Wednesday, September 28, 2011
The Agony of Omar Khadr: The Documentary
I don't think I've ever been so ashamed to be a Canadian as the day I saw this video of CSIS agents interrogating Omar Khadr.
The sound of Omar sobbing "help me...help me" in that ghastly gulag, when he finally realized that those Canadians weren't there to help him, practically froze the blood in my veins.
A shame only made worse by the knowledge that most Canadians didn't give a damn. Because they hate his crazy family eh? Even though he WAS a child soldier.
So I'm glad that two Montreal film makers have made a documentary out of it...
I'm glad it's been reviewed by the Times.
What we see is a blurry, black-streaked box, the faces of Mr. Khadr’s Canadian interrogators hidden behind cartoonish smudges. This gives them a disturbingly jaunty look as they fiddle with an asthmatic air-conditioner and proffer cartons of fast food, their fake bonhomie soon descending into psychological cruelty.
In the film’s most powerful section, Mr. Khadr (now 25 and serving an eight-year sentence after a 2010 plea deal) begs for protection and cries out for his mother while the observers join him on screen, watching his torment as if they were members of a celestial jury.
What they are really doing, however, is bearing silent witness to the repudiation of due process and the basic indecency of treating a legal minor as an adult enemy.
Because I couldn't say it better than that. Or this.
Watching this documentary, we are compelled to consider who we are as a people if our Constitution fails to protect those who, ostensibly, seek to destroy us. Cycling through outrage and then grief, as Omar Khadr abandons his expectations for justice, viewers of every political stripe will understand that the rule of law is the last thing we should ever abandon.
And I only hope it wins an Oscar. So the whole world will see what Stephen Harper's Cons have done to the rule of law, and what kind of a country Canada has become.
Human rights experts want to know why a mentally ill Canadian citizen sat in a secretive U.S. detention facility in Afghanistan for eight months without a consular visit, and more than 18 months behind bars in total.
So much for The Great War on Terror.
You Don't Like the Truth? Welcome to Con Canada.
The agony of Omar Khadr continues.
And the shame will last FOREVER....