Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Omar Khadr and the Day of Justice

I've written many posts about the case of Omar Khadr. I consider the way that Canadian child soldier was treated by his own government to be one of the worst legal travesties in modern Canadian history.

And one that should shame us all.

So I'm glad to see that he is finally going to get some justice. 

And as usual, I am disgusted by the reaction of Cons like Jason Kenney. 

"Odious. Confessed terrorist who assembled and planted the same kind of IEDs that killed 97 Canadians to be given $10 million by Justin Trudeau," the former federal immigration minister under Stephen Harper tweeted.

The jelly belly bigot who wouldn't know what justice was if it jumped up and bit him.

Disgusted too by the sinister Con propaganda machine.

And all those other Canadians who should know better, who hate Khadr because they hate his family. What?

And can't seem to understand that the settlement is the penalty for failing to respect the laws of this country. 

“Odious” was the word used by Jason Kenney, the current Alberta Progressive Conservative Party leader and former federal minister, to describe a $10.5-million settlement for Omar Khadr. Yet at the time Mr. Kenney was a minister of the Crown, the lawyers dispatched by the federal government kept losing. 

That’s important because of what is really at play in the Khadr case now: liability. The Crown was on the hook. 

Or that Khadr is going to be paid because his rights were violated, according to a unanimous ruling by our Supreme Court. 

"The deprivation of [Khadr's] right to liberty and security of the person is not in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice," the court ruled. 

"The interrogation of a youth detained without access to counsel, to elicit statements about serious criminal charges while knowing that the youth had been subjected to sleep deprivation and while knowing that the fruits of the interrogations would be shared with the prosecutors, offends the most basic Canadian standards about the treatment of detained youth suspects."

And that while that ruling referred to something that happened when the Liberals were in power.

Stephen Harper only made matters worse by keeping the young Canadian in a place like Guantanamo, with a zeal that bordered on depravity.

For crass political purposes...

And his filthy Cons couldn't be more hypocritical.

Conservatives are now in high dudgeon. But they should be familiar with both the 2010 ruling and a related judgment by the Supreme Court in 2008 that dealt with Khadr's access to documents. 

Conservatives should also be aware of their own precedent for such compensation: it was Stephen Harper's government that agreed to pay $10 million to Maher Arar in 2007, acknowledging the Canadian government's actions may have led to his torture by Syrian officials in 2002.

As for me, after writing about this case for so many years I don't have much to say except this:

(1) I don't believe that Omar Khadr threw the grenade that killed Sgt. Christopher Speer. Not when he was riddled with shrapnel from two air strikes and blinded, before he was shot twice in the back. And the Pentagon did its best to cover up what could be a death by so-called friendly fire.

(2) Sgt. Speer was not a medic. There are no medics in the Special Forces, just regular soldiers with some training in first aid. So stop trying to turn him into Florence Nightingale.

(3) Speer's death was tragic, as are all violent deaths, but his widow has no right to sue Khadr for something that happened on a battlefield. Or get a penny of his money as the shabby Harper clone Andrew Scheer claims she does.

Once again for crass political purposes.

And lastly but most importantly, Omar Khadr was a child soldier, and never should have been jailed and tortured in a place like Guantanamo. 

According to the U.N. Protocol on the Treatment of Child Soldiers he should have been rehabilitated not punished.

Canada was the first country to sign that protocol, and the first one to violate it. That was the original sin.

Aaron Wherry is right:

Omar Khadr stands as a reminder that the unjust treatment of a person — any person — can prove very costly.

And if the Cons and their bestial supporters don't understand that they can choke in their own bile or their own bigotry.

And call the Karma Police...

And now I'm off to Europe, Paris, London, and then the Scottish highlands.

I'm glad to get away from North America for a while.  Sometimes these days the stench of Cons and Trudeau haters and Trumpanzees can be overwhelming.

But where I'm going the air is always fresh.

And I'll be back blogging as soon as I can...


Anonymous said...

It matters not what Omar Khadr did when it comes to this ruling, it is about the rule of law and charter rights. These are two things "conservatives" used to respect before they became all about their feels.

Anonymous said...

"Sgt. Speer was not a medic. There are no medics in the Special Forces, just regular soldiers with some training in first aid. So stop trying to turn him into Florence Nightingale."

A soldier who died on duty... Stay classy Simon.

Marmalade said...

Have a safe and happy holiday, Simon......any room in your suitcase?

Anonymous said...

Have a great vacation Simon, but please stay off motorcycles!

Anonymous said...

Did you see the video of Omar Khadr making bombs? I could care less if his "human rights" were violated. Should he bear no responsibility for his crimes because we can toss the words "child soldier" around?

Please do Canada a favor, and remain overseas. We have enough terrorist sympathizers here (looking at you Trudeau).

Anonymous said...

Calling Speer a medic instead of a soldier makes him sound like an innocent victim, and by so doing distorts the story. He was a killer and he got killed end of story.

Anonymous said...

No, we are rule of law and Supreme Court sympathizers. Perhaps you should find a nice autocratic country to move to?

Anonymous said...

So Omar. I hope his time in Gitmo ruined him for the rest of his life. I hope
he never sleeps easy, always lives I fear.

He stole a life, a good life. His is worthless.

lagatta à montréal said...

Omar was a child, effectively kidnapped by his dad. His dad was the guilty party in that sense, and he died in the battle. Using minors as combattants is a war crime. Many states and "non-state entities" have been guilty of this.

Anonymous said...

The cons are emotionally dishonest. If others break the law its hang them from the highest tree but if our government breaks the same law it is entirely justified as the victim is to blame. Spousal and child abusers use "they made me do it and got what they deserved" all the time, Cons are no different.
Perhaps some of the hate could be justified if Irag invaded our country and destroyed our lives and killed our children but it was the other way around based on conjured up weapons of mass destruction that did not exist. Ah yes but facts are irrelevant, Cons are above all that as they have a given right to choose who to hate and justify it as they see fit.

Filcher said...

Speer had a choice of being in Afghanistan or not, the US has a volunteer army. Omar had no choice, he was a child. A soldier is part of a mechanism trained to kill people, and this is known fact. That people claim Kadr is a murderer, and Sgt Speers was not shows a poor lack of sense. Omar was shot while unarmed, and huddled in a corner, so using your logic, why was the soldier who shot an unarmed Khadr in the back (twice) not charged with attempted murder?

The court trial also was not about the attack, and the death of Speers, it was about the complicity of the Canadian officials in denying Omar's rights under Canadian law, International law and under the Geneva Convention.

John B. said...

Send the bill to Harper & Associates in recognition of the shoddy work the firm performed on that contract. Mr. Here-For-Canada was advised that constitutional issues would place his client in a position of liability for Khadr's treatment, and no matter what gut reactions either he or anyone else had on the subject, he bore the responsibility through his deal with Canada to protect it from this predictable outcome. Amateur hour, indeed. Trudeau should avoid the political hit by withdrawing the offer and letting the courts take it wherever it goes. Why should he take it just to save ten million or more? Then Michelle and Jason can deliver the bill with thanks the next time they drop by their old boss's place to whine about the Charter.

At the same time, I think it would have been a classy and less disruptive move if Khadr had just gone after his economic loss based on legal fees and two years lost-time as a terrorist's apprentice and eight or nine as a journeyman. Maybe he really doesn't have the class that some have attributed to him. Anyway, I guess no one should expect him to be concerned about a little disruption after all the mayhem he's experienced through the negligence of his parents and his political reps. Come to think of it, maybe H&A could arrange to split the bill with Omar's mom and Jean Chretien, and then we can go after all of them for a grand parade of apologies.

Anonymous said...

"He was a killer and he got killed end of story."

That's the dumbest thing I ever heard. By that logic, all Canadian soldiers are murderers too and have what's coming to them? Ignorant.

Anonymous said...

ThankYou to the Supreme Court for reaching the right decision on Omar's case. Harper let them torture a 15 year old boy. He should be in jail for his crimes against Omar.
Have a wonderful ( safe ) holiday Simon. 🌞🌞🌞 Pamela

lagatta à montréal said...

Child soldiers who have committed far more heinous acts; against civilians, even against other minors, have been rehabilitated. The guilty party in legal terms, and I would hope in moral and ethical terms, is the adult or adults who recruited the minors.

I certainly hope Mr Khadr can have a happy and productive life; he seems too level-headed to blow his settlement on silly stuff.

John B. said...

Why Iraq?

John B. said...

I don't think pops was in that shootout. He died in another one with the Pakistanis.

Anonymous said...

My goodness, are you really a believer of distortion is the reality? Rg

hinofan said...

The US and British attack on Afghanistan 3 weeks after 9/11 was illegal.
Bush and Blair are war criminals.
Rendition is illegal.
Guantanamo Bay is illegal.
The Military Commission that convicted Omar Khadr was illegal.
The "Coalition of the Willing" US led attack on Iraq was illegal.
We are living next door to a rogue state that has declared war on the environment and is pondering the use of tactical nuclear weapons.
Compensating Omar Khadr for wrongs identified by the Supreme Court of Canada makes ours the better country.
Canada signed the treaty that requires child soldiers to be rehabilitated and ignored it in Omar Khadr's case.
Our Charter of rights and freedoms may protect you one day.

Omar said...

Hey Simon. Enjoy Scotland! I'm on an off year :-)

Anonymous said...

I could care less if his "human rights" were violated.

The very fact that you had to put that term in scare quotes tells me you misunderstand the very foundation of this country.