Sunday, November 29, 2015

Stephen Harper and the Torture of Omar Khadr

In a country full of Stephen Harper's victims, Omar Khadr is without a doubt the one who suffered the most.

The one he went after like a bully in heat, or a rabid animal. The one he allowed to be tortured in a place like Guantanamo, even though he was a child soldier.

The one he demonized to please his bloodthirsty bigot base, suck up their sucker dollars, and pleasure his inner demons. While muzzling that young Canadian for almost ten years, and never letting us hear his story.

So I'm glad to see that the Liberal government may finally be preparing to end this monstrous travesty of justice. 

The federal Liberals are reconsidering the government’s position on Omar Khadr’s case and may not fight the ruling that let the former Guantanamo Bay prisoner go free earlier this year, according to his lawyer.

At the time of his release, the Conservative government of the day condemned the ruling and vowed to appeal it. But according to Khadr’s longtime attorney, Dennis Edney, the government has since requested that the deadline for submitting appeal arguments be delayed.

Edney said the reason government lawyers sought the delay is that they were considering whether to oppose Khadr’s bail.

And one can only hope that the Liberals move as quickly as possible to scrap that appeal. For there is nothing to consider, Khadr's ordeal has gone on for too long.

And he deserves a chance to rebuild his life, and become the healer he has always wanted to be.

Edney reported that Khadr is “doing well” outside of prison, and is attending university as well as taking “ambulance courses.” “He’s using his time in a most productive and progressive manner,” he said.

Which considering what happened to him...

Couldn't be more inspiring.

There's also another reason I want the Liberals to move quickly. And that's because I believe that we all owe Khadr something.

For when Canadians finally got a chance to see and hear from that young Canadian Stephen Harper had demonized as a monster...

It was immediately obvious who was the nice guy.

And who was the real monster...

And I don't think Harper ever quite recovered from that.

So when he set out to demonize others...

Even in Quebec, where support for a niqab ban was strong, but so was support for Khadr, it did not win him votes.

So yes, free Omar as soon as possible. 

End his nightmare and Canada's shame.

Let's hope he sues Harper for every dollar he has.

And that in the court of history at least.

The monstrous bully is the one who ends up wearing the orange jump suit...

Please click here to recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers.


  1. As far as I have ever been able to determine, Khadr might have thrown the grenade that killed the US solder but in the context of badly confused firefight with Americans who are just a bit prone to own goals .... Remember Canada's first four fatalities in Afghanistan.

    The travesty of justice the US called that special military tribunal was something Stalin would have been proud of if he'd done the same for the 1930's show trials. I have not read the entire transcript I have read that of the psychiatric testimony which was a complete farce.
    Khadr was 15 years old and covered by the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict which I believe both Canada and the USA have ratified. Note to Cons and US Military : the Protocol does not advocate torture or illegal detention.

    Canada should have been protesting loudly to the US government about the illegal detention and torture of a child not adding and abetting such behaviour. The sheer malice of the Cons, let alone their complete and total abdication of any responsibility to protect a Canadian citizen shocked me and still does.

    We may be entering a period of legal sanity in Canada. What a change! Soon the Supreme Court will be able to go back to doing their real job, freed of hearing appeals of the patently vindictive and unconstitutional laws that the Cons tried to implement.

    Lawyers in Justice may actually write clean law. On the other hand it would be nice to know just who wrote those terrible laws and if drafters had any qualms.

    Louise Arbour made the point before the election that it would be most interesting to see whether the drafters of the various bad and often unconstitutional laws that the Cons came up with actually told their Minister or Cabinet that the laws stunk and would not withstand a charter or constitutional challenge.

    1. Anonymous3:41 PM

      I know someone who worked at the Justice Dep't, and yes, they did tell the minister and the PMO that the laws would not withstand a charter challenge. But the attitude from on high was "Bring 'em on."

    2. hi jrkrideau...I after reading every account of that fatal firefight I can't believe that Khadr threw the grenade, as he had been riddled with shrapnel, and had one eye shredded after two air strikes that preceded the throwing of the grenade. I can't believe a slight gy like him would have been in any shape to do anything. And I believe the grenade was thrown by another Taliban fighter who was still alive in the ruins, and opened fire on the advancing Americans before he too was killed. The Taliban fighter whose existence the Pentagon tried to conceal until late in the trial. But anyway, it doesn't matter whether he threw the grenade or not, because he was a child soldier and according to the U.N. protocols that we were the FIRST to sign, he should have been rehabilitated not punished, and certainly not tortured. But yes, you're right. Let's hope we are entering a new era of justice in this country....

    3. hi anon...yes, the amount of time and money justice department lawyers spent on cases that the Cons knew were unconstitutional is scandalous. It was their way of showing their contempt for the Supreme Court, and bringing the whole legal process into disrepute. All I can say is thank goodness we had the SCOC to stand up for our values, or we would be living in an absolute jungle...

  2. Sadly, harper kept much of his voting base. And those people are just too stupid, too cretinous, too racist, too brainwashed, too deluded, too idiotic, to ever see reason on this and many other issues.

    I think elites have learned how to use the stupidest among the population as their foot-soldiers in the mass voting era. In the past they would have seen some of the excesses of present "conservatism" as unseemly. But now they realize they have no other choice. No other constituency but the yahoos who listen to Ezra Levant and FOX News and believe they're learning something from it.

    1. Anonymous10:08 PM

      Sadly, I think you are right. However, getting people out to vote seems to have curtailed the cons. Need to keep it up all the time. Engagement and respect. I think we're off to a great start.

      Really can't wait until Thursday, new Parliament (yay!).

    2. hi's true that Harper did hang on to his core base, but only by doing things that alienated other Canadians. That base is rural and shrinking, And a better way to look at the situation is to look not at what he managed to hang on to, but look at what he didn't get. The support of Canadians beyond that base, including the immigrant vote and the youth vote. Which will dampen his future, until the day we can bring in electoral reform and destroy the Cons beyond recognition...

  3. no doubt he had a bad time in Gitmo, but do not overlook that there are Canadians at home who say, using electronic blacklisting and workplace blacklisting by spreading malicious hate inciting rumors, and blacklisting from all services from medical to social solitary confinement and has injured, broken and probably killed people here at home and many have reported it and there are two lawsuits in Alberta claiming it went on for 10 years......but no media attention yet......and that same pattern of isolation has driven many out of Canada alltogether....and don't tell me it's not happening.....Too many people say it has.....Tech has allowed for the imprisonment, shackling, confinement and solitary exclusion from society by anyone with the military grade tech to do it......which is not hard to get your hands on......and the code of secrecy and threats to stop anyone leaking that it's going on......Google targeted individuals and you will see it is a massive pattern of targeting within and beyond the is a jail without walls that tortures without leaving evidence....Maher Arar's smear campaign by RCMP is similar to how it generally starts......then phone calls, emails, texts, facebook, linkedin.....all are gradually filtered so that once you are out of work, no work application gets through to an employment role and if it soon get fired as you are tracked using tech and a gossip monger connects with your employer and starts a smear campaign that gets you fired. Police ignore your requests for investigation saying there is no evidence and if you persist in calling them they will mark your police records that you are mentally ill - delusional. If you are not aware they marked you in police records as mentally ill and you keep calling them for criminal harassment to your home and car (property damage that looks accidental or like wear and tear that only you know cannot possibly be wear and tear - which is part of the mental torture) they turn up and apprehend you on a trumped up anonymous phone call saying you are a danger to yourself. You may or may not get out of a psych ward - ever and if you do get out and had a career you probably wont have it any more and you may have lost your house, family and friends by that time. Many careers and lives would be ruined by that. This pattern has been happening all over western countries. Lets stop focusing on rare cases outside our country that distract artfully and deliberately from the issues happening at home....It supports the assumption that it could never happen here....same as people did not believe in the nazi death camps until it was too late.....and that is how it goes on and on.....There are people who have been subjected to this very well strategized targeting for well over a decade....same as during McCarthyism....people suffered and died over that too.....blacklisting is a form of solitary confinement and supporters of a blacklisted person get blacklisted as'm sorry about this boy but it's happening to completely innocent people right here....whistleblowers mostly.....raped women, mothers of molested kids.....and if you watch the news you will see this coming out bit by bit as the revelations pick up momentum......It cannot be kept secret from mainstream media or acknowledgement by the government indefinitely.....nothing this big can....

    1. hi're right, it is important to look at what is happening here, where isolation is a scandal, and there has been all kinds of so-called collateral damage in the Great War on Terror. But one of the main reasons I felt so strongly about the Khadr case i because I knew that if they were able to get away with violating the rights of a child, they would be capable of anything, and sure enough they were....

  4. Anonymous9:39 PM

    Was he even a soldier or was he just at the wrong place wrong time. Nothing soldierish about this gentle young man. A decent government like the one we have now would have given him the benefit of the doubt but Harper used him for votes. I also hope he sues the former Harper govt. or the current Official Harper Opposition. Remember how we thought it was over, we ousted the dictator and now life could go back to normal? Apparenly the humiliating defeat wasn't enough to drive them back under their rocks instead Harper has unmuzzled them and Unleashed them on us. His nastiness continues to spew through the likes of Rempel and Raitt, clearly The Conservative Party is now in its Death Throes. Not only is the entire country glad to be rid it seems the rest of the world is too. Justin is getting a hero's welcome everywhere he goes. I just hope he's been guarded carefully because I would not put anything past these Cons and their hatred for him.

    1. hi anon...Omar Khadr was by all accounts the cook and the tea boy of that small Taliban group. He had no choice about joining them, his father controlled his fate from the moment they left Toronto, which Omar did not want to leave. So he has really been victimized by his own family, the Taliban, the U.S. army, and betrayed by his own government. The fact that he has been able to keep so much of his humanity is a miracle, which is why I am so happy that he is finally getting a chance to go to school. But as for the Cons, yes I too think they are in their death throes. They have staffing problems, they have money problems, the leadership race could cause bitter divisions. And of course the day electoral reform passes, they will be the walking dead...