Reward for treason 10

A Canadian Muslim goes to Afghanistan, joins Canada’s enemy al-Qaeda, fights against Canadian and US forces, kills a US serviceman – and no, he is not punished as a traitor. He is awarded $10.5 million of Canadian tax-payers’ money.  

The Globe And Mail (Canada) reports:

The Trudeau government is poised to offer an apology and a $10-million compensation package to former child soldier Omar Khadr for abuses he suffered while detained in the U.S. military prison for captured and suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 2010 that the actions of federal officials who participated in U.S. interrogations of Mr. Khadr had offended “the most basic Canadian standards about the treatment of detained youth suspects”.

The court said the action of the Canadian government had violated the former child soldier’s rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and deprived him of fundamental principles of justice.

A federal insider said the announcement of an official apology and compensation is expected this week.

Mr. Khadr’s lawyer, Dennis Edney, has been seeking a formal apology from the United States and from the Trudeau government for the alleged abuse and neglect of Mr. Khadr while he was in the prison. …

Mr. Khadr was captured in Afghanistan at the age of 15 in 2002, following a shootout with U.S. troops where he was badly wounded – blinded by shrapnel in one eye and with fist-sized exit wounds in his shoulder and chest.

He was accused of throwing a grenade that killed U.S. army medic Christopher Speer in the firefight and was sent to the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay.

Mr. Khadr, now 30, spent more than 10 years in U.S. and Canadian custody, much of that time in the Guantanamo Bay detention centre. Once the youngest detainee in Guantanamo, he was transferred to Canada in 2012 after accepting a plea deal.

Mr. Edney has said his client was treated abysmally even though he was a child soldier and his body shattered from wounds. U.S. interrogators subjected him to sleep deprivation and solitary confinement.

Mr. Edney said Mr. Khadr was coerced into fighting by his father, Ahmed Said Khadr – a top al-Qaeda operative until he was killed in a gunfight with Pakistani troops in 2003.

In March, Mr. Khadr underwent a 19-hour operation in an Edmonton hospital to repair his shoulder, which was severely damaged during the firefight with U.S soldiers.

“Nobody advocated for his health whatsoever. Even when he came back to Canada, I raised all those issues with the Correctional Services and of course [former prime minister Stephen] Harper was not interested in hearing anything like that,” Mr. Edney said in an interview last March.

Mr. Khadr was freed on bail in May, 2015, and released under the supervision of Mr. Edney

He said he would “prove to [Canadians] that I’m a good person”.

The International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group and Lawyer’s Rights Watch Canada have concluded that Canada contravened its obligations under the Conventions against Torture by failing to prevent and investigate what happened to Mr. Khadr in Guantanamo Bay.

What do the near relatives of Mr. Khadr’s murdered victim, Christopher Speer, think about this, we wonder. Are they to be paid compensation too?

This report from the Hamilton Spectator (Canada), answers that question:

“When a Canadian soldier is injured in battle, the government provides a disability award up to a maximum of $360,000,” Conservative MP Michelle Rempel said in a tweet. “Despite this, the current government is willing to provide $10 million to a convicted terrorist.”

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation started an online petition aimed at Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was in Ireland, deploring the deal one source said was signed last week.

“This is offensive to many Canadians,” the petition states. “Canadians should not be forced to pay millions of dollars to a killer.”

Social media exploded with denunciation of the agreement, which sources said would see the government pay Khadr $10.5 million — part of which would go to his lawyers — and the justice and public safety ministers formally apologize to him.

Posters used words such as “disgraceful”, some called for the Canadian citizen to be kicked out of the country, while others argued the money should go to the family of Chris Speer, the U.S. special forces soldier Khadr is alleged to have killed in 2002.

“Most Canadians’ thoughts would be with Christopher Speer’s widow and family, who are reliving their terrible ordeal once again because of the actions of the Canadian government this time,” said Tony Clement, another Conservative MP.

The Toronto-born Khadr, 30, pleaded guilty to five war crimes before a much maligned military commission in 2010. He has claimed — with some evidence — his American captors tortured him. …

Speer’s widow Tabitha Speer and retired American sergeant Layne Morris, who was blinded by a grenade at the Afghan compound, won a default US$134.2 million in damages against Khadr in Utah in 2015. Canadian experts called it unlikely the judgment could be enforced.

Neither Speer nor Morris returned calls seeking comment, but Morris’s wife had only one word when told of the deal: “Wow.”

In 2010, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Canadian intelligence officials had obtained evidence from Khadr under “oppressive circumstances”, such as sleep deprivation during interrogations at Guantanamo Bay in 2003, and shared the evidence with U.S agents and prosecutors.

“Such as sleep deprivation”? What else? Anything else? Is sleep deprivation torture? It is certainly miserable and debilitating, but nothing very bad in comparison with the horrifying torture that al-Qaeda inflicts on its captives. See here and here.

Was this justice, or was it a political decision?

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Update:

Andrew Lawton writes at Global News (Canada):

Every terrorist in the country will soon be lining up at the trough for a $10.5 million cheque.

Such is apparently the fate awaiting enemies of Canada according to the country’s own government, as seen in the settlement of a lawsuit by Omar Khadr, the man who confessed that at age 15 he threw the grenade that killed American army medic Christopher Speer in Afghanistan.

Khadr’s actions in the 2002 firefight that killed Speer have not been tested in court in Canada, and his American appeal is not yet complete. He has not been exonerated — he’s simply out on bail. Despite his Canadian citizenship, we must not forget that Khadr was an enemy combatant. Despite recanting his confession of killing Speer (he now says he doesn’t know whether he did it), Khadr was undeniably on the battlefield, and is also on video constructing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) — technology responsible for the deaths of 97 Canadians.

Whether Khadr’s devices killed any of them we’ll never know, but he was making deadly weapons. Surely he didn’t think it was simply an al-Qaida arts and crafts project.

For the last 15 years, Khadr has tried to hide behind protections of his Canadian identity despite fighting for the enemy in the most literal sense. If Canadians won’t accept the legitimacy of the American military tribunal, let’s litigate this on our own soil. He should be treated as a defector and charged with treason — an offense without a statute of limitations, I’d remind Canada’s attorney general.

Canada’s criminal code says anyone who “assists an enemy at war with Canada, or any armed forces against whom Canadian Forces are engaged in hostilities, whether or not a state of war exists between Canada and the country whose forces they are” is guilty of high treason, which carries a life sentence.

Canada’s mission in Afghanistan began in October of 2001, making the United States’ enemies our own as well.

Yet Khadr received a red carpet welcome when he was released from custody in 2015.

He’s not a hero, nor is he a victim. But the misinformation about this case doesn’t stop there.

Contrary to claims circulating this week, the multimillion-dollar deal was not ordered by the Supreme Court or any other level. It was brokered behind closed doors by Khadr’s lawyers and government officials.

Khadr’s supporters see him as a “child soldier” and liken the military tribunal that convicted him to a kangaroo court.

According to testimony from lawyer Howard Anglin, speaking before the House of Commons’ international human rights subcommittee in 2008, Khadr was not a child soldier under international law, and his military tribunal was conducted in accordance with Geneva Convention standards.

Anglin cited a claim from Khadr’s own former military lawyer, Lt.-Cmdr. William Kuebler, that no law or treaty prevents prosecution of minors for war crimes. …

However, these legal arguments appear to take backseat to the emotional ones driving the narrative that Khadr is a victim of tragedy, rather than a perpetrator of it.

“No one reading this can say, with certainty, that his or her life would have turned out different from Omar Khadr’s if he or she was raised as he was,” said Jonathan Kay in a CBC column.

I agree that upbringing shapes much of one’s existence, but we must still be accountable for our own actions. We didn’t afford the benefit of the doubt to Nazi war criminals whose conduct could be linked to indoctrination, nor should we have.

Khadr’s father, Ahmed, was in Osama bin Laden’s inner circle. His older sister, Zaynab, has publicly praised bin Laden. His mother said in a CBC interview some years back that Canadians should wish their sons were as “brave” as hers.

If Khadr isn’t his father’s son, why has he not distanced himself from the family that set him up for failure?

Khadr was mature enough to know the consequences of his actions. I just wish the same could be said of the federal government.

 

(Hat-tip for the Global News link to Mike Watson, our Facebook commenter)

Posted under Canada, Treason, War by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Tagged with , , , , , , , ,

This post has 10 comments.

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  • Cogito
    • Thanks for the information, Cogito.

      We’ll be very interested to know whether the two petitions you’ve told us about have any success.

  • Cogito

    As a Canadian, I can do nothing but hang my head in shame. This is unspeakably outrageous.

    • You and millions of Canadians like you are blameless, Cogito. You in particular are so plainly a man of reason, you are a model for us all.

      • Cogito

        You are too kind, Jillian.

        Your readers should know that there are at least two petitions making the rounds here demanding the Federal Government disallow this monstrous travesty.
        We’ll see.

  • liz

    How pathetic. That’s why you “take no prisoners”.

  • Athrin

    canada MUST be put on the terror financing/supporting list just like iran is, canada is as much an ally of the US as North Korea is.

    • Under Trudeau, the Canadian government is Muslim-terrorist-supporting. But decent Canadians are appalled by this.

      • Athrin

        canada is at very least 70% leftists, they would be exactly like venezuela if they where not on the us border.