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Harper decides to go to the Supreme Court to appeal the Omar Khadr ruling.

This is not exactly a shocker that he and his Conservative government would do this appeal to the Supreme Court to overrule 2 Federal court rulings that they are compelled to ask the US government to repatriate Omar Khadr:

The federal government will go to the Supreme Court in a bid to overturn court rulings that would require Ottawa to press for the return of Canadian Omar Khadr from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, CBC News has learned..The Supreme Court will have to decide whether to review the case.

You could see them setting up for that appeal when Harper noted a week ago up in the […]


Sunmedia columnist calls for the Canadian government to request Omar Khadr be sent home.

You know the Conservative government is getting forced into a corner when the most conservative and right-wing of the media in Canada have columnists on its editorial page today calling on the Conservatives to respect the Federal Court order and advocate for Khadr’s return to Canada, regardless of whether the government and other Canadians dislike Omar Khadr or his family. After recounting the serious charges against Khadr, and the historical dislike a lot of Canadians have against the Khadr family, the editorial urges nevertheless that “Harper should accede to this order without delay“:

Why should any of us lift a finger then, to help this young man, now 22? We […]


Ignatieff to raise the issue of Omar Khadr with Obama

I posted an item a couple of days ago saying that I hoped if Harper wasnt going to raise the issue of Omar Khadr with Obama, (and with his public relations hack Kory Teneycke claiming that Obama was unlikely to raise it either) that Ignatieff would do so in the 10 minutes meeting he gets to have with the President.

Good news on that front today:

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff will raise the fate of Omar Khadr — the only Canadian imprisoned in the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay — when he meets Thursday with U.S. President Barack Obama. The Liberal leader has taken on a campaign, along with […]


Harper continues to support Guantanamo Bay and the “process”

If you’re still wondering whether Harper would now reconsider his and his government’s hardline stance on Omar Khadr and repatriating him, now that Obama has suspended his trial and promised to close down Guantanamo Bay prison, the interview he did with the Ottawa Citizen should erase that notion, and I’m sure Peter MacKay, who publicly mused that the Conservatives should reconsider their position on Khadr, has been told by Harper and the PMO to shut up.

The interview by Harper does however give you a glimpse of why Canada is the only Western country that has a national in Guantanamo Bay, and some insight into our PM’s George Bush/Dick Cheney […]


More signs of a return to the rule of law under Obama.

Talking Points Memo has just reported an Associated Press “breaking” story that a draft executive order has been readied for Obama that will close down Guantanamo Bay prison within 1 year. This of course would be good news if true, but we still need to see what Obama intends to do with the now suspended military commission show-trials.

That latter maneuver, by the way, removes the excuse reason Harper keeps using for not repatriating Khadr. You know, about the fact there is a “process” ongoing? Well, the process has been suspended. It would be good political capital for Harper to spend with the new Obama administration by repatriating Khadr. If […]


Stockwell Day believed Maher Arar was/is innocent, despite Guantanamo revelations.

So, you’ve probably heard the revelations today from Guantanamo Bay by the prosecution’s first witness that not only was Omar Khadr happy to talk with them, but that he identified Maher Arar by name as being at an Afghanistan Al Queada prison camp. That of course has set off some of the frothy right-wingnuts into saying that we paid off a terrorist, and so on and so forth.

Impolitical has already mentioned how suspicious this looks – a last ditch attempt by the Bush administration to railroad Obama and his new administration not to do anything with the trials, when Obama has announced the Guantanamo gulag would close, and many […]


Ignatieff calls on Harper to repatriate Omar Khadr

There has been some concern (some of it justifiable) that with his arrival to the Liberal leadership, Michael Ignatieff would drag the Liberal party on a rightward shift. Whether that happens or not is still an open question, but after receiving a statement on the subject of Guantanamo Bay and specifically Omar Khadr, at least on this issue, he has not:

Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen who was 13 years old when he was recruited as a child soldier and 15 years old at the time of his arrest, has been held in Guantanamo Bay for more than six years. His continued detention has violated fundamental principles of law, including […]


Wanting human rights respected isn’t being “emotional”

I’m not going to get into a detailed synopsis of Stephen’s blogpiece like Red Tory did – more like a rant – but I’ll say more or less the same thing that RT did:

There’s nothing “emotional” amongst the “left-wing” about calling for due process to be followed and insisting that rules of evidence and constitutional rights to be respected. I didn’t realize those concepts are alien and foreign to Conservatives, but apparently, thats the case. Quite frankly, it shouldn’t have anything to do with “left vs right”. If Conservatives claim they are for the rule of law, then they too should be calling for Khadr’s return to Canada, as Jonathan Kay just did in the National Post recently. Stephen claims to be a libertarian Conservative; I see no evidence of libertarianism in anything he’s written on the Khadr topic so far.

On a side-note, I also get a chuckle out of his article where he claims that conservatives act on what they know to be true. Right – their inactivity on global warming in the face of all scientific consensus – even to outright denunciation of those scientific facts – plus claiming that statistics showing crime going down isn’t right because they “feel” its a problem, shows real-time evidence on that, eh Stephen? Those are 2 examples I can use – among several others. That claim is laughable; I can only presume he put that line in there in order to make his Blogging Tory readership feel good about themselves.

The bottom line is this: we in Canada are the only Western country left in the world that refuses to repatriate its citizens from Guantanamo and still laughably claim that Khadr is being treated well and that the legal process down there is fair – this is still being claimed by the Conservative government and its supporters even after the US Supreme Court recently ruled otherwise. Harper and his bunch are being shown for what they are – Bush clones for their attempting to ignore constitutional rights and human rights. I’ve no doubt if he thought he could get away with it, that Harper would be trying to set up military tribunals up here and remove Canadian constitutional protection from people accused of these offences – all in the name of national security. Their attitude with Guantanamo and more or less claiming they believe the tribunals down there could handle things better then the Canadian court system up here (in essence, being afraid Khadr would be found innocent) is direct evidence of that.

The only thing I can say for Stephen’s piece is he’s writing it mainly for his Conservative Kool-Aid crowd’s benefit. It befits a blog article on the Blogging Tory site – it would be insulting the intelligence of Canadians if it were appearing in a mainstream media newspaper article.

[email protected]:10 pm: Red Tory in a new blogpost goes after the specific arguments of Taylor against repatriating Omar Khadr.


Now we know (in writing) the reason Conservatives don’t want Omar Khadr returned.

They’re being George W. Bush-Republican shills, or at least parroting what they say:

Mr. Khadr could become a litmus test on Canada’s commitment to impeding global terrorism and the results of our actions today could result in consequences that are not in the long-term interest of the country,

This was the reason given by the Conservatives in their minority dissenting opinion on a subcommittee report that calls for the Government of Canada to demand to the US that the military commission’s proceedings be halted, that Omar Khadr be repatriated, and that an investigation be commenced and if warranted, Khadr charged and prosecuted under Canadian law.

They couldn’t exactly give the standard line from this government that “Omar Khadr faces serious charges, and we are confident he is being treated humanely and being given due process”. The US Supreme Court ruling last week that habeas corpus applied to Guantanamo Bay detainees and that the Military Commissions were inadequate blew apart the 2nd part of that argument, so they had to give the real reason, which is apparently the global war on terror will collapse if Canada does this. Funny, it wasn’t a litmus test for all the rest of the Western countries that demanded repatriation for their citizens from Guantanamo. I also didn’t notice any collapse on the War on Terror either when those repatriations occurred.

I am fairly confident in saying that if the Conservatives had been in power when Maher Arar was illegally renditioned to Syria, he’d probably still be in detention over there, because if you look up Hansard from back then, he was getting called a terrorist by Stockwell Day and Harper amongst others over in that caucus before the facts of the case had even been heard, when they were slamming the Canadian government for trying to help Arar get released and get home. The only difference with him was he didn’t have a family that raised the ire of Canadians, thus causing the son to be punished for the sins of the family. What IS the same is that the C-CRAP party (an appropriate moniker, if there ever was one) was parroting and believing the George W Bush-Republican cool-aid.. er.. philosophy on this way back then, and has continued to parrot it in its current reincarnation as the Conservative Party.

The Canadian public however is starting to see that for whatever distaste they might have for the Khadr family, the Khadr son’s treatment is neither morally right nor legally right – something the Conservatives on the Committee recognize because of their whining about the opposition and specifically the Liberals just reacting to a “sway in public opinion” – meaning they recognize they’re starting to lose the argument with the public over why Khadr should be kept at an illegal site with little rights being afforded him.

The process in Guantanamo is illegal. Khadr was a child soldier who was probably brainwashed by his father into going to Afghanistan. His US captors and Canadian officials are on record as saying he can be rehabilitated with proper treatment. He has been held without habeas corpus rights for 6 years since his capture and held without charge – something the US Supreme Court has just deemed in violation of the US Constitution. Bring him home and if you have evidence, charge him with something and give him a fair trial in a proper court with the rule of law. And, whether he’s found guilty or not, make sure he gets treatment and rehabilitation as international protocols on child solders demand (which Canada is a signatory to).

H/T Impolitical


Some evidence that justice isn’t completely dead in the USA…

…at least, not yet:

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that foreign terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay have rights under the Constitution to challenge their detention in U.S. civilian courts. The justices handed the Bush administration its third setback at the high court since 2004 over its treatment of prisoners who are being held indefinitely and without charges at the U.S. naval base in Cuba. The vote was 5-4, with the court’s liberal justices in the majority… Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the court, said, “The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times.” The court said not only that the detainees have rights […]

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