Yesterday, it was reported that the Canadian government will pay convicted terrorist Omar Khadr CAD$10.5 Million (about $8 million USD) in “damages” for his imprisonment at the US prison facility for terrorist suspects in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Fox News provided context on Khadr’s past crimes:
Khadr was 15 when he was captured by U.S. troops following a firefight at a suspected Al Qaeda compound in Afghanistan that resulted in the death of U.S. Special Forces medic, U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Christopher Speer. Khadr, who was suspected of throwing the grenade that killed Speer, was taken to Guantanamo and ultimately charged with war crimes by a military commission.
The Canadian-born Khadr pleaded guilty in 2010 to charges that included murder and was sentences to eight years plus the time he had already spent in custody. He returned to Canada two years later to serve the remainder of his sentence and was released in May 2015 pending an appeal of his guilty plea, which he said was made under duress.
When you’re talking the type of individuals released from Guantanamo Bay, clearly you’re dealing with extremely dangerous terrorists that often return to the battlefield. But it isn’t every day you equate that with paying a convicted terrorist for his “hardship” suffered at the hands of a government… that isn’t even the one paying out the settlement.
Even worse, The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), a taxpayer-funded Canadian conglomerate, released an “opinion” piece defending the government’s conduct using the flimsiest possible excuse – “brainwashing”:
Omar’s father, Ahmed Said Khadr, was a terrorist commander who raised his child to follow in his footsteps. Canadian-born Omar was enlisted as an al-Qaeda errand boy when he was still a tween. And the terrorist group’s website praised the father for “tossing his little child in the furnace of the battle.” Whether brain tissue is cut out with a scalpel or moulded by a sociopathic parent, the destruction of moral agency is the same. No one reading this can say, with certainty, that his or her life would have turned out different from Omar Khadr’s if he or she was raised as he was.
Finding the correct balance becomes impossible in a climate of hysteria and paranoia. Khadr deserves his apology, and his money — even if it won’t buy him back his lost Gitmo years. If the outlay helps us remember not to lose our moral compass the next time a child soldier comes up for judgment, it will pay dividends for years to come.
Yes, Canada thinks “torture” at the hands of the US government is grounds to not only release a convicted terrorist, it is reason to pay said convicted terrorist a monster lump sum… even when the government has its own veteran health issues to deal with.
And just in case you were wondering if this was just a “Canadian” thing or not, take a look at the example of Lee Boyd Malvo, the youth involved in the DC sniper attacks in 2002, who had his life sentence thrown out recently:
Malvo was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the sniper-style attacks committed around the region in October 2002 along with John Allen Muhammad. Ten people were killed and three others were shot during a three-week period.
Malvo appealed to the court saying he should not have been sentenced to life without parole because he was 17 years old at the time of the murders and he based his appeal on the Supreme Court ruling in Miller v. Alabama.
The decision in the Supreme Court case ruled juveniles are constitutionally different from adults for the purposes of sentencing “because juveniles have diminished culpability and greater prospects for reform,” which makes them “less deserving of the most severe punishments.” Judge Raymond Jackson agreed and ordered the overturning of the sentence.
Malvo’s case has been remanded back to Spotsylvania County Circuit Court to issue a new sentence.
So even though the US courts have agreed that juveniles are different from adults with similar risk of “brainwashing” by adults, no one in the Malvo case is arguing for his release, much less a multimillion dollar payout for his “suffering” in prison. Malvo will simple be getting… a new sentence, which will likely still amount to a long time in prison with the potential for release as an old man.
Yet, in Canada, youths who kill US and coalition troops on the battlefield get the red carpet treatment; release from prison “pending a new trial” and a monster payout for his “suffering” at the hands of a foreign government. Go figure.
And yes, you should be very concerned about what Khadr might do with his newfound riches. As Free Market Shooter previously pointed out, The Weekly Standard has demonstrated the substantial likelihood of Guantanamo detainees returning to the battlefield:
He wasn’t finished. “Keep in mind that between myself and the Bush administration hundreds of people have been released and the recidivism rate—we anticipate, we assume that there are going to be—out of four, five, six hundred people that get released—a handful of them are going to be embittered and still engaging in anti-U.S. activities and trying to link up potentially with their old organizations,” Obama said.
That wasn’t true. When Obama made this claim, 653 detainees had been released. Of that group, 196 had been confirmed (117) or suspected (79) of returning to jihadist activity upon their release. Those numbers came from the office of the director of national intelligence and represent the U.S. government’s official count of Guantánamo recidivism. Nearly one-in-three former detainees returned to the fight, not a “handful,” as the president suggested.
Oh, you don’t think Khadr is likely to return to the battlefield? Perhaps you should take a closer look at this:
Yes, this is video used at the trial of Khadr, which shows him constructing IEDs with other terrorists in Afghanistan. Canada seems to think he is worthy of release and a huge monetary settlement usually reserved for wrongful convictions. Certainly, $8 million can buy a lot of IEDs… as well as who knows what else that can be weaponized against American troops.
Thankfully, the US courts have seen what Canada is up to, and are working to prevent Khadr from being paid the funds, instead seeing the money go to the widow of the soldier who he killed:
The widow of an American soldier killed in Afghanistan and another former U.S. soldier partially blinded by a hand grenade plan to file an emergency injunction to stop Ottawa from paying $10.5-million to former child soldier Omar Khadr.
Tabitha Speer and Layne Morris allege Mr. Khadr was responsible for the death of Sergeant Christopher Speer and Mr. Morris’s injuries in Afghanistan. Two sources say they are expected to ask the Ontario Superior Court as early as Wednesday to uphold a 2015 Utah civil court judgment ordering Mr. Khadr to pay them $134-million (U.S.) for his actions in Afghanistan.
“They are trying to get an emergency injunction in a Canadian court to have their award in the United States enforced in Canada,” one source said. “Their desire is to have U.S. courts enforced in Canada, which would mean that any money that goes to Mr. Khadr would go to them.”
But unfortunately, it looks like their efforts will be in vain.
A federal official said the prospect of the courts ruling in their favour is remote.
If you’re looking from an answer from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose government organized the settlement, good luck getting one, because he made sure to dodge the question. Free Market Shooter has been concerned with Guantanamo detainees being transferred to prisons in Oman, Bahrain, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia, because of the sympathies they might face within those governments, but did anyone expect to add Canada to that list?
Trudeau’s inability to answer the question is hardly surprising. At the end of the day, there is nothing you can tell taxpayers when the government is constantly slashing funding for veterans, yet doling out payments for frivolous lawsuits to convicted terrorists, who could very well use these funds to return to the battlefield against US and Canadian soldiers.
Because if Canada and Mr. Trudeau don’t make sure that Khadr doesn’t see a dime of these funds, that’s exactly what will be occurring.