'A test case in the indivisibility of Canadian citizenship' - Macleans.ca

‘A test case in the indivisibility of Canadian citizenship’


Michael Ignatieff, scrumming with reporters on the Hill just now, on the government’s latest move in the Omar Khadr case.

They did the absolute minimum. In our view, they should have added a crucial additional fact in a diplomatic note, that he was a child soldier. That used to be what we were saying, the Liberal government said in 2004, the previous government, at least we pointed out that he was a child soldier. We’ve also said we think that this is a test case in the indivisibility of Canadian citizenship. Many Canadians, including myself, take a very serious view of the accusations against Mr. Khadr. But he’s a Canadian citizen and you don’t pick and choose here, you defend them all. Otherwise no one’s citizenship is worth very much. That’s the key issue. And we’ve said for 18 months, we should bring Mr. Khadr home and he should face whatever process needs to be faced here. He’s also done, what is it, seven years in the tank? And now he’s going to go to an American tribunal and there have been substantial questions about those tribunals raised inside the United States.


‘A test case in the indivisibility of Canadian citizenship’

  1. So this is where Iggy is .. I have been wondering whether or not he was still in the running, doesn't sound like it to me judging by the above.

  2. "least we pointed out that he was a child soldier."

    Did Libs point out Khadr was child soldier before or after Libs breached his charter rights when interrogating him?

    • Probably before and after.

    • When did the Liberals interrogate him?

      • "The Americans have held Khadr since 2002, without benefit of trial or conviction. Born in Canada, he was a child soldier of 15 when U.S. troops captured him in Afghanistan after a battle with Al Qaeda in which a U.S. soldier was killed. He was charged with murder for allegedly throwing the fatal grenade. The Supreme Court last week declared that Canadian officials violated Khadr's basic rights in 2003 and 2004 when they interrogated him, at one point after he was softened up by three weeks of sleep deprivation. Indeed, his rights are still being violated, the court found, as Khadr faces trial before a legally dubious U.S. military commission in July." TorStar, Feb 05 2010

  3. I think the Canadian government should take into account which goverment is prosecuting a Canadian citizen. If it's Britian, US, Germany, there is a degree of trust in their democratic process. If China or Saudi Arabia is accusing a Canadian of anything I would fight it to the end because those governments are not trustworthy.

    Let the American prosecute Khadr.

    • Except that it's the American system which has ruled that the system used in Guantanamo is not trustworthy.

      • Which is another way of acknowledging that the American system works. Slowly, yes. Unsure of its steps at times, definitely. But the US Supreme Court and Congress have had their backing-and-forthing as they work at getting it right.

        • Nine years later, are they back or forth?

    • When was he captured? How long has it been without any legal recourse or prosecution? When did they finally let him talk to a lawyer? When will they actually prosecute him?

      Just because there are some monsters out there, just because the US has a rights-based history, doesn't mean the Canadian government doesn't still have obligations to its own citizens.

      Especially when you have so many right wing nuts saying every Taliban should be interrogated and then shot without trial, just as Glenn Beck did the other day.

    • Agreed we should trust democratic governments to enforce their laws. Omar is their guest and I am confident this speedy trial will take place before OBAMA closes down the facility.

      • "Speedy trial"! You jest sir! The appalling aspect of this from the perspective of the SCoC's pov is that they haven't said: "Times up US gov't, either you try him or ship him home". Justice delayed is justice denied. The less than brave posture of our supreme court is now an embarrassment. How long should a CC await trial overseas before it's an affront Canada?Let's remember we are the only western country to have not insisted our citizens be sent home to face justice.

        • Yes it was a jest calling it speedy. I have no problem with OBAMA taking his time in getting his trial of O.K. done. Why are you interested in his return to the battlefield or our own soil?

          • Oh.. just justice. Silly concept I know, especially when you have all this righteousness that you want fulfilled.

          • Have you made any donation toward his legal defence or like most "selective" justice seekers just hitting those keys trying to pretend you give a rats ass about human rights or justice?

          • I haven't, actually, as I believe our court aren't supposed to work for the highest bidder.

            Perhaps you think otherwise.

          • No it is apparent to me that many knee jerk, Internet activists, when it involves their own money or effort they simply fade away.

            How much are your principle(s) worth in giving O.K. more help? Not even five dollars?

            Here is a link best of luck for a petition.

          • God forbid that our elected gov't should stand up for the basic principles of justice…it isn't a democracy you want, it's a user pay plutocracy.

          • KcM,

            that is your personal opinion on this matter, you are entitled and accordingly to vote for a party that supports your view. The Liberals have NOT been consistent on this matter.

            I am cyncial, all political parties operate out of self-interest to some extent. Each party makes priorities and has to accept the consequences for those decisions.

            Example: If you would like to donate to David Suzuki/Al Gore -TD funded save the Carbon Tax Lobby feel free to do so!

            If you want to bring O.K. home , you should donate and sign a petition, join a facebook group and lobby on his behalf directly besides making 100 pleas to people who DON'T share your views on O.K.

            My priorities do not include his return in this lifetime.

          • Sorry, i thought we were on a blog , responding to an article. You are of course entitled to your view. And i'm free to advocate for a govt that promotes justice and the rule of law.

          • Kcm,
            As I said earlier you are free to post your opinion, I don't share it. We each have one vote in the ballot box.
            Best of luck with the NDP and Bloc who have been consistent in wanting to bring him home. The Liberals have flipped in and out power (many files) and the CPC are consistent in not demanding the return from the US justice system.

    • Hellooooooo, calling Keith! The "degree of trust in the (American) democratic process" has been completely eroded in the case of Guantanamo inmates by:

      the use of torture, intimidation and mistreatment to gather evidence
      a complete unwillingness to even consider designating Khadr as a child soldier
      the apprehension of legal rights/refusal to consider the inmates either civilians or combatants despite international law
      the repeated failure to create a process for a fair hearing that will stand up to the US courts themselves
      a delay in proceeding that has lasted close to a third of Khadr's life and would itself be grounds for dismissal in a civilian trial in Canada or the US

      In other words, Khadr hasn't been afforded ANY of the legal considerations that your trust has been built on and he's still sitting in a cell waiting for democracy to kick in. But good to know you'd "fight it to the end" if he was in China or Saudi Arabia where it wouldn't have any impact instead of right next door where we have some influence.

  4. Since we're letting the Americans write our environmental plan, make our pavilions and deliver our defacto speeches from the PM, why not let them just handle our immigration and citizenship issues, too? Harper could then concentrate on that hockey book and not be troubled whenever someone of colour gets less than stellar service from our gov't…

    • Impressive playing the"race" card. Don't let facts or history get in the way of your post. Your forgot to use the word brown skin and fear of traveling abroad for global reputation blah blah.

      May I sugget if you copy and paste next from the LPQ website, less errors in your smear.

  5. Huh? Iggy says…we should bring Mr. Khadr home and he should face whatever process needs to be faced here. "

    What Canadian law has Khadr broken? He has been charged in the United States. WE should await until that judicial process is complete.

    • Iffy has developed a New Report Card system His job is to ask the right questions. Everything is good hands.

    • There's the rub. Canada ain't got nothing on this guy. So the "bring him home to face justice here" is either a veiled or a thoroughly ignorant plea to bring him home with the result of freeing him forthwith.

      • Most of these poster just want to hug him anyways. They have NO clue or what charges he would face.

    • What American law has he broken? The alleged offences took place in Afghanistan. By that logic, he should be tried in an Afghan court.

      The fact is though Canadian courts, American courts, any country is able to try international offences.

  6. Of course there was no need to add that he was a child soldier since he wasn't one when he was captured on the battlefield. He was 15 and the definition used by the International Criminal Court for prosecuting recruiters of child soldiers is under 15 not 15 and under.

    If the Americans now decide they no longer have a case because the evidence obtained from the Canadian diplomats is tainted then he is free to come home. If he they feel they still have a case then he can face prosecution and if convicted then the Canadian government can bring him home to serve time here, assuming we even want to.

    There is absolutely nothing here about indivisible Canadian citizenship. If Omar had robbed a liquor store in Boise Idaho we wouldnt be asking for him to be sent home until after the Americans decided if he was going to face trial.

    The government remedy is well within the Supreme Court ruling.

    • You're comfortable with a CC waiting 7 years and counting to face their day in court are you, cuz i can tell you i'm bloody well not.

      • The most significant factor in the length of Young Omar's pre-trial detention was the efforts of his lawyers (and the lawyers of other detainees) to delay the trials. The NY Times has reoported this. Lawyers for the detainees deliberately dragged out the process through challenges in the federal courts, hoping to outlast the Bush Administration. It's Young Omar's poor fortune that his lawyers made a bet that the Obama Administration would let him go, which turned out to be a pretty poor wager in retrospect.

        Here's the deal, if Young Omar had been brought to trial back in '05 or '06, he probably would have been acquitted once the tribunal ruled that he was, indeed, a child soldier. Even if they hadn't acquitted him outright, he'd be out of prison by now, given that his age would certainly have been a factor in sentencing. If Omar want's someone to blame, he should blame his lawyers. They're the one's who decided to tie his fortune to KSM. They're the reason he's still living in a cage.

        • While I agree his own lawyers have played their own part in his process I still take issue with your conclusion he would have been acquitted becase he was a child soldier. Once again the only operational definition used to convict has been under 15 not 15 and under. I also point to the fact the SCC of ignored the issue completely in their ruling. Young Omar might be acquitted but it wont be on the argument that he is a child soldier.

        • That's just a lie. Most of the waiting was while the US was inventing a hearing process which eventually failed to pass the smell test and had to be redone. They didn't even begin to constitute the Guantamo Military Commission until 2005 and Khadr wasn't charged unitl later that year, so that's 3 of the 7 years right there. When there were persistent refusals to disclose evidence by the prosecution and attempts by the military to direct Khadr's legal represeantive over the objections of his client, you can hardly attribute the resulting legal challenges as "delay."

          • I had a feeling HC was skating on very thin ice there. It's not just Khadr, nobody else as come before one of these commissions yet. As you say, had Khadr gone straight to trial it would have been a travesty of justice, given the behaviour of the prosecution…talk about blame the victim.

          • Victim? Who is blaming the medic who was killed?

          • Since it isn't proven that Khadr killed the medic i'd say the victim in all this is still open to debate…but you're right a man is dead, and that's certainly a tragedy.

      • Well good for you. There are many things I am not comfortable with on many sides of this issue. You may want to consider that Team Khadr has been playing double down the whole time. They could have struck a plea bargain, it isnt up to the Canaidan Government to seek that. Team Khadr could have said, fine I'll serve time, in Canadian jail, which means he has to plead guiltyto something. So he wants complete acquittal, after being captured on a battlefield. Hard to say why the Canadian government should use its weight to gain his acquittal. He wont face trial in Canada, because we dont have anything to charge him with. Once again, if he had robbed a liquor store in Brooklyn and was still in jail we wouldnt be asking for him to be set free.

        The government has requested its evidence be removed, no reason to believe it wouldnt be, and then the prosecutors have to decide if they have a case. If they do, proceed with trial/commission whatever. If he is convicted then like many prisoners he can serve his time here. If acquitted then he can come gome and start his new life as a suer of the Canadian Government…which is likely the plan anyway.

        • I haven't said the gov't should try and get his acquittal. What they should have been doing, as with any CC is seek to ensure he got a speedy and fair trial. When it became more or less obvious the prosecution were playing fast and loose with the evidence our gov't and our gutless supremes should have concluded he wasn't likely to be getting a fair or speedy trial. I have real problems with Conservatives continually asserting there are two measures of justice here, one for those we deem worthy, and lesser mortals who we feel don't merit a fair and open trial before a jury of their peers. This has been a farce all along. Khadr while not wholly innocent is being served up as a scapegoat of sorts…it is sickening and demeaning to watch.

          • There will be a momnt ot call time on this. I think this is the last attempt and if the Americans cant get this one going, then it would be appropriate, probably on both sides, to say this isnt happening. There is very little we have to say while the US system is in train, since we would object just as much if the US requested back people who had done us harm. I think the Supremes were wise, in that they found the right framework, one that will last as opposed to being a one off. Canadian goverment actions violated a Canadian citizens rights not the woolier version that was being pushed of some other government isnt living up to our alleged standards or process. The Supremes could have easily dismissed the entire case as being outside their jurisdiction as it is a legitimate argument to say the governments obligations stop at the border (I dont agree, just saying you can build a case)

            I fail to see your point on different justice, where have they taken actions that are different?

          • "I fail to see your point on different justice, where have they taken actions that are different?"

            I'm referring to the many posters [not yourself] who seem to feel that it's obvious he did it is good enough, innocent until proven guilty doesn't apply here, or he's unworthy of due process. It may well be he's unworthy, but that misses the point ; we simply can't pick and choose those whose rights are more worthy of defending.
            Your arguement is reasonable to a point, although i'd say if our military prosecution team had been found to have either cooked up evidence, or overlooked importatant facts the defense was entittled to see…i think we'd here a lot of yelling and screaming from down south.

        • Insisting on a fair trial isn't doubling down, it's a bare minimum of procedural fairness.

          • I agree, procedural fairness is the expectation. The doubling down is referencing one of the myriad of reasons Team Khadr throws up to justify release, if not formally then in practice. One of the examples used is that he is the last Westerner left….almost all of the others had pleaded to some kind of conviction or were let go as an acquittal. Those who pleaded were then transferred home to serve time. So if the issue is bringing him home only, then he had some control. I agree with you there should be the trial (commission) so this affair can be brought to a conclusion. One can argue that the US wasnt co-ordinated in reconstituting war time military trials, that they actually care about proper legal authority should say something. That there is now a agreed process in place, blessed by their legislature and their courts should allow the trial to go forward, assuming the prosecutors still feel they have a case with the Canadian Government obtained evidence gone.
            The process should play itself out soon enough, and he will either be convicted or acquitted or charges dropped. Dont expect the Candian government to fix a problem (being caught on an Afghani battlefield) that they didnt cause.

          • Is that established, that the others all pleaded? If so, it does effecct the case for Khadr's repatriation…however, it still doesn't change the onus on the US to provide a timely trial – Khadr has a right to plead innocense of that charge, particularly under the circumstances.
            And if he is acquitted, what then? An aplology for the lost years and a probable lawsuit? He made a choice to go there, that's clear. But considering the diminished responsibility of his age, i'd say he's paid a high price.

          • Is that established, that the others all pleaded? If so, it does effecct the case for Khadr's repatriation…however, it still doesn't change the onus on the US to provide a timely trial – Khadr has a right to plead innocense of that charge, particularly under the circumstances.
            And if he is acquitted, what then? An aplology for the lost years and a probable lawsuit? He made a choice to go there, that's clear. But considering the diminished responsibility of his age, i'd say he's paid a high price.

  7. I have to love everyone here worrying about Mr. Khadr while an 11 year old Canadian boy sits in the custody of the State of Oregon. His name is Noah Kirkman. He was 9 years old when he was taken into custody by the United States because his mother sent him down to Oregon to be temporarily with his step father (who has no legal parental rights to the boy) and Oregon is now wanting to put this Canadian child up for adoption in the US, forcing Noah to become an American citizen.

    The Liberals know about Noah, as do the Conservatives and NDPers but none of them say anything? Why?

    What's Noah's citizenship worth ….. so far, jackshit.

    Aaron, how about asking Iggy about Noah Kirkman …. when will we bring him home? Where is the Canadian outrage for this 11 year old Canadian boy who did nothing to anyone!

  8. Whether or not we can trust the tribunal being set up for Khadr means very little. The man is accused of murdering a decorated American soldier IN Afghanistan. What right do we have to call him home? He broke no Canadian laws, murdered no Canadians. It is not our obligation whatsoever.

    Should we request repatriation of every "Canadian" scum who has committed unforgivable crimes so we can give them a slap on the wrist? I understand he is a Canadian citizen, and hopefully he will receive a fair trial but it is not our responsibility nor our right to repatriate nor charge him under our legal system.

    • Ah , yes. Having concluded already that he is Canadian "scum" that has "committed" an "unforgiveable crime", why do you care if he gets a fair trial?

      Usually, we don't get to determine someone is scum, or that they have committed an unforgiveable crime until after they've had a fair trial. I think that's the purpose (in part) of having the fair trial.

      • Yeah that's disgusting, pity SH holds the very same views, only he doesn't have the guts to say so any more. Which oddly enough is also true of Ignatieff…so what's your point? Oor leaders lie…couldn't agree more.

        • Can you provide a link any other leader suggested sleep deprivation, torture and assasination may be necessary.

          • This piece said nothing about sleep deprivation et al., just criticizes our image as peacekeepers – a view i have no doubt SH privately shares. In any case i'm not particularly interested in defending MI; who has made disparaging statements, along with SH about this country, and who doubtless shares similar opinions to SH on torture. But at least Ignatieff has had the courage to publically repudiate some of his views.

          • No Kcm……Michael Ignatieff didn't repudiate his views. I'm sure he still holds the same views. What he did do is cave into pressure from the media and certain immigrant communities in Liberal strongholds. You want to get elected…..cater to those who hold the most number of potential votes.

            and in Canada……Muslims voters outnumber Jewish voters by a wide margin.

            Michael ignatieff wasn't changing his views….he was engaged in a math exercise.

          • Do you think MI will be holding a Liberal party internal inquiry asking why the ministers at the time, his party, allowed ministry officials to engage in the behaviour that violated Mr Khadr's rights? Its an action he could do all on his own.

            I say this only because you seem to be placing so much of this on SH, when Khadr was a situation that was inherited and none of the rights violtions took place under his government.

          • I'd love to know the truth. It all started with Chretien…it's a puzzle to me why SH is still defending him. Will the liberals allow an investigation? I doubt it?

  9. Liberals sure have a soft spot for the outlaw set. It's like it's reflexive with them or something.

    • Funny, I was just thinking that your habit of making paralyzingly dim statements was reflexive or something…

      • Hey. Let's all start playing the same dumb game as Canadian sense. Let's post all the nice things Harper used to say about Canada in the US, back when he had nothing to lose…kinda like Ignatieff.

        • Michael made his comments in 2005 defending the G.W.B. human rights record.

          • he then clarified his opinion and came out against the war. We are still waiting for either your so-called leader or even Csenseless to say the war in iraq was wrongheaded and morally wrong…

          • Yes, as a direct result of gaining leadership of the Liberal Party, many of his views have changed. So what do you justify for the reason of the change? New information or pandering to popular sentiment?

            Apparently you were not paying attention when our Navy went to Iraq (Task Force 151) or the Liberals were bragging about our participation to the Americans off camera. I was under theimpression the CPC voters were dupes and ignorant. (Interesting twist don't you think?)
            Check your history, we went to Iraq. The Senior Military were involved in the planning an coordination.

            Reality Check:
            As an example. In Ireland 2005 he called us disgusting how we had a bogus peacekeeping relationship for the last 40 years, we gave away our peacekeeping capabilities for a social welfare state. In 2009 he praised the Liberals including Chretien/Martin and than blamed Harper who came to form a minority parliament since 2006.
            Need a link how rewrites history or the Liberal Party denies the truth?

            I am still waiting for the links of Harper being disgusted at our bogus peacekeepingor supporting torture and Empire Lite.

    • Oh my, did you get a Con ten percenter? Or, did you look on a Cons talking point website?

    • And Tories had Rahim Jaffer in caucus. I guess thart makes it even.

  10. I am not sure that the Conservative supporters need take much notice here… Iggy is simply supporting the rights of Canadian citizens around the world wrt judicial process regardless of the accusations they face as a gesture to his core. It is kinda the same motivation that causes Prime Minister Harper to defend the right of South Calgary MPs to be incompetent bigots as a gesture to you.

    • Reminds me how Liberals treated Canadians abroad like William Sampson or Arar.

  11. They did the absolute minimum.

    No. The absolute minimum would have been "Thank you for your declaration, SCOC, and we will now exert our court-recognized responsibility to remedy the situation in diplomatic fashion that must, for the sake of national security, not be made public." That's your absolute minimum.

    • The court most definitely did not state national security concerns overrule charter rights.

      • You have an amazing talent inferring arguments not made.

        The court most definitely said the choice of remedy rested with the government's foreign affairs decision-making, not with the courts.

        • spliting hairs…a talent of yours.

          • You may not like the point but MYL is correct. You want a different result, but the Court said the officials way back when violated his rights….which was finally an argument I could buy, the Government took an action against a citizen….so now there has to be remedy, and the Court made it clear that it did not feel capable of proscribing that remdy.

            Actually, thanks but not thanks is not the minimum remdy, it is no remedy. The government could have done less, it could have offered token finacial compensation but left the evidence in place. It could have just made a phone call and not a formal note. But it is appropriate…..now the US has to decide if it can still convict without this evidence. If it can, try him, come to decision and decide a penalty if he is convicted.

          • The main duty of our gov't here IMHO is to ensure a citizen receives a fair and timely trial. That'a all. I wouldn't be any happier if say a liberal gov't just insisted he come home and give him a bunch of money…it's not the same as the Arar case…he needs to face justice – i don't want any gov't deciding who's innocent or guillty…that's for a jury of peers and no one else.
            The question all along has been will he get a fair trial in the US? I'd say there's ample evidence he wont…it's why all the other western countries insisted their citizens face justice at home. To say as you did earlier he couldn't face charges here is simply wrong…didn't we just try a thug from Rawanda?
            I get it the courts have said it's not our job to decide what the remedy should be – wisely probably. But i contend they could have concluded our gov't [s] was/were only half heartedly defending the right of a citizen to due process…it's has been obvious for a while now that Khadr has been a whipping boy for successive gov'ts…the courts should have stopped this long ago…shamefully they have failed us all.

  12. lets see….

    psiclone check
    jolyon check
    nich check
    jarrid check
    vinceclorthor check
    canadiansense check

    Using a typically tepid note on dear Iggy, Aaron has baited and cleverly lured all the boring trolls together on one post, he ,he, he …
    Now he will run that new software that will banish them (in all their incarnations) forever to the blogging tories


    • Is that the new software Liberals senators were trying to get the taxpayers to pay for? Just asking because Liberals keep treating taxpayers money as if it is theirs.

      Any chance you know where the estimated $ 34 million?

    • Do you suppose the contact each other each day to get down the PM talking points?

    • Glad to see your substantial contribution to the discussion, it's badgertastic!

  13. I have to love everyone here worrying about Mr. Khadr while an 11 year old Canadian boy sits in the custody of the State of Oregon.

    His name is Noah Kirkman.

    He was 9 years old when he was taken into custody by the United States because his mother sent him down to Oregon to be temporarily with his step father (who has no legal parental rights to the boy) and Oregon is now wanting to put this Canadian child up for adoption in the US, forcing Noah to become an American citizen.

    Now I'm a little dumb … anyone know why Khadr is the poster boy for the liberals when the real poster boy for government inaction is Noah Kirkman?

    The liberals said: "We've also said we think that this is a test case in the indivisibility of Canadian citizenship."

    You want a "test case", look to young Mr. Kirkman!

    • But then, why choose just one example of government inaction when there are apparently so many?

      • Like William Sampson or Arar, oh nevermind those were under the Liberals. Look away.

        • You mean while the Conservatives were spearheading the Free Arar campaign?

          • Do you have evidence to suggest that?

          • Thoroughly appalled by the very thought of it, are you? I think the point is that they weren't.

          • So you have NO links to back up your thoughts?

          • Do you mean posts that back up my thoughts that you rarely seem to get the point of what's being said? It's not that I have so few, it's that there are so many to choose from.

          • Actually you have said very little. You just recycle your earlier stated position.

            Your want to bring home O.K. and believe your opinion is correct. You along with other make allegations the PM shared the G.W.B Bush Doctrine without introducing any evidence.

            I used speeches from Michael Ignatieff highlighting his disgust for our peacekeeping reputation and admiration for the US prior to running for the Liberal Party a few years later.

            I have cited a specific examples how the Liberals have left Canadians to be tortured at the hands of our allies (William Sampson) and left O.K. for 4 years with the US before joining the NDP/Bloc in demanding his return.

            This reminds me of the opposition and their apologists that called our government racist for not moving fast enough for the "single mother" visiting her mother and demanding $ 2.5 million for her discomfort.

            Evidence of her younger sister, her visiting her husband, being married and our staff getting conflicting information has not been given the same amount of coverage.

            So craigola, jump on every negative bandwagon hoping for an evil corrupt right wing conspiracy viewpoint.

            I suspect some of us have moved our votes between parties when they fail to deliver, break a significant promise(s).

            MI threw Dion under the bus and has INTRODUCED zero in policy alternatives to be debated and voted on in this minority parliament?

            The Liberals are interested in staging photo-ops and stunts instead of working with the current gov't. Preston Manning did NOT adopt a destructive idealogy and cooperated with the Liberals in seeking a smaller government.

          • strange.

          • checkmate,

            thanks for coming out.

          • Wow …. I love the sense of outrage there is here about the fate of a judicially kidnapped 11 year old Canadian boy. Man oh man, I guess the poor kid just doesn't matter and Mr. Khadr does. Pity! Darn Pity!

          • No fair pointing to positions that highlight selective outrage. It dosnt go down well here.

          • "Man oh man, I guess the poor kid just doesn't matter and Mr. Khadr does."

            My daughter does this same thing sometimes. When she doesn't get the exact response she wants, she gets all sulky with the, "I guess no one wants to play with me," or, "I guess nobody loves me after all," or the like. Are you also four years old?
            There there, Lawrence A. Oshanek. Nobody's saying Noah Kirkman doesn't matter. He does, and I thank you for raising his example because up until you did, I didn't know about him. Now that I do, and I've had a chance to find out more, I think what's happening to him is totally outrageous and unfair and, similar to what I said above, another excellent example of how our government appears to be completely indifferent to the plights of Canadians who find themselves in jams outside our borders.
            With that said, I don't exactly understand why you feel as though there needs to be only one "poster boy" for this government's inaction in situations like this. I take it you feel he's a more sympathetic character than Khadr, which is fair enough, but I don't really see the need for a comparison/contrast exercise. They're a bunch of sh*tbags for not doing enough to protect him, too.
            You have my solemn word that from here on in, I promise to stick up for Noah Kirkland whenever I can. Happy now?

          • Thank you Lawrence for highlighting Noah Kirkman's case. If Canadian citizens don't think this is relevent to them, they should stop and think of how their government would react if one of their kids were held in foster care in Oregon when their whole family was in Canada…AND NO CRIME WAS COMMITTED BY EITHER THE CHILDOR PARENT. The fact is that in this case our government has taken a sit back and wait attitude, assuming Oregon will do the right thing "eventually", and if they don't and Noah is adopted out to strangers….well, I guess a big shrug and onto more glamorous cases. Our Foreign Affairs office is working at breakneck speed to bring Haitian orphans into Canada, yet we can't get them to cut the red tape and get ONE CANADIAN CHILD home. Maybe Noah doesn't the big photo ops that the polititians seem to need to do the right thing.

  14. At one level you have a point, it certainly appears that Foreign Affairs has an obligation to investigate Noah's situation and advocate for a rational solution. (The only reason that I am not stating that the obvious solution is to return him to his mother is that I could not find the American courts justification on the web). However, the point liberals are trying to make here is certainly not that Khadr is a poster boy. (Admittedly, there are Khadr-huggers out there who think he will be a model citizen when he returns) If you listen to Ignatieff and especially Rae on the subject, it is clearly understood that Khadr is at best a severely disturbed individual who will have a very hard time fitting into society for the rest of his life.

    The point that the liberals are trying to make, is that the government does not get to pick and choose which Canadians abroad it will support. Support in this context does not mean advocating Canadians abroad not be held accountable for their actions rather it means:
    1) that Canadians abroad should not be subject to torture or inhumane treatment
    2) that Canadians abroad accused of a crime should face a fair and timely judicial process
    Also it is a long standing policy of the Canadian government to push for non-capital punishment of Canadians convicted of crimes overseas.

    As long as government policy is decided not on principles but rather publilc opinion polls, Canadians overseas are at risk of mistreatment. Moreover, if the only remedy is to mount a public relations campaign to push the government to action then those cases of mistreatment (even those involving innocents that could be cleared up quickly with government intervention) will drag on for months and years before any resolution.

    • Well said SS..oops Stewart, well said! :)

    • Re: PRC: I think I was trying to do that here. It may be useful for someone to focus on a case where there is no anti-western bias or voluntary engagements with foreign states . Look at the list of interveners in the Khadr SCC case, a lot of time, money and effort spent and not one of them is aware of Noah Kirkman.

      There is no legal justification for a foreign country to keep a child it seized … even if the parent is grossly unfit. The Hague and other international agreements require that the child be returned to the country of it's origin (in a case like this one – to the custody of that countries social services body).

      What the US has done in this case (and Canada by it;s neglect to object) is the worse of Yankee imperialism.

      • Hopefully a mainstream journalist will pick up on this and bring it to the public's attention. While my point above was that government should act on principles and leave judgements to judicial process, however that does not do much for an individual in trouble. I read somewhere that Rob Anders was the MP in the mothers riding and had shown some interest in the case. Ordinarily this would be good, since a government MP has a much better chance of resolving the issue quietly and effectively. Since that hasn't happened, and quietly the Conservative government is probably on the same page as the Oregon courts in this matter, a public forum is probably the only option. (For those that haven't looked into this story, the mother Lisa Kirkman is a prominent proponent of legalizing pot.)

  15. Have they charged his parents for creating a child soldier yet?

    • His father is dead

    • His mother isnt…and this would be the consistency of him being a child soldier…..Now, I dont think he was when he was captured, since he was past the definition used to convict Thomas Lubanga….but I wouldnt expect any consistency to Team Khadr, the only goal is to spring him…..and then sue, their right by the way…..

  16. Re. Kahdr et al : Checking on the Criminal Code(Section 45 (1) etc) I believe there are grounds for a charge of high treason for the whole family, much more serious than murder.. That is good for 25 years and is easier to prove. Bring ém back . And get on wwith it