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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bring Omar Khadr Home Prime Minister Harper

The media has finally attended to the plight of Omar Khadr, the last western detainee in the American terrorist detention centre at Guantanamo Cuba. Looks like every other western country, except Canada, has repatriated their citizens from the American military justice system from the GITMO terrorist prison.

This travesty of politics over justice suffered by Omar Khadr ought to make every Canadian wonder if they have to fear their own government, not just the Bush-Cheney political regime. Makes you wonder if our government, and our political leaders, will be there to protect and assist us should we fall into such difficult circumstances in a foreign country.

That military justice system has been undermined by just about every civil court application made against it as of late, including many rejections by the US Supreme Court. Bush’s GITMO detention policy and approaches to justifying torture are not akin to the kind of the free, open and civil society we know American citizens continue aspire to.

Prime Minister Harper dodges and retreats on the Khadr crisis. He defaults yet again to his old saw that this is all the fault of the former Liberal government. This is typical of the half-truths of Mr. Harper’s form of leadership. He is right that the former Liberal government was equally as pandering to the US safety and security concerns post 9-11. But Harper has been in power for over two and a half years so blaming the Liberals for this continuing policy of pandering to the Bush White House is a little old – and dangerous.

It is time to protect the rights and rescue a Canadian citizen who we know has been tortured while detained and who was a child soldier at the time of arrest. He may have enough evidence to justify standing trial but as a Canadian and under our laws and not the Bush-Cheney version of “justice.”

Khadr was a 15 year old child soldier as the time of the alleged “terrorist” activity he is charged with. He has been tortured and left without some the most fundamental of legal protections as a Canadian citizen and that is reprehensible. If fact our intelligence and security agencies have been compliant in the mistreating of Mr. Khadr, a Canadian citizen and a minor, who is still in detention. He deserves a fair and speedy trial regardless of the odious opinions and utterances of his family and the terrorist fears of Bush and his boys.

When our government and its political leadership fails, refuses or neglects to protect the rights of Canadian citizens in foreign jurisdictions, it is time to refuse them our consent to continue to govern us. I believe that was true of the Chretien and Martin Liberals of their day. With the new evidence the Canadian courts have forced the authorities to release we now know about the abuse of Mr. Khadr’s fundamental human rights, mistreatment and torture at the hands of the American military “justice” system.

Bring this abused and tortured Canadian citizen home to face a fair trial in our justice system that still respects the rule of law Prime Minister Harper. To continue to allow Khadr to be subject to a discredited military tribunal process that has been found to be illegal even by American courts puts power and politics above the protection of Canadian citizens. Time to put away your posturing politics and pandering to the Bush government and do the right thing a citizen of Canada Mr. Harper.