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A rebuttal on Khadr

October 6, 2017   ·   0 Comments

RE: ‘Khadr a murderer, pure and simple’ – Ian Fairley, August 14, 2017:

“A little learning is a dangerous thing.” Alexander Pope

On July 20th, the Angus Reid Institute released a poll that said a majority of Canadians are against the settlement reached between the Federal Government and Omar Khadr. Mr Fairley regards that statement as a FACT. If it is a FACT, then so are these from the same poll: Over 40% of Canadians could not say whether Omar Khadr was treated fairly or unfairly while in captivity. Only one of five Canadians stated that they actually followed the story of Omar Khadr, but the most telling FACT of them all is that nearly three out of four Canadians thought Omar Khadr should have been treated as a child soldier at the time of his capture.

Since Mr Fairley wrote the word polls, he must have referred to the other poll, released by Abacus Data, on July 20th. The FACTS of that poll should be irksome to him and the Conservative Party of Canada, as it states that 43 percent of Canadians favor Justin Trudeau as leader, whereas Andrew Scheer, new on the job as leader of the CPC, gets only 31 percent. No morning-after glow for Mr Scheer there. It seems, therefore, that not many Canadians are as inflamed about the settlement as Mr Fairley suggested.

Just like the bagmen of the CPC, Mr Fairley has ignored the most relevant parts of the story behind the settlement. The CPC sent out a letter to exploit the general ignorance of its members to raise money. It’s OK in my opinion for the CPC to misrepresent facts, and defraud its own members, but the taxpayers of Canada are made victims too, because the CPC issues tax receipts to those who donate. Elections Canada and the CRA should investigate.

Mr Fairley claims that I showed “extreme bias” because I wrote Omar Khadr throughout my letter, but “coldly” referred to the dead and injured soldiers by their surnames only. If Mr Fairley had read my letter carefully, he would have noticed that I first wrote Sgt Christopher Speers and Sgt Layne Morris, and their surnames only subsequently. Referring to a person by his or her surname is a common practice. As an example, I am reading Churchill & Orwell, The Fight for Freedom by Thomas E Ricks. Ricks refers to his subjects throughout his book by their surnames. He did not show disrespect, thereby.

Mr Fairley “deplored” my not naming the medic who saved Omar Khadr’s life, despite the irrelevance. Nevertheless, I found an article by Colin Perkel of the Canadian Press (July 24, 2017) that reveals Donnie Bumanglag’s current feelings. He said he is glad he saved Omar Khadr’s life, and even spoke compassionately of him.

Bumanglag found that Omar Khadr had been shot twice in the back. In addition to that serious injury, Omar Khadr lost the sight of one eye. If that were not enough, it was recently reported (CBC, Mar 13, 2017) that Omar Khadr had hours-long surgery in Edmonton to repair his right shoulder. Yet, Mr Fairley shows no compassion for a boy who, at age fifteen, sustained injuries that could have left him dead or greatly disabled. Despite the severity of the injuries, Mr Fairley calls on his God to render real justice. What does Mr Fairley mean? Is he praying that his God kill Omar Khadr?

Mr Fairley dismisses my assertion that Omar Khadr was tortured. “Says who?” he writes. Lt General (Ret) Romeo D’Allaire, for one. Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada, for another. Also, Professor Audrey Macklin of the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto. In an article available on the Internet, she named Omar Khadr’s torturer, and writes that he was discharged (only!) from the US Army because he is a killer. Stephanie Carvin wrote in McLean’s Magazine (July 20, 2017) that Omar Khadr was subjected to sleep deprivation for weeks at a time, and to long periods of complete isolation. In my research, I found this excerpt from the Canadian Armed Forces Doctrine on Interrogation:

Interrogation tactics which involve physical force – beatings, stress position, deprivation of food, and subjection to cold or hot temperatures are prohibited. Methods which are more subtle but have a harmful psychological effect are equally prohibited. Sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation, isolation, humiliation, music and light control, use of phobia, and environmental manipulation are also prohibited.

That the CIA and the American military applied various forms of torture, and transported suspected terrorists to Syria and Egypt to be tortured, including Maher Arar of Ottawa, has been widely reported. Look up “Abu Ghraib torture and prison abuse” on the Internet, if you are doubtful. Additionally, the military commission that convicted Omar Khadr allowed confessions extracted by torture as evidence. In the United States, no court of law would allow such evidence, and I repeat, Omar Khadr and others were intentionally kept at Guantanamo to escape the jurisdiction of American courts.

Curiously, Mr Fairley wrote not a word in reference to the Supreme Court of Canada. In its rulings, it found that Omar Khadr’s rights had been violated. When Stephen Harper was Prime Minister, he agreed to pay Maher Arar $10.5 million in compensation. That settlement was the basis of the amount Omar Khadr received.

Mr Fairley accuses the current government of secretly sheltering Omar Khadr’s settlement. The judge hearing the petition of Tabitha Speers and Layne Morris in Toronto last July dismissed that allegation, and refused to grant an injunction to freeze the money until later this fall when a court in Ontario will decide whether it should enforce the judgment that Speers and Morris won in Utah.

Finally, Mr Fairley should look up his quote of Gandhi; it’s completely out of context.

James Hodder

Shelburne

(If anyone is interested in my research notes, he or she may ask for them from the editor.)

         

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