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Friday, February 20, 2009

No special review for Omar Khadr

The fate of Omar Khadr, the only Canadian imprisoned in the U.S. detention camp in Guantanamo Bay, was deemed so important by Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff that he used valuable face-time with President Barack Obama yesterday to broach the issue of the man’s situation in U.S. custody.

Obama-Ignatieff
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

National Post: U.S. President Barack Obama with Liberal Party Leader Michael Ignatieff at Ottawa, Feb. 19, 2009.

Ever since there has been a Canada, Canadians have committed crimes on foreign soil and faced whatever justice system was in place there. I can see no reason why we should break with this long-standing tradition.

Mr. Khadr and members of his family fought in a war against Canada and its allies and allegedly killed one of our ally’s soldiers. We owe him nothing.

And yet, Mr. Ignatieff and his fellow opposition leaders are lobbying the U.S. president to allow Mr. Khadr to be returned to Canada so that our legal system can deal with him. What nonsense.

According to the National Post:

quote-left-red-beige-bgMr. Ignatieff, who had written to Mr. Obama with the other opposition leaders seeking Khadr’s immediate release, said the president told him all the Guantanamo prisoners are being categorized based on their level of danger, and indicated there will be no ‘imminent’ decisions.

‘He said that all of the cases were under review; it would take some time,’ Mr. Ignatieff said.quote-right-red-beige-bg

Mr. Khadr is charged with, among other things, killing a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan during a firefight. At the time of the incident, the U.S. and Canada were allies in a war against the Taliban and foreign terrorists in Afghanistan. Traditionally, killing an allied soldier in wartime is akin to killing one of our own, making, I suppose, Mr. Khadr’s alleged actions treasonous. So I suppose we could charge him here in Canada, but why bother?

International law does not prohibit the prosecution of children who commit war crimes, but the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child does limit the punishment that a child can receive.

Opposition members and their left-leaning MSM allies have often told Canadians that Mr. Khadr is the only citizen of a Western country still imprisoned at Guantanamo. Yet, according to the National Post,

quote-left-red-beige-bgOn Friday, the U.S. Foreign Office announced that Binyam Mohamed, a British resident held at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay for the past five years, is to be returned to Britain.

‘The UK and U.S. governments have reached agreement on the transfer of Mr. Binyam Mohamed from Guantanamo Bay to the UK,’ it said in a statement. ‘He will be returned as soon as the practical arrangements can be made’.quote-right-red-beige-bg

Apparently, Mr. Khadr’s situation has not been as unique as has been repeatedly reported.

At any point in time, dozens—perhaps hundreds—of Canadians are dealt with by the American legal system with nary a word from our opposition leaders. On behalf of how many of these did Mr. Ignatieff plead when he met with the president? I think we know the answer—none.

So what’s Iggy and the rest of his Coalition up to? Just a lot of smoke and mirrors to grab as many headlines from a sympathetic press and news media anxious to make a buck and pander to ultra-liberal big-city (Toronto/Montreal/Vancouver) Canadians. Never mind that to suggest to President Obama that his country cannot deal fairly with Mr. Khadr could be interpreted as a gross insult to a country which justifiably prides itself on having one of the fairest legal systems in the world.smleaf

3 comments — This is a moderated blog and comments will appear when approved. Please don’t resubmit if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, and please do not post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable.

  1. I am glad Iggy wasted the Presidents valuable time with this "non-issue".
    Why?.... Because it will confirm in Obama's mind that Iggy is nothing but a pandering fool who cave's in to special interests and the lunatic fringe.
    The Prime Minister came out of yesterday with a huge victory over the opposition.
    Hey... I wonder if the PM is on that special Blackberry list??

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  2. Politicians have limited political capital and limited face time to spend when dealing with foreign leaders. Iggy chooses to waste his pleading for the case of one little shit terrorist. Ya, that's sure in the best interests of all Canadians! People are worried about their jobs and their future, but somehow Iggy things that resolving the fate of Khadr is top of mind for all of us. What a moron!

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  3. President Obama's reply could have been anticipated 2 weeks ago.At that time, his spokesman idicated that the detainees would be reviewed on a case by case basis, and that where prosecution was warranted, trials would take place in a regular US court. This statement came after a rather strained meeting with survivors of the USS Cole. All Iggy's plea is likely to do is to strengthen the resolve to see that justice is done. The new Cmmander-in-chief is not going to give up an alleged killer of a US Medic without a trial in US court.

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