‘The whole thing could turn out to be moot’

by Aaron Wherry

Interesting claim in a letter to the editor from a member of the American Bar Association.

I had the opportunity to speak last week with Joan Donoghue, the acting legal adviser at the State Department. While her comments were guarded – and properly so – it was clear to me the administration is seeking a diplomatic solution to Mr. Khadr’s status, which likely means repatriation. 




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‘The whole thing could turn out to be moot’

  1. Yes, but TheStrategist ™ needs Khadr for his fundraising letters to his base.

  2. Yes, but TheStrategist ™ needs Khadr for his fundraising letters to his base.

  3. Just as a matter of curiosity, does anyone know what the legal position would be if the U.S. didn't wait for a request from the Canadian government, but just put Khadr on a plane and sent him, a Canadian citizen, back to Canada? As he has not been convicted of anything, could Canada refuse him entry?

  4. My understanding is that the Minister can refuse to allow entry citing national security. The Abdelrazik case, in which this is being done, strikes me as even more straightforward since the RCMP and CSIS have cleared him of all wrong doing.

    As a side bar, I think the Harper government is being a little stupid wrt their own interests in these 2 cases. Most core conservatives hate interventionist judges (they are all Liberal hacks), but in both cases, they are essentially forcing the judiciary to act, which will set precidents. (Not to mention provide fodder for another stupid blog by Silvers). Chalk it up to pandering to the darker elements in their base.

  5. I don't think it's true that the Minister can "refuse to allow entry citing national security".

    Technically what the Minister is doing in the Abdelrazik case is refusing to issue travel documents on (supposed, and dubious) grounds of "national security". Now, true, this has the EFFECT of denying entry, but I don't think it's actually the same as denying entry in a legalistic sense, since in a legal sense you most certainly CAN NOTdeny entry to a Canadian citizen. Abdelrazik's dilemma is that he can't get documents (a passport) to travel to Canada. If he could get here, I'm pretty sure there's NO WAY that a government official (even a Minister) could keep him out, and the same goes for Khadr.

    I base this on this: "Every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada."

    There are many things in Canada's constitution that might not be as clear as we'd like. The right of a citizen to enter Canada is pretty darned clear though, imho.

    If the Americans stick Khadr on a plane to Pearson, the government's only legal options would be to either arrest him (for, something) once he lands, or let him go freely about his life.

  6. Call me one Conservative who is puzzled at why Harper is so adamant about sticking fast on this issue. It is not like we would care if he decided to run through the Canadian justice system a nominal Canadian citizen who likes to cut off hands rather than keeping him in Guantamo. Certainly the meat isn't red enough to be distract his base from that huge deficit he is running or his refusal to allow motions or free votes on the abortion issue. The base isn't really worried about terrorism at all, to be frank. If Canada does have a terrorist attack, Toronto, Vancouver or Montreal is going to be where it happens. They aren't going to come out to where we live.

    On the other hand, this casual abandonment of a Canadian citizen really hurts his chances of absorbing votes towards the center, and angers some of the more thoughtful among his right wing base, including me.

  7. Just as a matter of curiosity, does anyone know what the legal position would be if the U.S. didn’t wait for a request from the Canadian government, but just put Khadr on a plane and sent him, a Canadian citizen, back to Canada? As he has not been convicted of anything, could Canada refuse him entry?

    • My understanding is that the Minister can refuse to allow entry citing national security. The Abdelrazik case, in which this is being done, strikes me as even more straightforward since the RCMP and CSIS have cleared him of all wrong doing.

      As a side bar, I think the Harper government is being a little stupid wrt their own interests in these 2 cases. Most core conservatives hate interventionist judges (they are all Liberal hacks), but in both cases, they are essentially forcing the judiciary to act, which will set precidents. (Not to mention provide fodder for another stupid blog by Silvers). Chalk it up to pandering to the darker elements in their base.

      • I don’t think it’s true that the Minister can “refuse to allow entry citing national security”.

        Technically what the Minister is doing in the Abdelrazik case is refusing to issue travel documents on (supposed, and dubious) grounds of “national security”. Now, true, this has the EFFECT of denying entry, but I don’t think it’s actually the same as denying entry in a legalistic sense, since in a legal sense you most certainly CAN NOTdeny entry to a Canadian citizen. Abdelrazik’s dilemma is that he can’t get documents (a passport) to travel to Canada. If he could get here, I’m pretty sure there’s NO WAY that a government official (even a Minister) could keep him out, and the same goes for Khadr.

        I base this on this: “Every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada.”

        There are many things in Canada’s constitution that might not be as clear as we’d like. The right of a citizen to enter Canada is pretty darned clear though, imho.

        If the Americans stick Khadr on a plane to Pearson, the government’s only legal options would be to either arrest him (for, something) once he lands, or let him go freely about his life.

        • Call me one Conservative who is puzzled at why Harper is so adamant about sticking fast on this issue. It is not like we would care if he decided to run through the Canadian justice system a nominal Canadian citizen who likes to cut off hands rather than keeping him in Guantamo. Certainly the meat isn’t red enough to be distract his base from that huge deficit he is running or his refusal to allow motions or free votes on the abortion issue. The base isn’t really worried about terrorism at all, to be frank. If Canada does have a terrorist attack, Toronto, Vancouver or Montreal is going to be where it happens. They aren’t going to come out to where we live.

          On the other hand, this casual abandonment of a Canadian citizen really hurts his chances of absorbing votes towards the center, and angers some of the more thoughtful among his right wing base, including me.

          • Conservative supporters in Canada are not typically bigots, however, it is an unfortunate fact that the typical Canadian bigot is a conservative supporter. Unfortunately the party of Rob Anders and Tom Lukiwski seldom works very hard to push out their fringe supporters. (Although they did during Mulroney’s heyday)

            I don’t know if the above is because bigots are good financial supporters or if the Conservatives believe every vote is too precious to lose. However, I do know that if Khadr and Abdelrazik were fair skinned and named after apostles they would already be in Canada.

  8. Conservative supporters in Canada are not typically bigots, however, it is an unfortunate fact that the typical Canadian bigot is a conservative supporter. Unfortunately the party of Rob Anders and Tom Lukiwski seldom works very hard to push out their fringe supporters. (Although they did during Mulroney's heyday)

    I don't know if the above is because bigots are good financial supporters or if the Conservatives believe every vote is too precious to lose. However, I do know that if Khadr and Abdelrazik were fair skinned and named after apostles they would already be in Canada.

  9. He's a citizen. He has a right to enter. So does Abdelrazik, if he can get to the border.

  10. Dennis Edney will file a law-suit on behalf of Omar Khadr as soon as his feet hit the ground in Canada. I know he's planning to sue the feds because I asked him if he was going to in early November/08 and he said yes, he was.

    If Obama accepts a repatriation request and the feds ditch Khadr in the U.S., they're just setting themselves up for more problems in a law-suit. They should come up with their own repatriation plan fast and show they have control of the situation. A public inquiry into Foreign Affairs' role in those rights violations wouldn't hurt either – it would look like the feds care after all about the abuse.

    A public inquiry would be cheaper than a failed appeal of the order to request repatriation and a loser of a law-suit. It's win-win. The feds look good, save money – and Omar Khadr gets on with his life, instead of spending God-knows how many years in a law-suit and appeals, only to watch his lawyers take most of any monies awarded.

    Marnie Tunay

    http://fakirsca.blogspot.com/

  11. He’s a citizen. He has a right to enter. So does Abdelrazik, if he can get to the border.

  12. A public inquiry would be cheaper than a failed appeal of the order to request repatriation and a loser of a law-suit. It's win-win. The feds look good, save money – and Omar Khadr gets on with his life, instead of spending God-knows how many years in a law-suit and appeals, only to watch his lawyers take most of any monies awarded.

  13. Dennis Edney will file a law-suit on behalf of Omar Khadr as soon as his feet hit the ground in Canada. I know he’s planning to sue the feds because I asked him if he was going to in early November/08 and he said yes, he was.
    If Obama accepts a repatriation request and the feds ditch Khadr in the U.S., they’re just setting themselves up for more problems in a law-suit. They should come up with their own repatriation plan fast and show they have control of the situation. A public inquiry into Foreign Affairs’ role in those rights violations wouldn’t hurt either – it would look like the feds care after all about the abuse.
    A public inquiry would be cheaper than a failed appeal of the order to request repatriation and a loser of a law-suit. It’s win-win. The feds look good, save money – and Omar Khadr gets on with his life, instead of spending God-knows how many years in a law-suit and appeals, only to watch his lawyers take most of any monies awarded.
    Marnie Tunay
    http://fakirsca.blogspot.com/

    • A public inquiry would be cheaper than a failed appeal of the order to request repatriation and a loser of a law-suit. It’s win-win. The feds look good, save money – and Omar Khadr gets on with his life, instead of spending God-knows how many years in a law-suit and appeals, only to watch his lawyers take most of any monies awarded.

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