Friday, May 08, 2009
Omar Khadr: The Crime and the Cover-Up
I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised by Stephen Harper's decision to appeal the Federal Court ruling that Omar Khadr should be brought home.
But it still disgusts me. Because the shame goes on and on.
You know when I learned that Canada was the FIRST country to sign the U.N. Protocol on Child Soldiers....the one that says they should be rehabilitated not punished.... I was extremely proud to be a Canadian. Because that's the kind of country I believe in.
So when I heard about the Khadr story I couldn't understand why he was being held at Guantanamo, because regardless of what he had done nobody could deny that he WAS a child soldier.
But then when I looked into the case I discovered something that makes the case even more horrible. Omar Khadr almost certainly did NOT kill that American soldier.
And not only that.... some evidence suggests that the soldier who died may have been killed by an American grenade thrown by one of his OWN soldiers. Instead of a Russian grenade used by the Taliban. In other words a death by so-called friendly fire.
Which suggests a possible COVER-UP... and that the only crime that occurred was what they did to Omar.
But of course, as I said before, it doesn't really matter. Because even if he had killed that Special Forces soldier, he was a child soldier.
Who should have been rehabilitated .....not imprisoned and tortured in terrible places like Guantanamo or Bagram.
But he was.
And two Canadian governments didn't lift a finger to help him. Even though according to his lawyers AND his guards Omar remains a decent gentle young man, who dreams of being an artist in Canada...even though he is half blind. A guy who has rejected the extremism of his family, and managed to avoid the clutches of the religious fanatics that surround him.
A guy who amazingly enough apparently still loves Canada, even though it abandoned him.
My only consolation is that the Federal Court decision is in my opinion rock solid...as well as a harsh indictment of the moral failure of two Canadian governments to do the right and decent thing. And I'm hoping the Appeal Court ruling upholding that decision will be even more BRUTAL.
So everybody in this country can understand what CANADIAN values really mean...for those who have forgotten.
So that Stephen Harper is condemned as a mean, miserable, cruel bastard.
So that Omar Khadr comes home at last.
And the shame is finally over...