Stackhouse Soapbox – Misguided support

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MIKE STACKHOUSE

I don’t usually spend two straight weeks on the same topic, but the Omar Khadr matter remains in the limelight as I continue to be amazed at the number of people I have encountered who are okay with Canada supporting terrorism and harboring a terrorist.

I think what disgusts me the most are the Canadian people who show tremendous sympathy for Khadr and absolutely none for the families of the two people (one a fatality and one a serious, permanent injury) Khadr struck when he lobbed a grenade at them during a firefight in Afghanistan when Khadr was a 15-year-old.

I don’t have enough space to provide a complete timeline of the Khadr matter, but the guy spent precious little time in Canada even though he was born here. My son was born in Brandon, but moved to Yorkton within two weeks. If he goes on to do something famous, is he recognized by Brandon or Yorkton? That’s Omar Khadr. He was born here, but never lived here to any point that he would recall it.

When Omar was 15, he was already in the company of Osama Bin Laden. The two broke bread together (figure of speech). Think about that. We paid $10.5 million to a guy who was at the right hand of Osama Bin Laden.

Khadr, who was badly injured in the firefight where the American medic was killed, expressed happiness when learning he had killed an American and signed a statement of facts confessing as such. Khadr later claimed that confession was made as a result of torture, but a judge ruled the confession came after investigators provided video evidence to Khadr of him building IEDs (bombs). Khadr would go on to spend ten years at Guantanamo and Canada was under pressure by the American government to take him back and have his time served here, something the Stephen Harper government wanted no part of. By 2012, he was repatriated back to Canada and then released from custody in 2015 altogether.

Meanwhile, back in 2010, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the federal government infringed on Khadr’s rights when it sent its own interrogators (this was back when Chretien/Martin ran the country) to question Khadr after the poor lad was deprived of sleep (not allowed to snooze for more than 3 hours at a time). He also did not have a lawyer present. At first, Khadr sought $100,000. He, later, raised the amount to $20 million and the Supreme Court ruled financial compensation, “left to government to decide how best to respond”, but the Court also noted the original remedy sought by Khadr was his return to Canada; which was granted.

Khadr supporters hang their hat on two things: him being a child soldier and his confession was gleaned through torture. Mainstream media has even just accepted the term child soldier for Khadr, yet you see legal matters all the time where a 15 year-old who commits murder is tried as an adult. It’s not like he was 6. Khadr even persuaded his father to let him fight. The intent when he threw the grenade really can’t be disputed. Al Qaeda doesn’t even meet the standard of a legal army, so Khadr is an unlawful combatant (terrorist) by legal jargon. His claims of torture are also not necessarily fact. One court ruled he was treated ‘humanely’. Be careful before you label these court decisions as a joke (if you support Khadr) because it’s a court’s decision that you are so quick to agree with when it comes to accepting this gross payout to him. Also, former Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff called Khadr’s treatment to be ‘an acceptable form of duress’.

The only court to ever rule on torture, determined there was ‘no credible evidence the accused (Khadr) was ever tortured…even using a liberal interpretation considering the accused’s age’. In another instance where Khadr claimed to have been tortured, there was video tape evidence that supported the contrary and the court said, ‘he was not abused or mistreated in any way by any of the guards’.

So, why pay him? Clearly, our very liberal justice system felt Khadr’s rights were violated (but our legal system has also allowed a cannibal to change his name and walk free and, most recently, allowed a mother who killed her six kids to do just eight years of hard time). It was Justin Trudeau’s government’s call to decide how much dough to give this terrorist. The Supreme Court even said so. Trudeau decided $10.5 million. And, for that he’s either nuts or a supporter of terror. Either way, he should pay when we go to vote in 2019.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe in ensuring a Canadian’s rights are never breached. But, there has to be balance between compensation for when breaches are made and allowing someone to profit from crime.

Fast fact – you may have seen the story of the Canadian man who took his pregnant wife back packing through Afghanistan, only to be kidnapped and now he and his wife are raising their family as captors of al Qaeda. Well, that guy was once married to Omar Khadr’s sister. That sister is in jail in Turkey for terror related accusations.

Omar, when asked in 2015 about violent jihad says, “It’s not something I believe in right now.” Like, as in he may believe in it at some point down the road? And, we just paid him $10.5 million for potential recruiting efforts? I’ve never been more ashamed to say I’m Canadian.