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My last word on Omar Khadr

Okay, I'm not supposed to be blogging. So sue me, and we can settle out of court.
And only a few of my erstwhile Breadbin readers care about matters political. Whatever. Deal.

THIS...is infuriating.

This survey is put out by the Conservative Party of Canada, and every single question in it is a leading question, designed to elicit the obvious (and desired) response. It is also monstrously ignorant of the facts of the Khadr case.

Let me explain something. The $10.5 million that Khadr was "given" was about HALF what he WOULD have gotten had the federal government not settled out of court. I know this for an absolute certainty. Let's change the first question to:

Is it okay for the federal government to settle a case out of court when it knows it will lose the case because the Supreme Court has already ruled against it?

That's a leading question, too, I suppose, but at least it leads in the direction of the facts. Because the Supreme Court DID rule that Khadr's rights were grievously violated, and as the link notes, whether you think of Khadr as a terrorist or a child soldier, he was and is a Canadian citizen with rights. Incidentally, if you think of him as a terrorist, you're wrong twice over. Legally, (pdf) any person under 18 is considered a child soldier, and Khadr was 15 at the time of his alleged crime. I say "twice over" and "alleged" because his guilt has never been proven. In fact, the Canadian military magazine Esprit de Corps raises several points that suggest Khadr is entirely innocent of the charges against him.

Maybe you don't agree with any of this because Khadr confessed. And pled guilty. Well, the initial confession was under torture; you'd have confessed too. Forced confessions have no legal value; an involuntary confession is not admissible in court. As for the guilty plea, Khadr has explained that himself. He wanted to return to Canada, and extradition after a guilty plea was the only way to accomplish that. Why did he want to return to Canada? I'd imagine to get out of the hellhole called Guantanamo Bay. Again, you'd probably do the same thing. Guilty or not.

I don't know if reading any of that changed your mind. The thing is, you'd have HAD to read all this to have any chance of changing your mind, and that abomination of a survey's not giving you a chance.

Reality is complicated. Reality isn't black and white, and it's often not consistent with what your gut might tell you. It really bothers me that a political party would so blatantly ignore facts in favour of feelings.

But it gratifies me immensely that this approach is backfiring on the Conservatives. Liberal support is actually up since the settlement.  


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