Sunday, July 13, 2008

Even the right wing press turn on Harper over Khadr

Both the Sun and CanWest chain call on Harper to repatriate Omar Khadr:

From the Sun:

He's believed to have tossed a grenade that killed an American Special Forces soldier.

He was 15 at the time.

Old enough to know better, many would say, but raised in a world far removed from ours -- mentally, at least.

It would be easier to condemn Khadr and condone any brutal treatment had he been linked to 9/11 or another clear act of terrorism rather than being on the wrong side of the war.

But even then, atrocity is atrocity no matter how you justify it.

Given his twisted family background, which is deeply rooted in sympathy and alleged support for Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida, it's easy to see how Khadr is one messed up young man.

He's not your typical Canadian by any stretch of the imagination.

It seems he was never given the chance and that window has closed forever.

Yet he was born in Canada and hence the dilemma.

From The Calgary Herald, who more honestly acknowledge the severe weaknesses in the case against Khadr and the abuse he's suffered in American hands:
In Khadr's case, specific mistreatment includes denial of timely medical treatment and pain relief for bullet wounds in the chest, long periods of solitary confinement under bright lights and cold temperatures, and sleep deprivation. At one point, prison guards terrorized Khadr to the point where he urinated himself. They then dipped him in disinfectant and used him as a human mop to wipe up his own urine. He would have been 17 at the time.

Now we know, thanks to disclosure ordered by the Federal Court, that Canadian officials were aware of the abuse while it was happening.

Six years after Khadr was taken into detention, it recently came to light the report identifying him as the combatant who threw the grenade originally identified another combatant (executed on the battlefield) as the perpetrator. The report was altered after the fact.

We know evidence obtained by torture and cruel or degrading treatment will be admitted at trial. We know the original military commission judge assigned to hear the case was sacked and replaced after making a procedural ruling that the Bush administration considered unfavourable. Finally, we also know the Bush administration announced that, even if Khadr is acquitted of the charges against him, he can be detained indefinitely anyway.

Can anyone believe there is any merit to letting such a process run its course as a prerequisite to seeking Khadr's release?

UPDATE: Christ. Even The National Pest gets it.

No comments:

Popular Posts