Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Abominable Trial of Omar Khadr

Well I see the military jury at the kangaroo trial of Omar Khadr has dropped its pants, squatted over a hole in the ground, its symbolic sentence.  

And no doubt given Stephen Harper a warm fuzzy feeling and/or a woody.

Omar Khar was sentenced today to 40 years in prison for murder, terrorism and spying by a military panel unaware that the confessed Canadian war criminal had agreed to plead guilty in exchange for a sentence capped at eight years and the chance to return to Canada after one more year in Guantanamo.

By sentencing Khadr to FIFTEEN years more than even the war criminals at the Pentagon had demanded.  Even though he almost certainly killed no one, and the only reason he was singled out for prosecution, as I explained in this post.

Was so the Pentagon could lower the bar of justice and international law so much, they could do ANYTHING to ANYONE.

So now all I want to know is when can that jury and that Stalinesque court be arrested for crimes against a child soldier? And what is the Harper government waiting for to demand that Omar be brought home IMMEDIATELY?

For that barbarous sentence only serves to prove beyond all doubt that the trial was a travesty.

"Everything about Omar Khadr's ordeal at Guantanamo Bay over the past eight years has been a fiasco," Mr. Neve said. "It comes as no surprise that the sentencing phase and this stunningly punitive jury decision has so starkly highlighted the injustices of this process."

And sentencing him to spend another year, in a maximum security section of that hideous gulag called Guantanamo, is an abominable act of cruelty and judicial torture.

Oh well. I'll have more to say about this in the days ahead when I'm not so angry. But tonight I just want to pay tribute to the extraordinary strength of that young Canadian, who has been victimized by just about everyone.

His own family, the Taliban, the Pentagon torturers, two Canadian governments. And abandoned by so many of his own people.

But although he is still riddled with shrapnel and blind in one eye, has somehow managed to endure, and is by all accounts a decent and gentle guy.

I also want to salute Khadr's defence team, Canadians like Dennis Edney, as well as the members of the U.S. military, who criticized their superiors and their own government to stand up for the rule of law.

“Al-Qaeda uses kids, they had radicalized him,” Col. Jackson said, reminding the panel that Mr. Khadr is considered internationally to be a “child soldier,” a victim, rather than a combatant who can’t, under United Nation’s protocol’s be held accountable for war crimes.

And by so doing tried to save the honour of their country. Unlike their weak and cowardly President.

The verdict of history will be harsher on Obama, and Harper, and all the others, than today's abominable sentence was on Khadr.

And what else can you say eh?

Except that for Canada the shame will last FOREVER.

And that NOTHING will ever change the truth. Omar Khadr was a child soldier.

And he lives HERE...


GeorgieBC said...

Thank you for all your coverage on this Simon. We can try to keep this alive ... now that the theatre is over, maybe if we fight hard enough ...

What makes me even sicker than the sentence are comments on the Khadr case from his home that he will hopefully be returned to. So much education required. Keep writing, you are great and appreciated.

Simon said...

hi Georgie... thank you for your kind words, but what else could I do eh? As I've said many many times before this case should NEVER have been a partisan issue. It was all about the rule of law, the rights of children,and simple human decency. How so many people in this country could turn their backs on a young Canadian, because they hate his family has absolutely disgusted me. Can you imagine what our courts would resemble if we applied those criteria to our justice system? Answer: a JUNGLE where the mob RULES. Whatever anyone felt about him and his family there was only ever one legal, decent, and Canadian thing to do. Bring him home and rehabilitate him, not punish him further, as it says in the UN Protocols on Child Soldiers, that we were the FIRST to sign.
Oh well. The good news is that I'm sure Omar Khadr is happy that at last there is now a light at the end of the tunnel. And so am I because boy has it been a long and dark tunnel...

Beijing York said...

Thanks again, Simon.
You have done a stellar job in keeping us focused on this injustice. As Georgie said, we have to keep this going until some modicum of justness is achieved. Those monsters want to break him and Harper wants him to rot in hell.

Anonymous said...

Simon, a year post-sentence is a long time. [h]e is in greater danger now than before.
an older sister

Simon said...

hi Beijing... thank you for being so encouraging, as usual. :)
You're absolutely right, we have to make sure that Omar doesn't just disappear into that black hole called Gitmo. It's an outrage that he's still there, and to have him spend even ONE day in jail in Canada is absolutely UNTHINKABLE.
I'm staying on this case until Omar is free, and of course Harper is defeated... :)

Simon said...

hi anonymous...yes a one-year sentence is a long time, especially since it will be in a maximum security part of that evil prison.
But as I said in the post, nothing is as scary as not knowing how long you are going to be a prisoner, so I'm hoping that he will be feeling relieved at that. But don't worry we won't forget him...:)