Canada's Multi-Million-Dollar Pay-Out To A 'Foreign Terrorist Fighter'

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Ruthie Blum via The Gatestone Institute,

  • "Has any soldier who fought FOR Canada ever received as generous a reward as this soldier who fought against us?" — Canadian Senator Linda Frum.
  • In 2003, Khadr confessed to throwing the grenade that killed U.S. Special Forces Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer and caused Sgt. 1st Class Layne Morris to lose an eye. Years later, he retracted his confession, claiming it had been extracted under duress. In fact, it was part of a plea deal that enabled him to be extradited to Canada to serve the rest of his sentence there.
  • "There was a Canadian flag flying along with the American flag at our base there, so it's quite a thing that now Canada is giving millions to a guy who would attack a compound where Canadians were serving. I don't see this as anything but treason. As far as I am concerned, Prime Minister Trudeau should be charged." — Sgt. 1st Class Layne Morris, who lost an eye from the grenade thrown by Omar Khadr.

The government of Canada recently issued an official apology -- and acknowledged awarding an "undisclosed" sum of money -- to Toronto-born Islamist terrorist Omar Khadr for his "ordeal" at the U.S. military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and "any resulting harm" he was caused by the "torture" (specifically, sleep deprivation, solitary confinement and threats) that led to his confession.

On July 7, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale released a statement announcing the "hope that this expression, and the negotiated settlement reached with the Government, will assist him in his efforts to begin a new and hopeful chapter in his life with his fellow Canadians."

The civil settlement was reached with Khadr, 30, who was 10 when his family returned to the Middle East, and 15 when he was arrested fighting in Afghanistan with al Qaeda and the Taliban, the terrorist organizations to which his father was affiliated -- on the basis of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

In 2003, Khadr confessed to throwing the grenade that killed U.S. Special Forces Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer and caused Sgt. 1st Class Layne Morris to lose an eye. Years later, he retracted his confession, claiming it had been extracted under duress. In fact, it was part of a plea deal that enabled him to be extradited to Canada to serve the rest of his sentence there.

With news of the large settlement he received -- 10,500,000 Canadian dollars (approximately USD $8,000,000) -- he gave an extensive interview to CBC's Power & Politics host Rosemary Barton, in which he said he thinks that the apology from the Canadian government "restores a little bit my reputation here in Canada, and I think that's the biggest thing for me." He declined to comment on having just received multi-millions in tax-free dollars.

He also had the effrontery to say that he just wants "to be a normal person" and finish his nursing degree to help under-served communities. "I have a lot of experience with... and appreciation of pain," he explained, expressing only sorrow that the Speer and Morris families consider him responsible for their own pain.

Amid harsh criticism against the Liberal government by opposition Conservatives and members of the public outraged that their tax dollars are going to a convicted terrorist, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded to reporters' questions on the matter during a press conference marking the July 8 close of G20 summit in Hamburg.

Trudeau said that the settlement had nothing to do with Khadr's 2002 actions on the battlefield in Afghanistan, but rather with the fact that his rights had been violated. This is precisely what the Canadian Supreme Court ruled in 2008 and 2010, after Khadr's lawyers sued for damages.

Trudeau added that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects all Canadians, "even when it is uncomfortable. When the government violates any Canadian's Charter rights, we all end up paying for it."

Meanwhile, Goodale tried to evade responsibility, by casting aspersions on the previous government, headed by Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in power when Khadr was returned to Canada in 2012 to serve the remainder of his prison sentence for five counts of war crimes. Goodale accused Harper of having "refused to repatriate Mr. Khadr or otherwise resolve the matter."

In spite of the fact that Khadr was arrested and detained when Liberal governments were in power in Canada, Goodale was referring to appeals during Harper's tenure -- which began in 2006 -- by Canadian Liberal and human rights lawyers to "bring Omar Khadr home."

In 2008, former Canadian Justice Minister Irwin Cotler wrote:

"I join other scholars and associations of jurists in calling for Omar Khadr to be transferred into the custody of Canadian law enforcement officials, to be afforded due process under Canadian law, with prospects for appropriate rehabilitation and integration."

Cotler also stated,

"Admittedly, the Khadr family has emerged, as some have put it, as synonymous with terrorism. But, the test of the rule of law is not its application in the easy cases, but its retention in the unpopular ones... Omar Khadr, a child victim, should now be afforded the justice denied him all these years, however unpopular and unpalatable his case may appear to be."

In response to Goodale's implication that had it not been for the previous government, the current one would not have been forced to apologize to and pay Khadr, Harper immediately took to social media, writing:

The government today attempted to lay blame elsewhere for their decision to conclude a secret deal with Omar Khadr. The decision to enter into this deal is theirs, and theirs alone, and it is simply wrong. Canadians deserve better than this. Today my thoughts are with Tabitha Speer and the families of all Canadian and allied soldiers who paid the ultimate price fighting to protect us.

Canadian Senator Linda Frum railed against the settlement, tweeting: "Has any soldier who fought FOR Canada ever received as generous a reward as this soldier who fought against us?"

Given Khadr's family history, Frum's fury is justified.

As the New York Post reported, Khadr is the son of a Palestinian mother and an Egyptian father (Ahmed Khadr), who had strong ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and became one of Osama bin Laden's loyal lieutenants. After 9/11, Ahmed Khadr was placed on the FBI's most-wanted list in relations to the attacks. He was arrested in Pakistan in 1995 on suspicion of financing the suicide bombing at the Egyptian Embassy in Islamabad, in which 16 people were killed. Protesting his innocence, he went on a hunger strike, and the Canadian government, then headed by Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, rallied behind him.

While on a trade mission to Pakistan, Chrétien appealed to Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, and a few months later, Ahmed was released from prison and sent back with his family to Toronto. However, according to the New York Post, the Khadr clan soon returned to Pakistan, where Ahmed Khadr resumed his connections with al Qaeda and the Taliban. Young Omar Khadr not only met with the leaders of these terrorist groups, but lived with his parents and siblings in the bin Laden family compound, attending al Qaeda training camps, which his father -- who was killed in 2003 -- partly funded.

The report continued:

"A month before he joined an al Qaeda cell in 2002, Omar was sent by his father for private instruction in explosives and combat... [where he] learned to launch rocket-propelled grenades and became skilled at planting improvised explosive devices that were used to blow up US armored vehicles in Afghanistan."

In his interrogation about the incident that led to his arrest and subsequent incarceration at Guantanamo, Omar Khadr said he had been on a suicide mission "to kill as many Americans as possible."


In this still image taken from a video found in the rubble of the compound where Omar Khadr was captured on July 27, 2002, a 15-year-old Khadr constructs an improvised explosive device. (Courtesy U.S. Defense Operations/Wikimedia Commons)

This did not prevent the U.S. military from flying an ophthalmologist to the Bagram Air Base -- where was being treated for wounds he sustained while fighting American and Canadian soldiers -- to save his eyes and keep him from going blind.

Nor did it cause Omar to experience gratitude on the one hand, or remorse on the other. On the contrary, as military court documents revealed, when he was informed that Speer had died, he said he "felt happy" for having murdered an American. He also said that whenever he remembered killing Speer, it would make him "feel good."

According to a report in the Globe and Mail, the Toronto lawyer representing Morris and Tabitha Speer -- who won a default judgment in 2015 in the U.S. against Omar for $134 million – began proceedings to contest the Canadian government's settlement and prevent it from going forward.

It is clearly too late for that; the money has already been transferred to Omar. Furthermore, the transaction was done swiftly and "quietly," to make legal action by taxpayers in Canada or the Morris and Speer families in America virtually impossible.

Morris is understandably angry and hurt. "The fact is Chris Speer and myself were fighting with Canadians in Afghanistan," he said.

"We were alongside the PPCLI (Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry). There was a Canadian flag flying along with the American flag at our base there, so it's quite a thing that now Canada is giving millions to a guy who would attack a compound where Canadians were serving. I don't see this as anything but treason... As far as I am concerned, Prime Minister Trudeau should be charged."

Thus far, the administration in Washington has remained silent on Khadr pay-out, which came to light during the weekend of the G20 summit in Germany, where U.S. President Donald Trump heaped praise on his Canadian counterpart.

Trump even opened his speech at a World Bank event to promote and finance women entrepreneurs in developing countries by declaring: "We have a great neighbor in Canada and Justin [Trudeau] is doing a spectacular job... Everybody loves him, and they love him for a reason..."

This assertion, given the information that has since emerged about Khadr case, was unfortunate. Far more ironic under the circumstances, however, was the "Statement on Countering Terrorism," signed by the leaders of the G20.

Its 21 clauses include a commitment to "address the evolving threat of returning foreign terrorist fighters ... from conflict zones such as Iraq and Syria and remain committed to preventing [them] from establishing a foothold in other countries and regions around the world," and to "facilitate swift and targeted exchanges of information between intelligence and law enforcement and judicial authorities... [to] ensure that terrorists are brought to justice."

Such words are empty without actions to back them up. Omar Khadr is a classic example of a "foreign terrorist fighter." Yet the Canadian legal system categorized him -- in Cotler's words -- as a "child victim, [who] should... be afforded the justice denied him all these years."

It is bad enough to describe a teenager who set out to "kill as many Americans as possible" in this way. It is far worse that he is a free -- and still very young -- man, paid not only respect by the government whose values he was raised to abhor, but millions of dollars, to boot. If anything serves to encourage other terrorists to leave North America and Europe to fight in the Middle East, it is stories such as this one.

The Trump administration must call Trudeau to task for this perversion, and offer an immediate and very public apology to Khadr's American victims, who did not receive a penny for their patriotic sacrifice.

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nmewn's picture

The "queen mother" may not be too happy about it either but at least Omar's family will be taken care of to the best of Canadian taxpayers ability! ;-)

sixsigma cygnusatratus's picture

I'm waiting for the story where this 14 year old Canadian girl gets millions in compensation...oh wait, she isn't muslim.

http://www.wnd.com/2017/01/syrian-refugee-enrolls-in-high-school-sexuall...

Note to Justin: Never go full retard.

nmewn's picture

Or the acid attacks on women & girls in England.

Prolly won't be long before calls for drain cleaner to be banned or restricted there...oh, wait...

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/07/uk-acid-attack-survivors-demand-go...

...because whatever is done, they simply must make it "all inclusive" so no one is "discriminated" against ;-)

overbet's picture

Could you imagine if you went into a coma 15-20 years ago and woke up today?

Son of Loki's picture

Sessions seems to still be in coma. Wake him up please and get him moving. Hopefully the new FBI guy enforces the law by promptly opening investigations into the Clinton Crime family, Pedopodesta, Huma, Wasserman, etc.

 

We'll know pretty soon whether he's a weasel or a true law enforcer.

overbet's picture

Sessions seems like he cant multi task. He is tunnel vison focused on immigration and that is about all he can handle.

armada's picture

The other terrorists the world forgot about. http://wp.me/p4OZ4v-Dg

Sector Catalyst's picture

We're living in the world of the 1987 version of Robocop.

robertocarlos's picture

Traing Places. "Where the hell is Sessions"?

Sudden Debt's picture

He'd take a gun and start shooting people :)

 

Miner's picture

Torture is wrong, and the world knows it.  $8m isn't nearly enough to make this shame right.

Justin Case's picture

Torture is wrong.But it gets the results they wanted to hear. Everyone else they could possibly blame it on were dead.

logicalman's picture

Did any Canadian soldier spend 10 years in Guantanamo?

This is a huge pile of bullshit.

He was in the wrong place at the wrong time, as was the guy he happened to kill.

All because of an illegal war of agression.

In an ideal world, the US soldier would have become a construction worker, Mr, Khadr would have been sipping tea with his old man and Afghanistan would never have been invaded.

None of the individuals in this case wanted things to go this way, but they did because of an illegal invasion.

Get down to the root causes, ignore the noise.

Oh, and don't forget the poppy harvest.

opport.knocks's picture

Exactly, the Bush and Cheney families should pay this settlement out of their Haliburton profits. It was their illegal war, their illegal rendition and their illegal torture that set all the wheels in motion.

kellys_eye's picture

How do 'we' get in on the actions?

Do 'we' have to start actioning terrorism and then pleading that it is WE who are the victims?

This is beyond funny.  Beyond travesty.  If we can't stop the establishment handing out OUR money then we have left is stopping the recipients getting their hands on it...... know what I mean?

Policy is advocating action - this will NOT turn out well.

Justin Case's picture

The controversy surrounding Omar Khadr’s reported $10.5-million settlement for Ottawa's complicity in his oppressive detention at Guantanamo Bay obscures a key issue we've never truly explored in Canada.

What if Khadr was innocent of the murder of Sgt. Christopher Speer this whole time, and we didn't lift a finger while he sat in a hell-hole for a decade?

For almost 15 years, Canadian treatment of the Khadr case has been dominated by the presumption of guilt. Yet the evidence tells a different story.

For all the fury boiling up over news of his settlement, there's precious little insight or knowledge about the facts. As a former prosecutor, something has always troubled me about this case, and my deep unease hasn't abated with time.

Any experienced trial lawyer would be troubled to open this file. With the exception of Khadr's "confession," wrung from a traumatized and severely wounded teenager under an abusive interrogation, the evidence against him was remarkably thin.

Examined closely, it appears more consistent with his innocence than guilt.
Khadr's case a 'Canadian tragedy'

What evidence exists appears confused, inconsistent or contradicted elsewhere. Photographs of the attack scene released in 2009 appear to directly conflict with the prosecution's summary of its own case.

Had the events happened under Canadian jurisdiction, they would not have been enough to lay a charge, let alone secure a conviction.

This case represents a Canadian tragedy and failure of moral courage on the part of our government. When Canada should have championed transparency, due process and the rule of law in the Khadr proceedings, we stood mute or actively participated in his abusive interrogation in custody.

Had the Canadian government done so, any criminal trial in open court would most likely have ended in a humiliating defeat for the U.S. government, and public perception would be very different from what it is today.

To any trial lawyer, it's plain that Khadr pled guilty for a very simple reason: his plea deal offered a return to Canada and eventual freedom — clearly a better alternative than a lifetime of suffering in Guantanamo.

That bargain was a successful legal maneuver, but a personal tragedy. It was successful because it returned him to Canada, where his prospects for justice were a vast improvement on Guantanamo Bay and U.S. military tribunals. It was tragic because he will forever wear the stain of pleading guilty to murder.

Today Canadians are paying a hefty price because successive Liberal and Conservative governments sacrificed principle to political expedience, traded away due process, and turned on their own child citizen, a trapped and helpless teenager.

Evaluating the evidence from the prosecution's perspective

Here’s how a prosecutor would look at the evidence against Khadr in a civilian criminal trial. Remember, this was a criminal prosecution subject to evidentiary rules supposedly designed not only to protect the innocent, but the integrity of the justice system itself.

The first step is to ensure the prosecution can prove each element of the charge beyond a reasonable doubt; and that the evidence is probative, consistent, credible, and reliable.

Any obvious defences, such as mistake of identity, self-defence, temporary loss of control or accident, should be anticipated and closed off by cogent evidence before charges are laid.

One more thing: in a circumstantial case, (which this was, because nobody saw Khadr throw the grenade that killed Speer), the evidentiary bar is even higher. In such a case the test is not merely proof beyond a reasonable doubt, but that the evidence pointing to guilt is inconsistent with any other rational conclusion.

First the context. This firefight was no small village confrontation, but an all-out military assault on a small compound.

The suspected Al Qaeda compound was identified by U.S. and Afghan forces in the early morning of July 27, 2002. Two Afghan militia members approached the small compound, estimated at "100 to 120 feet square." They were immediately shot and killed by occupants inside.

National Observer columnist Sandy Garossino chats with director of engagement Jorge Amigo in Vancouver on July 12, 2017 about Omar Khadr. Video by National Observer
Compound bombed and strafed by U.S. air assault for hours

That shooting drew an overwhelming response. More than 100 U.S. troops assembled on the site, and for the next four hours the compound was pounded with cannon, missile, and rocket fire from a coordinated air assault involving Apache helicopters, A-10 warplanes and F-18 fighter jets. Multiple 500-lb. bombs were dropped on the site.

When American forces believed everyone inside had been killed, a U.S. Special Forces team entered the compound.

Whatever happened next took less than a minute, according to reports. At the end of it, Sgt. Christopher Speer, who was not wearing a helmet, was mortally wounded in the head from a grenade, and Khadr was captured alive.

So what was the prosecution’s case against Omar Khadr?
Inconsistent and inaccurate statements from the prosecution

There was lots to choose from. The U.S. military reports and filed statements describe a hodge-podge of confusing and inconsistent positions, including the following range of scenarios:

(1) The assault team entered, encountered and returned enemy fire and killed the shooter. Omar Khadr, positioned behind a crumbling wall, then threw a grenade at a group of soldiers who were talking. He did not consider them a threat to his safety, but just planned to kill as many Americans as he could (U.S. government stipulation of facts, 2010, paragraphs 41-43, agreed to by Khadr in his guilty plea);

(2) The assault team entered, encountered enemy fire, including a thrown grenade. They shot and captured Khadr, who was the only survivor in the compound during the exchange. Being the only survivor, Khadr must have killed Speer (false public position of U.S. military until 2008, as per CBC report);

(3) The assault team entered, encountered enemy fire, including a thrown grenade. They killed the shooter who also threw the grenade. They then captured Khadr, who did not throw the grenade (Report by Maj. Randy Watt, senior U.S. officer at battle, July 28, 2002);

(4) The assault team entered, encountered enemy fire and a witness identified as OC-1 saw a grenade thrown over a wall. Because of the timing of the shooting and grenade, he did not believe one person could have done both. OC-1 killed the shooter. He then found Khadr seated and facing away from the assault team and shot him in the back. According to OC-1, Khadr was the only person who could have killed Speer (Statement by witness OC-1, dated March 17, 2004, almost two years after the event);

(5) The assault team entered, encountered enemy fire and saw a grenade thrown over a wall. They killed the shooter and two Delta Force members confronted Khadr, who was armed and stood facing them. They shot him in the chest (per summary of statements, originally reported by Michelle Shephard in the Toronto Star);

(6) The assault team entered, encountered enemy fire and saw a grenade thrown over a wall. Soldiers outside the compound were also throwing grenades in response to the firefight. U.S. forces first killed the shooter, then shot and captured Khadr (per Los Angeles Times report of statement evidence). This opens the possibility that friendly fire accidentally killed Speer.

OR

(7) The photos:
The photo on the left, taken in Ayub Kheyl in Afghanistan on July 27, 2002, shows the scene found by the assault team approaching the area where the shooter was killed. Khadr lies beneath the rubble, apparently beneath a collapsed roof. The photo on the right shows Khadr (figure highlighted) after debris has been pulled back. Classified photos obtained by the Toronto Star from an 18-page submission presented in 2009 by Khadr's former military defence team to an Obama administration task force investigating Guantanamo.

Clearly, the multiple positions and reports advanced by the prosecution can't all be true. In all, either the shooter, or Khadr, or possibly American forces threw the grenade that killed Speer. Some of the reports make no sense at all, and some are clearly false.

Consistency, credibility and reliability are essential to a strong prosecution, and this case was on thin ice.
Photo evidence disastrous for the prosecution

Then came the photographs of the combat scene obtained by the Toronto Star in 2009, which can only be seen as disastrous for the prosecution.

The two photos above apparently depict the scene as found by the assault team in the area where the shooter was killed. The first photo on the left shows the body of the shooter killed in the firefight next to what appears to be a pile of rubble and brush. Omar Khadr was found alive beneath that rubble.

According to the Star, military documents indicate that "a soldier stood on top of Khadr's body before realizing someone was buried."

The second photo on the right—enhanced by the Star for clarity—shows the brush and rubble pulled back to expose Khadr, with bullet entry wounds clearly visible on his back.

In the third photo below, which shows Khadr receiving battlefield first aid (the graphic damage of his exit wounds are obscured), clearly visible is the dried blood from the shrapnel wound to his left eye. Khadr's face is coated in dirt, consistent with being buried in rubble.
Khadr receives battlefield first aid after being injured during a fight in Ayub Kheyl, Afghanistan on July 27, 2002. Graphic exit wounds have been obscured. Photo from Wikimedia Commons, originally obtained by Toronto Star

Khadr could not have thrown the grenade and then completely buried himself under rocks and debris in just a few seconds before the special forces team arrived.

Of all the positions taken by the prosecution above, only (3) and (6) are consistent with the photographs taken in the immediate aftermath of the firefight. Neither version implicates Khadr. Version (3) is the incident report submitted by the senior officer on site the day after the battle, which completely exonerates him.

The only evidence that ties Khadr to the grenade is the statement of OC-1 in version (4), given to investigators almost two years after the event. But OC-1's statement that he found Khadr sitting up and leaning against brush is sharply at variance with photograph 1, in which Khadr lies completely buried under rocks and brush.

That's not a small problem for the prosecution. It's a big one.

If the photograph is an accurate depiction of the scene as the special forces team found it, OC-1's statement can't be true. It's more likely that OC-1 discovered Khadr under the rubble after he shot the other combatant, then shot him in the back as he lay there.

It gets worse. The prosecution's bigger problem is that its official version (1) makes no sense at all when read with the photographs. Below is the relevant text of the U.S. government's stipulation of facts:
A screenshot of the U.S. government's stipulation of facts in October 2010 regarding the events that led to Sgt. Christopher Speer's death in Afghanistan in 2002, as accepted by Omar Khadr

Clearly, paragraphs 42 and 43 are drafted to defeat any argument that Khadr threw the grenade in self-defence. It's drafted to cast him as the aggressor who, unprovoked, attacked a peaceful group of soldiers clearing up a battle site after a firefight with the other combatant. But that is wholly inconsistent with a photo of Khadr buried in rocks and rubble, lying within inches of his dead compatriot.

Unless the shooter's body had been moved, Khadr was lying under the debris immediately next to him during the firefight. According to OC-1, he shot both the shooter and Khadr within a few seconds of each other.

This doesn't make sense either. Khadr didn't watch his compatriot get killed, throw a grenade, then cover himself in rocks and sticks and wait to be discovered. And what about the Star's account of military documents reporting that a soldier didn't even realize Khadr was there until he stood on him?
Military evidence makes a better case for innocence than guilt

So far, this is all the prosecution's own evidence, and it's a mess before the defence calls a single witness. Without Khadr's confession, obtained essentially by force, there is no compelling evidence that he threw any grenade at all. No one saw him do it, and from all appearances he'd been under that rubble the entire time.

From what’s publicly available at this point, the evidence pointing to guilt is weak and speculative. Taken as a whole, it doesn't really make sense. Multiple statements contradict each other and run all over the map.

These are not small inconsistencies. Something is seriously wrong with the prosecution's account.

Without Khadr's confession, the evidence fails its first and most basic test: that of establishing beyond a reasonable doubt through credible, reliable and consistent evidence that Khadr threw the grenade that struck and killed Sgt. Speer.

So what about that confession?

As is well known today, false confessions are common, especially with malleable young people under duress. The intensity and abusiveness of Khadr's interrogation is unprecedented in law-abiding countries. It's probably fair to say that in 2002 the U.S. military was far more concerned with learning whatever it could about Al Qaeda from Khadr than with getting an admissible voluntary statement for a criminal trial.

The priority was to find and kill Osama bin Laden, and to defeat Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

That interrogators went too far is now common knowledge. But the problem with torturous or abusive questioning isn't just that it violates the prisoner's rights, but that subjects will give false information to escape the agony.

Today, Khadr says that he confessed to false things just to please his interrogators and stop the pain, and there's evidence to back that up. For instance, we know that under pressure Khadr falsely identified Maher Arar as having stayed at terrorist safe houses in Afghanistan, when Arar had never been to the country.

It's far more believable that Khadr confessed to stop the pain than that his confession is true. The photographs and the known chronology make it extremely unlikely that he could have thrown the grenade.

Yet without that confession, the prosecution had no case.
First, freshest and best military report points to innocence

The U.S. military’s first, freshest and probably best report of the incident, based on contemporaneous eye-witness accounts by the soldiers involved, was submitted by Maj. Randy Watt the day after the firefight. That report described scenario (3), in which it was believed that the grenade was thrown by the shooter.

It's also consistent with and corroborated by the photographs taken at the scene, where only the shooter would have been in a position to throw the grenade.

However, according to the CBC (at 15:30 in the video), that report was itself subsequently altered without documentation or explanation.

That first report, which contains the best evidence exonerating Khadr, remains today the most coherent account of the events of that day.

Even if it could be established that Khadr did throw the grenade in the middle of a firefight, given his proximity to the shooter it's impossible to rule out self-defence. The stipulation of facts cannot be true.

After all these years and coverage, it's plain that any competent defence lawyer could run a Mack truck through this case in a conventional criminal court.
It was Canada's job to raise hell about the railroading of a Canadian teen

Know who else should have run a Mack truck through it? The Canadian government.

It was Canada’s job to raise hell about the railroading of a Canadian teen based on a lousy case. It was Canada's job to raise hell about the torture of a Canadian kid in U.S. custody. Instead, we presumed he was guilty.

Successive Liberal and Conservative governments washed their hands of Khadr, only to aid and abet his Kafka-esque ordeal and trial by torture. Precious few stood up to take his side as he was convicted in the court of public opinion without a trial.

We were happy—eager, in fact—to strip him of his rights, judge him without even looking at the facts, and allow the American military and politicians to malign him mercilessly as they took every step to suppress the truth.

And though many reporters distinguished themselves, there was no shortage of media commentators piling on, sneering at the doubters and skeptics as do-gooding sissies.

The American torture program was a disaster. Extraordinary rendition to torture sites was a disaster. Guantanamo is a continuing disaster.

Instead of playing along as America’s trusty lapdog, the Canadian government should have stood squarely on the side of due process, demanding an accounting of the staggering cruelty and appalling ineptitude (or worse) behind this whole affair.

At every turn we should have called for a full, fair, open and transparent proceeding. We should have challenged the bad faith, the secrecy, the doctored reports, the contradictory witnesses, the changing stories, and the procedural bullying.

We should have demanded Khadr’s immediate return to Canada from Guantanamo, pending a full investigation.

If you still think the U.S. wouldn't fudge its reports to get the result it wants, google 'Pat Tillman.' Then consider whether the biggest clue to this whole mystery is the long suppression of reports that American soldiers in the special forces assault team also threw grenades during the firefight.

We had plenty of notice how this would all end, because we've been here before with Maher Arar. The day after Khadr, compelled by fear and abuse, falsely pegged Arar as an Al Qaeda associate, U.S. authorities spirited him to Syria by extraordinary rendition, where he too was tortured and imprisoned for a year.

That lesson cost us a cool $10.5 million in foreshadowing, but didn't teach us a thing. We turned around and did it again. To a kid.

Khadr was left virtually alone and helpless to fight the awesome force of American power from a cell in Guantanamo. He should have had the full weight of the Canadian government behind him pushing for the truth.
Plea deal bought freedom at a high price

Khadr's guilty plea bought his freedom, but at a heavy price. For that freedom Khadr traded, perhaps forever, the chance to clear his name and turn public scrutiny on those who abused him, who doctored records, who changed their stories.

As part of his plea deal, Khadr agreed to a statement of facts admitting to killing Sgt. Speer, and promised never to seek forensic review of the evidence which might one day prove his innocence. He also agreed to permit the U.S. government to destroy all evidence following sentencing.

As a teenager Omar Khadr was betrayed and exploited by every adult who owed him a duty of care, including his father who conscripted him into a terrorist group, and his mother who let it happen. Then he was abandoned by the one government that should have protected his right to a fair trial.

Khadr's ticket out of Guantanamo should never have been a guilty plea extracted by torture, fear and despair. Every other western country was getting its citizens out, while Canada let a teenager rot there.

Khadr's passport out should have been the birthright he was born with—his Canadian citizenship.

Justin Case's picture

Iraqi forces must stop carrying out executions of suspected IS militants without trial and subjecting them and their families to torture, Sarah Leah Whitson, the executive director of HRW’s regional branch, told RT, citing newly released videos.

Sarah Leah Whitson, the executive director of HRW’s Middle East & North Africa division, spoke to RT about videos that emerged earlier this week showing men wearing Iraqi forces uniforms beating and killing men who appear to be captured Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS, ISIL) fighters.

In one of the videos, uniformed men can be seen dragging a detainee to the edge of a cliff, before pushing him over and shooting him dead.

The incident, which may constitute a violation of international law by the Iraqi military, drew strong condemnation from Human Rights Watch, which verified the videos as being filmed in the neighborhoods of recently liberated Mosul.

Laws apply to everyone. Don't like it? Change the law. Then captures of US soldiers can torture them legally.

Craven Moorehead's picture

The coerced Khadr confession was designed to legalize the tortured data mining of Khadr for 10 years, thus protecting his interrogators from prosecution

nmewn's picture

While I have little desire to go through point-counterpoint of your novela here a few things stand out...

"Two Afghan militia members approached the small compound, estimated at "100 to 120 feet square." They were immediately shot and killed by occupants inside."

...everyone agrees the two militia men went to the compound once and asked who they were after a monitored satellite phone was used inside that compound. The occupants identified themselves as Pashtun villagers and the militia men returned to the US positions. 

They were told to return (a second time) and tell the occupants that the soldiers wanted to search the compound. Thats when they were shot by the occupants, the second time they went to the gate, which started the battle.

Afterwards evidence was found (in the form of a video) that they were not just armed Pashtun villagers inside (being an armed Pashtun is not out of the ordinary) they were in fact making mines and the vid showed them placing mines on the Khost Rd.

Now returning to Omar the Canadian, it was his father had entrusted him to go with a group of Arabs allied with al-Libi as they needed a Pashtun translator for "their activities". My opinion is his father bears more responsibility than anyone else for him even being there and a Canadian boy has no business being in Wazisristan to get shot at. 

Thats a long way of saying, in all likelihood he was probably just acting as a translator and it was his own father (a known AQ member) that placed him in the circumstances he was found but if the Canadians want to pay him (and by extension his family) for what his father permitted, thats a uniquely Canadian act of jurisprudence. 

The short answer is: Without his fathers permission and influence Omar would not have been at the compound to be shot and wind up at Guantanamo. And I'll leave you with, Omar is much luckier than his brother Abdulkareem who is to this day paralyzed from the waist down, caught & shot by Pakistani security forces who killed their father that same day.

actionjacksonbrownie's picture

I don't disagree with anything you posted, but at the same time I'm not sure what your point is. The settlement was related to Khadr's treatment after he was pulled from the rubble of the building and very near death. It really had nothing to do with why he was in the building in the first place - that would be a completely seperate matter/lawsuit.

 

I suppose Khadr could sue his parents and others for placing him in harm's way.

nmewn's picture

Well I don't even pretend to understand Britannia's idiotic laws (yes I look at Canada as possession of England) but my point is, apparently the government of Canada allowed him (and his lawyers) to sue it for not getting him out of Guantanamo.

Of course, he was in Guantanamo because of the actions of his father. His father "loaned him out" as an interpreter for AQ. His father of course is dead and I really don't think he would have sued his father if alive, even if he thought his father had any money for compensation.

The way I look at it, Canada has lost far more (monetarily) than this single "judgement" because they are paying for his brothers medical care from injuries he sustained in Pakistan when his father was shot by Pakistani forces.

The way I look at it, his dad managed to get two sons wounded and two in Guantanamo. One (Abdulkareem) grievously paralyzed from the waist down is now on Canada's public health system (for something that happened in Pakistan) while Omar was wounded in a different altercation but survived, winding up in Guantanamo along with still a third brother also in Guantanamo and himself (the baby daddy) killed in a ditch, in Pakistan.

I gotta say, thats one helluva track record. 

Like I said I don't even pretend to understand Canadian or British law, I'll just attribute this one to Oh Canaduh! ;-)

aPocketofResistance's picture

Holy shit batman, they've gone full retard.

gatorengineer's picture

They are long past full retard.  They have gone plaid.......

Bubba Rum Das's picture

"They are long past full retard.  They have gone plaid......."

Let us not forget, now, that this is considered perfectly normal behavior for Canadian Government Officials...

overbet's picture

Full retard would be a step in the right direction at this point.

Cluster_Frak's picture

Libtards with their il duce Turdo crossed the singularity. Starlibtard has been born.

Justin Case's picture

Nothing new about paying victims

November 17, 2010
In an extraordinary move yesterday, the British government agreed to pay an undisclosed but significant amount of compensation to British residents and citizens who were subject to extraordinary rendition, some of whom were sent to Guantanamo Bay.

The former detainees sued on the basis that the British government colluded with the United States government in their torture. The British government denies this deal was an admission in any way that they are guilty of the detainees’ claims. Rather, the decision to spend millions on confidential payouts was apparently driven by a desire to save the taxpayer money, (a court case would take significant resources over a matter of years and was estimated to cost tens of millions of dollars) as well as a desire to shield British foreign services from the scrutiny of the courts, since a previous ruling stated the British government would not be permitted to withhold any information in a court case.

While this is the largest scale settlement of its kind to come out of the War on Terror, it is certainly not the first. Canadian Maher Arar was detained by the US as he passed through JFK in 2002 and renditioned to Syria, where he was detained for a year ( 1 year not 15 years) and subjected to torture. Upon his release, the Canadian government held an inquiry into Arar’s rendition and ultimately apologized and paid him $10.5 million in compensation.  The United States, however, has not apologized for their treatment of Arar and has to this day refused to remove him from terror watchlists.

actionjacksonbrownie's picture

They went full retard when they didn't protest the treatment/torture of a near mortally wounded kid, and in fact took part in the "interogations". Now they are paying up for their abdication of duty towards a Canadian citizen.I know the koolaid drinkers are enraged, but they either haven't taken the time to independently look at ALL the available facts, or they have been so brainwashed by the propoganda they have been fed for 20 years that laws no longer matter to them. But when some lowly "terrorist" finally does get his day in a true court, and the facts are laid out, all is not quite as we have been lead to believe, and this is the result. It's a hard slap in the face to the flag wavers.

The reason you never see any of these "terrorists" standing accused in a real court of law, is because they would either never be convicted (this case), or they would reveal so much dirty laundry of .gov itself, that the whole "war on terror" meme would entirely collapse. Khadr managed to survive and eventually make it back to Canada where sometimes Laws are actually followed. Canada's biggest "mistake" (apart from abandoning it's obligations to Canadian and International Laws) was ever letting Khadr see the light of day.

I see the CCF has no such delusions, and simply "takes care of" potentially embarrassing witnesses to their crimes.

Herdee's picture

Has anyone at the CIA and their Israeli associates been held to account for the placing of explosives in all three towers that brought them all down though obvious demolition?

null's picture

They are still trying to get them to account for when they will stop beating their wife. One paradox at a time.

logicalman's picture

Ever notice that when a diversion is required the 'easy' control buttons are pressed.

Using individuals as tools of foreign policy.

It's easy to feel a connection to an individual, more so than an idea, which is why the technique works so well, if you are not aware that that is what is going on.

While the so-called news outlets go rambling on about Khadre and the soldier's widow the real criminals, responsible for thousands of deaths, are ignored.

I always try to filter out the noise.

 

Justin Case's picture

It is the root cause, but this Guy isn't the first to be compensated for torture at Gitmo. International law seems to apply to everyone else except merica. You break the law or fail to enforce it there are concequences. Harper should have acted when it happened on his watch, but he neglected it.

10mm's picture

What's right is wrong,and wrong is right. Same ole

 

IdioTsincracY's picture

just because there is NO LITERATURE whatsoever about confessions and torture

or maybe because we forgot about the shit we pulled in going to war with Afghanistan

and how many thousands of people we killed that had NOTHING to do with 9/11 at all.

But, put a label of TERRORIST on people defending their homeland and you're

all set to torture the sh!t out of them

Sonny Brakes's picture

Soon enough petty crimes and misdemeanours will be brought under the umbrella of terrorism.

crazzziecanuck's picture

Too late, already had.  Authorities in North Dakota had labelled the DAPL protestors as terrorists.

Bubba Rum Das's picture

Setting off illegal fireworks in many states is now considered 'an act of terrorism'; which is in fact, a felony.

That's right...
Classifying Jr. High School kid's as 'terrorists' now, for juvenile pranks w/ firecrackers...
- and if you get caught pissing in an alley outside of a bar by the cop's; you now have to register as a 'Sexual Offender', for the act of 'Public Indecency'...!

Better watch where you drop that cigarette butt; $500 for littering, & if your within 15 ft. of a public building, you can add 'illegal smoking' to that fine!

YOU ARE NOW A CRIMINAL!
WELCOME TO THE CLUB!

FOR PROFIT PRISONS FOREVER!

opport.knocks's picture

Slight problem - Afghanistan was not their homeland either;
Khadr Sr - born Egyptian, became Canadian in the 70s
Khadr Mom - born Palestinian, became Canadian in the 80s
Khadr Jr - Canadian since birth

Apparently Khadr Sr became enthralled with Jihad while doing hospital and "Charity" work there in the 1980s, that would be the same time as OBL was working with the US against the Soviets. Was Khadr Sr also a CIA asset who became an enemy after the US did not keep their promises? Seems very likely.

johand inmywallet's picture

Someone please kill Khadr. Maybe Trudeau at the same time!

Sonny Brakes's picture

Did I miss your Fatwa on the deep state?

nmewn's picture

He issued it 25 weeks ago. Thats prolly why you missed it.

Stormtrooper's picture

Cannucks gave up their guns in order to be protected by their government.  They'll have to beg some Americans to help them with this request.

actionjacksonbrownie's picture

There is no shortage of guns in Canada. There are just more rules to follow if you want to keep them. Educate yourself.

HRH Feant2's picture

I am reading "Muslim Mafia."

This is nothing less than extortion. And it was planned.

azusgm's picture

John B. Wells did a 2-hour interview with Chris Gaubatz on Caravan to Midnight last week. The message was very clear: Shariah is Islam and Islam is Shariah. In Islam, Shariah is everything. Jihad in its different forms is always conducted with the goal of establishing Shariah as the law of the land, the state religion, the code of conduct, the overarching set of rules by which one must live, think, and worship.

Caravan to Midnight is a paid service but it is cheap. I purchased memberships for my brother and myself. Here is the link for anyone who has a membership. If not, the episode can be purchased individually.

https://caravantomidnight.com/chris-gaubatz/

Glad you mentioned Muslim Mafia. I intend to buy the book.

HRH Feant2's picture

Yes. I heard that interview and listened to it several times.

Another book I preordered and which comes out 7/16 is Matt Bracken's latest, "The Red Cliffs of Zerhoun." John B. has interviewed Matt several times and each interview was excellent.

Hagmann and Hagmman Report also interviewed the author of "Muslim Mafia." It was a good interview but I think John B. takes his interviews to another level. I appreciate that he doesn't insult the audience with multiple breaks and adverts. I appreciate listening to long, in-depth, unbroken conversations between adults. Refreshing.

I bought the book directly from his site as it was $10 less than Amazon. FYI.

azusgm's picture

Thanks. I try to avoid Amazon and would enjoy doing business with CTM.

Sudden Debt's picture

WHOEHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

THOSE LIBERALS ARE FREAKING HILLARIOUS!