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Khadr and the old democrats


 

If I were a left-of-centre party desperately seeking concrete differences with the Liberals, I’d be awfully interested in the case of Omar Khadr, the former child soldier whose abuse at Guantanamo Bay has by now been amply documented.

The Harper government won’t lift a finger to repatriate him, a shirking of duty decried even in such occasionally friendly precincts as this week’s Maclean‘s editors’ page. (Harper campaigned on a promise that under him, Canada would have a foreign policy that would actually get noticed, and that’s certainly what he’s achieving with Khadr: Under this prime minister, Canada’s foreign policy is uniquely supine, a state of affairs that’s winning our country positively glowing coverage in Vietnam and Germany, just to name two.)

The Liberals are, of course, making a fuss about all this. But the problem for the Liberals is that when that video footage of Khadr’s Guantanamo interrogation was shot, Jean Chrétien was the prime minister of Canada. Defending the Liberals’ seriously late-breaking interest in the quality of treatment accorded Guantanamo prisoners is tricky, as Megapundit points out. This should, it seems to me, present an opportunity for the NDP, who could say — truthfully — “The Liberals let this happen and the Conservatives refuse to bring it to an end.”

The NDP’s hand would be strengthened, to be sure, if they had made a greater fuss about waterboarding, extraordinary rendition and the rest from the outset. But at least they have this fellow Michael Byers on board, who wrote a whole book about such matters.


 

Khadr and the old democrats

  1. The interesting thing here is that the Khadr affair seems to be causing this government more damage than any other issue raised in the past. This issue has now made its way to the dinner table and will continue to fester.

  2. I notice that you have not pronounced yourself on this issue, Paul. Was that intentional?

  3. Maybe the NDP doesn’t relish the thought of being embraced by the Khadr Family?

  4. Andy,

    Maybe they just think that they don’t need to take a stand. After all, the only party who seem to be in the hot seat on this one is the CPC.

  5. Adding to the problems for the Liberals, let’s not forget Professor “Torture is okay as long as you have good intentions” Ignatieff.

  6. Andrew, I’m not sure any Ottawa columnist has been more consistently critical of Ignatieff than I have, but that’s simply not what he said. As near as I can boil down his very, very long argument, what he said was that torture is not OK *even if* you have good intentions.

    In the piece in question, Ignatieff sets himself up as one of the very few scrupulous opponents of torture in the face of “a majority” that is less scrupulous:

    http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/article_details.php?id=7374

    And if only the Tories are in the hot seat for events videotaped in 2002, then it’s a funny old world.

  7. “And if only the Tories are in the hot seat for events videotaped in 2002, then it’s a funny old world.”

    They are the only ones in the hot seat by virtue of the fact that they are the only ones continuing to keep to the position that nothing should be done to repatriate Khadr.

    The Libs are probably more guilty than anyone else in this situation but they at least had the good sense to change their stance.

  8. Excellent point Paul – I would add that the only ones who benefit politically are both the BQ and the NDP when it comes to this issue. As for hot seat judging by the response I see and hear around me and my travels on the web I would daresay it’s about split on the point of those who want us to patriate him and those who don’t which really surprsies me as I tought for sure us right wingers would be out on a ledge on this one but apprently not (good!) I especailly like the PM’s approach right now. Due Process we wait until the trial in October period case closed.Good!!!!

  9. “it’s about split on the point of those who want us to patriate him and those who don’t which really surprsies me as I tought for sure us right wingers would be out on a ledge on this one but apprently not (good!)”

    And this is based on your observations? How very scientific!

  10. Abstract: (Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Adults in Canada are clearly divided on the pending legal process of Omar Khadr, according to a poll by Angus Reid Strategies. 38 per cent of respondents would leave Khadr to face trial by military commission in Guantanamo Bay, while 37 per cent demand Khadr’s repatriation to face due process under Canadian Law.

  11. Except, Wayne, that even a US judge has decreed that there is no valid due process being followed in these cases.

    At least the HRC allows the defendant to see the evidence that’s being brought against them.

  12. Wayne, that was BEFORE the footage was shown, yes?

  13. Paul, my bad, you are right. I am not his biggest fan either, and I must have mis-remembered his position to reflect my bias.

    As far as I can parse his argument, it’s that torture is wrong in general but can be excused when it’s the only way to extract critical, ticking-bomb-type information. (I don’t want to get into a whole thread-hijack thing here, but is that the same as scrupulous opposition? I don’t know.) But again, thanks for the correction.

  14. No worries, Andrew, it’s an indigestible horse tranquilizer of an argument. And yet… I’ll stop nagging after this, but I do believe he’s saying that, while the (straw-man) “majority” might want to torture if there’s a ticking time bomb, Ignatieff holds fast to higher principles. That must make it very annoying for him when people insist he meant the opposite. One reason clarity in writing is always so welcome.

  15. And the NDP caucus call for his return to Canada was actually from last month. The NDP has been on the case all along – like on so many issues the party seems to face a virtual news blackout.

  16. The NDP has been on the case all along

    Considering that the Liberals have no credibility on this file and the Harper Conservatives seem stuck on their tuff on everthing schtick, I’m curious to when the NDP first called for the return home of Omar Khadr. Anybody know?

  17. “I’m curious to when the NDP first called for the return home of Omar Khadr. Anybody know?”

    I posted some links here before my quoted post – they’re awaiting approval.

  18. Sorry – it was in fact June of 2007 that the NDP caucus signed a letter calling for Khadr’s return to Canada – so they’ve been consistent on the issue for quite some time.

  19. The state of public opinion should be irrelevant when the issue at stake is fundamental rights. Khadr deserves a fair trial. There is a mountain of evidence suggesting that he will not receive one in the US. Thus, he should be tried in Canada, since we can’t possibly do any worse than Gitmo.

    This position is not about sympathy for Khadr (though personally, my motivation is disgust at his treatment and life circumstances). Instead, it’s about the fact that we can’t possibly put faith in any ruling of guilt that the Gitmo courts might give us. Only through a fair trial can we hope to find out Khadr’s guilt or innocence.

  20. Anytime any Khadr opens his or her mouth, the sympathy for any other Khadr nosedives. I can well understand why the government (former Lib or present Tory) says (and does) as little as possible. A non-negligible piece of Canada is ashamed that this family even carries Canadian passports.
    It is to the USA’s immense moral credit that they produced a military capable of saving Omar’s life following such an intense and deadly firefight, rather than liquidate this problem on-the-spot, in order to bear the brunt of criticism from corners of the world thoroughly incapable of actually doing anything about it.
    Canada’s sovereignty ends at our borders and might temporarily include any other area in the world our troops are active and strong enough to defend it against aggressors. Did our sovereignty extend to protect the Canadian photographer killed in captivity in Iran? Nope. We waved a mean fist from over here, but everybody knew we’d do nothing about it, and everybody was right.
    Our government warns Canadians travelling abroad to be very careful, because our rights as Canadians can only be fully defended when we are in Canada. Pretty simple.
    How far a Canadian government chooses to go to help out a Canadian citizen arrested abroad (beyond demanding consular access and a fair trial with adequate defense) SHOULD be determined on a case-by-case basis: quality of the judicial system, evidence against the accused, greater national interest of friendly relations, all of it counts. Anyone who doesn’t like that, and travels abroad, and commits a crime, well, good luck.
    If the limits of my intellectual heft permitted me to send my son across the world to go and fight the US Army, I suppose I would find it in my locust-infested soul to criticize the Canadian government if things didn’t work out so well. But if I had half a brain, I would recognize where the blame lies, and I would keep quiet. But then, if I had half a brain, I wouldn’t send my son across the world to go fight the US Army…

  21. madeyoulook,

    “Did our sovereignty extend to protect the Canadian photographer killed in captivity in Iran? Nope. We waved a mean fist from over here, but everybody knew we’d do nothing about it, and everybody was right.”

    Well, at least in that case we waved a fist.

    And as for, “How far a Canadian government chooses to go to help out a Canadian citizen arrested abroad (beyond demanding consular access and a fair trial with adequate defense) SHOULD be determined on a case-by-case basis: quality of the judicial system, evidence against the accused, greater national interest of friendly relations, all of it counts”.

    Well, in this case “quality of the judicial system” is a military tribunal even the U.S.’s own Supreme court has deemed unconstitutional, a lack of habeas corpus, no due process, and 6 years imprisonment without trial (not even a trial before an unconstitutional tribunal).

    “Evidence against the accused” is “slim” (on the murder charge at least, the most serious charge) unless you count the backdated memo that was produced to make Khadr LOOK guilty. The argument is basically “Well, he’s the only one left alive, so HE must have done it”.

    And as for “greater national interest of friendly relations” well, just how friendly do we need to be? No other Western nation has failed to repatriate their citizens from Gitmo because they felt that to do so would be seen as “unfriendly”. We are UNIQUE among Western nations in being the ONLY nation not to have repatriated its citizens from Gitmo. Khadr’s it. The only Western national to my knowledge still in Gitmo. More importantly, John McCain, Barack Obama, and wait for it, GEORGE W. BUSH have ALL expressed a preference for repatriating foreign nationals to their countries of citizenship and closing Gitmo down. As far as I can tell the reason Khadr hasn’t been repatriated is not because the Americans would refuse, it’s because we refuse to ask (and again, we’re the only ones so refusing).

    Frankly, I’m not totally convinced the Americans wouldn’t stick the kid on a plane if we just asked. It seems as though the main reason this is taking so long is that they realize they probably couldn’t even convict the kid in front of an artificially created military tribunal. Better to fail to convict the kid because you decided to send him back to Canada at the Canadian government’s request then to fail to convict the kid because you can’t even convict him using a system designed to side-step the constitution to make it easier to convict him.

    I’m just not so sure we wouldn’t be doing the Americans a favour by asking for him back.

  22. Interesting thoughts, LKO.
    If a military tribunal, struggling to cope with the new reality of non-uniformed belligerents (therefore undeserving of Geneva protections), nonetheless goes to the trouble of following the dictates of a civilian legal system and the legislated framework from the democratically-elected and constitutionally mandated legislature, that says a lot about the morality of that country.
    I agree completely that the Americans would probably be only too pleased to put the twentysomething “kid” on a plane. Looks like our elected representatives (former Libs, current Tories) have the good sense to realize that we Canadians don’t particularly want him. Too bad the current Libs have enough hypocrisy to condemn that which they practised only a few years earlier.
    Hands up, how many Canadians want Omar back? Thank you. Now, hands up, how many Canadians are secretly hoping the remaining Khadr clan heads overseas to pick a come-and-get-me fight with the US and allied forces? Uh-oh, the bleeding hearts will be demanding a re-count…

  23. The Omar Khadr issue is only an issue because the media discuss it. Most Canadians don’t care about Omar, and quite frankly they never will. He may have been 15, but he proves that our nonassimilation program of Trudeauian multiculturalism can have dire consequences for the Canadian brand. So I ask you, which is more offensive to Canadians:

    1. Not repatriating a boy who absconded everything in Canada to fight against our very way of life and belief system?

    2. Perpetuating the multicultural belief that integration is an optional part of immigration in Canada?

    The fact is that when the chips were down, Omar sided with the enemy instead of Canada.

    As for the NDP, their foreign policy will never have play with Canadians other than the perpetual anti-war crowd. They opposed the war in Afghanistan, even under humanitarian grounds, and they have no cohesive arguments pertaining to counter-terrorism or what would happen in the void of NATO. They are the last people to lecture anyone on foreign policy.

  24. Interesting that RApheal chooses the Kahdrs as the face of Canada’s “Trudeauian multiculturalism” policy. I’m not certain how the other people who came to our fallable but still grand nation would feel about that. Certainly, most would agree that the program of a mosaic multiculturalistic society may be a touch idealism. Perhaps Rapheal embraces the ‘bubbling cauldron’ that is our neighbour’s preference?
    I’m not going to put words on Rapheal’s cursor. While he may not have faith in the past system, i’m sure he’s blindly backing the Harper ‘shift.’

  25. “And as for, “How far a Canadian government chooses to go to help out a Canadian citizen arrested abroad (beyond demanding consular access and a fair trial with adequate defense) SHOULD be determined on a case-by-case basis: quality of the judicial system, evidence against the accused, greater national interest of friendly relations, all of it counts”.

    Absolute nonsense!!!

    In a democracy, it is terribly short-sighted, foolhardy even to allow a government the right to pick and choose which of its citizens will receive fair and equitable treatment on foreign land.

    We either abide by the rule of law or we don’t. I, for one, do not want Stephen Harper or any other politician to be given the right to decide whether I am worthy of my government’s protection.

    That we would even debate this is simply outrageous and further underscores the importance of ensuring that Khadr be repatriated.

  26. Ahem, boudica, last anyone checked, Gitmo is NOT flying the Maple Leaf. Democracy or not, we Canadians cannot “pick and choose which of its citizens will receive fair and equitable treatment on foreign land.” Ever. For the simple “on foreign land” reason. We can only pick and choose which of our citizens deserve our raising a diplomatic stink. You probably don’t like it, but I have the sense a big heaping chunk of Canadians who would prefer to disavow the Khadr clan’s citizenship, and feel that this vermin-infested family is unworthy of any Canadian investment on the diplomatic front.
    If your default position is that every Canadian citizen abroad is entitled to our government somehow unilaterally usurping the sovereignty of a foreign nation, whether ally or foe, to ensure “fair and equitable treatment” of said citizen abroad, do yourself a favour, don’t get a passport, and don’t ever leave the country. Or Google “Bon voyage but” and see what DFAIT can and cannot do for you if you leave the country with the expressed intent of causing trouble. Coles Notes version: not nearly as much as you might like, nor foolishly feel is your entitlement.

  27. Khadr and his family are Canadians of convenience whose family has in the past publicly expressed their distaste for this country. They get all of the social benefits that we has responsible citizens pay for and that is hwy they are here. They were permitted entry because of the unbelievable ineptness of the former liberal governments and an immigration system which puts vote gathering ahead of what is best for Canada.

    This family and their evil ideology do not belong in Canada and should never have been allowed in. Former Nazi’s have had their citizenship stripped of them and been deported. Why should there be a different outcome here. These people and their twisted beliefs represent everything Canada is not. They do not belong here.

  28. Be that as it may, Jim, until that happens, they are Canadian citizens, and deserving of equitable treatment.

  29. Hey T. : he is receving standard ‘ equitable ‘ treatment as after all our gov’t has sent strongly worded diplomatic letters to all the usual suspects just like we would for any canadian citizen what Khadr is not receiving is ‘ Special ‘ treatment and nor should he after all his court date is coming up in October so where is the problem in this file? The real test of equity would be if the yanks picked up another canadian and sent him to Gitmo and we treated him differently than Khadr – then I would agree with you.

  30. So then you’re of the belief that equitable treatment of Canadians should be allowing them to be mercilessly interrogated and tortured for days on end? Interesting.

  31. “Ahem, boudica, last anyone checked, Gitmo is NOT flying the Maple Leaf. Democracy or not, we Canadians cannot “pick and choose which of its citizens will receive fair and equitable treatment on foreign land.” Ever. For the simple “on foreign land” reason. We can only pick and choose which of our citizens deserve our raising a diplomatic stink. ”

    Ahem right back at you.

    Ensuring fair treatment of Canadians citizens on foreign land INFERS raising a diplomatic stink.

    This goverment’s silence also INFERS that acquiescence. Acquiescence INFERS that we agree with the said foreign land’s breaking of international law.

  32. That is not what I stated at all T. What I said was equitable treatment as an example let’s say I went to Afgahnistan tommorrow to buy andsell arms for Al Qaeda and the Talioban and a firefight erupted with me in the middle and the next thing you know I wake up in Gitmo – at this point I would expect my Gov’t to send all the strongly worder diplomatic letters to all the appropriate people.

  33. “Be that as it may, Jim, until that happens, they are Canadian citizens, and deserving of equitable treatment.”

    They don’t just deserve it, they have a RIGHT to it. If it’s ok for Khadr, it is open season on any of us who end up being charged abroad, guilty or not.

  34. “he is receving standard ‘ equitable ‘ treatment as after all our gov’t has sent strongly worded diplomatic letters to all the usual suspects just like we would for any canadian citizen what Khadr is not receiving is ‘ Special ‘ treatment and nor should he after all his court date is coming up in October so where is the problem in this file?”

    Wayne, being allowed to sleep 3 hours in 21 days is equitable treatment where you come from? Not being allowed to speak to your lawyer while detained for 5 years is equitable treatment on your planet?

  35. When did arguing a prisoner is deserving of basic human rights become arguing for “special” treatment?

  36. “at this point I would expect my Gov’t to send all the strongly worder diplomatic letters to all the appropriate people.”

    Really Wayne? Than why was Brenda Martin brought back home? Why was that other gentleman in Eastern Europe brought home? Why has Harper himself intervened on behalf of Cecil with the Chinese?

    Why do they get support from Harper but not Khadr?

  37. Hey Boudica – yes and yes again and then finally yes and by the way we are treating this just brenda martin after her trial she comes home and the after Khadr has his trial is pronounced guilty … I am quite sure the PM will bring this poor little wayward boy back home and wel will picking up the tab as usual.

  38. Wayne, the problem with your after-the-trial assessment is the trial itself. The entire proceeding is illegal and THAT is what Harper is supposed to object to. THAT Khadr should face a trial is without question. The difference is that we Canadians, at the exception of our Prime Minister, believe that it should be a legal one.

    If the Yanks have lost their moral compass, that is THEIR problem but we most certainly should not be party to this farce by subjecting a Canadian, let alone an underaged Canadian to it.

  39. Your use of ‘ we ‘ seems to be somewhat premature as I and apparently quite a few others even some those posting here don’t agree. As to the legality of the his Trial that will be in October if I am not misstaken that is being dealt with by those repsonsible for such matters and since neither you nor myself are experts in international law our input in that area is moot so it all boils down to alot of noise and business as usual. Such is life.

  40. Ok Wayne. Let me put it to you this way…

    Because Harper is an intelligent man, I am convinced that he knows what most people have agreed on which is that Gitmo and this military trial are illegal. I also believe that he fully accepts this and simply does not care. This is a classic example of facts coming in conflict with ideology and one choosing the latter over the former.

    This is the kind of exercise that some have to go through in order to avoid facing the fact that they were wrong all along and that some of their core beliefs don’t hold water.

    In Harper’s mind, Khadr is a small price to pay to save face.

    I think that this dilemma is something that you share with our Prime Minister.

    You have to believe that Gitmo is perfectly legitimate. You have to believe that torture is justified. You have to believe that giving the death penalty to a child soldier is the moral thing to do because if you don’t…

  41. Hey B. I will leave it up to you when it comes to mind reading personally I just go by the reality of the situation as it is, take people at their word and do my best not to attribute motives to others that may or may not be true and in which more than likely my own prejudices would tend to colour any conclusions I would come to. Frankly the issue of Gitmo is an american problem and they will have to sort it out just like we have a similar problem with the fighters we captured in Afghanistan and are still working on. Even if and I say even if I completley agreed with you and my boy Stevie woke up tomorrow am and changed his mind what could he do? Demand that Khadr come here and we will try him – be serious the Yanks do not let people out of prison that they charge with murder that would be a precedent of untold proportion and more than likely not legal itself as once you are charged with a crime there is due process – I know I know what due process at Gitmo = definitely a quandry but there you and since his trial is in October that will resolve all of these issue to your liking probably not but none the less.

  42. boudica says: “Ensuring fair treatment of Canadians citizens on foreign land INFERS raising a diplomatic stink.”
    Forgive me, I thought when you said “foolhardy even to allow a government the right to pick and choose which of its citizens will receive fair and equitable treatment on foreign land,” I took it to mean you had granted the Canadian government some decision making power over the treatment of Canadians abroad. All the government can do is pick and choose the raising of the diplomatic stink. If you believe that’s one and the same, I repeat, don’t ever leave the country to raise trouble, you’ll be in for a nasty surprise!
    PW’s point is the NDP should hoist the bleeding-heart flag up the pole, staking out that territory to prevent the Liberals’ hypocritical claims from gaining traction. I remain not quite convinced that such a strategy will win them a whole lot of votes among the Canadian electorate.

  43. Paul, I suspect your strategy in this article is to support our prime minister by trying to get the ndp to pick up the cause and fight with the liberals about it. This will take the heat off Harper.

  44. Wayne: Actually, many countries have repatriated their citizens from Gitmo. I think the number of repatriated detainees is in the hundreds, but certainly countries like Britain and Australia have done as much for their citizens.

    Simply put, there is no legal obstacle preventing us from repatriating Khadr.

  45. Johnny check the facts again the others were not charged with murder were they?

  46. I am not sure how many are stating there is a legal obstacle to repatriation, Johnny. What I sense is a political obstacle: Not enough Canadians care to bring the little angel home. As far as I am concerned, the NDP can play footsie with the Khadr family all they like.

  47. OK, so maybe at least one is making the argument that there is a severity-of-the-charge legal obstacle. Fair enough.

  48. By Michael Dobbs
    The Washington PostJuly 13, 2008 – 12:00 am

    “By the way, thirty of the people that have already been released from Guantanamo Bay have already tried to attack America again. One of them just a couple of weeks ago as a suicide bomber in Iraq.”

    -John McCain, Town Hall meeting, Pemberton, N.J., June 17

  49. My goodness, all the more reason to shoot every one of them as we round them up, eh?

  50. I don’t see why, when a segment of the population that is probably using Canada as a flag of convenience turns its children into human time bombs, we should be running around playing referee. Sure, Kadr is in bad shape. What did parents expect would happen if he got caught?? I say leave him there, and let the Americans, whose ox he gored, pay for the trial and the punishment.

  51. My dear deluded T, the current enemy feels no particular obligation towards international law niceties (instructions to allied forces: do not get captured!). The current good guys do feel that obligation. That’s why everyone’s Favourite Canadian Hero survived the confrontation in the first place, to become the USA’s problem now.
    The first time I heard about the wake-up and move around every three hours routine, I thought “that’s not torture, that’s parenthood!”
    Accuse our staunchest ally of evil all you like; put unconscionanle words in your debating opponents’ mouths unfairly if it makes you feel better. I for one sleep far better knowing I am in a freedom-loving democracy protected by the most powerful nation on earth who happens to share the same values of freedom, peace & the rule of law. So do you, especially for someone willing to make such a ridiculous charge.
    I am not personally getting too worked up over the fate of this Canadian citizen. So sue me.

  52. “Even if and I say even if I completley agreed with you and my boy Stevie woke up tomorrow am and changed his mind what could he do? Demand that Khadr come here and we will try him – be serious the Yanks do not let people out of prison that they charge with murder that would be a precedent of untold proportion and more than likely not legal itself as once you are charged with a crime there is due process – ”

    Wayne, point well taken about mind reading. I guess it is hard for me to accept that anyone with an ounce of intelligence can actually believe that the processes established at Gitmo are legitimate.

    As for your quote above, if the Brits and the Aussies were able to get their accused citizens back, exactly why would Harper not be able to do the same?

  53. Hey B. were the detainess that had british or australian passports charged with murder?

  54. Peace! guys. Why not look for a truly “solomonic” solution to this problem? Since prisoner exchanges, as ridiculous and shortsighted as they may be, seem to be the flavour of the month, why not send his wretched mother and sister down to GITMO in exchange? After all, they were the ones who “guided” him in his formative years. Besides, according to my wholly unscientific “survey”, 98.99% of Canadians wouldn’t mind see them gone, forever. The “boy”, at least, might be “salvageable”, which doesn’t seem to be the case for the two women.

  55. It’s absurd to start charging enemy soldiers with murder. *That’s* the fundamental violation of the Geneva Convention here, not the torture (bad as that is).

    What is totally overlooked in this debate is the fact that Al Qaeda, from the mid-’90’s to 2002, was both a terrorist organisation *and* part of the Taliban’s army – in fact, the shock troops in the war against Ahmed Shah Massoud. The fact that they did not themselves make a distinction between the two jihads (one terrorist and one military) has allowed the USA to treat all the Al Qaeda people as terrorists. While they would certainly have been *potential* terrorists, the fact is that the Al Qaeda the US met in Afghanistan was acting in its military capacity as Taliban allies.

    When Khadr threw his grenade, therefore, he was an enemy soldier performing a soldierlike action. Frankly it seems to me he would be guilty of dereliction of duty if he hadn’t thrown the grenade; and actually I’m pretty impressed that a 15-year-old had the presence of mind to keep fighting when under attack by the US Army.

    Anyway, to turn around and treat an enemy soldier as a terrorist is the most grotesque violation of the laws of war that I can imagine. The USA will have nothing to complain about when their soldiers start getting shot as spies in the next war.

  56. The khadar kid didn’t have a choice whether to folow his father to the hell hole and as a kid he is emune from prosectution as a boy soldier. The americans in all likely hood went looking for a scape goat for their friendly fire on thier own. This is an illigal farce at gitmo and harper must take action to get him home asap or be compacent in a travasty of justice of a canadian at the hands of an illigal entitly. He could be charged for not carrying out his duty as prime minister

  57. “Hey B. were the detainess that had british or australian passports charged with murder?”

    I’m not sure that the Yanks had enough time to charge them with anything given the intervention of their acccused’s respective countries but they most certainly were brought there to be charged and tried for murder.

    Wayne, these “detainees” were grabbed on the field of battle, after the Yanks launched their attack. Every one of them have been brought to Gitmo for what the Yanks have decided to define as murder. In Bush’s head (and apparently Harper’s), those “enemy combatants” were supposed to stand still while being shot at. Any response back constitutes murder or attempted murder and that is what Khadr is being accused of.

    In the “good old days,” Khadr and the others would have been grabbed and given status of POWs and released after the war. They most certainly would not have been accused of murder.

    I don’t understand your reasoning. What did you think those detainees are being kept at Gitmo for?

  58. Boudica

    In the ‘good old days’ Khadr would have been shot and we wouldn’t be having this debate.

    Khadr was on a battlefield, not wearing a uniform and not fighting for any particular country. He’s not considered a POW because he is/was a religious mercenary, or somesuch, and does not deserve our protection.

  59. It appears the Harper position is to deny obligations under Child Soldier provisions signed by Canada, the USA etc. So be it. Why doesn’t he pass the necessary legislation that would allow conservatives to ignore the little bastard.
    Not content with the obvious, Harper compounds matters by stating clearly he will not interfere in the legal affairs of legitimate democracies. Since Gitmo has been declared illegal by no less an authority than the US Supreme court, doesn’t Harper have an obligation to ‘interfere’?
    As for the circus conservatives have created of the hearings as run by Jason Kenney and Jason’s pubescent response to Romeo Dallaire, perhaps the day will come when Jason will mature enough to realize the good Senator is his better; his better in service to his country and beyond, in education and in qualification.
    Perhaps Jason might some day become man enough to realize the character growth opportunity before him and apologise to Dallaire; for a man who has never held a real job in his life and a man who fell into an golden nest by pure dumb luck, he at least owes that much to Canada, Dallaire and the democracy he toots about.

  60. The Khadr issue leaves Canada with an uncertain future. Here we have Harper continuing to support Bush’s agenda with less than 6 months left in his reign. How will Harper change once America is no longer controlled by a right leaning agenda? Hopefully Canadians will not have to vote prior to a change in guard south of the border. Much better to have all the cards on the table prior to setting our direction for the next 4-5 years.

  61. Perhaps, Mr. Wells, we could bring back Mr. Khadr and he could live with you. Perhaps you have forgotten that “charming” and bone chilling interview with his mother and sister a couple of years ago. Or perhaps you have forgotten who his father was and where he and his brother learned their tactics. A terrorist is a terrorist, regardless of age. Remember N. Ireland.

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