Khadr deal upholds our Canadian values
David Delaney went to a lengthy effort in his opinion piece in the Cape Breton Post (“Khadr Deal Was ‘Oblivious To Law, Disrespectful To Our Values’,” July 25) trying to attack the Omar Khadr settlement as being against Canadian values and having no basis in law.
As I understand it, Canada was successfully sued specifically for not following the values Mr. Delaney attributes to Canada.
Apparently, Delaney missed the point completely that one of Canada’s “values” - I’m assuming he does support - is to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a fair and quick trial.
However, he simply waived this value in the Khadr situation and concludes he is guilty. He states: “It is said that he who comes seeking equitable relief must do so with clean hands.”
Delaney ignores the fact that both the Canadian and U.S. governments profess to having such honourable values and were not being “oblivious to the law” when they said Khadr would not be offered a trial unless he took the plea deal in which he admits guilt to all charges and serve a few more years in a Canadian prison. This is one of our legal values?
Some of the following facts on the Khadr situation that have been reported:
•Omar Khadr was a child soldier at age 15 who was found in critical condition following a firefight.
•The mission debrief report filed by the U.S. troops stated a middle aged man threw a grenade, which killed one U.S. soldier.
•The grenadier was shot in the head and killed.
•Khadr was taken to Guantanamo Bay prison.
•Several years later charges were laid and he was declared an enemy combatant during a time of war, which made his action legal under rules of engagement.
•He was denied access to a lawyer and no trial date was set. He was held in detention and tortured for nearly 10 years.
•At that time an addendum to the original mission debrief was submitted identify Khadr as the one that tossed the grenade. The original report was not rescinded. No one knows who introduced the new addendum. A week later Khadr is offered a plea deal.
In regard to Delaney’s comment that “we were, in fact, committed to that struggle” and “Our national policy supported the effort,” I’m sure the Nazis, too, during the Second World War had a similar commitment to their struggle.
It must be noted the Trudeau government did not simply offer an apology and settle the Khadr suit for reportedly $10.5 million for no reason. The Supreme Court of Canada found in favour of Khadr that his guaranteed rights under the Charter were breached.
And, Thomas Walkom in his July 18 column (“Khadr Deal Recognizes Ottawa Went Too Far In War On Terror”) in the Post noted Ottawa has made other financial settlements - some disclosed, some not disclosed - to other people who sued the Canadian government for violating their rights.
He was also implying there would be even more such settlements if the Canadian government continues to disregard its legal obligation under our Constitutional laws and values that are intended to protect Canadians.
At this point, Khadr is not the issue. What the Canadian government has done here should be regarded as a crime against all Canadians.
Had the Canadian government offered Khadr a fair trial at the beginning and broke no laws against this Canadian citizen, there would have been no civil suit to pay.
Delaney’s scorn should be directed solely at the Canadian governments that participated in this crime against our Canadian values and the rule of law. Charles W. Sampson Sydney Forks