The latest on Omar Khadr

If you’ve been following the Omar Khadr saga in Canada, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the Supreme Court’s decision to allow the Canadian government jurisdiction in foreign affairs with respect to the repatriation of Khadr. The Minister of Justice released the following statement yesterday,

“In its ruling, the Supreme Court recognized the constitutional responsibility of the executive to make decisions on matters of foreign affairs, given the complex and ever-changing circumstances of diplomacy, and the need to take into account Canada’s broader interests. The Supreme Court did not require the Government to ask for accused terrorist Omar Khadr’s return.

“In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling, the Government of Canada today delivered a diplomatic note to the Government of the United States formally seeking assurances that any evidence or statements shared with U.S. authorities as a result of the interviews of Mr. Khadr by Canadian agents and officials in 2003 and 2004 not be used against him by U.S. authorities in the context of proceedings before the Military Commission or elsewhere.

“Omar Khadr faces very serious charges, including murder, attempted murder, conspiracy, material support for terrorism, and spying. The Government of Canada continues to provide consular services to Mr. Khadr.”

The part about the formal request seeking assurances regarding evidence is interesting. The Supreme Court ruled that Khadr’s Charter rights were violated as Canadian officials were party to an illegal interrogation. A formal request from the government to for the US to reject evidence acquired in collaboration with Canadians, may cure the breach of rights that the Supreme Court references.

Earlier today, Khadr’s lawyers filed an injunction against the formal request complaining that they were not first consulted on the government’s plans. It seems that the ultimate goal for Team Khadr is repatriation of the accused murderer. The legal reality is that the Supreme Court did not compel the government to seek Khadr’s return and it is no secret that this government will never do so. However, a future government may follow this course of action. A request to expunge evidence only can help Khadr’s case. Since repatriation is out of the question for the Harper government, Khadr’s lawyers may have more hope waiting for an Ignatieff government than for their client to face justice in the United States.

Khadr’s supporters seek the 23 year old’s repatriation and reintegration into Canadian society. In Toronto, this weekend a conference titled “Media War on Islam ” was held at a Toronto-area Islamic Centre. Here’s an excerpt from the National Post,

Western media have a “spiteful policy” toward Iran of inventing “fraudulent” news to “increase false national expectation” and “encourage disturbance,” according to the cultural attache in the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Hamid Mohammadi said media deception has caused hatred and fear of Muslims by presenting the “false belief that religion is incapable of running a country” and that Iran is therefore illegitimate. He said the result has been political “position changing” by Western countries against Muslims.

He quoted an “American thinker,” whose name did not come clearly through his strong accent, to the effect that “future wars are in the hands of the media, and their words are more effective than bullets.”

Somehow, his brief scripted remarks were among the least controversial at a conference about the “Media War on Islam” on Sunday night at a Toronto-area Islamic centre, in which the Christmas Day underwear bomber was described as the tool of an Israeli plot; Barack Obama was referred to as “Mr. Black Man”; al-Qaeda was called “the figment of the imagination of the West”; and a video was shown that mocked 9/11 by putting the Muppet Show logo over slow-motion footage of the second plane’s impact, with screams of terror for audio.

According to the Post, the main organizer of the event was a man named Zafar Bangash. Bangash is the director of the Islamic Society of York region. Here are a few quotes from Zafar Bangash,

“Obama could never have been elected president if he were not a slave of the American establishment.”

“Under Obama, there is a greater chance that the US would now launch wars in Africa. A black man in the white house would be better able to pacify African-American sentiment than a white man.”

“Immediately after winning the Democratic Party nomination for president, he went to prostrate before America’s real masters: the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee.”

“The first appointment Obama made after winning the election was that of Rahm Israel Emmanuel as his White House chief of staff.”

“Obama’s presidency will not usher change; it will mean more of the same: American and Zionist crimes under a different face with a smooth tongue.”

and other troubling quotes from Bangash,

The West is “murderous, racist and virulent”

Canada is a “fully paid-up member of the Anglo-Saxon mafia, which is responsible for most of the recorded genocides in the world”

“Muslims must strive to overthrow the oppressive systems in their societies through Islamic revolutions, and not by participating in fraudulent elections organized by the elites operating through various political parties that actually divide the people.”

“Muslims have to get their own act together and unite their efforts under a single leadership — that of the leading edge of the Islamic movement, Islamic Iran — to work toward the common goals of the Ummah [Muslim World].”

you can read more here, here and here.

So, what does this have to do with Omar Khadr? Here’s Zafar Bangash with Khadr’s lawyer Dennis Edney,
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CTV reported that Bangash made the following statement regarding Omar Khadr,

We have put in place arrangements whereby [Omar Khadr] will be accommodated with another family and he will be under close supervision as you can see this plan has the support of members of different faith communities and we of course are one of them, the Muslim community in Canada. He would be provided spiritual counselling as well as assessed periodically to see what kind of progress he is making.

That’s quite a support group. Here’s the CBC’s report,

Later Wednesday, Khadr’s lawyers and Muslim leaders unveiled details of a plan they say will help Khadr gradually integrate back into Canadian society during a news conference in Toronto.

The group, which included lawyer Dennis Edney, Islamic Society of York Region president Zafar Bangash and Canadian Arab Federation head Mohamed Boudjenane, urged Harper to meet with them before Obama’s visit so he can pass along a formal request.

“Call us. Meet with us. Whatever it takes. But your obligation, Mr. Harper, is to bring Omar home and allow him to heal,” said Edney.

The group has signed and delivered a three-page letter to Harper outlining details of the plan.

“We urge you to act expeditiously and request the repatriation of Omar Khadr to Canada, without further delay,” says the letter.

“Our plan is designed to allow eminent organizations, representing a broad cross-section of Canadian institutions and agencies, to take legal responsibility for designing, implementing and supervising all aspects of Omar’s life in Canada, until such time as he is able to become a fully functioning member of the Canadian mosaic.”

Khadr will live with host families and receive spiritual counselling from leading Muslim clerics, it says. Much of his living costs will be paid for by dozens of Canadian Muslim organizations.

Comments

comments

  • kenn2

    As usual, a link-free post, peppered with daft accusations.

    Actually though, I think we're talking past each other. If your point is that Canada “aided” the invasion of Iraq by staying in support roles, or by picking up other duties so that the US could redeploy forces to the invasion… then I agree.

    My point is that Canada did not condone the invasion of Iraq without first receiving UN sanction, and when the US did so anyway, Canada did not contribute forces to the invasion itself. I'm sure we can agree on that.

    (please don't make the assumption that I'm automatically behind whatever the Liberals say… I'm not. I'm still a free agent.)

  • http://canadiansense.blogspot.com/ Canadiansense

    Kenn2,

    I never raised our forces landed on the “beaches” in violation of the public relations story by our media and the Liberal Party.
    The opposition at the time called out the behind the scene assistance and bragging by the Liberals for their support in the Iraq War. We contributed greatly to the Iraq War, the Liberals, historical revisionists refuse to acknowledge it publicly.
    That's it.

  • kenn2

    I never raised our forces landed on the “beaches” in violation of the public relations story by our media and the Liberal Party.

    Me neither. So we're good there…?

    We contributed greatly to the Iraq War, the Liberals, historical revisionists refuse to acknowledge it publicly.

    … I don't see it as strongly as that. The US has been, is, and always will be our friend, and we are jointly involved in a number of operations with them. Yes we were even involved in preparation with the US and several other nations, in planning a possible invasion of Iraq, subject to UN sanction.

    When the US decided to go it alone, we demurred in getting involved in the invasion. By your yardstick, the only way we wouldn't have “contributed greatly” to the invasion would have been if we pulled all our forces out of ANY joint action, and closed our bases to US traffic. Not a realistic option, and not what you do to a friend.

    So on this we will differ, but only by degree.

    Anyway this is way off-point. In your opinion, why shouldn't Canada try to repatriate Omar Khadr and try him here?

  • http://canadiansense.blogspot.com/ Canadiansense

    Kenn2,

    We will agree to disagree on the Public Perception of our involvement in Iraq. I don't care if any government talks BS, I watch the boots or action on the ground. We spent Billions and sent our Forces with an order signed authorizing the use of our force by our GG.

    Did the GG sign the Haiti deployment of our Navy?

    Repeat: Our support in ships and high level officers allowed the American, British to redeploy their assets for the —> invasion and removal of regime. (Crystal clear to me)

    Sports Analogy
    We set up a Pick and allowed our allies to Roll on Iraq. (We were in the game, or on the global field with our ships)

    In sports ie basketball we were coached to watch the waist it can't lie. Our Government and LAZY media choose to tell the fairytale we were NOT involved or support on the Iraq War.

    Regarding O.K. we call it priorities and responsibility. The Americans are responsible after capturing him in providing a trial. He is due in his day in court. Either he is convicted or walks away cleared of the charges. How will he be able to travel board an airplane without clearing his name?

    We have already spent millions in not shifting the burden back to Canada until he is cleared or convicted. I support a trial by our allies in the U.S.

  • kenn2

    I see your point re Khadr. Let's leave alone for a moment the issue of the Guantanamo “military commissions” (which many observers say are not equivalent to a real trial; evidence is hidden from the defense, and is not the proper process for POWs under Geneva)

    Let's say the military commissions are fair. So… why 8 years and no trial? Is it fair when any accused languishes for 8 years without a trial? On that basis alone Canada should demand a quick trial, or repatriate him for a Canadian trial. Add to that the fact that he and other detainees have been tortured while in US custody… it is to Canada's shame that this situation continues, without intervention or comment from Canada.

  • http://canadiansense.blogspot.com/ Canadiansense

    Are you really trying to be disingenous about how politics is done?

    O.K. legal team (who is paying)
    1) The defence team may allege any of the above took place. Are you citing an actual judgement or an expert opinion from O.K. camp?
    2) Shit happens and we use back channel to condemn our allies. (reality)
    3) Are you suggesting we don't use targetted assassinations, next?

    When our government raised human rights issues regarding China's (Tibet, dissenters being jailed, muslim minority crackdown in north), how did our loyal opposition respond to our minority government? When our minority gov't pre-announced and staged a walk-out at the UN by Cannon how did the loyal opposition respond?

    Hint: Two Liberal MP's with staff were holding signs demanding our PM attend the UN instead of welcoming Tim's back to Canada in Oakville.

  • http://canadiansense.blogspot.com/ Canadiansense

    My Canada requires it's citizens to be held responsible for their actions. I don't want a Nanny state.
    If you commit a crime on foreign soil you should face a fair trial where it took place.

    Are you losing sleep over Conrad Black too, or just O.K. and his I.E.D. skillset?

  • kenn2

    Let's stay on OK for the moment.

    I really didn't understand your points as follows:
    O.K. legal team (who is paying)
    1) The defence team may allege any of the above took place. Are you citing an actual judgement or an expert opinion from O.K. camp?
    2) Shit happens and we use back channel to condemn our allies. (reality)
    3) Are you suggesting we don't use targetted assassinations, next?

    …could you clarify?

    Yes, shit does happen, but that excuse is too often used when shit didn't happen, someone f*ed up. Torture, denial of the most basic of human rights, denial of habeus corpus, that ain't shit, that's the action of a government that lost its moral compass. Regardless of the backchannel, we cannot publicly support or condone such treatment.

  • http://canadiansense.blogspot.com/ Canadiansense

    I don't need to condone reality it exists. Some of just choose to accept it, good or bad.

  • kenn2

    My Canada requires it's citizens to be held responsible for their actions.
    If you commit a crime on foreign soil you should face a fair trial where it took place.

    Agreement on both counts. Trial hasn't happened for 8 years. What now?

  • http://canadiansense.blogspot.com/ Canadiansense

    O.K. is a guest at Club Cuba of the U.S. our ally and his defence team should request a SPEEDY trial. I have NO problem Canadians tuning into another televised O.J. trial.

    What is the rush?

  • bradmaynard

    “On this, you and the Taliban agree.”
    glad you see it my way. after all, they see us exactly the way we should see them- an enemy. when battling an enemy the goal is to win. they do not bother with time wasting Kangaroo Kourts and neither should we. this boy and his family are treasonous and should be treated as such.

    “Theres more of them. You might wanna start digging that bunker.”

    well since they are pretty ass-backward when it comes to technological advancement, population means nothing so long as we keep a spine and refuse to let them takeover our laws and courts. good examples of this are the attempts to introduce shariah law into civil court regarding divorce and the separation of assets. also CMHC, a crown corporation that had decided to unilaterally study shariah compliant mortgages. even though the muslim congress is against it, the very fact that we have crown corporations looking into laws that are fundamental to the fabric of this society in the hopes of changing them for a minority of people, is really the beginning of the crumbling of our way of life.

    say what you want, if you tried to change their laws in their countries you would be summarily executed for your infidel ideas. so why should we protect those here who would do the same? why should we protect those who obviously dont like anything here except the welfare system?
    you should maybe take a hint from the dutch filmmaker theo van gogh who was knifed by muslims because he criticized them or dutch parliamentarians who are under protective services for speaking out? is this the kind of country you want to live in because your bleeding heart says we all should just get along?

  • http://coat.ncf.ca richard sanders

    It had nothing to do with pirates off Somalia back in 2003. That's what CTF151 it is now, but back in in 2003, CTF151 was in the Persian Gulf, exactly right up to Kuwait's shores. Girouard led this whole multi-national naval force of 20 ships from 6? nations. The lead battleship was Canada's Iroqouis (300 on board that one alone). I think there were 4 Cdn ships in the CFT151. We (Canada) led this thing. The job? To protect and supply US warships moving in for the shock and awe bombardment. Oh yes and to capture enemy and render them to US authorities. The US supplied us with the list of people to look for hiding on civilian ships. 1000 ships were boarded in the process. More than half by Cdns. The Lib govt lied and said it was strictly for Op Apollo but McCallum admitted they were “doublehatted' (ie engaged in two operations, the other being Iraqi Freedom). I could go on…. Use a few of these key words in your next search.

  • Jeni

    No one is deserve to be in Gitmo…, mentally and emotionally torture.
    How can human do that to another human, it was evil behavior.

    I agree for Omar Khadr set free

  • Jeni

    No one is deserve to be in Gitmo…, mentally and emotionally torture.
    How can human do that to another human, it was evil behavior.

    I agree for Omar Khadr set free