education, medical help and psychological evaluation and treatment as well as some social developement.)

    It should have been in the works a very long time ago, in my humble opinion. I agree that he is in need of serious help both physically and mentally, some of which could have been avoided if our Government had not ignored his plight for so long.

    It is a very complicated case, and it is difficult to get a black or white answer about his involvement in terrorist activities… however… at the time, he was a minor and it was a travesty for him to be treated as an adult from the beginning. His age alone should have changed the way his case was handled… and IF he was found to have been participating in terrorist activities, he was at an age where an attempt could and should have been made to correct and educate him.

    He is no longer a minor at this point, and there are things we need to consider and negotiate before he can begin to live his life in any abstract form of normality. His safety should be assured, the safety of the Canadian public considered, and a plan to help him integrate into a society that he has no experience dealing with on his own.

    He has been held and “interrogated” by the U.S. during some of his most formative years, is physically, emotionally, educationally and socially ill prepared to be released to any country without help. There should be some discussions taking place at the very least, regarding his future.

    It is disgusting to ignore this until the U.S. asks Canada to take him back in.

    • This is the logical end result of cherry-picking which laws you wll, or will not follow ; an incoherent and arbitrary administration of twisted natural justice.

      • I agree, but that’s the Bush Administration for you.

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