Saturday, July 26, 2008

Bring Omar Khadr home

All together now :
1."Mr. Khadr faces some very serious charges."
2. "the government has been assured he is being treated humanely" and
3. "any effort to act on his case while he is still before the courts would be premature"

Today MP Jason Kenney became the eighth Con podperson to repeat - without mistakes! - the three immortal phrases previously parroted by Maxime Bernier, Marjorie LeBreton, Deepak Obhrai, Eugénie Cormier-Lassonde, Kory Teneycke, Alain Cacchione, and, of course, Steve - the last head of state on the planet to publicly support Guantanamo Bay.

Dear Prime Minister Harper,

I am deeply concerned that Canada has not sought to repatriate Omar Khadr, the only Canadian and the youngest detainee held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

While the accusations against Omar Khadr are serious, he has spent more than a quarter of his life in U.S. military custody, where he has been subjected to repeated abuses and may have been tortured.

Interventions from Australia and Britain have resulted in the successful repatriation of their citizens from Guantanamo Bay. I call on you to petition the U.S. government to repatriate Omar Khadr to Canada, where he can be tried fairly.

I look forward to your prompt reply.

[Your Name Here]

Via Kathleen Ruff at RightOnCanada


Paul said...

Done and forwarded to others. Thanks for the alert and thanks RightOn.

West End Bob said...

Good job, Lady Alison.

Thanks for keeping this issue front and centre . . . .

Raphael Alexander said...

I have an idea. Make it a bond agreement like we do with criminals. All the people who feel Omar Khadr is not a threat to Canada can put up $100 bond each, and we throw it into a kitty. If Omar breaks the conditions of that bond, you all lose your money.

That way you literally put your money where your mouth is. Because the last time the Liberals bailed out a Khadr, we all paid the price equally.

Lindsay Stewart said...

raphael, seriously, the rights that you are eager to throw away on behalf of omar khadr are the same rights that you, as a citizen are entitled to. look up the word precedent you bigoted fool. you don't have to like him, you don't have to trust him, you don't have to care a fig about him but you had bloody well better understand and appreciate that there is an issue at stake that far exceeds the individual in question. but we all know that you think there should be different laws for brown folk because behind your charade of false civility beats the heart of a cowardly xenophobe.

Raphael Alexander said...

PSA, why does everything devolve into race for you? For someone who accuses others of focusing on race, you're pretty obsessed with it.

Lindsay Stewart said...

that's really rich raphael, nice try. now tell us again about how your old neighbourhoods are all full of those nasty swarthy folk with their funny languages and strange foods. tell us all your pitiful sob story about how very long your family has been the white bread foundation of canada and them foreigners are wrecking it. then if you have a spare minute you can remind us all how those darned feminists are wrecking your marriage and spoiling the world for your kids.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone else getting the feeling that responding to racist, misogynist and homophobic fear-mongering just might be sucking the energy and enthusiasm out of a concerned general populace?

Or maybe that's the point.

I send my love to you Raphael, darling, but will post no more to your nincompoosy.

peace, babies
lisa b

Anonymous said...

Raphael, PSA's digression into the issue of racism at the end of the post aside, there is a good point to be made here. That there is, or at least ought to be, no such thing as different classes of citizens. If that means being more restrictive on who we grant citizenship to in the future, so be it. But there's no room to differentiate between Canadian citizens when it comes to such issues. The Khadr case is a travesty and the only thing that young man has to be thankful for in his life is that he was assigned a lawyer (Kuebler) who has both the brains and the chutzpah to fight tooth and nail for Mr. Khadr. If only our own government treated him as well as an American lawyer who is paid by the US Government.

Alison said...

Lt.-Cmdr. William Kuebler, a conservative Christian Republican and a lawyer in the U.S. Navy :

"Notwithstanding its leadership in international efforts to recognize child soldiers as victims in need of special protection and rehabilitation, Canada has remained virtually silent in Omar’s case, hiding behind vague assurances from the US government that Omar is receiving humane treatment and a fair trial in face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. As a result, Omar now faces the prospect of being the first child to be prosecuted for ‘war crimes’ in modern history. He is to be tried before a military tribunal whose procedures are designed to secure convictions based on evidence derived from torture and coercion, and that fails to meet the minimum requirements for a fair trial under international law.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper must finally ensure Khadr receives the same consular support that any other Canadian –- detainee or not –- would receive. It’s time for Canada to intervene, as so many other countries have done, to ensure that the charges against its citizens are dealt with, that he is tried in a legitimate court and that he receives due process."

"Once you start putting on show trials, you can’t go back."

Shameful that this man has had to come to Canada and petition the Canadian Bar Association and the Canadian government on Khadr's behalf. Extraordinary that he did so.

Anonymous said...

If only Kuebler had gotten the same result with Harper as he got with the CBA...

Raphael Alexander said...

I send my love to you Raphael, darling, but will post no more to your nincompoosy.

My wife's a fan of Absolutely Fabulous too.

that's really rich raphael, nice try[ad hominem attacks]

Uh huh...

But there's no room to differentiate between Canadian citizens when it comes to such issues.

Discretion is a part of politics. Both the Liberals and Tories chose not to advocate on behalf of Omar, likely because it was politically inconvenient to do so for a terrorist family. The Libs got burned the first time with daddy Khadr.

I figure the Liberals and NDP do it now to score points off the Cons. No other reason.

Now to my original question: will you all pony up the bond to ensure Khadr doesn't break it? Will you foot his terror-related medical expenses? Will you send him money for his subsidized welfare cheques?

Lindsay Stewart said...

actually raphael, i'm not making ad hominem attacks, i'm restating positions that you have taken in the past. do you deny and recant your own ideas and posts? did you not complain bitterly about the immigrant populations changing the face of your old neighbourhoods? did you not kvetch about the role of feminism in damaging children and the family?

as for your pointless question, i already pay my taxes. perhaps in a future where justice and the rule of law matter there will be war crimes trials and perhaps khadr will find himself in the dock. if so he should be able to keep company with the like of rumsfeld, bush, cheney and the rest of the criminal element.

you are correct in that both the liberal and conservative governments have been conveniently negligent in upholding their obligations in this matter. of course there is far more information available now than ever and harper and his government have responded to the plight of the canadian child soldier with a willful shrug. former prime minister martin has stated his own regret for his government's failure to act. but then harper's government has made it a tacit policy to abandon canadian's in trouble around the globe, unless it is politically convenient to them. thus america is allowed to torture and abuse a canadian but china is not.

H said...

Canada's abandonment on Khadr is especially disappointing. There is a petition to ask that the Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, protect his citizens here:

Anonymous said...


I'm really curious as to why you would suppose a Canadian citizen should have to post a bond in order to be afforded his rights associated with being a citizen?

It seems a little ridiculous and it creates two classes of citizens in that you suppose it's okay for Khadr to require cash security for transfer to Canada when, in fact, the Canada and US routinely exchange prisoners on criminal matters. Unless you're advocating that all persons detained in America be required to post cash security derived from public donations in order to be turned over to the Canadian authorities; but that doesn't seem to be what you're arguing.

Secondly, if all it's going to cost me is $100 to get Khadr shipped up here, give me the address that I send my cheque to. Really. Even though your suggestion is ridiculous and my sending money would be condoning such a system, in this particular case, I would sincerely sign a cheque for $100 this evening if it would see Mr. Khadr sent for his continued detention in Canada.

Which gets to another point on your silly bond suggestion... I don't think that I've heard anybody advocating for Khadr's unconditional release. Simply that he be transferred to Canada and dealt with in our own fashion. From the sounds of it, Mr. Khadr has a grab bag of issues that need to be dealt with, not to mention the very real prospect that he killed somebody. At least if the young man was tried up here, more of us would be comfortable with the findings of a legitimate court as compared to the kangaroo system that Gitmo seems to be.

At any rate, I'd encourage you to have a good think about what your Canadian citizenship means to you and how you would want to be treated if you were apprehended in, let's say, Bolivia; what would you expect your government to do for you? How fair do you think your trial ought to be? And, importantly, how fair do you think your trial really would be?

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