On a day when Stephen Harper tries to claim the mantle of high-minded "priniples" in Canada's international engagements as an excuse for losing his bid for a Canadian seat on the UN Security Council -- something he called his highest priority -- a story about a possible plea deal for Omar Khadr surfaces. Is it possible that the representatives of other nations are sickened like I am by Harper's cruel handling of this case. Do they believe as I do that the prosecution and torture of a 15 year old child is inhumane, a war-crime, as well as a ready example of how Canada would merely mimic the votes and policies of their American ally on the council?
To listen to the pleas of the young boy to his visitors from CSIS who were trying to help the Americans convict him of crimes he could not possibly be responsible for and in all likelihood did not commit, is heartbreaking. The charge that he killed a medic in battle is a complete lie. The American soldier in question was a member of Delta Force - a Special Ops operation whose sole purpose is to seek and destroy the enemy.
I listened today on CBC's Radio Noon to the torturer who became known as "the monster" describe what he saw when he met Omar Khadr. He described his outstanding characteristic as that of being a kid, "...a typical 15 year old kid." (Go to the link and listen for yourself - the quote in question is around the 43 minute mark but listen to it all if you can)
Today in Montreal a documentary called 'You Don't Like The Truth,' is being screened -- watch the trailer and listen to the heartless and gutless CSIS agents manipulating this child who was subjected to torture. "Enhanced Interrogation," the American call it. Say it with a German accent and you'll have a better idea of the meaning of that darkly Orwellian phrase.
Our hypocritical Prime Minister has been shamelessly fighting the repatriation Of Omar even though twice Canadian courts ruled against him. Where in this story is there any example of Harper displaying principle? How can he stand idly by when a young man who has now lost one third of his life to imprisonment and torture and ignore the fact that this person was picked up off a battle-field at the age of 15?
Is it any wonder the rest of the world now looks at Canada differently?