07.04.2017 10:23 AM

Omar Khadr and Christopher Speer

Six days before he received the wound that killed him, Sgt. 1st Class Christopher J. Speer walked into a minefield to rescue two wounded Afghan children, according to fellow soldiers. He applied a tourniquet to one child and bandaged the other, they said. Then he stopped a passing military truck to take the wounded children to a U.S. Army field hospital. Speer saved those children, his colleagues said.

Speer won a medal for that.

I have a view that is different from many of my Liberal and liberal friends: while I don’t dispute that Omar Khadr was a child soldier, or that he was manipulated by al-Qaida, or that he was treated badly by the U.S. military after his capture – I also don’t dispute that he killed Christopher Speer with a hand grenade, or that Speer didn’t deserve that, or that Speer was mainly preoccupied with saving lives until the day he encountered Omar Khadr.

Speer had kids; Khadr was a kid.  Speer knew he was on a dangerous mission in which he could die; Khadr said he knew that, too.  What happened to Speer was a tragedy, and a lot of what happened to Khadr was, too.

All that said, I don’t think it is right that Omar Khadr should receive in excess of $10 million from Canada.  I don’t think he should get an apology, either.

He’s alive and free and happy, and the young guy who saved lives isn’t.  I think that should have ended the matter, but apparently others felt otherwise.

When he apologized to Christopher Speer’s widow, Omar Khadr said he had learned “the beauty of life.”

So, I’ll leave the final word to her, because her words should count, too.

Tabitha Speer, sitting in the front row, gripped the armrests of her chair during his comments, shaking her head as he spoke. When he stepped down and the jury left the room, she cried.

Earlier Thursday, Speer’s widow had testified that her husband was a “most generous, loving” husband before he was murdered by Khadr.

“He thought of me before he thought of himself,” she said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better father for my children.”

At times sobbing, she described her heartbreak at having to tell their children, then a three-year-old daughter and 10-month-old son, that their father had died.

“That moment a part of my daughter died with my husband,” she said, adding that eight years later, the children still feel the pain of his absence.

“I heard over and over how he’s the victim,” she said, glaring at Khadr. “I don’t see that. The victims … they are my children. Not you.”

Khadr’s defence lawyers did not cross-examine her.

90 Comments

  1. John Baglow says:

    Speer was not a medic, but an active combatant. It’s still a tragedy that he died, but it’s a tragedy when anyone dies. Even those launching an active armed assault against an enemy compound.

    The evidence that Khadr even threw a grenade is sketchy. Evidence that appeared to exonerate him was suppressed by the Guantanamo kangaroo court.

    A badly-wounded 15-year-old, in any case, was subjected to torture in complete defiance of UN conventions. CSIS was involved. The Supreme Court of Canada issued an epic scolding over that.

    Khadr was and is a Canadian citizen. He was grossly mistreated, with official Canadian complicity. He deserves, if anything, much more than he was offered.

    • JH says:

      If he deserves $10 million, then how much more than $53 million should have gone to the Indigenous missing and murdered women inquiry? Maybe enough that it could at least accomplish something, perhaps by taking it private rather than leaving it in the hands of incompetent government appointed commissioners, Bennett & her silly servants? $10 million vs $53 million just doesn’t cut it.

    • John says:

      Just to clarify John Baglow, Speer was a combat medic. He was a Special Forces medic whose main purpose was to assist injured.

      • John Baglow says:

        Just so we’re clear: Speer was not engaging in medical activities during the assault on the compound. The use of the term “medic” is also misleading: Speer did not have protected status under the Geneva Conventions.

        He was a soldier with medical training.

        • Chad says:

          Bingo.

        • Craig Burley says:

          Thank you John.

          • H. Samnah says:

            Just so we are clear murder was not the only charge Khadr faced and just so we are clear. Trudeau should have waited for Khadr to clear up his confession in “US” Civilian Criminal court before any monies where paid out. There was no reason to pay out till then. Well unless Trudeau knew that application would fail.

    • Kevin T. says:

      I agree.

    • Sean Cummings says:

      The issue for most who don’t like today’s news is whether or not a soldier of 15 is in fact, a child soldier.. Are they aware as teenagers that by tossing a grenade, for example, it’s going to blow up and kill people? Given that we license teenagers to drive automobiles (even with graduated licensing) that teenager is operating a vehicle that can run people over and kill them. They must know, at 15 when they get their learner’s permit the ramifications of their actions.

      I joined the CF when I was 17. I needed my mother’s signature plus a letter from one of my teachers as to the nature of my character. My back was screwed by the time I was 23. I’m turning fifty this year and I can’t even get the government of Canada to provide me, a veteran, with proper care and compensation for an injury I sustained while on active duty. So it rather galls me that Khadr is getting ten million bucks and I can’t even get prescription coverage for two herniated discs. I’ve been fighting with them for more than a decade now.

      The optics of this are terrible. Trudeau will pay a price for this at the polls among those who are angry enough about it. I like how this announcement comes after Parliament adjourns for the summer. Nothing to see here. Nope. Nothing at all….

      • David Ray says:

        Don’t be silly. Stephen Harper paid the same amount on our behalf to Maher Arar and deservedly so but didn’t pay a price for that. Khadr suffered far more and for much longer. Let it be.

        • Sean Cummngs says:

          Maher Arar wasn’t an active combatant in a theater of war as part of a terrorist organization, so there is nothing silly about my observation. Apples and oranges.

          And if you’re thinking that 15 he didn’t know what he was involved in, that’s pure horse feathers. Sorry, not buying that. Most Canadians won’t buy it either. Were his rights violated? I honestly have zero @#$% to give – he was an enemy combatant. Period. Full stop.

          This will come back to bite Trudeau on the ass come election time, particularly when the aforementioned terrorist organization makes great PR out of this. And you know, I get it. People on the left and in the center think Khadr is a victim. People on the right think he’s a terrorist. He is still a Canadian citizen. He is no longer in Gitmo. He has his freedom. That should be more than enough. But you know, what about the suffering of the kids whose father he killed? What about the suffering of that man’s wife and family? We don’t want to talk about how Khadr stole that from them. But yes, it was a war, right? And he’s not culpable because he was a *child*. Meantime veterans in this country have to fight a bureaucratic machine just to get the most meager of benefits. But we’ll turn a blind eye to veteran’s issues. Canadians always turn a blind eye to veterans except for one day a year when most are sleeping in rather than thanking a veteran for their service.

          • doconnor says:

            “he was an enemy combatant. Period. Full stop.”

            He was imprisoned for years even before that term had a legal definition? Does that resemble justice? Some of those “enemy combatants” turned out to be entirely innocent.

            “He is no longer in Gitmo. He has his freedom. That should be more than enough.” He was held in Gitmo for much longer then necessary because of the Canadian government.

    • BillBC says:

      “He deserves, if anything, much more than he was offered.”

      How much more? Would $20m be enough? I was thinking that, leaving aside his huge lawyers’ fees, that $10m invested at 5% would give him $500,000 a year for the rest of his life without him lifting a finger or touching his capital. Not bad for a 31 year old…

      • P. Brenn says:

        could skip that nursing degree he’s after….I though lawyers were working for the cause not the money ..

    • Paul Douglas says:

      Kadr is a Canafian citizen who fought againsy our allies. Child soldier or not, he fought against our allies in armed combat in a war Canada was also fighting against. In my books, that make Kadr a traitor. He gave up his rights to be protected by CAnada when he chose to fight against Canada and our allies.

    • Chad says:

      Thank you…

      A common thread among those most vocally opposed to this outcome seem to lack a full understanding of the story or the laws of war.

      • Ann says:

        Those who vehemently support the payment to Omar Khadr and sympathize with convicted criminals lack the most basic common sense. If he’s truly sorry for his involvement with terrorists he would give the money away.

  2. lougive says:

    This is obscene. Simply obscene. One need only read the comments of his family to understand how perverse even the thought of this settlement is. If he was remotely a decent human being, he would offer most of his “reward” to Speer’s children. Don’t hold you breath. His legal team will collect 3-4 million of this. Warren, you must be embarrassed to be a lawyer today.

  3. Gord says:

    Well said.

    Ten million dollars that could be going to providing clean drinking water on a First Nations reserve is going to man and a family who have demonstrated nothing but contempt for this country.

    • pat. fraser says:

      we agree.canadians have been made a part of this nefarious scheme. he is a terrorist and a smug blight…he chose his actions…but our reserves are desolate penal camps without any health care, hope or safe water…

  4. Clarke Wood says:

    It is a heck of recruiting advertisement for Al Qaeda-kill a US serviceman, get convicted, and pocket $10 million. Khadr’s entire family were either terrorists or terrorist supporters. While Khadr should not have been tortured, he doesn’t exactly deserve the keys to the city.

  5. Mark Surchin says:

    Didn’t this flow from the Supreme Court decision as opposed to it being some sort of random let alone ideological policy decision by the current government? Seems to me the die was cast with that decision being rendered and at that point it became about quantum.

    • Susan Argue says:

      the people who should be paying this absurd amount of money is his parents. He was brought up with all this as a part of his life – his parents are the ones who responsible totally and completely – his father is dead – oh well – he was fighting for what he believed in – but to say the citizens of Canada are responsible NOPE – not in the least – it started with the Chretien Government and now it ends with our pockets being picked once again by someone is not deserving in the least…. and at 15 he knew right from wrong….

    • Bill Malcolm says:

      Exactly. The rest of these commenters are fighting yesterday’s battles. The Supreme Court has spoken on the matter as to Canada’s culpability on Khadr. Harper of course being Swinging D!ck in Charge at the time.

      If the rest of you want to go and tell the Justices they’re full of sh!t from the comforts of your armchairs, go ahead and do it. See how far you get. Caterwauling about it after the fact just means you don’t remember the sequence of events and the SCC’s ruling on the matter of Khadr’s treatment.

      And that goes double for the Canadian Taxpayer Federation, some bunch of dolts who claim to speak on my behalf. Not a soul I know has ever been contacted by them for an opinion.

      • Nicole says:

        Unless we want to assume that the DOJ contains lawyers who are fools, this settlement was made because the risk of a far higher payout was very likely in addition to the costs of the defence lawyers. Trudeau did not let this settlement happen just for kicks, there was a risk assessment involved. The Supreme Court, many of whom include Harper appointees, confirmed that Canada violated international law and there would be a high price to pay for letting a citizen stay in Guantanamo Bay and starting that stay as a minor.

  6. john kerr says:

    As far as I can see, he was a child, forced to fight, reacting in self defence to deadly force, and abused in the American jail for some years, with the acquiescence, if not worse, of the Canadian Govt. Forced to plead guilty or spend the rest of his life behind bars. Terrible tragedy for him and
    Christopher Speer and his family.

    I agree with a Canadian apology for the role Canada played and agree with compensation. However, not sure how they arrived at $10 million. Sure seems excessive.

    [If he were to donate part of this to the Speer family, it would necessarily be done confidentially, without any publicity.]

  7. doconnor says:

    The real question is, is this enough for the Canadian government not to acquiesce to torture next time?

  8. Wes Ford says:

    Khadr was 15. A child soldier is defined as ‘a combatant UNDER THE AGE OF 15’. Khadr took selfies holding severed heads, making IED’s and waving AK47 rifles. The liberal view of him is so distorted, so disgusting, and so wrong it defies comprehension.
    Speers was a medic, make no mistake, and he was killed because of bleeding heart rules of engagement that did not allow helmets during the battle where he was killed.
    Khadr’s grenade shrapnel hit him in the head and killed him. Khadr was then shot twice by US soldiers.
    Speer’s fellow medics then saved his useless terrorist ass and the US took him to Gitmo, to be incarcerated in a better accommodation that was ever provided to a burglar in the entire MIddle East.
    I shed no tears for Omar, but I am absolutely disgusted by the Liberal government.

    • Miles T says:

      Wes…it appears you know more testimony than Khadr did during his kangaroo trial…. and perhaps you should check the 9 Supreme Court Judges…7 of the nine were appointed by Conservatives…6 by Harper…. how anyone can drop this on Trudeau is ridiculous….

  9. Paul O says:

    You align with those who say Khadr was a “child soldier”. Could you please tell me in what nation’s army he was serving?

  10. Steve T says:

    Yet another example of our propensity, as a society, to require “living victims” in a given situation. The dead victims aren’t there to complain, or tell their story, so we re-paint the picture to make their killers more sympathetic.

    Yes, Khadr was only a teenager. Yes, he should not have gone to Guantanamo. But he did kill someone. And he was 15, not 5. So giving him $10 million seems a bit obscene. But again, our politicians love to pander to the lobby groups and create new “victims” to spend money upon.

  11. the salamander says:

    .. always useful to get some perspective on war..
    You know.. the reality of it.. especially those ‘foreign wars’
    where there’s no invader within your own borders
    your crops or barn aint burning

    So Bob Dylan sets some tone here..
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zbLldlwYXRY
    John Brown ..

    Yes, people die during war.. including combatants
    some end up disfigured or crippled ..
    and then a bit later, the government lawyers pile on
    and the outside lawyers are retained..

    .. and years go by ..

  12. Cheryl says:

    Before I start this off I must say I feel for Christopher Speer’s family. From the bottom of my heart I do, no one can ever replace him or the love people had for him. All do respects to him especially in his career. My sincere condolences. I believe both Christopher Speer and Omar Khadr were both in the wrong place at the wrong time. The evidence is sketchy. Yes Omar Khadr pleaded guilty whether he truly threw the hand grenade or not he does not deserve the torture. Let’s also not forget that he was 15 at the time.

    This situation is complicated, he was a child solider, a Canadian citizen, son of an widely known terrorist, was seen making grenades and pleaded guilty to throwing a hand grenade. But Christopher Speer knew and his family that with his career choice his life is always on the line – this is why he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Sit there and ask yourself this – if you were in a place by yourself being bombed at for days or even hours and you heard someone coming and had a grenade would you throw it? No matter how you answer or try to be modest to the public to not give the answer the truth is your reflex would most likely throw the grenade. To you that would be a life or death situation, how do you know he was to know it was a medic or someone coming after him.

    There is no price you can put on Christopher Speer’s life. There is none I feel for him and his family I do. But as I said with his career choice he could get killed at any time. In life death is always a given. Torture is not a given. I have followed this case for years and believe as an option Omar Khadr was forced to plead guilty to a deal to avoid prison for life. Self defence to who he thought may kill him due to the surround isn’t wrong in such a setting of war and bombing especially given the unfortunate circumstances that he was brainwashed and grew up with a terrible father figure.

    To be tortured for years and beat and not to mention blind in one eye as a result and be robbed of possible life and growth until the age of 30 with a torn reputation as people are very touchy and sided on this case. He deserves 10.5 million. Sure he is happy now and has been in good hands with his amazing lawyers and he could go without 10.5 million. Sure the money could be put to many other cases such as Indigenous people or put to foundations or even Canada’s debt. Money is needed for everything but the Conservatives (Stephen Harper) IGNORED the charter of human rights and not only allowed the tortured, they chanted it on. Omar Khadr deserves every cent of the 10.5 million to share with his lawyers who changed his life and stood by him since this case started. To all the Conservatives and people talking nonsense just know if you stood by the charter of Human rights the compensation would never need to equal 10.5 million but instead you supported terror yourself by allowing torture. Yes the 10 million shouldn’t come from tax payers pockets it should come from all the people who didn’t support Omar Khadr’s rights but unfortunately the world doesn’t work like that and people who don’t have that type of money like to talk and make bad decisions.

    10.5 million is a lot and I would love to see what Omar Khadr does with it and wouldn’t be surprised if he donated some to foundations with similar cases or people like him to prove he is a good, well, changed, happy, giving, and caring man.

    • MR says:

      There are many things that you say here that I agree with, lots of valid points. But I will say this, to one of your points

      “Self defence to who he thought may kill him”

      Omar Kadhr was a civilian at the time that he threw the grenade, some people call him a terrorist, some people call him an unlawful combatant, and some people call him a child soldier. The one real fact was that he was a civilian and a Canadian civilian at that, not an Afghan civilian. He was considered an unlawful combatant under the Geneva Convention, and he had no business being where he was. It is his age and the murky events in Guantanamo that allowed him to be free today.

      The self-defense theory does not stand when you are an unlawful combatant. Real soldiers don’t shoot innocent children on purpose, especially highly trained precision special forces soldiers like Christopher Speer, and I know this because have been involved in combat operations as a soldier in Afghanistan myself. Innocent civilians caught (including youth) in the crossfire of war do not pick up weapons and start shooting at soldiers of either side of the conflict. People who throw grenades at soldiers (even youth who are capable of adult decisions) whether rightly or wrongly are involved in combat and not self defense.

      Does that mean he should have languished in jail as a Canadian youth, no it does not…but lets not paint him as an innocent victim to make the compensation package and apology an easier pill to swallow.

  13. Douglas Owen says:

    I am totally disgusted with this. One of the commentators said that this settlement was to prevent a protracted court case. This is the same government that has continued a court case (Equitas) so the do not have to pay out compensation to wounded veterans of Afghanistan who fought for Canada. Seems the Trudeau government has strange priorities.

    • Sean Cummngs says:

      This is the same government that is involved in litigation with veterans of Canada’s armed forces to prevent them from getting the meagerest of benefits for service to Canada.

  14. Phil says:

    Well said

  15. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Warren,

    Usually, a government settles because it’s infinitely cheaper to the Taxpayer. And because their case is weak.

    If I was Trudeau, I would offer separate compensation to the Speer family.

  16. Gene says:

    1- So a 15 year old accompanies his father into a war zone in a country far away from Canada.

    2- Participates and gets captured in a battle in which US troops are killed and sent to Guantanamo Bay

    3- Allegedly gets tortured by the US government in a grey area of jurisdiction which is open to this day (even after many promises by the former US president to close it down).

    and Canada is responsible … Sorry, I don’t see it.

    1- Canadian engineer takes plane, RCMP advise US Goverment, Canadian gets arrested and sent to Syria (land of the ever present el supremo Bashar al-Assad)

    2- Gets tortured and Canada steps in to obtain return.

    3- Canadian engineer, rightly sues and gets compensation and apology, by Conservative Government no less

    Canada is responsible and that I do see.

    In short, how is Canada responsible for the 15 year old father’s (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmed_Khadr) decision to drag his son into a war zone ?

  17. Will McClelland says:

    It’s a shame Mr. Trudeau could find the money for this but seems unable to procure the funds to comply with the Human Rights Tribunal ruling regarding children on reserves and welfare service discrimination. Once again he opts for flashy announcements rather than engaging himself in the difficult but necessary work of helping those in the direst need.

  18. Kelly says:

    I am really bothered by many of the comments here. There is a seeming lack of support for the constitutuion. There seems to be support for the use of torture. There seems to be willful conflation of separate issues in order to defend prejudices.

    1. The USA had for decades prior to these events, engaged in illegal combat, regime change and resiurce theft in the middle east, setting the stage for the rise of groups like al qaeda.
    2. Speers new what he was signing up for — in fact he should have expected to be killed in action. And, not to be mean, but so should his family have expected this outcome. Its what soldiers do. They die. All the time.
    3. Torture is NEVER ok and Canada agrees, which is why we are signatories to international conventions that outlaw it. It is fundamentally un-Canadian.
    4. The Harper Government actively assisted the USA to engage in the illegal detention and torture of a Canadian Citizen as well as the violation of a number of charter rights.

    The last point is why Khadr is being justifiably compensated. His background really is an entirely separate issue. Canada owes nothing to the Speers family. If any entity does it is the US government for starting the war on terror in the first place. So eeryone take a breath and direct yiur anger at the oligarchs, racists and imperialists at the centre of Western power. Don’t blame pawns like Speers and Khadr.

    • Matt says:

      Yeah, if your going to spout off, get your facts straight.

      Chretien was PM when Khadr was sent to Gitmo.

      Martin was PM during the time Khadr was allegedly being “tortured”

      Last I checked, they were both Liberals. Harper had nothing to do with it.

      • Kelly says:

        CSIS went down and intimidated Khadr before Harper, yes, (and Martin should have never sent Canadian troops to Afghanistan, either) but the Harper regime actively worked to keep Khadr incarcerated in violation of international standards and Canadian Law and tried to prevent his return to Canada in a flagrant violation of constitutional principles.. That’s what I mean by detention.

        I get it… Conservatives hate the charter and like to push people around who they don’t like. But expect people to push back. Speer was killed in a firefight like millions of other soldiers have been over the centuries. You don’t seem to take the consequences of American adventurism — or war — seriously.

        • Raymond says:

          Get it right.
          Between December 2001 and March 2002, JTF2 and PPCLI combat troops were deployed to Afghanistan under the government of then-PM Jean Chretien, under the direction of then-Defense Minister Art Eggleton.
          Omar Khadr was wounded/captured on July 27, 2002.
          Not until until August, 2003 did Canadian troops redeploy into Kandahar under Operation Athena/ISAF.

          In essence, Mr. Khadr was an an enemy combatant, fighting against a multi-national force comprised, in part, of his own countrymen. For that reason alone, this settlement is a disgraceful final chapter to a conflict that claimed the lives of 159 Canadian soldiers and 5 Canadian civilians

    • Matt says:

      And if you want to talk about international conventions, how about the Geneva Convention and International Criminal Court Statute which clearly state firing at or attacking medics is a violation of said conventions.

      • Kelly says:

        You’re conflating separate issues. Let’s assume that Khadr did throw the grenade — which is unclear — but that doesn’t mean that the government ‘get” to violate Khadr’s rights — which is the only issue related to the payment. If someone is accused of breaking into a house it doesn’t mean the cops — or the homeowner — gets to beat up the suspect.

        Your thinking reveals a dislike of due process and the rule of law. This seems to be common trait of many contemporary Conservatives which is why I will never ever ever trust current Conservatives with the keys to the government. I don’t feel safe with Conservatives in power.

    • Tod Cowen says:

      One small point: let’s recall why Christopher Speers was in Afghanistan in July, 2002. A little thing called 9/11. Maybe it wasn’t covered much in Canada. Or perhaps, from the comments in last paragraph, you may believe that the “oligarchs, racists, and imperialists” had it coming.

  19. Matt says:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/khadr-compensation-speer-morris-1.4190468

    The lawyer for the widow of a U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan said Tuesday they have filed an application so that any money paid by the Canadian government to the former Guantanamo Bay prisoner will go toward the widow and another U.S. soldier injured.

    Lawyer Don Winder made the comments as a decision by the Canadian government to apologize and give millions of dollars to Omar Khadr came under mounting criticism.

    An official familiar with the deal said Khadr will receive $10.5 million. The official was not authorized to discuss the deal publicly before the announcement and spoke on condition of anonymity. The government and Khadr’s lawyers negotiated the deal last month.

    The Canadian-born Khadr was 15 when he was captured by U.S. troops following a firefight at a suspected al-Qaida compound in Afghanistan that resulted in the death of a U.S. special forces medic, Sgt. First Class Christopher Speer and the injury of Sgt. Layne Morris, who lost an eye.

    Khadr, who was suspected of throwing the grenade that killed Speer, was taken to Guantanamo and ultimately charged with war crimes by a military commission.

    He pleaded guilty in 2010 to charges that included murder and was sentenced to eight years plus the time he had already spent in custody. He returned to Canada two years later to serve the remainder of his sentence and was released in May 2015 pending an appeal of his guilty plea, which he said was made under duress.

    The widow of Speer and Morris filed a wrongful death and injury lawsuit against Khadr in 2014 fearing he might get his hands on money from his $20 million wrongful imprisonment lawsuit. A U.S. judge granted $134.2 million in damages in 2015.

  20. Sam White says:

    I’ll not bother on the politics of this, and not mention the fact that Khadr went to gitmo while Chretien was in & most of the alleged rights abuses happened under Martin (see point 4 above)

    What I will predict is the political blowback on this could be long reaching, as the majority of public opinion on both sides of the spectrum does not side with the left narrative I see in the news and comments here.

    cheers.

  21. Simon says:

    You know, I thought Free Speech was going to be the populist issue people rally around.

    Now I think it is probably this. A give-away is the fact that almost all media (with the exception of the Nat Post and TO Sun perhaps) are lecturing Canadians about how this is a just and virtuous deal.

    That’s why Trump was elected.

  22. Beth says:

    I agree with the Globe and Mail article on this.

    https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/editorials/globe-editorial-omar-khadr-canada-and-the-fragile-rule-of-law/article35549983/?ref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theglobeandmail.com&service=mobile

    It was because of this interview 2 years agog that I decided to give Omar Khadr a chance

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lTSMBYJ1Sg

    ” I am better than the person who he (Stephen Harper) I am”

    I have also listened to Denis Edney speak about his relationship with Omar Khadr as his lawyer.

    http://www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas/after-guantanamo-dennis-edney-on-defending-omar-khadr-1.3961508

  23. Sean Cummngs says:

    “He is no longer in Gitmo. He has his freedom. That should be more than enough.” He was held in Gitmo for much longer then necessary because of the Canadian government.”

    I seriously don’t care. I suspect most Canadians don’t care either. He was an enemy combatant in an operational theater of war. Now he’s getting $10 million bucks while veterans who served this country faithfully have to fight tooth and bloody nail just to get the most meager of coverage. Myself included.

    Look … here’s another veteran getting screwed by Canada while in a back room somewhere, lawyers are finalizaing Khadr’s big payday. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/veteran-sues-ottawa-over-pension-payment-delays/article35550905/

    • doconnor says:

      Yes, yes. You don’t are about prisoners of war. You don’t care about criminal trials. You think some people are deserving of human rights and some people are not. You have made it clear which side you are on.

      • Sean Cummings says:

        I have zero #@#$ to give about the human rights of terrorists. You, apparently, do. Have a good day.

        • doconnor says:

          How do you decide who is a terrorist and undeserving of rights? Normally it is a fair trial.

          • Sean Cummings says:

            When the ones shooting at you aren’t wearing combat fatigues with any discernible markings to show which nation they belong to. Also, you know, Al Qaeda, Taliban, etc. Khadr was part of a terrorist organization and Canada is giving him $10 million.

  24. Paul Schratz says:

    Tabitha Speer has field an application for the money. I hope she gets it. An Indiegogo account for her family raised less than $50,000. Pathetic.

  25. Frank Smith says:

    There is some evidence that he may not have thrown the hand grenade. He was shot before the Christopher Speers was killed.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/new-witness-account-shows-khadr-charges-should-be-dropped-lawyers-1.765709?ref=rss

  26. Kevin says:

    IMO, Mr Khadr deserves an apology from Canada for our part in his mistreatment, and nothing more.

    • Ray says:

      No.

      He knowingly went to war against his own country – capture & punishment was his fait accompli.
      He deserves neither an apology nor compensation.

      • Kevin says:

        Right. And Rehtaeh Parsons knowingly went to that party.

        • Ray says:

          Ridiculous analogy.

          • Kevin says:

            Really? If his actions justify his mistreatment, why would hers not justify her mistreatment? Personally, I don’t think torture is ever justified, and neither is rape. And it doesn’t matter to me if someone feels the person has done something to “deserve it”.

  27. Dan says:

    … Wow … what a can of worms for Trudeau and team. Talk about taking a hit. The election run is now in full bore I should think.

    • Nasty Bob says:

      Well at least the pretty boy gets points for political courage ! As opposed to Jason Kenny and his ilk, who are told in no uncertain terms by the SCC in 2010 that there’s a hell of a liability to be reckoned with down the road but remains obstinate and adds about 9.5 million to the bill and then is outraged…outraged I tell you that the taxpayers on the hook for it !!

  28. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Warren,

    What Nicole said.

  29. Nasty Bob says:

    Here’s the thing now –

    We’re better than they are. Better than the terrorists-with out question. Better than the US-certainly. Better than the rest of the world -most probably. Why ? For one, because we believe in the rule of law , due process, the Charter and { here’s a concept for all the Proud Boys out there} the Honour of the Crown ( which, to over simplify a bit , means you sign a treaty you’re bound by it )

    Better than just believing in all that; we live it !! Call it the Canadian Ethic if you will

    We don’t always get it right, or realize it at the time, but when we screw up …and here’s what makes us better than the rest…we own it.

    It may take several centuries before we figure out what we’ve done but when, for example, we embarrass the Crown and commit cultural genocide we admit it and apologize and begin to figure out how to make it right. Or, to take another example, Intermment of the Japanese- 4 decades or so later it’s our bad and here’s 300 million.

    Sometimes it tastes really really l bad – take too long to bring a person accused of murder to trial and they walk. But if you’re going to talk the talk you walk the walk. No picking and choosing whether the rule of law, etc. applies to someone or some group only if they are innocent and not guilty or if they deserve our sympathy rather than scorn. You break it-you own it.

    Canada has an unparalleled track record amongst countries , now and through history, for maintaining that ethic. It’s part of the reason we’re so respected and why we can stick our chests out – albeit in our typical humble/smug way – and claim to be better than the rest.

    So as distasteful as it is lets get on with it – own up and pay up – and move on. After all ,do you think Socrates drank the hemlock because he was feeling down and wanted to end it all ?

    • Ann says:

      I think everybody is laughing and ridiculing Canada right now for providing this kind of welcoming and facilitation to terrorism. This defies the most basic common sense. Everybody is laughing at us. The terrorists will be coming to Canada to reside more and more and will certainly look to Omar Khadr for funding. This is ridiculous! We need to change our laws to not let this kind of things to happen to us again!

  30. billg says:

    Karla Holmoka is married with 2 children and is a volunteer at a school, life is but a dream for her.
    Omar will be a millionaire and a practicing nurse.
    Holmoka’s victims are dead, as well as Kadhr’s victim.
    We say our heart breaks for the victims, but, we consider their deaths a tragic set of unfortunate circumstances, yet, the people who actually did the killing live out normal lives, and, in Kadhr’s case become rich.
    People are dead and all we say is, sometimes life isn’t fair, so how come life isn’t fair for Holmoka or Kadhr, why is it they actually are rewarded?
    I do believe that a very young Omar Kadhr regrets his decision, that he regrets being born into such a hateful family, and, that at his young age he cant be fully held accountable for what he did, but he also shouldn’t become rich over it either.
    Sometimes life is unfair.

  31. Regardless of what a ‘great guy’ and ‘great father’ Christopher Speer was, he volunteered to go invade another country. He knew there were inherent risks. I disagree completely with his widow. Omar Khadr is an innocent victim. He, as a child, had no say in the decision that put him where he was. Speer made the decision to leave his wife and kids, and go invade a foreign nation. All my sympathy is with Mr. Khadr.

  32. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Warren,

    I wholeheartedly agree with the Supreme Court judgment in 2010. That is the state of Canadian law.

    However, if the Canadian government truly wishes to atone for CSIS and the RCMP’s conduct, then let them voluntarily pay a goodwill sum to the two American families. They are owed that much for Canadian security services misconduct.

    Harper and Scheer have it all in reverse. Hardly surprising given that government’s track record. Without Obama’s continous pressure, Khadr would still be rotting in Gitmo. Harper’s consular services weren’t exactly a reflection of the generally accepted diplomatic norm.

  33. jariax says:

    1) Speer was not a medic. He was an active combatant.
    2) The US was the invader. They weren’t on defense.
    3) Khadr was defending Afghanistan from a hostile, foreign invader.
    4) People die in war. That’s how it works.
    5) Hilarious that the US thinks Khadr owes Speer’s wife $134 million, when the US paid a few thousands dollars for each innocent Afghani civilian it accidentally killed.
    6) Why is the life of an American worth so much more (134,000 times) the life of an Afghani?

    • Ann says:

      Why is the human rights of a willfull terrorist, who devalued his own life and was ready to die, worth $10 mil?!

      • Kevin says:

        They aren’t. They’re priceless.

      • “Willful terrorist”? Please note international law, that says child soldiers (under the age of 18) cannot be charged with any crime. Mr. Khadr was defending himself and his country against foreign invaders. If someone invaded the U.S., and a U.S. soldier threw a grenade at them, he’d be a hero. And there is still question about how Christopher Speer died; evidence indicates it was by a U.S.-made grenade. But regardless of that, he was a foreign invader. Mr. Khadr should have received 10 times the monetary award he received, and even that would not have been enough. I wish him all the best.

  34. gmac says:

    Why were those children threatened by a minefield in the first pl– *immediately drowned out by deafening chants of USA USA*

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