(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)
Make no mistake, the decision to give convicted terrorist Omar Khadr $10.5 million and an official apology was a political decision made by the Trudeau government.
While Trudeau officials insist this payout was the result of a case that went to the Supreme Court and ruled in favour of Khadr, nothing in that ruling said Khadr was entitled to cash.
In fact, the Supreme Court decision said it was up to “the government to decide how best to respond to this judgement.”
It was the Trudeau government that decided the best way to respond was with $10.5 million cash and a meek apology.
Trudeau went above and beyond a Supreme Court ruling that was flawed to begin with.
Bleeding-heart liberals on the top bench frequently make decisions that treat the perpetrator of a crime as the victim. This is a prime example.
Khadr was an unlawful combatant who picked up arms and fought alongside our enemy.
He joined al-Qaida, and in building bombs to be used against Canada and our allies in Afghanistan, Khadr demonstrated he was not loyal to Canada.
Khadr confessed to killing an American soldier and committing war crimes.
(He later withdrew this confession, saying he had made it only to get out of Guantanamo Bay and finish serving his time in Canada.)
He should not be entitled to the full protection of Canada’s charter of rights and freedoms.
As an enemy combatant with ties to al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden, Khadr possessed information that could be useful to thwart future attacks and protect many lives.
Our American allies had a duty to get as much information from Khadr as possible.
For all we know, information from these interrogations stopped future al-Qaida attacks and saved the lives of innocent civilians, even Canadians.
It’s also important to note while Khadr wasn’t pampered at Guantanamo Bay, he wasn’t tortured.
The only court to consider whether Khadr was tortured found that “there is no credible evidence [that Khadr] was ever tortured…even using a liberal interpretation considering [his] age.”
To say Khadr was tortured and is thus entitled to money is to ignore past court decisions.
While we can argue about the extent to which enhanced interrogation methods should be used by Western countries, to treat Khadr as a victim is ludicrous.
Khadr defected to al-Qaida, built bombs and was convicted of throwing the grenade that killed Sgt. Christopher Speer and maimed Sgt. Layne Morris.
Before Khadr was transferred to Guantanamo Bay, before he was subject to enhanced interrogation by American officials, Khadr doubled down on his terrorism.
In a statement of facts signed by Khadr in 2002, he said he threw the grenade “with the specific intent of killing or injuring as many Americans as he could.”
When he was interviewed three months later, Khadr said he “felt happy when he heard he had killed an American,” and just thinking about it made him “feel good.”
Khadr doesn’t deserve an apology. Canada should not treat traitors and enemies the same way we treat loyal citizens.
That’s why Trudeau’s submission to a convicted terrorist is so troubling.
He seems to prefer appeasing the enemy – downplaying jihadist attacks and making symbolic gestures that are counter to Canadian sensibilities. First, he refuses to take away the citizenship of convicted terrorists, now he’s giving cash and an apology to al-Qaida royalty.
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