This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Doing "The Right Thing" For Terrorists

"The Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects all Canadians, every one of us, even when it is uncomfortable."
"When the government violates any Canadian's charter rights, we all end up paying for it."
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

"The Conservative government could have repatriated Mr. Khadr or otherwise resolved the matter."
"On behalf of the government of Canada, we wish to apologize to Mr. Khadr for any role Canadian officials may have played in relation to his ordeal abroad and any resulting harm."
"The settlement that was announced today has to do with the wrongdoing of Canadian officials with respect to a Canadian citizen."
"The legal settlement that we are announcing today deals with a civil lawsuit launched by Omar Khadr against the government of Canada on a very precise question. Long after the firefight in Afghanistan and while he was in custody, did the behaviour of Canadian government officials contribute to a violation of the human rights of a Canadian citizen?"
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale
Former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr, 30, is seen in Mississauga, Ont., on Thursday, July 6, 2017. The Canadian government's breach-of-rights settlement with Omar Khadr is far from unprecedented, but its public apology to the former Guantanamo Bay prisoner sets Canada apart from other countries whose citizens were held at the infamous U.S. prison, an international human rights group said Monday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel

The posturing of the Liberal government in their decision to apologize to Omar Khadr and to enrich him with ten and a half million of Canadian tax dollars, as a principled move to restore Canada's  honour as a bastion of justice and fair equality, reaches the ears of most Canadians as an outrage that they want no part in. The offensive tones of sanctimony and respect for the rule of law and the sacred trust that Canadians place in constitutional rights for all citizens of the country ring hollow. This is a government that is led by a man whose sense of rectitude is ideologically tinged.

Forget, or just set aside the fact that this man was being trained as a violent jihadist, fulfilling his family's inspired aspiration to uphold a fascist version of Islam. None of the Khadr family expressed or held any values conforming to Canadian imperatives of human rights, respect for others, justice or freedom. They made it abundantly clear by their venomous statements that they abhorred everything about Canadian society with the sole exception of its social welfare and universal medicare system which they took full advantage of.

Omar Khadr was involved in producing IEDs so they could be stockpiled and used to destroy the lives of those who opposed the deadly attacks on civilian populations popularized by al-Qaeda and the Taliban. He had full knowledge of their purpose and the end result of their use, and he dutifully produced them as a full-fledged member, albeit as a  juvenile, of al-Qaeda. While he may have been 15 at the time of the firefight where he threw a grenade that killed a U.S. Army medic and blinded an American soldier, it should be recalled that al-Qaeda's successor, Islamic State, trains much younger juveniles to perform barbaric atrocities.

Those who support the view of Omar Khadr as a child, as a vulnerable adolescent whose future was violated by a father devoted to al-Qaeda and its lethal mission, overlook the fact that desertion from their grasp was always possible through a deliberate act of free will. While it suits his purpose to state now that he is uncertain whether he did indeed throw the explosive that caused the death of Sgt.Speer, that he has willingly left the ideology of al-Qaeda behind, and all he wants is a 'normal' life and should be given a chance to achieve it, why the push for an apology from Canada?

Why the civil lawsuit seeking to collect $20-million as recompense for his alleged suffering? His act of treason against Canada and against humanity does not merit an apology from those he wronged. His alleged exposure to torture in the guise of deprived sleep, should be balanced against his condition at capture, severely wounded, and without the care and expertise of the U.S. military medical staff he would have died. Is he grateful that the United States' system saved his life?

In the aftermath of the horrendous events of September 11, 2001, the United States and its authorities were in no mood to allow for second thoughts; when they saw what they believed to be an enemy combatant he was rounded up, imprisoned and interrogated, and forced to live the indignity of maltreatment. Some were guilty, some were not. Some who were released returned to terrorism. Omar Khadr claims it to be the furthest thing from his mind.

Many Canadians still consider him a potential terrorist threat. He can complain that he erred and is now prepared to make amends, but his was no simple error. And the Liberal government spokesperson who in his persona as public safety minister who blames the previous Conservative government of doing harm to Omar Khadr's constitutional rights is handily overlooking that he was himself in the governing Cabinet of Jean Chretien's Liberal government at the very time that the breach of Khadr's rights was said to have occurred.

It was, in fact, the Conservative government that eventually agreed to allow this man to return to Canada to complete his prison sentence. And that Conservative government would never have apologized to a terrorist for breaching his rights as a Canadian, let alone surrendered to him a reward for his having played out a direct threat against Canadian and allies' members of the military who fought the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

A recent Angus Reid poll established that 91 percent of Conservative voters felt it was the "wrong thing" to do, in this settlement with Khadr. A greater number than the 71 percent of the Canadian public in general who feel the same way. Even staunch Liberals to the tune of three in five are in agreement that the case should have found closure in court. But this government sought instead to hand over to Khadr millions of dollars, and in the process took deliberate steps to lock the widow of Sgt.Speer out of the potential of claiming those funds as a U.S. court had found in her favour.

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