Harper was com­plicit in Khadr’s tor­ture

The Hamilton Spectator - - OPINION -

RE: Let courts de­cide Khadr set­tle­ment (July 18)

Phil Ro­maker is once again tak­ing cheap and un­founded shots at Justin Trudeau and his cab­i­net. He claims a to­tal lack of trans­parency in the $10.5-mil­lion award to Omar Khadr and some­how man­ages to ab­solve his dis­graced hero, Stephen Harper, from any re­spon­si­bil­ity. Harper was PM from Fe­bru­ary 2006 un­til Novem­ber 2015, over nine years in power. He did ab­so­lutely noth­ing to re­solve this blem­ish on Canada’s rep­u­ta­tion in the world com­mu­nity. He was in­di­rectly com­plicit in the use of tor­ture against a Cana­dian ci­ti­zen.

It is Ro­maker who con­ve­niently for­gets to men­tion that had Trudeau not set­tled for this amount, the to­tal award could have been three to four times this fig­ure. Ask­ing the courts to de­cide on com­pen­sa­tion, as Ro­maker sug­gested, could have been very costly to the Cana­dian tax­payer.

Aus­tralia, Bri­tain and Swe­den have also re­cently paid set­tle­ments to ter­ror sus­pects sub­jected to tor­ture.

In ad­di­tion, Harper’s gov­ern­ment paid $10 mil­lion in 2007 to Ma­her Arar, an­other Cana­dian na­tional sub­jected to tor­ture by the U.S. gov­ern­ment. Harper, in fact, set the Cana­dian prece­dent for out of court set­tle­ments to Cana­dian vic­tims of tor­ture but chose to ig­nore Khadr’s case.

The let­ter writer needs to pro­vide all the facts to al­low Spec read­ers to make an in­formed de­ci­sion on this case. Carl Fi­amelli, An­caster

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