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Important context to come


 

Unsolicited, a three paragraph statement from Foreign Affairs arrived just now.

It is important to let the Parliamentary Committee process unfold and to consider and weigh the testimony of subsequent witnesses before drawing any conclusions about how events in Afghanistan may have unfolded in 2006 and 2007.

It is our understanding that other current and former DFAIT employees will be testifying before the Parliamentary Committee. Their testimony will provide important context and information about this issue.

Canada has a robust monitoring regime for Canadian transferred detainees in place. From the beginning of our engagement in Kandahar in 2005, Canada has taken steps with the Afghan government to ensure that Afghanistan meets its domestic and international obligations with respect to the treatment of detainees.


 

Important context to come

  1. Assuming, of course, that the Government would have spent not a dime in legal fees under the alternative you suggest?

  2. This is the same logic that lets earnestly unserious activists conclude that if we just had X fewer fighter jets, there'd be $Y billion available for their particular pet cause.

    • Or they express their numbers in terms of MRIs or Nurses. "Enough money to buy 400 MRIs and hire 2000 Nurses." When they revert to talking dollars turn it around and ask them "How much is that in MRIs?"

    • Your conservatism for the sake of conservatism is mucking your logic. Wherry is not trying trade one expense for another, he's showing us how bad decisions by the Liberal and Conservative governments is costing us more in the long run.

  3. Think of how much we'd save if we just emptied the prisons altogether!! No prisons, no justice system, no police – just think of the money that would free up.

    There are all kinds of good arguments for bringing Khadr back to Canada. Why bother with such a bad argument?

    • Sorry, Igarvin, there are NO good arguments for bringing him back. He and his whole family are well documented as hating Canada and willing to do anything they can to destroy it.

  4. Well this is a step forward. Aaron seems to be accepting that Omar Khadr is deserving of incarceration.

    • Why do you think so? Has he been found guilty of anything yet – in a setting where appropriate evidence and process were employed? I may be old fashioned, but I'd like to hope we haven't given up on fair trials.

      • Prior to now everything has been about why Khadr should be brought home, and not tried by the way, so this is a change. I am not against him serving time up here if and when he is convicted.

        But here is the contradiction, if he was classified as a POW the way some of his people would like him to have been he would be incarcerated for an indefinite period, essentially until Al Queda surrenders(read forever)…..so if he isnt a POW then he is to be tried as an enemy combatent, under military justice (assuming the Amercans continue with that plan).

        Once the Americans decide what their answer is then we can bring him to Canada to either, be set free because he was declared innocent or charges dropped, or to serve out his time if convicted.. It has almost been a year since the kindler gentler administartion came in….tick tock

        I am more concerned about Amada Lindhout, a Canadaian journalist captured by a particularly nasty brand of Islamists in Somalia. They are more deserving of your concern and if the reports of rape and forced birth are accurate, real assistance.

        You can't weep for everyone, so it might as well be for those who are really deserve it.

        • He was a child when captured, for starters. I'm astonished at how easily we (rightly) condemn regimes in places like Iran and China for abuses, yet give the USA a free pass for playing fast and loose with categories and definitions in a manner that amounts to a violation of most anyone's concept of a fair and reasonable trial.

          Defending free speech often involves going to the wall for people we might not much like. But we do it, or should, because such freedoms can and should not be subject to popularity contests. Similarly, we shouldn't pick and choose individuals in defending rights to fair trials. Because if that right only counts for people with broad public affection, then the right doesn't really exist at all.

          Think about the various arguments in favour of abandoning Khadr, and compare them to the discourse and attitudes present when Canadians of Japanese descent were rounded up during WWII. Khadr may only be one boy (now a man), but I think history will again find us lacking any real committment to the freedoms and values we are often willing to lay down soldiers' lives for.

          • Free speech…WHAT! This has nothing to do with free speech. And to compare Iran's jsutice system and even the flawed system used for enemy combatants is the worst sort of moral equivalency. There is no comparison worth making.

            And please, defending Omar is like defending the Japanese internees? See my point above about moral equivalnecy. Once again, save your pity, effort and tears for a truely deserving Canadian, and direct your anger at the right target. Amanada Lindhout has been held by Isalmists in Somalia for 14 months. Reports are she has been raped, ("marriage" to one of the Islamists dont you know) impregnated, forced to give birth. I would urge you, Wherrey and others to get your ethical priorities straight. Omar isnt in jepardy, Lindhout is.

          • You seem to have trouble with the essential concepts of rights and freedoms, and instead prefer to substitute your own visceral, emotional judgements. In the same way that Wherry's cost analysis of fighting Khadr's return is not very useful, so too is your clouding things with the Lindhout situation. We're a big enough country to ably handle both. And it's nonsense that outrage over Lindhout should in any way influence an assessment of Khadr. Red herring is the term, I believe.

            If your stance on rights is that they should only be protected for those who inspire the outrage and pity of Vince Clortho, then say so. But I warn you, that's an awfully slipperly slope – because we can't predict when any one of us may find ourselves on the wrong side of popular opinion. Myself, that's when I hope my rights are there. But if we pick and choose those whose rights are protected, then those rights are largely worthless.

            (And freedom of speech was raised as another case of defending rights, not something that directly relates to the Khadr case.)

          • As for legal vs ethical. Pick one. Legally, I have indicated that I dont think you can make a case for Khadr, no child soldier, out of our jurisdiction etc. So you are left with an ethical argument, and thats where I point to misplaced ethical effort, is Khadr as deserving of anyones empathy (outside his immeadiate family and friends) vs Amanda Lindhout….its ok we all make choices. If your choice is with Omar Khadr over amanda Lindhout then thats fine we now know something about you, even saying your heart is big enough for both of them is a chocie as well and i look forward to your equivalent efforts on her behalf. Personally, I see one as more deserving of my ethical time and concern over the other. I am confortable with my choice. Now that you are aware of Amanda and her captors I hope you are as comfortable with your choice.

          • "If your choice is with Omar Khadr over amanda Lindhout…"

            You know, I usually find your comments to be intelligent and insightful – even when I disagree.

            But that has to be one of the stupidest things I've read in some time.

          • Sorry you feel that way, but I didnt say you had chosen one over the other. There were three choices.

            1) Khadr over Lindhout
            2) Khadr and Lindhout same
            3) Lindhout over Khadr.

            If I missed one of the options let me know.

            i also said the Lindhout case was underpublicized vis a vis Khadr (which is ultimately my point)
            so I certianly think there is a large exception here. But really, even without Lindhout I, perosnally dont see the legal case and the amout of hand wringing going on is excessive…the Supreme Court may rule otherwise but it is pretty thin ice the Federal Appeals Court is standing on, although if you are going to make the argument the court found the right area. Now if the US government wasnt going to make any decision, then a time would come to get it all clarified. But they are groping their way through this and it will resolve itself soon enough under Obama.

          • "If I missed one of the options let me know"

            They have nothing to do with each other. Arguing that Canada has failed Khadr in no way, shape or form represents a position about Lindhout. The horror of Lindhout's situation in no way, shape or form diminshes the fact that Khadr has been detained without fair trail for years.

            I know you're smarter than this. Why are you going to the wall for a logical red herring?

          • I dont think its a red herring, because it is meant to illustrate rather than distract but look into her case and write your MP, mention it to friends etc. and I am satisified.

            fYes Khadr has been detained, not without legal proceeding, there have been numerous pre trial hearings etc. So it isnt like he was put in a hole and forgotten by the system. I repeat if he was a POW then he would never have a trial and is there till his army surreders.

            Ultimately do I think the Bush admin made a mistake in the enemy combatant thing….yeah. Even though, by rules of war Khadr, the Taliban and Al Queda arent "soldiers" and can be shot or a a minimum not kept under the same conventions as a regualr soldier under Geneva, I think they should have been declared POW's…it is a war. It would have had the advantage of maintaining some moral high ground.

          • Rights and freedoms are clear. Point to where the rights and freedoms of Khadr have been violated by the Canadian government. The charter relates only to that. For example try bringing a charter case against the Iranian govenrment and you would be laughed out of court.

            Lindhout isnt a red herring its a example to make a point about misplaced ethical priorities. I bet you didnt even know about her case….thats ok, not many do because we spend all of our time talkig about the dubious case of Khadr. Thats my main point.

          • Point to where the rights and freedoms of Khadr have been violated by the Canadian government.

            Equal protection under the law. The government has a duty to assist & protect Canadian citizens without discrimination. They are discriminating against Khadr by refusing to request his repatriation.

          • Very well said. To me, the bottom line is that Khadr is 1) a Canadian citizen who's been 2) incarcerated in a foreign country 3) where he's been denied due process. If our government will not intervene on his behalf then what good are they? It's not about how much we like or dislike Omar Khadr, it's about our government exercising – or failing to not exercise – the authority that we've given them on the basis of their own whims.

            It's simply not acceptable.

          • Well I look forward to your regular vigil outside th Somalian embassy, the Iranian emabassy and any one of a number of them. The Khadr case is political, anti american, pure and simple.

            And if you read the Court decision the court decided against the government on the issue that COnsular officials passed on information not the lack of effort. This under appeal.

            As for the time frame, well, once again if he were a POW he WOULD be held until Al Queda surrendered, indefintie. Khadr didnt knock over a liquor store in Chicago….and even if he did, his issue about incorrect detention is to be pursued in the American courts. That being said, the enemy combatent thing is and was a screw up. They should have stuck wth the POW thing, even though the Geneva convention would have allowed Khadr to be shot for being a non uniformed combatent…while we are talking rules, but that doesnt seem to matter for Khadr's crew, the excuses constantly change.

          • Well I look forward to your regular vigil outside th Somalian embassy, the Iranian emabassy and any one of a number of them. The Khadr case is political, anti american, pure and simple.

            I'm not addressing the Somali gov't or the Iranian gov't, I'm adressing my own government. The Khadr case is certainly political but it's absurd to call it "anti-american." The only reason that Khadr is not already back in Canada is because successive Canadian governments have been tippy-toeing around the issue, like a timid co-dependant, for fear of offending the American administration. Old habits die hard, I guess.

            A spokeswoman for Mr. Cannon says the government has consistently acknowledged that Mr. Khadr was a minor when he was arrested.

            http://www.embassymag.ca/page/view/child_soldier-

          • Of course he is a minor, he is under 18. But that doesnt change the definitions used for what a child soldier is.

            Targettign your own governemnt, fine. Your govenrment, Liberal and Conservative, in this case have done nothing wrong legally speaking….pending appeal. The federal apeals court levered jusrisdiction into this by finding that Canadian Governemnt officials violated Khadrs rigths by pasing on information. They did not say Canada failed to request his return. This is the subject of the appeal and it will be interesting to see how the Supreme Court rules. But if the consular officials hadnt passed on info there was nothing else in the ruling that would compel the government to request his return (which was deemed to be the remedy for the violation)

          • They did not say Canada failed to request his return.

            They certainly did.

            But the Appeal Court agreed with O'Reilly that Canada had an obligation to take steps to "protect Khadr from further abuse" and that by refusing to request his repatriation, his charter rights were also violated.

            http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/08/13/omar-kh

          • Here we go again. He was 15 when capatured. The first conviction at The Hague for recruiting child soldiers used the definition of Under 15, not 15 and under. He was NOT, repeat NOT a child soldier, he was a soldier, period. As sad as his situation is he appears to be paying a price for choices made. I am sure we will see him in this country soon enough thanks to those evil Americans saving his lfe on the battlefield.

          • Wrong. Canada was among the first to ratify a 2002 treaty recognizing children under the age of 18 as requiring special consideration and treatment. Or do you argue that alongside our rights, our word as a nation ought to only count when it makes us feel good?

            http://www.unwire.org/unwire/20000711/9730_story….

          • Wrong. Canada was among the first to ratify a 2002 treaty recognizing children under the age of 18 as requiring special consideration and treatment. Or do you argue that alongside our rights, our word as a nation ought to only count when it makes us feel good?

            http://www.unwire.org/unwire/20000711/9730_story….

          • Vince is right about the Hague's definition though. If we're measuring by international standards, he was not a child soldier. Doesn't change my opinion about the Canadian governments' deplorable lack of action though.

          • Different argument, but one about which there is a legitimate debate.

          • "he was a soldier, period"

            Uhhh, I don't think that's the argument you want to be making. If he was a soldier, then even if he threw the grenade it's irrelevant. Soldiers engaged in battle are actually allowed to throw grenades. It's actually kinda expected that they will.

        • Actually Vince, if you were paying attention you would have noticed that almost all critics of Khardr's incarceration were not claiming he should be dealt with as a POW. They have consistently demanded instead, that he be treated as a child solider under UN conventions signed by both the US and Canada.

          The concern isn't just for Khadr, it's for the way we expect our country to behave. Canada is failing to meet its obligations to a citizen and its international commitment to respect the rights of children.

          As for more deserving candidates of our concern, why would compassion for Omar Khadr in anyway diminish the capacity to feel empathy for Amanda Lindhout or anyone else?

          And why do you even bring that up? Do you have information that Canada is failing to act on behalf of Amanda Lindhout, too?

          • Tob,

            I have been paying attention. And the Child Soldier argument is flat wrong. see comment above.

            The POW comment was the original criticism that was made of detainees captured on the battlefield. The US classified them as enemy combatents.

            Omar, he was caught on battlefied in a theatre of war we are in (not that that matters) He received his consular visits.

            As for Lindhout, the contradiction is amazing. People make choices about who they expend their empathy on. To make he choice to spend more time, effort and emotion on Khadr as opposed to Lindhout is a curious ethical choice to say the least.

          • Yeah, so what. By signing this treaty we are saying we wont use anyone under the age of 18.

            But look at the conviction last year in the Hague in a UN court. The defintion is UNDER 15.

            It is a contorversial area, with third world countries objecting to the 18 year old definition, they were the ones who wanted it pushed down to under 15.

            So Canada wont use soldiers under the age of 18, good for them. The US wont use soldiers under the age of 18, good for that country. But someone forgot to tell the lawyers and judges at the International Criminal Court in the hague last year that they werent to use 15 and under.

            Look it up.

            "The Prosecutor of the ICC has charged Thomas Lubanga Dyilo with the war crime of enlisting children under the age of fifteen; conscripting children under the age of fifteen; and using children under the age of fifteen to participate actively in hostilities."

            http://www.iccnow.org/?mod=drctimelinelubanga

          • That's weak.

          • What's weak about it? that war criminals are actually prosectuted only under 15? Not to go down a rabbitt hole but it is quite the controversial area, defining what a child soldier is. All Canada can do is set its own definition for what it will do….It could have picked 21, but that doesnt change what Criminal Court says.

            This of course leads to the argument that if he is a chld soldier then his mother shoudl be charged with enlisting (since she encouraged) and I havent seen anyone agitating to put charges together on Zwarhiri or Bin Laden for letting this happen. All logical outcomes of Khadr being deemed a child soldier.

            We cant even agree on a set of facts here. Sorry about that.

        • "Once the Americans decide what their answer is then we can bring him to Canada…."

          I'm disturbed that the notion of "fair trial" now apparently includes "indefinite detention without trial until we decide how, and indeed if we're going to try you". I can't imagine a crime (let alone a single, supposed "murder") for which any liberal democracy would allow a 15 year old to be held without trial for 7 years. In any semblance of a justice system in the Western world, a suspect placed in this condition would have been released (TOTALLY RELEASED) years ago for such a gross violation of due process. And that's not even mentioning how he was initially treated at Bagram and Gitmo.

          At this point, the only logical reason not to repatriate Khadr is to allow the government some time to set aside enough money for the inevitable settlement for his gigantic lawsuit once he's finally released. I think our government has to start preparing for the dual facts that A) the Americans aren't going to hold him without trial forever, and B) they don't have enough evidence to convict him in any forum that would remotely pass any test of a "fair trial".

          I hope our government is preparing, behind the scenes, for what they're going to do when he gets out. 'Cause he's getting out eventually, and likely before we get out of Afghanistan.

        • Why compare the two cases? We have a big government with a big department of Foreign Affairs, with scads of diplomats, lawyers and civil servants. It's not like we're short-handed.

          BTW – if you classify Khadr as a POW then you also classify him as a child soldier. He can't be one w/o the other. As for the American military justice system – it's had Khadr for 7 years already and has not managed to bring him to trial yet. Obama would hand him over in a heartbeat if Canada said "boo." But we won't say it. Why?

          • Actually, I understand our complement of diplomats has been woefully depleted over the last few years, and we aren't hiring any more. I think your overall point still stands though.

      • And that brings us to today's news. Apparently, we've shipped a son of an alleged terrorist, now deceased, over to the U.S. yesterday or this morning. I gather this guy is a Canadian, and I gather the FBIs complaint against him is that he moved between Windsor and Detroit, teaching martial arts but perhaps also dealing in stolen computers or something.

        I know we have an extradition treaty, I think the evidence against the father is pretty solid, but here's the part of the Globe and Mail story that I found somewhat disturbing. "Canadian border agents declined to say why Mr. Carswell had been expelled or whether he was entitled to any hearing." I did think we gave people an extradition hearing before they were shipped off to wherever, am I wrong in that? I mean, don't we deny extradition (even in the face of a treaty) when it is a capital crime subject to the death penalty? And when/where would we do that without a hearing?

        • You're probably reading too much in that Globe sentence. Just because some border guards said "no comment" doesn't mean the answer to the question is "no." They were likely instructed not to answer any questions by journalists. The journalist could have asked "Is the sky blue?" and customs officials would still have been required to answer "no comment." But that doesn't mean the sky isn't blue…

          • I hope you're right.

        • And is Khalid Sheik Mohammed due for execution any time soon?

          Besdies I think the charges he was extradited dont carry death sentences. The ones that do, if terrorist charges do, will come later.

          I would be more concerned about what the heck the guy was up to, I am sure his lawyer will worry about the process issues.

  5. This post ignores an important point. If he'd been returned to Canada (or, frankly, moved to the U.S.) immediately, he'd already be out by now. There's a reason the Americans are holding so many prisoners off shore. Incarcerating a 15 year old for 7 years without trial, no matter what he's accused of, almost certainly couldn't be allowed to stand if it were happening on Canadian or American soil.

    • So why wasnt the conviction in the haugue for 15 and under as opposed to under 15.

      The LAW such as it is right now, is under 15. That you wish it otherwise is fine, it is an area of much controversey. But the only operational definition of a child soldier is under 15.

      • Actually, I didn't mean to focus on the 15 year old bit. I wasn't making a child soldier argument at all.

        Incarcerating ANY accused person for 7 years without trial, no matter what he's accused of, almost certainly couldn't be allowed to stand if it were happening on Canadian or American soil. Cases against ALL SORTS of accused criminals (over 18), including violent criminals, have been thrown out of court for their gross violation of due process for delays of MUCH less than 7 years of pre-trial incarceration.

        The fact that he was 15 when he was first detained, and likely abused while in detention makes him a more sympathetic victim of this disregard for due process, but 7 years of incarceration without trial is a gross violation of due process even putting those issues aside, and if he were being dealt with by any semblance of a justice system the case against him would have been thrown out years ago.

        Is any one aware of a case of an accused criminal being detained for more than 7 years without trial by the Canadian or American governments without the courts intervening to throw out the charges against the defendant as a result of this gross violation of due process?

        Again, there's a reason the prison's in Cuba. I don't think one could get away with holding someone in prison without trial for 7 years if they were in Leavenworth.

        • Then we have to decide whether its a crime or a battlefield. I dont know if any North Vietnamese prisoners were held the length of the 10,000 day war. Or if the americans just handed them over to the South Vietnamese governemnt. Probably worth looking into.

          If this was a standard criminal prosecution then I would agree with you> Although I will point out, as I have elsewhere, that that there has been process and proceedings. The main issue is this guy was caught on the battlefield, thats about 90% of the conviction right there in th ecompany of his father who was shooting…..they are trying to determine how active a combatent he was. Personally I find the whole thing ridiculous, I dont like the enemy combatent designation, I prefer him being a POW and under those rules we likely wouldnt ever see him again, since Al Queda isnt about to surrender or sign a peace treaty.

          This process is about to be played out though, one way or another. It will resolve itself within the next 6 months I suspect.

          • I don't see how the fact that he was found on the battlefield is "90% of the conviction right there". The whole point of the proceedings against Khadr is the argument that he was NOT a soldier, and that his (alleged) throwing of the grenade therefore constitutes an illegal act. If one is going to argue "Omar's not a soldier, so throwing that grenade was illegal, and murder" then the mere fact that he was found in the room where the grenade was thrown is hardly even 10% of a conviction, let alone 90%.

            Also, he wasn't with his father at all when taken. I'm not sure where his father even was at the time, but if he'd been with Omar he'd be dead, as Omar was the only one to survive the firefight (hence the "isn't it a bit strange that you're accusing the only guy left alive of throwing that grenade, after there were reports that someone else entirely, now dead, threw the grenade?" line of argument). There was definitely shooting, but it wasn't Omar's father, and there are some reports suggesting that Omar was half dead and buried under a pile of rubble when the grenade in question was actually thrown..

          • He was with his dad in the firefight, maybe not beside him but there. None of them are soldiers, even Papa Khadr wasnt a soldie in the definition, if he had been captured alive he also would have fallen under the Bush Admin defn of enemy combatent.

            The point being he was on the battlefield and there is reason to believe he was participating or supporting…yes support whether its messangers etc are considered legitimate targets and also fall under the classification. He has been specifically charged with throwing the grenade, we will see if that gets the conviction or not….he may be declared innocent of that charge…..but this isnt a criminal case, miranda doesnt and shouldnt apply nor should habeus corpus.

            Unless its your house why the heck would stick around for a firefight. So the charge is "reasonable" such as it is. The question is whether he is guilty…and that takes the trial. And I agree it should have happened faster but in these cases that isnt sufficient reason to let him go…in fact I believe that argument has already been heard and dismissed. (there has been process)

          • You misunderstand, I'm not saying Omar Khadr wasn't there when that firefight happened, I'm saying his DAD wasn't there. His Dad wasn't in that firefight. He was somewhere else. As in, in an entirely different area of the country. He was killed about a year later in a totally separate firefight, somewhere else, not in the fight in which Omar was captured. Everyone else in that house was killed. Omar Khadr's father was killed months later, in a totally separate incident.

            As for "Unless it's your house why the heck would stick around for a firefight", one answer might be "because you were surrounded by people shooting at you". Another might be "because you were unconscious under a pile of rubble from the artillery shell that just collapsed the roof on top of you". Another might be "because you're 15 and surrounded by men with guns who would have no compunction about shooting you in the back for trying to run away". "Why didn't he just run away" suggests that there was some sort of viable escape option for the people in that house. The fact that Omar Khadr is the only one still alive suggests that there was not.

          • I stand corrected, the other son was the one paralyzed in a firefight with his dad. Omar had clearly been lent out for other purpose….which of course is the question….what purpose was it? Translator is often mentioned, and that may be, but it is still a support position and puts him in the classification of target and comabtent.

            As for whether he was under rubble or not will be tested in the court. I wont defend the amount of time it has taken, but again I will say this isn't like he was charged with a car jacking in Dallas. He was found on a battlefied with some really bad guys, and it seems pretty clear he was working with them. The grenade throwing thing has been tested in civil court, and he was convicted. Sure lower level of proof etc. but then we get to just how many courts are the Khadr's and their defenders going to question the veractiy of.

          • just how many courts are the Khadr's and their defenders going to question the veractiy of

            With regard to Khadr's guilt or innocence of an actual crime, I'd actually settle for just having a court decision to agree or disagree with. Hell, I'd be pretty satisfied if they'd just finally get around to having some semblance of a trial at all, decision or no.

  6. "This is the same logic that lets earnestly unserious activists conclude that if we just had X fewer fighter jets, there'd be $Y billion available for their particular pet cause."

    Or like the logic used to argue that cutting the billion a year the CBC gets will result in untold benefits for Canadian society.

  7. This says volumes about our current government. Sadder too is the growing number who would vote for them, condoning the travesty of justice in this case. If the pictures in the Star are correct, there is no way he could have thrown the grenade that killed the US medic. What has happened to us, Canada??

  8. I does not take a great deal of muscle to throw a grenade. Take a look at Africa and see kids carrying AK47s. A bullet or grenades, do not check for their users age. I don't understand why our government is even spending money on him He was arrested in a foreign land, as an enemy combatant. Send him back. to Afghanistan.

    • The veracity of the claim can be challenged, but the claim being made, I believe, is not "a 15 year old is too weak to throw a grenade, so Omar couldn't have done it" it's "Omar was unconscious under a pile of rubble, so he couldn't have thrown the grenade".

      Frankly, to me, the best evidence that Khadr didn't throw that grenade is the earliest reports from the battlefield that stated that the person NEXT to Khadr threw the grenade and was then shot dead. That story's changed now, which is convenient given that the person now being accused of throwing the grenade is the only person still alive to stand accused.

    • One reason that he isn't sent back to Afganistan is that he is not from Afganistan. He is from Canada and is a Canadian Citizen.

  9. Medics in a war have to exercise more discretion in who they help and who they don't.

  10. Where does this money go? If this is spent on consular services for Khadr, how about we stop offering them? How about spending Canada's limited consular dollars on Canadians abroad (or clearing the immigration/refugee backlog)?

    If the money is going to legal defense (as G&M suggests), it may be doing some real good. Canada wouldn't be defending against Khadr's lawyers unless Khadr had hired lawyers. (Please tell me Canada is not paying for them.) So the Khadr detainment is helping draw funds out of the global Jihad movement. That means a few dollars less are available for IED's. Since we can track some of that money, it also helps to identify the global jihad participants.

  11. Gee when he gets back-and he will some day, he'll sue the Government for tens millions and settle for millions for the Government not standing up for him. When are these guys in Ottawa going to learn to follow the law and help Canadians abroad in trouble.

  12. What a load of crap. O'Connor couldn't even give us a head count.

    • To be fair, he's never read any reports. Ever, if his words yesterday are to be believed.

  13. Hmmm, waiting for all the evidence to be in before coming to a conclusion. What a novel concept.

    • Kind of like the Iraq Invasion.

  14. So, it would be completely inappropriate for members of the government to engage in a public smear campaign against a diplomat who testified?

  15. Actually Aaron, it appears what you received was a form letter response sent to the CBC's James Cudmore questions he sent to 2 different departments.

    It appears they decided to send you this as well, in case any other media decided to bother them with questions.

  16. It would be nice to have information from more than one source before asking our military to put down their guns fighting the enemy so they can attend a judicial inquiry.

    • Well jeez, TwoYen, if the guy that needs to testify has been over there with a gun in his hand since 2006, I think he deserves a small break, don't you?

    • Try to not be so obtuse TwoYen… there's been plenty of evidence from other sources other then Mr Colvin that have already been documented here at Macleans and elsewhere.

      And it has nothing to do with "putting down the guns" to testify. But you knew that already… just another attempt to somehow paint finding out whether we've had war crimes committed as being "unpatriotic".

  17. "It is important to let the Parliamentary Committee process unfold and to consider and weigh the testimony of subsequent witnesses before drawing any conclusions about how events in Afghanistan may have unfolded in 2006 and 2007."

    Considering Mackay's statements to date, one can assume that he didn't get those talking points, huh?

  18. Can someone point me to actual smearing of Mr. Colvin? All I've seen are statements that his report is uncorroborated and that there are other views to be heard.
    Is this what passes for a smear campaign, or have I missed the dirty?

    • Well, let's start with Peter Mackay:

      "Mr. Colvin is a member of the public service who has a job in Washington. As far as I'm concerned his job is there for him," said MacKay. But he also added: "I suspect that promotion (to Washington) took place, or it did take place, long before he gave his evidence yesterday."

      So in otherwards, Colvin's credibility credibility is being attacked and Mackay is hinting strongly that somehow his promotion to Washington was no based on merit.

      The Conservative MP's are also claiming his airings will aid the Taliban. I believe Mackay more or less called him a Taliban dupe in the House during QP and is quoted as saying he is a "suspect source".

      That's an attack on his credibility and in my view constitutes a smear of the man.

    • Well, let's start with Peter Mackay:

      "Mr. Colvin is a member of the public service who has a job in Washington. As far as I'm concerned his job is there for him," said MacKay. But he also added: "I suspect that promotion (to Washington) took place, or it did take place, long before he gave his evidence yesterday."

      So in otherwards, Colvin's credibility credibility is being attacked and Mackay is hinting strongly that somehow his promotion to Washington was no based on merit.

      The Conservative MP's are also claiming his airings will aid the Taliban. I believe Mackay more or less called him a Taliban dupe in the House during QP and is quoted as saying he is a "suspect source".

      That's an attack on his credibility and in my view constitutes a smear of the man.

    • Pter MacKay: MacKay said Colvin had not provided "one scintilla of evidence" that wasn't second-or third-hand information.He painted Colvin as a Taliban dupe and said Canadians are being asked to accept the word of prisoners "who throw acid in the face of school children, who blow up buses of civilians in their own country."

      The <not one scintilla of evidence basically says he willingly presents false evidence/this is personal/he is lying

      The throw acid in the face…. says that his sources are liars and that he is a fool for taking the word of heinous, civilian killing thugs.
      It is also interesting to note that words smilar in tone were used to stir strong emotions as justification for attacking Iraq/Sadam he gassed his own people…. This is an aggressive step beyond "it is felt his witnesses are not creditble"

      Colvin is essentially being called a dupe that willingly spreads the lies of people who kill and maim innocents – you can argue the subtlety and nuance of the language, but the message is pretty clear

        • Still skeptical? Even the Sun columnists were attacking the smear jobs Mackay and other Cons are trying on Colvin.

          When you've lost the Sun, and even they recognize a smear for what it is… you know you're in trouble.

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