Stephen Harper has proved once and for all that he could care less
about his constitutional duty to protect the rights of all Canadians
in accordance with international law if it upsets his boss, mentor,
idol, puppet master, and arch war criminal George W. Bush. 71%% of
Canadians don't believe Omar Khadr will get a fair trial in the
illegal American gulag at Guantanamo Bay detention camp. Would you be
more inclinded to
help Omar Khadr if he was a White Anglo Saxon Protestant, Mr Harper?.
PM says 'no' to bringing Khadr home
Jul 11, 2008 04:30 AM
Comments on this story (32)
The government should launch an arm's-length criminal investigation of
the Canadian officials who interrogated Omar Khadr at Guantanamo Bay,
human rights lawyers demanded a day after revelations that foreign
affairs officials knew the Toronto-born captive had been abused.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper rejected any possibility of asking the
U.S. administration to send Khadr home in light of the evidence of
"My answer is no," Harper told reporters in Tokyo as he wrapped up his
trip to Asia. ``Mr. Khadr is charged with extremely serious crimes.
The former (Liberal) government and our government – with the advice
of the justice minister – considered all the questions. The situation
remains the same. There is a legal process going on in the United
States and he can make his arguments during this process. Canada has
sought assurances that Mr. Khadr, under our government, will be
Liberal members, some in power during Khadr's early incarceration,
called it "shameful" Harper would not act in light of the revelations,
and denied knowledge of the report that refers to Khadr's treatment.
Liberal leader Stéphane Dion, speaking in Guelph, Ont., told reporters
he knew "absolutely nothing" as a cabinet minister or caucus member in
the prior two Liberal governments about what he called "very
disturbing" allegations of Khadr's ill treatment. Dion said then
foreign affairs minister Bill Graham "would not have accepted to be
inactive facing such a situation."
Documents released yesterday revealed Canadian officials were told
Khadr had been subjected to a sleep deprivation regime the U.S.
military called the "frequent flyer program" before a visit by a
foreign affairs official in 2004. Khadr also alleged he had been
tortured and asked the Canadians for "protection" from his U.S.
University of Ottawa law professor Amir Attaran argued Canadian
officials could be held responsible since under Canadian law,
"conspiracy to torture is punishable at exactly the same level – an
indictable offence – as torture itself."
A Federal Court judge suggested last month that Canada was complicit
in Khadr's mistreatment by interrogating him after knowing he had been
Attaran argued the case poses a challenge to the Public Prosecution
Service, which, along with the RCMP, should investigate whether
charges should be laid. "We either act on it or there's an arguable
case the ICC (International Criminal Court) could," he said.
Spokesperson Dan Brien said the service has a responsibility to
prosecute under the War Crimes Act, but is not an investigative
Asked whether the RCMP was looking into the allegations, Sgt. Sylvie
Tremblay of media relations replied by email: "We are aware of the
contents of the evidence that was released by the court. Torture is an
offence under the Criminal Code. Canadian courts can try the offence
if it is committed outside of Canada in circumstances where the victim
is a Canadian citizen. Let me assure you that the RCMP takes all
allegations of torture against Canadians extremely seriously."
The once-censored documents released this week reveal Khadr told
Canadian officials who visited him in 2003 he was "tortured" and
scared of his American captors. He asked a Canadian Security
Intelligence Service agent, "Promise you'll protect me from
A year later when Foreign Affairs official Jim Gould travelled alone
to interrogate Khadr, then 17, he was told he had been given no more
than three hours sleep for 21 days.
International and domestic law outlaws sleep deprivation as an
interrogation tactic and a Foreign Affairs manual mistakenly released
earlier this year defines the practice as "torture." The U.S. Army's
own Field Manual, which governs the actions of military interrogators,
classifies "abnormal sleep deprivation" as "mental torture."
American Civil Liberties Union's Jamil Dakwar said he was surprised to
learn the Canadian government not only knew of Khadr's allegations of
torture, but also was aware the U.S. military was subjecting him to a
program of abuse.
At the time, the government stated they had "sought and received
assurances" from the U.S. that Khadr was being treated humanely.
Earlier this year, then-foreign affairs minister Graham told the Star
he regretted not being more vigilant in Khadr's case and denied
knowing details about the abuse of detainees at Guantanamo.
Dion said it is important to learn "what happened with this memo."
"I have no idea where it went in the chain of decision-making. It is
something that I would like to know though ...We need to know."
Anne McLellan, who served as Paul Martin's deputy prime minister, and
public safety minister responsible for CSIS, said in an emailed reply
that she also did not know about the Gould memo that noted the
"frequent flyer program."
"To the best of my recollection, I was not told by any of our
officials that Omar Khadr was being subjected to treatment that would
constitute torture," she wrote.
Dion said the revelations about Khadr's treatment should push Harper
to intervene – a call echoed yesterday by Liberal MP Bob Rae and
Canadian Bar Association president Bernard Amyot.
"It adds to all the elements that lead us to conclude the prime
minister of Canada must ask the American authorities to repatriate Mr.
Khadr here to Canada so he faces the Canadian justice system, which
will assure him due process, which visibly does not exist in
Guantanamo," Dion said.
An Angus Reid poll released yesterday showed only 29 per cent of
Canadians believe Khadr will receive a fair trial at Guantanamo,
slightly lower than April's results. Again, Canadians remain divided
as to what should happen to Khadr.
Of 1,004 Canadians polled, 38 per cent said they wanted him tried in
Guantanamo, 37 per cent said they wanted him repatriated and the
remainder said they were undecided.
Frae Auld Bob Peffers
Free Scotland from British imperialism!!!
Scottish National Party
Scottish Socialist Party
Solidarity (Scotland's Socialist Movement)